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Category Archives: appetizers / snacks

The Quintessential Sundal ~ Double Beans Sundal Recipe

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Double Beans Sundal

Double Beans Sundal

My friend Siri and I met on monday for a bloggers meet in Hyderabad. While the talk we attended per se was not much to talk about, it was a chance for us to meet many bloggers we had been reading or following but had never met, and for the two of us to meet after ages. We proceeded to have coffee and then went out for lunch. Severely missing the other conspirator Pree. Over some yummy chilli cheese toast and a pub lunch, we gossiped, checked out the other people at the pub, gossiped some more and shared notes on what has been happening in our lives.

In the middle of all the ideas for the blog and whooping my behind for not blogging regularly (really, I never learn!) I told her  I would be posting a recipe for Sundal. The must have during navratri, especially in homes which display the Indian style tableau of dolls called Bommalakoluvu /Gollu. Rolling her eyes, Siri asks me “but why Sundal? Isn’t it just boiled beans with a tempering and coconut?” I laughed and said “yes… but you can easily screw that up too!”

In my defence,  I did think the double beans sundal was better than most sundals. Purely because double beans is one of my favourite beans, I love its texture and it lends itself beautifully to any recipe.

this recipe needs a little of pre work in soaking dried beans for atleast 4-5 hours. Once pressure cooked, there is nothing really to do except temper it.

Double Beans Sundal (Serves 2)

Double Beans        1 cup dried beans, soaked for 5-6 hours and pressure cooked for 2 whistles, water drained

Ghee                       1 teaspoon

Mustard Seeds     1 teaspoon

Hing                        a pinch

Dried Red Chilli    1, broken into two pieces

Salt to taste

Grated Fresh Coconut ¼ cup

Curry Leaves        10

Drain the water off the boiled beans and set aside.

In a kadai, heat the ghee, add the mustard and splutter, add the curry leaves, dried red chillies and hing and turn off the heat. Add the grated coconut and toss.

Add the boiled beans to this, add salt and mix gently. Serve when still warm.

{Vegan MoFo 2013} Fruit Hedgehog ~ No Cooking

Fruit Hedgehog

Fruit Hedgehog

Happy Onam to all those celebrating. The Sadya today and yesterday (because it was a holiday and everyone in the family were home) at my MIL’s place was outstanding! It amazes me how she cooks multiple items with patience and enthusiasm. In a decade now, I have never seen her skimping on effort. Waking up early and standing for hours at the stove to make a delicious spread for festivals, birthdays and scheduled rituals. Just thinking of the number of dishes makes me dizzy.

Today I am sharing a method (not so much a recipe) of putting together an attractive fruit hedgehog. This is something you could use as a center piece on your table, add to the dessert offering or use it as a fun activity to keep a couple of kids engrossed for a couple of hours… If you have a fussy child, who refuses to eat fruit, this is a fun way to get them interested in shapes and colors and encourage them to eat the end product.

Fruit Hedgehog (Makes 1)

Orange                                               1, cut in half

Watermelon Cubes                        1 cup

Grapes or plums                             1 cup

Kiwi                                                     2, skin removed and cut into 1 inch cubes

(Use any firm fruit of your choice which will hold its shape, you could use apple, pear, firm papaya or musk melon etc

Slice the orange into half and place the cut side downwards in a plate.

skewer 2 – 3 cubes of fruit of different colours including the grapes onto a toothpick and stick the sharp end into the orange, about 1/4 inch inside to hold it in place. Continue with all the fruit and place the skewers on the orange to cover it completely. Cut a tiny triangle from the rind of the watermelon for the eyes or use a couple of raisins to make eyes. Place in the fridge for atleast 30 minutes before serving chilled.

{Vegan MoFo 2013} Sweet Potato Pattice ~ Faraali Pattice

Sweet Potato Pattice

Sweet Potato Pattice

The Escapades household is quite fond of sweet potatoes and prefers them curried, in baked wedges or as part of a medley. The most popular way to eat them in my part of the world, is boiled or charred over coals. Sweet Potatoes are rich in Vitamins B6, D, C and iron and magnesium. Which translated in normal people’s language means it is good for your brains, bones & muscles. No more reasons needed to eat it. The plus side is that it is very tasty and easy to prepare, lending itself to any kind of preparation. Sweet potatoes can be used to replace regular potatoes in almost any recipe.

Sweet Potatoes are used a lot in India during ritualistic fasting when people are meant to be on a restrictive diet. This is one of the ‘allowed’ foods. I think purely because of its nutritive benefits, it was put on the permissive list. These patties are also called “Farali Pattice” loosely translated, means fasting pattice, which means it is allowed on the fasting menu.

Whether you are observing a fast for religious reasons, wanting a robust make ahead snack for a party or need something to carry on a trip, these patties fit right in. The quantities can be easily scaled up.

