Tomato Pickle

Super Yummy Tomato Pickle!!!

Rava Kesari

Easy Sweet Recipe to impress your guests !!.

Channa Sundal

Healthy Sundal For Navarathiri !!

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Authentic Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu !!

Hot Cocoa

Perfect Hot Drink to Pamper Yourself !!

December 27, 2012

Egg Fried Rice | IndoChinese Rice Recipe


Hope everyone out there are having a wonderful time. This holiday season is most awaited by everyone especially kids for the gifts from Santa. With all that fun times over now we are getting prepared for the New Year. Everyone should be busy planning for the New Year party menu. This Restaurant style Egg Fried Rice is surely a Party Recipe which will get get you some rave reviews. Make sure you serve it piping hot !!

I simply love fried rice that too Egg Fried Rice with a spicy Chilly Chicken is all time favorite. The lovely combination of vegetables, steaming hot rice and peppery egg is something that cannot be missed. Everyone would have a recipe they would love to order only in restaurants and comment it cannot be made exactly the way they do it. This surely is not true. Go ahead and try this and enjoy some restaurant style food at home !!



Preparation Time - 15 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 4

Ingredients

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Eggs - 4 no
Onion - 1 no
Carrot - 1 no
Cabbage - 1/4 no
Spring Onion - 4 sprigs
Green Pepper (Capsicum) - 1 no
Red Pepper (Capsicum) - 1 no
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 2 tbsp
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Salt as needed

Preparation
  • Cook the basmati rice with 1 tsp of cooking oil so that the grains are separate. If using rice cooker use 1:2 rice to water ratio. If using pressure cooker use 1:1.5 ratio.Cool the rice.
  • Julienne(cut into thin long strips) the onion, carrot, green pepper, red pepper and cabbage. Chop the white part of the spring onion into circles and the green part into medium size strips.
Method
  • In a big skillet heat 2 tbsps olive oil. Add the onions and saute well for about a minute. Add required salt.
  • Next add the carrot,white part of the spring onion, cabbage, green pepper, red pepper one after the other in high flame. Do not allow the vegetable to get overcooked they have to be crunchy.
  • In a separate pan heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil and break open the eggs directly into the pan in medium heat. Add required salt and 1 tbsp pepper powder and saute well. When the egg reaches pale yellow color remove from flame and keep aside.
  • Next add the pepper powder to the vegetable mixture, soy sauce and mix everything together.
  • At this stage add the cooked rice and mix everything together. Add the green part of the spring onion.Do not saute too much, it will break the rice.
  • Add the scrambled egg into the rice mixture and mix well.
  • Serve Hot with spicy side dish or just tomato ketchup.
Notes
  • Do not overcook the vegetables. It will make the veggies lose color.
  • You can also use white pepper powder.
  • Everything has to be done on high flame and quickly to get that restaurant touch.
  • Do serve it piping hot else the rice will lose the original taste.


November 5, 2012

Kaju Katli | Cashew Burfi | Diwali Sweet Recipe

Kaju Katli

Kaju Katli is one of the most famous sweet from North India. It is also called the Cashew Burfi which is just made out of cashew and sugar. Making all kind of sweets announces the arrival of Diwali, the festival of lights. Back in India, Mom would start making the murukku and sweet well ahead. When we come back from school the whole house would be filled with the aroma of ghee. I used to enjoy every aspect of Diwali, be it wearing new clothes, eating sweets, bursting crackers, watching special TV programs, distributing sweets to neighbors and what not. In this part of world there is no sign of Diwali and I wanted to create that atmosphere for the kids atleast by making some sweets. This week I made Kaju Katli and Badusha for them. Shweets simply loves, is there a better word to tell how much she likes it. Whenever somebody comes from India she asks them to bring it and will finish the entire box in 2 days. So I thought of starting with her favorite sweet.

Kaju Katli or Cashew Burfi is one of the easiest sweet that can be prepared in 20 minutes and surely you will get wonderful appreciations from your loved ones. The whole batch vanished in no time and they want me to make it again. If you are aware of the single string consistency this is just super easy. If you are a beginner carefully read through the recipe once before you start. This is one of most liked Diwali recipe and in sweet shops this is the first sweet that goes out of stock. Why get from shops when you can make it at home. Try this and have a fun filled Diwali. More sweets are to come !!!

Cashew Burfi

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 minutes

Yields : 10 - 14 pieces

Ingredients

Cashews - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Ghee for greasing

Preparation

  • Thoroughly dry the small mixie/blender jar.
  • Grease a plate or grease a wax/aluminium foil slighlty and keep aside.
  • Take water in a small plate and keep nearby the stove for testing the sugar syrup consistency.
  • Have a chapatti roller for rolling out the dough, knife for cutting into shapes ready.
Method

  • In the clean, dry mixer add the cashews in 2 batches and grind to a powder. Grind continuously do not pulse or stop in between. This takes very less time. Do not over grind, this will lead to a sticky paste and spoil the whole texture.
  • In a large deep pan (preferably nonstick) add the sugar, water and place in medium flame. Boil until it reaches single string consistency (kambi padham) which takes about 5 - 8 minutes depending on your stove.

