" Mommy, I want waffles today", my son requests. I bustle into the kitchen, make the batter ( I use ready made mix and heat the waffle iron and serve up golden, delicious waffles with a pat of butter and syrup glistening and running down the corners and hand him the plate.
Mom and son, happy! He because he got what he wanted and I, because it was *such* an easy option.
Or some days it is just pancakes, easier! No need to lug out the waffle iron ( I live in an apartment where the kitchen was probably an after thought and appliances and anything extra needs to be stored away and lugged out as and when needed)
In my childhood, I had never heard of pancakes, breakfast was pohe, upma, idli, dosa, even poli-bhaji (roti/ flat-bread with vegetables). My mother was a working woman, she would cook lunch in the mornings ( my Father would eat lunch and go to work) pack our lunch boxes and trot off to catch her local train to V.T. station.
Just as in my kitchen, there used to be leftovers in my Mom's too. Usually rice. Occasionally, fulkas(flat-bread).
And just like her, I too never trash food, indeed I feel very guilty if I do. Wastage of food is an unbearable thought. I always remember my Father saying, "what you throw, could well be some body's meal, that somebody who is starving and has not eaten in days! Can you justify this wastage?"
The rice was always sauteed and made into 'Phodnicha bhaat' simple, tasty and quick. It also made a good lunch box option, specially for me. I would happily carry this in my lunch box over fresh roti-subzi that my mother had made.
This simple version of stir fried rice can be made with many variations.While Chitranna is famous in the south, Maharashtra boasts of the simple, no-fuss, minimum ingredient 'Phodnicha bhaat'
In moderation, eyeball the ingredients, it is a forgiving recipe. However, here are the guidelines.
2 cups, Cooked Rice
2 tsp Oil
1 tsp each mustard seeds and cumin seeds
2 Green chilies
Few Fresh Curry Leaves
A Dash of Asafetida / Hing
1/2 Onion, chopped (big sized) if you have a medium sized onion, by all means, use the whole onion.
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Chop the onion, set aside.
Chop the green chilies and set aside with the curry leaves.
Make sure the rice is lump free and each grain is separate. if you have removed the cooked rice from the fridge, wet your hand under running water and break the lumps in the rice. This will ensure that all grains are separate and the rice will not stick to your fingers.
Heat oil in wok, add mustard seeds, after they pop, add the cumin seeds, asafetida, chopped green chilies and curry leaves.
Add the chopped onion and stir to mix everything.
sprinkle a bit of salt, this will help in cooking the onion, quickly.
Once the onion is cooked, add the turmeric powder, mix well.
Add the rice and sugar. Mix, cover and cook for a couple of minutes.
Check for seasoning ( salt) if all is well, switch off the heat.
Serve with chopped cilantro as garnish.
* If you like, add raw peanuts and shallow fry them - after you have added the mustard seeds and before adding cumin. Once the peanuts are golden brown, proceed as outlined above.
The sugar is optional, but it balances the taste.
Squeeze half a lime after you switch off the heat.
The other leftover I had was My Mom's Naral Wadi, she sent me some in a care package that came around Diwali. And then my friends in the apartment community also gave me some more. all in all, a lot of coconut fudge! and then I had a small brainwave! why not? I thought! hmmm... can it be done?
I tentatively put 2-3 pieces in the small jar of the mixie and gave it a buzz.. it groaned a bit and then without warning the top flew open and one piece hit me squarely on the forehead and other flew and landed with a dull thud- I know not where.
I cleaned up the mess, broke the remaining pieces, into smaller bits and then put them thru the mixer once again.
If you are still clueless as to what I am planning, let me tell you about the idea. I planned on stuffing the fudge, now powdered in some dough and making a sweet paratha! Like so.....
Can you detect a bit of sunshine yellow in the paratha in the picture? That, is the stuffing. Well, one of them anyway.
I had naral wadi in 3 colors, white, yellow and pale orange, just blend it all up , stuff and roll!
When roasting on a hot skillet, brush with ghee.
To sum up, here is what you need:
Left over Naral Wadi
Some Dough ( regular roti/ chapatti dough)
flour ( atta) to dust
Place the left over naral wadi pieces in a chopper or your chutney attachment jar and pulse to make a powder. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat a griddle (medium high).
Take a small piece of the dough and dust it in flour and roll into a circle. carefully spoon about 2 tbsp. of the naralwadi powder into the middle and bring up the sides of the dough to make a parcel and seal. Pinch off the excess dough and dust with some flour.
Roll out a small disk and carefully transfer it onto the hot griddle.
Turn after about 15 seconds and brush with ghee. Turn again, brush the other side with ghee.
Cook on both sides until golden brown spots appear and the paratha puffs up.
This makes a mildly sweet paratha.
Have a great weekend, everybody !
Have a great weekend, everybody !