Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Rice and Coconut payasa/Pudding-Happy Diwali


Happy Diwali to every one

I hope you all are having a great time I really miss all the fun we had during diwali back in India. Had made big plans this year to make diwali sweets but unfortunately couldn't make anything. I thought, the least I could do to keep up my spirits was to post a sweet dish on my blog. I made this sweet dish during navrathri but never posted it. So here it goes for diwali.
This is one of the traditional dishes my mom makes often. I like this kheer (payasa in kannada) more than the semiya kheer, so mom often made this on my request. I thought it's too much work and never dared to make it. I was surprised that it was so simple to make. Mom makes it with rice, coconut and poppy seeds. I wanted to add some twist so I ground up some dry nuts instead of frying them and using for garnish.
This has poppy seeds in it so it aids you get better sleep, that's the reason I like it more :).




What you need:
1/4 cup White raw rice (you can use any variety)
1/2 cup grated coconut fresh / frozen  
2 table spoon brown sugar/ sugar/ jaggery
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 tablespoon ghee
5 almonds
5 whole cashewnuts
20 raisins
3 cardamom pods

How I made it:

Soak rice, almonds and cashews for 30 min in warm water.  Once well soaked grind it coursely along with coconut. Crush the poppy seeds seperately with little water. In a thick bottomed pot, add the ground rice and coconut mixture along with 1.5 cups of water. Add sugar and cook until it thickens and the raw taste is gone. Keep stirring it often or else it tends to thicken at the bottom. Add powdered cardamom. Garnish with raisins fried in ghee. You can make the thicknesss according to your liking.
Serve warm with ghee over it or serve it chilled.
I like to make it thick and eat it chilled.......just love all the flavors of poppy seed, coconut and cardamom, reminds me of home and mom ... :(

Tips:
You can use milk to get the right consistency.
You can also add brown and polson custard powder to it to get a different flavor

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ganesha story and my little one's version

This happened last night. I thought it was so hilarious wanted to share with everyone.

My little one who is 2 yrs 4 month old was insisting I tell her a story. I told her some than she asked me for Ganesha story. She is a big Ganesha fan. The first one to strike my mind was the birth of Ganesha, but than I decided it's not appropriate for her age. So decided to keep it simple and started with this story ;

Me - Ganesha visited everyone's house and ate lot of mommom (food in my little ones language).       What did Ganesha eat for Mommom ?
Baby - crackers, rice, dal, Paathi( chapathi), noodles, apple juice and chicken.

Me- Ganesha doesn't eat chicken
Baby - why ?
Me- he doesn't like it

Me- Than ganesha sat on his rat and was riding back home
Baby- No mummy, Ganesha ride big Bike ( she is obsessed with motor bikes these days).
Me- Ok lets make ganesha ride a bike. He was riding and than fell down and got a booboo.
Baby- Oh Noooo, what to do now?. Ganesha cry , mummy mummy. We give magic rub to Ganesha.

Me - ok, than ganesha saw a snake on the road  and took it and tied around his belly.
Baby- oh that's scary, I don't like it.

Isn't Ganesha cool, Image : source

Now, I am wondering should I even dare to tell all the mythological stories that we grew up listening too. I was wondering what else she will come with if I tell her ganesha was initially beheaded and than got a elephant head, will she ask if she can have a caillou head or Barney head  :).




Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thyme flavored Pan roasted potatoes


I was at my friend's place and happened to smell freshly grown thyme in the yard. It reminded me so much of ajwain. I was so tempted that I picked some to try in my cooking. Of course the first vegetable that immediately striked my mind was potatoes. Hmm, I had never tried fresh thyme before . I had some baby red potatoes that I had bought from the farmers market and decided to combine the two. I kept the seasoning simple to enhance the thyme flavor. It turned out to be good, and I liked the mild lemony flavor of the thyme in the potatoes.
 
What you need:
20-25  red baby potatoes
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
1-2 twigs of fresh Thyme
salt to taste
1 tablespoon canola oil

I love the red potatoes, not only for their taste but the red color looks so appealing

How I made it:
Clean and cut the potatoes in half. I microwaved them for 2 minutes. This released the starch out, I did this for 2 reasons, it cooks faster and the starch released gives it a nice crisp on the cut side. 
In a pan heat the oil, add the cumin and fennel seeds, wait till they pop add the potatoes and few thyme leaves and roast for a while. When the potatoes are half done add salt, red chilly powder, garlic powder and mix well. Roast for some more time till the potatoes turn nice n crisp. Finally crush the remaining fresh thyme leaves a bit by hand and add to the potato fry. Serve hot as side dish.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

                                        Wishing you all a very Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Monday, August 1, 2011

Water melon rind gojju

My little one loves watermelon and every week I buy a huge one, so that it lasts for a week. This time the one I bought had a thick rind, So decided to make some use of it. I know they normally use in sambar but I had never tasted it, so wasn't sure of the taste. I used few pieces in sambar and couldn't tell the difference between lauki and the rind. So I used the rest to make gravy with coconut or Gojju as we call in kannada.


What we need:

2 cups cubed Water melon rind
1 large onion
1/2 cup coconut
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
2 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon
Few strands of cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 teaspoon red chilly powder
2 tablespoon tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon mustard
1 table spoon oil

How it's made:
Peel the green portion out of the rind, cut the white portion into small cubes. Grind onions, coconut, cilantro leaves, clove n cinnamon into a fine paste. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add the ground masala, ginger garlic paste, tomato puree and cook for a while. Add chilly and coriander powder, salt and the cubed water melon rind and cook till done.
The fastest  way to cook this is in pressure cooker, put every thing together and cook for one whistle.
Serve with roti or white rice. It tasted like bottle gourd/ lauki to me, I am surely going to try more recipes with this now.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Andhra Chicken Fry

We had been to an Indian restaurant 2 years ago with my inlaws and had ordered this andra chicken fry as a starter. We really liked the flavors and the spiciness of it and wanted to try. Was wondering what spices to use, I thought of asking my brother inlaw who is a great lover  of chicken and from andra. He gave me this recipe and wow it really turned out to be spicy and delicious, much better than the one we tried out in the restaurant.  




