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.

 

Methi Besan Sabji

Around this time of the year (Fall/winter) we get good and fresh methi/fenugreek leaves, dill in the groceries and I make good use of that. I am not too fond of the frozen fenugreek leaves, as I feel that they do not have the same flavor and so I look forward for the arrival of the fresh ones. 

Few people I know do not like the intense or bitter cooked taste of the methi, but fortunately we love it at home and so I get an opportunity to try different recipes with it.

This methi besan sabji was one of my favorites and that which my mom used to make often when we were kids. I love the simplicity of this dish, with just basic ingredients yet has a flavorful taste. 

Here are some recipes using Methi that I have blogged earlier: 

This might be a little dry for chapathis (unless you serve it with a salad or raita), but tastes good with yogurt rice.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup gram flour/besan
  • 10-15 spring onion stalks (chopped)
  • 1 small bunch Methi/fenugreek leaves
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste 

Seasoning/ Tadka:

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2-3 garlic pods (grated)
  • 4-5 Curry leaves
  • oil

    Method:

  • Dry roast the besan flour on medium flame until it toasts and turns light brown. Keep aside.
  • Wash the methi thoroughly, cut and discard the thick stems. Retain only the leaves and the thin/soft stems. Chop finely.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves. After the seeds splutter, add ginger garlic, mix well, and then add the slit green chillies andchopped onions.
  • When the onions are nearly cooked, add the chopped methi leaves, chopped spring onions and keep stirring until the raw small of methi is gone.
  • Add the roasted besan, salt and stir well. Be careful as the besan sticks to the bottom.
  • Keep stirring in between until the besan blends and cooks.  ( I do not cover the lid for this sabji).