Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Chef's Favourites Series : No Fry-No Bake Pakodas - A Guest Post by Priya Mahadevan

I welcome all of you to The Chef's Favourites guest post for the month of February. First I would like to thank each one of you who appreciated this new series happening here and also for giving such lovely comments for  a wonderful post - Butter Cashew Biscuits by Sangee Vijay. A special thanks to Sangee for starting off this series with an amazing post :).

The Chef for this month is Priya Mahadevan of Now Serving. When I started Good Food, I had no clue about blogging and initially I didn't have any blogger friends. Priya is one of the first bloggers who stopped by my space and left some very encouraging comments for my initial posts. Her comments inspired me to move forward in this blogosphere and I have reached this far now. I owe you a lot Priya :). I don't think I will ever forget you :). I still remember sending entries to your Fast Food, Not Fat Food event, which was one of the first events I participated :). Most of you will know that Priya always encourages and supports the newcomers . I am so glad that she is a good friend of mine and has supported me all the time without fail :). Thank you Priya !! Thanks a lot for agreeing to do a guest post, sending it so quick  (I must say super quick ) and its an honour for me to present you here. 

Chef Priya of  Now Serving  is sharing with us one of her favourite recipes, which is very healthy and delicious too. No Fry - No Bake Pakodas...sounds great rt ? :) . I know you all are waiting to know about this interesting recipe :)

Presenting Priya in her own words....

Thank you Sobha dear for doing me this honor to be part of your The Chef’s Favourites series.  I know you started blogging after I did and I have watched your blog grow and become a repository of wonderful recipes. Congrats dear and keep up the great work. It has been so awesome to be blogging with you and I hope we will for a long time.

About me...

Let me introduce myself as a mom first and foremost, who delights in cooking different kinds of foods – One thing I know about myself is I am not afraid to experiment with my spices and flavors and my rationale for that is if you like certain flavors, playing around with it sometimes leads to amazing new flavors and recipes. I am also trained as a journalist and was with a prominent Indian newspaper before I got married and moved to North America. Now I cook, blog, and do other types of writing.

Favourite Recipe here @ Good Food

Being a diehard vegetarian and a stauch advocate of vegetarianism, the fact that Sobha’s is an all veggie blog make me confident that I can comment on them – sometimes it is difficult for me to make an informed or sensible comment about non-veg dishes so I try to find a veggie dish that has been made recently by my friends who blog both to leave a comment.

I enjoyed this exercise because it gave me a chance to browse in greater detail Sobha’s Good Food and I found several dishes that I loved on sight – I mention a few that especially made me drool – Her Aval Payasam – The pictures present a perfect payasam that I want to pick up and drink right away.

The other recipe that I have bookmarked to try soon is her Oats Spinach Dosai – Sounds healthy, looks delicious – check it out – a third unique recipe I discovered was Bread Laddus – How cool is that – there are many others do browse at leisure.

Favourite Cookbook

Meenakshi Ammal is the one lady whose cook books I refer to for all my traditional recipes – Cook and See is the ultimate for a good recipe and a good laugh since she measures things in Ollocks and I have still to remember what an ollock is even after referencing it so many times on google – but her recipes are accurate and the end product fabulous.

Favourite Chef

Like Sangee who did this before me, and like 90% of the bloggers whose bios I’ve read, I must say that the tastes and flavors that my mom grew my tongue up with are the ones I have carried with me all my life and although I know I have built upon these tastes and recipes of my mom. The basic understanding of how to use spices and the subtle nuances of using just the right amount are definitely from her exacting expectations of herself and my father’s uncanny ability to say just what is required – he was the official taster  and my son has now taken the role.

Favourite Spice

I have to definitely say Coriander Seed – I am under the spell of its freshly ground fragrance – nothing to beat it :)

Favourite Restaurant 

In India this is a difficult choice as there are so many favorites in different categories – Saravana Bhavan for South Indian, House of Ming in Delhi for Chinese, Cascade for Thai, The Dhaba Express for Punjabi/North Indian 

In the US, our options are very limited – but I like the Italian joint called Vinny’s close to my home – they have a very decent standard of taste which is highly suitable for the Indian palate. I love Basheer’s Taverna, a Lebanese restaurant – he makes some of the best Baklavas :)

Favourite Cuisine

My favorite cuisine of all I decide by asking myself – what do I least tire of eating if I make the same cuisine for a whole week? And the answer is too cinchy – South Indian, hands down – too many varieties and so many different ingredients and flavors!

Favourite Food Show

I don’t watch much TV at all – and if I must pick, I love the recipes I see on Dr. Oz’s shows.

Favourite Recipe

This is a very tough question to answer since I have many many favorite dishes which I make often – but if I really must pick, it would be Rasam. That is one dish we never tire of – we make these long trips and vacations, and when come back out tongues are dead from not tasting what we are used to and the first thing  I do is make a good rasam with some rice and spinach dish on the side – Our comfort food. Rasam has flavours in it that hits all the spots of the tongue that need pleasing – the only dish that can do that for me.  

But here I am sharing with you a favorite dish I like to prepare which is Pakodas – that is like rasam and quick fix if you ever are dying to have a yummy snack – except as I am becoming more health conscious and mind what goes into my mouth, I have devised several different ways in which to enjoy the same snacks/treats without compromising on their healthfulness.

I have recipes for Fried  Pakoda and Baked Pakoda on my blog. Here I am presenting a No-fry No Bake Pakodas – interesting na? and it turned out just as tasty as it is loaded with oil – so do give it a try!

