Earning Brownie points

Without making a single brownie :)

Today we had to renew my son's passport.  Our appointment was at 9:45, which meant we had to leave home by 8:45.  Gau is on his first-term break; He does not see the light of day before 9 am at the earliest. The only hope of getting out this early was PBJ for breakfast.  Since we got back only at 10:50 and I wanted to be at work within an hour at least, I planned the simplest lunch possible - Dal Tadka and Potato Fry.  I came home at 6 pm to an empty rice bowl :)
I think proceeded to make the quickest dessert possible:  Coconut Chocolate Ladoo.
Gau popped one in his mouth and exclaimed "You bought this?  You made this!"
I must have spent an hour in the kitchen today in entirety, but hours at the stove has never generated such a enthusiastic response.  Viva to Simplicity!

Eco-nut makes a lovely Peanut Butter and I buy organic jam or imported jams to keep the sugar level low. I buy whole wheat bread usually.  So skillet toasted bread, 1 slice smeared with PB, other with J.  Stacked.  Nothing to it. 
They forgot to label the peanut butter, so I kept their millet in the pic.

Daal Tadka:
1 cup daal
1 green chilly
1tsp turmeric powder

1 onion
5 shallots
4 garlic pods
1 tomato

2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp jeera
Sprig of Curry Leaf
Coriander to garnish

Precook daal  in the cooker and turmeric powder with 2 cups water.
Finely chop onion, garlic, chilly, quarter the peeled shallots.
Finely chop tomato
Heat oil, add mustard, jeera
When the pop add the curry leaves, onions, shallots, chilly.
Fry until onion is translucent.
Add the tomato and cook until it releases its juice.
Pour in the daal and salt
Add about a cup of water to adjust to a pourable consistency.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Potato Fry
5 smallish potatoes, scrubbed and Steamed in their jacked.

3 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp urad daal
1 tsp chana daal
1 tsp hing
1tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste

Cut the potatoes into a large dice, leaving the skin on.
Heat oil, add musatrd and jeera
When it pops, add the urad and chana daal
When urad turns reddish, add the hing, turmeric and chilli
Add the potatoes and salt and fry until the potatoes are nicely coated with the oil dressing.

Choco-Coco Laddus

1 tin condensed  milk (400g)
2 cups coconut, grated and toasted
1 tsp elaichi (cardamom powder)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 tbspoon clarified butter, divided.

Heat a large wok.
Pour the milk maid, coconut and elaichi
Stir fry until the mix starts sticking in placed.
Add about 1/2 a tbspoon of ghee and continue frying until the mix becomes cohesive and leaves the sides of the pan
Add the chocolate chips and mix it in.
When cool enough to handle, roll into small balls, smear ghee on your hands to keep the mix from sticking

  • Each ball could be rolled in a cocoa+powdered sugar+powdered coconut mix in turn.
  • I had pre-roasted the coconut in the oven, so the whole thing only took 20 minutes.
  • Without the chocolate chips, the ladoo would taste too milky.  We south indians prefer keeping milk out of ladoos.
  • You could add nuts and raisins to the mix
  • If the mix takes too long to come together or you have less than enough coconut or you find this too sweet for your taste, add a tablespoon or two of chiroti rava to the mix when you are cooking. 
  • Store in the fridge.  I know nothing about the shelf life of condensed milk.

I had a epiphany today.  My mother would come up with these shortcuts - milk maid payasam, horlicks burfi etc... and I would react with an annoyed "Why spoil a perfectly good traditional recipe?"  Well, she had to take care of a family of 5 and she would also supply sweets to our neighbours and my aunts family.  Despite our thin frames, we ate like pigs. She cooked in humongous quantities.  No wonder she needed shortcuts!  Now, pressed for time as I am, I finally appreciate her ability to keep every one happy with great food.
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