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Andhra Pradesh

Egg Puffs – A Savoury, South Indian Bakery treat

Egg Puffs...

Is there anyone who has not had puffs for a snack? I guess there won’t be anyone I know of, unless of course you don’t like it..

Bakery products are quite famous in the Southern States of India… Apart from Bread, you get cream rolls, jam rolls, apple cakes, their basic cupcakes, different kinds of biscuits, cutlets, rusks & of course puffs.. There are many different kinds of puffs available. Starting from the basic veg puff there are options like chicken puffs, mutton puffs, egg puffs are the most famous as there are more eggitarians around than meat eaters. But the newer additions to these traditional ones are mushroom, paneer puffs… 🙂

Egg Puffs - A South Indian, Savoury Bakery treat...

K’s Maternal uncle owns a Bakery & K loves most of the bakery products available.. His favourite being Rusk which we all love to dip in a cup of tea… other than that whenever we visit his uncles bakery we always have to have an egg puff if it’s not sold out already.. 🙂

But my love for puffs began as a kid. We always have a snack in the evening back in my parents house. It is usually the breakfast dish that we end up eating as a snack, but on those days mum was under the weather or if she was busy we would pick up Puffs on the way back from school. There is this tiny bakery near our house called P.R Bakery.. the owners are Malayali’s (People who belong to the state of Kerala, India).. To this you would say.. aren’t most bakery’s owned by Malayali’s??? while we ponder on that thought.. let me continue.. & then its been in my life everywhere.. even when I moved to Manipal for studies, then to Bangalore for work it was always available in the vicinity… a bakery was present at almost every corner in bangalore.. 🙂 … K & I both miss eating this..

I have prepared this a couple of times.. but never had any patience to click pictures & post pictures along with the recipe.. 😛 But I don’t think I will even have a thought of preparing this back in India since its so readily available, who would go through all the trouble.. 😛 Here I have the luxury of buying ready rolled puff pastry.. which is a blessing.. the entire process of rolling puff pastry is very tedious, requires a lot of patience & I ran out patience this one time.. 😛

I wanted to pack them for K as a snack, but unfortunately it took longer than I expected to turn golden brown & he had to leave without them.. 😦 So kept his share aside..

This is easy peasy if you can get your hands on some ready rolled puff pastry.

The shape of the puff may vary from bakery to bakery, I have eaten square/triangular/rectangular & circular puffs.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)     Preparation Time: 45 – 50 mins
Ready rolled Puff Pastry1/2 a sheet or more depending on the size of the puffs you want to prepare
Eggs – 2,
Onion – 1 large, finely chopped the way you wish
Ginger – 1/2 an inch piece, finely chopped
Green Chilli’s – 2, finely chopped
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Freshly crushed black pepper powder – as per taste
Garam Masala Powder – 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder (optional) – a pinch
Fresh Green Peas (optional) – 1/4 cup
Curry leaves – 6-7 leaves roughly torn
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees if it’s a fan assisted oven else to 220 degrees.

In a pot filled with water, boil the eggs & keep aside. De-shell the eggs & slit them into 2.

While the oven heats up, heat oil in a fry pan set to medium heat. When the oil heats up, add the cumin seeds & let them sizzle. Once they begin to change colour add the green chilli’s & sauté them for a minute so that the spice gets infused into the oil.

Next add the ginger & the chopped onions. Add a pinch of salt (add turmeric if you wish to), sauté them till they turn translucent. Now add the garam masala powder & mix well. When the raw flavours begin to fade away, add a tbsp of water & then add the curry leaves along with the slit eggs. Add the green peas if you wish to. Add salt to taste & crushed black pepper. Mix well. Turn off the heat before the peas turn hard.

Filling is ready....

Do not take out the pastry sheet from the fridge till this stage, i.e once you have the filling ready, get it out. Now cut the pastry sheets into the desired size as shown.

Cut four pieces from the ready rolled puff pastry sheet as shown..

Divide the filling into 4 equal portions, each having one half of an egg. Now add each portion to the centre of each cut puff pastry sheet as shown.

Add the divided portions of the filling to each cut puff pastry piece...

Close the sheet over the egg as shown. Seal the edges lightly.

Transfer them on a baking tray lined with some baking sheet which is greased.