Sweet Potato Pattice

Sweet Potato Pattice

Sweet Potato Pattice (Makes 8)

Sweet Potatoes                  4, washed & boiled(substitute with regular poatoes)

Green Chilli                        1, finely chopped or crushed coarsely

Arrow Root Flour              2 tablespoons ~substitute with water chestnut flour (singhada ka atta) or buckwheat flour (kuttu ka atta)

(use regular maida / wheat flour if you are not using this as fasting food)

Amchur Powder                ½ teaspoon

Lemon Juice                      1 teaspoon

Cumin Powder                   ½ teaspoon

Cashew Nuts                     10-12, roasted and chopped

Raisins                               10-12, washed

Rock Salt                           According to taste

Oil for frying

Method

  • Skin the potatoes and mash them well. Add all the ingredients and divide into 6-8 equal parts.
  • Roll each portion between your palms and flatten to make a patty.
  • Dust lightly with a little buck wheat flour / arrow root flour or water chestnut flour.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan, when ready, add the patties, with a little space between each one and fry on medium heat till crisp and golden, flip and repeat on the other side.
  • Serve hot

{Vegan MoFo 2013} Quick Schezwan Style Cauliflower Recipe (with ready made bottled sauces)

Schezwan Style Cauliflower

Schezwan Style Cauliflower

I love cauliflower in most forms. The first reason being, the vegetable lends itself beautifully to any recipe and absorbs flavours and spices very well. It can also be chopped into any size large or small and takes very little time to cook. A lot of Indian style preparations, overcook cauliflower and make it mushy. I like cauliflower to be firm yet cooked through and I find that depending on the cooking time, the texture can be preserved.

I made this as a party appetizer, but this is a versatile dish and can be served on the side with fried rice or noodles as well. Most grocery stores stock an array of readymade spice mixes. I stock a few to be able to make a few recipes at short notice. One of the mixes that I like is the Schezwan spice mix. there are several brands available and a teaspoon of this adds a nice kick to oriental style gravies, fried rice or even noodles.

Schezwan Style Cauliflower

Schezwan Style Cauliflower

Schezwan Cauliflower (Serves 4)

Cauliflower Florets                 2 cups

Salt and Pepper to taste

Oil                                                2 tablespoons

For the Sauce

Tomato Sauce                         4 tablespoons (I used tomato chilli sauce)

Soy Sauce                                 2 tablespoons

Garlic                                          2 pods, chopped

Ginger                                       1 inch piece, chopped tiny

Red Chilli Powder                  1 teaspoon

Schezwan Spices                   1 tablespoon (Available at all leading supermarkets)

Green Onion                           3, sliced, green and white parts separately

Onion                                        1 medium, chopped into large pieces

Method

Steam the cauliflower in sufficient water with salt for 4-5 minutes, drain and set aside. Do not overcook it.

Heat oil in a pan and sauté the cauliflower on high heat till it begins to get golden edges. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Remove the cauliflower pieces to a bowl.

In the same pan, add the finely chopped garlic and ginger and fry for a minute. Add the chopped onion and sauté till it turns translucent.

Add all the other ingredients except the green parts of the spring onions. Stir well and bring to a simmer.

Add the sautéed cauliflower to this sauce and toss well to coat. Garnish with the green onions and serve.

{Vegan MoFo 2013} ~ Kiddie Lunch Box ~ Recipe for Vegetable Packed Idli

Vegetable Packed Idli

Vegetable Packed Idli

It cannot be easy to think about what to pack in multiple dabbas kids have to carry to school. Couple of snacks and one main meal which is easy to eat and will taste good even when cold. That is a Herculean task if I know one. With kids being as demanding as they are, it is a good thing to have a small pool of ideas. With the basic formula of variety, colour and balanced nutrition, these vegetable packed idlies can be easily made for those lunch boxes, or even breakfast for a fussy child or adult!

Vegetable Stuffed Idlies (Makes 5-6 medium sized idlies)

Idli Batter                                                       2 cups

Salt                                                                  to taste

Carrot                                                              1, Shredded

Peas                                                                 ¼ cup

Sweet Corn Kernels                                      ¼ cup

Spinach or any other greens                       ¼ cup

Boiled Potato                                                  ¼ cup, chopped

Coriander Leaves                                          a small bunch

Curry Leaves                                                  few

Green Chilli                                                     1, chopped fine (optional)

Method:

Add all the ingredients to the idli batter.

Add a cup of water to a steamer or a pressure cooker and heat till the water comes to a gentle boil.

Put the batter into the idli plates and steam (without the whistle) for 15 minutes, reduce the heat and steam for another 4-5 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Allow the idlies to cool, remove from the mould and pack into a lunch box with a little chutney or tomato ketchup.

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