Fried Dumpling with Dates and Nuts

Hi friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart as you have come all the way to see the awesome, home style recipes on my wonderful space here. On this particular day that I first tried this recipe, the master home chef that I am 😉 was in an excited, elated mood. Do you know that makes all the difference to food being prepared? Exactly! The food turned naturally awesome and delicious. I took inspiration from a very old, traditional sweet recipe called suryakala. It is a very beautiful blend of crispiness and sweet awesomeness. So, here goes my version. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

For the syrup

Sugar – 1 cup

Water – ¼ cup

Lemon – 1 teaspoon

Oil – for deep frying

For the dough

All purpose flour (Maida) – 1 cup

Ghee – 2 tablespoons

Salt – a pinch

Water – as required to form tight dough

For the filling

Dates – 30 -35 numbers (deseeded and finely chopped)

Nuts – a handful (toasted and roughly chopped)

Procedure

Take ghee and flour in a bowl. Rub the ghee well into the flour till it looks like bread crumbs. Add a pinch of salt. Add water little by little and form a smooth, tight dough. Rest it for at least 30 minutes.

Take the dates and toasted nuts on a pan and heat this mixture on low flame till it comes together. This will take not more than 8 – 10 minutes. Mash well. Your filling is ready!

Combine sugar and quarter cup of water and heat till it becomes a sticky syrup (or half-thread consistency – to check, pinch the sugar syrup between your thumb and index finger, if it forms a thread and breaks immediately, your syrup is good to go. Add a spoon of lemon juice to avoid crystallization.

Roll the dough into a big disc of medium thickness. Cut out small circles with the help of a cookie cutter or lid. Take each circle, fill with the date-nut mixture and bring the opposite ends together and shape the dumplings.

Heat oil on a pan, deep fry the dumplings on medium heat till it turns golden brown. Remove from oil and steep it in the pan of sugar syrup for 5 – 10 minutes. Arrange it on a plate and enjoy!

Note: if the syrup crystallizes and hardens, add a teaspoon of water and heat it on low flame for a minute or less till it liquidizes.

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Know Your Ingredients

Dates are the nutritious, sweet fruit of the date palm. Dates are an excellent source of essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. This makes it an ideal food for bone health. Anaemic people can benefit a lot by including dates in their regular diet. Dates are rich in fiber making it one of the most effective remedies for constipation. Dates, being rich in natural sugar, are a perfect quick snack for the odd hour hunger. To know more about the various health benefits of dates, follow the link: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-dates.html

Type Fruit
Form Fresh / dried
How to Buy In India, dates are mostly available in sealed packs. Look for the date of packaging. If the pack is transparent, check if the fruits are plump and have an even colour.
Storage Store dates by keeping in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to six months. Freezing prolongs shelf life up to a year.

Dried dates can be stored in normal room temperature for up to a year or more.

 

Roasted Peanuts and Pumpkin Soup

I first tasted this soup in an Italian restaurant and the flavour was just mind blowing. I had to come back home and search all of Google to get the various versions. Finally, I came up with my own version which is not just awesome but is also healthy and made from scratch. Okay, I know I am praising myself here. But, try for yourself and do let me know. I’m sure, just like me, you too would love this soup.

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Soup topped with crushed peanuts. Can you see charred bits?

 

Ingredients you would need:

Pumpkin – 250 grams

Roasted and de-skinned peanuts – 30 grams (or just a handful)

Garlic – 2 pods

Butter – 1 tablespoon

Onions – ¼ cup (sliced)

Oregano (or any Italian seasoning) – 2 teaspoons

Cream – 2 tablespoons

Milk – ¼ cup or as desired to bring the soup to the required consistency

Salt – to taste

Pepper – to taste

Bread croutons – for garnishing

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Main ingredients at a glance

Procedure

Chop the pumpkins into medium sized squares. If you like the smoked flavour (I love it!), char a couple of pieces on an open flame after brushing with oil. Keep aside.

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Char your way to glory!

 

Add some butter to a small 2 or 3 litre pressure cooker. Lightly roast the garlic and onions. Add in the pumpkin pieces. Top up with ¼ cup of water. Close the lid and set the pressure valve. Cook for 3 whistles on high flame. Turn off the flame and let the pressure settle.

Add the peanuts to a blender or mixer jar. Blend till the peanuts are powdered fine. Add in the cooked pieces of pumpkin (including the charred pieces) along with the onion and garlic. Blend till everything comes together. Add milk and cream to bring the soup to the consistency you like. Add salt and pepper.  Serve with bread croutons.

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Roasted Peanut with Pumpkin Soup. just the golden beauty without char!