Bake in the pre-heated oven till the outer covering of the puff turns golden brown. Ideally around 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot along with ketchup or dip of your choice.

Egg Puffs...
Hope you like this recipe, if you did, then you may also like – Bun Masala / Scrambled Egg BurgerBread rolls with an Indian flavour/Masala bread rolls.. they go perfect with Masala chai..Chicken Frankie RollRed pesto Egg Bomb Burgers… etc.


The Versatile Aloo/Potato Bhaji – South Indian style

The Versatile Aloo/Potato Bhaji - South Indian style

Who doesn’t love a good Masala Dosa.. what makes a Masala Dosa really special? Of course the bhaji added in between the dosa. This bhaji is so simple to prepare that if you’re a dosa lover, you will instantly stop going to restaurants once you learn to prepare this bhaji at home…

South Indian Style potato bhaji.. for masala dosa..

This recipe is very versatile because it has so many accompaniments.. a few I can think of are – a ladle between your dosa for Masala Dosa/eat it with Puri’s/ add it between bread slices for a sandwich/grill it between bread slices (with some cheese of course)/Add it when your baking buns for yummy Potato bun – Iyengar bakery style/ eat it with chapati’s/make a burger with this as a filling… versatile isn’t it??

Aloo bhaji- South Indian Style

Similar bhaji is also prepared in the Northern states of India, but the ingredients that add a South Indian touch to this curry leaves & a few tsp of lentils with some asafoetida for the tempering. The aroma is lovely.. like I always say.. South Indian food has the lovely aroma of the tempering added to it.

I omit the lentils added to the this recipe as I’m not a big fan of it. I remember asking my MIL “Whats the need to add the lentils to the tempering.. (as I always made my mum omit it if I was around :P) & she replied that Vegetarians always fall short of proteins, hence they are added as a part of the tempering to include it your food”. Well in the recipe below I have included it in the ingredients list, so you can customise it based on your taste.

As usual K’s lunchbox is a big deal for me.. he loves the Potato buns from his uncle’s Iyengar bakery, there were some burger buns lying around.. thought why not I fill them up with some of this bhaji.. he will surely enjoy them.. 🙂

Aloo Masala Burger..

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4 depends on how much of filling you like)    Preparation Time: 20 mins
Potatoes – 2 medium-sized potatoes, unpeeled
Red onion – 1, medium-sized, finely chopped or diced
Ginger – half an inch piece, finely chopped
Green chilli’s – 2, finely chopped/slit, choice is yours
Mustard seeds – half tsp
Cumin seeds – half a tsp
Bengal gram/chana dal – 1 tsp
Urad dal/Split black gram dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 7-8, roughly torn
Coriander leaves – 2 sprigs, finely chopped
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Asafoetida – a pinch
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Bring one litre of water to a boil or enough to cover the potatoes; add some salt & pressure cook the potatoes for 2 whistles. Make sure the pressure is off before opening the cooker. Transfer the cooked potatoes to a bowl of water at room temperature to cool them off. Peel the skin off & throw away the water. Cut the potatoes into cubes. Keep aside.

Tip: While the potatoes are cooking You can use the time to chop & get the base for the masala ready.

Heat oil in a deep bottom fry pan/kadai. Set heat to medium. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds & let them sizzle for a minute. Add urad dal & bengal gram. When they begin to change colour, add the cumin seeds & when they begin to change colour add the chopped green chilli’s & ginger. Sauté them for a minute so that the spice gets infused into the oil. Next add the asafoetida & let it sizzle for a few seconds.

Now add the chopped onions & a pinch of salt & turmeric. Sauté them till they turn translucent. Add the curry leaves. Mix well. Add the cubed, pressure cooked potatoes. Add salt to taste. Mix well & let them absorb the flavours. Turn off the heat when the potatoes begin to get mashed up when you move them around.

Turn off the heat when the potatoes begin to get mashed up.

Note: Some add garden peas to this recipe as well. You can add some if you wish to.

Garnishing:
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

The Versatile Aloo/Potato Bhaji - South Indian style

Serving Suggestions:
As mentioned earlier, this dish is very versatile.. serve with Dosa for delicious Masala Dosa/ with Puri’s/Poori’s / with Chapati’s or make a sandwich with this as the filling, you can grill the sandwich as well/ Add this as a filling when you bake buns.

