Monday, October 31, 2016

Sabudana Wada ( Fritters made from Tapioca pearls).

Sabudana ( tapioca pearls) is one of the most commonly consumed item during fasting. Sabudana is basically tapioca pearls. Sabudana can be used to make kheer ( pudding), khichidi , thalipeeth ( pancakes), idlis and wadas. For all these items, Sabudananeeds to be soaked in water for 3-4 hours first and is then used. Dry Sabudana pearls are hard and therefore inedible. Soaking it in water makes it soft , tender and edible. Today, I am sharing with you the recipe for Sabudana wadas that is super-easy, quick and delicious.

Servings: makes around 6-8 wadas

Prep time: 3 hours ( includes soaking time)

Cook time: 10 mins 

Total time: 3 hours & 10 mins


Sabudana: 1/2 cup
Potato: 1 medium sized
Green chillies: 2-3, finely chopped
Cumin powder: 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Crushed peanut halves: 2 tbsp ( optional)
Salt/rock salt/ sendha namak: 1/8 tsp
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Oil for frying or greasing the appe pan.
Water: for soaking Sabudana and boiling potato.


Soak Sabudana for 3-4 hours with just enough water to cover it.

Boil whole potato with skin, in water, until tender enough to mash, around 10-15 mins.

When the potato has cooled, remove from water, peel, dice and mash it coarsely without adding any water.

To this add chopped green chillies, cumin powder, salt, sugar, soaked and drained Sabudana, coriander leaves, crushed peanuts and mix well to make a dough.

Pinch lemon sized portion of dough and shape it into a ball. Gently pat it down to shape it into a patty. 

Do this with all available dough and keep aside.

You can fry it using the deep-fried method or the using the appe pan ( healthier version). If using the appe pan, don't flatten the ball too much.

For deep-fried version:

Heat oil on medium heat in a small wok/ frying pan. 

Once the oil is hot enough, add the prepared patties into the oil.

 Do not drop more than 2-4 at a time as it will overcrowd the pan. If overcrowded, it will not fry well.

Fry for 2-3 mins on one side or until golden brown. 

Flip and fry for 2-3 mins on the other side. Drain onto paper towels.

Serve hot with a chutney of your choice.

Appe pan method: ( healthier version)

Heat the appe pan on medium heat. 

Grease the appe pan thoroughly. 

Place the prepared balls of dough into the indentations in the pan. 

Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked thoroughly.

Serve hot with a chutney of your choice.


Cooking made easy:

How do you know if your oil is hot enough??
If you drop a little drop of batter into the oil, it should come up and float on top of the oil. This means the oil is at the right temperature.
If the batter sinks, the oil is not hot enough.
If the oil is smoking, then the oil is too hot and most likely will burn the food.

Tip for healthy living:

Any given day, cooking something in the appe pan is healthier than deep-frying as the appe pan uses less oil and therefore the calorie content of the food item is less.

Food for thought:

True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost. Charles Caleb Colton

Monday, October 17, 2016

Makkai/Corn Shevai (Idiappam or string hoppers made from corn flour).


This Navarathri, during fasting, I had this craving to eat Shevai. Shevai is stringhoppers. This is usually made out of rice or rice flour. Unfortunately, rice is not allowed during fasting. Now, I really wanted to eat Shevai.. I decided to make it from cornflour or masa de harina. I had some in my cabinet you see.It actually came out pretty good. I served it with spiced oil and spicy potato curry and my husband who does not like shevai, loved it!! As I was telling my mother, if my husband liked it, that means it was really very good!! His usual response to " how was it??" is "okay"!! Since then, I have made it two more times with the same great result! 

Do try it if you get a chance. It is quick, easy with only 3 ingredients and super-delicious!! It took me only 45 mins to an hour to make it from start to finish!

Prep time: 15 minsCook time: 30 minsTotal time: 45 mins

Servings: 4-5 people


Corn flour ( masa de harina): 3 cups
Salt: 1 tsp
Hot water: 6 cups
Coconut oil: to grease idli plate.
Water: as needed into the steamer utensil.


Dry roast corn flour in a wok, skillet or pan, on low flame for 4-5 mins.

Add salt. Now add hot water little at a time and mix as you add water. Cook on low flame for 2-3 mins . It should come together like a ball, leaving the sides of the pan/kadai.

Grease idli /steamer plates and keep ready.

Spoon portions of the dough into the noodle press. Squeeze out small palm size circular mounds of noodles onto the greased idli moulds. Do this with all available dough.

Boil water as per steamer instruction, in the idli steamer. Place the steamer rack into steamer and steam the Shevai for 8-10 mins on medium flame.

Serve hot with a spicy curry/pickle/ chutney of your choice or spiced coconut oil.

To make spiced coconut oil:
Heat 2 tbsp of coconut oil on medium heat. Add 1/8  tsp of red chilli powder to the hot oil. Turn off the flame.
Drizzle this spicy oil on top of the Shevai.

Serve hot.


Cooking made easy:

Using a hand-held noodle press than the traditional one, makes the process less tedious and you can make small portions.

Tip for healthy living:

Eat dinner atleast 2 hours before bedtime. This not only helps in good digestion, it also helps prevent weight gain.

Food for thought:

It's the friends you can call up at  4 am that matter. Marlene Dietrich

Friday, October 14, 2016

Agua Fresca ( Watermelon lemonade)

The last few days have been unusually warm for October!! It seems like we are having a hard time leaving summer behind! Everyone at home has been looking for something cooling to drink. I had the last of the season's watermelon left, so I made Agua  Fresca. What is Agua Fresca?? In Spanish, "Agua" means water and " Fresca" means fresh. So, Agua Fresca translates to Fresh Water. This drink is popular in Mexico where it is made with fresh fruits. What I have here is basically watermelon lemonade. In case you dint feel like calling it Agua Fresca, just call it Watermelon Lemonade. I came across this refreshing, low calorie drink at a friend's place during the summer. I have been wanting to make this since then!! But every time I cut a watermelon, it is gone before I can make this drink!! When I saw the recipe on NY times, I was determined to make it. I, of course modified it slightly. You can find the original recipe here.  Finally, now, I got to make it and enjoy it!!

