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Monday, April 14, 2014

Samosa Chat

Beach is not new to me…Being in Guntur, I have been to Chirala Beach and Bandar (Machalipatnam) Beach many times. But for my Lil’M beach is very new…the sight of never ending water….waves, boats, people, fishermen, sand everything is new to her…..The first outing in Chennai was to Marina Beach. By the time we reached there it was quite late and we could not see much. All we could get to see is aerial view of Chennai from light house…
But days back Lil’M insisted to go to beach again. Being Sunday we decided to take her. All she wanted is to play with sand and make a sand castle for her doll. So in no time we made plan to go to beach. Marina beach is nearly a 2½ hours drive from my house. So we need to plan to go there….We thought of starting early to avoid traffic and to get good sight of sea. When I was packing for our mini picnic, I suddenly remembered I soaked chickpeas to make chat in the evening. Rushed to kitchen to make chat so that I can carry it with me, to devour at the beach watching waves. As I have got overnight soaked chickpeas my work was less, all it took was 20 minutes to make yummy samosa chat.
Samosa Chat
Seeing me with picnic basket, my husband smiled and said…are you going to stay there for few days or what?? Smiled back and I said nothing. By the time we reached beach it was five in the evening. Cool breeze, never ending waves, sand, boats, setting sun, smell of bhajiyas, chats mixed with fish fry…sound of bells from sellers carrying pink cotton candy and ice creams…voices of taro card readers along with fortune tellers carrying green parrots and some with cowrie’s sitting here and there attracting people saying they can predict fortune. Lots of entertaining games for kids along with shops which sell articles made of shells and much more….
Samosa Chat
We made comfortable ourselves by placing a mat on sand bed and in no time Lil’M got busy making her sand castle…It was first time, she had touched sand so she was very happy playing with it…When my husband said, wait let me get something to eat…I took out surprise I bought…when I opened the box…..the mesmerising smell of samosa chat…I must tell you…..awesome…Awww….saying this the two loving people of my life….digged to complete it…. Sometimes all you need is happy looking faces of loved ones, to charge up and get going in life. Wishing Happy Tamil New Year to all who are celebrating it.
Samosa Chat

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup Chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1 Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Tomato, finely sliced
  • 1 Green chili, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. Red chili powder
  • ¼ tbsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. Garam Masala powder
  • ½ tbsp. Coriander powder
  • ¼ tbsp. Cumin powder
  • Oil
  • Salt
Samosa Chat
FOR ASSEMBLING:
  • 2 Samosa’s
  • 1 Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Tomato, Finely Sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Red Chutney
  • 1 tbsp. Green Chutney
  • 1½ tbsp. Brown Chutney
  • 2-3 Lemon wedges, for serving
  • 1 tbsp. fresh minced Coriander leaves
Samosa Chat
PREPARATION:
  • Pressure cook chickpeas until soft (not mushy). Drain the excess water and set aside. In a heavy bottom cooking vessel add oil and to this add sliced onions, fry till translucent.
  • Now add sliced tomatoes and green chili and fry till tomatoes turn soft. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 1-2 minutes till raw smell of ginger-garlic paste disappears.
  • In the meantime, take 3-4 tbsp. of water in a cup and add red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder. Make a paste by stirring with a spoon.
  • Now add this paste to above tomato mixture. Cook on low for another 2-3 minutes till everything combines well. Now add cooked chickpeas and add half cup of water.
  • Using a wooden spoon, gently mash half of chickpeas, check for salt and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn off the flame.
Samosa Chat
FOR ASSEMBLING:
  • In a serving plate place samosa and gently mash it. Pour the above made chickpea masala all around the samosa.
  • Add red chutney, green chutney and brown chutney as per your taste along with sliced onions and tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle minced coriander leaves and lemon juice. Serve immediately.
  • Add love to make this chat taste 'yummy'.
  • You can also add fresh beaten curd, sev and grated carrot for additional taste and flavour. I did not add as I was carrying it for my picnic.
NOTE:
COOKING CHICKPEAS:
Thoroughly rinse chickpeas under water for 2-3 times. Now add double the amount of water and soak chickpeas overnight or for at least 8-10 hours. Throw soaked water and add fresh water when pressure cooking chickpeas. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Besan-Oats Ladoo

