Monday, November 28, 2011

Mosaru Ambode | Dahi Dal Vada | Perugu Masala Vada

This post is sitting in my drafts ever since I made mixed dal Ambode, I also made a small batch of dahi vada with those ambode.Finally they are making their appearance in my 'Family Food-Season 2' series in which even I am posting the entries-snacks/chaats for the series.

I always like curd vadas as they are very soothing and I love the taste of vadas better when soaked in curd.Most of us makes dahi vada with regular medu vada,at our place we even make dahi vada with masala vada and mixed dal ambode.They definitely taste different when compared to the regular dahi vadas because of the difference in the texture of vadas.These are easy to make and can be served with meal or as a snack.

Mosaru Ambode | Dahi Dal Vada Recipe
(yields 12 vadas)

12 Dal Ambode or Masala vada
3 cups thick fresh Curd
1/4 cup grated carrot(for garnish)
2 tbsp chopped coriander(for garnish)
2 green chillies
1/2" ginger
Salt to taste

for tadka:
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
a sprig of Curry leaves
a pinch of Hing
1 tsp Oil
  • Grind green chillies with ginger and salt to a fine paste.
  • Heat oil in a small kadai and crackle mustard seeds and add urad dal and curry leaves and hing and fry well and remove it aside.
  • Beat the curds and add little water to make it bit thin which helps the vadas to soak properly.
  • Add the ground chili-ginger paste and tadka to the beaten curd mixture and mix well.
  • Drop the hot vadas into the curds mixture and let them soak for 2-3hrs.Otherwise soak the hot vadas in warm water for 2-3 mins and slighlty squeeze excess water and drop them in curd mixture and soak for 2-3hrs.Keep it refrigerated.
  • While serving arrange the vadas on a wide plate and pour extra curds over it.Garnish with grated carrot and coriander.If you have rest over tadka also garnish on the vadas.
Serve them cold.Finish off these dahi vadas on the same day itself otherwise they might turn sour next day.
  • Always drop the hot vadas into dahi mixture or soak them in hot water and drop in dahi mixture which helps in soaking the vadas better in dahi.
  • You can garnish these vadas with finely chopped onions or fine boondi for a nice variation.
  • You can also grind grated coconut along with green chili-ginger paste(which is to be added to dahi mixture) for a different taste.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Stuffed Capsicum with Lentil filling(Kandunta in a Capsicum)..FF-TT # 3

This week's entry is sent to me by Savitha ,who took active participation and also had sent interesting entries for my last Family Food Friday series.She always surprises me by sending step-by-step pictures which easily helps anyone in understanding the process .Thanks a lot Savitha for taking extra time and clicking those pictures.If you would like to see the earlier entries for the series please check here.

She has picked a traditional home style snack which is quite unique and not so easily available outside.When she had sent me a list of snacks which she was planning to make for the series I had chosen the most traditional and unique ones hoping that it might interest myself and my readers to learn something new.Most of the south Indians prepare steamed dal dumplings and use it in sambar,rasam and yogurt stew.This recipe is some what similar to that with a twist,the same filling is used to stuff a capsicum to make a unique and yummy snack.

3/4 cup Toor dal
1/4 cup Chana dal
1/4 cup Moong dal (yellow )
3-4 Capsicums,pick smaller ones
1/4 cup grated fresh Coconut
2-3 tbsp Coriander, finely chopped
10-12 Green chillies(increase them if you like it more hot)
juice of 1 lemon(2 tbsp)
a fat pinch of Hing
1/4 tsp Baking soda
3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste

  • Soak all the dals overnight in regular water.
  • Grind green chillies chillies with salt,soaked dals into batter in a mixie in whipper mode and ensure it doesn’t become smooth paste ( it needs to be a little coarse). Also add as little water as possible.
  • Add hing, soda,grated coconut, lemon juice, chopped coriander and mix well with the mixture.
  • Heat oil in a small kadai and add it to the mixture and mix the ingredients well.
  • Slit the capsicum into nice cup shapes (as shown in picture), de seed it and smear it well with a little oil/salt mixture. Smearing just inside portion should be enough.
  • Add the mixture into the capsicum (don’t fill to the brim), place it on a oil-greased vessel and steam it in a pressure cooker without any weight for 15-20min.
  • Take out the cooked capsicum with lentil stuffing and sprinkle salt, red chilli powder and lemon juice (to taste).
Serve it hot.

