Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pakkavada/Ribbon pakoda (A savory Kerala snack)

There are a few staple snacks my mom, my grand mom used to make when we were kids.They make them in bulk occasionally and its stored in airtight tin boxes. Me being a savory persons always loved them.
My mom used to make spicy mixture (my cornflake mixture is an easy version of it), pakkavada, kaya varuthathu (raw plantain chips), chakka varuthathu (raw jackfruit chips), masala peanuts, Murukku.....the list goes on and on.
The ones you get in the stores, i mean the bakery shops, small chips shops near bus stand n railway station in Kerala are equally good. They make it in pure coconut oil....yummm ...divine :)
I always make my dad buy a couple of bags of these whenever I travel by bus or train for studies/work.
Life was pretty easy then. Anyway gone are those days...

Recently, while browsing through my mom's recipe collection (of which we all 3 sis have made a copy of), i came across the pakkavada recipe.
Seemed simple, just a few ingredients. And also i had the gadget, the idiyappam press/mold (I got mine from my MIL,she got it from her MIL).

This is how it looks

Here is a link to the modern version of it.
I have seen this in a few Indian stores around. But the old ones are really sturdy and durable.

Here is the recipe.

You'll need:

Besan / Gram flour (Chickpea flour) : 2 1/2 cups
Rice flour : 1 cup
Asafoetida : 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder :  1 1/2 tsp
Melted butter: 1 1/2 tbsp
Warm water : enough to make the dough (approx 1 1/2 cups)
Salt : to taste
Curry leaves : a few sprigs (for garnish)

How to make:

In a mixing bowl, combine besan, rice flour, chilli powder, asafoetida, salt and melted butter.
Add warm water little by little and knead it into a smooth dough. It might be a little sticky, apply a little bit of oil on to your palms to keep the dough from sticking. But the consistency must be looser than the regular roti dough.
Put the narrow slit disc in the press and fill it with the dough by hand or by a spoon.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan. When it gets sizzling hot, pipe the dough into the oil slowly and carefully in a circular motion. Fry until it gets golden brown in color, and drain them on to a paper towel.
Do it in batches. Once done, turn off the heat and immediately add a few springs of curry leaves to the oil.
Be careful, it will splutter !!
Fry just for a few secs, drain and mix with the pakkavada.
Enjoy the anytime yummy snack :)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blueberry Muffin

I like muffins...they are cute :)  its easy to make, and its yummy.

Though muffins are considered a complete healthy meal elsewhere, in my house its always treated as a snack..Say, I make some sweet or savory muffin in the morning, everyone( read husband) eats a couple of them  and then after a while, here comes the question "what is for breakfast"..... are u kidding me?
but still I make them quite often as some evening snack...

I always love the jumbo blueberry muffin you get in the coffee shops... the juicy baked fruit that oozes out when you split open one, its divine :)
Take it from me, this is one easy on the go breakfast for all you busy bees out there. Make them ahead of time, and they do stay fresh for a day or two.

You'll need:

All purpose flour : 2 cups
Sugar: 1 cup
Butter: 1/2 cup (softened)
Baking Powder: 2 tsps
Egg: 2 nos
Milk: 1/2 cup
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp
Blueberries: 1 cup (fresh or frozen)

How to make:

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line or grease a 12 cup muffin pan.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt until well combined.
In an another bowl, cream softened butter and sugar using a mixer. Add eggs one at a time. Mix in milk and vanilla extract.Add the dry ingredients mixture into this, and beat it just until moistened. Fold in the blueberries. Fill in the prepared muffin cups 2/3 full.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 min or until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack before serving.

These muffins are good as such without any toppings. If particular about topping, mix 2 tsps of sugar and 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg and sprinkle it over, after filling up the muffin tins.

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