Monday, 30 December 2013

Bread basket

I was completely amazed by these bread baskets when I first saw them at Homebakers guild.  Later, I went through an elaborate online search, and found  this  youtube video.  With my own dough recipe, I, finally made these gorgeous basket.  


When I placed them on my dinner table, they were quite deceiving and imitated a real basket carrying fruits.  You can surprise your guests at parties and your family too.  

Sunday, 29 December 2013

BOUNTY BAR/ COCONUT BAR - (Without chocolate mould)

  Ever since I have started my blog, many requested me to post some chocolate recipes.  Am sooo sorry that I was not able to post this earlier :(  Very idea for posting this bar struck me, when I was searching for some offline content.  Yes, they were for CCC Challenge.  It was then, that I stumbled upon my chocolate recipes notebook.  I used to treasure them a lot, because saving them from Varsha's clutches is really, really an hard deal :)  And yes, like all you wished, I am planning to pen down more and more of chocolates :)



Bounty chocolates are regular chocolates stuffed with moist coconut filling.  Every bite is heavenly as we can relish the goodness of both chocolate and coconut.  These are sure to delight all-ages.  Shama liked them a lot and Varsha is also growing fond of them.  You can surprise the kids or allot them for party.  New Year is also approaching, by the way, why dont you guys give them a try?



Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bhaja Moong dal - Potluck party, cyber style December 28th 2013

   For this month of potluck party, I was paired with Sutapa.  I was too happy because I am an dal or gravy-aholic lady.  In this blogging world, we can see many bakes, many goodies  or many virtual treats, but when it comes to your home-cooking, making gravies or dal for dinner becomes an wondering part of life because breakfast and lunch preparation gets over my morning itself.  And for me, I simply quiz what to cook up, with my refrigerator and provisions shelf wide open  :D  :D   This potluck party, very clearly compensated my thought :P  



Bhaja moong dal, an bengali dal is an rich and exotic dal.  'Bhaja' means 'fry' and so moong dal was fried with ghee before pressure cooking and tempered with spices and coconut.  When I prepared, I can notice a pleasent aroma and taste, unlike other dal preparations.  So, thanks to Sutapa for introducing such an nice dal to us, I enjoyed them thoroughly with roti. 


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Eggless Fruit Cake

Merry Christmas to everyone :D  Hope you all enjoyed and had a blast.  With incoming guests at home, I made this Eggless fruit cake to suit the occasion.  It was devoured in no time, and I as mighty impressed with myself.  Here are few clicks .....






The only prep needed was to marinate dry fruits and nuts overnight, you can throw few spice powders if you like - they will elevate the flavors for sure.  I have used condensed milk as a substitute for eggs.  Do let us know how it tastes as the recipe follows. 

Monday, 23 December 2013

BHAJJI KI MINI PIE

  Well, what can I say about this cheesy n soft (vegetable) bhaji stuffed pies??  They are a divine fusion of Indian chaat with England-based dessert.  Since bhaji goes excellent with pav, their combo with buttery pie crust was good too :)  I made them when I desperately needed a savory snack. I am always a savory lover...  so when this 'fusion' idea struck me, I no longer resisted myself to bake :)   Yes, I don't know why baking is very mesmerizing and these days I am getting bakeaholic :D  :D




When it came for filling, I needed them a bit cheesy with  a different seasoning.  So, I went for oregano with mozzarella combination.  You can use any dry herbs seasoning (or replace them with a couple of fresh herbs and chili flakes you have).  If you want a classic 'cheesy' look, you can replace quarter cup of cheese to almost 1 cup.  (Trust this one, you will get a 'classic temptation')  These pies are better had straight from the oven, piping hot.  :D  :D So, with freezing climate here, they were a 'pleasure to intake' :D  :D




I got a lot of credits when I shared this pie with my neighbor :D :D  She especially appreciated the filling.  This has given me a lot of confidence, yes I am going to try this filling with more of savory types.  On the other hand, I had to admit that making these pies were a bit time-consuming.  It is best to prepare the dough before a  day and refrigerate them if you are in short of time. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Paneer masala

Hi all, this paneer masala is from '100 vagai side-dish' book by Archana Natarajan.  Thanks to Srivalli for an awesome CCC because I am utilizing all my cookbooks now, which otherwise would have been an dusky showcase material  :P  Never thought paneer masala would have been this much delecious that too without adding dense cashew paste or cream.  Recipe calls for an simple ingredients, yet awesome output.  Isn't it great??


