Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Image-1Who eats ice cream during cold, rainy days? Well, someone who has just baked a fresh batch of gooey, hot chocolate fudge brownies!

Usually when it pours, I crave for deep-fried, spicy and crunchy food. But this time while it poured, I was looking at celebrating one of the biggest achievements of my life! And the fact that this news has renewed my bond with all of my loved ones, long lost friends and people who mean a lot to me!

Rain or shine, I love fudge brownies with ice cream. Most recipes I know call for a lot of separate mixing of ingredients but since it was raining and I had to eat almost immediately, I decided to mix all the ingredients in one large bowl.

Chocolate Fudge Brownie

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
3/4th cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 tbsp refined vegetable oil
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Processed with MOLDIV
Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°. Grease a 9″ × 13″ baking tray.

Mix together all the ingredients in the order that they are written in. Beat them till they are no lumps. Spoon in the mixture in the baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check if they are done by inserting a fork or toothpick in the brownies. If it comes out clean, the brownies are done.

Let them cool completely before cutting them into squares. Enjoy the moist, sticky fudge and ditch the ice cream, if you please!

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Kanji Payar: Ritualistic Rain Food

As rains beat down the parched earth last night, my city rejoiced with some ritualistic rain foods. In India, it’s amazing how one relates to rain food depending on the state or region they belong to.

For example, people in Gujarat start queuing up outside shops selling hot dalwadas at the first hint of rain. This crunchy deep-fried food is served with sliced onions and fried-salted green chillies along with a steaming cuppa masala chai.

If you are from the northern part of the country, I am sure the rains will make you crave for bhutta (corn on the cob) and spicy pakode.

Khichuri with Ilish Maach during monsoon have a special place in the heart of Bengalis while Keralites (at least the ones I know) wait for monsoon to make the humble and nutritious kanji-payar (rice porridge with moong dal).

Yes, you guessed it right. This post is about Kanji-Payar, which is like a warm hug during cold, rainy nights. But most of all, this post is about a dear friend of mine, a non-Keralite, who loves this comfort food of Keralites and can have it all around the year.

image1 (8)

Vinay Umarji, whom I met about eight years ago, has been like the kanji-payar in my life. Boring usually 😀 but an indispensable part of my life. He is the kanji payar that I need after I have had a series of wrong food choice.

He is quite goofy, like Mr. Bean but smart and highly intelligent. Of course there are things that I dislike about him but the good in him overpowers the irritating things about him. The most irritating thing about him is that he repeats everything you say! But one quality (among many) for which I have high regards for him is that he really doesn’t bother what people think or say about him. He is a perfectionist when it comes to work and no, he hasn’t paid me yet to say all these good things about him.

I had been wanting to dedicate a post to him for years now but the right moment came today: When I shared exciting news about my life with him and he had the same exciting news to share with me about his life! At first I thought he was just trying to irritate me by repeating what I said! Moving on to the recipe for kanji payar…

Kanji Payar

For kanji:

Wash one cup Kerala red rice and cook it in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water for at least 4 whistles. Once done, season it with salt.

For payar:

image1 (9)Soak whole moong dal in water for at least 4 hours or overnight. In a pressure cooker, cook the dal with a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Blend one cup shredded coconut, a pinch of cumin, three shallots, four or five small garlic cloves and some water to  make a paste. Add this mixture to the boiled moong dal and cook till the first boil. Switch off the stove and add a tempering of mustard seeds, 2 split red chilly and curry leaves in coconut oil.

Enjoy the steaming bowl of kanji payar while you watch the rains.