Morning Glory Slice

It is matter of few weeks. I got tired of fixing breakfast every morning. No we are not cereal-out-of-the-box or bread kind of people. We are Dose-Paddu-Chapati-Akki rotti kind of people. I felt like I needed a break from the first dish of the day but I wanted to make something rather healthful. So I decided to make morning glory muffins. But I did not have a proper muffin tin, I converted the muffin into a slice. Just that the slices were a little to small and we had to eat two of them to get the feeling of eating a decent breakfast. I love the muffins at King Arthur . But like always, I need to add and subtract from the recipe to make it my own.This particular recipe yielded the most tender and moist muffins ever. They were also rather rich. It is fine for a few days but long term this is again something that did make you regret every time you try to get into that new pair of jeans.

We will need,

Craisins 1/2 cup
Whole wheat pastry flour 1.5 cups
All purpose flour 1/2 cup
Sugar 3/4 cup (Can be increased upto 1 cup. But I found 3/4 to be rather too sweet for my taste)
Baking Soda 2 tsp
Cinnamon 1.5 tsp
Ginger ground 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg 1/8 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Grated carrots 1 cups tightly packed.
Large apple grated and pealed 1
Kopra 1/2 cup
Almonds 1/2 cup chopped fine
Sunflower seeds 1/3 cup
Sunflower oil 1/2 cup
Eggs 3
Vanilla extract
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1/2 lime

  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease and line a loaf pan. (One of those largish loaf pans. If smaller use two loaf pans)
  • Soak the Craisins in hot water. Set it aside. 
  • Mix in all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. (flour, baking soda, sugar, salt and spices)
  • In another mixing bowl stir in the wet ingredients like eggs, oil, carrots, apple, orange juice, lime juice. Combine all the ingredients well. 
  • Stir the nuts and seeds into the wet ingredients. 
  • Drain the craisins and toss them into the dry mixture. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour the wet ingredients. Gently mix everything together until just combined. I read somewhere that anything more than 50 strokes will make the muffins dry and tough. I agree. 
  • Pour it into the loaf pan and bake till a toothpick inserted comes out dry about 30  minutes in my oven. 
  • Remove onto a wire rack and allow it to cool. Once completely cooled slice the loaf and store it in an air tight jar for at least a week. Mine did not last past the week end. We are a grazing family you know.
Well actually I cannot think if this is a good breakfast recipe or is it a dessert recipe. Because we ate it both ways, I will label it thus.

Kayi Obbattu

Ugadi is just round the corner. Ugadi is the first day of our calender and therefore celebrated by all communities across the Kannada heartland. It is probably the one of the two festivals that is widely celebrated back home, the other being Deepawali. Traditional Ugadi celebrations are best observed in smaller towns and cities. Bangalore being so cosmopolitan these days Ugadi in Bangalore is just like any other day. But growing up in Mysore and a host of other smaller towns and cities in Karnataka, my memories of Ugadi is all about food, family and gambling. While food and family are the usual suspects, gambling is rather unusual right. But well that was the tradition. I still remember tents and pandals being set up by the road side, in parks and essentially every where there is space enough to hold those tents. Those tents and pandals serve as makeshift gambling dens. It is perfectly legal to gamble and to set up gambling facilities on and around Ugadi. So any body is free to gamble and have a good time on Ugadi. Las Vegas? yes please, they did do it on Ugadi. So after the ritualistic bath, wearing new clothes, pooja, partaking of the prasadas and 'Bevu-Bella' a combination of Neem blossoms and jaggery (which is a our way of paying tribute to both good and bad in life) we indulge in one serious meal. Then off to gambling. We never visited any of those dens but we would play a game or two of cards at home and my father would give us money regardless of who won the game. I love Ugadi and hope this new year fills our lives with all joys and just a touch of Neem.
Here is Kayi Obbattu. Obbattu and Ugadi goes together. But the one with 'bele' or dal is traditionally made the same day. But if you are looking forward to a make ahead Obbattu, it is Kayi obbattu. It is festive, tasty but also good made ahead.

