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N & N

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Our South Indian recipes

Filtering by Tag: gluten free

Puffed Buckwheat Bars

Neeru Ravi

buckwheat bars, healthy, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan, recipe

Crunchy, crisp, sweet and moreish. These absolutely hit the spot when you're looking for that slightly sweet snack - and our recipe saves you the guilt by using unrefined sugar!

One of our favourite South Indian snacks is the 'pori urandai' – a.k.a puffed rice ball. These sweet spheres are commonly made around November to celebrate the South Indian festival of lights - Karthikai. No not Deepavali - we have another festival of lights! Apparently one isn't enough.

In this recipe, we've swapped the puffed rice for puffed buckwheat to shake things up and add a different flavour dimension. In case you haven't tasted it before - it's a bit like popcorn! 

Buckwheat is a naturally nutritious grain with 'buck'et loads of goodness, which when popped results in crunchy little pillows. And it's gluten-free too! 

Toasting the puffed buckwheat means it stays crisp once combined with the sweet syrupy mixture and retains its crunch perfectly once set.

These bars are studded with juicy raisins and crunchy almonds for extra taste and texture. We've used one of our favourite unrefined sugars from down South - Jaggery, a dark earthy sweetener made from sugar cane. To pack in a different kind of sweetness, we've thrown in some dark agave nectar and finished it off with lots of ground cardamom for festive measure.

Shape them however you fancy- baubles, bars, triangles... and if you store them in an airtight container, they'll last you all week. Feel free to swap in whatever dried fruits or nuts you fancy. Cashews, cranberries, pecans and sultanas could all work well.

Toast, mix, set and enjoy!

Love,

N & N

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Time: 35 mins
Makes: 15-20 squares

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups toasted puffed buckwheat (You should be able to get this in most health food stores. If you can't find it, feel free to use any other puffed grain: rice, quinoa...)
  • 3/4 cup jaggery 
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 4 tbsps water
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil for greasing

Method:

  1. Toast the buckwheat in the oven at 180°C for 5 mins or until crispy (it shouldn’t colour or burn)
  2. Grease a metal dish (around ½ inch deep) with coconut oil
  3. Heat the water in a pan along with the jaggery and the agave nectar
  4. Mix and melt. It need to reaches a certain consistency in order to stick the buckwheat together and set properly. This can be a little tricky to spot. So to test if the sugar syrup has reached the correct stage, drop little spoonfuls of the hot sugar syrup into a cup of cold water. If you’re able to roll it into balls in the water then you’re good to go. Cooking isn't just about seeing, smelling and tasting, you also need to use other senses, and touch is the perfect one here!
  5. When the sugar syrup reaches this stage, add in the cardamom, toasted buckwheat, raisins and almonds and stir well to mix.
  6. Pour into the greased dish and flatten out. Or you can even shape them into balls – but be careful, the mixture will be hot!
  7. Let it set for 10 mins and then cut into squares.

Crunch away!

Spice Advice - Jaggery

Jaggery is a dark, earthy, unrefined sugar, which is made from sugar cane juice, date palm sap or a combination of the two. Unlike regular sugar, Jaggery is rich in minerals and iron. It also has a more complex structure, so is digested more  slowly and helps prevent sugar highs and lows. You should be able to find it in an Indian/Sri Lankan/Ethnic store. We suggest finding the real deal instead of trying substitutions!

Golden Roast Potatoes

Neeru Ravi

golden roast potatoes, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan

Britain and South India share a very important common bond - the love of a good Sunday lunch. 

Positively an institution in both countries, it embodies all things warm, comforting and familial. We look forward to it all week, selecting the choicest ingredients, and on the big day roll up our sleeves to help cook and recover afterwards with a snooze on the sofa. 

Like any proper British Sunday lunch, the South Indian counterpart's vital, and unmissable dish is the roast potato. Proper, crispy, golden gems. Everyone has their secret to what makes the perfect roast potato and we want to share with you our family recipe. South Indian Spiced Potatoes.

Flavoured with turmeric, chilli powder and asafoetida, these couldn't give you a better return on your time investment. Such big flavour for such little effort and expense.  #ourkindofcooking

Typically in India, we'd use a cast iron pan, and the key to get the potatoes really crispy and golden was OIL. Lots and lots and lots of it.  We're talking close-your-eyes-and-pour kind of quantities. Well, we wanted the same golden crunch but with no where near as much oil. How? Take a tip from the Brits and roast them in the oven. 