Single String Consistency

  • When the sugar and water is mixed and placed in medium flame, in the initial stage the sugar will get dissolved completely. Stir in between.
  • Next stage it will start to have some small bubbles and will be glossy when you take a little in your hand. Turn the flame to low. Do not stir after this.
  • Next stage is when you dip your finger in cold water and touch a little of the syrup it will be sticky.
  • Next stage is when you dip your finger in cold water and touch a little of the syrup between your thumb and index finger it will start to form a string but it will break if you try to separate the fingers. After this stage the single string consistency will be reached in seconds. So be careful.
  • Next stage is when you dip your finger in cold water and touch a little of the syrup between your thumb and index finger it will start to form a proper string.
  • You can also test by pouring small amount of the sugar syrup to the water in a plate. The sugar will not get dissolved immediately and it will lay a thread. This is Single String Consistency.
  • Once the single string consistency is reached, at once add the ground cashew powder and mix well in low flame.
  • Everything should come together and form a mass leaving the sides. This should take around 3 minutes. At this stage you should be able to take the mixture and make a small ball out of it. Switch of the flame at this stage and mix the contents well in the pan for about 2 minutes.
  • Once it reaches a dough consistency remove from pan and place on a clean surface or wax paper and grease your hand with ghee and knead for about 10 minutes until the mixture looks smooth.
  •  Using a roller, roll out the dough flat for about 1/4 thickness.
  • Cut diagonally to get proper diamond shapes and enjoy.
Notes

  • Do not use cashew from the refrigerator, allow it stay in room temperature for long hours before attempting to make the sweet.
  • Do not over grind the cashew it should be ground to a fine powder. Slightly coarse is fine but should not turn to a paste like texture.
  • Attaining the single string consistency is very important. Do not miss it.
  • Be quick after you add the cashew. The mixture will look grainy first and will turn smooth after you knead. So do not panic.
  • If your mixture is dry when you knead you can add 1/2 tbsp of milk to the mixture before kneading.

Diwali Sweet

November 1, 2012

Bread Pudding | Dessert/Breakfast Recipe

Bread Pudding

Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween. We had a good time trick-or-treating. Shweets was dressed up as Love bug and Jake as Cuddly Lion. Shweets was super excited and had loads of candies. We too enjoyed accompanying the kids. I was planning to make a Halloween special treat and but was very busy the whole week and did not get the time. Recently I had tasted Bread Pudding from a bakery and simply loved it wanted to tried it badly. The one I made was exactly like the one I tasted in the bakery and I simply loved it.

I used Italian Bread to make the pudding, any sweet bread should be fine for this pudding. This can be served as a dessert or even for breakfast with some warm milk. Do not skip the raisins it gives a wonderful taste and a different texture. You can skip the brown sugar and just use white sugar too. Kids will surely love it with some caramel sauce on top. If you have leftover bread and you are longing for a dessert surely try this and let me know !!


Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Baking Time - 45 minutes

Yields - 8 X 8 square pan size

Recipe from here

Ingredients

Bread Slices - 6 no
Milk - 2 cups
Eggs - 4 no
White Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup
Light Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Cinnamon Powder - 1 tsp
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Unsalted Butter - 2 tbsp

Preparation
  • Prepare the pan by slightly applying butter on it and the sides of the pan.
  • Melt the butter and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Beat the eggs and keep aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F (175 degrees C). Place the rack in the center of the oven.
Method
  • Break the bread into small pieces and place the pieces in the pan.
  • Drizzle the melted butter on top of the bread pieces.
  • Sprinkle the raisins on top of the bread pieces.
  • In a medium size bowl mix the milk, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, beaten eggs together.
  • Pour the liquid mixture on top of the bread pieces.
  • With a fork slightly press the bread pieces so that they are fully immersed.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly tapped.
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
  • After the pudding is completely cooled down refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours and then slice and serve.
Notes
  • Do not skip the raisins it gives a unique taste.
  • Slice only after cooling it down and refrigerating the pudding.
  • Serve with caramel sauce or warm milk.
  • If you do not like the brown edges of the bread remove them before making into small pieces.


October 26, 2012

Aloo Gobi | Potato Cauliflower Semi Gravy

Aloo Gobi

We are back after a small fall vacation. Enjoying the fall colors is something no one should miss. We thoroughly enjoyed the vacation and was little lazy to post something even though I had some in the drafts. I had to stay at home today as Shweets was not feeling well. I planned to make a simple pulav for lunch so that the kids would will eat without much fuss. For us we need some spicy side dish and I thought of this wonderfully spiced and aromatic Aloo Gobi.

Aloo Gobi is a simple North Indian semi gravy that can be had with Naan, Roti and Rice dishes. The usage of Cumin and Kasoori Methi leaves gives a unique flavor to the gravy. You can also use other vegetables for making the gravy. Potato with peas or bell pepper would be ideal ones. You should take care while cooking, do not overcook and allow the potatoes to get mashed it should be crunchy. All that being said when you are in search for a different side dish for your dinner times, this one is a wonderful choice.



Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 20 minutes

Serves : 4

Ingredients

Potato - 4 no
Cauliflower - 1/2 no
Onion - 2 no
Tomato - 2 no
Green Chilly - 2 no
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/4 tsp
Coconut Milk - 4 tbsp
Kasoori Methi - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 2 no
Bay Leaf - 3 no
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tbsp

Preparation

  • Wash and cut the potatoes into medium size cubes.
  • Wash and remove the cauliflower into small florets.
  • Finely chop the onion and tomatoes.
Method

  • Heat oil in a kadai/wok, add the cinnamon, cumin and bay leaf in medium flame.
  • Next add chopped onion and saute well until onion turns translucent.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and slit green chillies .
  • Next add the tomatoes, when tomatoes turns mushy add the red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix everything well.
  • When oil separates add the potatoes, cauliflower and mix well so that the masala is coated onto the vegetables.
  • Add the coconut milk, boil for 5 minutes in closed state.
  • Next add the garam masala powder and simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
  • Add the kasoori methi leaves and mix well. Serve Hot with Naan, Roti, Rice.
Notes

  • When the masala powders are added make sure to keep the flame in medium state to avoid burning of the masala.
  • You can replace the vegetables as per your wish.
  • You can also add 1 tsp lemon juice when you are about to serve to get that tangy taste.

October 14, 2012

Channa Sundal | Chickpeas Sundal | Navarathri Recipes

Channa Sundal

Navarathri is an Indian festival celebrated during this time of the year to worship Mother Durga. Navarathri means "Nine Nights", we celebrate nine days worshiping various forms of Mother Durga each day. The tenth day is celebrated as Vijayadashami, a day on which everything new is started. In South India we have a tradition of celebrating Navarathri with kolu, a display various dolls in steps (see our 2006 Kolu below). We decorate the dolls, invite people for our Kolu and offer variety of prasadams every day.

Channa Sundal is one of the most famous prasadam offered during Navarathri. All these nine days we would think of different prasadams and always would prefer to standout from others. This Spicy Channa/Chick peas Sundal is a winner. The ground masala powder gives it a very different taste from the usual sundal. It is easy to make and your guests will love this for sure. If you are preparing for the kolu and running out of ideas for the prasadam this would definitely be a option. Try it !!

Chickpeas Sundal

Preparation Time : 6 - 8 hours of soaking time + 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 10 minutes

Serves : 4

Ingredients

Channa/Chickpeas/Kondakadalai - 1 cup
Urad Dal/Uluntham Paruppu - 1 tsp
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Curry Leaves - 2 strigs
Red Chilly - 2 no
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tsp

For roasting and grinding

Red Chilly - 3 no
Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu - 1 tbsp
Urad Dal/Uluntham Paruppu - 1 tsp

Preparation

  • Wash and soak the channa/chickpeas for about 6 - 8 hours or overnight.
  • Pressure cook the channa with required salt and leave for 3 - 4 whistles.
  • Dry roast the channa dal, urad dal, red chilies mentioned in the for roasting and grinding section adding one after other for about 2 minutes in medium flame.Allow the contents to cool down and grind it to a coarse powder.
Method

  • Heat oil in a kadai/wok, add the mustard.When mustard starts to splutter add the curry leaves, red chillies. Saute for about 1 minute in medium flame.
  • Next add the cooked channa with little cooked water and saute well for about 2 minutes.
  • When the water evaporates, add the ground powder and mix well for about 5 minutes.
  • Next add the grated coconut and mix everything well.
Kolu

Notes

  • If you forget to soak the channa in the night no issues. My mom does this shortcut method, boil enough water and put the washed channa into it. Place this vessel inside a hot pack. It will be ready 4 - 5 hours.
  • Do not burn any of the contents while roasting as it would spoil the taste of the Sundal.
  • You can use this sundal as a side dish with rice too.

Channa Sundal

October 9, 2012

Chilly Chicken Dry | Indo Chinese Chicken Dry

Chilly Chicken Dry

There are some items you just order when you are in a restaurant even without looking at the menu. Chilly Chicken is one such item we love to order when we are at a Chinese restaurant. We love spicy dishes and this dish bursts with so may types of spices and we love it. I almost used all types chilies and sauces I had. Green Chillies, Red Chilly flakes, Red Chilly sauce, Green Chilly Sauce has been used in the dish to give the extra gig. As the name of the dish goes "Chilly Chicken", you cannot afford to miss adding any of the chillies and end up with a normal chicken dish. All that extra heat comes when you add the red chilly flakes. So before adding that I reserved some for Shweets and she loved it.

Chilly Chicken is perfect along with some steaming hot fried rice. You can try the vegetable fried rice from here and I have a Egg Fried Rice that is coming soon which I served with the Chilly Chicken. The Chinese food we get in the US is mostly Americanized and it is not spicy. So if you want to taste some spicy Chinese inspired dish this is the perfect one. I was hunting for these sauces in all the stores and finally got them in the Indian Stores. Do try this with the sauces as it gives that special taste. Try this recipe and let me know how it turned out.


