Bacon Egg Cups

0

imageThis is a quick and easy breakfast, especially if you have guests home for the holidays.It also is something I make ahead of time and refrigerate.Then I warm it up for a grab-and-go breakfast on the way to work. It is low carb and high  in protein and filling. Calories per serving 190, carbs 5.6 g, Protein 15g

Bacon Egg Cups

Serves 6

6 slices of bread of your choice

6 eggs

6 bacon strips- cooked

1 cup sausage crumbles- cooked

1 cup Shredded cheese of your choice

Salt and Pepper to taste

Parsley flakes

1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Method:

Preheat oven to 400. Get a large muffin pan and spray with non-stick spray. Cut bread with a circular cookie cutter to fit your tray. Place on bottom of tray. Edge with bacon strips. Add some sausage crumbles and cheese. Crack 1 egg into well. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley flakes. Bake for 15 mts. Remove and garnish with parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

Variations:
I have made this with an omelette filling adding onions, tomatoes, peppers etc.

Can top egg with a little basil pesto or salsa.

 

Peanut Chutney for Idli/Dosai

0

South Indian breakfast items, Idli and Dosai are usually served with Sambar (a tangy lentil dish) and an array of chutneys which act like condiments. Coconut chutney is probably by far the most common. I recently have been making this spicy Peanut Chutney instead. I love anything with peanuts and that maybe why I love this chutney.

Try it!

Peanut chutney

Peanut Chutney

2 c Dry roasted peanuts, (I use Planters)

2 tbs oil

1/2 tsp cumin

4 garlic cloves, sliced

2 green chilies, chopped

1-2 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp Hing (asafetida)

salt

For Tempering:

1 tbs oil

1/4 tsp black mustard seed, sprig of curry leaves, 2 dry red chilies. (1/4 tsp whole urad-optional)

 

Method:

Warm up 2 tbs of oil in a small frying pan and add garlic and brown, add cumin seeds, green chilies and peanuts. Roast until a medium  brown. Take off stove and add chili powder, hing and salt. Mix together and then transfer to a food processor/grinder. Grind well to an almost smooth paste with plenty of warm water until it reaches a pourable consistency.

Add tempering:

Warm up 1 tbs oil in a small frying pan and add black mustard seeds. After they are done popping add a sprig of curry leaves and 2 dry red chilies (can also 1/4 tsp whole urad) and toss into chutney. Can also grind these items together when grinding the peanuts.

Serve with idli or dosai.

Egg Korma

1

It has been a hectic few weeks and was not able to post anything. We had our annual entertainment and dinner program of the South Asia Muncie Association last weekendSAMA FEST 2013. I was on the Board so had many organizational things to get together as well as headaches to sort out too. The Board learned quickly that you cannot please 100% of the people a 100% of the time. Overall we had a lovely evening and had 360 guests–our largest turnout yet. Our whole decoration theme was birds to play on the fact that we migrated from other places to the US and that we should appreciate the  multicolored array of our feathers  but that we are still all the same. The centerpieces all carried the bird/multicolor peacock theme. It was a very cohesive plan.

I wrote the script for the entertainment program–Called “Yatra (means a journey) A Discovery of Heritage and Homeland” . It was about 2  friends ( one Indian and one American) are traveling to South Asia and they visit different regions and see the cultural items from that state they visit. There were dances from Punjab, Bollywood, Bengal, South India, Bangladesh and skits in between. It turned out beautifully. Isn’t it nice when what you visualize something in your head and it  becomes a reality? It was all about appreciating the regional differences and coming together as one in unity. In previous years this was called Diwali program then became named Diwali/Eid/Christmas, even though none of the evenings’ program included anything about Eid or Xmas. So this year the Board wanted it to be non-denominational and all inclusive. We decided to showcase and embrace regional differences without having religion in the mix. Some didn’t like the change, some absolutely loved it. The Americans( Which was half of the audience) enjoyed it and never realized each state in India is almost like a different country with its own language and culture.  Anyway, the next Board can go back to what was done in previous years and we will support them.

