Sunday, November 2, 2008

Peanuts and some Fashion

I have always been a fan of all the dried snacks which can be made and stored for several weeks. I like them for the fact that I feel less guilty munching on them than the store bought. They are most handy on festivals, when you have guests coming on and off. One of such thing I made for the guests visiting at my place was Besan ki Mungfali.

Besan ki Mungfali.


200 gm Mungfali / Peanuts
250 gm Besan / Gramflour
2 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Dried Mango Powder
Oil to Deep Fry
Salt to taste

For Masala:
1 T Oil
2 tsp Red Chilli POwder
1 tsp Black Pepper Powder
2 tsp Chaat Masala
1 tsp Dried Mango Powder

Wash the Peanuts under running water in a colander. Remove it onto a plate and sprinkle 2-3 T Besan on it and mix using a spoon. Once done sprinkle some more Besan and little water, enough only to coat the Besan over the peanuts. Extra water will make the peanuts stick to each other, that is not desired. Repeat it till all the Besan is used.

In a wok heat the oil and drop the Besan coated Peanuts in the oil using a Spatula. Fry till golden brown. Remove on a paper towel.

To spice it further, heat 1 T Oil in a wok, add all the masalas and add the fried Mungfalis. Roast till all the masala has been coated on the Peanuts. Store it in an airtight container once cooled.

Yesterday I caught on Fashion. Though the movie was realeased over Diwali...but this is not your typical Diwali movie. Probably Golmaal would have been my choice too for a Diwali movie, only if it wasn't for some of the crap movies I have been watching lately. As I was sure that Fashion would have some content while Golmaal Returns (Sequel to Golamaal) could go eitherways, though I had loved Golmaaal.

Fashion does show some of the truths behind the Ramp, but doesnt reveal as much s Page 3 had. The ones that are shown are the ones viewer is already aware of, is the biggest weakness of Fashion. This is out and out Pryanka Chopra's film. She narrates her story from an ordinary girl to a Supermodel. Priyanka shines like never before. After 6 flops ths one is a breather . This is got to be her best performance till date.

One of the best thing about this movie is the wondeful supporting cast. Everybody leaves you spell bound. Mugdha Godse is terrific in her first movie. Kangana is wonderful, but we have seen her do the same thing over and over again, I would really like her to do something different now. The surprise packge is Arbaaz khan, he fits to the T in a serious role. Kitu Gidwani is very good in her role.

Problem with Fashion is its length...nearly 3 hours long gets on to you when the movie is quite predictable. Fashion doesnt reveal as much as Madhur's film promise to. Its still definitely a good watch.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Moong Ke Mangode

Rain Gods have smiled over Chennai and its raining, raining hard. A li'l rain itself can flood many parts of Chennai, and this is heavy rains I am speaking of. The main road in front of my office was below knee length water and getting out of the place seemed like a herculean task. The Times of India symbolized this beautifully in their next day’s edition:

TOI Floating
One thing Chennai's rain always does, even if it rains for a couple of hours, confine you to the place you are at, coz of the flooding that happens. To make the most of it, I normally setup the chairs in the balcony and plant myself with a plate of something fried and a hot cup of tea. It was Mangode made with Green moong we relished this time with some green chutney.


150 gm Whole Green Moong
3 Potatoes
2 Green chillies
2 tsp Red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Soak the Moong for 4-5 hours and grind to a thick paste along with a green chilli. Add salt, red chili powder and finely chopped green chilli to it. Mix well. Peel and dice the potatoes separately into cubes.

Moong + Potatoes
In a wok heat the oil. Add the potatoes to the Moong paste and mix well. When the oil is hot enough for frying, with your hands or with a spoon, drop little by little of this mix into the oil. Fry till brown. Enjoy this with green chutney.

They are a good combination between bread slices with some chutney and salted curd sprinkled on them.

Mangode Sandwich

I am sending this to FIC: BROWN event hosted by SunshineMom of Tongue Ticklers

FIC Brown

Looking out for something more to relish in monsoons:
Onion Pakodas
Paneer Tikka Sandwich
Bread Upma

Monday, October 13, 2008

Leftover Bread Dilemma

One thing always concerns me after relishing dahi idli ...what to do of all the edges that are cut off from the bread while making it?

Most often than not I roast the bread with tomato gravy which we at home call 'Bhuni Bread'. Occasionally I grind it after drying it in Sun to use as bread crumbs or bake it to use in Tomato Soup.
How do you use up your leftover bread?

Bhuni Bread


5 Bread slices / Leftover bread from Dahi Idli
1 Tomato
1 T Oil
Pinch of Asafetida
½ tsp Mustard
1 Green chilly Chopped
1 tsp Chilli Powder
½ tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
Coriander to Garnish

Break the bread into several pieces. Heat the oil in a wok and add mustard to it. Let it splutter and add hing and green chillies. To it add the Chilli, turmeric, salt and mix. Add the Tomatoes and sauté till the oil just starts to separate. Add the bread and mix well till it is coated with the tomato mix. Cook till it is a little roasted. Mix the finely chopped coriander.

