Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Date Palm Cake

There are some things that i cook with the sole intention of posting in the Blog. But even before I finish cooking it, it all vanishes in a jiffy, So there is no time for photography and in fact nothing left to check the taste of the final outcome. This is one such dish.

I have baked this cake at-least 10 times and it has been wiped off clean even before i picked the camera to start clicking. Although it is every cooks delight to know that the food is devoured, I am always left disappointed with the fact that I didn't click pictures for the blog.

So you better be careful when you bake this one..... Its going to be finished much before the cake cools down.

I read this recipe in a magazine, however i have altered it to suit my taste buds. Apologies for the not so appealing picture, trust me no one can stop with one piece.



Ingredients

Forty deseeded dates
One and half cup sugar
One and half cup Milk
One Cup - Cooking Oil
Two Cups - Maida
1/2 Tsp - Baking Powder
1 Tsp - Baking Soda
Mixed Nuts - Optional

Baking Method 

In a Microwave safe bowl, Add the Dates and milk and Microwave for 2 minutes or until the mixture is hot.
Set aside and allow the mixture to cool down completely.
Grind the dates mixture along with sugar to a smooth paste. Add Cooking oil and give one last blend.
Sieve maida, baking powder and baking soda.
Add Maida mixture to the dates puree spoon by spoon until you can incorporate the entire flour into the dates puree.
If adding the mixed nuts, add now and mix well.

Grease a oven safe dish. Pour the cake batter  into the dish. Preheat oven to 180C and Bake for 40 min or until the knife comes clean.






Monday, February 16, 2015

Strawberry Dipped in Chocolate

After a harsh winter in Bangalore.....Yes, as per a bangalorean's standard the winter was HARSH!! You see we are one set of people who are always particular and picky about weather.. The summer usually comes with a riot of colors in Bangalore and It's beautiful to see Red and Juicy Strawberry's everywhere. Literally the streets are lined with fruit vendors showing off these red beauties and I just love my Strawberry Banana Milk Shake (Will share the recipe soon)

This time i had an important occasion and i wanted to use the fruit of the season to the fullest. This is the simplest and the most hazzle free kid friendly recipe. The easiest way to get the fruit to be eaten.



Ingredients

Strawberry - 1 Packet
Cooking Chocolate 
Sprinkles - your choice
Small Skewers
Stand / Cut Potato

Cooking Method

Wash strawberry in salt water followed by vinegar water and plain water, Dry it completely- This step removes all toxins, pesticides, I do it for all fruits.
Break the chocolates into small pieces, Melt it either in a double boiler or in a microwave.
Pierce the Strawberry stem side with a skewer stick.
Pour the chocolate over the strawberry.
Sprinkle the sugar balls
Pierce the Strawberry into the potato.
The chocolate will set in 10 min

Enjoy Strawberry dipped in chocolate with your favorite dessert.







Thursday, February 12, 2015

Makhan Gravy (The South Indian style)



Creamy, Tangy, Buttery and Tasty makhan gravy 

My favorite pass time is to observe families at the super market, usually the kind of things you see at their trolley, you can easily figure out the eating habits of the family. One such day while i was walking in the aisle of a busy store picking my groceries. I noticed this young family with 2 Kids, one boy and one girl both pushing separate trolleys picking their own Junk (Sorry food !!).  Both the trolley's were filled to the brim, overflowing with every variety of chips and biscuits. I was eager to know who the parents where and how they would react to this. As i neared the frozen section to pick some panner and curd, I saw the parents digging into the frozen parathas, cutlets, spring rolls and many many more things that i could not recognize. I heard the mother tell the boy "Beta, enough of all the junk you have taken, now take some burger buns, its going to be burgers for tomorrows lunch". All this while the father was eating a BIG bar of cadbury caramello right there even before billing. Phew !!!

My heart went out for these kids who would never in their life know the difference between Junk and Healthy food.

I have a huge regard and respect for young mothers and working woman who despite of their busy life feed their children with home cooked healthy food. This recipe is dedicated to all you people who cook and work towards a healthy and happy world (I mean actually cook !!)




