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Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

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Happy cooking!


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Steamed vada with plain coconut chutney

I'm going through this period where my internal antenna is always roving around on the look out for healthy, tasty, yet doable recipes. Patience, however, is not a strong point now and hence elaborate stuff that calls for exotic ingredients and lengthy preparation times are out! They say that women who are in the family way become mellow tempered, patient, and pleasant. I seem to have become clumsy, impatient, and cranky!!! I've even started 'channel hopping' because nothing catches or holds my fancy these days except if its a cookery show or a movie high on the 'emotional' count!!! Ok, to cut the gab, the other day saw this steamed food recipes special going on on NDTV good times. They showed a steamed, high nutrition "vada"..can you believe it??? Was sceptical about it turning into a 'kozhukattai' taste alike, but anyhow decided to give it a try. Surprise!! it actually tasted quite nice with a quick plain, coconut chutney. Mind you, have it steaming hot!

Wheat flour - 1 cup
Chickpea flour (besan/kadalai maavu, gram flour)- 1 cup
Spinach (palak) - 1 medium bunch
Coriander leaves (cilantro/kothamalli)- a handful of sprigs
Green chillies - 3 Nos (the slim Indian chilies for heat)
Ginger - 1 " piece
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Soda bi carbonate (cooking soda) - 1/2 teaspoon
Olive oil - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Water as required

Sift the flours and soda together. Rinse and chop the greens fine. Grate the ginger and chop the green chillies. Now add everything together into a bowl except for water. Knead well. Since the spinach leaves quite a lot of moisture, be careful not to overdo the water and carefully sprinkle just enough to make a soft, pliable dough.

Make lemon sized dumplings out of the dough, flatten each on slightly using your palms and make a small dent in the middle (see picture) to get the 'vada' shape. Arrange in a a steamer or idli maker and steam cook for about 20 minutes. Prick with a toothpick or fork to check if its done. Serve hot with the coconut chutney recipe below!!

Plain coconut chutney
Fresh grated coconut - 1 cup
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Salt to taste

For tempering
Dry red chillies - 3 Nos
Curry leaves - quite a few!
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Vegetable oil - 1 teaspoon

Grind the coconut and ginger into a fine paste adding very little water. Heat oil in a pan, crackle the mustard seeds, saute the red chillies and curry leaves. Add the ground mixture in, add salt to taste. Warm for a minute and transfer to serving bowl.
This recipe makes its way to the JFI - Chickpea event hosted at Sometime Foodie. The event is on at http://foodtravails.blogspot.com/2009/01/announcing-jfi-chickpea.html

Also sending this over to My Legume Love Affair, Seventh Helping which is being hosted at Cooking 4 all Seasons. The event details can be had at http://cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com/2009/01/announcing-my-legume-love-affair.html
The event was introduced by Susan of The Well -Seasoned Cook. Further details available at http://thewellseasonedcook.blogspot.com/2008/09/my-legume-love-affair-host-lineup.html


Asha said...

Steamed vadas! That's so clever of you, looks great with chutney! :))

Ramya Bala said...

A real healthy vada...How did u dare to try it out????A very good try and tempts too...

meeso said...

Ah, I did NOT gain patience when I became a mom, if anything, my attention span for everything went down the tubes... I have a HARD time sitting, even now with her being 9, through a whole movie... I feel like I have to be up moving around, doing something all the time! Ah, well... Your vada's really sound great and I have bookmarked the recipe!

ms said...

Hi dershana,
Gujarati's steam muthias as well as deep fry them. The steamed ones are sprinkled with a tadka similiar to yours. Looks really good! You could also send this in to Srivallis A legume Affair.
Thanks for sending this in to JFI Chickpeas!

Cham said...

Steaming vadas they came out like deep fried! Love the idea

Sesh said...

hey ,

nice recipes, healthy :-) ...

good to see you be nutrient-conscious during your pregnancy days, I remember just eating whatever I felt like when I was pregnant ..!!

Suma Rajesh said...

nice idea of steaming vadas...look great with chutney...also healthy too

rekhas kitchen said...

great idea and very helthy too

DEESHA said...

I loved those vadas, looks great with spinach & chutney

SriLekha said...

wow! looks great

Deepa Hari said...

Thank you Dershana for stopping by...Thats a healthy vada...Like your recipe...Got to try it.

Vidhya said...

Hey Dershana, never tried to steam vada. I have even baked the vadas for my husband. But this sounds like a easy and cool idea. When we bake the vada, it came out dry. but yours look really moist and fresh. will try it next time.

Priti said...

Now that's a gud recipe...eating vada with no guilt ;)....looks yum..am going to try this

Preety said...

hey this recipe sounds so good, i must give this a try


Love this recipe! Should try it out sometime for sure!

Srivalli said...

Thats really cool!..thanks for the entry!

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

wow.. steamed vadas.. i would love to have them.. totally guilt free right ?

i like your veggie rice tooo.. looks colorful.

Yasmeen said...

Its all the work of those active hormones.Cooking up good food does certainly ease some of the moodiness.
Did you make these tasty vadas in idli steamer? Can't wait to try them.

kalpana said...

steamed Vada looks very appetizing...we can eat more and not feel guilty.. :)

Vaishali said...

These have got to be the perfect vadai, Dershana: so delicious-looking, and they're steamed! It doesn't get better than this.
Thanks for the lovely recipe.

Nithya Praveen said...

Wow..a vada without frying...thats soooooo gud...i wud die for one:-P Wonderful Dershana:)

Andhra Flavors said...

Steamed vadas, this sounds like a healthy and easy.

rekhas kitchen said...

yes sure you can use wheat flour for maida that will be more helthy my hubby don't like brown bread so i used maida thanks for the comment

Chitra said...

wow.steamed vadaas!!Its fantastic..great idea..will sure try..Thanks for dropping by my blog.Just now checked out ur ragi dosa.will try ur version next time:)plz be around:)

Usha said...

This is similar to a Gujarati dish called muthia although that has a little buttermilk in it too...looks delicious and perfect :-)

Namrata Kini said...

Nice and lovely blog. I am literally drooling over every pic. Congrats for the good news.

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