Thursday, January 24, 2008

Carrot and Ginger Appe

Since I got my Appe pan/ Aeblevisker Pan from back home, I've been using it to dish up various varieties of sweet as well as savory dishes. This pan is quite multipurpose and the non-stick version uses least amount of oil to churn up delicacies. It also comes in handy to make tasty snacks out of leftover idli/dosa batter etc. It is available online, you may click the link above to check it's availability in Target. It works very well and makes for one perfect finger food. I've incorporated the recipe for Carrot Ginger pancakes and adapted it for the Appe Pan, worked beautifully!
Recipe adapted from here. I have adapted it to my taste and requirements and have omitted the egg. Now lets get to the recipe.

Carrot and Ginger Appe
1 heaped cup grated carrot
1 small onion chopped fine
1 tsp grated garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tbsp all purpose flour/maida (Use as required for all the ingredients to bind together)
Oil for the Appe pan
salt to taste
1. Mix all the ingredients except oil, use as much all purpose flour as needed to bind it together to a batter like consistency. Freshly grated carrots release enough water to bind it all together, do not add water.
2. Heat the Appe pan. Add oil in the depression of the pan, you don't need to fill it with oil, just oil it lightly.
3. Add batter into the depression and cook for 2 minutes till golden and flip. Cook the other side for 2 minutes. Appe are ready.
4. Enjoy with hot tea!
It sure is getting tough taking pics at night, the ligth never seems to be enough.
This made for one incredibly tasty dish and was very quick to make as well. Will be making this often :)
This is my contribution to Pooja's VOTW event .
This would also make a lovely appetizer for Mansi's Game Night Fun Event.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sabudana Khichadi - With a Nutty Twist :)

Ever since I've had exhaustive training in the art of soaking sabudana(sago pearls) from my friend, a Sabudana Khichadi expert, I've had fantastic results, no more gooey lumps :)
But, when I saw Nupur's microwave version for the same, I just had to try it! And try I did with flawless results :)
Lemme' share with you my Sabudana Khichadi story from my college days :)
Round the corner, on my way to the college, there used to be an elderly vendor(lovingly called maushi by us students), who used to sell some absolutely lip-smacking stuff like Kanda Pohe, Rava Upma, Sabudana Khichadi & Naral Wadi(coconut fudge). I can't say with certainity if I would have made it from the hostel for the early morning lectures if not for the delicious goodies sold by maushi. One just had to reach her cart in time to be able to get a plate of the goods, 'coz no sooner did she open her mega sized aluminium tins, than the students would scamper for a plateful of those :) When I think of it now, it just amazes me as to how good and fresh those snacks were. Also, it was never oily, just perfection to the core. The Naral Wadi used to be in a limited quantity and I used to hope every single day that I get one, at the very least ;) Thank You maushi :)
I made it with a twist ;) Read ahead for the recipe details....................

Sabudana Khichadi with Pistachio powder
1 cup sabudana soaked, I usually soak it overnite, you may use your regular method of soaking
1/2 - 3/4 cup crushed Pistachio**
1 tbsp sugar
salt to taste
1 small boiled potato, diced
1 tbsp ghee (Please use this for maximum flavor, will not give the same results without it, IMO)
1 tbsp oil
a pinch hing/asafoetida
1 tsp chopped Green chili
1/2 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
1/2 lime squeezed
1/4 tsp red chili pwd
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1. Mix the soaked sabudana with crushed Pistachio, sugar and salt. For best results, do not leave the Pistachio in big chunks, make a fine powder with a few coarse pieces.

2. In a microwave safe bowl, heat ghee & oil with cumin seeds, green chili, hing & curry leaves for 1 minute.

3. Add sabudana mix, red chili pwd, diced potato and microwave for 1 minute. Let stand for 2 minutes. Repeat this once more till sabudana is cooked through. I had to do it for 3 minutes with 2 minute breaks in between.

