I admit I can easily get caught up between family, work and be lost in the foodie world. However, I do try to share my two cents with the community sometimes- especially when it involves children and the Ronald McDonald Home- the home for those parents who attend to seriously sick children at the INOVA hospital and 2012 Feds Food Drive. I avoid named organizations deeply involved in community service nor can I afford to donate large sums of money to them, but I believe my two cents could make a small difference to someone. I don't respond well to any propoganda or promotions, but I decide what cause I should donate to and then go from there. When I heard that Wal-mart is helping to fight hunger by donating over 50 million meals to local food banks and joining Wal-mart in this fight were other groups like Conagra(Hunts, Egg Beaters), Kraft, Kellogs and General Mills, I was interested in making a small contribution by buying a few of their products. I've been diligently collecting cans of food and products dropping them off at the Food Bank Trucks in the DC area. It really doesn't take much to simply buy an extra can or two while doing my own shopping. Besides, it's good to know that perhaps it will go towards a meal for at least one hungry child.
Anyway, as a result of my binge shopping, I picked up a few products from Conagra mostly "Hunt's" tomato cans, Kraft cheese, PAM spray, General Mill's Potato Gratin and Bisquick boxes which I normally do not stock-up in my pantry. Some of you may remember the cast iron skillet with holes in it that I used to make sweet Unniappams. Well it is being retreived in this post to make a soft and savory snack I used to make once for my young daughters. It's called Kuzhi Paniyaram and it was brought back by my younger daughter V's friend. Her mother shared this recipe with me...an easier way to use Bisquick mix and PAM spray from my pantry shelf.
Bisquick buttermilk pancake mix- 10 oz packet
Chopped onions- 1/2 an onion
Chopped ginger- 2 Tbslpn
Chili powder- 1 tspn
Curry leaves- 1 sprig chopped
Asafoetida powder- 1/2 tspn
Yogurt- 1/4 cup
salt and oil as needed
1. A paniyaram/unniappam pan made of cast iron is the perfect pan for making this snack.
2. In a glass bowl, toss in pancake mix, yogurt and all the rest of the ingredients except oil.
3. Using a wire whisk mix and whip together the batter until very thick (it should be much thicker than pancake consistency).
4. Place the paniyaram pan over a medium fire. Wait until it is hot enough and add a drop of oil in each of the indentations,
5. With a teaspoon scoop a spoonful of batter into each of the indentations and cook for a minute or two on one side before turning over to cook the other side.
6. The edges of the balls start changing color and then it is time to turn over.
7. Serve with a coconut chutney or any sauce for dipping.
8. These snacks make a lovely alternative to urad dal vadas and healthier version.
9. Soft and savory these can be served with Pudina chutney as an appetizer for any meal.