Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hyderabadi Double Ka Meeta

This rich bread pudding is one of the specialties of Hyderabad.  Traditionally the bread in this dish is deep fried in ghee / clarified butter.  But to reduce some calorie count, I toasted the bread slices in ghee.  
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 5 to 6

White Bread Slices - 10
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 1/4 cup
Milk - 4 cups
Evaporated milk - 1 can
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Saffron strands - few
Mixed nuts - 1/2 cup, pistachios, almonds and or cashews
Ghee / Clarified butter -

  1. Slice the bread in half.  Keep it aside for some time for it to dry.
  2. Meanwhile,  prepare the sugar syrup by combining sugar and water in a skillet.  Boil until sugar dissolves and thickens, about 6 to 7 minutes.  Add the cardamom and remove from the heat.
  3. Combine the milk and evaporated milk and cook until its reduced to half.  Add the saffron strand and mix well.
  4. Toast or shallow fry the bread slices in ghee until golden brown.
  5. Place the toasted bread slices in the sugar syrup.  Press it gently to absorb the syrup.  Remove and place it a tray.
  6. Pour the milk mixture all over the bread.  
  7. Garnish with chopped nuts.
  8. Serve warm.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kale Adai / Mixed Lentils Pancake with Kale

Preparation time: 20 minutes (excluding soaking time)
Cook time: 5 to 7 minutes (for each adai)
Serves: 5 to 6

Brown Rice / White rice - 2 cups ( I used brown rice)
Tuvar dal / Pigeon peas - 3/4 cup
Channa dal / Yellow split peas - 3/4 cup
Urad dal / Skinned Black gram - 1/4 cup
Kale - 2 cups, washed, stems removed and chopped finely
Onions - 2, chopped (optional)
Red chilies - 4 or to taste
Green chilies - 2 or to taste
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Grated or sliced coconut - 1/4 cup (optional)
Curry leaves - 2 springs
Fresh coriander leaves - 3 springs
Salt - to taste
Oil - for cooking

  1. Wash and soak rice and all the dals in enough water for 4 to 5 hours.
  2. In a blender add red and green chilies, ginger, salt and asafoetida.  Add the soaked rice and dal mixture with enough water and grind into a coarse thick batter.  You may have to grind the batter in two batches.
  3. Just before removing, add the curry and coriander leaves and pulse it to combine.
  4. Transfer the batter into a large bowl and mix in the chopped kale, onion and coconut (if using).
  5. Heat a cast iron skillet / griddle.  Place a ladle full of batter in the center of the skillet. Spread to form a round and thick pancake.  Make a hole in the center and drizzle oil all over the edges and in the center.
  6. Cook on a medium high heat until bottom turns golden brown.  Flip the adai / pancake and cook until golden brown.
  7. Serve hot with milakai podi / spicy dal powder and vellam / jaggery.

For a fat free version, make these protein packed adais in a waffle maker.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Vazhaikai Varuval / Plantain Chips

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yields: 3 cups

Vazhaikai / Green Plantain - 2
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Salt - to taste
Oil- for deep frying
Mandoline / Vegetable slicer

  1. Peel the plantain skin, cut into half and place it in water until needed.
  2. Heat oil in a deep skillet.
  3. Remove the plantain from water and pat dry.
  4. Adjust the mandoline to get thin slices.  If you don't have the slicer, cut the plantain into very thin slices.  The thinner the slice, the more quickly it will cook and crisper it will be.
  5. Hold the slicer directly over hot oil and slice the plantain.  Reduce the heat to low while slicing.
  6. For the pre cut slices, drop the plantain slices in hot oil.
  7. Turn the heat to medium high and cook until crispy.
  8. Keep stirring once in a while for even cooking.  Drain in paper towel.  Sprinkle with salt and chili pepper and toss gently to coat.  Repeat the process.
  9. Let it cool completely and store in airtight container.