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.