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 !!

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.

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