Serving suggestions:
  • You can cut the stuffed capsicum into 4-5 pieces and top with finely chopped onions,grated carrots and chopped coriander.
  • You can use these stuffed capsicums in coconut based gravies or tomato based gravies,it makes a nice side dish for rotis.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bangarpet Pani Puri......quite a unique Chaat!!

I don't think that any one needs an introduction to pani puri/golgappa. It is a popular and well known "chaat" with minor variations all over India but today I am going to introduce a different and unique style of pani puri called as 'Bangarpet Pani puri'.This chat originated from a place called Bangarpet,a small town in Karnataka.
I know you must be wondering what is so special about this pani puri? Well.....the pani is COLORLESS but is quite pungent and flavorful and also tingles your taste buds to the core.Even the filling is quite different from the regular golgappa as we use green peas and carrot in the filling which is not so common in regular golgappa.If the pani is served in a clean glass, one can't identify whether it is pani or real water until and unless they taste or smell it.Though I could not recreate colorless pani, I recreated the original taste of Bangarpet pani after repeated attempts with the recipe which I got from my mom.

Bangarpet is a small town in Kolar district near Bangalore,which is my birth place.I have lots of memories associated with this place.Every year I used to look forward for school holidays to visit Bangarpet.Meeting cousins,gossiping,playing,eating..and what not? those were the fun days of my life.We cousins,a gang of 10 used to have a blast during our every visit to Bangarpet.Though we were all cranky about few food stuffs,once we land up there we all would have one common interest ie.'Bangarpet pani puri'.Every evening we used to make a compulsory trip to a famous chaat shop and used to enjoy those delicious pani puris. It used to cost us just two rupees per plate and you can imagine one can have a feast with just few bucks..aah those were the days!!!

As I am already in my childhood mood, let me continue the story.We, cousins had three different gangs divided according to our age group. On any given day, you would find us (all our groups including my aunts & uncles) but at different timings in that famous pani puri shop and the best part is that we never used to tell each other that we had gone there. If we ever say no to dinner at home then we could get caught that we had overeaten our pani puri, so we were forced to eat some dinner in order to escape scoldings from the elders. As I grew eating this, I am very fond of this and just love it very much. If I ever have to choose only one most favorite chaat item, I would choose this for sure with out a second thought. Forgot to mention,Bangarpet is also famous for Masala puri(which is my 2nd most favorite chaat) ,Gulkhand,Bajji masala and Masala Soda.
Now I really miss the place as every one has shifted to Bangalore.Even today if any of our family members visit Bangarpet,they will always carry back Bangarpet pani puri for all, which is few buckets of puris(those are special crisp puris) and bottles of litres of pani and the filling green peas masala.Though there are few shops opened in Bangalore and other areas,nothing tastes as good as the original Bangarpet pani puri.

To tell you more about our love for this pani puri,we generally make this for either dinner or breakfast more than a evening chaat.Yes!! you heard it correct we eat it as breakfast or dinner,I know it might be bit weird but we love it very much that a small plate of pani puri is not enough for our cravings.Ready made puris were not available in the earlier days,so my mom used to make even puris at home and it was a rule that she has to make this at least twice a month.
After writing all this I have become more nostalgic about this pani puri.This post is due in my blog from several days as I was waiting for an appropriate opportunity to post my favorite chaat and I find this is the perfect time to post this entry during my 'Family Food-Tasty Thursdays' series which I am hosting with my cousins.Let us peep into the recipe before you get bored of my stories.