4. Squeeze the lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves.

5. Enjoy a bowl of perfectly cooked sabudana khichadi, now one could get used to having this everyday :)
Nupur's original recipe here, Thank You, Nupur. I was looking for ways to use up my stock of roasted/salted Pistachio received over the holidays and thought of using it in my favorite khichadi instead of the peanuts/groundnuts :)
It worked extremely well. I'm so happy I tried this :) Everyone enjoyed it a lot and I think had I not mentioned it, it would have been hard to recognize the difference. But ofcourse, I would not do it, I do not believe it serving anything without telling what goes in 'coz I would not like to be served anything without first knowing the contents :)
Do try this once, you will be hooked!!!!
This is my entry to Mansi's Game Night Fun Event.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Colcannon - An Irish delicacy ....

Breathing in from a hot oven in winter gives me immense pleasure and the much needed warmth. There is only so much that one can crib about the weather ;) I did that for a season or two and then found me some ways to enjoy the things that can be done when huddled indoors aka lotsa' baking ;) After all, the winters will roll in, whether it is your favorite season or not!!
My search for baked goods led me to an interesting Irish recipe for baked potato and cabbage!
I've seen a lot of versions of Colcannon, potato and cabbage being the most commonly used ingredients. It can contain other ingredients like onions, leeks or chives. The original version uses bacon bits and the fat leftover from frying bacon is used to cook the dish. Many use garlic, but it seems to be an optional ingredient and can be added to give another layer of flavor if you like it. I gather, one can use either cream or milk to bake the dish. I've also noticed the use of cheese in many recipes. There are also some innovative additions, like greens in the recipe. I guess the recipe can easily be adapted to one's taste, which I think is the beauty of this dish.

Here is what I came up with for the vegetarian version.
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 cup diced potato
1 cup milk/cream (can use cream for a richer taste)
salt/pepper as per taste
a pinch nutmeg
1 small onion thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (use as per taste)
1-2 tbsp oil/butter
1-2 tbsp grated cheese (optional)
1. Boil cabbage and potato. This can be done either on a stove top or in a microwave.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste and mash it.
3. Heat oil/butter, add onion and garlic, saute for just two minutes, do no let brown.
4. Add milk, bring to a boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add nutmeg.
5. Grease a baking dish and add potato mixture. Cover with milk mixture and check for seasoning. Top with cheese(if using) and bake in a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes at 350.
Enjoy steaming hot Colcannon!
Don't be fooled by the simple ingredients, it makes for one warm and yummy dish!
NOTE: Please note that I've shaped it into discs for photographs only. This is a white colored baked dish and was one tough dish to photograph, hence this presentation :)

A few more dishes for the Potato/Alu lover in you :)

Baby Alu Jeera Fry

Vatana Bateta Tameta nu Shaak

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Greetings for a Beautiful New Year - 2008

Wish You All A Very Happy and Peaceful New Year!!

I'm delighted to say that 2007 was a fantastic year for 'As Dear As Salt'!
There is more to blogging than can be explained in words!
The gush of excitement that takes over when you find a recipe you have been looking for, forever,
the meeting of like minds,
the exchange of emails to get that 'exact' taste in a recipe you are looking for,
discussions on nutrition(sometimes carried to ).
All these things make blogging so very exciting. I hope to continue blogging more of my experiments in the kitchen in 2008 and look forward to all of your active participation in my blog! I'm thankful to all my friends and readers for taking time to leave their valuable comments and messages, it means a whole lot to me :) It would not be the same without you :)
I was hoping to participate in Nupur's event, but other plans took over :) Anyway, here I'm, ushering in the New Year with all of you, my blogger friends! Not sure if I can list top 10 posts as such, after all each and every post is dear to my heart :) A blogger knows, the amount of time and work involved in publishing a post!
Instead what I will do is list a few random posts that you may like to take a look at.
Ragda Patties, as a homage to 'A's' mom for the love showered upon some hungry kids :)
Pineapple Jam, for it was such a fun post.
Matthi Puri, a truly unique recipe.
Sweet Potato Paratha, one of the easiest and yummiest parathas one could make without a fuss.
Paneer Puri, sheer paneer indulgence :)
Vatana Batata Tameta Shaak, the essense of simplicity.


Black Eye Peas Burger, a change from the usual.
Please check out the blog archive for many more .........
Happy New Year!!