March 11, 2012

Quinoa Idly (Gluten-free)


A huge bag of Quinoa in my pantry prompted me to try out this Idly. I have used it in place of white rice in other recipes, but this one is by far the best. If you are used to regular idlies, then this may take some time getting used to since it has a distinct and strong earthy taste with a hint of sweetness. Some kind of chutney or Idly chilly powder to go along with it is highly recommended.
Quinoa is gluten-free, has a low glycemic index and is a good source of protein for vegetarians, thus making this a perfect healthy food.


Quinoa Idly


Quinoa - 3 cups
Urad Dal - 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - To taste
Water - To grind


Wash the quinoa well, say 4 to 5 times. Soak in water for about 6 hours or overnight.
Wash Urad Dal and soak in water for 6 hours or overnight along with the fenugreek seeds. Do not close either of them.

Grind both separately using a blender or a wet grinder. I used a blender since I was experimenting and had only a small quantity to work with. Then mix both together and add salt.
Let it sit covered in a warm place and allow to ferment. It would take anywhere from 8 hours to 12 hours depending on the climate. Warmer climate ferments the batter very quickly. But in a place like mine it took 12-14 hours.

Then grease idly plates and steam in a pressure cooker for about 10 min.
Scoop out the idlies and enjoy with some chutney, sambar or some "Idly molagai podi."



March 8, 2012

No Fry Sweet Puri


This vaguely has been adapted from my earlier recipe which happens to be one of my favorites. This is a healthier version and has layering in the puri itself. These puris are crunchy and sweet. Almost like a cookie.
The rose flavoring is by far the best when it comes to fried (in this case -baked) sweets dunked in sugar syrup. You may add other flavorings like saffron, almond,or even vanilla if you don't have the suggested flavoring in your pantry.
Lastly, make sure it is not too brown when it is baked. I removed mine when it was slightly golden in color. The layers give a parotta texture to it and ensures even baking.


No Fry Sweet Puri


For Puri
Whole wheat flour/Atta - 2 cups
All purpose flour - 3 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Water - For the dough

For Syrup
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Rose essence - 2 drops
Cardamom - A pinch

For layering
Melted butter/Ghee - 3 tbsp
Rice flour - 1 tbsp

Sliced Almonds- For garnish (optional)


Mix the melted butter/ghee and the rice flour and set aside.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the water and knead to a dough. Add the 1 tbsp of oil and knead for about 5 min till the dough becomes soft.
Let it rest covered for 5 min.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Roll out the dough into a large circle and about 1/4" thick using a rolling pin. Spread a thin layer of the butter+ rice flour mixture. Let it sit for 2 min.
Then roll the dough from one side to form a tight log. Cut into 1/2 inch thick pieces. Flatten each one with you palm.


Roll out each round into 3" diameter circles. Lay them on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. It would look something like this.


Bake at 375F for about 8-10 min or until golden.


Flip it over and bake for another 8-10 min. Both sides should be golden brown in color.

While the puris are baking in the oven, heat the sugar and water in a pan and bring it to a boil. To prevent crystallization, you may add a couple of tablespoons of corn syrup.
When the sugar reaches soft ball stage/one-string consistency, turn off the heat and add the rose essence and cardamom.

Dip the puris one by one in the sugar syrup and let it dry on a sheet.


You may garnish with sliced nuts and saffron if you have some on hand.