SAMA Fest

Anyway, that week I did not cook much so now back to reality.
Here is a dish I made for breakfast to go with Dosai and Idli but you can make this  for a quick weeknight dinner too. Enjoy!

egg korma

Egg Korma

Serves 4

Ingredients:

6 hard boiled eggs

1/4 tsp mustard seed

Pinch of cumin seeds

1/2  medium onion diced

1 tsp ginger and garlic paste

2 sliced green chillies

1 tomato, diced

1 tsp chili powder or to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garam masala or egg/chicken masala

few curry leaves

Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

1 tbs vegetable oil

Salt to taste

To Grind:
3 tbs unsweetened coconut flakes

1 green chili

2 tbs of cashews

1 tsp Khus Khus/poppy seeds

1/2 tsp Fennel seeds

METHOD:\

Take all items to grind and puree to a smooth paste adding little water. Set aside. In a frying pan heat oil. Add mustard seeds and wait until they stop spluttering. Add cumin seeds. Then add chopped onions, slit green chilies curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until light brown. Add the masala powders and salt to taste. Fry until aromatic then add ground coconut mixture. Add some water to make a thick gravy. Allow to cook on simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Keep adding water if it is getting too thick.  Add salt to taste. Add the halved boled eggs gently and coat with gravy. Cook for about  5 mts and then garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serve with rice, biriyani, dosai, appam ,  chapathis

eggkormawithidlidosai

Ode to the Idli

1

idli

Oh Idli…we have had our share of upsets and failures.

I have fought many battles with you, for you…knowing you could be soo much more.

You can be hard, unwieldy, unforgiving. You make me dance to your rhythm, and only yours.

You have disappointed me many a time but I keep coming back to you, knowing your potential, knowing all that you can be are at my fingertips.

You left me frustrated and sad many times after all the time and effort I spent…. honing you, molding you,

I know I can make you better than the last time we met. I know I can.

I put up with your erratic behavior and time and time again keep running back to you.

All out of love.

Oh Idli, be all that I know you can be.

Idli–a South Indian Breakfast staple ( and a finicky one at that)

Makes 30-40

Ingredients:

4 cups Idli rice (Sona masoori)

1 cup whole urad dhal

Water for grinding

Salt to taste

Idli Steamer

Method:

Rinse the rice well and soak in cool water for at least 4 hrs. Rinse the urad dhal and soak separately for 1 hr at the most. Drain off water and blend the rice first with just enough water to blend. Should be little grainy in texture ( for dosai batter you would grind to a fine paste). Now grind the urad dhal. Keep adding water as you grind because it needs to be fluffy as you puree it. This is a key. Urad needs a good amount of water or else you will end up with hard, flat idli.

Combine and fold both batters. Add little salt. Cover and let sit in a draft free warm place. Leaving in the oven with the light on is a good place. Let sit for 8-10 hrs to ferment.The batter is ready when frothy air bubbles can be seen throughout. Do not overmix and deflate the air bubbles.

Before preparing, add more salt to taste. Prepare your idli cooker plates and ladle batter into moulds. Steam cook for 5-8 minutes. Remove from cooker and let cool down slightly. Remove and serve with sambar and chutney.

idli1idli2

Tips: (learned the hard way, after much trial and error)

Soak the rice and dhal separately. Use cool water not too warm.

Use whole urad dhal, not split urad.

Don’t soak Urad too long—use cold water…even ice water is good. Too long fermenting can make it lose its fermenting properties. 30 mts to an hour is  more than enough.

When grinding the urad dhal it needs more water than you think. Add cold water little at a time. Even if is a paste continue grinding until it becomes  light and frothy.
Getting a Dosai/Idli grinder has done wonders to my recipe. There is a big difference in the lightness using this. Invest in one if you do make dosai and idli frequently.

Here is the one I have–

http://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Dura-Grinder-Kneader-110-volt/dp/B00AFR0ILE/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1384711447&sr=1-1&keywords=ultra+grinder

Here are some idli steamers too

http://www.amazon.com/Matbah-6-Plates-Racks-Stainless-Cooker/dp/B009CSZ9SY/ref=pd_sim_hg_3

Variations:

Make Kanchipuram Idli by adding chopped onions, Chopped  cilantro, chopped tomatoes and green chillies before steaming.