This gorgeously looking paneer masala is too creamy and tasty that anybody can hardly resist :)  And they save a lot of time too :P  Comes in handy, especially if you have any sudden guests coming over also for an week-end treat!  Hubby loved it with roti/chapathi, though this would be guarentely an hit with pulao/rice :)


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Egg pulao

    Not long before, we visited 'Royalseema ruchulu' restaurant at Hyderabad, I must admit that 'Nattukodi pulao' was an real FAB.  We continued to order pulao twice, thrice.... :)  After relishing their hot, fiery pulao, blogger part of mine desired to make an 'silent try' :)   As thought, I continued making the pulao with hard-boiled eggs, pulao was fantastic.  Here, I also share one useful trick for cooking the rice with correct texture. Also try to cook basmati rice in an wide-mouthed vessel, so that they dont become mushy and stay like separate grains.


Egg pulao can also be an 'hit' in your family.  Try them ideally on an week-day lunch once before an exotic week-end lunch :D  I garnished this egg pulao with mint leaves, one slice/wedge of egg along with deep fried onions.  I had them, as such.  Every bite was flavourful and tempting.  My daughter, Varsha who doesn't eat spicy food also carved an special interest to this pulao.  This is an easy and tempting alternative to our usual home-made  biriyani.  Do try them :D

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

JUST EAT INDIA - Review

       JUST EAT India is India's largest online food ordering portal and table reservation website.  It is headquartered in Bangalore with other branches at Delhi, Mumbai etc and is prone to expand rapidly. Currently working with over 2500 restaurants, 52 cuisines and 3 lakh dishes, they have more than 3.5 lakh registered users.  Parent company is headquartered in UK, with presence of 12 other countries. (apart from India) 


WHAT MAKES JUSTEAT SO SPECIAL??


   Justeat is user-friendly website, all you have to do is one click to select the place you stay and an range of restaurants are displayed.  You can select one near your locality (within 2 kms) and get into their online menu range.  There are two options at online ordering portal- cash on delivery and online payment.  Make sure to grab online payment, because JUSTEAT offers discount coupons  for online payments which ranges from 15 to 30 percent off.  Not only that there are also coupons offering two hundred rupees off from your billing, isn't it great??

MY EXPERIENCE WITH JUSTEAT



I logged on and ordered pizza from Pizza corner and choose to make an online payment.  After I am done with payment, I soon get an call from restaurant saying that my order is confirmed and pizzas will get delivered within fourtyfive minutes.  As said, pizza is made and delivered to me within time.  I enjoyed them along with my family members...


With one-click ordering system, JUSTEAT has made life easier and reliable.  Earlier, I used to  ask this as an favour to my hubby.  But, now, with JUSTEAT, I can order my favourite dish from favourite restaurant, simply by sitting at home...  I find this very comforting, don't you too friends???  Don't have system/laptop to support this need......??  Don't worry :)  Because, now JUSTEAT is also available as an food ordering applications  in your mobile phones (Android, iPhone, Windows 8 )  Make sure, you do grab their apps and benefit yourselves  :)











Monday, 16 December 2013

YULE LOG - Baking partners December 2013

The very same date, previous year was my first post for Baking partners ..still cant beleive it is since an year now, feeling very nostalgic :) And ever since I bought an OTG, and got many flopped outcomes, I had been scratching my head for an better alternative.  Introduction to this Baking partners was an 'blessing in disguise', through one of my friend's blog.   Let me take this as an ideal oppourtunity and list out other bakes I made,

1. Plum cake
2. Apple pie
3. French Macaroons
4. Cheese cake
5. Newyork-styled pizza
6. Chocolate eclairs
7. Chiffon cake
8. Biscotti
9. Kronut
10. Pumpkin bread
11. Pataqueta

    Don't get hard on counting, since I missed february month :)  So, each bakes listed here, has lots of tactics or lots of tips/details involved.  Since we were given links to knowledge each details, the entire baking became like an 'internal assessment' to us :P   Now, I have the confidence of baking my own cookies/cakes, thanks all to this humble community.




