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Category Archives: appetizers / snacks

Foxtail Millet and Vegetable Patties ~ Gluten free recipe

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I haven’t disappeared. Just been engulfed with things that happen in my non-blog world. I have opened this window countless times to just say hello or post a recipe, and shut it either because the words didn’t come out right (if at all), or I was too tired to even type out a recipe. 

A couple of years ago I began cooking (infrequently) with Millets. We first began buying and using them because they are nutritious and suited Amma’s diabetic diet. Later when we found our dog Sage was gluten intolerant, we switched him over to rotis made out of a combination of millets and rice flour. Millets now find themselves on the shelf with the other staples in my kitchen. Considering how long I have been cooking with them, I am quite ashamed I haven’t posted too many recipes here.

The easiest way to introduce yourself to millets, is to buy the flour and add it to dosa batter. I discovered foxtail millet and have been using it to replace rice to be eaten with dal, vegetables and curries and make pulav or upma with it. This millet looks like broken rice and is neutral in taste and flavour and hence is a good candidate to take for a test run if you are just starting off on millets. Ofcourse K won’t touch anything non mainstream with a barge-pole and one of the ways I got him to eat foxtail millet was to repeatedly sneak it into patties! He loves cutlets of all kinds, shapes and colours and sizes. 

This pattice recipe is quite simple and versatile enough to accommodate whatever vegetables you may have on hand, so feel free not to stick to the ones I used!

foxtail millet and vegetable patties

foxtail millet and vegetable patties

Foxtail Millet and Vegetable Patties

(Makes 8 medium patties)

Potato                                        2 medium, boiled, peeled and crumbled

Foxtail Millet                          1/2 cup, soaked in water for 2 hours, pressure cooked with 1 cup water for 2-3 whistles

Corn Kernels                           1/4 cup, fresh or frozen

Peas                                             1/4 cup, fresh or frozen

Carrot                                         1/2 cup, grated

Salt and pepper                      to taste

Lemon juice                            1 teaspoon

Fresh coriander leaves       a small bunch, chopped finely

Fresh Ginger                           1/2 inch piece, grated or chopped finely

Cumin Powder                       1/4 teaspoon

Garam Masala                        1/4 teaspoon (optional)

Red Chilli Powder                1/2 teaspoon (adjust according to spice tolerance)

Gram Flour (besan)             1-11/2 tablespoons (adjust according to the requirement for binding)

Oil                                                2-3 tablespoons for frying

Wash and soak the foxtail millet. After 2 hours, pressure cook with 1 cup water for 2-3 whistles. When cooled, fluff with a fork.

Add the peas, corn and grated carrot to a bowl and cook on high power in the microwave oven (or blanch in hot water on a stove top) for 3 minutes.

Crumble the potatoes, add the cooked millets and the rest of the ingredients  except the gram flour. Mix together and do a taste test. Adjust salt and spices according to your preferance. 

take a small portion of the mixture and shape into a patty, if it does not hold shape, add the gram flour with 1/2 tablespoon of water and mix together. Make 8 portions, shape into a round and flatten into a patty. 

Heat a frying pan (I use a non stick one) on medium high heat till hot. Add 2 tablespoons of oil swirl the pan so that the oil coats the whole cooking surface. Gently place the patties onto the pan and fry on medium heat for 5 minutes till golden brown. Flip over and fry on the other side too. 

Serve hot with sauce or chutney. 

~

Reader’s of my blog know that I do the disappearing act now and then. It’s some wonder that you are all still here, even if you stumbled upon my blog by chance, please stay, say hello and leave me a comment. A few days ago, we hit the magic number of 10K fans on the facebook page. Those of you who are subscribed to the page will get all the updates as they happen. I have merged the pages of the blog and the classes for the sake of my sanity. So while I apologise for the bombardment of class schedules, hopefully regular programming of recipes, tips and other fun stuff will resume quickly. 

The Culinary Escapades classes have been doing very well. Thank you for your love and support. It all started right here, on this blog. I still remember being super excited when I baked my first ‘edible’ cake. I remember tagging them as ‘baking escapades’ with their own numbers! I cannot believe I am teaching baking and slaying baking demons today. I am grateful for the love and the encouragement I receive each day through this blog. I’m doing multiple classes now, teaching all sorts of recipes from salads to chocolates. I’ve done classes with just one person and groups from corporate offices too. Each class I teach, I learn much more than I give. I’ve gained beautiful friendships and experienced the encouragement of friends who will push me to announce a class or force me to undertake an order for a batch of cupcakes. 

