Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Pola (Palappam)

Pola is one of the favourite breakfasts of kerala. It is also known as palappam or vattayappam in many parts. I remember, I first had pola when I was a little child back in UAE. It was brought to us by one of our relatives when he returned back from India. Until recently I thought it was my mom who made it and I asked her for the recipe. She then told me that it was not made by her and in fact she never made them. I then started searching for the recipe and mixed up quite a few recipes to get my version that tasted exactly like the one I had when I was young.

2 cups long grain rice (pachari)
1½ cups cooked rice
2 cups freshly grated coconut
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp dry active yeast
4 tbs semolina
¾ cup water
2¼ - 2½ cups water
¾ - 1 tsp salt (appx)

1. Soak the long grain rice in water for at least 2 hours.
2. In a separate bowl, add ¾ cup of boiled water in semolina and stir well to avoid lumps. Using a wire whisk to stir makes it easier. Let it cool.
3. Grind rice and cooked rice along with the rest of water until the rice is ground well.
4. Add coconut and yeast and grind well again.
5. Pour the ground mixture in a large bowl and add semolina and stir well until it is well combined.
6. Add sugar and salt and mix well and keep in warm place to rise for about 8 hours or overnight.
7. Oil a small bowl and pour in a ladleful or a couple of ladles of the batter and steam it for about 10-15 minutes in medium heat until it is cooked. Cool for 15-20 minutes before taking the pola from the bowl. Pola will be sticky when hot. Alternatively, you can spread a small piece of cling film or a plastic sheet over the bowl, then spread oil on it and steam it until the batter is cooked. When done just lift up the cling film and tip the pola in a plate.
8. Serve warm with sweet stew that is made with mashed banana,milk and sugar.
9. The left over Pola can be stored in refrigerator in a closed container and can be reheated in a microwave or even steamer before serving.

1. Sometimes, when the climate is cold, the batter doesn’t get raised easily. What I used to do is, I keep the bowl of batter over another bowl containing very hot water (straight from kettle) making sure that the bowl containing batter doesn’t touch the water at all. The steam will provide enough heat and the batter will get fermented as usual.

Kabuli channa masala

This curry is delicious with battura. It also pairs well with chappathi, puri etc. This dish is adapted from pachakarani of Mrs. B.F.Varugese.

Ingredients:1 cup Dry chickpeas
1 cup Chopped tomatoes
2 cups chopped onion
6 Garlic pods,grated
1 tbs Grated ginger
2 Green chillies
3 cups Water
¼ tspSoda bicarbonate
To grind:1 tbs Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tbs Coriander powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbs Couscous
½ tsp Fennel seeds
½ tsp Cumin seeds
To garnishCoriander leaves

1. Soak the peas for 12 hours. Drain.
2. Cook the channa along with tomatoes, garlic, ginger, soda bicarbonate, 1 cup onion and 3 cups water until the channa is cooked well and is soft.
3. Meanwhile, grind all the ingredients under the title ‘to grind’ with touch of water to a smooth paste.
4. Heat another pan add little oil and sauté other cup of onion until it starts to brown. Add the ground spices until the raw smell goes off. Make sure the spices doesn’t get burnt. If it does, add a dash of water and cook. Grind this onion and spice mixture. and return it to the saucepan.
5. Add to this salt and cooked channa and boil for few minutes till the gravy is thick.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with battura,puris, chapppatti or even Arabic bread khubz.

Battura (Batura)

Battura is a famous Indian fried bread made of all purpose flour or maida. It goes well with almost any Indian curry but it is well known for its pairing with chole or the Chickpea curry . It looks somewhat like the Indian bread poori, but it tastes quite different. The method and the ingredients are quite different as well. For poori, we normally use wheat flour, but for battura we use all purpose flour. I have tried many versions of battura from here and there and this is the best one and Myself and my family love this. I got this recipe from vahchef . It is a video demo and I followed as such.

Here's the recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
2½ tbs semolina
2tbs curd

1. Mix all the dry ingredients well.
2. Add enough water to curd to make ¾ cup of the liquid. (I used a measuring jar to do this).Mix well and add this curd + water mixture into the dry ingredients and knead well to make tight dough. Keep it covered in a warm place for atleast 2 hours.
3. Make lemon size balls out of the dough and roll it into thin discs and deep fry in oil in medium flame. Drop the flattened dough into the hot oil and push it down several times as soon as it rises until it puffs up completely. Flip it over until you get light golden colour all over.You can make 12 battura with this amount and is will serve 3 people.
4. Serve hot with Kabuli Channa masala or any other curries. I tried it the other day with the chettinad chicken curry and it was absolutely delicious.
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