October 8, 2007

SAFFRON SQUASH PATTIES AND MW MASALA PEANUTS



Saffron infused sweet and savory Butternut Squash Patties are my contribution to Sunita from "Sunita's World" blog's "Think Spice..Think.." event.This month's spice is "Saffron", thanks for hosting Sunita!:)



This is how Saffron looks in it's natural form:

Photo from Wikipedia.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of saffron crocus (Crocus sativus).Saffron, has been always the world's most expensive spice by weight,is native to Southwest Asia and Kashmir in India.It was first cultivated in the vicinity of Greece.
Saffron, when used in excess in strands or powder form tastes bitter. When used sparingly, it imparts a beautiful fragrance and color to any dish.Saffron strands have better fragrance when soaked in warm milk or water than the powdered Saffron. Do store them in the freezer to prolong their shelf life than keeping them in a dry place in the pantry.
For more info and to look at the beautiful pictures of Saffron flower, click here and about Kashmiri Saffron and to buy it, click here.

Here are my Saffron-Vanilla pudding and savory Butternut Squash dish and Butternut Squash Waffles, enjoy!:)

Sweet and Savory Butternut Squash Patties or mini Pancakes infused with World's most expensive spice, Saffron!

First you need to: peel and cube about 2 cups of Butternut squash. Place them in a microwavable dish, add 1/4 tsp Saffron Strands and about a cup of water, cover and cook in the MW for 5-10mins or until squash is soft, almost dry and water is evaporated.Let it cool a bit, and grind the squash into a puree.
Add 3-4 tbsp of plain flour or as much it needs to make it thick into a thick batter, 1 tbsp Corn starch (optional) to the puree and mix well. You can add 2-3 tbsp Potato flakes too to the hot puree if you like. Texture should be like very thick batter.Add more flour if it's thin. Divide this mix into two in 2 different bowls.

Here is how to make both of these patties:


For sweet patties:
Add 2-3 tbsp powdered sugar, 1 tsp Vanilla essence, 1 tsp Cinnamon pd, 2 tsp Pumpkin spice ( or 1/8 tsp clove pd, 1/4 ginger pd) to one portion of squash puree and mix well.
To make sweet patties:
Heat a non-stick pan, add 1 tbsp of oil or butter and drop 1-2 tbsp of thick batter,spread a little to a thick about 3" rounds about 3 patties at a time. Let them cook until golden and flip carefully and cook the other side. Repeat the same with rest of the batter.
Serve these sprinkled with powdered sugar or Maple syrup or both.

For savory patties:
Add store bought 1 tsp Rasam or Sambhar or Curry pd, 1/2 tsp Garlic pd, minced Cilantro or Parsley,salt and chilli flakes or green chillies if you like, mix well.
For making savory patties:
Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel, add oil and heat again. Do the same as above and cook both sides until golden.
Serve with Ketchup or coconut chutney and a lemon slice.

I loved the sweet patties. Sugar and squash becomes caramelized when cooked and gives them a crunch and tastes great with syrup. Try these for breakfast.Using the non-stick pan prevents you from using too much oil or butter.
Savory patties are a blend of sweet squash and spicy hot curry pd, wonderful with coconut chutney. Enjoy!:))


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Masala Peanuts, "fried" in the Microwave is my entry to "Easy cooking with Microwave" which is hosted by Srivalli for "Cooking 4 all seasons" with a theme of "snacks" this month. Thanks for hosting Sri!:))



Trial and error!
When Sri announced microwaved "snacks", first thing came to my mind was the crunchy masala peanuts which I used to deep fry in oil but found this recipe in the MW cookbook I have mentioned below. I followed her recipe EXACTLY at first as she has written but I wasn't that happy with the result although tasted good.
The author has asked us to heat 4 tbsp of oil first and then add the wet, spiced peanut mix to the oil to fry in the MW for 6 mins but I found that Peanuts were still tasted raw inside even though the spices are crispy,little over cooked.(I have high powered MW and used huge Spanish Peanuts!:P)
I improvised on her method to make it better.I microwaved the raw peanut for a minute first to crisp them, let it cool and then added the water and masala mix on top.I sprayed the no-stick oil on the other plate lightly to prevent sticking while cooking, then spread the spice coated peanuts and sprayed again on the top of spiced peanuts to save some calories instead of cooking in 4 tbsp oil to cook for 3 minutes.
Voila! Got a perfect plate of crunchy masala peanuts. Try it, I am sure you will love it as much as we did!:)