Preparation Time - 15 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 minutes

Serves : 4 people

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

Boneless Chicken - 1 lb
Onion - 1 Big Size
Green Pepper/Capsicum- 2 Medium size
Spring Onion/Scallion - 2 Sprigs Ginger - 1 small piece
Garlic - 3 cloves
Green Chilly - 2 no
Red Chilly Flakes - 1 tsp
Soy Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Green Chilly Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Red Chilly Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Salt as needed
Vinegar - 1tsp
Food Color - a pinch (optional)
Olive Oil - for frying + 2 tsp

For Marination

Garlic - 3 cloves
Soy Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Green Chilly Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Red Chilly Sauce - 1/2 tbsp
Corn Flour - 1 tbsp
All Purpose Flour - 1 tsp
Egg - 1 no (optional)
Salt - As needed

Marination
  • Wash and cut the chicken into small cubes. Pat dry the chicken with a kitchen towel.
  • Mince the 3 garlic cloves and keep aside.
  • Place the chicken in a medium size bowl and add the minced garlic, soy sauce, red chili sauce, green chili sauce, all purpose flour, corn flour, egg, salt mentioned in the marination section and thoroughly mix everything together.
  • Marinate for about 1- 2 hours depending on how much time you have.
Preparation
  • Mince ginger and garlic.
  • Cut the onions and green pepper into equal sized cubes.
  • Split the green chilies into halves.
  • Chop the hollow green leaves of the spring onion into small pieces.
Method
  • Heat the oil for frying, when it is hot carefully drop the chicken pieces and fry until golden brown.
  • Remove excess oil by placing the fried chicken pieces on a kitchen tissue. 
  • Heat the remaining 2 tsp oil in a wok and add the ginger and garlic and saute until it is golden brown in medium heat. 
  • Next add the green chilies followed by the cubed onion and saute for about a minute and then add the green pepper. 
  • Add salt required for the onion and green pepper, remember you have already added salt to the chicken. Add the 1 tsp vinegar and give a quick stir. 
  • Next add the chicken and mix everything together. 
  • At this stage add the green chilly sauce, red chilly sauce, soy sauce, food color mentioned in the ingredients section and mix everything together.
  • Next add the chilly flakes and mix and saute in high heat for about 3 minutes. This time depends on how dry you want the dish.
  • Finally add the chopped spring onions as garnish. 
  • Serve with Fried Rice of you Choice.
Notes
  • This is a spicy dish so add spices according to your desired spice level. Mainly the heat comes from the chilly flakes so omit them if you want to reduce the spice level.
  •  I did not have the corn flour handy so did not use it. If you add that you will get that crusty look. 
  • The onion and green pepper should be crunchy and not over cooked.
  •  I used Chings brand red chilly and green chilly sauce. You get them in Indian Stores if you are out of India.


October 4, 2012

Eggless Chocolate Cake | Moist One Bowl Chocolate Cake

Moist Eggless Chocolate Cake

No Kidding this Chocolate Cake is super easy to make. I always prefer mess free baking and this is my type of recipe. You just need one bowl and a spatula. Mix all the ingredients together and bake, simple as that. You can directly serve it from the pan or invert and serve. Lately I'm trying a lot eggless recipes and this one is truly a winner. The cake was super moist and was great as a snack. As we planned it as a quick snack we did not do any frosting just dusted with some powdered sugar and thoroughly enjoyed it. The kids loved it and I hardly got around 10 minutes to click the pictures :(

Shweets as always was super excited about the cake. She was so happy because the cake was super easy to make. She was eagerly waiting in front of the oven and watching the timer. She could not wait for the cake to cool down completely. I had to cut it before it cooled down so you could see some crumbs. But if you be patient and wait, your cake will be super perfect. You can prepare a chocolate frosting in pouring consistency and just pour over the cooled down cake and you can enjoy !!

Moist Chocolate Cake

Preparation Time - 5 minutes

Baking Time - 30 minutes

Yields - 8 X 8 square cake

Recipe from here

Ingredients

All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cup
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1/4 cup
White Granulated Sugar - 1 cup
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Baking Powder - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Warm Water - 1 cup
Lemon Juice/Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Vannila Extract - 1 tsp
Unsalted Butter - 5 tbsp

Preparation
  • Prepare the cake pan by lining the bottom with parchment and applying butter on it and the sides of the pan.
  • Melt the butter and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Place the rack in the center of the oven.
Method
  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder into a large bowl.
  • Next add the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and mix well.
  • Add the vanilla extract and lemon juice/vinegar into the warm water and mix well
  • Pour the water mixture into the flour mixture.
  • Add the melted butter into the mixture and mix well.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Tap the cake pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.
  • After the cake is completely cooled down slice and serve.
Notes
  • This cake can be served from the cake pan or inverted into a serving plate and then served.
  • You can frost the with a simple frosting or just dust some powdered sugar or cocoa powder and serve.
  • If you are planning to serve directly from the pan you can skip greasing the bottom of the pan.

One bowl Chocolate Cake

September 29, 2012

Guacamole | Avocado Dip

Guacamole

Avocado is something I fell in love with after coming here. I have never seen avocado in India so obviously was little hesitant to try it. I tried it first in a mexican restaurant where it is served as a side when you order fajitas. As MK had already been to the US he instructed on how to eat it. A warm tortilla rolled with a little of the chicken fajita, little of sour cream, refried beans and guacamole was heavenly. I started to love mexican food from then. When I visit any burrito or sandwich joint I make sure to ask for the dip.

There is one restaurant in the place we live, when you order guacamole they prepare it next to your table. The super fresh guacamole tasted so good and I wanted to badly make it at home. It is easy to make if you have the avocado handy. You need real ripe ones to make this. You can either use it as a dip for your corn chips or use it as a side. You can make it creamy or chunky whichever way you like. If you get avocado at your place make sure you try this recipe at home.



Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 5 - 6 people

Ingredients

Ripe Avocado - 3 no
Onion - 1 no
Tomato - 1 no
Coriander leaves/Cilantro - 5 tbsp
Lime - 1 no
Green Chilly - 2 no
Salt - for taste

Preparation
  • Cut and remove the large seed from the avocado.
  • Scoop the flesh from the ripe avocado and place it in medium size bowl.
  • Roll the lime with you palm. Squeeze the juice out of the lime and keep aside.
  • Finely chop the onion, tomato, green chilly and coriander leaves.
Method
  • With a fork gently mash the avocado.
  • Add the chopped onion, tomato, green chilly and coriander leaves.
  • Add required salt and gently mix everything together.
  • Add the lime juice and give a gentle stir.
  • Serve as a side or dip.
Notes
  • The brown avocado are the ripe ones. If you get slightly greenish ones keep them in room temperature 2 - 3 days for them to ripen.
  • You can either make the dip creamy or chunky. Mash the avocado until the required consistency.
  • It is best when served immediately. If you are planning to serve it in a party then keep everything ready and mix when needed.

September 24, 2012

Eggless Banana Walnut Muffins | Breakfast Muffins

Eggless Banana Walnut Muffins

I know everyone always wonder why weekend just flies away in a jiffy and why the rest of week drags endlessly. It is just Monday and I'm already super tired. Kids and work are always keeping me on wheels. Jake is getting naughtier day by day and I think I need some super powers to cope up with his energy level. He always has a naughty look on his face and we wonder what he would do next. After all that running, I thought of posting something just to relax. As we food lovers always love to say baking is therapeutic, writing a post about what I baked is also helping equally.

Coming to what I baked this weekend, I baked some super moist Eggless Banana Walnut Muffins. Baking with bananas is something I love to do. When Jake was having his nap in the afternoon, me and Shweets decided to make this. She mixed and mixed the wet ingredients together and with half heart gave the bowl. When it was baking she was peeping through the glass oven door and was continuously asking "Is it done". They turned out super moist and the batch vanished in no time. This recipe is truly a keeper. When you are bored with the usual cereals and bread for breakfast you can try these moist and yummy breakfast muffins !!


Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Baking Time - 25 - 27 minutes

Yields - 12 Standard Size Muffins

Ingredients

All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cup
Ripe Banana - 4 no
Unsalted Butter - 5 tbsp
Vannila Extract - 1 tsp
Light Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup
White Granulated Sugar - 1/2 cup
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Walnuts - 1/2 cup

Preparation
  • Prepare the muffin trays with muffin liners and spray vegetable oil.
  • Coarsely chop the walnuts.
  • Mash the bananas and keep aside.
  • Melt butter and allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
Method
  • Mix the mashed banana, melted butter, light brown sugar, white sugar and vannila extract in a medium size bowl.
  • Sift the flour and mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated.
  • Fold in the chopped walnuts reserving 2 tbsp for garnish.
  • Fill in the prepared muffin tray with 1 icecream scoop of the batter or 2 spoons of batter filling only 3/4 of the cup.
  • Sprinkle the reserved chopped walnuts on top of the batter.
  • Bake for about 25 - 27 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Serve warm as breakfast or tea time snack.
Notes
  • As always do not overmix the mixture, overmixing leads to rubbery muffins.
  • Do not overbake, overbaking leads to dry muffins.
  • You can replace walnuts with your favorite nuts.


September 20, 2012

Onion Sambar | Chinna Vengaya Sambar

Onion Sambar

Hope you all had a wonderful Ganesh Chaturthi. We celebrated it with kozhukattai, sundal and pongal. We truly missed the way we used to celebrate it in India. This is one thing we have to sacrifice when you live away from your loved ones. We try our level best to introduce our culture, food, celebrations to our kids. Shweets is very excited whenever we have a puja. She helps me to decorate the idols and arrange the offerings. You should watch her praying, she tries to immitate me. I use the books that my Mom gave me to read slogans. After I finish she just grabs a book and goes on and on. For sample yesterday she said "God Jake (her brother) is very naughty , why did you create him like that" From the back we were just trying to control our laughter. If we laugh, gone case she would get angry and will say you guys spoiled the whole prayer. We had a wonderful time !!

Coming to the recipe, this is sambar that goes well with tiffin items. We do not use any vegetables but just the pearl onions. These small sized onions are slighlty sweeter than the normal onions and it is best suited for South Indian dishes. My Mom and my aunts mostly use this onion for cooking. Though peeling these is kind of painful it is really worth the effort. Whenever I go for vegetable shopping and I see these I surely pick 2 bags of them. I love these in the puli kuzhambu which we make. I will share that recipe real soon. We had this with the pongal I made for the puja. Tasted really good and truly a homey dish.


Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Cooking Time : 15 minutes

Serves : 4

Ingredients

Toor Dal/Tuvaram Paruppu - 1/2 cup
Pearl Onion/Chinna Vengayam - 15 - 20 no
Tamarind - goose berry sized piece
Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garlic flakes - 3 - 4 no
Mustard - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry Leaves - 2 strigs
Coriander Leaves - for garnish
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tsp

For roasting and grinding

Red Chilly - 4 - 5 no
Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds/Jeeragam - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds/Venthayam - 5 - 6 no
Grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Oil - 1 tsp

Preparation

  • Peel the pearl onions and wash them once. If you want you can cut them into halves, but I prefer having them in full size.
  • Pressure cook the toor dal with the turmeric and the garlic flakes for 1 whistle.
  • Add 1 tsp oil and roast the channa dal, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilies, grated coconut adding one after other for about 2 minutes in medium flame. Allow the contents to cool down and grind it to a coarse powder.
  • Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup water and extract juice and keep aside.

