Kid's Delight ~ Finger Food Round up

>>  Saturday, November 20, 2010

I think I am making this as a habit posting the round up late, but I am determined it is going to get better. Afterall it doesn't do justice to the efforts taken by the bloggers. When I thought of Finger Food, it was basically an effort to get some ideas to have quick snacks for the evening or even for a party with Kids around.

We have about 45 entries, all fitting the bill and each one as tempting as the other. I thank everybody who has sent in their entry. I hope I haven't missed any, if so kindly ping me, will update right away!

First three entries comes from Dershana, who sends in 2 savory finger foods and a delightful muffin.

Baked brown bread rolls
Paneer Tikka Kaatti Rolls
Eggless apple and dates bran muffins

I am sure kids will be ready to grab these right away. I am eyeing that Paneer Tikka Kaatti Rolls for Konda.

Next from Gayathri comes Cake balls & a Eggless Peanut Butter Cupcake

Followed by Bread cutlets & Savoury Spring Onion and Paneer Rolls from Jayasri who finally managed to send in for the event.

Then comes
Kalva 's Spicy Crispy Rice Balls
Kavitha's Sabudana Vada
Lalitha's Fruit Balls
Meena's Oriental Croquettes in Noodle Wraps
Meenakshi Tripathy's Bread Rolls
Nisha's Cake Pops

Nivedita sends in two entries, Bread and Fruit bars(M/W grilled) & Beetroot fingers

And a Platter for Advay from Priyanka

Followed by Pavani's  Tomato Spirals, Shortbread Biscuits, Carrot Muffins,
Carrot and Courgette Muffins, Mixed Vegetable Noodles Rolls

PJ then sends in a Sabudana Vada

Followed by some tempting creations from Priya Srinivasan Chocolate Dry Fruit Ladoo, Microwave Ragi Laddoos, Soya Fritters, Urad Dal Vada, Dates Peda

Then Priya Suresh sends in
Oven Roasted Cauliflower
Chocolate Puffs
Eggless Jumbo Chocolate Chips Cookies
Spicy & Cheesy Stuffed Beets Swirl Bread
Barley & Spring Onion Biscuits
Ka'ak- Arabic Bread Rings

Sanjeeta's Bread Snack
Santosh's Bread Fry
Sunitha Bala sends in ritzy chicken nuggets & Pizza fingers

Supriya's Bread Fingers & Bread Boats
Akheela's Beetroot party sandwiches
Umm Mymoonah's Beet Falafel
Vidhya's Choco dates & Nuts Balls

Finally from me Mini Triangle Stuffed Paratha, Peanut Fried Gram Chikki Balls, Manoharam

I hope I have included everybody. Please let me know if I have missed any.

Next theme is based on Holiday Special for Kid's Delight


Varo – Indian Praline with Mixed Dry fruits | Diwali Sweets | Indian Cooking Challenge for October ~ Step By Step Recipe!

>>  Monday, November 15, 2010

With Diwali / Deepavali falling on the 5th of November, I thought we should attempt to make a sweet for the Indian Cooking Challenge this month.   Deepavali is all about sharing the good time with family and friends. As everybody, I have loads of memories of cooking with Amma, preparing for the day. We used to make many varieties of sweets and savories that are distributed to neighbours and we eat and eat till we see the end of it!

While I was discussing with Alka, she suggested I can make Varo. She said it is a Sindhi Special made for the Diwali day. She said though her mom makes, she is yet to post it on her blog, she was able to post it right on spot and directed me to couple of other sites that showcase this special dish. When I hopped over to read, I realized it was the Chikki or the Peanut Brittle that we make at home. Though I don't remember Amma ever making it with Dry fruits. 

So for this month's challenge let's look into making a Varo a traditional Sindhi recipe. In South India Chikki made with Peanut or various nuts with Jaggary is very famous. The consistency of the jaggary is paramount in making Chikki. Just like that making with sugar is also going to be tough.

I went through both the sites referred and adapted together, so I am listing out both the sources.

Step by Step of making Varo

Before you start make sure you have a greased rolling board, greased knife and a bottom of a cup ready for spreading the varo flat.

Slice all the dry fruits, keep them ready along with the poppy seeds, dried copra and sugar

Melt sugar in a thick bottom pan, remove impurities if you find and continue cooking

 After few minutes add the Clarified butter or ghee to the pan

Let it melt.
When the sugar water starts boiling, keep stirring with a ladle.