Coming over to this month's challenge, it is YULE LOG.  YULE LOG is an dessert/cake made especially during Christmas.  Here an chocolate cake/genoise cake is baked using an swiss roll pan, filled with vanilla icing, rolled over and again frosted with chocolate icing.  Fork impressions are made in order to make them resemble like an log!   Making them was quite interesting and nourishing the delecious outcome was the BEST DAY in my life.  Thanks all goes to Tanushree and Swathi Iyer.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Flax seeds powder

    One evening, I was watching JAYA TV programme, termed suvaiyo suvai.  The host was cooking 'Aazhi vethai podi' otherwise called Flax seeds powder.  I was completely delighted to find this, since I had bought flax seeds few weeks before :)   Flax seeds, derived from fibre crop is well known for its healthy benefits.  Not only is it source of fibre, vitamins, omega 3-fatty acids and micronutrients, they have also been proved scientifically to lower risk of heart attack, diabetes and cancer.


You can also view this wiki link which explains its consuming tricks.  Flax seeds powder made here, is an delecious fusion, I must say :D,  dry roasting  our desi ingredients and flax seeds separately, they were made to cool and thoroughly powdered.  This can be substituted with our regular idly/dosa podi.  The cook host has also requested not to mix them with oil and consume them as it is with dosa/idly.  The reason she explains is that though one mouth would feel the 'dryness', saliva will be secreated and balance the rest of the meal.  

Friday, 13 December 2013

Vuppu biscuits / Salted biscuits, Tea-time affair

    Be it latenight-weekends or sipping bed-tea, everyone is this world is habitual, isn't it??  One such is going to be our topic of the day :D  Yes, I am talking about all those, who love to crunch biscuits in between your hot n steaming tea.....  Everyone in my family does that.  Though Marie biscuits/ Digestive biscuits are available in every home, nothing can replace this vuppu biscuits available in bakeries.  At Chennai, my mother used to stock them very well. 

 
These super-soft, crunchy biscuits is known to occupy its presence at mind & heart.  I can still recollect those melting moments when they get paired up with tea.  All thanks to Sandhya from MyCookingJournal!!  When I first saw her post, it was sooo tempting that I can barely resist myself from baking them.   She has an fascinating site full of authentic South-Indian dishes, not to mention her bakes are my all-time-favourite.  :D 
 
 
The uniqueness of this biscuit is the presence of rice flour in it, which itself provides an authentic twist to regular cookie/biscuit dough.  I made an huge batch and they are disappearing....  :)  My parent-in-laws were delighted to taste this one.  Overall, baking them was one proud moment in my life :)  Try them too, will you ?  :)
 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Hiruva masala shaak / Green masala curry - POTLUCK PARTY, CYBER STYLE Dec 10

   It's party-time!!! :D  yes, back to potluck party, cyber style hosted by Jagruti mam where several bloggers meet with their party dishes online and share treat virtually  :D.  They, also pair up and prepare the other partner's dish and cherish them as well.  Isn't it interesting??   But, travelling frequently for past two months, I was not able to make up.  This time, I do proudly present the authentic curry preparation, made by my Mother-in-law - Hiruva masala shaak or Green masala curry.

 
As the name suggests, green masala curry is  very hot (Caution to spice-tolerant guys!), they differ from Nilgiri/green coloured curry because it is not the  (green) colour that matters here.  Hiruva masala shaak has many green chillies (8-10), sauted and pureed, this masala is added to regular curry-base, unlike other curries where  pureeing mint/coriander leaves is done to attain characteristic green colour.   

HEALTHY SNACKING - GIVEAWAY


Hi guys... I should mention that my giveaway had an awesome entries, all thirty links were close to my heart and hugs to all who made my day :)  But, one sad part is only three give-aways are given, I am sad because I partially feel that is demotivating to the rest :/  I wish I had thirty give-aways :)
So, without making any delay, let me present you the winners.





So, our first winner who gets Nita Mehta's FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD goes to entry ...

True Random Number Generator 2

Entry 2 is Tutty-fruity muffins from Babi's recipes.  Congrauts :D

Second winner who gets Sanjeev Kapoor's KHAZANA OF HEALTHY & TASTY RECIPES goes to entry....