As the schools close for summer vacation, my darling Lil’M is at home all the time…I am on searching for some good summer course for her on painting as she is very fond of it. Though I have bought her some colouring books and crayons to play with…she gets bored easily and most of the time ends up watching TV. 
‘Chota Bheem’ is her favourite cartoon these days. Evenings when I take her out for cycling, after every one round she will come to me and says…mamma ladoo…and in the air I toss a ladoo, and she acts as if she has caught it and ate it…and eating that virtual ladoo has given her energy…then she goes on for another round riding her cycle. Seeing this all the kids who come down for riding or playing asks for ladoo….This has become a play for the kids these days.
Besan-Oats Ladoo
Whenever I ask Lil’M to keep back all her toys in the basket, she comes to me and says mamma ladoo…and I will toss one virtually and she acts as if she has really caught a ladoo and eating it…I am totally floored seeing her acting skills. With Lil’M at home, I thought I will make these ladoo’s in real for her…just to see how she will react seeing real ‘Chota Bheem ladoos’…
Besan-Oats Ladoo
When Lil’M was taking her afternoon power nap, I made these and clicked some pics too by the time she got up. Later in the evening when she got up, she asked me what’s the aroma that is lingering in our house…? I was quite surprised to hear her ask that…these days kids are smart…I must say…I asked her to close her eyes and bought ladoo’s in front of her…and asked her to open eyes…she was so happy to see…and asked me are these all for me…??? awww…I said yeah….for you my Chota Bheem…with a shy smile she hugged me and started nibbling ladoo…
Besan-Oats Ladoo
INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup Besan/Chickpea flour/Senaga Pindi
  • ½ cup Oats
  • ¾ cup powdered Sugar
  • ¼ tbsp. Cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup Ghee
  • 1-2 tbsp. Pistachio, coarsely powdered
Besan-Oats Ladoo
PREPARATION:
  • In a heavy bottom cooking vessel on medium flame, dry roast oats for 2-3 minutes by tossing gently. Collect on to a plate and leave it to cool. Once cool make a fine powder of it. Set aside.
  • Now in the same pan add besan and on medium flame dry roast by continuously stirring until raw smell of besan disappears. Upon roasting for 10-12 minutes, the color of besan starts to change and nice roasted aroma of besan starts.
  • At this time turn off the flame and add powdered sugar and cardamom powder. Mix gently using a wooden spoon and set aside.
  • Now add spoon by spoon melted hot ghee and gently fold in the mixture of roasted besan, roasted oats powder, powdered sugar and cardamom powder.
  • When the mixture is slightly cool to handle, then grease your hands with ghee and shape them into desired sized ladoos.
  • Sprinkle coarsely powdered pistachio or any nut of your choice and serve.
  • Add love to make these ladoos taste 'Yummy'.
Besan-Oats Ladoo
NOTE:
Dry roasting besan is critical and important step in this recipe. At one point the besan will start burning from bottom, so be careful. Continuously and gently stir besan up and down. Nicely roasted besan gives good nice and nice aroma to the ladoo’s.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Penne with Chicken and Peas

I must admit, I discovered my love for pasta little late….but they say ‘better late than never’….so these days pasta has become one of the regular buy along with monthly groceries….Though mac ’n’ cheese is something, which lil’M likes the most….this time I thought of trying out something new….I picked up a pack of penne from store….
pair of woolen socks
Somehow I completely forgot about the packet till last evening….As we had an elaborate lunch being Sunday, I thought of skipping dinner…but by the time the clock stuck 10 in the night, I felt peckish….. I thought of having something light and entered kitchen. I thought of settling down with an apple….then I heard my husband’s voice from living room, who was glued to TV watching week long news….Can I get something to eat? May be something hot….
Penne with Chicken and Peas
Whenever I am in a situation like this, I easily settle down with maggi…but today when I opened my kitchen rack, I found packet of penne lying over there….I thought of giving it a try with no particular recipe in mind….I kept penne pasta to boil and opened my fridge to check out what else is lying in…?? I found frozen peas and left over chicken pieces from chicken curry with little nearly 2 tbsp. of gravy left. The only thought which struck me at that odd hour was to toss the penne in that chicken curry and serve. So I did it….Check out how the medley of penne pasta with leftover chicken curry and frozen peas turned out….here the magic is purely done by the chicken gravy….
INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups uncooked Penne
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • ½ cup leftover Chicken curry*
  • 2-3 tbsp. frozen Green Peas, thawed
  • 1 tbsp. All-purpose flour/ Maida
  • 1 cup Milk + ¼ cup Milk
  • ½ tbsp. Pepper
  • Salt
Penne with Chicken and Peas
PREPARATION:
  • Shred the chicken pieces and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook penne as per the instructions on the packet or until done.
  • In the meantime add butter to a pan and add all-purpose flour to it. On a low flame stir until raw smell disappears.
  • On low flame add in milk slowly by continuously stirring. (I used whisker and it eased my work). Now add in shredded chicken pieces and gravy. (If you end up with lumps, don’t worry, just run the sauce through sieve.)
  •  Combine well. Season with salt and pepper. Let the sauce come to boil. Now add in thawed green peas and cook for 1-2 minutes on low flame.
  • When the penne is cooked, turn off the flame and drain excess water using colander. Pour over cool water to stop the process of cooking. Drain completely.
  • Now add these cooked penne to above sauce and toss. Using a wooden spoon gently stir on low flame till penne is completely coated with sauce. If you feel the mixture is thick enough then add extra ¼ cup reserved milk.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes by covering with a lid and serve hot by grating cheese over it.
  • Last but not least add love to make this recipe taste 'Yummy'.
Penne with Chicken and Peas
*NOTE: 
I used only boneless chicken pieces along with gravy from the leftover chicken curry. You can also substitute chicken curry with fresh chicken pieces. Just marinade the boneless bite sized chicken pieces with pepper and salt for 15 minutes and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles or until chicken pieces are soft and tender and then shallow fry them for 3-4 minutes before adding them to the sauce. 
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