No-fry No Bake Pakoda

Ingredients (same as that of regular pakoda)

1 cup besan (kadalamavu/chickpea flour
1 cup rice flour
1 red onion chopped
3-5 green chillies
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp olive oil for lightly sauteeing the onions
Olive oil cooking spray and Paniyaram pan (bagel pan)


Lightly fry the chopped onion in tsp of oil.
Add water in tablespoons (about 3) until you've reach the right consistency to bind the flours but not make it soggy (see pictures)
Make into firm balls to fit the dips in the pan
Heat pan on low flame and pray the dips
Place the balls in the dips and spray lightly once more
Close with lid and allow it to cook for a couple of minutes before turning them over.
With another light spray, cook the top side for a couple of minutes longer until the entire pakoda is a pleasing golden brown crisp.

Serve hot - This is what I call having my pakodas and eating them too :)

Enjoy :)

My Cooking Tip / Advice / Quote

1) For this I want to quote the tagline that my good buddy, Priya Sreeram of Bon Appetit has - Cook with passion, serve with love and the food tastes good and makes you feel a lot better.

2) If it does not come out exactly how you imagined it would, please give it several more shots – remember the Scottish Fable about King Bruce and the Spider?

3) Measurements work best for baking, but for Indian cooking esp, they are merely guidelines to tweak around to your satisfaction.

Love you all and thanks for being in my life  - Hugs to you Sobha!!

32 Tasty Comments:

Rasi said...

loved the post :).. the best part is getting insight to the fellow blogger's life..priya..its just came fro the heart :) & now i have to add the bagel pan to my list of must buy items!!..sobha thanks for hosting this.. oops! forgot to mention.. lovely pakodas..

Hamaree Rasoi said...

Pakoras look simply delicious and crispy.

Hamaree Rasoi said...

wow..nice one..looks yummy n tasty dear.....


Nithu Bala said...

Priya is a wonderful blogger and she had been my blog's guest too. Nice recipe..Lovely series Shobha.

Hema said...

That's a very nice post, the pakodas look superb and this is a nice series Sobha..

Neha said...

Very nice and healthy pakoras.....

Julie said...

Lovely post,Sobha & Priya has been my first blogger friend to comment on my space as well,a real encouraging person & hard working person esp with her recipes !!

Erivum Puliyum

Ramakrishnan said...

Piping hot pakodas & chai are one of the most delicious & scrumptious snacks in the world.

Javelin Warrior said...

Priya, this was a very interesting blog for me, especially since I just started following your blog. It's like getting the best introduction ever! I don't eat a lot of Indian cuisine, but I'm always fascinated by pretty much any food ;)

simran said...

these are superb!.i recently started blogging myself and i must say that i am impressed,touched and totally humbled by the inputs and encouragement given by the other blogger.

Christy Gerald said...

Done so good and oil-less. Luvly recipe by Priya!

Kaveri Venkatesh said...

A wonderful Post! lovely pakodas

Vimitha Durai said...

Crunchy yummy n healthy pakodas

Faseela said...

wow...lovely idea and theme......too sweet of u all.....

Wonderful pakoras and the name itself sounds great...

divya said...

looks so delicious..very tempting clicks!!

Alpana said...

Beautiful post Sobha ......& yes for sure Priya is amazingly supportive & always finds time to comment & compliment our creations. I am touched. Pakoras look excellent.

Plateful said...

Pakodas!! And that too no-fry, no-bake?!! I want!

Anjali Shukla said...

This is a fantastic beautifully written and presented!
The pakoras are lovely of course, and so are you both, my dear blogger friends!!
It's always great to see a guest post, because it showers love and respect in the blogging fraternity.

Ongoing Event: Cakes, Cookies and Desserts

Suja Manoj said...

Lovely post Shobha and Priya..Pakodas looks so yummy,perfect with tea

Anonymous said...

no fry pakodas.. love them. .book marked. please visit my site too when you have some time

Sangeetha M said...

Well written post by Priya...great knowing her more and this pakoda looks too good n tempting...well done Priya!!
Well said Sobha, Priya never fails to enocurage any new blogger with her encouraging words...three cheers to your friendship...good effort Sobha!!
Spicy Treats
OnGoing Event:Show Me Your HITS~Healthy Delights

Elaichii said...

Excellent Post from Priya! Thanks for sharing the no fry no bake pakoda!

cookingvarieties said...

Hi Sobha and Priya.. i love to visit both your blogs and feast my eyes on the yummy recipes and photos.
I also appreciate both of you so much,fir the fact that you always visit my blog, even though you are vegetarian.
Here i have learnt a new recipe, not just that- i also learnt how not to fry or bake...the Priya way;; have a nice day and a great weekend to you both.

Unknown said...

Thank you Sobha dear and all my wonderful blogger friends ; Love you all!

Suganya said...

Healthy snack. Looks so good. Loved ur idea... YUM!

Treat and Trick said...

Great series to introduce in depth of other fellow blogger. Wonderful post by talented and innovative Priya!

PrathibhaSreejith said...

A great guilt free snack, paniyaram pan sure is a treasure. Beautiful guest post Priya, Loved reading and getting to know the real you.
Sobha, ur r doing really an awesome job with ur lovely Guest posts series...

Sobha Shyam said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments :)...Thank you Priya for such an interesting recipe.

Anonymous said...

interesting pakoras

smrithi said...

heathy pakodas, looks nice

Deeps @ Naughty Curry said...

thats interesting, the min i read the title i was wondering how the pakoda's are made :)

Nupur said...

Its a wonderful Post dear.. love the way u write and describe post..

An award is waiting for you at my space, do pick it up Gal :)
UK Rasoi

Do visit my space for your lovely participation in ongoing events:
Soup It up
Flavours Of Nepal

UK Rasoi


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