True Random Number Generator 11

Entry 11 is Banana-apple smoothie from Savourindian recipes.  Congrauts :D

Third and final winner who gets Nita Mehta's PRESSURE COOKING RECIPES goes to entry.....

True Random Number Generator 18

Entry 18 is Potato patties from Kitchen odyssey.  Congrauts again :D

    Winners kindly mail your Indian address to arthyshama7@gmail.com.  Hearty thanks to all other participants...

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Chocolate scones

   Scones are regarded as quick tea-bread that are made with baking powder as its leavening agent, unlike using yeast.  Slightly sweet, they are occasionally glazed.  This 'CHOCOLATE SCONES' is adapted from the book '100 Best Delecious Chocolate'  I must say that these scones were easy and quickly made.



Chocolate scones were crisp and nicely browned over the top, these were soft and layered inside.   I enjoyed them with tea.  Slightly sweet with bits of chocolate chunks in each bite, these scones were an treat indeed!  

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

SANTA CLAUS BREAD - CHRISTMAS SPL

I had always wished to do creative baking.  Yes, my recent crush, being on fondant type designer cakes.  Though the difficult part in such bakes is to find right ingredients within your reach or within your budget :(  Nevertheless the creative part in breads sparked me, when I visited this santa claus bread in Vicky's post.  Thanks to her and here I am posting an similar version :) Atlast, this one makes me pat my own back, and yes ' I AM HAPPYYY' :) :)

 
Ingredients are quite simpler, the trick lies in shaping the dough.  Here, I have explained with step-by-step pics.  So, don't worry!!!  Just surprise your loved ones, for upcoming Christmas.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Kathrikkai kara kuzhambu

   If anybody asks me what cuisine/which country's food you love, my only answer is Indian food, especially south-Indian food.  A one shot of  hot kara kulambu with appalam would drool my tongue and I can firmly say that it won't be equal to McD's Burgers or KFC chicken. :P  :P

 
When I came across karakulambu from Swathi Iyer's blog, I could hardly resist than giving this godly curry, an try.  You can view her post here.  She has prepared an mixed vegetable curry, since I am an brinjal-freak I prepared kulambu with brinjals.  I must say that I fell in love with them.  Thanks to Swathi Iyer, for introducing this godly curry to me :) 

Mysore rasam

    At first, I would thank you guys for linking delicious recipes to my giveaway.  Planning to announce winners next week-end.  Secondly, I just bumped into CCC in Srivalli's blog.  Cooking from cookbook challenge was soo interesting for me to approach.  Thanks to Srivalli for adding me here.  The first post I am going to make is Mysore rasam, from Nita Mehta's 'Quick & Easy Pressure cooking'

 
Rasam is an soupy, watery dish, usually had at the end of South-Indian meal.  Rasam also aids in digestion.  What differs mysore rasam from normal ones, is the delicate balance of sweet-tangy-spice notes.  The unique addition of jaggery teams up with divine aroma of the ghee, isn't it great??  Let us view the recipe

Friday, 29 November 2013

Beans usili

Paruppu usili is an common side-dish had with rice & curry in South-Indian cuisine.

 
'Usili' means disaggregated pieces, here dal/lentils are blend, formed as large dumplings, steamed and finally disaggregated, hence the name.  Beans usili is the most common type, they are had with kolambu saadham ie curry rice. 

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Hot dog- wraps

     Making wraps/rolls are always in my pending list.  Finally made them this weekday,  must say that this hot dog styled wraps were awesome.  Selected vegetables were mashed, shaped like hot dogs and  were grilled.  This was wrapped in roti with prepared green mayonnaise sauce along with thinly sliced vegetables.  Altogether this wrap was an heavenly combination.

 
Kids would love to grab them, so did Varsha :D  If you are willing, you can also dash in barbeque sauce, mustard sauce and can serve like 'subway' type.  Most importantly, these wraps are healthy and goes heavy on your stomach.  You can prepare the hot dogs the day before and can refrigerate overnight, if you felt them time-consuming.  I prepared them mildly, so that my kid could consume, you could also prepare them spicy as you wish.  So, why wait to experiment :D :P  Just do it :)

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Padwal ki masaledar dal

Well, well, well... What can I say about this dal?  This is one of my hubby's favourite and he asks them quite often to make.  Little does he know that this dal, when first made was an yesterday's left-over kootu, that got churned over to masala dal with garam masala touch!!  :D  :D  After that, I started preparing masaledar dal frequently, atleast once a week.  Hopefully, this dal has lots of padwal/snakegourd that is healthier too!!


