Tried and Tested – Baked Chickpeas

Baked Chickpeas

Its Tried and Tested time again. One great thing about these blog events is that we get to see such spectacular blogs and amazing fellow-bloggers. One such blog is yasmeens health nut and this months blog is Gangas A Life Time of Cooking . It’s really a must-see blog with a mind-blowing variety of recipes and some stunning pictures as well. I chose to make the chickpeas salad for 3 reasons. One, I did have a jar full of them eyeing me the last few weeks and the second reason being that it is a family favourite pulse. The third reason was that it involved baking, and anything that involves heating up the oven is good by my book. The end result was a spicy, crispy, nutritious any-time snack that my family gobbled up in one sitting.

1 can chickpeas(cooked)
1 – 2 Tblspn olive oil
sea salt
black pepper
2 tspn cumin seed
1 tspn sambar powder or other spicy mix

Method

Soak chickpeas for a few hours beforehand. Dont soak them for longer than 12 hours, or in the fridge for 24, because they will begin to ferment – you can tell by the smell. They must still smell fresh, and give them a rinse under running water before you cook them.

Rinse the chickpeas, drain them and dry them well.

Place in a bowl with olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, cumin seed and sambar powder. Mix until well coated.

Empty the mixture into a baking dish Cook in a preheated 200C oven for 20 – 30 minutes until crispy and golden on the outside.

Relish!!

The vada with a hole

vada
Just when I though that the rain gods had bid adieu to Goa, the sky was darkened with clouds and rain was bucketing down. Needless to say there was a flurry of activity at home-clothes hurriedly taken off the clothesline, son dragged back into the house, doors closing, then opening, son running out to play in the rain again, Violent screams as I slip while trying to get my son to come indoors yet again. And finally bolting the door and making it fortress-like. Whew!!! After all that, it was time to actually enjoy the rains-from INSIDE. A perfect combination would have to be hot vada and tea.

Ulundu vada

Ingredients:
Urad dhal – 1 cup
Big Onion finely chopped-1 medium size
Green Chilli finely chopped-1 medium size
Ginger finely chopped-half inch
Curry leaves finely chopped-3 or 4
Baking soda – 2 pinches
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Method:
Soak urad dhal in water 4 or 5 hours or even overnight.

Grind the soaked urad dhal into a very fine paste .when you take the batter in your fingers you should not feel the grains (while grinding, add water to the batter very gradually). The batter should be thick and not flow freely from the spoon when you pour it down.

Combine the chopped Onion, Green Chilli, Ginger, Curry leaves and Salt together. Add this to the batter and mix well.

Lastly add baking soda to the batter and mix well. This should be done just before frying.

In a frying pan, heat the oil. To prepare the vada dip your hands in water..
Take the batter of the size of a small ball in your palm and pat it to form a circle.
Dip your index finger in water and make a hole in the patted batter in the center.

Fry the patted batter in oil till golden brown on both sides.

Serve hot with tomato sauce or any chutney.

The Scream

1893_Edvard Munch The ScreamI often wonder if Munch painted ‘The Scream’ after witnessing the plight of a mother. I’m pretty sure that’s what inspired him. The last week was crazy, to say the least. Birthdays, dinners, kids rebelling; at one point I though I was doing all this for a reality show! I mean, it just had to be that. I dropped my son off at his squash class came home, had some essential grocery shopping to do which was basically a grab-and-run foray into the market. Got back, went to pick and drop off my son at his taekwando class. I then had to take my by-now-wailing miserably younger son to the park and then finally pick up my older son. Just when I thought the ordeal was at its end my car broke down. CAN YOU IMAGINE!!!i walked back in a daze, waiting for the director to say CUT any moment now. The traumatic cumulative day rendered me too sweaty and exhausted and emotionally fragile to properly make enjoy the dinner I had prepared but the unanimous verdict was that it was GREAT! Anyway here’s how I made the simple but appetizing Pasta with tomato sauce.
Make and Go - Pasta
Pasta (any kind) 2 big cups
Tomatoes- 5 grind coarsely
Big onions- 2 chopped finely
Garlic- 4 cloves, crushed
Sugar 1 tsp
Spices and herbs- basil, oregano and chilli flakes
Any seasoning mix, I used taco seasoning mix.
Grated cheese- ¼ cup
Butter 2 tbsp, softened

Cook the pasta in enough water as per packing instructions. Drain and keep aside. In a saucepan, heat the butter and sauté the onions and garlic. Add the sugar and fry a bit longer until it browns a bit. Now add the ground tomatoes, the spices and the seasoning mix. Fry it well and add most of the grated cheese. Mix once more and then add the pasta. Stir well to coat the pasta and garnish with tomato sauce or cheese spread. Add remaining grated cheese and bake at 180 C for 8 minutes or until cheese melts.

It’s a Sticky Situation…

DoughnutsDoughnuts

I’ve made baked version of these doughnuts (which I shall post sometime later) and they were good but not as soft. I usually prefer the baked ones for the obvious reason that they are healthy…well, not healthy, but healthier . This time round I made them the fried way. I made two batches, one using baking powder and one batch using yeast. The baking powder batch had more of a cake-like texture but was easier to make. The yeast ones were soft and yumm but oh-so-sticky to prepare. I guess the trick is to add the flour little by little until the dough is manageable.

Raised Doughnuts

1 tbsp active dry yeast
¼ cup warm, not boiling water
¾ cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
¼ cup butter
4 cups flour

In a bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the milk, ¼ cup sugar, salt, egg butter and just 2 cups of the flour. Beat until the dough is smooth. Now mix in enough of the remaining flour until you feel the dough is easy to manage.

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes and then place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours. Then punch down risen dough and let rise once again until almost double, probably another hour or less.

Roll out the dough; at this point too you may need to add some more flour. It should be about 3/8 inch thick. Cut dough with a floured dough-cutter/ anything that’s circular and a small bottle cap for the inner hole. Let it rose on the board until double and very light (half an hour). Leave it uncovered.

Heat oil and drop the doughnuts into the hot oil. Turn as they rise to the surface. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain and roll the warm doughnuts in sugar or if desired frost with chocolate sauce.

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