Or make Aloo Masala burgers like I did.. pack them for a picnic or for food on the go.. 🙂

Aloo Masala burgers..

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.. 🙂

If you like this recipe, you may also enjoy – Adraki Aloo Gobi/Gingery Potato & Cauliflower, Peppery Raw plantain sabji…, Easy Potato fry/ Aloo fry, Paneer/Cottage Cheese Tava Masala… etc.


Mix-Veg Couscous Upma….

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma..

To begin with.. I’ll mention a few facts about Couscous… for the benefit of those who don’t know what couscous is all about… 🙂 they are tiny granules of Durum wheat which are cooking by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Couscous is a staple food throughput the North African cuisines of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya etc. It is more than just a quick cook starch. Couscous contains 1% fat-to-calorie ratio. These yellow pellets are hard to make. They were traditionally made  by skilled hands, involving endless circular movements.

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma...

Thanks to globalisation in the food industry, Couscous has suddenly become very popular in the last decade or so, among people all round the world.  Most multi-cuisine restaurants offer couscous as an option instead of rice/potatoes.

I love this Upma, I prefer this over the usual Semolina upma prepared in Southern India. I eat this for breakfast at least once a week. Pretty filling as well. To me this tastes very much like the Idli upma my mum prepares from left over Idli’s at times..

This recipe was long pending. Had promised a friend who was supposed to switch to healthier food to help reduce her weight. This one is for you. 🙂 I don’t want to mention her name here.. She would know when she reads the post. 🙂

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma...

Note: Instead of using couscous you can try the same recipe with semolina or fine rice noodles known as Vermicelli in India. But make sure you dry roast both the semolina or the vermicelli before you use it. Semolina is used for both savoury & sweet dish preparations.

Ingredients: (Serves 3)       Preparation Time: 15 – 20 mins
Couscous – 1.5 cups,
Note: For every 1 cup of couscous, water required to cook it usually is 1.5 cups. But check the cooking instructions on your packet…
Beans – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Onion – 1 medium-sized, finely chopped
Fresh/ frozen Green peas – 1/4, cup
Carrot – finely chopped, 1/4 cup
Tomato – 1, medium-sized, finely chopped
Green Chilli – 2-3, finely chopped, add more if you like your Upma spicy
Curry Leaves – 7-8, roughly torn
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida – a generous pinch
Ginger – chopped, as much as 1 tsp,
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Cashews (optional) – 6-8, cut into 2
Coriander leaves (optional) – 2-3 sprigs, finely chopped
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Heat a deep bottom fry pan or saucepan. Set heat to medium. When oil is hot, add asafoetida, let it sizzle for a few seconds & the heavenly aroma fill your nose up. 🙂 Now add the mustard seeds & let them splutter. Now add the finely chopped green chilli’s & fry them for a goof minute or two, so that the spice gets induced into the oil. Next add the cumin seeds, when they turn golden brown add the urad dal, when they turn golden brown, add the cashews if you wish to. Let the cashews fry for a minute, next add the onion & curry leaves. Add salt to help fry the onions quicker.

When the onions turn translucent, add the beans, carrot. Let them fry for 2-3 minutes. Add some salt. Next add the tomatoes & green peas. Fry till the tomatoes begin to loosen up, now add the couscous. Add the water. Add salt to taste.

Tip: I usually heat the water up in a kettle so that I can avoid the time taken to bring the water to a boil. If you add water at room temperature & let it come to a boil, the veggies get overcooked & lose their crunchiness. I like my veggies crunchy in my Upma.

Simmer, cover & cook as per the instructions on your packet. I usually simmer & cook for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off & let the upma stand for another 5 minutes.

Use a fork & separate the couscous grains out.

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma...

Transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnishing:
Garnish with chopped coriander if you wish to. I did not add coriander leaves.

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot for breakfast with a hot cup of Tea/Coffee or Hot Chocolate.. 🙂 or you can eat & carry this as a snack. If you want to spice it up a bit more then serve the upma with some pickle of your choice or any chutney.

Mix-Veg Couscous Upma...

If you liked this recipe, check out –

Spring Onion Semiya Upma,

Blanketed Frankfurters…,

Capsicum Omelette…,

Sabudana Khichdi/Soaked Tapioca pearls tossed with some Indian spices…,

Akki Rotti/Savoury Rice Pancakes from Karnataka etc.


