The rain keeps up a relentless assault. The wind whistles round the house. There`s water, water, too much of water. It`s days since you`ve felt the warmth of the sun on your back. Everything you touch is cold and damp. Don`t you feel like eating something hot, crisp and spicy to warm up your insides?
There are lots of things you can rustle up for a quick munch in front of the TV, or to go with the thriller you`re reading. Here are a few of them:
Crispy Cheese BiscuitsIngredients:
- Salt -1 teaspoon
- Mustard powder - 2 teaspoons
- Butter or margarine - 3 tablespoons
- Grated cheese 1-1/2 tablespoons
- Cream cracker biscuits - 12
- Chilli powder - ¼ teaspoon
- Chopped coriander leaves -1 teaspoon
Cream butter, add mustard powder, grated cheese, salt, chilli powder and coriander leaves. Mix well. Spread a layer of the cheese-mix on each biscuit and arrange on a greased baking tray. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot with tea.
- Urad dal - 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- Onion - ½, chopped fine
- Ginger - ½ inch piece, chopped fine
- Green chillies - 2 chopped fine
- A handful of coriander leaves, chopped fine
- A few peppercorns, crushed
- Oil for frying
Soak the urad dal in plenty of water for at least three hours. Drain off water and grind in a mixer till very smooth. Use no water at all, if possible. If not, add not more than 1 or 2 teaspoons of water. Add salt and run the mixer for a few seconds. Mix in the chopped ingredients.
Heat oil in a kadai.
Wet your hands slightly, take a small ball of the thick batter, pat it a little flat and make a hole in the centre. Let the vadai drop gently into the hot oil and fry till both sides are golden. Repeat till all the batter is used up. Serve hot with coconut chutney or tomato sauce, and tea.
- Groundnuts - 1-1/2 cups
- Cumin seeds -1 teaspoon
- Chilli powder -1 teaspoon
- Gram flour - ½ cup
- Salt -1 teaspoon
- Soda-bi-carb a pinch
- Alum powder a pinch
- Oil for frying
Soak the groundnuts in water mixed with alum powder for 2-3 hours. Roast and pound the cumin seeds and mix with all the other ingredients except the oil. Don`t add any water. Drain the groundnuts, place in the flour-mixture and mix with the fingertips till the groundnuts are coated. If necessary, sprinkle a little water.
Heat oil to smoking point, then lower the flame. Drop in handfuls of the prepared groundnuts and fry till crisp and golden brown. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on blotting paper.
Great for a rainy afternoon!
There are other simple innovations you can make for a rainy day. For the sweet-toothed:
Buy popping corn - the packaged, salted variety will not do. Pour a little oil or butter into a pressure cooker. Heat and then put in the popping corn. Close the pressure-cooker lid without the weight, lower the flame and wait for the corn to pop, shaking the cooker occasionally. Remove from heat when done.
Depending on the quantity of corn, take a cup or so of sugar and caramelize it.
Grease a plate well, pour the caramelized sugar on it and quickly put in the popcorn, patting it down with the back of a spoon. When the sugar cools, cut into squares. Kids will love it, rain or shine.
Make bajjies with spinach, raw bananas or even big brinjals for a change. They warm the heart on a cold rainy day.
For those who crave non-vegetarian food, bite into some succulent chicken. Here`s how.
Cut chicken into small pieces. Beat a cup of curd, add salt, chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, pepper powder and a pinch of coriander powder. Add 2 tablespoons of tomato-chilli sauce. Marinate the chicken pieces in the curd mixture for 2-3 hours.
Make a thick batter with refined flour and salt. Dip each chicken piece into the batter and quickly roll in rusk or breadcrumbs. Deep fry in hot oil. Serve with finger chips and a bowl of tomato sauce. You`ll have them clamouring for more!