Once I had made it, the immediate feeling that I had was " why did I never know about this or make it before today!!" It is not only thirst quenching and refreshing, it is low in calories and a great make-ahead drink for parties!! There are so few ingredients required and you can use any kind of melon for this drink!

Try it.. You will most definitely like it!

Servings: 3-4

Prep time: 10 minsCook time: 0Total time: 10 mins


Peeled Watermelon cubes without seeds: 4 cups
Honey: 1 tbsp ( agave or sugar can be used instead)
Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
Mint leaves: 3-4, extra sprigs for garnish .
Lemon rings: one per glass
Water: 1 & 1/2 cups
Ice cubes/ crushed ice : 2-3cups


Blend together watermelon, lemon juice, honey and water until smooth. Strain into a jar that has 2 slices of lemon and mint leaves.

Add ice cubes to the serving glass . Pour Agua Fresca on it. Garnish with a sprig of mint, a slice of lemon and a slice of watermelon if you wish!!


Cooking made easy:

If you don't have watermelon, no worries, you can use cantaloupe or musk melon. Of course, the taste will be slightly different, but that is the individual Melon's individuality.

Tip for healthy living:

Consuming fresh home made drinks like Agua Fresca is much better than drinking processed/ bottled drinks. You can control the quality of the ingredients and the amount of sugar that goes into it.

Food for thought:

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. Og Mandino

Biscuit Rotti ( stuffed fried bread)

Biscuit rotti is a traditional, South Kanara recipe. It is similar to the North Indian Kachoris. Basically it is dough that is stuffed with a sweet and spicy filling and then deep-fried. It is usually served at breakfast or enjoyed with the evening tea. It could be made with whole wheat or all-purpose flour. The filling could be made of predominantly cream of wheat ( sooji) and grated coconut to which spices have been added or it could be just freshly grated coconut that has been mixed with spices. Both taste good. I have made the filling using a combination of cream of wheat and freshly grated coconut.

This is not difficult to make at all. You could make the filling and the outer dough slightly ahead of time an keep it in the refrigerator. When guests arrive, you can make the biscuit rotti and serve it right away!

The only reason I don't make it often is because it is deep-fried and I stay away from deep-fried. I am making this after almost 10 years. My husband and I believe in eating healthy most of the time. I was craving this and therefore made it. This recipe has been graciously shared by my sister, who is something of a " biscuit rotti" expert!

Servings: makes 8 medium-sized biscuit rotti.

Prep time: 3.5 hours ( which includes 3 hours of keeping the dough aside)Cook time: 10 minsTotal time : 3.65 hours


Whole wheat flour or all purpose flour/ maida : 1 & 1/2 cups
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil: 1 + 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: a pinch ( optional)
Warm water: 1 cup ( may not need all)

Oil for frying.

For the filling:
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves: 1-2 sprigs
Urad dal/ split matpe beans: 1/2 tsp
Cream of wheat/ sooji: 1/2 cup
Freshly grated coconut: 1/2 cup
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Green chillies: 1, finely chopped.
Red chilli powder: 1/4 tsp ( can be adjusted based on your preferred spice level.
Asofoetida : a pinch


In a bowl, mix together wheat flour, sooji, salt, sugar, 1 tbsp warm oil, a pinch of turmeric. 

Add water little at a time and make a dough. Knead the dough for few minutes.

Apply oil to the outside, cover with damp cloth/paper-towel and keep aside for atleast half hour.

While the dough is sitting, make the filling.

For the filling:

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a sauté pan/ kadai.
Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add curry leaves, urad dal, chopped green chillies & saute for 30 seconds or until the urad dal turns slightly golden in color.

Add sooji and roast for a couple of mins.  Now add the freshly grated coconut, red chilli powder, hing, salt and sugar.

Sauté for 2 mins. Turn off the flame and keep aside. The filling is ready.

Putting it together:

Pinch lemon-sized portion of the dough and make a ball.

 Roll the dough into a small circle that is not too thin.

Place 1 tbsp filling in the middle of the circle. 

Cover it with the surrounding dough in such a manner that no filling comes out (as shown in the picture ).

Do the same with all the available dough.

Roll each of the filled balls gently into  a poori. Do this with all of them.

Heat oil in a kadai/ wok, on medium flame. When the oil is hot enough, drop the stuffed poori gently into the oil.

Fry it on medium flame for 2-3 mins. Flip it and fry on the other side for 1-2 mins.

Take it out and drain on paper towels.

Serve hot, may be with a cup if tea/coffee.

I am bringing this to Fiesta Friday #141, Throwback Thursday #58 & Saucy Saturdays. Angie's co-hosts this week are: Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Zeba @ Food For The Soul

Cooking made easy:

Fried things cook well and evenly without getting burnt, if you maintain an even temperature of the oil. This is done by initially heating the oil until it is just hot and then reducing the flame to medium and maintaining it there. It is better to fry items like Biscuit rotti on medium flame so that the inside can be cooked as well as outside.

Tip for healthy living:

When making any kind of fried items, use just enough oil as needed for frying. Discard the remaining oil. Every time oil is heated, it releases hydrocarbons and free radicals that are harmful for our health. You can read more in the references below.

Food for thought:

We should not give up and we should not allow the problem to defeat us. A.P.J Abdul Kalam