Can add grated carrots and beans and peas before steaming

Add sugar and steam to make sweet paniyaram (usually made in a small round pan for Ebilskivers I used for Unni appam)
Can make savory Paniyaram too–adding chopped onions, green chilies, cilantro leaves

Dhaba Egg Dosai

5

Dosai ( a lentil based crepe) is our family’s favorite breakfast. We sometime have this for dinner too. There is some prep time involved so not something you can whip up immediately. There are dosai Nazi’s out there that like their dosai a certain way….some like it crispy and brown, others soft and pliable. I prefer the former. I hate white colored dosai’s that are flimsy in structure. It turns out the best if made on a seasoned cast iron skillet. Non stick pans don’t produce the same amount of browning and crispiness that we like. The pan you make for dosai should not be used for anything else or else you will have it sticking to the pan.

Dosai is the base for many fillings. It can be eaten plain with chutney and sambar or filled with a myriad of stuffings. I have filled with chicken masala, beef masala, the traditional potato masala but the quickest ones are no filling of egg dosai.

Dhabas (or Thattukadas in Kerala) are street side vendors open only at night to make fast food for the truckers that travel at night. Sometimes they serve some of the best Indian food around. And Dosai is one of them.You can find a myriad of dosai varieties at some Indian restaurants that prepare more South Indian dishes. They can be almost 3 feet long if prepared on a restaurant griddle.

Here is the proportion of ingredients I have finally perfected after much trial and error  that gives me the crispy and brown color that I like.

Dhaba Egg Dosai

Ingredients:

2 cups  Basmati rice

3/4 cup urad dhal
1/4 cup toor dhal
1/4 cup chana dhal
1 tsp methi seeds
salt to taste
2 tsp sugar
Few eggs seasoned with salt and pepper
Ghee/oil
Method:
Step 1
Wash and rinse the rice well. Place in a bowl and cover with water…at least 2 inches above rice. Cover and set aside. Take all the dhals and rinse well, cover with water like the rice and set aside. Let sit for 3-4 hrs.
Step 2
Drain all the water from rice and dhals. Take the rice and add little lukewarm water in a blender and grind until smooth and pancake batter like consistency. Do not add too much water. Place into a large bowl. Now grind all the dhals the same way as the rice until a smooth batter forms.. Combine the rice batter and the dhal batter and whisk together until well incorporated. Cover and set aside on your counter or place in the oven. Let sit for at least 8 hrs for the batter to ferment.When ready the batter should be frothy and have small bubbles throughout mixture.
Step 3
Heat up your cast iron skillet on medium heat. Beat up the eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Take some of the batter in a separate bowl and add the salt and sugar. Should just be mildly seasoned. Put a little of ghee or oil onto skillet to coat. Take a ladleful of the batter and spread out the batter starting at the center in concentric circles to get a thin crepe. Drizzles a  few drops of ghee or oil onto surface. Take your beaten eggs and pour a tablespoon or so to the top and spread around the dosai and let cook. Drizzle a little more ghee if needed to enhance crispiness.  It usually will cook without having to flip.
dhaba dosai
Roll up and it is ready to eat with sambar, chutney, or even chicken curry (my daughters favorite combo)
Here is a Video of me preparing this delicious dosai.

Kerala Uppumavu

1

20130324-100137.jpg

In Kerala, uppumavu, made from rava,is usually eaten with a banana. There is a balance of sweet and savory. In other parts of South India mixed veggies are added and served with chutney.

My grandmother used to serve this with Kerala beef fry or Pothe erachi fry for breakfast. (Pothe is water buffalo, a very lean meat). This is still my favorite way of eating this dish.

This is the way my mom makes it..very soft with the addition of butter. The rava is not dry or grainy.

Kerala style Uppumavu
Ingredients:

1 cup Rava ( Cream of Wheat)
2 cups water
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 chopped onion
2 green chilies, diced
1 tsp grated ginger
1-2 tbsp cashews and raisins
Few curry leaves
1-2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil

Method:
Heat oil in a frying pan and add mustard seeds. When done spluttering add onions, green chilies, curry leaves, grated ginger , cashews and raisins and salt. Sauté for a few minutes then add butter and water. Check salt and add if more is needed. Bring to a boil and add the rava slowly while mixing to avoid lumps. Be careful as the rava can bubble up and splutter.Cover and turn off heat. Let sit for 5-7 minutes. Serve with a banana. Usually it is mashed into the uppumavu and eaten together.