What You need :

1 lb Chicken with bones - cut into bite size pieces.
1 large onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon Ginger garlic paste
Dry Masala : 3 Cloves , 1/2 inch cinnamon sticks,  2 teaspoon black pepper, 1-2 dry chillies, turmeric powder and  1/4 cup dry coconut.
Grind to coarse powder.

1 big Tomato boiled, peeled and Pureed.

How it's made:
Heat oil in a pan and add the onions. Fry till onions turn golden brown in color. Add chicken, fry for a few minutes and add salt to taste. Close the lid and cook til the chicken is almost done. Open the lid and let the water evaporate. Add ginger-garlic paste, cook for a while and than add tomato puree and fry for some more time. Now add the dry masala and fry for 4-5 minutes till you get a nice aroma.
serve as starter or as a side dish. 

Note: use the red chilly depending on your taste and the heat of the chilly, My BIL suggested I use 10-12 chilly, I used just 2 red chilly and it was still hot.
I sometimes use crushed canned tomatoes instead of tomato puree.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Healthy carr-lett juice

The heat and humidity is just soaring and its been really hard on my health. To top that haven't been getting enough sleep. However, I need to keep myself up and have enough strength to run behind my little one. I have been gulping down juice every few hours on weekend. Wanted to try something new and healthy. I had this iceberg lettuce in the fridge which needed to be used, I am not the one who likes salad, so I used it along with some carrots and made this nutritious refreshing juice.


How I Made :

Took Half iceberg lettuce and 1 big carrot along with some water and blended it. Strained it and added some honey and a pinch of salt, added some ice cubes and enjoyed the drink. May be next time I will add some mint to make it more refreshing. By the way iceberg lettuce is known to have mild opiate like effect which aids sleep, which I was in badly need of.

What happened to the strained pulp, it went into my dal.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nutty Croissants

What do you do when you have to visit a friend and have no energy to make something  to take and don't think you could stop by a store to pick up something. You come up with a quick and easy recipe, sometimes necessity forces you to make something new that you have never tried before. That's exactly what happened to me last week, I was wondering what I would do, I found a package of croissant in my refrigerator which was meant to be for my breakfast and my neurons were immediately spiking with an idea, so here is what I did. 



What you need :
1 pack-croissant dough
2 table spoon butter
 for filling:
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
4 walnuts
5 cashew nuts
4 almonds
20 raisins
dash of cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon sugar

How its made:
Make a course powder of all the filling ingredients, add 1 table spoon of melted butter, mix well and set it aside. Open up the croissant pack, take each individual triangle spread the filling and roll the croissant. Do this with the rest, normally these packs make 8 croissants. Set in a tray, brush melted butter on top sprinkle some crystal sugar and place a silvered almond and bake in a preheated oven at 375 F for 11-13 minutes or as per the package instructions.

Serve warm or cool it. If you have to serve later just warm it up lightly in microwave. There you go, a nutty delight to enjoy in few minutes. Its slightly crispy on the outside, soft and than hits the nutty flavors and sweetness......



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stuffed Brinjal

Brinjals or eggplant are not something that I really like, but once in a while I do cook brinjals, that too if I am able to get some fresh ones in Indian store. This recipe of stuffed brinjal is from my mom and I just love this combination of peanuts and onions in the masala with the tanginess of tamarind. I guess she learned this recipe from her friends from Dharwad. Normally they don't make this variety of stuffed brinjal in the Mysore region.
Anyway, wherever its origin is, it is a nice combo to have with akki (rice) roti or jowar roti.


What you need:
4 small sized brinjals/ eggplant
1/4 cup peanuts
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped red onions
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon tamarind paste
2 tablespoon copped cilantro leaves
salt to taste
1/4 cup oil

How its made :
Dry roast the peanuts and sesame seeds seperately and grind it into course powder. To this powder add chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt, onions, cilantro and finally the tamarind paste, mix well and set aside.
Wash the brinjals, pat it dry, cut of the stem part and make a  slit in the form of plus such that the brinjals are divided into four parts but still held at the bottom. Fill the stuffing in between the slits and set aside. Heat oil in a pan,add the stuffed brinjals and the remaining stuffing masala and let it cook in the oil. Keep flipping the brinjals often or else it will burn on one side. If required drizzle some oil over it while cooking, this will help the masala inside the brinjal cook well. When almost done sprinkle some water, close the lid and lower the heat. The brinjals will get cooked in the steam generated.  Serve hot with rice/ jowar roti. or as a side dish with rice and dal.

Some people grind the masala into a fine paste for stuffing. For a less oil version you can start off with 1 tablespoon of oil, add brinjals and later add water and steam it. I personally like with more oil. The peanut masala tends to get crispier with frying in oil and goes well with the mushy brinjals.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wawa Melon aka Water Melon Granita

Let's kick start the summer with some refreshing water melon granita. Remember your childhood days licking ice ka gola, this is just a similar version of it.  I am sure kids would love it and the elders too. Its so refreshing and easy to make, All you do is blend, freeze, rake and eat .......it's fun and you need few basic ingredients.
Wondering about the new name for a common water melon, well that's my little one's version and I got used to calling it by that name now. Water in her baby language is 'wawa'.