 Continue stirring and you will see the syrup getting thicker

 After about 5 minutes or so, you will find the syrup turning colour into lovely golden hue

 Wait exactly for a minute and add all the chopped dry fruits, along with poppy seeds, copra to the pan. Quickly combine everything together so that the nuts are coated well. Make sure you don't cook this for long. Should be about 1 -2 minutes and not more. Else the nuts will get burnt.

Prior to start cooking this, have the rolling board greased with oil/ghee. You can use a thali or plate too

Immediately pour the mix on to the board and quickly spread the mix to plain using a greased bottom of the cup.You can also make marks on the top when you find it is cooled a bit

 When it is completely cooled, they easily break into pieces.

Recipe 1
Varo – Sindhi Sweet Treat (Diwali Special)
Source : Simply Sindhi Recipes


Mixed Nuts like Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts,Walnuts - 1 Cup
Sliced Dry Coconut / Copra - roughly 5-6 small slices
Poppy Seeds / Khus Khus - 2 tsp
Sugar - 1 Cup
Ghee Clarified Butter - 2 tsp


Slice all mixed nuts.Copra, and Poppy seeds together.

In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar.

When the sugar is melted and caramelized to a light brown color add the sliced mixed nuts, Khus Khus,. Mix till nuts are coated well with the caramelized sugar.

Pour this mixture onto the back of a thali/ greased plate or on a rolling board.

Using the back side (flat side) of a cup, flatten the mixture like a thick chapatti or disc. You can use a rolling pin to roll the mixture. This has to be done very quickly as the mixture begins to harden as soon as it is removed from heat.

When it becomes little cool, make square marks on top with a greased knife.

Leave the rolled Varo to set for some time.

Break into pieces and store in air tight containers.

Recipe 2

Varo ~ Indian pistachio praline with cardamom
Source : Madhvi's Foolproof Recipes


Sugar - 125 gms (½ cup)
Pistachios, coarsely chopped - 75 gms (½ cup)
Cardamom powder - ½ tsp
White Poppy seeds - 2 tbsp
Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp


Prepare the surface on which you plan to roll out by spreading the oil. Sprinkle half of the poppy seeds evenly on the Oil. Keep a knife and rolling pin ready.

Heat the sugar in a heavy bottom pan over a medium heat until it becomes caramelized – (it will become liquid and start to turn a golden brown - this takes about 5 minutes), then take the pan off the heat immediately and quickly stir the pistachio nuts and cardamom into it.

Pour the caramel and pistachio mixture onto the oiled surface and quickly roll it all out until it is about 3mms thick (while it is still warm), and spread the remaining poppy seeds on top. Then use a knife to cut it into pieces – hammer the rolling pin onto the knife to help cut the praline into 2 inch squares.

I must say this was one of those rare dishes that got approval from Hubby dear right on the moment he tasted it. And he continued to praise it every time he eat it. I must thank Alka for suggesting this wonderful sweet and Avisha & Madhvi for sharing their regional special with us

To all my ICC members, please link your Varo post to Mr. Linky.


Carrot Paratha | Quick Lunch Box for Kids | Announcing Kid's Delight - Holiday Special!

>>  Saturday, November 13, 2010

Carrot Paratha was something that Amma had made for Konda during my SFO trip. I had asked Konda to decide on a menu for her lunch during my absence so that lunch packing gets easy and stress free for Athamma or Amma, whoever was planning to make.

When I came back both of them were telling me of this carrot paratha that Amma had made for Konda's lunch. It came during discussion one too many times. Still I never came around making it. Finally today though it was a Saturday they were working because of Children's Day celebration. So I had to plan for both snacks and lunch.

Boys also had their sports day celebrations. Chinnu won first place in running race, while Peddu was part of the Relay team. Apart from these Chinnu was in the Bunny March. We were so upset that we couldn't send Peddu for the March as he is still weak. But we all went  for  the program. Both the boys were given their medals, which they wore through the whole day.

So in all that hurry, I managed to make these Carrot Paratha for Konda's lunch. Amma told me that the grated carrots have to be sauteed before mixing in the flour.

Let's see how these are made!

 Grate the carrots, heat a pan with 1 tsp oil, saute cumin seeds, carrot, coriander leaves
Saute few minutes along with Salt to taste, Chilli powder and garam masala

 Mix the masala to the flour
 Knead into a soft dough using little water as required.

 Dust well and roll out into a big paratha. Cut out using mould you have into small parathas.

