Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Coconut Laddoo/ Coconut Laadu/ Coconut Laddu ~~Festival recipes

A delicious creamy dessert, a perfect offering for festivals, Coconut laddus can be prepared within minutes with very few ingredients and definitely makes you lick your lips wanting for more!

Shree Krishna Janmashtami is very special to me since I am attached to Lord Krishna and his teachings from my childhood and have always held him close to my heart and belief. Every year, even though our family does not celebrate it with more than a regular Pooja and preparing some simple payasa, I make sure I prepare all the delicious treats I can think of and make it a grand event. This year, I decided to stick to the desserts and dishes I can prepare quickly and easily. This is one of those recipes I made for this Janmashtami and it was simply delicious.

Since it has been ages since I stopped posting regularly, I have now decided to write up as many posts as I can and let them be in the drafts so that I can post them as and when I like. Anyway, Ganesha Chaturthi is just around the corner and I found this post apt for the occasion.

The recipe is very simple with just 3 ingredients and does not take more than 15 minutes to cook. If you do not have condensed milk, just replace it with a cup of powdered sugar and half a cup of thick milk, bring it to boil and then add coconut.I have used 2 whole coconuts which came up to 2 cups + 1/2 cup when grated and the recipe makes about 20 laddoos. Change the quantities accordingly.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  68.5 Calories
Fat 4.6 %
Carbohydrates 6.4 %
Dietary Fiber 1.1 %
Sodium 10.4 mg
Vitamin A 0.4 %
Vitamin C 0.7 %
Calcium  2.2 %
Iron  1.6 %
Protein 1 Grams
Sugar 5.3 Grams

Desicated/Grated coconut 2 cups + 1/2 cup
Condensed milk 1 cup
Cardamom powder 1 teaspoon

If using fresh coconut, dry roast it on medium heat for about 10 minutes till the coconut doesn't seem soggy. Keep stirring so that the color of the coconut doesn't change. Keep it aside to cool down completely.If using ready made coconut powder, skip this step.
Once the coconut has cooled down, Grind it coarsely and separate half a cup and set it aside to coat the laddoos later.
Heat a kadai and add a cup of condensed milk. Keep the flame medium and let the condensed milk get heated up.

Add 2 cups of the ground coconut and mix well. Stir every 2 minutes and keep the flame in low. Cook for 10 minutes and keep stirring every 2 minutes. After 10 minutes, add elaichi/cardamom powder, mix well.

Once the mixture starts to leave sides, remove from flame and let the mixture cool down. When the mixture has cooled down to a temperature that you can touch, make small balls and cover with grated coconut till the ball is well coated. Cool the laddoos completely and serve.

* If you do not have condensed milk, just replace it with a cup of powdered sugar and half a cup of thick milk, bring it to boil and then add coconut.I have used 2 whole coconuts which came up to 2 cups + 1/2 cup when grated and the recipe makes about 20 laddoos. Change the quantities accordingly.
* If refregerated, the ladoos can stay up to 3 weeks.
* The laddoos taste mildly sweet so if you want it sweeter, just add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk.
* You can also add nuts and dry fruits at the end but fry them in ghee before adding.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Crispy Baked Samosa with Mint & Coriander chutney

Delicious potato and peas stuffing wrapped in crispy and crunchy whole wheat pocket, these baked Samosas are a healthy and tasty replacement for the deep fried ones. It is a great snack for those who love samosas and yet want to eat healthy and not deviate from their weight loss plan/diet.

Traditional samosas are made of Maida wrappers filled with potato and green peas stuffing. They are deep fried and served with a spicy chutney. For health freaks like me, one traditional samosa = Calories for a whole day! I have been making my version of these healthy baked samosas from past 4 years and have never craved for the deep fried even once.. My version of samosa is made of whole wheat flour + semolina wrappers stuffed with potato, green peas and mixed veggie filling that is healthy and nutritious.

This month's bloghop being dishes made of Potato, my intial choice was Baked Tater tots. Tater tots are very easy and perfectly apt for my less time consuming post. However, I found a little bit of time yesterday as soon as baby slept and decided to make Samosas. During my college days My best friend Raghu and I used to roam around Jayanagar 4th block complex and devour the chats. We used to eat Gol gappas and Samosas from the same vendor every day for almost 3 years. Gone are the days when I could binge on fried goodies and desserts and not put on a gram more than I weighed. So, when i thought about making Samosas, I knew it would be either baked or shallow fried. How on earth can I shallow fry Samosas? So decided that they would be baked.

To know if anyone has attenpted baking Samosas instaed of deep frying, I browsed through google and the first result that came up was the amazing recipe for Punjabi samosas from veg recipes of india I went through it and loved how Dassana Amit had used homemade masala for the stuffing. I have always used homemade Garam masala which I make by dry roasting all the spices that I can get my hands on, powdered and stored in an airtight container. Even though my recipe is sparingly adapted from veg recipes of india, the recipe is standard Punjabi Samosa recipe. After keeping the samosas for baking, I realized that the Mint & coriander chutney Piyali had made a few days back would make a perfect side for these crispy Samosas. The chutney that I usually make is pretty similar to what Piyu posted, hope you guys like it.