This is my entry to serve it- chilled, hosted by Oh Taste n See.



What you Need:
3 cups seedless watermelon cubes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoon sugar ( add according to the sweetness of the water melon)

How its Made:
Blend all the ingredients in a blender. Pour into a shallow freezer safe bowl and freeze for about 30 minutes, uncovered. Using a fork rake the crystals that are formed and refreeze for another 30 minutes. Rake the crystals again and freeze overnight or for 3- 4 hours. I left it in the freezer overnight and next day just used a fork to mix it and got beautiful crystals. For serving, use pre-chilled glasses, layer water melon balls and top it with watermelon granita, or just go the natural way use watermelon rind as bowls. The darker the color of the watermelon the prettier your granita would look. The water melon I used was pale red which makes the crystals look whiter, but it was very sweet.



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day


A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again. ~Enid Bagnold

Happy father's day to all dad's.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Saunf Chicken Fry

This is yet another quick chicken fry recipe, I just made up with whatever ingredients I felt like adding. I had some boneless chicken pieces and wanted to make something pretty quick by the time my dal would be done. (you need to multitask when you have little one nagging you to play with her). So here is my jhatpat saunf chicken fry.



What You need:
250 gms - boneless chicken breast
1 tablespoon saunf( fennel seeds)
1 small dried red chilly
1 tablespoon dessicated coconut
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder/ or 1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
few curry leaves
salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil

How its made:
Clean and cut the chicken into small bite size cubes. Dry roast saunf, chilly, curry leaves and coconut. Cool and grind to a course powder. Mix the powder, lemon juice, turmeric powder and salt with the chicken and let it marinate for 10 minutes (Longer you marinate it will taste better, but I wanted to get done quickly). Heat oil in a shallow frying pan, add the marinated chicken and cook till done. Serve with rice and dal.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rice Appam

This is a simple dosa variety. It doesn't contain urad dal like the traditional dosa. Instead of it, cooked rice is used. What I really like about it is, its crispy on one side and very soft on the other, so you get two different texture.


What You need:
2 cups long grain rice
1/2 cup cooked white rice
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
salt
Ghee/butter

How it's made:
Soak the raw rice, cooked rice and  fenugreek seeds in water for 3-4 hours. Grind to fine batter, Add salt and let it ferment overnight. In winter fermentation is a problem and it may take longer. 
Once well fermented heat a skillet or dosa pan, spread the batter like a traditional dosa. Cover it and let it cook on medium heat for few minutes, until the top layer is cooked and the bottom layer gets a nice golden color. Don't turn and cook  again. This has to be cooked on one side only. Spread ghee or butter and serve hot.

Potato in Green Masala

My mom makes different variety of gojju (thick gravy). This recipe of potato gojju in green masala is one of them. I love this specially with dosa. Since I typically don't like eating dosa or idli with just chutni, mom always made some sort of gojju for me. As I have mentioned before most of my mom's recipe needs grinding. So lets get started with ingredients needed for grinding.


What you need:

for grinding:
1/4 cup- coconut (either dry or fresh)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 green chillies
2-3 pods of garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cloves
1/4 inch cinnamon
3-4 stalks of Cilantro

Rest of the ingredients needed:
4 medium sized Potatoes
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon oil
salt to taste

How it's made:
Grind all the spices mentioned in the list above with some water to make a smooth paste. Fresh coconut gives more gravy consistency, while using dry coconut makes the masala thick and may end up adhering more on the potatoes. Either way it tastes good.
In a pan heat oil, add mustard, once it splutters, add the potatoes and the ground paste, salt, water as needed and cook till done.
The gravy is very spicy , adjust the amount of black pepper and green chillies to your taste. Serve with dosa. It tastes best with rice appam and you can have it with bread too. I just love the rich green color of the dish and it made with potatoes, what better reason you need.
Mom made this on some festivals days too as this doesn't contain onions and she wouldn't use garlic. (she follows a strict no garlic or onions cooking on all festival days).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shrimp Biryani

I normally make Biryani on Sunday's these days. Me and my little one like biryani unlike my hubby. But he has no choice now, if I make he has to eat, as we females dominate in the house these days :). I normally make fish or chicken biryani, but last week wanted to try out shrimp. So here is a my version of shrimp biryani. I normally make biryani with store bought biryani masala (makes it easier) but sometimes when I have time and patience like to try with whole spices.



What You need:
20 large sized raw shrimp
1 tablespoon ginger- garlic paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon red chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 large onion - finely sliced
2 green chillies- slit lengthwise
4 cloves
1 inch cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 star anise
1 cardamom pod
2 bay leaf
cilantro leaves
1/4 cup coconut milk
saffron strands ( optional)
3 cups of basmati rice
2 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

How it's Made:
Clean and devein the shrimps. Marinate it for atleast 30 minutes with ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, chilly powder, turmeric, chilly powder and garam masala.
In a pan heat oil and fry the sliced onions until they turn brown. Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, black pepper, star anise and fry till you get a nice aroma ( about 2 minutes). Add the marinated shrimp and mix well and cook for few minutes. Add coconut milk and water if required and cook until the shrimps are done and you get a thick gravy.
Wash and cook basmati rice with salt and one bay leaf, until almost done.
To assemble the biryani I used a loaf tray. (You can layer in any pan and cook on stovetop). Put a layer of rice and than a layer of the shrimp masala, sprinkle some chopped cilantro and put another layer of rice. Cover it with foil and place it in oven preheated to 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and invert the pan onto a serving tray. I baked it for two reasons, One wanted to try a nice presentation, and secondly my oven was already turned on for baking something else, so used it. Normally I just layer it in a pan and cook for 10 minutes on the stove.  
I soaked few strands of saffron in warm milk (about 1 tablespoon) and just poured it over the rice. Garnish and serve hot.

