Chana Daal Appe : Low fat Masala Vada

Update: The mere idea of vada(deep fried lentil dumpling) and Low-fat is contradictory and a typical oxymoron. So if you are looking for a low fat version of the deep fried vada, then use the Appe (Konkani cooking word) Pan/ Skillet. This is also referred to as “Ponganalu/Paniyaram/Uniyappam”. I have found very favorable results by using this pan and this forms a healthier alternative to the deep fired variety. To see how the pan/skillet looks like check here.

 

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Masala vada is an all time favorite snack in our family, but since it is deep fried I don’t make it a lot. I make it during festivals and special occasions but most of the time I tend to look for healthier alternatives. After I made the urad daal appe, this was a natural extension to that idea and I decided to give this a shot. The batter that is used is the same as Masala vada. The final verdict is that, the taste is great, can be made when ever you want to make something healthy, can be used as a finger food, snack for kids etc. However this is no substitute for the actual Masala Vada and there is no reason to throw the deep fryer yet !

chanadaal_appe

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup chana daal

  2. 1 medium onion

  3. 2-3 green chillies

  4. 2-3 pods garlic

  5. Coriander leaves

  6. Jeera

  7. Cloves

  8. Salt

Preparation:

  • Soak the chana daal in enough water for about 4-5 hours.

  •  Meanwhile dice the onion into small pieces.

  • Grind the soaked chana daal along with green chillies, jeera, garlic, cloves with little water in the grinder to a semi smooth paste. (The batter should be a bit coarse)

  • Add the diced onions and mix thoroughly and keep aside.

  • Check for taste; if necessary add salt, chillies etc.

 Method:

  • Heat the Appe/ Appam skillet and add 1 tsp oil into each groove.

  • Make sure that the oil has become hot (not smoking hot). Drop a bit of batter to test and if you hear the sizzling sound, the oil is of the right temperature.

  • Add the prepared chana daal batter into each of the grove, so that ¾ of the grove is covered and then cover it with a lid.

  •  Reduce the heat a little bit at this time. After a minute or so, open the lid and with a kitchen knife, run it around the edge of the appe, to see if it is browning.

  • Make sure the appe does not turn dark brown or black in color. The one in the middle is the one that gets dark fast.

  • If some of the appe can be easily displaced from the grove turn it on the other side, add oil and cook until done. Let the remaining appe cook correctly and turn them when done.

  • When turned on the other side, add oil again and reduce the heat even further and there is no need to cover with lid. This side gets done pretty fast.

Appe with a twist: Dahi Vada (Appe)

 Update: In this recipe I first make the Medu Vada as an Appe (Konkani cooking word) in a Aebleskiver Pan.  This ‘Appe’ is also referred to as “Ponganalu/ Paniyaram/ Uniyappam/ Gundupongalu or Gundpaanglu”. After that I dip them in the seasoned yogurt/curd. I have found very favorable results by using this pan and this forms a healthier alternative to the deep fired variety. There is also no difference in taste. To see how the pan/skillet looks like check here. 

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It is funny how I came up with this idea of “Dahi Appe” and I have to thank my toddler for that. Strange, but sometimes their stubbornness, fussiness challenges you to think outside the box and come up with creative ways of feeding them healthy and nutritious food. Their temper tantrums, constant whining, screaming, terrible two’s syndrome …….. now that is a different story altogether and makes you want to sit inside a box forever.

Anyways, so S as any other toddler has this nasty habit of turning his head around in a 180 turn, the moment I take food to him.  So I usually have to tax my brain to try something new to allure his taste buds. I thought about the usual vadas, bhajjis etc but did not want to give him deep fried food as it is very easy to fall into that temptation and then hard to get them out of it. So somewhere along and had this idea of making “Urad daal vada (medu vada)” as appe.

I was so excited with this idea, that I could not wait to try it. In fact, when I made them I was surprised as they tasted pretty good by themselves. It is good idea for a healthy wholesome snack even for the adults. Of course, they do not taste anywhere near the deep fried ones but nevertheless a filling snack and a healthy substitute.