Heat a pan, grease with oil. Cook these on both sides.

Cook as many as your kids eats, allow to get cool if the lunch is going to be cold one.

Pack it right away..This stays very good till evening, I haven't tried beyond that. You don't require a side dish along with this if you are serving to kids.

Ingredients Needed:

Wheat Flour - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Water for kneading

For Masala

Carrots, grated - 1 long
Coriander leaves handful
Salt to taste
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Method to prepare:

Grate the carrots, chop the coriander leaves.

Heat a pan with 1 tsp oil, add the cumin seeds. Then add the grated carrots, coriander leaves along with chili powder, salt and garam masala.

Saute for few minutes until the carrots are slightly gets cooked.

In a wide bowl, take the flour, add salt and the masala. Mix well.

Slowly add the water to knead into a soft dough.

Dust with flour and roll out into a big paratha. Cut out into small parathas.

Heat a tawa, grease with oil. Cook the parathas on both sides.

Pack the parathas for the kid's lunch.

I know the Kid's Delight Finger Food Round up is still pending but somehow things just went on. Will be doing it next week. Meanwhile, please send in this month's theme entries.

Announcing this month's Kid's Delight theme is which Holiday Special

Please check out the rules and send in your entries either through the entry form or through email to by 15th December 2010.

By Holiday Special it means you can send in any special dish that you may prepare for your children for the Holidays! It is all your innovation in play

Looking forward to your entries.


Onion Podi Dosa, Karam Dosa ~ 101 Dosa Varieties!

>>  Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It was a late afternoon in the summer of 98, when I was studying a course in computer. Along with my two friends we decided to eat at the neighboring hotel. Tiffin are quite common at all times but eating out was not so common then. I used to get my regular 100 Rs as pocket money. Amma has been giving me since I started college. Not that I spent much other than the petrol for the two wheeler.

Having decided to eat, I was apprehensive if parents would object to me eating out. We were never encouraged to eat out and we never even thought of doing something without their knowledge. But are there times as first always right. I think it was one of those firsts. Of course until much later, I never confessed to having indulged in a sinful feast on dosas back from institute.

I have always been fond of dosas, be at home or outside. So it was natural that I order a Dosa variety. Browsing through the menu card, my eyes kept going back to the Podi Dosa on the menu. Being so crazy of the podi that Amma makes and dosas in general, I was at lost imaging how yummy it was going to be. Believe me, the dosa that came finally to my table, kept to its fantasy!

It was beyond words can express my joy I felt devouring every bit of that dosa and couldn't get it out of my system for a long time. Imagine my misery, enjoying something so delicious, yet unable to share that joy with Amma as it was an illicit dealing..:)

Share I did, many years later. Still Amma was candid enough to ask where I had that. I had to gulp the details and just tell her how it was made. The long lost happiness finally came in when I was able to recreate the magic at home. Of course for all the flowing adulation I am bestowing on this, it is natural this type is a common fare at most homes, still it was something that had caught my attention. And if even after nearly a decade and half, if the mind feels the satiation, I am sure it was very delectable.

The trick lies on browning the onions to the right colour and then spreading the podi over it

I must say this most surely falls under the Bachelor feast as it is something one can do within minutes, provided if one can assemble the required ingredients in short time.

There is no ingredient at all.

Get yourself a bowl of Dosa batter.
Your dose of podi or Gun powder as it is called at our place
Finely chopped onions.
A dollop of ghee/Clarified butter

Heat a dosa pan, spread a ladle of batter as you regularly do, sprinkle chopped onions. Sprinkle oil on the sides
Once done, flip on the other side, allow it to cook. Simmer for couple of mins for the onions to get browned.
Flip it back to the original side. Sprinkle the podi/ spiced powder over the dosa, pour the ghee over it (the ghee should be hot for it to spread evenly)

Transfer and just eat!

Wasn't that quick? Believe me it is surely heaven on a plate!

Next one on the plate is a simple Karam Dosa, which is same as the Erra Karam Masala Dosa but even simpler!

Chop Onions finely, mix in Red Chili powder, salt to taste. Mix well

Pour of ladleful of Dosa Batter, spinkle a spoon of this Onion, Chili mix over the top. 

Flip onto the top side down for it to get cooked. Once done turn it back again.

This is different from the Erra Karam Dosa as that was ground, while this is even more quick!

Hope you enjoyed these simple yet very satisfying Dosa varieties!


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