Appam and Vegetable Egg Stew

15

Appam and stew is a typical Kerala dish served at breakfast time. Not only is it a keralean dish but an authentic Syrian Christian dish. There are many varieties of appam—nool appam (or idiappam–which resembles a nest of fine noodles, Paal appam- a frilly appam made with coconut milk, Vellappam, Indri appam, Kalluappam etc…..,The most recognizable one is the Paal appam with its crunchy edges and soft spongy center. Stew ( or also called Ishtoo, Eshtu) can be made with mutton, chicken, or mixed vegetables as is the usual accompaniment to appam. It is a coconut milk based gravy with white pepper as the predominant spice. Appam can also be eaten with Fish Molee.

For this sunday, I made an Vegetable Egg Stew with Paal Appam

Vegetable Egg Stew

Ingredients:

5 Hard boiled eggs

1 tbsp oil (use coconut oil for an authentc taste)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

2-3 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, few whole peppercorn, 4-5 green cardamom, 1 Bay leaf

1 lg onion- sliced

1 tbsp sliced ginger

1 tbsp sliced garlic

4 sliced geen chilies (add more if you like it spicy

6-8 curry leaves

2 tsp white pepper powder

1 tsp black pepper

pinch of turmeric

2 cups Coconut milk

3-4 cups chopped mixed vegetables ( potato, green pepper, carrot, peas, beans, cauliflower)

salt to taste

Method:

Peel the hard boiled eggs and keep aside. In a large pot, add oil and when hot add the mustard seeds. After they have finished spluttering add the whole spices-cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorn, cardamom, bay leaf)Then add sliced onion, ginger garlic, curry leaves and saute for a few minutes. To this add the salt, white pepper powder, black pepper, and turmeric and saute. Add all the vegetables and little water until cooked. When done add cocnut milk and reduce heat. When almost boiling add the hard bolied eggs and remove from stove. Can be eaten with all appams, or even chapathies.

Alt: This recipe can be followed for chicken or mutton stew in that you would add cubed chicken or precooked mutton instead of the vegetables. Instead of water you would add some of the cooking stock from the mutton. The chicken does not have to be precooked like the mutton does.

Paal Appam ( Vellayappam )

This is my fool proof method to make perfect a appams every time.

Ingredients:

3 cups Rice Flour

1 cup Dessicated coconut flakes (may use unsweetened fresh or frozen coconut flakes)

pinch of cumin powder

1 can Coconut milk (400 ml)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tsp yeast

Sugar and salt to taste

water as needed

Method:

Add yeast to 1/4 cup of warm water and let it dissolve and get frothy. (If it does not get frothy then you may have old yeast and will not make the appam rise) Take the measured rice flour, coconut flakes and cumin powder in a large mixing bowl. Add the coconut milk (it’s better for rising if you use a little warm coconut milk so can microwave it for a 30-40 seconds) Use a whisk and mix together. Add some water to get a pancake batter consistency. May need a few cups. Add gradually. Add the proofed yeast mixture to this and combine well. Should be a pancake batter conistency. Cover and keep on counter for 6-8 hrs. Usually preparing this in the evening will ensure that it is ready in the morning for breakfast. If it ferments too long it will start getting more sour.

The appam should have risen up and be alittle frothy with lots of air bubbles. Before making the appam, mix well and add the sugar and salt to taste.

Put the Paal appam chatti or pan on to the stove and warm at medium heat. The Paal appam chatti is the shape of a narrow khadai with slightly sloping sides.These sides are what makes the lacy, crispy edges of the appam.

Pour a ladlefull of batter into the hot pan and swirl around so that some batter adheres to edges of pan….the rest of the batter will collect at the bottom to create a thick center and thin edges. Cover and cook ffor 1-2 minutes until center is cooked and eddges are slightly brown and crispy. This recipe yields about 15 appams. If you do not have an appam pan, make them on a skillet like pancakes, cover and cook. Do not turn over—this then becomes Vellayappam.

20130125-142504.jpgAddendum: You can use sweetened coconut flakes as well but it will ferment much quicker (yeast will use up the extra sugar). Also Make sure the batter is not too sweet or else your appams will brown too quickly.
Here you can see how much the batter has risen. you can make Vellayappam using the same batter except you make it in a skillet like pancakes but you cover it while its cooking and you don’t flip it over.

20130406-200307.jpg