Bangarpet Pani Puri Recipe:
(Serves 4-6)


for Puris:
50 puris recipe here (I used Store bought ones)

for Bangarpet Pani:
1 litre Water(mineral water preferably)
20-25 pods of Garlic,with skin but clean the extra layers(refer notes)
10-12 Green chillies
2 " fresh Ginger
2 " Cinnamon
10 Black peppercorns
1 tbsp Saunf
2 tsp Black salt
2 tsp Lemon salt/Citric acid crystals
2 tsp chopped Coriander
2 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste

for Green peas-Potato Stuffing:
1 cup dried Green peas
2 medium Potatoes
Salt to taste

for Carrot-Onion mixture:
2 Carrots,peeled and grated
1 Onion,finely chopped
2 tbsp Coriander,finely chopped


  • I used store bought ones,if you want to make at home please follow this recipe.

Bangarpet Pani:

  • Grind cinnamon,blacksalt,peppercorns,saunf,lemon salt and regular salt to a coarse powder.
  • Add green chillies,chopped ginger and garlic pods and turn in whipper mode to a slight coarse masala,it should not become paste.So take care not to run for long time.
  • Drop the mixture in a potli bag(muslin cloth) and make it into a potli and drop it in 1 litre water and keep it aside for 4-5 hrs until the water is infused with the spices from the potli bag.You can even rest this in refrigerator.
  • Now take out the potli and add sugar to it and mix well.
  • In a small bowl take coriander and add 1/4 cup water and slightly press coriander with hands until you get the flavor of coriander infused into the water.Strain the water and discard all the coriander and add this coriander flavored water to the pani.
  • Now check the taste of pani and add extra water(you might need to add 1/2 litre water approximately) to it to suit your taste buds.Adjust the salt,sugar and lemon salt as per your taste.This would be generally not spicy in one sip,the spicyness increases gradually as you keep eating,So make it in moderate spice level.(Add more water if the pani is extremely spicy.You need to balance all the flavors salt,spice,sweetness and pungency according to your taste buds.)
  • You can keep in refrigerator if you need or serve it at room temperature.
Green peas-Potato stuffing:

  • Soak peas overnight and wash them couple of times and arrange it in a bowl in the cooker.Cover it with lid.
  • Place the potatoes over the plate and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
  • Once the pressure drops,take out one cup of green peas and keep it aside.
  • Remove the skin of potatoes and mash it with hands roughly,do not mash it finely.
  • Add the potatoes to the remaining peas mixture and again heat this mixture on stove.Add salt to it and mix well and cook until one boil.Mix the boiled peas which we kept aside.Switch if off and let it be warm.Keep the potato-peas mixture slightly thinner as it gets thickened over time.It is important to keep this mixture warm for a perfect Bangarpet pani puri taste.
Carrot-Onion mixture:

  • Mix grated carrots with finely chopped onions and coriander in a bowl until it is mixed properly.Keep it aside covered.
Assembling Bangarpet Pani Puri:
  • Take each puri and poke it gently and stuff with 1/2 tbsp peas-potato mixture and 1/2 tsp carrot-onion mixture and dip it in the spicy pani and just gobble in.
  • I think now I don't need to say anything more as you would be busy eating them.
  1. The original Bangarpet pani has no color,however I tried to recreate the same it gets some sort of yellowish-green color.
  2. I used Indian garlic.So please remember that if you are using big sized garlic pods what you get outside India,use 8-10 pods of garlic as they are big in size.If you are skeptical about garlic flavor,reduce to 6 pods.
  3. You can keep the pani refrigerated up to a week and use it when required.
  4. please remember that this pani gradually tastes spicy after every puri,so try to adjust the pani according to your taste buds.
  5. Dried green peas is a must for this recipe,however if you do not get use fresh peas.But it does not give the taste what the dried green peas give.
  6. The green peas masala should be slightly mushy,thats the reason I mixed few green peas at the end once everything is mixed.
  7. Do not spice up your green peas masala,just season it with salt to enjoy the real taste of Bangarpet pani puri.
  8. Please do not try adding chaat masala as the pani has some peculiar flavor which has its own identity.
This is how it should be served.