 

Know Your Ingredient

Pumpkin is a highly versatile vegetable. Just cook pumpkin pieces and blend till smooth. Your pumpkin puree is ready to go into a whole lot of dishes. Pumpkin is used right from our South Indian sambar and kootu through many global cuisines (it goes into the making of pies, breads, soups and even desserts). Pumpkin is one of the most nutrient-rich easily homemade baby foods in the world.

Pumpkin is super rich in vitamin A (which aids in better vision and eyesight). The vegetable, being rich in potassium, is a great source of energy. It is also rich in Vitamin C, which greatly helps with immunity.  Eating this vegetable is a great way to lose weight as it is rich in fiber and low in calories.

Type Vegetable
Form Fresh
How to Buy Check for firmness of skin and flesh. If you are looking to buy just a piece cut out of the whole pumpkin, ensure that it was cut not more than a few hours earlier.
Storage Store the cut pumpkin without covering/cling wrap in the refrigerator. This way, it will not rot. While using, just cut the outer dried out layer and use the rest. It will be as good as fresh. Pumpkin puree can be frozen for almost a month. If you have lots of pumpkin, puree might be a good way to store it.

 

Kollu Cutlet (Sprouted Horse Gram Patties)

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I made these cutlets just to finish off a big bag of sprouted horse gram. Sprouts are a regular feature in our pantry and I add them to many side dishes and parathas other than making salads out of them. Now, the kids were getting bored of eating salads and they didn’t want to see these in any other form (and I managed to camouflage 🙂 ). So, here it is, sprouted horse gram patties, or tikkis or cutlets, or whatever you like to call it.

Ingredients

Kollu (sprouted horse gram) – 1 ½ cup

Bread crumbs – about ½ cup (for binding; I use whole wheat bread)

Cornflour – 2 tablespoons

Onion – 1 small (finely chopped)

Red capsicum – ¼ cup (finely chopped; just for the burst of colour)

Ginger – ½ inch piece (finely minced)

Green chillies – 1 (finely minced) optional

Salt – to taste

Garam masala – ¼ teaspoon

Coriander leaves – a few (finely chopped)

Semolina/Quick cooking oats – to coat the patties (I used a bit of both)

Procedure

Coarsely blend the sprouted horse gram in a blender or mixer. Mix it with all the other ingredients except oats/semolina in a bowl. Shape them into roundels and flatten them in your palms. Coat them in oats/semolina. If you feel there isn’t enough moisture in the roundels for it to hold the oats, dip it in a mixture of maida and water, and then roll them over in the mixture of oats and semolina. Shallow fry in a pan/tawa. Serve hot with tomato sauce.

Notes

  • Ginger can be replaced with garlic
  • Bread crumbs are used just for binding; you can even use roasted gram flour (besan) or any other flour
  • Semolina/oats can be replaced with breadcrumbs or cornflakes to give a crunchy texture. Since I had already used bread crumbs, I wanted to give a variation by coating with oats/semolina
  • As the grains are sprouted, there is no need to cook them. In fact, sprouting makes the grain more easily digestible. If you have the sprouted grain ready, the dish gets done very fast.  Just coarse blend and get started with your tikkis. Imagine! I have started packing these for kids’ snack box in the morning rush. For me, it is one more option which can be done quickly and both I and kids are happy. Yayy!

Know Your Ingredient

Horse gram can be called the miracle legume because for its various health benefits. It is widely cultivated in India and is known as Kollu in Tamil. Regular consumption of this legume has been found to reduce insulin resistance. It is found to be a very good source of protein. It is also rich in iron and calcium. This legume is also high in fiber and low in calories making it the ideal choice for people on a diet. It is used extensively in ancient Indian medicine because of its astringent and diuretic properties.

How to make sprouts:

Wash and soak the horse gram in water for about 8 hours. Drain the water, tie it up in a clean muslin cloth, and hang this cloth bag in a cool, well lit place for another 8 hours. The gram would have sprouted by now.

You can store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days or freeze it for up to a month.

Sprouted Horse Gram

Type Legume
Form Sprouted
How to buy Watch closely for bugs and holes, and avoid packets with a powdery residue. Once bought, they can be stored in their own packing inside an airtight container (to avoid moisture) and they will stay fresh for months together.
Storage If kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it will stay fresh for a week -10 days.
Usage Put it back in the refrigerator after taking the desired quantity of sprouts.

 

Horse gram tends to have many impurities. Before washing it, look for and remove any small stones. To be on the safer side, wash it twice or more before using. Even the sprouts are best washed before using.

 

Have a look at this for more info on horse gram

http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/lifestyle/food/the-benefits-of-horse-gram/