Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Multigrain Zucchini paddu - Eat & stay healthy

Last Summer when I was in India (Ooh that tells me it is already over a year since I have been to India:-(), my personal limit is 2 years between visits and I start becoming all touchy after that. I am digressing, so let me postpone my India visit related rants to another day and get back to where I started. As I have told you before, my BIL is a foodie and a big time enthusiastic cook and he made these yummy, no soak, no grind paddus for us for one of the breakfasts. I love the concept of Paddus and I frequently make these cutesy items from my regular Dosa batter. So, as always I followed him to the kitchen to figure out the ingredients that made the delicious Paddus. He had used wheat flour, rava and a little bit of rice flour with lotsa grated cucumber. I came back to my kitchen and recreated it and my family loved the new recipe.

But then, it was around the time I was looking for healthier alternatives and Oats had become a staple in my pantry. I honestly don't relish the Oats porridge but then that is because I am not a person who can eat sweets for breakfast. So Oats found its way into many savory items in my kitchen and I really like the added texture it imparts to the instant Dosas. So I made certain changes to BIL's recipe - in goes the oats, I didn't replace the rava from the original recipe as it adds crunch. And since Zucchini takes to cooking better than regular cucumbers and also because I love the flavor of Zucchinis, I replaced cucumbers with these all purpose squashes.

As I said before, I don't yet have a full bounty kitchen garden but I got some good harvest done before the frost sets in. On that note everything around me is changing colors (I meant the nature) and I am falling in love once more with the beautiful Autumn. Does that happen to you? I loved the Summer very much and now I am starting to love the Autumn, not very faithful, huh :-). Anyways, before leaves change colors completely and fall off, there is still some Summer left in the late blooming Squashes and Zucchinis. I love Zucchinis for their flavor at the same time this vegetable has such a non-egoistic nature and blends into almost anything without making a fuss. So until the market starts to flood with Fall gourds of all shapes, sizes and colors, I am enjoying my Zucchinis.

I started Zucchini plants from seeds this year and as is the gardening norm, one plant grew and survived out of the many seeds I planted. While I was trying to decide if it was indeed a zucchini or a pumpkin looking at the bright yellow flower, one of the flowers quietly morphed itself into a bulb and kept growing longer and greener :-). Although it was not the Supermarket standard good looking, perfect dimensioned zucchini, our garden beauty was in no way inferior to those on the shelves in taste. We cut it this past weekend and there was unanimous voting for making the instant Paddus.

Paddu is called Guntapongalu in the Mysore region and Ponganalu in certain parts of Andhra Pradesh. I use the word 'Paddu' generically as we don't like tongue twisters in our multi language family :-). I make different kinds of paddus with different garnishes (see notes below for ideas) using different bases. Here is a delicious and completely healthy Paddu that can be made without any headache of soak/grind. Do not fret about the taste at all, and for those skeptics here is a testimony from my self declared 'Oats hater' FIL that he can give his mandatory rice a skip when these Paddus are on the menu :-). The first time I made after they landed here, I didn't tell him what was in it until the next day just to make sure I won't be hearing any 'my stomach is not all right today' as an excuse to eliminate the dreaded Oats from his diet.
What do you need to make Multigrain Zucchini Paddu? 
Makes about 30 Paddus
2 cups oats
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup chiroti rava or super fine rava
1 Tblsp rice flour
1 Tsp basan/gram flour
2 cups packed zucchini gratings
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 green chili - chopped into small pieces
1/4 Tsp fresh ground black pepper powder
4-5 twigs of cilantro - finely chopped
1/4 cup chanadal - soaked for 45 minutes in water
1X1 inch piece of ginger - peeled and finely chopped
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1-2 Tblsp oil to roast the paddus
How do you make Multigrain Zucchini Paddu? 
  • Run the oats in your blender and make a fine powder of it. 
  • Take a wide bowl, add all the ingredients listed above except for the baking soda and oil. Mix into a soft batter. 
  • If you are making the Paddus immediately, add the baking soda and mix it in. Do not leave the batter for more than an hour after mixing the baking soda as it tends to collapse the Paddus into soft balls. 
  • Heat your Paddu pan/Ebelskiver pan on medium heat, drizzle drops of oil into the holes. 
  • Drop a spoon of the batter into the holes, cover and cook for 2 minutes or until the bottom of the Paddu turns light brown. 
  • Flip the Paddus over, drizzle drops of oil on top and let cook uncovered for another 2 minutes until the second side turns is cooked. 
  • Server hot or warm with any chutney or sambar. We had ours with spicy maagaya pachadi.
Paddu Dressing up suggestions: 
  • I usually add a 1/4 cup of small coconut pieces to the batter. 
  • Make a seasoning with 1 Tsp oil, 1 Tsp mustard, a pinch of asafoetida, 1/4 Tsp red chili powder and pour it into the batter. 
  • Add chopped curry leaves instead of cilantro for a different flavor. 
  • Go ahead and use regular cucumbers if you can get zucchini or if you like that taste, remember that is how I tasted this first and loved it. 
  • I sometimes add a 1/4 cup of yogurt to make the batter lighter and also to give a tangy taste to the paddus. 
  • Addition of baking soda makes for a lighter Paddu as you have 2 dense flours in this recipe (wheat flour and oats powder).
  • You can increase/decrease or skip the garnishings above per your taste.
  • Heat the Paddu pan before dropping the batter into it (if you spray a drop of water on the pan, it should sizzle to indicate the pan is ready)
  • This batter is slightly gooey given that it has wheat flour and oats, the resulting paddus are softer unlike the traditional Dosa batter paddus.


NamsVeni Pothas said...

hot hot paddus really mouth watering and very tasty. Sattvaa always makes healthy snacks and tasty dishes.

Sangeetha Nambi said...

Love this version....

Priya said...

Such an interesting and healthy dumplings,simply loving it.

Priya R said...

what a lovely and delicious snack

Cook like Priya

Nandita SS said...

Paddus are always a favourite.. Loved the zucchini twist in them :)

Kannada Cuisine said...

Paddus look gorgeous...yum