Ready to be eaten pani puri..yummy..:)
I would like to dedicate this post to all my cousins for our fond memories of Bangarpet.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Zucchini Patties...FF-TT # 2

This week's post is sent to me by my cousin Chaitra,who had actively sent her entries even in my earlier 'FFF season-1 series'.
Zucchini is a variety of cucumber called summer Squash which is widely used in salads, stir-fries, soups, stews, pancakes and also in baking.Zucchini has a very mild flavor and may not be liked by many,my hubby always fishes out the zucchini if I use it in a chunky form.This Zucchini patties makes a nice evening snack or a good party appetizer and is a easy way to feed those who hates zucchini.

2 1/2 cups grated Zucchini with skin
1 cup seasoned Bread crumbs
1 Egg,lightly beaten (see notes for egg less version)
2 tbsp finely chopped Onion
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Herbs de provence or mixed herbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp coarsely ground Pepper
Salt to taste

to coat:
1/ 2 cup of crushed Crackers
1/2 cup Corn Flakes

Olive oil or regular Vegetable oil for shallow frying

  • Add salt to the grated zucchini and leave it over the colander for about 20 mins and squeeze out the excess water and put it in a wide bowl.
  • Add the bread crumbs, egg, chopped onion, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, grated Parmesan cheese and all the seasonings.
  • Just mix until everything is combined.
  • Slightly crush the cornflakes or crackers and spread them on a wide plate.
  • Make small but a little flat patties and coat them in crushed crackers or cornflakes.
  • Shallow fry them on medium-high flame for about 3 mins on each side until they are golden brown in color.
Serve them hot/warm with Mayonnaise, hot sauce or ketchup.You can also top these patties with Marinara sauce.

  1. Instead of egg you can substitute it with 1tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2tbsp of water.
  2. I had wholegrain flakes at home so I used them instead of crackers or corn flakes.
  3. You can also try these with Mozzarella cheese,they also taste good.But I prefer Parmesan cheese over mozzarella cheese for these patties.
  4. You can use regular bread crumbs in case you don't get seasoned ones.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hummus & Pita Chips

LinkAs I mentioned in this post,even I would post only snacks/chaats and appetizers through out my 'Family Food' series other than few exceptions.Here is my first snack for the series,I promise you that I would post few interesting recipes which are quite unique and uncommon.Watch out my next monday recipe which is a quite unique chaat.

Most of my evening tea parties consist of chips and dips, as I feel they are not only easy to make but also easy to serve and gives us time to chit chat more as we munch on them.All the dips can be made in advance and refrigerated until required. If we rest it for more time, the flavors infuse better in them. Even pita chips can be made in advance and stored in air-tight container.
Hummus is a middle eastern dip which is made up of ground chickpeas blended with mild spices to get a smooth,creamy textured dip which is ideal to be served with chips or as a spread for bread toast.
Pita Chips Recipe:
(Serves 2-3)

3-4 Pita breads
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp Red chili flakes
2-3 tsp Olive oil
Salt to taste

  • Cut pita bread into 6-8 triangles using a pizza cutter or scissors.
  • Whisk olive oil with herbs,salt and red chili flakes.
  • Arrange the pita bread triangles on a single layer on the baking sheet and brush them with olive oil mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees for 7-8 mins and bake the pita bread for 5-7 mins until they turn red in the edges and crisp.Initially they would be soft when touched immediately it turns crispy after it cools down.Keep an eye on them and take care not to burn them.
Serve them with hummus.