Method

  • Heat oil in a kadai/wok, add the mustard followed by the asafoetida.
  • When mustard starts to splutter add the onions, curry leaves. Saute until onion turns translucent.
  • In medium flame add the coriander powder, salt, ground powder and saute well for about 2 minutes.
  • Next add the tamarind extract along with 1/2 cup water and cook in closed state for about 5 minutes.
  • When the raw smell of the tamarind is gone add the cooked dal and stir well.
  • Cook for additional 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with Rice, Dosa, Idly, Pongal etc.,

Notes

  • I add garlic flakes to the dal before cooking. You can skip that if you do not like garlic in your cooking.
  • Do not burn any of the contents while roasting as it would spoil the taste of the Sambar.
  • Add little extra water if your sambar is thick.


September 10, 2012

Hot Cocoa

Hot Cocoa

After one lazy week, life is getting hectic again. Already we have started to look forward for the next long weekend which is like days away. Kids usually get easily adapted to any situation they are super excited about school at the same time they love the holidays. Wish someday I could think like that. Shweets was even praying to god that her school should reopen soon as she is getting bored. Me on the other hand was carefully watching the weather channel to make sure that a holiday would be declared.

Hot Cocoa is usually related to winter or rainy days. For us there is no such rule, when we feel like having one we do. It is easy to make and requires no special skills. I totally love making effortless recipes. One thing I look for is how easy it is to make it and next most important thing is how easy it is to clean the after mess. For this I just used my coffee mug so no big mess which I love. Always use a tall mug else you might end up cleaning the microwave. Hot Cocoa is one wonderful drink which you can enjoy when you are really in a mood for some self pampering. Enjoy !!


Preparation Time - 1 min

Cooking Time - 1 min 30 seconds

Serves - 1 person

Recipe from here

Ingredients

Milk - 1 cup
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - 1 1/2 tsp
White Sugar - 1 tsp
Brown Sugar - 1 tsp
Vanilla Extract - 1/4 tsp
dash of salt

Preparation
  • To a microwave safe coffee mug add the white sugar, brown sugar, salt and cocoa powder.
  • Add 1 tbsp of the cold milk and stir well until smooth.
Method
  • Add remaining milk and microwave for about 1 minute 30 seconds.
  • Remove from the microwave and stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Serve hot with biscuits or muffins.
Notes
  • Instead of a single serving, you can make it for a large group by mixing the needed sugars, cocoa powder, salt with little milk and water until smooth. Add milk and heat upto serving temperature and serve.
  • You can top the hot cocoa with marsh mallows or whipped cream which I did not try, as I like my cocoa as is.
  • If you like your drink frothy, carefully whisk before serving.

September 2, 2012

Mutton Kurma | Mutton Korma

Mutton Kurma

Will you be believe me if I say we got to stay indoors for the last six days. Yes we did thanks to the tropical storm which hit our state. Though we stayed indoors not much of work happened in the kitchen. The storm knocked out the power and there was no way to cook. As we were not able to get the fuel for the portable gas stove we bought. Finally we lived on breads and buns. Though there was no power we loved it in a way as we got to talk old stories. Thanks to the Ipad that came in handy to keep the kids occupied. After all the bland food we had for days, I decided to make something spicy and a family favorite.

Mutton Kurma surely is something we badly wanted to cover up the loss for the last few days. Mutton Kurma is a sauce based dish finished with coconut and cashew paste. It is rich and goes well with rice, idly and most importantly roti. In restaurants you would see loads of oil floating on the top when you order this kurma, this is because of the too much oil they use or the fat from the mutton. We totally remove the fat so you do not see oil floating in my recipe. This is super tasty, spicy kurma you would love.


Ingredients

Mutton -1.5 lbs or 3/4 kg
Onion - 1 no medium size
Chilly Powder - 2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves
Curry leaves
Oil - 3 tbsp

For Marination

Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Curd - 2 tsp
Salt - little

For Paste 1

Onion - 2 no
Tomato - 2 no
Ginger - 1 big piece
Garlic flakes - 6 - 8 no
Dry Red Chilly - 2 - 3 no
Oil - 1 tsp

For Paste 2

Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Coconut flakes - 1/2 cup
Cashews - 7 - 8 no

For Tempering

Cinnamon - 2 sticks
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom - 3 pods
Bay Leaf - 3 - 4 no

