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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chegodilu-Chekodi - ICC (November) Challenge


Chegodilu / Chekodi is one of the popular snacks in Andhra. Another new recipe from Srivalli for the Indian Cooking Challenge for November’ 09. I was unaware of this recipe and also didn’t know how the final dish will look like as no pictures were specified. I was confused at first, so I decided to search the net and came across some clicks for chegodis / chegodilo and only then understood why Sri was calling them “ring murukku”. From the clicks, the chegodis looked crisp and yummy and so I started to prepare this tasty snack.

I prepared using the second of the two recipes as stated by Srivalli. The chegodis / chegodilu came out perfect and crisp. Here is the recipe, which I followed

Ingredients:

  • Rice flour (chalguri) : 3/4 cup Maida / All purpose flour: 1/4 cup
  • Ajwain: 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder: 1/4 tsp (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • Turmeric powder: a pinch
  • Ghee: 2 tbsp
  • Water: 1 cup
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

How to proceed:

  1. Boil the water in a deep pan and add salt. When the water starts boiling, remove the pan from the fire.
  2. Add ajwain, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and rice flour & maida. Stir well with a ladle to ensure that all the ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
  3. Pour ghee, cover with a lid and leave aside for a few minutes. Once it cools, knead to form a smooth dough.
  4. Take small portions of the dough and roll them like threads between your palms, bring the ends together and seal them to form small rings. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
  5. Heat oil in a deep frying pan, slide the prepared chegodis into it. Reduce heat and deep fry until well done. Remove from the oil and drain on absorbent tissues.
  6. Allow to cool and store in airtight containers. Repeat with the rest of the chegodis.

Another way to prepare Chegodi / Chegodilu

Ingredients:

  • Rice flour 1 cup
  • Water 1 cup
  • Split yellow dhal (moong dhal) 2 table spoons
  • Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Sesame seeds 1 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder 1 teaspoon
  • Ghee/ oil 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying

How to proceed:


For the dough:

  1. Soak moong dal in water for half an hour.Drain after soaking, just before adding to the water.
  2. In a deep bottom pan, boil water. Add the salt, ghee and the drained moong dhal.
    Bring to a boil, allow to simmer and stir in the rice flour gradually. Keep stirring to achieve lump- free dough.
  3. When the dough looks cooked (as in outer dough for kozhukkattais), switch the stove off.
  4. Mix well and cover. Keep this aside until the dough cools down, say for about 15- 20 minutes.
  5. Add to the dough the chilli powder, sesame seeds and cumin seeds. Mix them well.

Frying the chegodis:


  1. Make small balls of the dough and roll them in ropes of about an inch and a half. Bring together the two ends of the rope and seal well.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and once the oil is of optimum temperature, slide the prepared rope-rings into very hot oil. Fry only very few at a time.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and fry the chegodis on both side until the sizzling of the oil subsides. Remove from the oil with slotted ladle and place them on absorbent tissues. Allow to cool and store in airtight containers.

Tips:

  1. While moulding the chegodis, keep the rest of the dough covered. Let the dough not dry in the air. Take out just as much of the dough to prepare enough number of chegodis that will fry in the oil.
  2. Keep oil on high heat when you are sliding the rings in and reduce the heat to low as soon as the chegodis bounce back to the surface of the oil. They have to be fried really well or you might end up with oily, soggy chegodis. Proceed with the entire dough.

All the fried chegodis came out crisp, a perfect snack to enjoy with a cup of tea / coffee.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Bloggeraid Cookbook - A cookbook to change the face of famine


Bloggers across the world coming together for a wonderful cause "Changing face of famine" and inspring others to make things happen to eradicate famine.

What is Bloggeraid?
Well, it all started towards the beginning of this year. Two wonderful food bloggers, Val of More Than Burnt Toast and Giz of Equal Opportunity Kitchen, who co-founded Bloggeraid-Changing the Face of Famine (Online social network of food bloggers) and also came up with the brilliant idea of a unique cook book, where the recipes will be contributed by food bloggers across the globe.
All the members of Bloggeraid (A non-profit community of hundreds of members from diverse cultural backgrounds across the globe) contributed traditional and original recipes from individual regions.
We as the members of BloggerAid-Changing the Face of Famine, delivered our best to make the world a better place for us and everybody else. The chosen recipes are put together in "The Bloggeraid Cook Book", which is finally published and is now for sale. You can know more or purchase it by clicking here.

Bloggeraid is supporting a wonderful cause, The World Food Programme (WFP). WFP will receive the funds generated by the cookbook, where 100% of the proceeds target children and education through the United Nation's World Food Program called School Meals, which benefits an average of 22 million hungry children each year.

img source

"WFP's school meal programmes work towards achieving several Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The programmes directly address the goals of reducing hunger by half and achieving universal primary education by 2015"

I am proud to be a part of this wonderful cause. Aam Panna, a traditional mango beverage is my contribution to the cook book.


You can find the recipe along with over hundred recipes ranging from Starters, Breakfast & Brunch, Soups & Salads, Side Dishes, Main Dishes, Beverages and Desserts in the cook book.

I hope that we can all spread the word about the cookbook. You too can help in this endeavour by buying the book and spreading the word about it.

  • You can buy the Bloggeraid Changing the face of famine cookbook from the Create Space estore (the estore is a connection of Amazon) or click the book cover above to purchase a book; Price is $30+s/h.
  • Write about the book and the cause in your blog.
  • Recommend it as a corporate gift to the company you work for or any other organization that does large scale gift-giving.
  • Put the cook book picture and link in the sidebar of your blog, which will directly take you to the order page.
  • Tweet it up on twitter including other social media networks.
  • Join Facebook Fan Page

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Paav Bhaji


A popular and much loved food all over India, Paav Bhaaji is a speciality of Western India. This is a spicy blend of vegetables in tomato gravy & spices, served with pav that is toasted with butter. Paav means "a small bun", while Bhaaji means "vegetable".