Ingredients

Onion - 3
Ginger - 1"
Garlic - 10 Pods
Tomato puree - 200 gms ( 3 Big tomatoes, refer notes)
Cashew - 6 whole (Optional) - I didn't use
Red / Yellow / Green  Bell Peppers - 1 each chopped into big chunks
Paneer - 1 Packet (Chopped)
Onion - Peeled into layers and chopped into big chunks
Kasturi Methi - 1 Tsp
Amchur Powder - 1 big pinch (Optional)
Dhaniya Powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera Powder- 1 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 heaped tsp
Garam Masala - 1 Tsp
Jeera - 1 Tsp
Salt

Butter softened - 4 big tsp
Oil - 2 Tsp
Fresh Cream - 100 gms (Optional) - I didn't use
Milk - 200 gms
Water - 1/2 Cup

Cooking Method 


  • Grind onion, cashew, ginger and garlic into a smooth paste.
  • Heat Oil along with 1 tsp of butter, add jeera and once it crackles. Add the onion paste and fry on slow flame until the oil separates from the mixture. 
  • Add tomato puree, fry until the moisture is completely evaporated and the oil separates from the mixture.
  • Add salt, kasturi methi, amchur powder, dhaniya powder, jeera powder, chilli powder and fry well.
This red gravy is the main base masala for most north indian dishes, you can also make this in huge quantity and freeze it in ice tray. Once set, transfer the cubes into a ziplock cover and use.

  • Reduce the flame, add milk, water and garam masala, let the gravy simmer in low flame.
  • Take a separate wide mouthed vessel, add a tsp of ghee, Add Bell peppers and Onion. Fry on high flame until you get a slight charred effect on the skin. If you reduce the flame the veggies will start to give out water. 
  • Remove from flame and add into the simmering makhan gravy along with Paneer. 
  • Add fresh cream.
  • Simmer the entire gravy for 2 min add the remaining 3 Tsp of Butter and close the lid.
  • Serve hot with Butter Roti's. 

Notes
Tomato Puree : Boil water, add tomotoes close and allow it to sit for 15 min. Peel the skin and roughly chop the tomato. Grind into a smooth puree.
This is not the recipe for authentic north indian gravy, this recipe is born after a lot of trial and errors and definitely has a strong south indian touch.
I do not use Cashew and Cream on regular days, I use it only if i have guests coming over.
The most time consuming part is to ensure the tomato mixture is well fried on slow flame, if that is done then 90% of the recipe is completed.
The frozen gravy is a boon to all working and young mothers as it  stays fresh for over 15 days or even more.  (I haven't used beyond that )
The veggies can be altered as per your liking, you can add mushroom, peas, baby corn. Or even add some Chicken for the famous Butter Chicken Masala.



Cooking time : 30 Min
Serves : 4 Adults 


Semiya Payasam

This blog came into being only because of my mother and periamma, the worlds best cooks. This recipe is my mothers and the perfect recipe for a creamy delicious Semiya Payasam. If you are a sweet tooth then this is a must do recipe.

I enjoyed this when i had a terrible tooth ache and i had a strong craving for warm sweet. My mother readily agreed to make this for me. In-fact my entire neighborhood relished it.

I managed to click some pictures as my mother was cooking. I hope you all enjoy making this delicacy as much as i did.



Ingredients

Semiya (Vermicelli) - 3 Cups 
Sugar - 4 Cups (As required)
Diluted Coconut milk - 500ml
Milk - 1000ml
Milk Maid - 1/2 tin
Rasin 
Cashew nut
Elachi Powder
Saffron soaked in warm milk
Ghee

Cooking Method

Heat ghee and fry raisins and set it aside.
Fry Cashew nut in the same ghee and set it aside.
Add semiya to the remaining ghee and fry it on a slow flame until you get a good aroma.
Switch off the stove and allow the semiya to cool down a little.
Boil 1/2 cup water with the diluted coconut milk. (I used Maggie coconut milk powder)
Add semiya to the boiling coconut milk. 
Once the semiya is cooked, add milk and let it come to boil.
Add Sugar, Milk maid, Fried Cashew, Raisin, Elachi Powder, and Saffron soaked in milk.
Serve warm with lots of love.

Pictorial










Notes 
Add sugar only after the semiya is well cooked. Sugar usually arrests the cooking of semiya.
Let the payasam be a little watery as it tends to thicken as it cools down.
Add warm diluted milk when you want to reheat.
You can use only coconut milk or only milk for this payasam.
Add dry fruits as per your liking.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Oats-Dates Fudge Cake

One full year has passed by, good or otherwise, its still one full year, filled with learning, loss, happiness, vacations, memories, friends. 
At the end of each year, i would always say "This year went by so quickly, this is the first year, i felt suddenly everything slowed down. 
Each month was savored and filled with rich experiences. 
Now i have come to realize that the year did not slow down, its ME who has suddenly slowed down and learnt to live each day completely rather than thinking of tomorrow. 
I am enjoying this new "ME" where i don't just think of endless planning just to be in line with the society.

This new place that i moved to this year, has a very nice and healthy neighborhood. I have made a lot of new friends here. I must admit that good neighbors are a blessing.