Microwaved spicy crunchy masala Peanuts:



This "Masala Kadalai" recipe adapted from the Microwave cookbook by the author Mallika Badrinath with my own additions and improvisation:



You need:

1 cup unsalted Peanuts, 2 tbsp water.
Mix these in a bowl: 2 tbsp Besan or Chickpea flour, 1 tbsp Rice flour, 1/2 tsp Garlic pd, 1/8 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp Cumin pd,1/4 tsp Ajwain(Carrom) seeds, salt and chilli pd to taste.
No-stick oil to spray. Two microwavable plates.

How to make it:

1. Spray a microwavable plate with no-stick spray lightly and keep aside.
2. In another plate, microwave peanuts for a minute and cool and then add water. Sprinkle all the flour and spices on the wet peanuts, shake the plate or roll the peanuts gently in masala to mix until well coated.
3. Add all this to sprayed plate and spread gently in to single layer. Spray the oil again lightly on top of coated peanuts. DO NOT spray oil on the wet peanuts, spices won't stick! Add masala first, mix and then spray!!
4. Microwave for 3 mins on high. Check once after 1 1/2 minutes just to make sure they are not burning. After 3 minutes,it looks clumpy but as it cools Peanuts will get crispy.
5. Cool on a paper towel. MW few seconds more if you feel that they are still not crisp enough after it's cooled.
5. When completely cooled, gently separate the clumps. Serve with coffee or even better, cold beer.YUM!

Notes: Other nuts you can use in the same way are Cashews, Almonds etc. You can also throw in some Rasam pd, Sambhar pd and any curry pd to the batter for a different taste!

That's it, enjoy the quick, full of nutrients and a low fat snack too!:))

83 comments:

Sharmi said...

hey that peanut snack sounds real interesting Asha! lovely and creative patties too:) you are a genius:) I would love to have a book like that.

Shriya said...

Wow.. both patties and peanuts look yum Ashaji.. and very nice entries..:D We used to get these masala peanuts in bus stations and railway stations back at home..I miss home..:D

Asha said...

Sharmi, that book is printed in India for Indians, so we have to adjust the recipes to US style measurements and Microwaves.Other than that , it's great book for basic ideas!:)

Shriya, you are right! In B'lore, it's just a matter of walking to a store to buy all the snacks we want.But we have to cook everything here ourselves, specially if you live in small town like me!:))

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Great entry Asha...I will sure give this a try..Thanx for the method...:))

easycrafts said...

super...the patties look yummy

Jyothsna said...

Asha, thanks for the patties ideas. I know what to do with leftover pumkins now :) I did try MW masala peanuts too and they were a disaster( different method). Should try this method now.

Erin said...

The patties and nuts look totally delish!!! Easy too!

Padma said...

Asha that m/w peanuts looks awesome and a quick fix snax...loved it and will try today itself. Also butter nut squash savoury patty recipe sounds incredibly rich!

Happy cook said...

Safron patties look good. But my favorite is masala peanuts.
Would love to have a full bowl of those peanuts. Crunch Crunch

Kribha said...

Masala peanuts is a snack that my mom used to bribe me to get my homework done. Both the patties look gr8 too. Nice way to incorporate saffron.

Asha said...

Made it easy for you Raks, first batch of Peanuts I made were little over microwaved!:D


Sweet Patties were delicious EC!:))

Asha said...

LOL! My first batch were like that too although they were edible. Try this way with half the recipe.Enjoy:))

They are delicious Erin. Squash makes them sweet with great flavor of Saffron!:)

Asha said...

Padma, I added MTR Rasam pd to the savory Patties and had some leftover coconut chutney to serve with. They were yum,loved it!:))

That's what we did Sunday evening F! Coffee and a bowl of crunchy spicy peanuts!:)
Second batch was perfect, got to learn by mistakes, not give up!:D

Asha said...

Kribha, I always deep fried these spicy peanuts too with clumps of batter in India, didn't make it here too often because of the oil.
Microwaving takes lot less oil, you just have to be careful not to burn them.Time of cooking depends on how powerful your MW is!
Try the sweet patties, I know how much you like sweets!:))

Richa said...

hey, using squash for making patties is a lovely idea! loved it, hv one butternut Sq with me, wl give the savory one a try! thanks for the idea sweetie :)

Sig said...