 
I must admit that this dal goes on rocking combo with dosa/kal dosa.  Roti also makes an better match.  They taste best the next day (Don't know why, experts please explain)  Don't worry with snakegourd still staying in your refrigerator.  Just grab them, and prepare this dal, for I am sure, you won't be disappointed :D

Monday, 25 November 2013

Kadaai khumb

     Mushroom always has an special reserved place at my refrigerator :)  I buy them often, atleast once an week.  This is because both hubby and daughter are mushroom lovers, they love in any form.  I made this kadaai khumb one day for dinner and I must say it was appetizing, palatable and melted easily with rotis/parathas. 


 
As goes with all kadaai gravy, I made them with cashewnut paste and cream.  This is an rich gravy, and also has green peas with them.  If you prefer it milder, you can add almond paste/putane dal paste instead of cashew paste. Also instead of cream, milk can be added.  This, is derived from Punjabi cuisine, where lots of dairy products are used. 
 
 
 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Red velvet cake with creamcheese icing

   November month is full of birthdays & anniversaries.  So, with lots to plan - I settled for this Red velvet cake with Cream cheese icing for his birthday.  Red velvet cake is known for its velvety texture is paired here with the tangy cream cheese frosting.





Friday, 22 November 2013

Kothukkari kuruma/minced meat kuruma

   Minced meat/kothukkari curry goes great with idiyappam/dosa/rice.  Here I have added precooked minced meat along with masala, this is an tempting dish for NV-lovers.

 
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients required:

To temper
  •  1 tbspn of oil
  • 1 Bayleaf, crushed
  • 1 star anise
  • 1-inch cinnamon piece
  • 1 Black cardamom
  • 1 clove
  • 1 Marathi mogga
  • 1 tsp sombu/fennel seeds

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

IMMUNE YOU - IMMUNE INDIA

As the word goes, 'immune' or 'disease-resistance' starts as an baby/foetus in your mother's womb.  At third month, mother's so called antibodies (they are our body-generated guards, who fight disease causing germs) pass to baby through umbilical cord.  And, after birth, this immunity is enhanced artificially by providing a series of vaccines, say for five-ten years.  What happens after that?  It depends entirely upon the food you take, nutrients you nourish through them, the place you live in, degree of pollution at your city, also to your (with zero to infinite levels of infected) friends at school.

So, how can one break through all barriers and save our children- tomorrow's prosperous Indians to survive??  How can one build more and more immunity powers in order to render the healthiness despite of several hostile environmental factors?  Let us discuss...

Monday, 18 November 2013

Idiyappam - Step by step tutorial from store bought riceflour

   Idiyappam, is commonly found dish in South (Tamilnadu, Kerala, coastal parts of Karnataka) India.  The rice flour paste (or wheat flour/ragi flour) is pressed to noodles, steam-cooked and had.  While sweet ones, are done by dusting  with sugar and coconut flakes, savoury-lovers are free to have them with a dip of any spicy curry.  You can opt for Kadalai curry, Meen kolambu, Chettinadu kozhi kolambu.  Also am having minced meat curry on my draft and will post them soon :D


This dish is highly made by preparing rice flour at home, that is why I presume the name goes, Idi-'appam (Idi meaning 'to crush' in tamil.  'appam' meaning pancake) Here selected rice is soaked, drained and is dried.  They are then crushed to yield very fine rice flour and the process continues.  What happens here is that, I have made them with store-bought riceflour.  Store bought ones may not be suitable if used directly.  The trick is to roast them till they get an fine texture.  Later they are sieved to yield uniform sized and textured rice flour.  Thanks all goes to my, Keralite neighbor who shared this with me :D  Thank you aunty :)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Spaghetti with meat sauce

  Spaghetti is thin, long pasta from Italy.  Here, I used dried form of spaghetti packet, made of wheat durum semolina.  Spaghetti is topped usually with tomato sauce, with herbs like basil and oregano.  Here, I used meat sauce and the result was awesome.  The basic sauce, I used was Maggi's instant pasta sauce.  If you want an home-made one, click here

 
Since, this was my first Italian association, I followed each steps carefully.  These spaghetti were a bit denser than our instant noodles.  I cooked them till they were completely done and it went good with sauce.  They were heavy on stomach. One bite topped with sauce was completely heavenly.  I added both meat and vegetables here, vegetarians can replace the same amount of meat with additional mushrooms.
 