Preparation
  • Wash and cut the mutton into medium size pieces.
  • Marinate the mutton with 1 tsp chilly powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, curd, little salt (ingredients under marination) for 30 minutes. This turns the mutton soft and gives better taste.
  • Roughly chop the garlic, ginger, onion and tomatoes (ingredients under paste 1). Heat 1 tsp of oil and saute the ginger, garlic, onion, red chilly and tomato adding one after other and cook until tomato turns mushy. Grind the ingredients into a coarse paste.
  • Grind the coconut, fennel seeds and cashews (ingredients under paste 2) into a smooth paste.
Method
  • Place a pressure cooker, pour the oil add cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and bay leaf in medium flame.
  • Next add finely chopped onions followed by the curry leaves and saute well until onion is transparent.
  • Add onion, tomato paste 1, and saute at regular intervals until oil comes out.
  • Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and salt (remember the salt added to the mutton) and saute well until oil comes out.
  • Next add the mutton pieces and saute well so that the masala is well coated onto the mutton.
  • Add 1 cup of water and pressure cook the mutton for 2 -3 whistles.
  • Once the pressure is released, add the garam masala and boil the gravy for additional 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Next the coconut, fennel seeds and cashew paste 2. Boil in medium flame for about 4 - 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Notes
  • I normally use halal mutton, which is far better than the ones that are frozen.
  • Adjust spice level according to your taste.
  • After adding the coconut do not over boil the gravy which will spoil the taste.

August 30, 2012

Eggless Coconut Buns | Bakery Style Coconut Buns | Dilkhush Buns


There are some things you want to do and just do not find the right time. When that thing is making a homemade bread I really work hard to find the time.I have been longing to make these buns at home. When me and MK were discussing about our childhood days, like how we used to look forward for the sweets daddy would bring on the first day of the month, free candies from the grocery store when we buy in bulk and so on. Slowly started about bakery food and ended up in Coconut buns we both loved as kids. I think most of you could relate to want I'm saying. I simply love coconut flavor so there is no wonder I was longing to make this. I searched for so many recipes, shortlisted, tweaked them and was planning to make it on a weekend. Took a day off this week and got to make it much earlier.

The softness of the buns, sweetness from the melted brown sugar along with coconut, crunchiness from the nuts, gooeyness from the raisins yum these buns were super good. Baking yeast breads are always an awesome experience. Though it takes some time all the process involved makes you feel you really did something great. Both the cuties thoroughly enjoyed the buns and definitely planning to make these buns often with other stuffing’s. If you longing for some bakery style coconut buns, you have reached the right place. You got try this super soft and addictive buns!!



Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Rising Time - 1 hour + 30 minutes

Baking Time - 20 minutes

Yields - 9 inch bun

Ingredients

All Purpose Flour/Maida - 3 cups
Butter - 3 tbsp at room temperature
Active Dry Yeast - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup slightly warm
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsps
Salt - 1/2 tsp

For Roux

All Purpose Flour/Maida - 1/3 cup
Water - 3/4 cup

For Filling

Sweetened Grated Coconut/Freshly Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
White Sugar - 1/2 cup
Powdered Cardamom - 1/2 tsp
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Mixed Nuts (Cashews, Walnuts) - 1/2 cup

Adapted from here

Preparation
  • Start making the roux by mixing the flour and water until there no lumps in a heavy bottomed vessel.
  • Cook the roux in medium flame stirring continuously until it reaches the custard consistency. For about 3 minutes.
  • Roughly chop the raisins and the nuts and keep aside.
  • Prepare a 9 inch cake pan by placing parchment paper and buttering the top of it.
Method
  • Once the roux is cooled, add the flour, butter, yeast, sugar, milk and mix well. Knead until it is smooth and elastic for 10 minutes. If you are using your stand mixer it takes about 4 minutes in medium speed. Now add the oil and knead well.
  • Place the dough in a warm bowl and wrap it. Wait until it is doubled in size about a hour.
  • When the dough is rising, mix the grated coconut, brown sugar, white sugar, chopped raisins and nuts together and keep aside.
  • Punch down the dough and make two big balls out of it.
  • In a floured surface roll one of the ball into a flat disc of 9 inches diameter.
  • Place the disc in the prepared pan and spread the filling in the center of the disc leaving 1/2 inch in the outer.
  • Make a 9 inch disc out of the other ball and place it on top of the filling.
  • Pinch the sides so that the filling does not come out. Brush with milk on top of the bun.
  • Wrap the cake pan and allow it get doubled in size say about 30 minutes.
  • When the bun is rising preheat the oven to 350 F.
  • Once the bun is doubled, remove the wrap and bake it for about 18- 20 minutes.Until the top is golden brown.
  • Slice and serve the warm buns.
Notes
  • For the filling, I used raisins, cashews and walnuts. You can substitute with your favorites.
  • You can also make small buns out of it. This measurements would yield 10 -12 small buns.
  • Store left overs if you have any in the refrigerator placing them in a zip lock bag. Microwave for about 20 seconds and enjoy them again.

Eggless Coconut Buns

August 21, 2012

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu | Authentic South Indian Gravy

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu/Kulambu is a famous South Indian gravy. Though the preparation takes a bit longer than the usual daily eats, it is totally worth the effort. After coming here I do not make it so often due to time constraints. Last Friday I had taken off and was wondering want to make for Lunch. Wanted to make something special and suddenly got reminded of this authentic gravy which we had not eaten for years. Also there was another reason that I wanted to post it in my blog. It is basically making lentil balls and adding it to the tamarind gravy, ok I agree it is not easy as it sounds. I would love to spend an extra 15 - 20 minutes to enjoy this sort of authentic gravies.