Today in my Dessert making class, I spoke for the first time about how I spent my teens and early twenties trying to prove so hard that I wasn’t a girly girl. I tried to be tough and break every stereotype. People who knew me through school and college gag at the fact that I write a food blog and that I teach cooking. But the truth is, I have found myself in the last 8 odd years, I have made peace with the demons both inside and outside my head, I have learnt to listen to my heart and do what makes me feel good. If this translates into being every form of stereotype, then so be it, because today, it does not make me upset to have a label stuck to me. I know better than to judge my life or that of anyone else’s with a set of words. 

If you want to see the pictures of our dessert making shenanigans, click here

On that note, I wish you a beautiful weekend and wherever in the world you are, stay happy. 

 

 

Three Ingredient Soup ~ Pumpkin, Potato and Fried Garlic

pumpkin potato soup

pumpkin potato soup

I looked at the right corner of the screen of my computer to check the time, was shocked it was almost 8.30PM. Should have listened to the rumblings in my tummy. Ignoring them when your fridge is free of leftovers (happens sometimes in the Escapades household) is a sure indication that I may have succumbed to some jelly or whipped cream that was leftover from my desserts class on the weekend.

I have not been going to the gym for over 2 months for various reasons. This means that I am trying (in vain) to atleast eat right.

I knew we had a wedge of pumpkin and a few sprouting potatoes in the vegetable crisper. I sprung into action and whipped out my trusty peeler and tiny 11/2 litre pressure cooker.

Pumpkin – Potato and Fried Garlic Soup (serves 2)

Yellow Pumpkin                                 1 cup (remove the skin, seeds and membranes, chop into chunks)

Potato                                                         1 cup (peel the skin and chop into chunks)

Garlic cloves                                              2-3 (peel the skin and slice finely)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil                               2 teaspoon

Salt and freshly ground pepper              to taste

Heat a pressure cooker till quite hot. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and sliced garlic. Sauté till the garlic turns golden and almost crisp.

Add the cubed pumpkin and potato and pumpkin and toss around till they are nicely coated in the oil. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of hot water and put the lid onto the pressure cooker. Cook for 3 whistles and take off the heat.

When the pressure releases, put everything into a blender jar and whiz till the vegetables get puréed and you have a nice thick liquid.

Return to the pot, heat through but do not boil. Add salt to taste and freshly cracked pepper.

Dish out into serving bowls, garnish with the remaining olive oil and serve hot with crusty bread on the side.

Creamy Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Creamy Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Creamy Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

I have been severely neglecting my own marathon and I beg your pardon. If you have followed me on my FB Page, you will know that I have been keeping busy, very very busy. Onto some yummy soup now.

Winter in Hyderabad is pleasantly chill and the perfect time to whet the appetite with a bowl of soup. The array of winter vegetables makes soup making an enjoyable chore. Add a bunch of aromatics like fresh ginger, garlic or lemon grass, a dash of warming spices like nutmeg and bay leaves and you have a robust soup. 

Carrots and Sweet Potato are an excellent combination for a soup. They have a natural sweetness which gets enhanced while cooking and the addition of garam masala imparts a nice kick to warm it up. Perfect for the winter months with the subtle sweetness of sweet potato and carrot, this delicious thick soup is nutritious and a great meal in itself. Serve with toasted bread and dinner is done!

Creamy Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup

Time Taken (30 minutes including cooling time)

Ingredients (Serves 2)

Carrots 2 medium, peeled and cut into chunks

Sweet Potato 3 medium, peeled and cut into chunks

Onion 1 small, finely chopped

Celery Sticks 1, about 4-5 inches, chopped

Cumin Powder ½ teaspoon

Garam Masala ½ teaspoon

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Stock Cube 1

Water 3 cups

Olive oil 2 teaspoon

  • In a pressure cooker, warm the olive oil, saute the onion till translucent.

  • Add the cumin powder half the garam masala and fry for a minute,stirring.

  • Add the celery, cubed potato and carrot and saute till they are beginning to get a few golden edges.

  • Add the water and the stock cube, half the salt and close the lid of the cooker.

  • Cook for 2 whistles on high heat, reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pressure to release.

  • Open the cooker, drain the vegetables out with a strainer, add to a blender and blend till creamy.

  • Now add the pureed vegetables to the broth, simmer on a low flame, taste for salt and adjust. Add freshly ground pepper and the rest of the garam masala. Serve hot with toasted bread.

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.

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