Wow, those saffron squash patties are such a wonderful idea Asha... that must've tasted great as breakfast... And masla peanuts, it is my favorite snack, if it is this easy, I'd give it a try :)

Asha said...

You are welcome sweetheart. Savory ones are almost like sweet and spicy Uttappams! Enjoy:)

Peanuts are very easy, can be made within 6 mins Sig, give it a try!:)
With Maple syrup, Squash patties are yum. You can skip the Saffron, not absolutely necessary!:)

musical said...

Ashakka, butternut squash patties are really innovative, and am sure really delicious. Masala peanuts are always welcome, great stuff to munch on :-D.

Roopa (KitchenAromas) said...

A! Is this what we call congress kadalekai?! I can't wait to try this. D, my husband can live on peanuts! Thank you for sharing this. I never thought of this, though I roast peanuts in the MW!

Roopa (KitchenAromas) said...

Oh and the saffron squash patties are fit for a queen!

sunita said...

I love butternut squash...the patties must have tasted great...thanks for sending them over...love those peanuts as well.

bee said...

i'm so trying those masala nuts. thanks for the recipe.

sra said...

Very creative, Asha!

Anonymous said...

the squash patties look good,i will try the savoury ones, thanks for sharing the recipe:)
paati

Anonymous said...

Hi Asha,
thanks for the butternut squash patties recipe.rather than the sweet patties i would go for the savoury ones.masala peanuts are also looking delicious.

shalini

Asha said...

Squash at this time are really sweeter to make Pancakes with syrup Musie, try it!:))

YUP!!:D
Roopa, that is what we used to eat at home.Microwaving them makes it so handy dandy, make it for your hubby.
Queen probably won't eat them girl but I do!:D

Lori said...

Oooh, are these peanuts like the "nut crackers" that you get in little bags in India? I LOVE those and of course you can't get them back here in the US. These look great, thanks!

Asha said...

Sunita, it was pleasure cooking for you, literally. Saffron makes them so colorful! Enjoy:))

Bee, handful of nutrients with low fat snacks! Who wouldn't? Munch on girl, Jai needs some Protein too after all that running!!:))

Asha said...

Thank you sra, over cooked one bunch of peanuts though!!;D

Paati, savory ones are great for quick snack. You should try the sweet ones for breakfast girl,delicious!:))

Asha said...

Most of us are savory munchers, aren't we? :D
Enjoy, make some coconut chutney, I forgot to add to the photo although I had it in the fridge.

Lori, they are the ones and In India,they are even more spicier! YUM. Makes a great snack. Hope you try them!:))

Kelly Mahoney said...

I love microwave food, that's my kitchen these days. Looks delicious. I'd love to use saffron, but the cost is so prohibitive.

Redchillies said...

Asha, just when I thought that there was everything to know about patties, you post this butternut patties. How imaginative is that.

Loved the peanuts idea too. I have all things at hand now so gotta run to try that :-)

Anh said...

Asha, a really lovely combination! I love it!

Manasi said...

Love the crunchy peanuts!!!! I remember eating so many of these in my childhood! we wud get them in small packets in the school canteen!
The patties look super too!

TBC said...

I like the masala peanuts. Looks great, Asha:-)

bee said...

guess what we're eating right now? masala peanuts. :D they came out very well.

- j.

Laavanya said...

Wow.. those peanuts are lovely and my MIL actually has that book. Butternut squash patties with saffron - you really are very innovative Asha.

Nags said...

thats a lovely recipe with saffron! i am thinking what to make :( and i am yet to buy it also..

Madhu said...

Like the pic of Saffron flowers, and peanuts too.

Srivalli said...

Asha..thanks for the wonderful dish...that looks real chuncy...

Cinnamon said...

All the dishes look wonderful... but i particularly liked masala nuts.. wud definitly try them!!

Seena said...

I love masala peanuts..have bookmarked this page..

Vcuisine said...

Love both entries Asha. the peanuts are yummy. Viji

Asha said...