  1. You can use wheat pita for healthier option.
  2. You can sprinkle spices like roasted jeera powder or red chili powder or pepper powder or zatar or sumac on pita chips for different flavors.
Hummus Recipe:
(Serves 2-3)

1 cup Chickpeas,soaked for 12-14 hrs
2 1/2 tbsp Tahini paste(see notes for alternative)
juice of 1 Lemon
2-3 Garlic pods,crushed
4 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Red chili powder,to sprinkle
Salt to taste
  • Pressure cook chickpeas with salt for 1 whistles and reduce the flame and cook for 20-25 mins until soft.
  • Cool and drain the water from chickpeas and keep it aside.Reserve 8-10 chickpeas for garnishing and use the remaining ones.
  • Grind chickpeas with garlic pods,lemon juice,olive oil,tahini paste and salt to a fine and smooth paste.
  • Add reserved chickpeas water if necessary while grinding to get the smooth paste but use less water as the lemon juice and oil itself helps in easy grinding.
  • Remove the hummus into a serving bowl and spread using a spatula up to the corners as shown in the photos and pour olive oil in the insertion and sprinkle red chili powder all over and garnish with cooked chickpeas in the center.
Serve it with pita chips/tortilla chips/nachos/vegetable sticks.

  • If you do not have tahini paste,slightly warm 2 tbsp white sesame seeds and powder it and add olive oil while grinding.Your instant tahini paste is ready.
  • You can even make hummus to a coarse paste,it is your personal preference to make how you want,I like it smooth.
  1. You can sprinkle zatar/sumac instead of red chili powder which gives a different flavor to hummus.
  2. You can make various flavored hummus like roasted red pepper hummus,olive flavored hummus,coriander flavored hummus and mint flavored hummus.
  3. For roasted red pepper hummus,grill the red pepper until charred and remove the skin and seeds and grind the flesh along with hummus until you get a smooth paste.
  4. For olive flavored hummus,grind 5-6 olives along with hummus to a smooth paste.You can use any variety of olives here.
  5. For coriander flavored hummus, grind 1/3 cup chopped coriander along with hummus to a fine paste.
  6. For mint flavored hummus,grind 1/4 cup mint along with hummus to a fine paste.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A wonderful evening at Le Pain Quotidien

Mumbai witnesses several blogger meets at various points in the year but I used to be the missing head in most due to prior commitments but this time when Rushina sent an invite for a meet at "LE Pain Quotidien" I immediately sent in my confirmation. Probably, the thought of having dinner at such a wonderful place was the clincher!
Le pain Quotidien(pronounce it as : luh paN koh-ti-dyaN) is a famous Belgium boulangarie (bakery) which serves not only various types of freshly baked breads,pastries,preserves etc but various kinds of European fare. More importantly, it is appropriately located near one of the most famous locations in Mumbai,near Gateway of India.I was probably the first person to send a confirmation and was the first to reach the place! The staff welcomed me with a warm smile.
LPQ looks like a bakery from outside with various kinds of breads displayed on the wall and several desserts at the counter.Once you enter though it looks different with natural wood tables and rustic interiors which gives a great feel to the place.
(Menu of the day)(Various Preserves)

(Communal table)
Once I entered, I was told that the blogger meet was arranged upstairs.The spiral wooden staircase took me to a set of beautifully laid long communal tables.LPQ had planned a small workshop for us where we had to fill the ready tart shells with various fillings.The fillings were very interesting and ranged from marmalades,chocolate ganache,fruit preserves, compotes, freshly cut fruits, assorted vegetables,tapenades,pesto,blanched spinach,burnt onion-garlic and tiny chopped chicken bites for non-vegetarians .There were also various dressings and quiche mix,custard mix,lemon curd and cheese which we can use to fill our tarts.
(Assorted Bread Platter)
Before the workshop began,we were all greeted with a refreshing cold mint lemonade,a perfect way to start the exciting evening.Once everyone started coming in,we got busy introducing each other with our respective blog names.