Friday, 15 November 2013

Pataqueta - Baking partner challenge November 2013

  When Swathi announced making of traditional Spanish bread named 'Pataqueta', I was thrilled.  According to Marisa, pataqueta is bread that inhabitants of Valencia's Orchard used to eat when they went to work.  This crescent moon shaped bread, is known since seventeeth century.  It was baked in Moorish oven, later on wood stoves.



 What differs Pataqueta from other bread is they are steam baked.  Yes, that nourishes them with even soft texture with firm crust outside.  I, really enjoyed baking them, along with them, I made pretzel rolls too.  Thanks to Swathi and Marisa.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

WORLD DIABETES DAY - November 14th 2013

   Hi all, this day,  November14th is observed as World Diabetes day.  When  Swathi , highlighted this importance and announced the event, I can barely resist myself from joining.  Thanks to her, this event made me go through a lot of learning process and know more about Diabetic diet.  So, with no more delay, I present you two diabetic-friendly dish topped with brief description.
 
Diabetes

 

 

What is Insulin?


Our body cells needs energy in order to perform all our physical tasks.  And this energy is available in form of glucose/sugar that floats freely in our blood.  But our body cells won't easily grab them or digest them.  They need some hormone to help/intake the glucose available, just like my kid, Varsha who wants food, but needs Mommy to feed her :D .  So, this mommywali help is done by Insulin, an hormone secreated by Pancreas.  Insulin helps cells to digest the glucose so that your body cells becomes active and carries on all activities.

What is Diabetes?


    Just imagine your body cells when  not enough Insulin is created, or when Insulin is not recognized by them.  The amount of glucose/sugar stays as such, and increases everytime you have your food.  This results in high level of glucose in blood or  high blood sugar.  This condition is called as Diabetes mellitus. 

Complications


So, when blood sugar increases, there is an urge for blood cells to feed/ to consume, where will they go??  Some try to utilize fat content available as energy source while some degenerate.  Such degeneration of cells throughout they body may lead to severe complications like Heart-attack, Paralysis, Dementia (loss of memory), Blurred vision, Loss of weight, Increased thirst, Frequent urination and other gastric-oriented problems like Nausea, Vomitting etc

No Direct cure


Since there is no direct cure, an diabetic patient must restore to all three preventive measures, given below.
  • As key effect, degeneration of blood cells should be prevented.   Medication plays its part here and homeopathic medicines have also shown to have good remedy.

  •  Alternatively, body sugar levels must also be controlled.  This is helped by physical exercise.

  •  Following an diet with high-fibre, low-fat/cholestrol is also important since this disease may lead to cardio-vascular problems.

Diabetic Diet


Diabetic diet is filled with whole grains(wheat, oats, barley, maize, brown rice, millet etc), fresh fruits, vegetables.  Here, I am going to make two dishes, which are diabetic-friendly in order to highlight this event.  They are Barley vegetable soup & Barley topped fruit salad


Barley vegetable soup

Ingredients required are 1/2 tsp amul 'light' butter, 3-4 garlic pods sliced, 1 cup of finely chopped vegetables like  Onions, Mushrom, Carrot, Palak (spinach), 1/2 cup of Barley pearls soaked for 3-4 hours, Salt & Pepper, to taste.

Heat butter in pan, add garlic slices and sauté till they brown.  Add onions and other vegetables and sauté well.  Wash the soaked barley and add in pan. 


 
Add 1 cup of water and pressure cook for single whistle. 
 



Season them with salt and pepper, serve hot!
 

 

Barley topped fruit salad

 
Ingredients required are 1/2 cup of barley, soaked for two hours, 2 cups of chopped fruits like Apple, Papaya, Kiwi, Banana, 2 orange deskinned de-seeded and separated to segments, 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds, 1 tbspn of lime juice, 1 tsp of chaat masala.
 
