Friday 29 May 2009

Banana & Chocolate Chip Muffins

It had been a while since I had baked something and my Hand Mixer was literally calling out to me - ‘You were so keen on getting me home because you thought there was a lot of baking going on in your kitchen,  so why don't you put me to use now?’

Well, that prompted me to get into action and I was literally on a baking spree for a few days. Muffins, cookies (Nankhatai to be precise), cake and so on. I made them all one by one, clicked pictures, sorted the snaps out, stored them in the folder and got on with my life. A chance peep into the folder and I realised today that this was more than a month ago and I still haven't posted them on the blog. That got me typing all this out furiously as if there was no tomorrow.

Now doesn't all this tell you that I am a kind of person who needs a little prodding to get things done? I know some of you might translate that into – I am Lazy, but really I am not! Theres so much more to do that all of these get sidetracked. I could start a list of things here but that will take me more than a day to finish. Imagine if I cant finish off the list of things to be done in a day how can I actually get the things done???

I will stop my rant right here and get back to the first in the list of baked things – Muffins. I just wanted to make muffins, did not have anything specific and set out to search for a fairly simple & uncomplicated recipe and found it here.

This is supposed to be a classic combination and I had all the ingredients with me.

Banana & Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Makes about 15 Muffins


  • 2.5 cups Plain flour
  • 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tblsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2.5 tblsp Cooking oil
  • 2.5 tblsp Milk
  • 3 mashed ripe Bananas


Pre heat the oven to 200 deg C.

Beat together the egg, oil, mashed bananas and milk and keep aside.

Sift the flour along with the baking powder. To this mix the salt, sugar and chocolate chips.

Pour in the above made liquid mixture into this dry one and mix until everything is just blended.

Line a muffin tray with muffin cases and pour the batter into each case so that you fill just a little more than 3/4th of each cup.

Bake in the pre heated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Check for the muffins to be cooked, if a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean, they are cooked. Transfer them on a wire rack to cool.

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Serve warm  or store in air tight containers.

My Notes: The muffins were great when we had them immediately after baking them. They were good the next day. But on the third day, there were only 2-3 left, but there was this typical Banana smell which I didn't like. I think these muffins are not to be stored for more than 2 days. Apart form this we liked the muffins a lot.

Wednesday 13 May 2009

Broken Wheat Kheer (Godhi Kuttida Payasa)

Attending traditional kannada (North Karnataka) weddings was one of the things we enjoyed a lot about our annual trips to the village during the summer vacation. The celebrations, meeting the relatives and most importantly the food.

But we did have a major problem with the food – that it seemed like rice was the only thing being served

  • Anna – Tavvi - Saaru (Rice with cooked lentils & Sambhar)
  • Chitranna (Lemon Rice)
  • Masale Bhaat (Spiced Rice)
  • Mosaranna (Curd Rice)

And so on.

But at the same time there was one item we always looked forward to and that was the sweet. No, not the dessert but the sweet which was a part of the main meal and would be served between any two of the above mentioned rice varieties.

The sequence would go something like this – A full adorned thali
(or rather Banana Leaf) and the first thing to be had was the payasa or kheer. This would be followed by some rice, cooked lentils, a spoon of ghee (clarified butter) and a serving of Saaru (Sambhar) in a Donne (bowls made of dried …). After this would come either the masale bhaat or the chitranna. Followed by the star of the meal – the sweet,  mostly one of the following

  • Jalebi – served along with a glass of buttermilk. A sip of the buttermilk would wipe away the sweet taste of the Jalebi and you are ready for more!
  • Boondi Ladoo – Huge ones, almost like the prasad you get in the Tirupati & having a similar taste too. The size of the each boondi also was huge!
  • Holige (Puran Poli) – Consumption of Milk & Tuppa (Ghee) along with this is mandatory.

While brother D, would eagerly wait for this course to arrive, I was happy licking away the payasa/kheer from the first serving. Not any payasa, but only if it was Godhi kuttida payasa, kheer made from broken wheat. The only sad part was that since the kheer was a part of naivedya, it was usually served in small quantities and unlike other items, we were not asked for a second helping either.

This kheer was and still is my favourite. I had promised myself that if I do get married in the village (which didn't happen BTW), I would definitely have this on the menu, not just as a Naivedya but as the main dish!