While I was trying to get a better background to take the picture, my little one tried to taste the biryani and she scooped out chunks out of it, I tried to manage to put it back together (every thing in the back is gone) and take the picture below. She thinks its fun to play with food while I try to take pictures, and than she poses with a big smile for the shot :).

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Quick Pear Tart

It was saturday afternoon and my little missy was taking a nap. I was bored and didn't want to watch TV or read. So I thought of baking something. I prefer baking while she is not around as she loves to peep into the oven every time I open it. I had some pear wanted to try to make something out of it. I had seen Ina Garten on her show, 'Barefoot Contessa'. demonstrate french apple tart , a few weeks back. I basically adapted this recipe from her, but made changes to my convenience. She made her own pastry, but i didn't have so much time in hand. By the way I wasn't intending to blog about this recipe after the incident I had baking this :),  but than I thought its worth sharing some mishaps at time. Read the entire blog to know............


What You need:
Half Puff pastry sheet
1 Pear
2 tablespoon Apricot spread
2 tablespoon Apple juice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon cold butter cubed


How it's made:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the pear into half length wise and core. You can peel the pear, but I left the peel on. Cut into thin slices(about 1/4inch).Thaw and cut the pastry sheet to desired size. I used half of pastry sheet. Line a cookie tray with baking parchment paper. Place the pastry sheet over it. make some some slits in between with as sharp knife to avoid the pastry sheet from puffing up. Place the cut pear slices overlapping each other on the pastry sheet, You can place it straight like I did or diagonally for a better look. Sprinkle it with sugar and cold butter cubes. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the edges turn brown.

Meanwhile heat the apricot spread in a saucepan along with apple juice until it forms a nice smooth mixture. Take the baked pastry sheet out of the oven and apply the apricot spread onto the top of the pear and pastry with a pastry brush.
Cut into pieces and serve the tart warm or cool.
It tastes good and I shared a slice of it with my friend, who liked it too. How couldn't it taste good with butter n sugar baked with pear.

Blunders I made - I used wax paper instead of parchment to line the baking sheet, and guess what would have happened, It started smoking and all the smoke alarms went off in the house. It took 30 minutes to silence the alarm with neighbor's help, since I wasn't tall enough to reach the ceiling (even with a ladder ) to silence it. So please any out there who loves experimenting like me never ever use wax paper for baking. Lesson well learned............

Friday, May 20, 2011

Omelet Gravy

My little one was a bit fussy about food, so I made an omelet for her, since it is one of her favorite things to eat. But she didn't seem to want to eat that too. So I was left with a large omelet. For some reason, even though I like eggs I don't prefer plain omelet or  just hard boiled eggs. I had to still make dinner and was wondering what to do, when I remembered the omelet gravy one of my kashmiri friend made in the hostel. Yes, in hostel. Though legally we were not allowed to cook, all of us had a little electric stove that we used to make maggi or tea. She used to make this omelet gravy the days she didn't like eating the hostel food.
The omelet I made for my little one was just with pepper and jeera powder and salt. So It was pretty bland which I thought was ideal to make the gravy. Before blogging about this recipe here, I did a search and found that this dish is called omelet er dalna. they use lot of different spices. But the recipe that I made is still the hostel version may be with few extra added ingredient. Omelet gravy is also made in Srilanka with coconut milk. The recipe here is for two. You can increase the quantity as per your need.


What you need :
For Omelet:
1 extra large egg
black pepper powder
Jeera powder
Salt

For the Gravy:
1 medium onion - finely chopped
3 tablespoon of crushed tomato
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon Red chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
salt to taste
1 tablespoon Oil

How it's made :
Omelet-  Break an egg and beat it until fluffy and mix in all the rest of the ingredients. Heat a skillet and make a thick omelet. You can make the omelet with any other added ingredients as per your taste. Cut the omelet, may be about 1 x 2 inch slices and keep it aside.

Gravy- Heat the oil, add the onions and fry till they turn a little brown, add the tomato, ginger-garlic paste and cook till well blended. Add water, garam masala, chilly powder, salt (just for the gravy- remember your egg has salt in it) and cook for few minutes till you get a gravy consistency. Keep it little watery as the omelet will absorb a lot of gravy. Add the cut omelete slices and cook for few more minutes. Serve hot with white rice. 
One may ask why make omelet, than gravy out of it, can't you just break an egg and put into the gravy. Sure you can, but this tastes completely different and since it absorbs the masala you won't get the egg smell too. If you like eggs give it a try.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick Pepper Chicken

My hubby loves chicken and he needs often. So we both try cooking different variations, though he still prefers his chettinad style. This is one quick modified version. If you have the chicken cut and ready to go you can make this in no time. (we normally get whole chicken, cut and freeze in small packets for one time serving). I normally start heating the pan while cutting onions, and while chicken is cooking, grind the spices ( I use coffee/spice grinder), so it gets done really quick in about 10 minutes.