Our spiced potatoes roasted in the oven are the next level of potato perfection.  We shake things up even more by tossing ours in olive oil for extra flavour and goodness.

And for ultimate roast potato heaven, pick out the cutest, mini-est potatoes you can, roast them whole and keep the skins on! They bag all of the flavour from the spices, and make these potatoes little golden nuggets of delight.

So roast, enjoy, and stay tuned for the rest of our guide to the healthy, modern and perfect South Indian Sunday lunch.

N & N

Time: 35 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg baby new potatoes
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida (see note below)
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder (add more if you like spice!)
  • 1/8 -1/4 tsp salt (according to taste)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Par boil the potatoes in boiling water for 15 mins.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. Drain the potatoes and scatter over a baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle the spices over the top. Toss well so all the potatoes get coated and pop in the oven.
  5. Leave them in for a good 20 minutes to crisp up nicely. The turmeric gives them a beautiful golden sheen so they look like golden eggs! 

Best enjoyed sizzling hot from the oven.

Spice Advice: Asafoetida

Asafoetida is a powder, commonly used in South Indian cooking. It's a dried resin extracted from the root of a herb. The taste is really difficult to pin down, and we wouldn't recommend you taste it by itself! Mixed in with everything else, it adds a super savoury element and rounds out the flavours, so don't leave it out! It should be easily available in all good supermarkets.

Fudgy Almond Bites

Nikki Ravi

Fudgy almond bites, onelifetwoways, south indian, vegan

'Barfi', a classic South Indian sweet, is often made for religious festivals, weddings, and other special occasions. No Indian sweet shop would be complete without a glistening tray of barfi displayed in the window. 

They're a delicious treat but the thought of all the sugar and ghee that goes into the traditional recipe is enough to give us a heart attack!

So we've taken the same key ingredients and given it a healthier, vegan twist!

The ingredients are just four in number: powdered nuts, palm sugar, water and fat.  Our bites use palm sugar (from the sugar palm tree), which is a raw, natural and unrefined sugar. We add a touch of coconut oil for some richness and an added flavour boost. A pinch of saffron or cardamom mixed in at the end can elevate the flavour to a whole new level. We first tried this recipe out for Deepavali and wow, were we blown away!  

There are countless variations on this recipe! Swap almonds for cashews for a creamy white barfi, give pistachios a go for a cool green hue, or opt for desiccated coconut flakes for a barfi that packs a flavour and texture punch. 

Go on, put the kettle on for a cup of masala chai and whip up a batch of these barfi bites. 

N & N
 

Time: 40 mins prep + 20 mins to cool
Makes: 15-20 pieces


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup palm sugar
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom

Method:

  1. Grease a shallow metal dish with some coconut oil. The reason we say metal pan and not glass is that the almond syrup mixture that you'll pour in will be super hot and we don't want a glass explosion! 
  2. Blitz the palm sugar kernels to a smooth powder.
  3. Heat the water in a large pan and add the sugar. Dissolve and keep mixing until it reaches a one string consistency. What does this mean? Essentially when you scoop up a spoonful and tilt the spoon, the syrup should fall in a single string and not drip drip drip.
  4. Add the ground almonds and cardamom and stir vigorously. Be careful here, the sugar syrup mixture will be very hot so don't splash yourself!
  5. Pop a cooking thermometer into the mixture and keep beating until it reaches 114 °C . This is the perfect temperature that will give you soft setting barfi that still keeps its shape. 
  6. Pour the mixture into the greased dish, making sure to scrape everything into it! Use a flat bottom metal cup or spatula to flatten down the mixture so it's even and around 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Let is set for 10 mins and then slice into pretty diamond shaped pieces. Before the mixture sets, you can even scatter over almond slivers or more cardamom to add some extra crunch and flavour. 

These beauties are a unanimous favourite among our friends and family. We're sure yours will love them too.

Spice Advice: Palm Sugar

This is a special type of sugar from the sugar palm tree - note this is different to the coconut palm tree! It's made from the juice extracted from the jelly like fruit of the tree. For a comparison, they're a bit like lychees, but bigger, juicer and without the seeds. In Tamil, they're known as 'Nongu'. Palm sugar is available in all ethnic/Indian/Sri Lankan stores, and if you can't find it, substitute with coconut sugar or demerara sugar.