Ingredients:
  • 8 paavs (small squares of white bread, about 4" x 5" size)
  • Butter: 4 tbsp

For Bhaji:

  • Mixed vegetables: beans, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes, etc.), finely chopped 3-4 cups
  • Potatoes, boiled & mashed: 1 & 1/2 cups
  • Carrots, finely chopped: 1/2 cup
  • Green Beans, finely chopped: 1/2 cup
  • Cauliflower, finely chopped: 1 cup
  • Capsicum, finely chopped: 1/2 cup
  • Peas, shelled: 1/2 cup
  • Onions, finely chopped: 1 cup
  • Tomatoes, finely chopped: 2 cups
  • Ginger & garlic paste: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 - 1 tsp
  • Paav bhaji masala: 2 tbsp
  • Buter: 4 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of 1 lemon (to taste)

To Garnish:

  • Onion, finely chopped: 1 large
  • Coriander, finely chopped: 1 - 2 tbsp
  • Lemon wedges

Method:

  1. Boil water in a pressure cooker, add the mixed vegetables and a little salt and pressure cook the mixed vegetables (except capsicum, onions & tomatoes) till tender and soft. Drain out water and keep aside.
  2. Heat a large & heavy-bottomed pan and melt butter on medium flame. Add chopped onions, saute a little, add capsicums and saute for 2 more mins.
  3. Add add ginger-garlice paste and fry till onion is translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes, mix and cook till oil separates.
  4. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, paav bhaji masala & salt, mix well and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the boiled vegetables, 1/2 cup water, mix with the masala and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer till gravy is thick, continuously stir and mash thoroughly to a course texture using a potato masher / slotted spoon.
  6. Add a table spoon of butter, mix and cook for a 2-3 more mins, Turn off the fire, add lemon juice, stir and mix well. Garnish with chopped onions, coriander, lemon wedges and a block of butter.
  7. To serve, slit the paavs / buns half horizontally (leaving one edge attached) and apply butter. Place the buns open & face down on the heated tawa / griddle till the surface is golden and crisp. Flip and repeat on other side.
  8. Serve the paavs with the hot & sizzing bhaji, garnished with finely chopped onion and lemon wedges.

Paav Bhaji is a wholesome meal with a combination of vegetables and bread. Paav Bhaaji is also a hot favorite Indian street food and you will find scores of vendors in streets all over Mumbai stirring up the dish on huge sizzling pans.


Sending this to RCI-Mumbai guest hosted by Lakshmi and event by Lakshmi Krishnan and
Radhika and Sudeshna's event, Foods for 7 Stages of Life-Kids Special

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chilli Soya


One of my favourite Chinese vegetarian recipe is Chilli Paneer. I also make new recipes by substituting paneer with other ingredients like tofu, assorted vegetables and even soya chunks.
I prepare Chilli Soya (I used Nutrella soya chunks), following the same preparation method as Chilli Paneer and it tasted the same. Well you can also replace the main ingredient and use tofu, vegetables of your choice to have new tasty recipes.

Soya nuggets /chunks are commonly referred to as vegetarian meat and generally used as meat substitutes in several dishes. Soys nuggets are prepared from defatted (DOC) soya flour by the process of extrusion cooking.

Ingredients:
  • Soya chunks / nuggets: 100 gms / 1 cup
  • Cornflour: 50 gms / ½ cup
  • Onion, cubed & layers are separated: 3
  • Capsicum, diced / cubed: 1 large
  • Green chiilies, chopped: 3-4
  • Garlic & Ginger, chopped: 1 tsp
  • Soya sauce: 2-3 tbsp
  • Tomato sauce / ketchup: 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Vinegar: 1 tsp
  • White oil: 3 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Spring onions, chopped: 1 bunch

Method:

  1. Boil water in a pan, add a little salt, soak the soya chunks. Cover the pan and let the soya chunks soak for 15-20 mins. Press and squeeze out excess water and keep aside.
  2. Take a bowl, combine 1 tbsp of cornflour in a little cold water, soya sauce & vinegar and mix well. Keep aside.
  3. Mix the rest of the corn flour with a little water in a bowl to make a smooth batter. Heat oil in a kadhai, lightly coat the soya chunks in the batter and saute them. Drain and keep aside.
  4. Heat oil once again (add extra oil, if required). Add the cubed onion & capsicum pieces and saute for 3 - 4 mins till the onion and capsicums are tender.
  5. Stir the cornflour and soya sauce mixture, add to the kadhai and keep on stirring. Add soya chunks, chopped green chillies, garlic & salt, mix well so that all the soya chunks get coated with the gravy. Add tomato sauce (optional) and mix well.
  6. Adjust water (as per your requirement of gravy), cook for 5 - 6 mins till the gray become thick. Remove from fire, transfer in a serving dish.
  7. Garnish with grated ginger, chopped spring onions and serve hot with noodles / chowmein or fried rice.

Tip: Some people do not like the smell of soya chunks. To remove the 'smell / stink' in soya chunks, here is a helpful trick. Add finely chopped garlic in the boiling water, release the soya chunks and boil for 5-10 mins. Press and thoroughly squeeze out water and use in the recipe.


This recipe is also nutritious as soya chunks are a rich source of protein and contribute a maximum level of 50% vegetable protein. They are also free from cholesterol.

I am sending this delicious Chilli Soya recipe to Vaishali's IAVW-Chinese event and to Radhika's and Sudeshna's Foods for 7 Stages of Life-Kids Special event....

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