What  you need :
About 2 cups Chicken - boneless cut into small pieces
2 teaspoon Ginger-garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
Salt - to taste

To Powder:-
1 1/2 tablespoon Whole black pepper corns
2 tablespoon Cumin seeds
2 Cloves
1/2 " piece Cinnamon

For tempering:-
2 tablespoon Oil
Few Curry leaves 
1 medium Onion - (cut into thin slices)

How it's made :
Heat oil in a pan and add the curry leaves and onions fry well, once done add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder and fry. Add the chicken pieces and fry until the chicken turns white and almost cooked. ( I cut into tiny small pieces so that it cooks quicker). Add the powdered spices, salt and fry for a 2-3 minutes until the chicken is well coated with the masala. Turn off the heat and serve as a side dish with rice and dal.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Corn Poha Mixture

My mom makes this spicy corn poha mixture often at home for evening snacks. Talking of snacks, back in Goa, we had a big Milton brand box where mom stored all snacks, both store bought and homemade .We would just devour out everything so quickly and she had to make different snacks very often to replenish the box and keep us satisfied :). The most snack consumer in our house was dad, he would wake up in the middle of night munch on snacks and sit to read newspaper. (yes, he had to read everything from headlines to obituary section never missed a single line). I make these often these days since my little one likes to eat it. 


What you need :
2 cups -Corn Poha 
1 cup thick poha
1/4 cup groundnuts
1/4 cup chana dalia
few curry leaves
2 teaspoon - red chilly powder ( as per your tolerance level)
salt to taste
Oil to fry ( I use canola oil)

How it's Made :
Heat oil in a deep pan (kadai), and deep fry all the first 5 ingredients seperately in medium heat and put in on a paper towel to drain off the oil.  when you add corn poha to fry, put very little in oil as they swell up and occupy the entire pan. When still hot sprinkle the chilly powder,salt and mix all the ingredients gently. You can also fry some dry coconut pieces for added taste,  I didn't use it this time since I didn't have any at home.  Cool it to room temperature and store in an airtight container.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Banana blueberry bread

There are hundreds of different variations of banana bread one can make. Every time I have ripe bananas at home I try a new version of banana bread. This recipe is adapted from food network by Emeril Lagasse. I made some changes to suit my taste. I used blueberries instead of suggested nuts.
For me banana bread is a comfort food and I can eat any time of the day from breakfast to late night dessert.
 

What you need:
            1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Pinch of cinnamon

For Topping :
2 table spoon sugar ,
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

I love cinnamon flavor so I normally use it as topping for breads.

How I made it :
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Oil and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.
Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time and mix. Add mashed bananas and mix well. Add the baking soda, salt, flour, nuts and cinnamon and mix thoroughly. The dough will be sticky at this stage.
Pour the dough into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the topping mixture and bake about one hour or until the center is brown and set.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Black Chana gravy - karnatakan style

This is again my mom's recipe. This is a spicy gravy with predominant coconut and onion masala. It's a two step process, but worth a try. I like having this with puri.



What you need:
2 cups Kala Chana (chickpeas) - soaked overnite and drained
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

Masala 1 :
2 large onions
4 pods garlic
1 inch ginger
3 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
5 -7 strings of cilantro leaves
1 table spoon coriander seeds powder
1 table spoon red chilly powder ( or as per heat intensity)

Masala 2:
1 cup grated fresh coconut
1 big tomato

How its Made:
In a pan add 1 table spoon oil and roast onions, garlic, ginger, cloves and cinnamon till the onion turn dark brown. This gives a nice color to the gravy. Take it off the heat and add coriander, chilly powder and cilantro leaves.Grind to a fine paste with some water. In a pressure cooker heat 1tablespoon oil, add bay leaves and fry for a minute than add the soaked chana. Fry for 2 minutes and add the ground masala paste. Add sufficient water for the chana to cook. Add salt to taste. Close the lid and pressure cook it for 4 whistles.
Meanwhile, grind the grated coconut and tomato to a fine paste. Once the chana is cooked in the first masala add the coconut-tomato paste, mix well. Add water if needed and cook it again for another whistle. Check for the consistency. If too watery than cook it on low heat with the lid off for few more minutes or if its too thick add water and heat it for few minutes.
Serve hot with plain white rice, jeera rice or with puri / roti.

This dish is my entry to 'My legume love Affair-35', hosted by Smitha of Kannada Cuisine.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Poha Upma

This is one of the most commom form of poha dish we make at home. Quick, easy and comforting. It's ideal for breakfast or with evening tea. I am posting this recipe on request from one of my childhood neighborhood friend.


What you need :
2 cup thick Poha
1/2 onions chopped
2-3 green chillies( depending on your taste)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
about 2 tablespoons groundnuts
few curry leaves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste
 1 table spoon oil /ghee
cilantro leaves for garnishing

How it's made:
Wash Poha in water, drain off all the water and let it stand for 5-10 minutes until it is soft and fluffy. Sprinkle some water if it gets too dry.  Add salt and turmeric powder and set it aside. In a pan heat oil or ghee, once heated add mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal and groundnuts, fry till done (cook on low heat or else the urad dal will turn black - I tend to burn all the time :) ). Add green chillies, onions and fry for  few more minutes till the onions start to change color. Add a bit of salt for the onions and groundnuts. Add the poha to this and gently mix, let it cook for 3-4 minutes just until it gets heated up well. Switch off the heat, add lemon juice, sugar  and mix. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve hot. You can also add some sev over it for some nice crunch.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

Wishing all Mom's a "Happy Mother's day".
This is my second mothers day as a mom and I received this wonderful card from my little angel.


cute feet imprint flowers

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Khara Pongal

While we were in school, sundays would be a  busy day. Mom had to manage us and watch her favourite serials (Ramayan, Mahabharath)  and so for quite some years the standard breakfast on sunday was Pongal. I suppose it was easy to make for mom and pongal  would keep our stomach full  for quite sometime. I love the version she makes, it's probably mysore style, it's hot and spicy unlike the tamil venpongal ( I may post that version later). She ground the masala for it. I often make this at home for dinner.


