Indori Poha

Poha is a very popular breakfast or tea-time dish in India. Due to the diversity in Indian cuisine, there are different variants of poha. Poha is basically a flattened rice flake and is available in different grades of thickness. Having grown up in Maharashtra, I have had the ‘Kande Pohe’ (uses medium poha) which is pretty awesome. This time I tried the ‘Indori Poha’ from the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. So, the first difference I noticed in the preparation method is that for this dish, I had to use thick poha. The second difference is in the ingredients used as the garnish. The presence of fennel seeds and a hint of sweetness in the form of sugar and pomegranate seeds are the prime differences in the two styles of poha. When you add all the flavorful components in this colorful dish, I can assure you that you won’t stop eating it. This dish is also perfect for a teatime party as poha with chai is a divine combination. For those staying in Singapore, I picked the nylon sev from Mustafa and thick poha from Sri Murugan stores.
Recipe Details :
Serves: 3 pax
Time: 20 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Ingredients :

  • 2 cups thick poha / flattened rice flakes
  • 1 big potato cut in cubes
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts (without skin)
  • 10-12 cashews
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut (optional)
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • A handful of pomegranate seeds
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp nylon sev (for garnish)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • Some cilantro leaves for garnish

Indori Poha

Indori Poha


Method:

  • Soak the poha in water for 5 mins. Drain using a strainer and keep aside.
  • Cut the veggies on the side so that the prep work is done.
  • Poha veggie preparation

    Poha veggie preparation

  • Heat oil in a pan on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves and wait till they splutter.
  • Once you get the pronounced aroma of fennel seeds, add 75% of the chopped onions and some salt. If you don’t like raw onions as garnish, then add all the chopped onions at this stage.
  • Once the onions turn translucent, add the peanuts, green chillies, cashews and saute them for around 2-3 mins.
  • Next, add the potatoes along with salt and turmeric powder. Cover the pan with a lid so that the steam cooks the potatoes quickly.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, add the soaked poha and mix it well – such that all the rice flakes are coated with the yellow turmeric powder.
  • Check the salt level at this stage and adjust only if required. If you like a bit of sugar, add at this time.
  • Switch off the flame and keep the pan covered for around 7 mins so that the poha can cook a bit more in the steam.
  • Indori Poha

    Indori Poha

  • Finally garnish it rest of the chopped onions, cilantro leaves and grated coconut before serving. You can also add the pomegranate seeds and nylon sev (I forgot to take the pic with these toppings)
  • Lemon goes great with poha, so squeeze it just before serving. Serve this dish hot / warm only!

Tips:

  • Do not over-soak the poha. If you do that, the flakes will not separate and the dish will become mushy.
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Whisk and Paddle – Tebing Lane

Weekends are perfect days to enjoy a lazy brunch. I was looking for a place with a relaxed ambiance and located by the river when I came across Whisk and Paddle situated along a section of the Punggol Waterway. When I reached the cafe, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was abundant greenery around. It is situated next to the PCN cycling track. The cafe offers indoor as well as alfresco seating. The music in the background was soft and soothing. We were immediately seated by the staff and were handed the menus. The neatly displayed dessert counter did catch my attention. To beat the heat, we promptly asked for water and I liked the serving mugs 🙂

Whisk and paddle decor

Whisk and paddle decor


Water mugs

Water mugs

The Orders
The staff informed us about the daily specials and I decided to go for the ‘Bread Box’ since I was intrigued by the name. It was a visual delight when placed on the table. It was filled with bread cubes, a large scoop of ice cream, custard, fresh fruits like strawberries and lychees. I was in for sweet breakfast! It was a sizable portion – enough for two people. It looked like a delicious treasure box with fresh quality goodies filled inside.

Bread Box

Bread Box at $13


Eggs are standard in a brunch menu. Since my husband eats eggs once in a while during brunch outings, he ordered the ‘Whisk Breakfast Set’ which had customizable options mentioned on the menu. The salad was extremely fresh, especially the cherry tomatoes. The sunny side up eggs were perfectly cooked. The whites were set and the yolks were runny. The mushrooms were well cooked and seasoned and the bread was fresh as well. The staff is accommodating of substitutions in case you don’t eat meat.
Whisk Breakfast plate

Whisk Breakfast plate at $19.8


As we enjoyed the gentle breeze, we also decided to order Fluffy Italian soda to beat the heat. We chose ‘Pomegranate Wild Berries’ Soda. It had the right amount of fizz and was quite refreshing. Order this if you like pomegranates.
Pomegranate ice soda

Pomegranate ice soda at $5.5


Next time I plan to try the other things on their menu like pizzas, pastas and nachos. For their isolated getaway-like location, for their quality desserts, for their friendly service and for their decent food options, Whisk and Paddle is totally worth a visit.

In a Nutshell Deelightful Rating
Cuisine Type: Western ★★★1/2
Nearest MRT: Riviera LRT
Address: 10 Tebing Lane. Singapore 828836
Timings: Tue-Fri: 3.30 am – 10.30 pm ; Sat-Sun: 9.30 am – 10.30 pm
Website: http://whiskandpaddle.com.sg/

Cucumber and Carrot Pancakes

Most of the times we want a recipe for breakfast that’s quick to make and involves less prep work. This recipe fits those requirements to a T. Cucumbers are light on the stomach and healthy as well. I decided to use them as one of the main ingredients in a pancake batter. To give the entire dish some crunch and bite, I added in carrots as well. This recipe can be made into patties, which can be eaten plain or by keeping them in a sandwich along with some tomato ketchup. They can also be made in the bigger size which would be equivalent to a medium sized dosa. It turned out to be extremely delicious and it is one of my favourite breakfast recipes now. Sometimes I even make this for dinner along with a glass of buttermilk. I have tried this exact recipe replacing zucchini instead of cucumber and the result is equally fabulous.

Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 small pancakes or 4 large pancakes
Time: 30 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled and grated (approx 2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, grated (approx 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup Chickpea flour/ Besan
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 – 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp oil for 1 pancake for frying
  • Freshly chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Cucumber pancake small size

Cucumber and carrot pancake small size


Method:

  • Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients except the oil to make a batter. Keep in mind not to add water while mixing as the cucumber or zucchini will provide the required moisture.
  • Heat a non-stick pan on low-medium heat and grease its surface with a bit of oil.
  • Take 1/4 cup of the batter and place it on the pan. Press down on the batter gently with your fingers to spread it out in an evenly into a shape of your choice. Do not make it very thin. In case of a large pancake, do the same process using 1/2 a cup of batter.
  • Drizzle some oil on the top and sides of the pancake.
  • Cook until the base turns golden brown in colour.
  • Now turn the pancake over and cook on the other side and then remove it from the pan. Serve it along with toast, with accompaniments of chutney or ketchup (if required), and you are in for a delicious meal.
  • In case of a large pancake, it is heavy enough to serve as breakfast – even without toast. For an idea of the portion size, see the picture below
  • Cucumber  pancake large

    Cucumber and carrot pancake large size


Tips :

  • Do not sprinkle water while making the batter or while spreading the batter on the pan.
  • Don’t make the batter too early as the cucumber / zucchini will make the batter more loose as time passes.
  • If you do want to prep it in advance, use a little more besan and store it in the fridge.
  • Adjust the spices as per your taste levels. You can add finely chopped green chillies if you like it spicy.

Corn Bruschetta

The mention of bruschetta for breakfast sounds interesting right from the word go. Mini-sized breads such as Walnut Country loaf serve as the perfect base. 

Recipe for Corn Bruschetta


Serves : 4
Ingredients :

  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • 2.5 cups of frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour
  • 1 big green/red/yellow bell pepper chopped
  • 3 green chillies finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Grated cheese
  • Lemon [optional]
  • Salt to taste

Image

Method:

  • First , boil the corn in the milk till the corn kernels become a bit soft. Do not let the corn overcook.
  • Let this mixture cool for around 10 minutes
  • Add the all-purpose flour to this mixture
  • Before transferring the mixture to the blender, strain 80% of the milk from the boiled corn mixture
  • Pulse the mixture in the blender. You want to have a mixture of puree as well as corn chunks. Do not make the mixture smooth
  • Let the blended mixture cool for 10 mins and add the reserved milk back to the corn
  • Take a non-stick pan and set it on medium-low heat
  • Add olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add some cumin seeds and mustard seeds and let them splutter
  • Add bell pepper and the blended mixture in the pan.
  • Season with salt and continuously stir – be careful not to mash the corn completely as it cooks
  • Cook till the bell peppers are mostly cooked (let them retain a little crunch)
  • If the spread thickens, add a little milk and stir
  •  Before serving, add another layer of topping in the form of finely grated cheese.

Tips :

  • You can always make the spread a day earlier and refrigerate it and avoid the prep time on a working day
  •  Bear in mind that milk should not burn and stick to the pan – keep stirring continuously
  •  Coriander and lemon on the top of the bread post cooking serves as a great garnish
  •  For those staying in Singapore, I use the Walnut Country Loaf from NTUC as the base for this spread

Bread Uttappam

Breakfast is a meal which needs to be quick, hassle-free and generally involve less prep work. This recipe fits those qualities to a T.

Recipe for Bread Uttappam


Serves: 4
Ingredients:
1 cup sooji (Also known as rava)
¾ cup yogurt, if readymade Greek yogurt. If homemade curd then 1 cup
½ cup finely sliced onions
½ cup fine grated carrot
½ cup finely chopped bell pepper
¼ cup water
3-4 finely cut chillies
Red chilly powder [optional]
Coriander powder
A little butter
Salt to taste

Image
Method:

  • In a bowl, mix the sooji and curd together such that all the curd is absorbed by the sooji
  • Add chopped onions, bell peppers, carrots, salt, coriander powder and red chilly powder and make a loose mixture
  • Add water in stages and mix until the consistency of the mixture feels like a batter/ spread. Don’t add the entire amount of water in one stage as it might over hydrate the batter
  • Take a slice of bread and apply the batter on it evenly
  • Heat the tawa on low flame and dab a bit of butter on the pan as a lubricant
  • Place the bread on the tawa batter side down. In about 30 seconds, flip the bread. The batter would have turned golden brown and crisp. Crisp the other side as well
  • This serves well for breakfast or as a  snack with a little ketchup on the side

Tips :

  • You can always make the batter a day earlier and refrigerate it and avoid the prep time on a working day
  •  Bear in mind that sooji thickness varies across brands – add water carefully
  •  Coriander on the top of the bread post cooking serves as a great garnish
  • In case of extra batter that remains, add a little more water to it and make sooji mini-uttappams in the same manner as dosas