Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies

Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies

Last week I posted Paneer Do Pyaza recipe made by my sister and I got a lot of traffic for that. This week I am presenting another of my sister’s speciality, Kalmi Vadas.

Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies
Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies

They are typically a Rajasthani dish served with spicy coriander-mint chutney as snacks or starters pre-dinner.

Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies
Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies

But in the cities of Southern UP like Allahabad, it is primarily enjoyed as a chaat topped with yogurt dip & jaggery-tamarind chutney.

Today I am going to showcase the snack version, the chaat version will follow soon.

Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies
Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies

It is utterly delicious and you just can’t eat one.

Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2 dozens

Kalmi Vada | Gram Dal Crispies

A make-ahead party starter or can be served as chaat for the mood.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of chana dal (split bengal gram)
  • 1 cup of urad dal (split black gram)
  • 4-5 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • a pinch of garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Soak both chana and urad dal together overnight. Strain them next morning and grind coarsely in a processor.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and spices to the batter. Allow the batter to ferment for 2 hours.
  3. Lightly wet your palm and shape the batter into oval rolls. Deep fry each roll into golden brown till half done. Allow them to cool.
  4. Once cool, slice each roll vertically into 4-5 pieces such that they resemble long finger or crispies.
  5. Deep fry the sliced fingers again, crisping them nicely. Serve hot with chutney and some sprinkled chaat masala.

Notes:

Source - My sister

You can store the deep-fied rolls after the first frying in freezer for upto 3 weeks.

Easily turn this into a chaat by serving the crispies with yogurt dip & tamarind-jaggery paste.

http://lemoninginger.com/2014/07/25/kalmi-vada-gram-dal-crispies/

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

It has been a long time since I posted a bake here on LiG, my last being Roasted Vegetable Pizza from scratch over 6 weeks ago.

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9
Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

I have baked very little these past few months with lot of focus on controlling our diet. I have decided to shun sweets & rice till I gain a certain amount of shape back (from the deflated balloon that I have become).

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9
Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

So far I have been quite successful in controlling the urges. I hope I continue like this. Amen to that!

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9
Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

My in-laws were here for the month of June and I did bake and created some sweets for them, simply for the purpose of posting a recipe here. I didn’t eat a single slice, Cross my heart!

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9
Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

I have already made and posted this Eggless Mawa Cake way back when I started blogging in 2011, exactly 3 years ago. And I made a different version of Eggless Mawa Cupcakes for a commercial order few months ago.

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9
Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

So why another Eggless Mawa Cake recipe here? Well it’s not really a recipe. No, no, I haven’t gone mad! Really!

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9
Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

I have been doing once a month ‘Revisiting Through the Lens Series‘ for a while now, so I shot the same cake recipe with better photography gear and knowledge to showcase my journey.

“My advice to young photographers? Get a good pair of walking shoes and fall in love. – Abbas”

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9
Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

And I admit that every frame teaches me to be better in next frame. I have made some learning with these images and I hope to translate it into BETTER images in future.

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9
Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

I have mentioned in my earlier post of mawa cake how it is named as Mother-in-Law cake as it never fails to please an Indian MIL. And I am proved right. My In-laws couldn’t stop singing praises for it. So much so, that V requested me to bake another for them before they leave and I happily obliged.

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 7 inch square pan

Eggless Mawa Cake Topped with Blanched Almonds | Revisiting Through The Lens Series 9

A deliciously rich and moist Mawa Cake for all those special occasion when you need to impress the older generation.

Ingredients

  • 100 gm – All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp – Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp – Baking Soda
  • 200 gm (1/2 tin) – Condensed Milk
  • 100 gm – Khoya/ Mawa*
  • 2 Tbsp – Milk Powder
  • 2 Tbsp – Cashew Powder/Meal
  • 1 tsp – Vanilla Essence
  • 3 Tbsp – Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup - Blanched Almonds (for top)
  • 100 ml – Milk

Instructions

  1. Line & grease 7? pan. Pre-heat the oven 180 C**.
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder & soda together 2-3 times.
  3. Mix all ingredients together except milk & blanched almonds. Add half milk and beat 3-4 minutes.
  4. If required slowly add the balance milk.
  5. Pour the mixture in prepared tin & decorate with blanched almonds on top.
  6. Bake for 20 mins. Remove from pan & allow to cool completely.

