Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Cheating Dahi (Yogurt) Vadai

Dahi Vadai are those normal plain vadai simply soaked in a well seasoned and tempered yogurt mixture. Growing up, my mom used to make these in large batches. Large enough for me to chill (the dahi vadai, not me) and savour them daily as I like. Sure I love those plain deep-fried vadai, but when it comes to being soaked in yogurt, it just goes up a notch!

I had a sudden crave for the vadai the other day, and the a sudden lightbulb moment. We have this stall run by this nice Aunty, making fresh and crispy vadais in our neighbourhood, and I asked myself, why not buy her vadai and do the yogurt portion by myself?! And I did just that!

I do remember the yogurt mixture mom used to make, but I just ran by her briefly to ensure I remembered it correctly. The best part, I had a fresh jar of yogurt cultured with fresh milk from the local dairy farm!

And here are I am documenting the steps, in case I forget!

Step 1:
Make a trip to the local vadai stall, buy as much as your stomach can contain. Rush home. Get the kids their snacks. In my case was currypuff. The boys were occupied a while

Step 2:
In a large bowl whisk yogurt with equal amount of water. Season with some salt and roasted cumin powder. Keep it aside

Step 4:
In a small pan, heat up some oil at low fire. Temper some curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds. Turn off once frangrant.

Step 5:
Mix the tempered items into the yogurt and whisk well.

Step 6:
Place the fresh vadais into a bowl. Pour some warm over over it. And after a few minutes, drain the water. Pick individual vadais and squeeze gently to remove access water. You will notice the vadais would have expanded in size a little bit.

Step 7:
Carefully transfer the vadais into the yogurt mixture, one by one, carefully as not to break it. Make sure it is all soaked. Sprinkle some roasted cumin and paprika on it. Best to serve after 30 minutes or so. 

This method works perfectly if you want to fulfill your cravings without over-eating. And if you have a lovely vadai Aunty nearby!

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Brown Gravy Recipe

I saw this recipe for meatball gravy on Facebook, touted to be the closest tasting as Ikea's meatball and gravy. Although I have never tried their meatballs, I was excited about the gravy recipe. I've had several brown sauce or gravy in restaurants, but can never make it the same at home.

I made the meatballs as per my usual recipe. This time however, I replaced the oats with breadcrumbs, and I was pleasantly surprised. Usually the meatballs made with oats are rather dry, and this time using breadcrumbs it was more moist and that a nice finishing after the pan frying. I love to use a lot of coriander and spring onion in my meatballs, and you can see, they remain green even after pan frying. 

You can serve these meatballs with passata sauce with pasta, make a creamy gravy or even in curry.

This is the original recipe for the meatballs and gravy.

And here is my version for the gravy, slightly tweaked as I used my homemade chicken stock with bits of chicken in it. I also did not blend the sauce as I like the chunky textures of onion and mushroom, it gives it some character, I feel. 

I had kinda forgotten to sautee my onion and mushroom before making the roux so I had to sautee the roux a bit, surprisingly it turned out super-awesome that way!

You need:
2tbsp butter
2tbsp all purpose flour
onion - chopped
shitake mushroom - sliced
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce

1) Heat the butter in a pan. Once melted add the flour, and stir to make the roux.
2) Add the onion and mushroom, and give it a nice sautee, stirring well for 5 mins.
3) Once it has browned well, add in the chicken stock and bring it to a simmer.
4) Add the seasonings, milk and salt/pepper.
5) Keep stirring for 10 minutes till it becomes thick and voila!

Super duper yummy sauce. You can even have it with roast meat! Happy eating!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!

Here's wishing a very Happy New Year to everyone!

What is New Year without celebration over good food ?

We had a simple barbeque with family on the new year eve. Hubby and I got an opportunity to test our marination skills. As our BBQ set was rotting away, we got an excuse to take it out and make sure it works well within its warranty period.

We were so excited, we were determined not to use the same old BBQ recipes and searched around for something new. By chance I found this Jamie Oliver recipe that boosts of non conventional ingredients such as oranges and dried chilli, and off we went!! This recipe zest-fully brings the celebration of flavours in our taste buds.

And then also some tandoori style marination. Turned out so tender and yummy! Luckily I had made some brown gravy for meatballs the same day, and it was so useful to sauce-up the grills! More on that sauce next time, I promise!

Since our BBQ set is not that huge to support our demand, we used the soup bowl to grill the vegetables and subsequently the chicken too. The best part is I got the orange slices from the marination, and grilled them together with the vegetables, it was so well caramelised, its hard to even explain the taste!

While us parents were busy sizzling meat away, the kids were practicing their Ninja skills.

The next day, on new year's day we were not cooking, instead, we were out dining. Hubby had repeatedly mentioned Beer Factory at Setia Walk before, and so it was like, why not, indulge?!

Once there, we got an awesome surprise. There was a new year promo, 50% off everything, it is definitely going to be a good good New Year 2016!

Who can resist this piece of knuckle with buttery melting away mashed potatoes?!

Definitely not us!

The best part about Setia Walk is while us parents eat, chill and be merry, the kids can play and walk about.

From dawn.

Till dusk.

True Story.

Happy New Year people!


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