We will need,

Coconut grated 3 cups
Jaggery roughly crushed 2-3 cups (2 would do for me, but FIL likes it sweeter )
Cardamon 2 (seeds crushed and the skin discarded)
Poppy seeds 2 tbsp (toasted and ground)

For the dough:
All purpose flour 1 (may be 1.5 cups)
Salt pinch
Turmeric pinch
Oil 3 tbsp

  • Sift flour with turmeric. Stir in the salt. Dump the flour on to a large plate. Make a well in the center of the well. Pour water into the well a little by little and start combing the flour and the water, making a dough much softer than chapati dough. Knead the dough very well, like while making bread. The dough is ready when it is very stretchy. Pour the oil on top of the dough and cover with a damp cloth and rest it for at least 2 hours
  • Combine the coconut, cardamon and the poppy seeds in the food processor and process till the they are well combined and the coconut has become rather homogenous.  Do not add water while processing the mixture. 
  • Remove the coconut into a thick bottom non-stick skillet. Throw in the jaggery, cook till the jaggery has melted and the mixture comes together. Remove from heat and set it aside to cool. The sweet filling /hurana is ready to go.
  • Pinch small balls of dough and roll the filling into small balls as well.
  • On a greased plastic sheet, roll out the dough balls into circles of 3" diameter using your fingers. Place the filling and pinch the dough to close the filling.
  • Using your fingers, roll the stuffed dough ball into 8-9" circles.
  • Ideally the filling should be uniformly distributed and the flour skin should be as thin as possible, so trying to achieve the ideal is a good idea. Mine is never perfect, but in my quest for the perfect, i end up making decent stuff..
  • Heat a griddle. When smoking, grease it with ghee. Place the rolled out obbattu on to the griddle. cook of both sides with oodles of ghee.
  • Serve it hot or at room temperature. If storing to be consumed later, cool it completely and store it in air-tight boxes between parchment sheets.

Badam Puri

Badam puri also known as Surali puri is one of those old fashioned sweets which were very popular back in the days when everything home made was the only option. I remember my grand mother making this for important occasions. She made it for our house warming ceremony and for my cousins naming ceremony. Those were the days when women in family gathered to cook elaborate meals for 100-200 people. Catering was as common as it is today. Everything had to be cooked at home and offered to gods before it was served to guests. Today life is much simpler. Call a caterer and the food will arrive just in time and of course they will serve, clean etc. Our generation of women never got to huddle  in front of the giant temporary wood burning stoves and gossip as we stirred the giant vats of curry. Instead we can huddle up in front of the TV and comment on how silly the heroine looks!

We will need,

All purpose flour 1/2 cup
Chiroti Rawa (cream of wheat) 1/2 cup
Salt a pinch
Ghee 1/4 cup
Orange food colour (optional, I dont use it)
Sugar 1.5 cups
Saffron a few strands
Kopra 1/4 cup grated
Cardamon 2 pods
Refined oil to deep fry (I prefer sunflower oil)

  • Pour the flour, chiroti rawa, food colour and salt into a deep mixing bowl. Stir in water a little by little till the mixture forms a tight dough. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set it aside to rest.
  • Mean time, heat sugar and 1 cup of water over medium heat. Bring it to a boil. Throw in the saffron. Simmer till it attains a single thread consistency i.e. when the syrup is pulled between the thumb and the fore finger, it forms a single thread. Remove from heat and set it aside.
  • Set a wok on the stove with the sunflower oil. Heat it till the oil shimmers. 
  • Meantime start rolling out the Puris. Pinch a lime size dough and roll it out like a roti. Brush it with ghee and fold it into a semi circle. Brush it once again with ghee and fold it once more to get something of a triangle.
  • Drop the triangles into hot oil. Deep fry till golden in color. The golden ones will be flaky and tender while a deeper golden brown color will yield Puris that are softer and chewier.
  • Dip the hot puris in the sugar syrup and set it aside. Repeat till all the dough is exhausted.
  • Crush the cardamon seeds and mix it with the Kopra.
  • Sprinkle the kopra-cardamon on top of the Puris. Store them in a air-tight box for upto a week.