What you need:
1 1/2 cups of rice
1/2 cup moong dal
curry leaves
2 tablespoon ghee
cashews to garnish  (optional)

To grind:
2  tablespoon of cumin
2 teaspoon black pepper
2 green chillies
1/4 cup  coconut
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
few strands of coriander (cilantro) leaves

How it's Made :
Grind the ingredients listed to a course paste. Heat pressure cooker and dry roast the moong dal,until it turns golden brown and gives off a nice aroma. Take it off and wash it along with rice and keep it aside. Heat ghee  in the same cooker, add curry leaves and the ground paste, fry it for a minute. Add the washed rice and moong dal, and mix the ingredients well. Add salt and 4 cups of water. Close the lid and cook like usual white rice. Once done stir the rice. Garnish with cashews fried in ghee and some freshly grated coconut and cilantro. Serve hot with coconut chutney.
If you don't have pressure cooker fry all the ingredients in pan, add rice and transfer it to rice cooker.

Tips- use raw rice, basmati rice doesn't taste that good.
        

Monday, May 2, 2011

Apple Jam

I was talking to my mom a few days back and she mentioned that she had made raw mango jam. She asked me to try it out, I just ignored saying there is no point, we don't get  good raw mangoes here. But after a day I was thinking about it and thought why not try her recipe with apples. I wanted to make with granny smith apples but I didn't have enough of them so ended up using red ones. (I called her at 11.30 pm IST to get the recipe.) It sure turned out good. I had it with my bread for my breakfast. I will probably make this often with different fruits rather than buying the store bought fruit spread that I normally buy. What I really like about his was unlike the earlier version that my mom made, grating the mangoes (which is very tedious) this time she just boiled them in water. It's simple and delicious.


What you need :
3 medium sized Apples
1/2 cup sugar
2 cloves, powdered
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

How its made :
Bring water to boil in a thick bottomed pan. Peel, deseed and cut each apple into pieces. Drop the apple pieces into the water and cook for 5 minuts or till the apples turn tender.Remove the apples out and mash it with a fork. Measure 1 cup of water that you used to cook apples and  leave it in the same pan.Add sugar to it and bring to a nice boil till the syrup startens to thicken. It shouldn't be too thick. Add the powdered cloves and the mashed apples. Cook the entire mixture until it thickens to a jam consistency, about 5 mins. Add lemon zest and mix well. Cool and fill it in glass jars and store in refrigerator.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Strawberry Sheera

I was walking down to pick up my daughter from daycare, it was drizzling and very cold. I was feeling like eating something warm and sweet. I remembered my Mom and than her banana sheera. Hmm, I thought that would be easy to make. I got home and started off immediately to make sheera, than a thought struck, how about trying strawberry instead of banana's and here is my experimental version.
While blogging this I tried to google this recipe and there were many others who have tried this already :).


What you need:
1 cup sooji (semolina)
2 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 cup Sugar
3 strawberry, cut into small pieces
2 pods of green cardamom, powdered
2 cloves

How it's Made:
Heat 2 teaspoon ghee in a pan add semolina and roast it until it turns golden brown and gives off a nice aroma. Set the roasted semolina aside. Heat about 1 1/2 cup of water and sugar together. Once the water starts to boil, Add  2 cut strawberry and cook for 1 min. Than slowly add the roasted semolina and stir continuously so that no lumps are formed. Add the ghee, cardamom and cloves powder. Stir it well until it thickens and leaves the edges of the pan.When almost done garnish with 1 cut strawberry. Serve hot or chilled.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Besan Gatte in Gravy

Well, the reason I made this was that my husband picked up kala chana besan from the Indian store instead of  regular besan. This besan didn't taste good when I made pakoras or laddoos. Was looking for ways to use the pack of besan I had. I came across this recipe on the internet( surf-india.com), and thought its worth a try. Had heard about this recipe but never had tried it or tasted it before. In Jharkahand and Bihar this is called kala-channa ghoomni. In Rajasthan, gatte ki sabzi in a yogurt based gravy. This recipe is based on the jharkand version but with some modifications. I did not use mustard paste that they suggest. Also I added yogurt in mine. The original recipe calls for the gatte to be cooked and added to the gravy. I thought it would add a nice flavor if I sauteed it a bit in oil before adding to the gravy.


What you need :
1 cup Besan (Gram flour)
2 medium size: Tomatoes(finely chopped)
2 medium size: Onion (finely chopped)
4-5: Green chillies (finely chopped)
1 tbsp: Ginger and garlic paste
1/4 tbsp: Turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp: Red chili powder
1/4 tbsp: Coriander powder
1/4 tbsp: Gram masala
Pinch of Asafoetida
1 tbsp: Cumin seed
1/2 tablespoon: Carom (Ajwain) seed
2 tablespoon yogurt (optional)
Oil
Salt to taste


How It's Made:
Mix well besan, 2 green chillies, carom, 1 teaspoon red chili powder, salt and 1 tbsp oil. Add water into besan to make dough. Pull the dough into 1 cm diameter round and 5-6 inches long rope.
Put it into boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
Take out the water and cut the besan round into small pieces and keep aside. (Besan rounds are called 'gatte'.) Heat oil in a pan and saute the gatte until it gets a nice crisp outer layer. Remove and keep it aside.
Heat oil in the same pan add asafoetida, cumin seeds, 2 green chilies, stir-fry. Add ginger garlic paste followed by chopped onion, saute until the onions turn brown. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for few more minutes. To this add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, salt, garam masala and water. I also added yogurt at this stage since my gravy wasn't getting thick enough for my liking. Boil till the gravy is well cooked.
Put gatte into gravy and boil for 3 minutes (Heat until gravy is thick).
Serve hot with steamed rice or plain chapathi. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Apple Pickle

While I was expecting my baby, my friends used to get me lot of pickles, though I never had an urge to eat that much pickles. But among all that I had those days, these apple pickles were one that I really liked. I have made this pickles so many times now. They are good replacement for raw mango pickles and one can finish off a bowl at a time. They go very well along with curd rice. This is an instant pickle and lasts for about an week if kept in the refrigerator ( if you let it remain for a week).


