Sunday, June 12, 2016

Masala Vada

Masala Vada's are a very popular tea time snack from The Southern region of India. These Vada's are made with  Chana Dal or Split skinned Bengal Gram. 

Soaked Chana Dal is ground with a mix of Spices and Deep fried. These Vada's are very delicious and flavorful, the outside is crispy while its soft and moist inside. A perfect teatime snack on a rainy evening.


Here is an easy to follow recipe of the Masala Vada.

Ingredients

Chana Dal - 1 cup
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Garlic - 4-5 cloves
Green chilies - 2 chopped
Onion, chopped - 1 large
Curry leaves,finely chopped - 8-10
Green coriander, chopped - 1/4th cup
Fennel seeds - 2 teaspoon
Dry red chili, whole - 2 pcs
Rava /Rice Powder - 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Oil for frying the Vada's

Method

Wash and soak the chana dal for 2-3 hours,


Grind the ginger, garlic, fennel seeds, red chilies along wiith a handful of soaked chana dal into a coarse paste. Add the remaining Chana dal and grind to form a coarse mix. A few whole dals are perfectly fine as they will add texture to the Vadas.




Transfer the Ground dal mixture into a mixing bowl, add the finely chopped onions, chopped coriander and curry leaves, green chilies, rice flour along with salt, Mix well. The mixture might look crumbly bust don't worry it wont fall apart. Do not add water as adding water will make it difficult to shape the vadas. 



Wet your hand with water, take a golf ball sized portion of the mix and shape it into a disk, once the vada is shaped, keep aside and continue making vada's from the remaining mixture. (I made around 16 vadas which were approximately 2 inches in diameter)



Heat oil in a frying pan, approximately half inch high from the bottom, carefully slide one vada at a time into the hot oil, fry on medium flame until the vadas get a nice golden colour, flip and fry on the other side.



Once the Vada's get a nice golden brown colour, Drain and keep on absorbent paper. Continue frying the remaing vadas until all are done. 


Serve hot Vadas with your favorite chutney and a hot cup of tea or cofee.


Notes:

I have added a handful of chana dal while grinding the masala as my grinder is big in size and was difficult to grind.
Try not to add water while grinding as it will result in a smooth and watery mix, hence it will be difficult to form the vada's.
I have added rice flour as well as 1 teaspoon of rava too.Adding rice flour gives the vada a nice crispy shell but the core is still soft and moist.
Never over crowd the pan while frying.
These Vadas can be easily frozen and they stay well for 5-6  days. Just remove it from the freezer and thaw it for an hour and fry in hot oil.






Monday, June 6, 2016

Suji Ka Halwa

Suji Ka Halwa is one of the most popular and easy to make Indian Dessert. It's a no fuss dessert which requires no prior preparations, can be made in a jiffy and an all time favorite in our home....

"Suji Ka Halwa"
During the month of Ramadan Suji Ka Halwa is a must in our house, in fact I make it on the first day of Ramadan for Iftar. Its my hubby's childhood favorite as his mom used to make it for Iftar and now my son also relates it to the first Iftar special and guess what, today morning while we waited for the school bus to arrive, he said..."Mumma Ramadan starts today right", I replied.. yes, its the first day of Ramadan...and instantly he says so you are making Suji ka Halwa today :)... this conversation with my little boy made me super happy....I'm glad he has started understanding and noticing the little things we do. 


The recipe which I am sharing is from my grand mother, its simple and easy to follow. Her version of Suji ka Halwa is always made without milk or saffron. In fact the only dry fruits she adds in Cashew and Resins, however I like to add almonds and pistachios too, specially for the Iftar.
So here is the simple and easy to follow recipe of Suji Ka Halwa.

Ramadan Mubarak!! to you and your family, Stay Blessed!!

Ingredients

Suji / Semolina - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4th cup
Ghee  - 1/4th cup
Cardamom powder - 1/4th teaspoon
Cashew Nuts - 10-12 pieces
Almonds,silvered - 6-8
Resins - 1 tablespoon
Pistachio, silvered - 6-8
Water - 2 cups

Serves - 6

Method

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add sugar along with cardamom powder, mix well, and let it cook until the sugar has completely dissolved.



Heat a kadhai, once hot add the ghee, immediately add the cashew and fry, cashew tends to burn quickly so be careful. Drain and keep aside.





Add Suji to the remaining ghee and fry until you get a lovely aroma and the suji gets an even golden colour.




Pour the ready hot sugar syrup and mix well. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Add the silvered nuts and Resins, (hold back a few nuts for garnish) and continue cooking until the grains of suji absorb all the sugar syrup and swell up. 



Add the fried cashew halves, mix well and turn off the flame.



Garnish with the remaining nuts and serve hot.


Notes:

Be really careful while frying the cashew, it can get burnt in a matter of moments.
You can make the sugar syrup while roasting the Suji, and if you are wondering why make syrup and add to the halwa, that's because my mom says it gives a nice soft texture to the halwa and doesn't make it hard.Even if you reheat the halwa it still remain s soft.
Do not boil the sugar Syrup, we don't want it to be thick, turn off the gas as soon as the sugar melts. Over boiling will make the syrup thick and the suji will not absorb the syrup and result in under cooked halwa.
I have used 3/4th cup of sugar and the halwa is not much sweet, if u like more sweet you can increase the sugar quantity to 1 cup.
Nuts can be added or reduced as per personal preference.



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