You can deep fry the samosas if you don't mind the fried version and add chopped carrots and other veggies to make it a vegetable samosa. Baked Samosas taste no less delicious than the deep fried ones except it is totally guilt free. I have kneaded the dough with a little olive oil and hence brushing the wrap while sealing the ends is not needed. Also, adding half ghee and half butter to the dough makes the pastry dough more flaky and amazingly tasty and crispy. Here's my version of a guilt free, crispy, tasty\and healthy Samosa recipe.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  115 Calories
Fat 1.5 %
Carbohydrates 22.8 %
Dietary Fiber 2.5 %
Sodium 6.1 mg
Vitamin A 2.4 %
Vitamin C 8.6 %
Calcium  0.6 %
Iron  3 %
Protein 3.6 Grams
Sugar 0.2 Grams

For the dough (Makes 10 Samosas)
Whole wheat flour 2 cups
Fine semolina 1 cup
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee + Butter 1/4 cup
Olive oil/ Any cooking oil 1 tablespoon
Carom seeds 1 teaspoon
For Stuffing
Potatoes (Large) 4
Frozen peas 1/2 cup
Onion 1 large
Ginger 1 inch
Garlic 4 to 5 cloves
Green chillies 2
Oil 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala powder 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder  1/2 teaspoon
Amchur powder 1/2 teaspoon
Salt as needed
For Mint & Coriander chutney
Mint leaves a handful
Coriander leaves  a handful
Salt as needed
Water 2 to 3 tablespoons
Lemon juice  of half a lemon
Ginger 3 pieces
Garlic 4 to 5 cloves
Green chilli 1

Wash and chop the potatoes. Steam the potatoes with Green peas and set it aside.
In a bowl, mix whole wheat flour, semolina, salt and carom seeds. Add Ghee, butter and mix well using your fingers .

Now add water 1 tablespoon at a time and knead the dough well. Once the dough comes together, add the olive oil or any cooking oil and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and let it rest while we prepare for stuffing.
Make a paste of green chillies, ginger and garlic and set it aside.

Peel the potatoes and mash them a little so that the lumps still remain. In a pan, heat oil, add cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add the green chilli ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw garlic smell goes away. Add chopped onion and fry till it turns translucent.

Add green peas and fry for a minute. Then add salt, garam masala, chilli powder, amchur powder and mix well.
Then add the potato mash and mix. Cook for 2-3 minutes and switch off the flame. Add coriander leaves and set it aside till the dough is ready.

Knead for 5 minutes and divide the dough into medium size balls and let it covered in wet cloth while you roll the dough into a chapathi. Let the chapathi not be too thick or too thin. Cut the chapathi in the middle as shown in the picture using a knife or a pizza cutter.
Bring the sides of the chapathi together to make it a cone like wrap and press the dough to seal it. Seat the tip of the wrap neatly. If the dough has enough oil and is kneaded well, the seal won't open while the samosas are getting baked.

Fill the wrap wil 2 teaspoons of potato stuffing and press the sides together to seal it as shown in the picture. Keep all the wrapped samosas under a wet muslin cloth. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees for 5 minutes while you get the baking plate lined and greased. Arrange the samosas on baking plate and bake for 15 minutes on each side.

Mint and Coriander Chutney

A tangy, minty and spicy chutney that is an absolutely perfect match made in heaven for delicious Samosas. My baked samosas tasted heavenly when dipped in this wonderfully tasty and addictive chutney. With all the added Ginger and garlic with mint and coriander combination, this chutney when eaten with Samosas balances the taste and prevents from developing gas and acidity because of the potato and green peas in samosas.

I had to uncover the mint leaves and coriander leaves that were still alive among the mess since I came home from my mom's place after staying there for a week. Anyway, as the quote ""Äll is well that ends well" proved in this case and I was able to put up a palatable chutney that married well with the samosas.

Clean and wash the mint and coriander leaves. Grind together ginger, garlic and green chilli, then add the leaves. Also added salt and lemon juice and grind it to a smooth paste. The green heaven is ready!

* Kneading the dough is very important since we are baking it. The end result will be flaky pastry wrap that is also tart like texture that crumbles and melts in your mouth.
* I forgot to add coriander leaves to the stuffing. Do add it if you have it.
* Replacing butter with half of ghee makes the end result of dough to be crumbly and perfect without adding a lot of ghee since that quantity of dough need at least 1/2 cup of ghee.
* Along with adding butter, we are kneading the dough using oil so that it helps in reducing the fat content to half of the original recipe.
* Make sure to flip the samosas after 15 minutes so that they can get baked evenly. Check if the samosas are done by tasting the thick side of the samosa. If it is crisp, it's time to stop baking.
* It is necessary to keep the dough covered at all times since it gets difficult to work with it if exposed to air. Dough hardens and makes it difficult to roll.

Do check out the tasty potato dishes that were put up by my fellow hoppers:

Vani's - http://marudhuskitchen.com/www/recipe-aloo-bhujia-potato-sevbateta-gathiya/#more-5693

Parvathy's -http://crackleandtemper.ca/rostii-swiss-potato-pancakes/

Jayashree's -http://www.evergreendishes.com/2016/08/10/frankie-potato-wrap/#more-2821

Padma's - http://www.masalakorb.com/chettinad-potato-roast-fry-urulai-varuval/

Shubha's -http://www.shubhaskitchen.com/2016/08/potato-pudding-aloo-halwa.html

Swati's - http://www.letscookhealthytonight.com/aloo-matar-parcel-samosa/

Piyali's - http://mytrystwithfoodandtravel.blogspot.ae/2016/08/bhapa-aloo-recipe-steamed-potatoes-in.html

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