But then while munching on those goodies I had another wicked idea and that was to put it in the yogurt mix to make “Dahi vada”.  After all, anything dipped in yogurt goodness has to taste good, right? :-). This tastes exactly like Dahi Vada/ Dahi Bada/ Thayir Vada.

dahi_vada 024

Ingredients for the urad vada ( appe )

  • 1 cup urad daal

  • Curry leaves

  • Ginger

  • 2-3 green chillies

  • Pepper corns

  • Salt

Ingredients for the yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup yogurt (if thick thin it out with little milk)

  • 2-3 red chillies

  • 3-4 curry leaves

  • Mustard

  • Salt, oil

dahi_vada 029

  • Soak the urad daal in enough water for about 4-5 hours.

  • Grind the soaked urad daal with little water in the grinder to a smooth paste. The batter should not be flowing or too thick either.

  •  Add salt, diced green chillies, ginger, curry leaves. Mix thoroughly and keep aside.

  • Yogurt sauce:  The yogurt should not be very thick, thin it out a bit with milk.

  •  Prepare a seasoning of oil, mustard, curry leaves, red chillies and pour it into the yogurt.

 Method:

 

 

  • Heat the Appe/ Appam skillet and add ½ tsp oil into each groove.

  • Make sure that the oil has become hot (not smoking hot). Drop a bit of batter to test and if you hear the sizzling sound, the oil is of the right temperature.

  • Add the prepared urad daal batter into each of the grove, so that ¾ of the grove is covered and cover it with a lid.

  • Reduce the heat a little bit at this time. After a minute or so, open the lid and with a kitchen knife, run it around the edge of the appe, to see if it is browning.

  • Make sure the appe does not turn dark brown or black in color. The one in the middle is the one that gets dark fast.

  • If some of the appe can be easily displaced from the grove turn it on the other side, add oil and cook until done. Let the remaining appe cook correctly.

  • When turned on the other side, reduce the heat even further and there is no need to cover with lid. This side gets done pretty fast.

  • After done, place it in the already prepared yogurt mixture.

This can be served after an hour or so after the yogurt mixture is absorbed into the appe / vadas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update: In this recipe I first make the Medu Vada as an Appe (Konkani cooking word) in a Aebleskiver Pan.  This ‘Appe’ is also referred to as “Ponganalu/Paniyaram/Uniyappam”. After that I dip them in the seasoned yogurt/curd. I have found very favorable results by using this pan and this forms a healthier alternative to the deep fired variety. There is also no difference in taste. To see how the pan/skillet looks like check here 

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Instant Carrot Laddoo in Microwave

Don’t you just love it when you see a ridiculously easy recipe, try it and with in no time produce the dish and finally much to your excitement find that there is no compromise on taste or appearance? I was beaming when I made this dessert for Dasara and could not help but wonder the amount of time saved and the ease with which it was prepared.

After the initial excitement wore down, I couldn’t help but think about the times I spent celebrating Dasara with my family and relatives back in India. Two days prior to the celebration, the women would gather and prepare delicious deserts, all that and more in the traditional way. There were no shortcuts then; the food would be made in large quantities all from scratch and that too in the laborious, conventional way. The different tasks would be divided among them and there would be chatting, laughter, sharing ideas,  giving opinions,  praises, pampering etc and the tedious tasks would be over even without realising it or without any complaints from anybody. I would enjoy playing with other cousins, eat delicious food, enjoy the pampering, attention from the elders etc.

I realized that celebration of festival not only meant praying and thanking the Almighty but also keeping up the traditions, enjoying, sharing and passing it to our next generation.

This is also my contribution to Jihva Special Editon : The Festive Series for Dasara hosted by the wonderful Vee of Past Present and Me

carrot_ladoo 001

Ingredients

  • 1 cup packed Grated carrot (I use baby carrots and then run it through food chopper)

  • ½ cup Ricotta cheese

  • 1 tablespoon Butter

  • ½ cup Condensed Milk (fatfree)

  • 2 teaspoons Sugar

  • 4 tsps MTR Badam Feast (or substitute with 2 tablespoon milk powder, 2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp cardamom)

  • 5-6 chopped almonds

  • Raisins

Method:

  • Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 15 to 20 seconds.

  • Add the grated carrots mix well and microwave for 2 minutes, until the raw smell of carrot goes away.

  • Add the ricotta cheese, condensed milk, sugar. Mix well and keep it in the microwave for about 3 minutes.

  • Next add the Badam powder, chopped almonds and microwave for another 3 minutes or until done.

  • Let it cool a bit and then make ball out of it.

Place raisin in the middle of each ball. This makes about 7 medium ladoos.