Raw Mango Dal/Pappu..

Raw Mango Dal/Pappu..

Feeling a wee bit better today.. about to walk around with my neck held high.. still some stiffness.. but it seems to be getting better.. I decided to prepare this as there is hardly any effort or cutting involved..

Raw Mango Dal/Pappu..

This is my first recipe related to the State of India which consumes the maximum amount of spice.. Andhra Pradesh. Dal is known as Pappu in Telugu (Language spoken in Andhra Pradesh). As raw mangoes are hard to come by here in Glasgow.. specially the variety which is used for cooking & not ripened to be eaten…About a month back Vinicooksveg..another blog that I follow posted this dal.. & I so wanted to eat this dal.. So started almost stalking the Indian grocers here asking them when they would begin to sell some raw mangoes as the season had already started in India.. 😉 To my luck I found some this So this weekend when my eyes fell on some.. I just grabbed the best looking one from the lot.. there weren’t too many though.. so picked just one among about 20 that were in the basket..

Raw Mango Dal/Pappu..

One of my colleagues, Vineela… used to get this yummy dal in her lunchbox… Ijust felt in love with this dal instantly.. the sour taste of the mangoes adds a lovely flavour to this dal.. She told me that some of her relatives add some cumin & tomatoes for tempering too this dal.. I like this without the tomatoes as the flavour of the raw mangoes get’s masked by the sourness of the tomatoes if you do add them.

If you check the recipe out.. it’s very similar to the DDT/ the Konkani style dal.. just that there are 2 additional ingredients.. some garlic & raw mango pieces.. Yes it is as lip smacking as DDT… but again.. if the raw mango you have is too sour.. then add accordingly.. I had a medium-sized raw mango with me.. which was pretty sour.. so added about 1/4 of the pulp with the skin..

Ingredients: (Serves 4) Preparation Time: 15 mins
Tur dal – 150 gms, washed & soaked in warm water for at least 10 mins, just about 1 inch above the level of the dal..
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Raw Mango – a quarter of a medium-sized cooking mango, I used a variety wherein the pulp doesn’t have any hair.. If the raw mango you plan to use is not sour enough.. use more of it..Cut them into small pieces, due to my health condition I cut them into big chunks as shown..
Asafoetida – a pinch
Dried red chilli’s – 2 roughly torn..
Green chilli’s – 3, slit
Curry leaves – 1 sprig, roughly about 6-7 leaves,
Garlic – 2 cloves, finely chopped
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:
Add the soaked Tur dal along with the water to a pressure cooker. Add another cup of water. Set the heat to medium & bring the water to a boil. Add some salt to taste, green chilli’s & raw mango pieces.

Transfer the soaked dal to the pressure cooker.. add the slit green chilli's & raw mango pieces..

Close the pressure cooker & increase the heat to high & pressure cook the dal for 4 whistles or till the dal is cooked well. Turn off the heat & keep aside so that the pressure developed goes away before you open the cooker..

A friend told me that adding some oil while cooking fur dal acts as an accelerating agent & the dal cooks sooner.. I added about half a tsp this time.. it did help..

Once the pressure is off.. begin to heat the dal…simmer.. check & adjust the salt & add more water if required.. add a pinch of turmeric. let the dal bubble for a couple of minutes..

Meanwhile simultaneously heat oil in a tempering vessel or a small fry pan. Set heat to medium. Add a pinch of asafoetida when the oil is hot..immediately add the mustard seeds.. let them splutter.. next add the dried red chilli’s & fry it.. don’t let them burn.. add the garlic & fry for about 30 seconds.. next turn off the heat.. add the roughly torn curry leaves & mix well.. Add this tempering to the bubbling dal..

Serving Suggestions:
Serve hot with a bowl of rice as an accompaniment..

Raw Mango Dal/Pappu..

Enjoy with some vegetable & papad/Poppadams along with some pickle by the side..

For other similar recipe’s check out – Quintessential Konkani style Dal – DDT, Dal Makhni/ Buttery Black Lentils, Lobia Dal, Vendekka Moor Kolumbu/Lady’s Finger in a spiced yogurt curry.. etc.