The traditional method to make it involves soaking the wheat to soften it a little, drying it and then ‘beating’ it to ‘break’ it coarsely using a large mortar & pestle, but wooden ones and not metal. The metal being heavier breaks the wheat into pieces while the wooden one being a little lighter, removes the husk without breaking the wheat into pieces and achieves smaller grain like consistency of the wheat. Also my mom tells me that the wheat used is a different variety, I cant recollect the name though.

Nowadays people have started making this in the mixer/grinder but the results definitely vary. I have taken the modern adaptation a step further and make this with the ‘Lapsi’ wheat available in the store. While this gives the payasa a very ‘Dalia’ like taste, this is the closest I can get to Godhi Kuttida Payasa, sitting here in London.

Broken Wheat Kheer



  • 1 cup broken Wheat (Lapsi)
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated Jaggery
  • 1 tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 1/4 cup mixed nuts, broken into small pieces (I used Almonds & Cashew)


Cook the broken wheat with 1 cup of water in a pressure cooked for about 2-3 whistles, depending upon the type of the cooker. The idea is to cook the wheat without turning it into a mush.

Transfer the cooked wheat to a deep pan, add milk and bring to boil. Add the grated Jaggery & Cardamom powder and  mix well.

Cook on medium flame while stirring frequently until the milk reduces a bit.

Add the nuts and continue to cook till you get the desired consistency which ideally should be like a thick paste.

Serve warm as a dessert or as part of a meal and don't forget the ghee.

Apart from being delicious, this makes a very good Naivedya & is specially made during weddings (as mentioned above).


MithaiMela-1-1-2 This goes to Srivalli’s Mithai Mela which celebrates two years of her blogging at Cooking 4 all seasons.

Friday 8 May 2009

Kaatachi Aamti (Kattina Saaru)

With 3 of the Puran dishes (Puran Poli, Kadabu, Haygreev) already on this blog, this one was long due. I confess that when I made those three, I made this Aamti/Saaru every time. How can I let go of the chance where I have the Kaat (the water in which the split chickpea, reqd for the Puran, is cooked)? But never took the chance of posting it, but now here it  is.

The consistency for Kaatachi Aamti is very Rasam like, unlike the normal Aamti which is on a slightly thicker side with the lentils clearly showing.

Kaatachi Aamti

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Serves 2


  • 3-4 Cups Kaat (Water in which the split Chickpea is cooked)

Note1: When you cook the split chickpea for the Puran to make Puran Poli, collect the water in which they are cooked along with some (about 2 tblsp) split chickpea, mashing them a bit in the water. This is the Kaat, called Kattu in Kannada.


Note2: If you are making this Aamti without making the Puran Poli, take 2-3 tblsp of split Chickpea in 1.5 to 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook till the split chickpea is fully cooked. Mash the chickpea in the water and use this water as the Kaat.

  • 1 tblsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 7-8 Curry Leaves
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1 Tblsp Tamarind pulp
  • 1/2 Tblsp Jaggery (Adjust acc to taste)
  • 2-3 tblsp Grated coconut (optional)
  • Salt

To be ground into a coarse powder

  • 1” piece of  Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1-2 Cloves
  • 5-6 Peppercorns


Grind all the dry Masalas as mentioned above or coarsely pound them in a mortar-pestle and keep aside.

Heat the ghee in a deep pan. Add the mustard seeds. As they start to splutter add the cumin seeds & the curry leaves.

Next, add in the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Mix and add the ground Masala powder and let it fry for a minute.

Reduce the flame & pour in the Kaat . Add the tamarind pulp, salt, grated coconut (if using) and Jaggery.

Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

Serve hot with Puran Poli & rice.

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That was our thali  -  Puran Poli (with lots of ghee of course!), Kaatachi Aamti, Batata Bhaji and a bowl of milk to go with the Puran Poli.

My Notes: The Ghee lends that unique taste to the Aamti so I would recommend not to substitute it with oil.

The cloves & peppercorns add enough heat, but if required add a tsp of chilli powder, this will also give the Aamti a nice colour.

Adjust the amount of Tamarind & Jaggery as per your preference, what I have given here will yield a sweet, sour & spicy Aamti.