What You need : 
2 large granny smith apple
3/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds powder ( methi)
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida ( hing)
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1/4 cup oil
salt to taste


How it's Made:
Cut apples into small pieces. In a pan dry roast the fenugreek seeds and powder it. 
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard when it starts to splutter add asafoetida, fenugreek powder, chilly powder and salt. Mix well and add the apples pieces, mix and turn off the heat. Don't over cook the apples.
Cool and serve or store in dry airtight container in the refrigerator.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Simple Banana Icecream

It's been raining crazily here and I was feeling very gloomy. I turned on the TV and was flipping through the channels, when I came across this banana icecream being shown by Claire Robinson on Food network. The simplicity of this preparation caught my attention and I had to give it a try ASAP. All that it contains is banana and some peanut butter. But the experimentor in me never lets me do things straight. Here is the recipe with my little modifications. If you like bananas, you sure should give it a try.


What you need :
2 Bananas
2 table spoon creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoon honey
Few drops of vanilla essence
chocolate syrup

How it's Made :
Cut banana's into 1 inch pieces and freeze it (1-2 hrs). Once frozen blend the banana's in a blender. Keep scrapping the sides in between and bland until you gt a smooth texture. Add honey, peanut butter, vanilla essence, little chocolate syrup and blend it well. Scoop out into cups and drizzle som chocolate syrup over it and serve.

Right now as I am blogging about it, my mind is racing about the endless possibilties I can try out. What about some peaches, strawberries, apples, cookies or fudge along with bananas. Got to try...... You guys can try out and let me know the best possible combinations.

Tips:
-Use ripe but firm bananas
-If the frozen banana are very hard, thaw them a little bit, this way you won't have trouble blending.
-It's possible the icecream could turn out more like a custard because of the heat of the blender (mine gets heated very quickly), put it back in the freezer and scoop it out when set.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Stuffed Eggs

This is a recipe that my dad had learned as a bachelor, while he was working in Daman. He taught it to my mom and it's one of our favorite dish at home. We all love this and often pester mom to make it for us.The best combination for this is to have with rice flour roti. But eat it anyway its truly delicious. One caution, it's cooked with a lot of oil so not for those who are very conscious about using oil in their diet.


What you need :
5 Eggs
3 cups chopped onions
1 inch ginger
2 red chillies
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoon cut cilantro leaves
salt to taste
1/2 cup oil

How it's Made:
Hard boil the eggs, cool and remove the shell. With a sharp knife give a slit lenghtwise to the eggs in the form of a cross, cut its about 3/4 down, but make sure it doesn't go all the way through.

Dry roast the red chillie and coriander seeds. Grind these along with onions, ginger, turmeric and cilantro leaves to a fine paste. Don't add any water, the water content of the onion is sufficient. Add salt and 1/4 cup of oil to the ground paste and mix well. Fill in the cut eggs with the paste. In a pan heat the remaining oil and slowly place the stuffed eggs on by one. Add the remainder of the paste over the eggs. Keep tossing the eggs gently ( be gentle or the eggs will fall apart) after every 2 -3 minutes, cook until the raw smell of masala is gone and the masal agets a nice brown color.
Serve hot wth rice flour roti.
Caution: Don't add water at any stage in the recipe.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I had some bananas getting very ripe, so thought of making my usual banana bread. When I checked my ingredients I was out of butter so had to make something without butter, so my search for the recipe begin and I got the perfect recipe for which I had all the ingredients at allrecipes.com. These muffins turned out to be very soft and tasty. Though I have baked cakes before this is my first ever attempt at baking muffins. I am sure to try more variations soon....


 

What you need:

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
How it's made:
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Add bananas and chocolate chips. Fill  paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chocolate dipped Strawberry

My hubby loves strawberry dipped in chocolates (dark chocolate in particular), that's the only way he would eat strawberry. So I often end up making this for him during the strawberry season. This are quick and easy to make and you can top the chocolate according to your taste. This time I started with the idea that I would decorate them with white chocolate swirls, only to find out that I didn't have any white chocolate left at home. So ended up with this. Looks so holiday like, may be it will be a nice idea as a holiday gift for this year :).



What you need :
Chocolate chips
Fresh strawberry
Tooth picks

for garnishing I used :
butterscotch chips
crushed cashews
white chocolate

How it's made :
Melt the chocolate chips in microwave or double boiler. Insert toothpicks into the strawberry and dip it in th melted chocolate. Swirl the strawberry as you pull it out of the chocolate to remove excess chocolate. garnish with toppings of your choice ( crushed nuts, white chocolate, sweetened coconut flakes etc). Stick it in styrofoam and let it dry.

Well now to my garnishing story, as I said earlier I didnt have white chocolate at home, so thought of using butternut chips for the design. But they didn't melt soon and I didn't have patience to wait for long. So I ended up picking the slightly melted chips and sticking them to the strawberry, I thought they looked pretty. I had one small white chocolate covered cookie, so I melted it and used the white chocolate from it and applied with a tooth pick, not very clean lines :(.
I also dipped some blueberries in the chocolate, I ate most of them by the time I put them in the basket, so only few were left.