Bhuni Bread
Bread edges or leftover Bread used adds a crispness to the dish. While the soft portion of the bread turns soggy when used here.

I am sure Onion and Garlic paste would enhance the taste of this dish...However I still don't use it. Reason being I don't wish to change any dish, that I have learnt from my Mom, a bit. At my home back in Goa...My mom doesn't use Onion and Garlic in any preparation. That at times comes as a surprise to some. But thats the way we make all our dishes. However I do use Onion and garlic at my home but not for my Mom's recipe :)

Last week we chose Drona over Kidnap after much confusion as our Weekend watch. I indeed was happy after the not-so-good reviews Kidnap received, while it was a mixed bag for Drona.
DRONA primarily is a mythological film, set in today's time. For a mythological film to work it needs to involve you in, from the very beginning which drona fails miserably. Reason being several things left unexplained in the film, as a viewer you don’t feel excited about anything related to Drona being unfolded on screen. Without sounding too harsh I can say that there are high chances of one enjoying the mythological soaps telecast on TV than this movie.

The film borrows a lot from Harry potter but fails miserably. The animation is bad...something Hollywood did several years ago we are still struggling with.

As for the actors...Abhishek disappointed the most with Drona...You see him moving around with an angry face. He for once never looks the part for me. Kay kay came across as a very scary in his first scene...I had my eyes covered. But then on he disappoints.Priyanka is plain average. I wonder why she would be running around with her long flowing dresses when her job is to protect the savior of the world.

This is supposed to be a movie about a man with superpowers... But you never, even for a second can believe that the guy on the screen possesses any super powers what so ever.

Now something that never bothered me so much than in this movie, were the props used. Drona’s costume looked borrowed from some cheap theatre group with some motif work on it. One important prop used was a conch shell which when blown will open the doors to the place where the Amrit lies...Can u imagine that was painted in bright Purple and decorated all over with the sequin bindi stickers. Ditto was with the box hidden in the desert that stored this conch shell, so was the case with the hidden city of secret..decorated all over with sequins... I wonder if they bought the sequins in dozens.

Is Drona good for anything? Yes, it is. Its a good place to catch up with your old friend and chit chat for a couple of hours.

Director Goldie Behl has left the film well open for a sequel...and has in his recent interview confirmed that he indeed would go ahead with the sequel.

I had to share this with you'll...During a supposedly intense scene in the desert between Abhishek and Priyanka there was 'Tujhe dekha to yeh jana sanam' in the leaves you with shock only to realize later that it was some body's ring tone in the theater and induces a huge laughter in the background. That was seriously funny.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Playing the guessing game

In my last post I had asked you'll to play a guessing game with me. A few of you did come close. I will come to that a li'l later.

Serving your guest with something they, in most probability, must have not had before, are going to love it and is still so simple to make...clicks with me. Works well even as an evening snack or when served in breakfast.

It is one snack whenever made for any of the guests, they have almost instantly asked for the recipe, men included! The men have always said that they would go back and try it at their home. How much of that really happened...I don't know :)

The dish looks like called Idli..but definitely is not one.

This recipe is called DAHI IDLI / BREAD IDLI.

10 Sandwich slices
2 Potatoes Boiled
8 T Curd
1 T Oil
1 t Mustard seeds
½ t Red Chilly powder
Salt to taste
Coriander finely chopped to Garnish

Add the chilli powder and salt to the boiled potatoes and mash it.

Add salt to the curd and mix well.

Heat oil in a pan (or a smaller utensil used for Tadka) and add the mustard seeds. Let it splutter and take off the stove.

Oil Mustard Mix
To cut a slice into round you would require something circular which when placed over a slice will cover only the soft of the slice and not the edges. I normally use a glass or a sharp bowl for it.

On a cutting board place a slice of the bread and cut into circular using a glass, making sure edges are left behind. Similarly cut all the other slices

Bread cutting
Apply a layer of potato mix on one side of the slice.

Potato layered bread
Heat the tawa and sprinkle few drops of oil. Place 2 potato covered slices at the center of the tawa, with their potato side down. Apply a generous coat of the Curd, making sure it doesn’t drip around.

Dahi Bread
This now needs to be covered with a lid making sure the lid doesn’t touch the bread. I use my pan lid for it.

After approx a min take off the lid and sprinkle ½ tsp of mustard oil mix over each bread and cover again. Cook till the potato layer is lightly roasted. Take it of the tawa and sprinkle some coriander leaves on it.

Dahi Idli
Serve hot with green chutney or tomato ketchup.

Now for the guessing part...there were a couple who guessed the ingredient, Curd, correct and the others guessed it as Idli. While Sripriya came closest with her Bread Idli guess!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Chilli Cheese Toast

GOSH! Don’t remember when was the last time I logged into my blog! Last 10 days have been so hectic. What when you have every possible thing turning up, keeping you extremely busy, except the maid. With the visiting guests...extra work load in office and in the middle of all this the Maid doesn’t turn up for one entire week, without any notice :(

Not as if I kept busy 24 hours a day...In whatever little time I got, I have been reading ‘The Three Mistakes of my Life’ by Chetan Bhagat.

