Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Appe (Idly Batter)

Let me introduce you to "Appe Patra" or "Appe Pan" or "Appe Skillet".

As you can see, it seems to be similar to a serving dish used for deviled eggs. But dont be fooled!
This pan is extreamly effective for frying with a few drops of oil, without compromising too much on the taste.
The time saved is amazing!!
Do I need to sell this idea anymore?

Where do you get one?
I got mine from India, but I have seen many appe patras in India grocery stores in the USA.
When you are buying the pan, make sure the coating is intact and nothing is chipped or scratched.
I dint get one, but a pan with a handle would be much more convenient to use while you make appe.

Let me introduce you to appe with a very simple idly variation!
You can make a whole lot of amazing bite sized appe in this pan...but let us go there one step at a time.

I have served my appe with chana dal and coconut chutney! You can serve them with any chutney you like or even with ketchup if you are time pressed.

Here is how you make idly appe!

Level: Simple
Serves: 6 to 8 people

1 box of idly batter (I used ready made 'Shashta' Batter)
2 inches ginger, finely chopped
1 tblsp cumin seeds
3 - 4 green chillies, finely chopped
Salt if not already added in the idly batter

Step 1 - Take all the idly batter in a bowl. Add ginger, green chillies and cumin seeds. Mix well.

Step 2 - Heat the 'appe patra'. When hot, drop 1 drop of oil in each depression. Immediately drop 1 tblsp each of the batter into each depression in the pan. Do not let the batter overflow. You need to add batter till it reaches the rim of each depression. Cover the appe pan for 2 - 3 mins. The appe are done when the tops are no longer liquid and the batter stops sticking to the pan. Each appe should easily flip over with a wooden spoon.

Step 3 - Once flipped, keep the appe pan open and let the bottoms cook for another 2 - 3 mins.

Take them onto a pan and serve them with your favorite chutney or ketchup!

Make sure the pan is hot when you start pouring batter into the appe pan.
Do not use metal objects to flip appe in an appe pan. It chips the coating.

You can of course use homemade idly batter. Gits or MTR ready to make idly/medu wada batters also work well.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tea Rusks

An effortless recipe!

A great and crunchy tea time snack!

Too few ingredients needed!

An awesome way to use up leftover bread. (Burger Buns in my case)!

Need I say more?

With such an effortless recipe, I should not take efforts of writing any more description here!
So here is the super quick recipe for all of u!

Level: Easy
Serves: 5 - 6 people

2 Burger Buns (No toppings)
Sugar to taste (I used 1 pinch per piece)
Butter (Any kind)

Step 1 - Preheat oven to 270 Deg F

Step 2 - Separate each slice of the burger bun, if it is not pre-cut and smear butter or any butter-like spread over the top of each piece. Do not go over board here, but you do need to cover the entire top of the bread with butter.

Step 3 - Cut each slice into 2 or 3 lengthwise pieces. Sprinkle each piece with a pinch of granulated sugar. Arrange them on a baking tray.

Step 4 - Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins. Keep an eye on the beauties after 20 mins to avoid burger burns!

Let them cool.

Dip in some nice hot tea or coffee and enjoy!

You can use any type of bread here. Just make sure you adjust the time taken in the oven based on the thickness of the bread.
Thinner bread = lesser time and vice versa.

Toppings are a no-no here, as they burn up in the oven. Sad personal experience!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chickpea Crostini

Anyone up for some super cute, super healthy and super simple appetizer for your party? Look no further!

Chickpea Crostini is the perfect 'hummus-like' appetizer option when you have to serve a whole lot of people and don't have too much time to pull things together!
You just get the bread sliced before hand, make the topping a day ahead if you are in a super time crunch and fix things together in no time!
Then just sit back and enjoy the compliments!

Here is what you need to get this ready...

Serves: 8 to 10 people
Level: Simple
Adapted from:

2 cans Garbanzo beans (I used the ones with 50% less sodium)
1/2 medium bunch cilantro/coriander leaves, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Red chilly flakes to taste
Garlic powder to taste*
Fresh thin long baguette/sour dough bread, sliced into tiny rounds

Step 1 - Drain out the garbanzo beans from the can and thoroughly wash the beans under running water.

Step 2 - In a bowl, add the garbanzo beans, salt, pepper, red chilly flakes, cilantro and olive oil. Mix everything together. Squeeze the lemon. Mix again. The mixture should be spicy and tangy. Then with the back of a fork or with a vegetable masher, mash the chickpea mixture together. You do not want to make this into a paste. It needs to be chunky! You should be able to see a few whole chickpeas in the topping.

Step 3 - Line a baking tray with foil. Place the tiny bread rounds onto the tray. Bake this in a preheated 400 Deg. F. oven for 10 mins. Keep an eye on these. You dont want to burn off the bread here. Once done, while the bread is still hot, sprinkle the slices generously with garlic powder. Top the bread with our chickpea topping and serve!

Hope you enjoy this super fun treat!

- You can smear each bread piece with a little butter before putting them in the oven for a buttery crunchy crust!
- To make this dish more "zingy"! you can squeeze some drops of lemon juice over the prepared crostinis just before serving!
- I had some of my friends eating this topped with some Sriracha sauce/Tabasco!
- For the original recipe and a whole lot of amazing recipes visit the link provided above!