Capsicum Rice

On of my friend's mom who is from andra, had got this really tasty capsicum rice to a lunch party. While we were leaving she packed some rice for us to take home. I devoured off every single grain in the box. I wanted to try it but didn't know the recipe and never got a chance to ask her. I tried to figure out the ingredients from the rice she had made and ended up with this version. I like making this with different colored capsicum, but this time I only had green ones at home. 


What you need :
3cups Cooked rice
2 cups capsicums cut lengthwise in thin strips
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon urad daal
2 tablespoon chana daal
Curry leaves – few
Oil – 2tsp
Salt to taste

Masala powder:
1 to 2 Red chillies  (depending on the heat)
1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds 
1 teaspoon Urad dal
1″Cinnamon stick
2 tablespoon dry grated coconut

How it's made:
Dry roast all the ingredients listed under the masala powder and grind to a course powder.
In a pan heat oil , add mustard seeds, urad and chana daal. Once they turn slightly brown add curry leaves and capsicum pieces. Cook for a few minutes till the capsicum loses it rawness but still crunchy.(Do not over cook the capsicum). To this add the ground powder, salt and mix well. Serve hot with  raita.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Coconut and Dry Fruits Poli

My Mom makes awesome coconut hobbatu / poli. They are so thin and remain soft for longer period. I never tried making poli so far, always thought it's best to leave it to the expert. Last month my sister went to visit my parents and mom made coconut poli with dates for her. My sister and dad kept mentioning how tasty they were, that made me crave for it. I kept thinking about it but didn't like the idea of making it. I thought it's not 'my cup of tea' to make it. But the urge to eat poli finally got over me and I decided to give it a try. Mine didn't turn out to be as good as my mom's but surely tasted delicious.


I made some changes to the recipe as per my own convenience and availability of ingredients. Here is my version.

How I made it :
For the dough:
2 cups Maida /All purpose flour
2 table spoon fine sooji / semolina
pinch of salt
1/4 cup oil ( I use canola oil)

Filling:
2 cups shredded dry coconut
8 pitted dates
2 tablespoon broken cashew nuts
10 almonds
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 pods of green cardamom
1 teaspoon poppy seeds

How I made it:
Dough- Mix the Maida, sooji and salt with sufficient water  to make a soft dough. Add the oil and knead the dough a little more. Let the dough soak in oil for about 4 hours in a cool place.

Filling- Dry roast separately the nuts and the poppy seeds. Peel and crush the cardamom. Grind the nuts along with coconut and cardamom. In a thick bottomed pan add 1 cup water and brown sugar and boil till the sugar completely dissolves. Add the ground powder and keep stirring until it starts to separate off the pan. It should form a thick dough like consistency, if you overdo it will be hard as a rock and if removed early it will still be runny.Mix the poppy seeds into this mixture and let it cool.




To make the poli- Take a small ball of the dough. Pat it flat with your finger tips to make small circle of about 4 inches on Plastic sheet / parchment paper ( I normally use the packets that we get daals from Indian store for this). Take a smaller size ball of the filling and keep in the center of the flattened dough and cover the filling completely. Since the dough is elastic it will stretch easily. Place inbetween two sheets of plastic/ parchment paper and roll it with the help of a rolling pin as thin as you can. Take care not to pop out the filling too much out of the dough.
Heat a flat pan. Transfer the rolled poli onto the skillet and peel off the plastic quickly. Cook until brown spots appear on both the sides. Serve warm with ghee.

These poli's remain fresh and soft for atleast a week.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Vegetable Stuffed Rice Fritters

I was back from work early and hungry. Checked my refrigerator out and had some rice leftover and very little subzi from previous day. Pulled it out and remembered this recipe that I had come across in Sanjeev Kapoor's website few months back.  So quickly made this, to curb my hunger till dinner was cooked. I modified it according to the ingredients I had on hand.




What I used:
1 cup cooked rice
Cauliflower, potatoes and peas subzi
2 tablespoon Onions finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon jeera powder
cilantro leaves finely chopped
Bread crumbs
salt to taste
Oil to fry

How I made it :
Mash the rice in a bowl and add onions, pepper and jeera powder, cilantro and salt and mix well.  Wet you palms with water. Take a portion of the rice dough and flatten in your palm, place the vegetable in the center and roll back the rice dough over the vegetables, shape it and roll it in bread crumbs. Deep fry in oil and serve hot with tomato ketchup.

If the rice is less add some mashed bread to it to increase the quantity.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

chocolate cups with berries

Why eat chocolate off a bowl, when you can eat a chocolate bowl !!!.


Who doesn't love chocolates, each one loves it for different reasons and yes, chocolate is scientifically proven to be beneficial for health. Science!!, lets keep it out of our delightful chocolate cups and check how it's made. This is my trial version of the cups, not so perfect as I expected.

What You need:
semi sweet chocolate bar / chips
mixed berries ( raspberries, blue berries, strawberries)
whipped cream
cup cake liners


How it's made:
Line cupcake tray with cupcake liner. Melt chocolate in microwave. Using a pastry brush coat the inside of the cupcake liner with chocolate. Refrigerate the tray for 10 min, apply another layer of chocolate and let it set in the refrigerator for 10  min or until use.
For serving the chocolate cups, keep the cups outside for few minutes to thaw, this makes removing the liner easy. Fill in the mixed berries, top it with whip cream and serve.



Chocolaty Note :
- You can use any container of your liking to make the mold for chocolate cups (small cups, shot glasses, cookie molds etc).
- you can use any chocolate or combination of white n dark to give a artistic look
- Make in large quantities and store in the refrigerator ahead of time for a nice quick dessert or for  large parties.
- you can go creative with your fillings from ice-creams, cold custard. peanut butter or fruits. After all its a cup, what you want to eat in it depends on you.
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