Thursday, February 2, 2017

Cooked rice Vadagam (leftover) in dehydrator

In Tamilnadu, the leftover rice would be preserved by soaking it in water and served as next day's breakfast along with pickle (not my favorite till now and hence I used to carry a pack of biscuits in my handbag years ago and sometimes I would accept that  too if served with love.....Anything tastes better if given with love :) ).  Some people would cook the old rice with fresh rice the next day and the whole rice will get the old rice flavor, and it is not ok. Some would put the rice in fridge and would give it a . makeover to give lemon rice or puli rice the next day (that's a better idea, as food stays safer). But I won't recommend it for lunch packs in hot regions (we can have it home).  In colder countries it is not a major issue. The old rice stays good for at least 3 days in fridge (why 3 days? ...because it is the food blogger's way of telling it. But I know some people who would cook rice one day and use it the whole week. It tastes good too. Everything depends on the weather).
Leftover rice vadagam was not my mother's idea either. But I started making this kind of vadagam occasionally, using leftover rice after marriage and my hubby likes all kinds of vadagam. But here in US, there won't be much leftovers as we all cook precisely for a tiny family. Then also, I got some leftovers the other day and prepared vadagam (fryums / fritters) using dehydrator. So if anyone is totally in love with vadagams, then they should cook one more cup of  rice and try my recipe. It tastes just like koozh vadagam.
Here is my recipe for 'spicy leftover rice vadagam'. Here I have used a dehydrator and it took just 12 hours to dry. Sundrying is a better way too.
Blend together cooked rice , shallot, green chili, cumin,, curry leaf,  hing, salt .
My idiyappam squeezer 
Squeeze it on a plate of dehydrator (over a cloth)

Switch on in high mode.

It would be ready in 10 - 12 hours. 

Put them in a dry plate and let air dry for 1 more day.

Store in ziplock bags

Vadagam after frying in oil

Cooked rice - 2 cups
shallot - 2
green chili - 2
salt - 1/2 tsp
hing - a pinch
cumin - 1/2 tsp
curry leaf - few

If there is leftover rice, keep it in fridge or start making the recipe immediately.  Do not soak it in water or keep in room temperature (for making vadagam).
Using a blender, finely grind all the above.
Fit a star mould in  a murukku squeezer (idiyappam maker) .
Spread a clean cloth on dehydrator plates. Squeeze the vadagam batter (see photo).
Close the lid and set it in high.
It may take 12 hours to dry.
Spray little water in the back of the cloth and peel the dried vadagams.
Keep on a clean dry plate and air dry for a day or continue drying in a dehydrator for another 6 hours.
Remove and store in airtight containers.

Serving suggestion:
Before serving, heat required oil in a wok. Deep fry the vadagams in small batches.
It fries very quickly. Take out and place on kitchen paper towels.
Serve as side dish (like papads / appalam) along with sambar rice or any rice.
The fries are served as snack also.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Chicken noodle soup

Recently I bought this cookery book, "From Mama's table to mine"  by Mr. Bobby Deen in a nearby dollar store. He is the son of my beloved celebrity chef, Ms. Paula Deen. The original price was $39 but it was on sale that day and I consider myself lucky to get it for a dollar. I love the way the recipes are modified for reduced calorie consumption with added nutrition. His recipes are focused on healthy foods without changing the taste.
This is one of the best books I have ever bought and one day I tried Bobby's chicken noodle soup. My version is a little more spicy and Indianized. But for more accuracy and his ingenious tips , one must definitely buy this book. I prepared this chicken noodle soup using the ingredients I had at hand. I love the way it turned out. To my surprise my hubby too likes it very much and asked me to keep a portion for his lunch box too. I am glad that I have learned something new and good.
Try this and let me know !

Chicken with bones - 1/2 lb (200 gm)
noodle - Top ramen 1 pack
chicken stock - 2 cups
olive oil - 1 tbsp
butter - 1 tbsp
bay leaf - 2
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
whole black pepper - 1 tbsp
cumin - 1 tsp
sea salt - to taste
red onion - 1
green chili - 2
garlic - 5 cloves
carrot - 1 (100 gm)
celery - 2 sticks
spring onion (scallion) - 2
cilantro - handful
tomato - 1 (100 gm)

Chop the carrot, celery , onion , garlic to small cubes. (I used Vidalia onion chopper for this step).
Mince the green chilies, cilantro, green onion.  Keep them all aside.
Chop the chicken to small cubes (1 inch size). I requested the butcher to chop the chicken for soup and got it absolutely right.

Heat oil + butter in a pressure cooker (3 liter or bigger).
Add bay leaf. Then goes the onion, garlic together. Saute in medium heat for 1 minute.
Then add all the chopped vegetables.
Saute till onion turns soft. Then add the chicken pieces, minced spring onion, cilantro, green chili.
Add crushed pepper + cumin , turmeric,  salt and saute everything together for 3 more minutes.
Add finely chopped tomato.
Pour the chicken stock (store bought). Bring to a boil.
Close the lid. Put on the pressure valve.
Cook for 5 whistles and switch off.
After the pressure reduces, open the lid.
Keep the flame at low.
Break a pack of noodles and add to the boiling soup.
Cook for 3 minutes or till noodles get cooked.
Switch off.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Chicken noodle soup is ready !

Serving suggestion:
Makes 4 to 5 servings.
Serve along with croutons or bread.