Kelly, I just bought a "Good housekeeping" book of Microwave cooking (Encyclopedia), it has EVERYTHING!! It will be great for you there.
Yeah, Saffron is very expensive.You get powdered Saffron for less too, but it's not pure as the strands:)

Red chillies, enjoy both. Squash patties are so creamy and naturally sweet,it's a delight to cook with that Butternut!:)

Asha said...

Manasi, we loved those salty Peanuts baked in ash too in B'lore! I bought some boiled Peanuts in the coast, they were SOOO salty,I couldn't eat them.Nobody cooks snacks better than Indians, huh?:))

Try TBC, can make them within 5 mins!:)

YAY!! Bee, glad you tried. Did you eat the crunchies with cold Beer or cocktails? ;D

Asha said...

Laavanya, Mallika Badrinath's books are very down to Earth, love them. Of course, we always have to adjust the recipe to our taste!:))

Anh, thanks girl Hope you try the sweet Patties, great with syrup!:))

Naga, you can use red pumpkin too if you don't get Butternut squash. Have fun!:)

Asha said...

Thanks Madhu. We have Crocus which looks just like that Saffron flower in our front yard but I know they are not one!:D

Yu are welcome Sri, enjoy the munchies!:)

Rajitha said...

ah! i love the way saffron has been sneaked in the patties ;) i have done something like that with my dish too ;D...

Asha said...

Cinnamon, Peanuts are yummy, try it!:)

Enjoy Seena, easy to make!:)

Thank you Viji. Squash patties are delicious, hope you try this weekend for breakfast!:))

Asha said...

Rajitha, I just bought 3 packs of Spanish Saffron, they are so expensive but still cheaper than Kashmiri ones!! I don't use these more 1/8 tsp at a time in any recipe!:D

lakshmi said...

pass me those peanut - i dont know if you've heard this before - but we like to call ourselves the "peanut family" :D.

Apple said...

Wonderful entries Asha...loved all the 3 recipes...I'll surely try the masala peanuts version...Thanks for sharing these

Asha said...

LOL!! Lakshmi, I am imagining you all munching on Peanuts all the time at home! Arvind loves these too, he practically eats the whole bowl except a few for me, that is I grab some first before I give it to him!:D

You are welcome Apple!:)
Try Peanuts, they are delicious and quick to make too!:))

Roopa (KitchenAromas) said...

A, I had to come back and tell you this: I made these peanuts last night! My intention was to snack on it the next day, but we landed up cutting dinner and finished it instead! Thank you! :)

Asha said...

LOL! Roopa, you know NOBODY can stop munching on those spicy Peanuts! Peanuts are healthy too, so no loss. Glad you tried it! Enjoy:))

Latha Narasimhan said...

Mallika badrinath is so famous in Tamil Nadu! Any cook book you read, We have to change a little bit here and there to suit our taste. Home made snacks are any day better!:))
So now I know saffron is the spice for this month! :))

Reeta Skeeter said...

The peanut snack seems yumm... though we get those in the market by the name of nutcrackes, making them at home should be fun, you can add your own flavours and moderate them as well!
And I absolutely love the safffron flower picture :)
Cheers ji!

Kulpreet said...

Hi Asha!
I like crispy paenuts. In fact I don't know anyone who can't resist them.
Saffron is really a wonder spice.

Asha said...

Latha, good to see yu, hope you feel better now!:))
Yeah, I came to know that every newly married gets one of her books!:D
Snacks came out very well second time. Take care Latha, hugs.

Thank you Reetaji!:))
Yes, they are one! You can also use different kind of nuts too like Cashews, Almonds. Sounds yum, huh?:))

Asha said...

Kulpreet, every Indian seems to have their own memories of crunchy Peanuts.In the South,it's Congress peanuts and in North it's Nut Crackers!:))
I have never seen Kashmiri Saffron, but only the photos.They are longer and have such great color.We get Spanish Saffron here with very mild color.

USHA said...

Hi Ashaji,

Patties and crunchy peanuts looks awesome...i loved peanut snack alot that too preparing in microwave with less oil...hmmm...gr8...Thanks for the info on Saffron..it was really interesting to see saffron in natural form...

Asha said...

Usha, I loved that Crocus photo too.Such little thing contains the most expensive spice!:)
Try the peanuts Usha, it's yummy.

Tee said...

saffron sqaush patties look delish! we make something similar out of pumpkin, which is deep fried and involves jaggery...it is called 'gharge'. Will be trying that soon and hopefully will be able to post it :)
MV masala peanuts look perfect for a snack!