(Mediterranean Platter)
(Me eating mushroom Bruschetta,photo credit:Harini)
Slowly the food started flowing in with appetizers like Bruschetta with different filling,Grilled Asparagus with ricotta cheese tartines ,Buffalo mozzarella with olive spread tartine and Mediterranean Platter included hummus and pesto being served. While these were the options for vegetarians,they had some interesting non-veg starters which many bloggers appreciated after tasting it.One thing which you cant miss in blogger meet is those big big cameras trying to shoot all the food from various angles.

(Various savory fillings for tart)
We were all set for the workshop and the main agenda was to create two tarts with various fillings and to impress our judge of the day,Rushina. I would say that this was the best part of the evening . What else would a food blogger asks for other than these kind of fun activities. I decided to go for one sweet and one spicy tart and started thinking about various possibilities. While some filled their plates with various fillings to taste and combine the ingredients I headed directly with my tart shell and started making the first savory.I spread the tapenade on the base of the tart and added a mix of spiced up assorted vegetables like corn,spinach,burnt onion-garlic,zucchini and peppers and ended up filling my savory tart mold with tapenade flavored quiche mix.
(my savory tart in progress,photo credit: LPQ-FB page)
Next comes the sweet tart,which is apparently our dessert of the day . For the sweet tart I decided to go with the custard based fruit compote.I had spread a thin layer of strawberry preserve covered by a thick layer of chocolate ganache and then filled with rhubarb infused custard which is topped with blueberry compote and orange marmalade strips. Once the two tarts were done,we were supposed to hand over them with our name written on the plate to the chefs to bake them in oven.While we were busy running around playing with the fillings for the tart, few bloggers started making their own appetizers with those beautiful breads,spreads and various fillings.
Once we all were done with the workshop,we were all seated on the well laid communal table and continued our chit chat about food,photography,cameras,blogs,restaurants and what not.There were 3 choices in main course for vegetarians as well as non-vegetarians each and I had opted for Vegetable Lasagne with ricotta cheese and mushrooms.The other two options for vegetarians were Green Asparagus Risotto with parmesan cheese and Vegetarienne Quiche with roasted leeks,onions and asparagus.The non vegetarian options were also quite interesting which included Chicken stuffed with spinach and chevre served with herb potatoes and mushroom sauce,Pan smeared Basa fish with burghul risotto,mushrooms and Quiche Lorraine with ham,Gruyere and roasted leeks.Once the food is arrived we all started digging in and tasting each other's dish and discussing about what all flavors would have gone in it.Every one seemed to have enjoyed their food and the only complaint we had was that their portions were so huge.After indulging in various appetizers we could not finish off those huge portions.
(Tasting session by Rushina)
Now coming to the moment of truth,we were asked to collect our respective baked tarts and place them in front of Rushina to taste and express her expert views .After having such a heavy meal she was not in a mood to taste the savory ones and she decided to taste only the sweet tarts.I was just sitting next to her and after she tasted a couple of sweet tarts I offered mine to taste which she really loved.Later, once the tasting was done,she announced 'ME' as the winner which was the most surprising and most interesting part for me..It was really a happy moment ,Don't we feel happy to get recognition among a bunch of food bloggers who have created the master pieces for the day.Unfortunately I dont have the photograph of the end product of my tarts as I was busy eating and I did not bother to take my small digi cam in front of those professional high end DSLRs.I was asked by the LPQ team to pose with a tart(which pretended to be mine for a while) as I was the winner of the tart workshop.
(Me posing with the tart with credit: LPQ-FB page)

When we began to move out we were handed over with a goodie bag which included few breads and cookies.I am sure most of us would had planned their next morning's breakfast after receiving the goodie bag.

(Various Breads and cookie in the goodie bag)

I prepared marinated and grilled tofu with pesto and roasted vegetable sandwich for my morning breakfast with those breads.I would like to once again thank Rushina for arranging such a wonderful meet and LPQ team for hosting us and also for the wonderful food.

Note: I personally thank Pushpa of Papad Chai for allowing me to use her photographs in this post.
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