Easy Corn Bread


I remember years ago when we had taken a road trip to Austin, we were tired, hungry and were craving for something warm and hearty. It was dark and colder than the usual and with no many choices on hand we reluctantly stopped at a local café located on the highway. However we were in for a treat, when we tasted their corn bread along with hot black bean soup. We had never tasted such cornbread before, hot, moist and delicious it totally worth the stop we made there.

 Again in our recent trip, we tried to locate that place, but were not successful. It appears to have lost in the oblivion. Anyway the warmth and the flavor will be etched in our memories for long time. 

After that we tried cornbread from many different places, but were not pleased with the flavor and dense texture. So I decided to give it a try on my own. I have baked this recipe by adapting it from the Joy of Vegan Baking. This is one of my favorite cook books and I have had good results following her recipes. This corn bread comes close to the ones we had; soft, delicious and can be made in a jiffy. 

Do check out this easy corn bread black bean bake if you are looking for similar alternative.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 1.5 cups milk (use soy milk to make it vegan)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1-2 jalapenos seeded (cut into circles)
  • 1/2 cup frozen whole corn kernelsMethod:

 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare keep a square pan (9 X 9) ready by greasing it.
  • In a small bowl, first combine the wet ingredients, milk and vinegar and set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine together cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Now add oil to milk/vinegar mixture and stir to combine.
  • Add corn kernels, continuing to stir until just blended.
  • Spread the batter into the pan evenly and top it off with cut Jalapeno circles.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake it for about 25-28 minutes until top is golden brown.
  • Cut into desired shapes when slightly cooled.

Cabbage Coconut Curry/ Cabbage Kootu

I vaguely remember eating this daal curry at a friend’s place years ago. Her mom had made this for lunch, and she had served it very lovingly. This recipe was new to me then and I recall having taken generous serving of this yummy curry.

In Konkani cuisine we have quite a few varieties of daal curries, but they use red chillies for making the coconut masala while this uses green. I had made a mental note of the recipe and now I make it often though substituting cabbage with vegetable I have on hand. 

This recipe well suits our hectic evening schedules. Trying to get the kiddos homework done, or driving him around for his activity we have a busy schedule right until the kiddo finishes dinner and hits the bed. I love the fact that this fits the bill of being both healthy and delicious. . This can be prepared in about 20 minutes provided the daal and vegetables are already cooked. 

This is a good way to add vegetables for people/ kids who do not like it. The guys in the house are not too fond of cabbage in the form of dry curry and so I look for ways of sneaking in this vegetable. Cabbage chutney is another novel idea as it camouflages its taste and texture.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups chopped cabbage
  • ½ cup Toor Daal/moong daal
  • 2 red chillies (broken)
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • Oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds

 

To grind 

  • ½ cup shredded coconut (fresh/frozen)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 2 pinches turmeric
  • 2 tsp Cumin seeds

Method:

  • Pressure cook the cabbage and toor daal in sufficient amount of water. Keep aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile grind the coconut, salt, green chillies, turmeric, cumin seeds (raw) along with water to a fine paste.
  • Take heavy bottom pan/kadhai heat oil and then splutter the mustard seeds, add cumin seeds. Next add curry leaves and broken red chilies.
  • Mix in the coconut paste and stir until the raw taste of coconut is gone.
  • Add the cooked daal and cabbage, salt, stirring occasionally.
  •  Boil for a while and then cover with lid and simmer.
  • Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

 

Konkani Undi/ Steamed Rice dumpling

Blame it on the winter season, but lately I have been on the lookout for ‘chatpata’ steamed food that can be made ‘zhatpat’. One some really cold days, I don’t care for heavy meals, but feel like nibbling on some warm finger food along with hearty soup. So while on quest for such recipes on the net I landed on Lakshmi Canteen a wonderful blog which is a store house of tradition Konkani recipes.

 When I looked at her “Undi recipe, I froze as I had completely forgotten about it. It is a well loved breakfast/snack dish our favorite and one my mom-in-law makes for us often when we are in Bangalore. Traditionally this is made by soaking rice overnight and then grinding it in the morning along with coconut. But I took some shortcuts and made it the quicker way using Idli rava. 

Note that the rava that is used here in this dish is rice rava (used for making idlis) and not the sooji rava. Also using chopped coriander leaves in this is traditionally scoffed upon, but I for one cannot do without these leaves and use it in almost anything savory. If you do not like then do skip them. 

I have been told that these are called as upma khozukattai in Tamil.

Recipe Adapted from Lakshmi Canteen 

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup idli rava [not sooji rava]
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 2.5 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves 

Seasoning/Tadka 

  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp methi seeds
  • 4- curry leaves (broken)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated) [optional]
  • 2-3 Green chillies [chopped finely]
  • 1 Tbsp urad daal  

Method 

  • Heat a big pan and add oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter then add urad daal and continue to stir until it turns light brown
  • Add the methi seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger and mix again.
  • Now add 2.5 cups of water and let it come to boil.
  • Add the idli rava, salt and continue to stir until the water has evaporated.  Add the shredded coconut, chopped coriander and stir. Turn off the gas.
  • Let this cool (not completely).Rub some oil on the palms and make small balls out of the dough. Using index finger make a hole in the middle.
  • Now take these balls and steam it in a pressure cooker like idli for 8-10 minutes.  (Without the weight). I used the idli stand greased it and placed 6-8 undis on one plate.
  • Serve hot as is or along with coconut oil or podi.