Monday, July 11, 2016

Corn and Bean salad

Even though we all strive to cook elaborate snacks on weekends, secretely we all would long to have something quick to fix. All the home cooks have some magic recipe in their sleeve to make their family happy on a weekend, without standing in the kitchen for long time. May it be a store bought chips packet or homemade murukku, but the smile we see in our love's face is important :) Right !
 In my house sundal (Indian lentil salad) is one snack that saves me a lot of time.  Corn and bean salad is another easy to do recipe.  Click to see my 'colorful corn and bean salad'. Mostly I buy frozen corn in a bag. But if you are willing, you can prepare it from fresh corn too. Tea time snacks in my house is mostly easy to fix types.  When it comes to lentils, I always buy dried beans. Dried beans are inexpensive and belongs to 'good eats'. Canned beans comes handy, when we forget to soak them.  I cook black bean ahead , portion them and freeze it in small containers. So here is my hubby's favorite 5 minute sundal / salad.
Corn and bean salad

Sweet corn - 1 cup
black bean - 1/2 cup
Parmesan cheese - 2 tbsp (optional)
salt , pepper - to taste
lemon - few drops

Boil the corn and remove the kernels from cob using a knife. (or) Just buy a bag of frozen corn and keep it handy.
Take a cup of frozen corn and rinse in water. Put it in a microwavable cup. Microwave it for 2 minutes . I don't cover it while microwaving.
Mix it with cooked hot black bean. Add salt, pepper, cheese , lemon juice and mix well.
Corn bean salad  is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as snack or side dish with baked chicken and vegetables.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Vegetable Kara paniyaram

Paniyaram is a snack that looks like American cake-pops. They are made in special pans called 'kuzhipaniyara kal' . Those pans are the very same as puff pancake pans here.
Mostly the paniyaram batter is made with rice and dal.  We can make many varieties too. Check out my Kaara paniyaramkeerai paniyaram, carrot kuli paniyaram, sweet paniyaramwheat paniyaram,  ragi paniyaram, unniappam, deep fried banana paniyaram . In this I have added many vegetables and it makes it more scrumptious.

Vegetable kaara paniyaram with tomato chutney

dosa batter - 1 1/2 cup
ravai (sooji / semolina) - 2 tbsp
besan flour - 2 tbsp
baking soda - 1/2 tsp
oil - as per need
carrot, beans, capsicum, cabbage or any combo of vegetables - finely minced together 3/4 cup
To temper:
mustard seed - 1/2 tsp
urad dhal - 1 tsp
sesame oil - 1 tsp
onion - 1/4 (small)
green chilly - 2
cilantro, curry leaf - few leaves.
asafoetida (hing) - a pinch

Take the dosa batter in a mixing bowl, and add sooji to it.
It is not traditional to add besan flour, but I add it to get golden red paniyaram.
10 minutes before starting to prepare the paniyaram, add the baking soda and mix well. 

In the mean time prepare the tempering.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a small wok and add mustard seeds. Once they start splutter, add the urad dhal, hing and finely chopped onion, cilantro, curry leaf, chopped chilly and let it get slightly tender. Then goes the chopped vegetables. Cook the vegetables crispy tender. Sprinkle some salt. Add it to the batter and mix well.
Now heat a paniyaram pan and brush some oil in all the holes. Then add 1/2 tsp sesame oil / butter in each hole. Reduce the flame to minimum and pour the batter to halfway in each hole. Click to see the picture. Let it get cooked. Cook covered or in open. (I prefer putting a lid to ensure uniform cooking). We can see the paniyaram getting cooked, by the golden color appearing in the edges. Flip using a skewer or fork (I use a spoon and fork). Cook for a minute.  Take out and serve immediately.

Serving suggestion:
Makes a breakfast or snack with tea or dinner or appetizer.
Makes almost 21 paniyaram .
Serve with coconut chutney, Tomato chutney

Click to read my kaara paniyaram recipe from scratch.
I used left over dosa batter (5 days old) in this recipe (old dosa batter contains lesser urid dal and that's the best for paniyaram).
Do everything in low heat. It may take a little while but that is the only way to get whole fluffy paniyaram (in a traditional pan).
Non stick pans work the best. But I have used a pan similar to traditional thick paniyaram pan.
For the first round it may require more oil to fry, but it will take very lesser in the next batches.
Tastes the best when it is very hot.
Sometimes we soak some kara paniyaram in sambar and serve like sambar vadai.

Time taken: around 30 minutes