Huli Pudi

When do cooks back home feel they have come of age and are no longer amateurs in the kitchen? My answer would be when you make pickles and pudis. I few weeks back I ran out of my stash of Huli Pudi that my MIL brought last summer. I had been conserving it for quite some time but I had to see the bottom of the bottle one fine day. So I rolled up my sleeves and got to do what was needed. I had the recipe from my grandmother who makes the best in the world Huli Pudi. So I set out to make Huli Pudi for the first time.
It was a long labour intensive process. Imagine with food processors we feel it is time and labour intensive, if only I was born in the previous century I did be pounding the wicked spices as it blew into my lungs! huff huff. I know that is how my grandmother started making it. Some where later in her life that those flour mills started to pop up and she got the wicked spices ground at those noisy mills.
This time my pudi turned out sort of good, not as half as good as my grandmother, not as good as my mother or MIL would make but still I prefer this over the silly stuff sold in Indian stores labeled 'Sambar Powder'.

Here we go,

Chillies  1/2 kg
Dhania 1/2 kg
Jeera 360 grams
Pepper 60 grams
Turmeric 60 grams
Hing 60 grams
Channa Dal 120 grams
Uddina Bele 120 grams
Fenugreek seeds 120 grams
Mustard seeds 120 grams
Curry leaves 2 giant bunches (washed and dried)
Cinnamon 50 grams
Marati Moggu 3-4
Jaggery 60 grams
Salt a generous fist full

  • Measure out all the spices carefully and keep it handy. A choice of chillis can be used. I prefer 3/4 Byadagi  and 1/4 Guntur or the spicy varieties because Sunny boy still prefers milder food. My grandmother and mother do  1:1 for Byadagi:Guntur.
  • Open windows if any all over the house. Turn on the exhaust at full speed.
  • Set a heavy kadai on medium flame. One the kadai is hot, start toasting the Dhania. When the Dhania is toasted and is fragrant, remove into a big wide platter and allow it to cool.
  • Mean time, start toasting the other spices one at a time starting with the spice after Dhania up until curry leaves.
  • Once the curry leaves are done start toasting the chillies. This one is the wickedest of all. It will make us cough and gasp for breath. Toast them till they change color.
  • Remove the chillies to the same platter. Allow it to cool.
  • Once cold throw in the Jaggary and salt. Grind the spice mixture in a coffee grinder till fine but still has some texture left.
  • Combine the ground spices in the large platter and allow it to cool slightly. Mix the spice blend using a dry spatula. 
  • Once the spices are cool, fill it in bottles and use as required.
Thanks Chitz and Nagashree  for thinking of me
  1. If you were allowed to change something about yourselves, what would that be? :I would definitely be more organized and be detail oriented. 
  2. Your favorite time pass other than cooking :Reading
  3. According to you which is most important in a blog - presentation, recipe or pictures? : Well I did say the story
  4. Your ultimate dream: Win a lottery perhaps?
  5. Three qualities you would love to see in others: Patience, kindness and reason
  6. One prank that you played on someone: write anonymous love letter to a friend and giggle when she did show it to us.
  7. Your favorite vacation spot: erstwhile Kovalam beach
  8. Cooking according to you is: stress buster
  9. Who influences you the most? Like you would always listen to what this person says: my mom
  10. Your favorite dessert: Rasgolla
  11. One habit that you cannot change for life: over-eating when I like something.
Here are a set of questions Nagashree sent me.
  1. What was your reaction when you received the Liebster award? :Wow 
  2. What do you most look forward to with your blogging? Comments
  3. What is your all time favorite ingredient or spice in cooking? Ghee
  4. Do you always give credit to a recipe source or blogger when you use one? yes
  5. What are your hobbies outside of food blogging? reading and eating
  6. What appeals to you most in other food blogs (writing style, blog layout and visual appeal, pictures, recipes and anything else)? story and the pictures
  7. How has blogging changed your life? Make new friends with the same feathers
  8. How do you feel about plagiarism in food blogs? uh! despicable , come on gals it is supposed to be a creative outlet.
  9. Who is the one person that influenced you most in starting your blog? LG
  10. Who is your all time favorite cook/chef and why? Jacques Pepin, his philosophy is waste not want not. Love it.
  11. What is cooking currently in your kitchen?Mixed vegetables from left over vegetables.