This recipe is dedicated to all my lovely neighbors :)




Ingredients

1 Cup Wheat Flour
2 Cup Oats
2 Cups Chopped Dates 
1 Cup Cooking Chocolate
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut 
1 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Boiling Hot Milk
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder

Optional
Chopped Nuts
Choco Chips

Baking Method

Heat a kadai and dry roast Oats until you get a nice nutty aroma, Add Wheat flour and roast until the raw smell of wheat is gone. Add coconut. Mix it all together and roast for 1 min. Remove from heat.

Add chopped dates, melted chocolate, butter, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix well with your hands if needed.

Add boiling hot milk and knead the dough well. (Add Chopped nuts now, if adding them)

Grease the baking tray, flattened the dough, Sprinkle choco chips.

Bake at 180 degree for 30 min.

Once out of the oven, make the markings for the squares, it would be difficult to cut it once it cools down.

Crumbly soft, crunchy oats square is ready :)

Baking time : 30 min
20 squares 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Banana Walnut Cake

Super Soft, Moist fluffy Banana Walnut Cake.... This "NEVER FAIL" recipe was shared by a very dear friend.

Ingredients: 

1¼ cups Demerara sugar
1½ cups flour
1 large ripe banana, chopped into small pieces (should be about 1-1½ cups)
1 tablespoon butter
½ cup oil
100ml milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Walnuts 


Baking Method: 


Grease baking tin. Line base with baking paper.
Add ¾ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon water to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook on high heat until the sugar turns dark red. Don't let it burn! - {despite the recipe's warning I have burnt it many times. So far so careful}.
Add the banana pieces, butter and vanilla and cook over low heat until the bananas break down into the caramel. Let the mixture cool completely.
Beat ½ cup sugar with eggs and oil until the sugar dissolves and the mixture turns pale.
Add the banana mixture and milk and beat well.
Sift the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
Fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture. Add chopped walnuts, Give one final mix
Pour the mixture into the tin.
Bake at 160°C / 355°F for about 40 minutes or until the tooth pick comes clean.

SERVE WARM

Friday, November 28, 2014

Akki Roti (Soft)

The Last time i visited Coorg, I stayed at a home stay and the hostess in that house, made these amazingly soft, fluffy and melt in mouth akki roti. I was always used to eat akki roti loaded with onions and other finely chopped veggies. These vegetables actually make the roti's thick and crispy. I am not a great fan of those.

After much trial and error, of course with a lot of google search's and endless watching of cookery videos on Youtube. I have a easy recipe to the world's best AKKI ROTI :)

Ingredients

Rice Flour - 2 Cups 
Salt - To taste
Oil - 2 Tsp
Butter (Optional)
Water - 2 Cups

Cooking Method

Boil Water in a bowl, When the water is rapidly boiling, Add Salt and Oil.















Slowly add the rice flour to the water, turn the stove off.















Allow this mixture to cool, so that its warm enough for you to handle it. Transfer to a big plate and knead the dough thoroughly, since rice is gluten free, you must ensure the dough is well kneaded to get soft rotis.














Use rice flour for dusting and roll into small discs, the dough will crack in the sides, so take a sharp round plate or lid and cut into circles. so that its all uniform.















Heat a Non-Stick tava, place the discs on the tava.














When small bubbles start to appear, turn to the other side, after 20 Sec, You can place this roti directly on the fire. 















It will fluff up like a beautiful poori. You can omit this set and cook the roti directly on the stove also.

Smear Ghee and store in a casserole.

Keep in mind
Ghee enhances the taste of the roti.
The above quantity makes 20 small rotis.
If you find the dough very sticky, add some more flour and if you find the dough very dry, sprinkle hot water.
The Rotis stay fresh for a day.
The dough can be prepared in advance, rolled, cut into discs and stored in sir tight container in the fridge. The prepared dough stays fresh for 2 days in fridge.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wheat Dosa / Kuli Paniyaram (Padu) with Bell Peppers


It takes me a year to find time to draft a post :) No, I am definitely not at all busy. Just that priorities change and then passion becomes liability.
This blog has helped many nurture their cooking, most of all it has helped me remember recipes of the new dishes that I put together.
I have been baking a lot of late, However my heart still goes to South Indian food. This is comfort food for me.
This recipe is quick to put together can be used in more than one way. Feel free to add or remove vegetables. Just that i had quite a few bell peppers to finish up.

Ingredients

Wheat Flour - 2 Cups
Maida - 1 Cup
Rice Flour - 3 Tsp
Baking Powder - 1 Tsp
Salt - As required

Seive all of the above and set aside.