Notes:

To blanch almonds, place them in boiling water for about 1 min. Drain & immediately place them in ice-cold water to stop further cooking. Peel the almonds.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C. Toast almonds for 8-10 mins or until golden brown & fragrant. Allow them to cool & slice coarsely. Set aside.

In absence of mawa - use 2 Tbsp heaped cashew powder + 2 Tbsp heaped milk powder in addition to the quantity suggested above of cashew & milk powder. Or you can use Mawa Burfi in place of mawa.

Baking time depends on quality of mawa & hence you should check after 20 mins for bigger pan size.

http://lemoninginger.com/2014/07/21/eggless-mawa-cake-topped-blanched-almonds-revisiting-lens-series-9/

Sending the Eggless Mawa Cake topped with Blanched Almonds to Bake Fest # 33, an event originally started by Vardhini

Paneer Do Pyaza

Paneer Do Pyaza

My sister amazes me. Each time we meet, she has a new recipe to share and treat me to. She is definitely a far better cook than I. Actually both my sisters are better than me.

But irony is that I am the ‘Food Blogger’. Fate played its hand on me, I guess.

Paneer Do Pyaza
Paneer Do Pyaza

I need to remember the ingredients, the proportions each time I wanna create something, but they (my sisters) can see someone cooking and replicate without effort later. Kudos to them. But alas I don the hat of a food blogger.

My trip to home-town this year coincided with my younger sister and her kids visit. There were 4 kids under the age of 5 and 3 women trying to control them. OMG!!

My mom finally gave up and told us to not plan and come together next year. HAHAHAHA! Is that possible? No. I will still go same time and my mom will enjoy and get overwhelmed too. But I believe that’s the fun of visiting grandparents in summer vacations!

Yoo hoo! Here we come again mom! I mean next year. ;) I digress.

Paneer Do Pyaza
Paneer Do Pyaza

Paneer Do Pyaza, as the name suggests is a dish made with cubes of paneer, onion and bell pepper. It is served with little gravy allowing the ingredients to retain their shape and character.

It is quite simple to put together. It tastes perfect with a plain Indian flatbread like chapati or a rich butter naan. The beauty of this dish lies in the color and ease of accompanying it with most breads.

Paneer Do Pyaza

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 1 big bowl

Serving Size: 4-5 people

Paneer Do Pyaza

A perfect dish to go with butter naan or a plain roti. It is colorful and healthy too packed with protein and minerals. Very easy to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 medium sized onions, cubed
  • 2-3 medium sized bell peppers (capsicum), cubed
  • 2-3 green chilli
  • 5-6 medium sized tomatoes, cubed
  • 250 gram paneer (ricotta cheese), cubed
  • 2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch asafoetida
  • 2-3 tablespoon tomato ketchup (sauce)
  • 100 ml milk or cream
  • 2 tablespoon oil

Instructions

  1. In a thick bottom pan, heat oil. Add asafoetida and mustard seeds. Allow the seeds to splutter.
  2. Add cubed onions and sauté till soft. Add cubed pepper & tomatoes. Mix well.
  3. Add all spices and ketchup (sauce) except milk and paneer.
  4. Cover the pan and cook on slow flame till the vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Add milk or cream and allow it to come to a boil. Add paneer cubes. Adjust salt to taste.
  6. Serve hot with naan.

Notes:

source - my sister

1. You can replace paneer with tofu.

2. For a richer version use cream in place of milk.

3. The gravy needs to be little, making the dish sticky rather than runny.

http://lemoninginger.com/2014/07/18/paneer-pyaza/

Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt

Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt

After last week of Moong Dal Cheela, which is staple at most North-Indian weddings or parties serving traditional menu, here is another delicacy.

Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt
Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt

Dahi Bhalla as the name suggests is a dipped in thick, creamy rich curd and served with spicy and tangy tamarind-jaggery sauce and some dry roasted spices like cumin seeds.

It is made of lentil batter and then deep-fried. Afterwards soaked in water to release extra water as well as soften it. It is usually very lightly filled with some chopped cashews and raisins.

Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt
Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt

Most of Indian weddings, I skip the food as it is too rich, but this is something I just can’t seem to resist.

The trick lies in transferring the batter to the hot oil for deep-frying without splitting the dumpling open outside/ inside the oil or burning yourself.

Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt
Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt

If you are careful enough, there is no reason, why you can not successfully make this at home. One such trick of transferring the batter I have already covered on LiG some time ago. In which you take a strainer and place the blob of batter on it and quickly release it in hot oil using the strainer.

Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt
Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt

In this recipe, I will explain the traditional method of making bhallas using muslin and transferring it to the oil.

Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Dahi Bhalla | Lentil Dumplings Dipped in Creamy Whipped Yogurt

A delicious and filling snack. It is cool and leaves you asking for more.

Ingredients

    for bhalla:
  • 1 cup of urad dal (split black gram)
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/2 inch of finely grated ginger or ginger paste
  • few sprig of fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp of coarsely chopped cashews
  • 1/2 tbsp of golden raisins
  • for yogurt gravy
  • 1 cup of home-made thick curd
  • 1/4 cup of cream
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • tamarind-jaggery sauce/ chutney

Instructions

  1. Soak the urad dal overnight.
  2. Wash and drain the lentil. Grind it into a fine paste using very little water.
  3. Mix all the above ingredients together except cashews and raisins.
  4. In a wok, heat oil for frying.
  5. Meanwhile, wet a muslin clot or an old handkerchief, squeeze it gently to remove excess water.
  6. Spread the wet muslin on the work counter, place a blob of batter on the muslin, sprinkle some chopped cashews and raisins. Press them gently.
  7. Now turn one side of the batter onto the other side of blob by holding the muslin and turning it over with the blob. It essentially folds the blob into half using wet cloth.
  8. Lightly wet your fingers. Gently turn the wet muslin further and transfer the folded and filled blob onto your fingers and quickly release it in the hot oil.
  9. Deep fry till golden brown. Repeat for as many bhallas you want to make.
  10. Place the bhallas 1 hour prior to serving in water. Allow them to become soft by absorbing water and releasing extra oil.
  11. At the time of serving, remove them from water and gently squeeze them without breaking.
  12. Prepare yogurt gravy by mixing cream and curd together in a bowl. Add salt and little pepper.
  13. Dip the soaked bhallas in the curd bowl and allow to soak for another 10 minutes.
  14. For serving, remove the curd-soaked bhallas onto a platter. Pour some more curd-cream mixture if required.
  15. Sprinkle salt, pepper, dry roasted cumin seeds and tamarind-jaggery sauce. Serve cool.

Notes:

Source - my mother

Instead of turning the folded blob on your fingers, you can transfer it to the underside of strainer as explained here and quickly release in the oil for frying.

After deep-frying the bhallas you can store them in air-tight container in refrigerator and use as and when desired.

http://lemoninginger.com/2014/07/14/dahi-bhalla-lentil-dumplings-dipped-creamy-whipped-yogurt/

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

I was accompanied by my in-laws on my return journey from north India.  They stayed back for 3 weeks. V and I used this judiciously by taking out some ‘US’ time.

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1
Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

We went eating out, including Stone Water Grill. We took off for early morning treks to ARAI and Sinhaghad. And we took a lot of walks in the society sans kids which we rarely get to do.

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1
Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

So we used these 3 weeks to the fullest.

Trek to Sinhaghad was really tough for me. I was out of shape, I had not trekked in a very long time.

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1
Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

To cut a long story short, I didn’t trek up to the peak but literally crawled on all fours.

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1
Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

My legs and stamina totally gave up, after 3/4 th of the distance was covered. But since I had come this far, it made sense to just continue moving and I did.

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1
Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

A little piece of advise for any new trekkers, Don’t stop too much and eat on the way. It is better to take few sips of water and keep on climbing.

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1
Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

Your body cools down, making it even more difficult to climb up the rest. So keep going!

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1
Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

I took out the camera when I reached and was fascinated with arrangement of raw mango sprinkled with chilli powder by the vendor. Ready to be sold.

Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series - 1
Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 1

I was trigger happy after a tough climb. I guess I deserved some idiosyncrasy.

Rest of the story to follow in Photostory: Sinhaghad Fort Series – 2