Asha said...

I have heard of Gharge Tee, can't wait to see those in your blog. These are just low fat pancakes, makes great breakfast or snacks!:))

krystyna said...

Hi Asha!
I'm so happy that I come to you. I love Saffron and I found here many interesting inform and photos. Thanks for great links too.
Wonderful and very beautiful post.

All my best!

Asha said...

Hello Krystyna. Haven't seen you in a while. Hope you are doing well!:)

Thanks. Give it a try. Squash Pacacakes are great for breakfast.

AnuSriram said...

hmmm....learnt an easy way to make crunchy...munchy peanuts from u. Will try it soon... Thanks for the tip. Looks wonderful!

Asha said...

You are welcome Anu, have fun!:))

RP said...

Asha, I have a jar of unsalted peanuts in stock. But its already roasted! You know the kind we get from grocery shops..Do you think I can try this with those?
If not, I am buying raw peanuts to try this. I love love love masala peanuts. :)

Anonymous said...

Aoy Ashaji...tussi gr8 ho....kya baat hai...I could never imagine rasam pw with buternut squash and come up with a patty....you are a gourmet cook...hats off...thanks so much for your inventions.
-Isha.

Asha said...

rp, they works fine too. I had to roast raw ones in the MW first anyway. Try it. If it's unsalted, it's perfect to do this. Enjoy!:))
You can also do the same Cashews and Almonds too, and with different spices as well.

Hello Isha, try it girl.Life is all about learning about new things, ain't it?!:))
Rasam pd tastes great or since you speak Punbabi, Garam masala works well too. Try it!:))

Suganya said...

Right on! Thanks for the butternut squash recipe. I need it now more than ever :)

Avany said...

Hi Asha,

I just made the masala peanuts. I couldn't find jeera powder or ajwain. so I added some chat powder that came with swad khakra's. It tasted so good. I am sure you made it very easy for us.
Thank you so much for the healthy recipe. I can't wait to see more of this kind of recipes. hardly takes any time, easy delicious and healthy. What else could any one want? You are an angel that god sent :)
Btw, I tried your butter chicken recipe for my son's 3 year b'day party. every one loved it. Thanks Asha.

RP said...

OK one more question. (you see how much I love it!)
Does the MW oven has to be one with the convection feature?
Thanks a lot. :)
(I have no patience to wait for your response. So I am going to try it right away. :D My oven doesn't have convection)

RP said...

yippee!!
It worked beautifully! Thanks a million. :) If I get the camera before it finishes, I will take a picture for blog. :)

Asha said...

Thanks Suganya, enjoy! They make a great breakfast for weekend:))

Avany, you can add practically any masala you like and any nuts you like like Cashews and Almonds.Tastes great and healthy too. Enjoy sweetie!:))
Thanks for the feedback, have fun.I will try and post more MW stuff here or at FH. Hugs to you and to your son!:)

Great rp, glad you tried it and loved!:))
Just a ordinary MW will do ,no fancy smasncy stuff needed here!:D

Padma said...

Just now m/w some masala peanuts, came out well, but looks like salt n lil chilli is missing, u rightly said the second batch will come better I guess, we all learn from our mistakes...tx Asha!

Padma said...

its me, padma from padma's kitchen, but left mssg from another id :)

Asha said...

Padma, you are right! Salt is the hardest to balance when you you can't taste it really before cook.
Sometimes I taste after cooking, and sprinkle salt and chilli pd on top of them immediately while they are still hot and shake them well to coat!:))

Menu Today said...

Hi Asha,
My friend made this i really enjoyed. Now I know the recipe. Will give a try. Thanks for sharing.

Asha said...

Hope you do try MT. It's easy!:))

Pooja said...

I know this is a very old blog, but recently I had been searching recipes and have seen all these wondeful blogs you all have here.

I tried the masala peanuts this weekend. Its football season and this was a perfect snack to make something quicly. It was only for my husband this time. Next time I will try with the jumbo peanuts and make them when we have a game party, impress the guests.

Asha said...

Hi Pooja, glad you tried this snack, thanks for the feedback. Personally I love how simple this is to make and also very crunchy without deep frying! :)

You can also use Almonds and Cashews too, enjoy.