Onion - 3 Medium (Finely Chopped)
Bell Pepper (Yellow, Red, Green) - 1 Each (Finely Chopped)
Cumin Seeds - 1 Tsp
Chilli Flakes - 1 Tsp
Pepper Powder - 1 Tsp
Milk - Half cup
Roasted Peanuts - 2 tsp (Optional)
Oil - As required
Ghee - As required

Cooking Method

To the sieved flour mixture add required water to make it into a thick creamy batter.


Add onion, bell peppers, cumin seeds, chilli flakes, pepper powder, peanuts and mix the batter until you a smooth and colourful batter.


 Add milk and mix it into the batter well.


Heat a tava, spread the batter evenly, add drops of oil or ghee (I added both :) ). 


Cook on both sides until it turns golden brown. Serve hot with Chutney Powder.


I turned some of the batter into tasty Kuli paniyaram / Padu. I prefer Padu's over dosa !!!


Add ghee while cooking these, They give a nice flavour and aroma.


The Rice flour, gives a nice crunch, these are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.



Cooking time : 30 min (Including the dosa / padu making time)
Serves : 4


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vazha Yellai Kozhukattai


Irrespective of the fact whether we celebrated a particular festival or not,  My Amma always ensured that all the delicacies of the season is cooked at home. We never once felt deprived of anything.

This is my childhood favorite and i can just go on eating this....... Its a simple and Yummy dish.

Outer Covering 

Ingrediants

Rice Flour - 250gms
Ghee - One Spoon
Hot water - As required
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Cooking Method

In a large mixing bowl, Add Rice Flour and salt, Mix well.
To the above mixture slowly add boiling hot water and mix it using a spatula. When the mixture turns like chapati dough, add ghee and knead the dough until you get a smooth dough.
Set it aside.



 For Filling

Ingredients

Coconut - 1 Full (Grated)
Jaggery - 1 Big Cup (As per taste)
Cashew / Raisins / Badam / Dates - 1 Cup (Finely Chopped)
Ghee - 5 tsp

Cooking Method

In a large pan, add coconut and powdered Jaggery, Slowly heat it and mix until Jaggery melts.
Heat Ghee in an other vessel, fry all the dry fruits and add to the coconut mixture.
Add the remaining ghee and mix well.
Once the mixture leaves the sides of the pan, remove from heat.





 Making Kazhukattai

Take Banana leaf, cut into small rectangles, Wash and dry it.
Take a small ball of the outer covering and spread it on the Banana leaf, wet fingers in cold water if you find it difficult to spread.

Place half a spoon of filling in the center, press the sides and close the leaf carefully. Make many such Kozhukattai's and steam them for 5 min in a steamer or cooker.


The Kozhukattai is done, if you are able to remove the leaf without breaking kozhukattai.


Serve hot with a generous drop of Ghee :)





Remember :

1. Do not cook the filling for too long, It will turn hard and become a candy
2. Do not cook the stuffed kozhukattai for long, It will lose its shape and become watery, The filling might come out.
3. Make the outer covering thin, else it will become rubbery.




Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Minced Chicken Biriyani


Wish you all a very Happy New Year.
I know i have just not done any justice to this blog for the last 2 years, Hence i am here with this new recipe... Of late i have been trying a lot of new dishes, I just hope i have time to post them here.....

Minced Chicken Biriyani is a dish which was born out of my boredom, This is a very simple dish with loads of protein and very simple too, this is a boon to every working woman. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did....

Ingredients

Minced Chicken - 1/2 Kg
Rice - 3 cups
Onion - 3 (Finely Chopped)
Tomato - 2 (Chopped)
Green Peas - 100gms
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Curd - 1 tsp
Clove - 3
Cardamon - 1
Cinnamon - 1"
bay Leaf - 1
Salt
Oil

Grind - Masala
Pudina (Mint leaves) - 1/2 Cup
Coriander Leaves - 1/2 Cup
Green Chillies - 4
Ginger - 2"
Garlic - 15 pods

Cooking Method

Soak rice in water for 30 min
In a thick bottom broad vessel, pour oil, Once oil is hot, add clove, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf.
Add onions and once they turn light brown, add tomatoes and fry till tomatoes are fully cooked and mashed.
Add the green Masala and fry till the oil separates from the Masala. Add turmeric powder and Garam Masala powder fry for a minute.
Add the ground masala and fry till the raw smell goes and the oil leaves the sides
Now add ghee followed by curd and fry till the curd blends with the Masala.
Add the minced chicken and green peas, fry for a minute. Add the soaked rice and add water in the ratio of 1:2, i.e for one cup of rice add one cup of water.
At this stage I transferred the entire contents to my rice cooker and set it on cook mode.
However you can cover and cook on slow flame or even pressure cook for 3 whistles on slow flame.

I served this dish with a simple curd salad and Lemon n Onion wedges.

Cooking time : 30 minutes
Serves  : 4