Foodie Blogroll, Palm Leaf Plates and Bread Pakora

This post is long pending…and what was going to be three different posts is now rolled into one. First is about the Foodie Blogroll. Even before I started a blog, I had seen this widget on several different blogs I used to visit. When I eventually did start a blog, I signed up to be enrolled in the Foodie Blog list. Its not as simple as signing up for an email account. The administrators review the blog manually, and permit you into the foodie blogroll. Being a novice, I was so nervous about this whole procedure. I kept checking my email religiously and one fine day, and recieved their OK. I was totally elated, and felt like a newcomer who had been inducted into a sorority group.

If you are someone, who thinks the foodie blogroll, is just a widget with links to a list of several different food blogs, like I did when I joined, you have underestimated it. There are 8000+ blogs enrolled in this group, and they offer much more like discussion forums, access to contests and giveaways and host foodie events and meets. One such program is the free sampler of Palm Leaf Plates that Marxfoods provided to blogrollers.

All I had to do was to send the folks at marxfoods an email with my mailing address and they were kind enough to send me a sample. I received 5 large hexagonal plates and 5 small hexagonal plates. Thanks a lot to Justin from Marxfoods, who was prompt in responding to email and also for sending me these wonderful plates. This is my first perk/gift since I became a food blogger and I am absolutely thrilled about receiving it.

I immediately put the plates to use for a small picnic in the park that we had this week. I take special joy and pride in reviewing these plates…one because Marx foods is a company based in the Pacific Northwest, just like I am. Second, these plates are made in India. Being an Indian food blogger, this means a lot to me. So, thanks again for the oppurtunity.

These palm leaf plates are disposable, biodegradable and compostable. For those of you who don’t know, these plates are made from the sheaths of the palm leaf that fall off naturally. For more information on how these plates are made, click here. This is not the first time, I have seen or used palm leaf plates. Being Indian, I have eaten off of similar plam leaf plates at roadside eateries in India a number of times, mostly when I was a kid. But, the plates form Marx foods are far more sturdy and of a superior quality than the ones I had used in India. They come in different sizes and shapes and have matching cutlery to go with them.

They are elegant, durable and eco-friendly, so the next time you have a party, be sure to check them out, here.

Now on to the recipe of the day, bread pakora. I have a ginormous amount of bread stacked in the fridge and the freezer(leftovers from when we went camping last week),so I have been trying to make a lot of different recipes with bread. This was one such attempt and it was a great hit at our house, for an evening snack.

Ingredients:
8 slices of whole grain white bread
1/4 cup sooji/semolina
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp besan/chickpea flour
1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped(optional)
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
salt to taste
oil to deep fry the pakoras

Method:
Dip the slices of bread in a bowl of water, and squeeze out the water to make is soft. Make a dough by mixing this soft bread with all the remaining ingredients. Check for seasoning. Heat oil in a deep pan over medium heat and when hot enough, pinch a piece of the dough and drop it in. Don’t make a smooth ball of the dough, the irregular shaped dough makes for crisp edges and delicious crunch. Deep fry until golden brown and drain onto a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve hot with ketchup or green chutney.

Verdict: Crispy, crunchy and delicious. This is the perfect snack to make when you feel like eating a hot snack with ingredients that are almost always in your pantry, and also if someone shows up for tea without much notice. I can assure you, don’t count of eating just one or two, you’re gonna be munching these while losing count. 🙂

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