The maid turned up yesterday, so I am much more relaxed now. Oh what if she doesn’t end up again today (Its already 11:30 am and she isn’t in as yet!)

But in those last 10 days I would be looking for quick easy to make snacks after returning from work...that would last me till I could fix the dinner. One of these instantly made snack is Chilli Cheese Sandwich.

This sandwich doesn’t call for any preparation time, is done instantly... and leaves a nice chilly taste. This must be a Chennai specialty. I hadn’t tasted this anywhere can find it almost everywhere here. Makes for a perfect quick snack.

4 Slices of Sandwich Bread
2 Slices of Cheddar Cheese
2 Green Chillies chopped

The pic is self explanatory. I folded the cheese slice at the edges to prevent it from flowing out when it melts.

Chilli Cheese toast preperation
Cover this with another slice. Similarly set other sandwich as well.
Heat the griller and place the sandwiches in.

Chilli Cheese Toast
Best enjoyed with some Potato Chips and Tomato ketchup.

Talking of it...My next post is going to be another quick snack.

Do you wanna take a guess at what this is? or what ingredients this calls for?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bread, Can anything be simpler?

Last afternoon I was going through my bookmarked recipes, a bread recipe caught my fancy. Did I say Bread...naah, I meant the simplest bread recipe. There couldn’t be anything simpler than this. Very low chance of anybody going wrong on this one (I got it perfectly after all!). Oh BTW I was suppose to be trying pizza recipes, wasn’t I? Hmmm...that post is coming real soon too, since I have got a very good recipe for it.

Back to the bread...Have you ever thought what goes in making a bread …All Purpose flour (Maida) which is the basic ingredient, Yeast to make the dough rise, Salt for the taste and of course water to make a dough. This is where I would stop my thinking and would wonder what else goes in to making that perfect bread.

To my surprise that was all! Yes the 4 magical ingredients + some time and you are done. I came across this bread recipe on Siri’s corner and couldn’t believe that bread making could be so simple. You should also check out this, it has some very good lessons about bread making.

1 1/2 All Purpose Flour (Maida)
1 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp Salt
½ + 1/4 Cup warm Water

In a bowl pour the ¼ cup water and add the yeast to this. Keep this to froth. Takes approximately 10 mins. Make sure the water is not too hot as this can destroy the yeast, it should just be warm enough to comfortably dip your finger in it.

In a mixing bowl sift the flour and add salt. Add the frothy yeast and ½ cup water. Form this into a dough. If required use some more water. We do not want the dough to be dry with lumps. Form nice soft dough for perfect bread.

On a lightly floured surface transfer the dough and knead till you get a smooth dough. This step takes around 10 mins.
What is the correct way to knead the bread dough, if this is the same question haunting you, you need not look any further. Check this video. Since Kneading is a very important step of bread making, it is important that you get this right,

Grease a big bowl with oil and transfer the dough in it. Pat some oil on the dough with your fingers. Cover with a cling film and keep it to rest in a dark, warm place. I always keep this in my microwave and if the weather is cool I heat the oven for a minute before placing the dough. Now see the yeast do its magic.

Kneaded Dough
Wait till the dough has doubled. This has almost always taken 2 + hours for me.

First rise
Punch the dough down and knead again for 2 mins. This goes back again in the greased bowl and cover it. Let this rise for another 45 mins, it would be back to nearly double its size by now.

Second rise
Take it out and shape roughly into a loaf. Make scores (cuts) with a sharp knife to help release the trapped gases. This will prevent the loaf from breaking. Preheat the Oven to 200 deg C.

Shaped Dough
Just before putting the loaf to bake I brushed egg yolk on top of the loaf. Bake it for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Baked Bread

Yummy Bread
I don’t remember when was the last time I was relishing the bread as it is. I ate 2 slices without any butter or anything. It was so damn tasty. I loved it. It was no different from the bread I buy from the store every week.

Plateful of Bread

Friday, September 12, 2008

Til Chikki

I made Til Ki Chikki for everyone back home before leaving for Goa. This was my first attempt at making chikki...It was the simple recipe on Kailas Kitchen which got me into making it.

I followed her recipe word to word, hence am not posting the recipe. Just the final pic...

Vedict: Chikkis came out very crisp. Everybody at home loved the chikki, execpt that my MIL's tooth cap broke eating them ;)

My trip took me to Mumbai, Nasik and Pune before I actually reached Goa. We happened to be in Pune a day before the Ganesh festival. Huge pandaals were erected for the Sarvajink Ganesh...would have loved to click some pics, but the entire place was so crowded that standing at a place stationary to click a snap seemed quite a daunting task. I managed this one at a Ganesh shop

I visisted a few friends during the festival and clicked some pics...

On my way back via B'lore, was lucky to visit this sarvajanik Ganesh...