This dish can be prepared in two ways, either you can make a tamarind based gravy or kurma style gravy and then add the steamed balls. Today I'm sharing the tamarind based version which is the authentic version. At my in-laws place they make the other version which I will be sharing later. Also there are different ways to cook the lentil balls. You can steam cook, fry or just add the balls raw into the gravy. I personally prefer the steaming method. If you got the extra 15 minutes do try this authentic gravy From My Home Kitchen and let me know how it turned out !!


Preparation Time - 20 minutes

Cooking Time - 20 minutes (I prepare my urundai and gravy in parallel. If you prepare them separately it will take more time)

Serves - 4

Ingredients for Urundai

Toor Dal (Thuvaram Paruppu) - 1/2 cup
Channa dal (Kadala Paruppu) - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 no (medium size)
Red Chilly - 3 - 4 no
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Grated Coconut - 3 tbsps
Ginger - 1 small piece (about 1 inch)
Salt as needed

Ingredients for Kuzhambu

Onion - 2 no
Tomato - 2 no
Garlic - 5 flakes
Ginger - 1 small size piece(about 1 inch)
Tamarind - lemon size
Red Chilly - 2 no
Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
Coconut pieces - 1/4 cup
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Coconut Milk - 2 tbsps
Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
Coriander Leaves for garnish
Salt as needed
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard - 2 tsps
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp

Preparation for Urundai
  • Soak the toor dal and channa dal for about 2 hours.
  • Grind the soaked dal with red chillies and salt into a coarse paste.

  • Finely chop the onion, grate the ginger. Chop the curry leaves into thin strips. Mix the ground dal, onion, grated ginger, grated coconut, curry leaves.

  • Make small balls out of the mixture and place it carefully in the steamer.

  • Steam cook the balls for about 10 - 12 minutes. Do not over steam.
Preparation for Kuzhambu
  • Finely chop the onion, tomato, grate the garlic and ginger.
  • Soak the tamarind in 2 cups water for about 10 minutes and extract juice and keep aside.
  • Grind the coconut pieces and fennel seeds to a fine paste.
Method
  • Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Next add the fenugreek seeds in medium flame.
  • Next add the grated garlic and ginger and saute until they turn golden brown.
  • Next add the onion, salt and curry leaves and saute until they turn translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy.Next add the chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and mix well. Cook in medium flame until turns oil separates.
  • Add the tamarind juice and cook in closed state until raw tamarind goes away.
  • Add the coconut fennel paste and mix well. Cool for about 5 minutes. Next add the coconut milk.
  • Break 2 or 3 of steamed dal balls and add to the gravy. Add little water if the consistency is too thick.
  • At this stage drop the remaning balls one by one carefully into the gravy and allow it to cook in closed state.
  • When oil separates, garnish with chooped coriander leaves.
  • Serve with hot rice and a spicy side dish or pappad.
Notes
  • The measurements given above will yield about 20 - 23 balls.
  • This gravy will taste super good if it cooked and allowed to sit for about a hour so that the balls would have absorbed the gravy.
  • Some fry the balls before adding to the gravy. But I prefer steamed ones.

August 15, 2012

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice

Happy Independence Day everyone !!! Independence day always reminds me of the school days and the Independence day parade. So it will be like one month of practice of the parade. I was even part of the guides and road safety patrol. Dad would drop me at school everyday by 5 am for my parade practice. From school all of us with our PE teacher would take a bus and reach the ground for the pratice. After that we used to come back and attend school. I used to love all that and have real good memories of those days.

Coming to the recipe, I simply love fried rice with a spicy gobi manchurian. So not spicy, loads of vegetables, steaming hot rice makes it a super fun lunch or dinner recipe. I used to normally order the vegetable fried rice when I go restaurants when I was a kid. It is one of a family favorite recipe. This simple and quick rice is surely a keeper !! Do try out this Independence Day special tricolor Vegetable Fried Rice.




Preparation Time - 15 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 4

Ingredients

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
White Onion - 1 no
Carrot - 1 no
Beans - 10 no
Green Peas - handful
Spring Onion - 4 sprigs
Green Pepper  - 1/2 no
Red Pepper  - 1/2 no
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Green Chilly Sauce - 1 tbsp
Red Chilly Sauce - 1 tsp
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp
Salt as needed

Preparation
  • Cook the basmati rice with 1 tsp of cooking oil so that the grains are separate. If using rice cooker use 1:2 rice to water ratio. If using pressure cooker use 1:1.5 ratio.Cool the rice.
  • Julienne(cut into thin long strips) the onion, carrot, green pepper, red pepper and green beans.
  •  Chop the white part of the spring onion into circles and the green part into medium size strips.
Method
  • In a big skillet heat the olive oil. Add the onions and saute well for about a minute. Add required salt.
  • Next add the carrot,white part of the spring onion, green beans, green peas, green pepper, red pepper one after the other in high flame. Do not allow the vegetable to get overcooked they have to be crunchy.
  • Next add the green chilly sauce, red chilly sauce,  soy sauce and mix everything together.
  • At this stage add the cooked rice and mix everything together. Add pepper powder.
  • Add the green part of the spring onion.Do not saute too much, it will break the rice.
  • Serve Hot with spicy side dish or just tomato ketchup.
Notes
  • Do not overcook the vegetables. It will make the veggies lose color.
  • You can also use white pepper powder.
  • Everything has to be done on high flame and quickly to get that restaurant touch.

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