You know you have a toddler at home when ….

Ø      You receive a mysterious voice message, showering you with expletives and threatening you with dire consequences if you ever call back again. After you recover from the initial shock you wonder if it were a crank call, a new advertising gimmick, or an insane person and blatantly wonder how could have such a thing happened to an ethical, law abiding citizen such as yourself?. You mentally prepare for the next steps, when you see a little fellow not more than 3 feet walking with a phone, sporting a serious look and punching in some numbers. 

Ø      You boot your laptop in the morning at work, only to find that it has conked off. You smartly hand it over to the helpdesk and audaciously tell the person that you don’t think much of Dell products anymore and even that it was a refurbished laptop. Hours later you find yourself staring at a scorn Manager scrambling for words trying to explain why there was at least a cup of Apple juice inside the laptop.  

Ø      Your computers, TV, DVD and CD player are all put to their ultimate stress test. The reset button on the computer is pressed 25 times in 2 minutes; the TV on/off button is pressed 20 times a minute, the buttons on the DVD are shown no mercy pressing rewind, fast forward at the same time, pause and play at the same time and the CD player, let’s just not go there. 

Ø      You trip and fall down flat on the floor when you accidentally step on a strange object on the way to the bathroom at 2:00 AM. You switch on the lights only to discover a small toy car so strategically placed that would even put the secret service people to shame.

Ø      You plonk yourself in front of the TV to relax after a hectic day only to find big red ants nibbling your feet. You scream and pull the couch aside only to find army of ants feasting on a 5 day old muffin piece. The toddler had generously tossed the unwanted piece behind the couch to feed the ants.

Aloo Tikki/ Aloo (Potato) Pattis

So last week I had this opportunity of working from home.  It is a refreshing change for me, a warm cozy feeling in fact; I can work from the comfort of my home, at my own pace, in a calm atmosphere and most of all avoid those long dreadful commutes.

On the flip side however I feel hungry most of the time. Kitchen is just few steps away; it adjures me all the time and I mentally make notes of the different things in the pantry that seeks my attention. Ah the eternal quandary and the sweet joys of working from home!

Determined to curb my hunger yet in an easy, nutritious, guilt-free manner I decided to make my favorite Aloo Tikkis.  Thanks to food blogging I have learnt so many great tips from other wonderful bloggers. I have borrowed the idea of adding tabouli/cracked wheat from Anita adding Soy chunks from Seema. Thank you both for the wonderful idea.

Tikki

Ingredients

1 medium potato
½ cup cabbage, spinach
½ cup shredded broccoli (available in grocery)
3-4 green chillies
2 slices whole grain bread
Jeera, salt, oil
½ cup of soaked tabouli, soy chunks
¼ cup fine semolina
Handful of coriander leaves

Preparation:

  • Soak the cracked wheat and soya chunks in water for about 30 minutes.
  • Boil the peeled potato along with shredded cabbage, broccoli and cut spinach.
  • Dip the bread slices in water and squeeze out the water completely.
  • Cut the green chillies, coriander leaves finely and keep aside.

Method:

  • Mix all the ingredients (except oil and semolina) well making sure there are no lumps.

  • Heat a heavy bottom flat pan and spray some oil.

  • Divide this mixture into big lemon sized ball and using the palm and flatten it.

  • Coat this thoroughly in the semolina and shallow fry by placing on the pan.

  • Continue the same process for the remaining balls.

 Serve with tomato ketchup and enjoy it as a mini-celebration.

Soft Idli and Chutney- South Indian breakfast

 

    

The idli or”idly” or “iddly” is a savory cake popular in South India. The cakes are usually two to three inches in diameter and are made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils (de-husked) and rice. Most often eaten at breakfast or as a snack, idlis are usually served in pairs with chutney, sambar, or other accompaniments. In addition, idlis are considered one of the top ten healthiest foods in the world. (Source:Wiki) 

 Idli along with Coconut Mustard chutney makes a flavorful combination and can be served as breakfast/brunch. I learnt making this mustard chutney from my MIL. In this chutney, roasted mustard seeds are added to the coconut chutney while grinding. Mustard not only adds pungent taste to the usual coconut chutney; but also enhances the flavor and goes well with the bland idli. Ever since I learnt to make this, I have been hooked onto to this and make it even to go along with dosas. 

Note: You can skip the mustard and make this as a regular coconut chutney. Even that tastes very good with the Idlis.

Ingredients for chutney

  • 3/4 cups of shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • Tamarind extract of lemon sized ball
  • Jeera, mustard, redchillies, oil
  • Asafetida /hing

Method:

  • Heat a small heavy bottom pan, add little oil and put 2 tsps of mustard 
  • The mustard will splutter, but continue to mix it a bit with a spoon and then add the green chillies. 
  • Once the green chillies get a bit of white coloring, switch of the gas and let it cool. 
  • Meanwhile extract the juice from lemon sized tamarind. 
  • Grind the coconut, salt, tamarind juice along with the cooled mustard to chutney consistency.
  •  Season with mustard, jeera, hing, red chillies. (Make sure the hing is authentic has a strong aroma)

 

Ingredients for Idli

  • 1 cup urad daal (split and de-husked)
  • 1 ¼ cup idli rava
  • Tablespoon of cooked rice/ handful of soaked poha (beaten rice)
  • 1 tsp methi

 

Preparation:

Notes for soft Idlis: In my experience, the key to making soft idli is first by using handful of rice/poha while making the urad daal batter and second is making sure that the batter(before fermentation) does not have too much water.

  • Soak the urad daal along with methi overnight in enough water. 
  • Next day after the urad daal and methi have soaked up, drain the water completely.  
  • Proceed to grind the urad daal, methi with cooked rice/poha and required amount of water and make a paste. 
  • Do not add too much water; the water should be sufficient just so that the mixer/grinder motor runs smoothly.
  • When I notice some small fine bubbles (maybe about 4-5 of them) on the top I stop the grinding. (This is optional and may not be the case all the time).
  • In the meanwhile, when the urad daal is grinding, wash the idli rava with water about 2-3 times and drain it completely. Soak the idli rava for about 10 minutes and then drain the water. Make sure no water remains after draining the water.
  • Mix this urad daal paste thoroughly with washed idli rava. This should be as thick as possible. Let it stay to ferment for at least 8 hours (24 hours in winter).

Method:

  • Take the batter out and after the batter is fermented, add salt and water and mix the idli batter well. The batter should not be very thick. (it needs to be of puring consistency)
  •  Grease the idli stand and pour batter in each container.
  • Steam this in a pressure cooker without whistle/weight for 15 minutes.
  • Take the idlis out and serve along with chutney.