Wash the soaked barley seeds, cook them on stove-top with one cup of water.  As you will notice, barley will absorb water and turn soft after it gets cooked.   
 
 
In a large bowl, add chopped fruits, pomegranate seeds, barley pearls, lime juice, chaat masala.  Mix well, finally fold in orange segments. 
 

 
Serve them chilled. 
 

 
Happy cooking!!!  :)
 
 
  

 

Mutton sukka

 
Sukka is a dry, very lightly sauced, preparation of South-Indian cuisine, that goes well with chicken, mutton.  They are served with hot rice and dal/rasam.  Traditionally, they require creamy masala paste, of khuskhus, cashewseeds, and coconut, and are loaded with oil.  Here, I made this sukka with simplest ingredients available on any South-Indian kitchen. Not only, is this simpler, but maintains lesser oil with an best drooling consumption.:D  :D 
 
 
 
I, usually cook two different dishes at week-ends.  One, mild soup for Varsha and secondly spicy curry for Shama.  What surprised us, was Varsha asked an taste of this sukka.  After one bite, she seemed to love it and asked for more and more !!!!!  And by the end she finished having sukka all by herself, Shama had mild soup :D  :D   I didn't know Varsha would like them as such.  Therefore, I can term this sukka as 'kid pleaser' too :)  :) 

Monday, 11 November 2013

Rumali roti/ Zero oil roti - Homestyled

   Those soft, thin roti's you order at restaurant is not so tough to make at home.




  Name originating from 'rumal' meaning Kerchief in Urdu is an combination of maida and wheat flour and is cooked on inverted griddle/tawa/kadaai.  After cooking, these are folded in four and is served hot with sizzling mughalian curries.  Here, I used lesser maida than original composition ie one parts of wheat flour with 1/4 part of maida.  Rotis thus obtained were super-soft and much to my surprise stayed soft for more than six hours.  And most interesting fact is that these are zero-oil rotis, so go ahead and give an try, for you are sure to get praised :)

Restaurent styled Murgh makhani

Murgh makhani or Chicken butter masala originating from Punjab, is an tempting, rich and mild chicken gravy.  Loaded with khoya, cream and cashew paste,  these are heavy to stomach and delight the mind instantly. The dried kasoori methi leaves are also added along with cream/milk to top-up the flavor.  If you have any guests turning in or if it is one of your special occasions, this dish is an must-try. 

 
They look lovely,isn't it?? Got the red colour from degi mirch masala.   Chicken, marinated in curd and other spices is pan-friend, cooked on kadaai with onion, garam masala, khoya, cream and cashews.   But don't hesitate to make them  due to richness and high priced ingredients.  Check out my home-made khoya recipe here  Interestingly, here I used an quick version of khoya.  In an vessel with 1/4 cup of milk powder, I stirred in 11/2 tsp of hot water and  got an instant-form of doughy khoya, roughly around 1 tbspn.  I used them in this preparation. 


 
 And replacing cream, I used full fat milk.  (using low fat milk also is not an problem)  Also, lastly added green chillies for an spicy murgh makhani (which traditionally remains mild).  You can avoid them if you want creamy, non-spicy type.
 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Coffee trials @ Coorg


 


Standing next to us, Mrs. Rohini Suraj, is  proud owner of "Coffee trials" at Coorg. Being an busy home-maker all her life, she opted to work after her children got married and settled. She, along with her husband, bought land at Coorg and starter their dream. Currently they run four rooms.
After an tiring journey through Bangalore, Mysore, we ended up at Coorg almost seven in evening. We were greeted by Mrs. Rohini herself, with a gentle smile. With a short conversation with her, I can foresee that this friendly lady enjoys attending her guests. She runs this place as a hobby, unlike profit-oriented place. Tariff per day is Rs. 3500 (excluding food) which is quite reasonable.

 

Rooms, nevertheless to mention are clean and hygienic. Balcony provides a great scenic view. Room service was available on pressing a bell & he was too polite to listen. Living even one day was great in that peaceful ambience.
Highlight is the food served which is delicious as well as home-made. We were served dinner with roti, dal, chicken khurma and rice (sorry, no clicks with six hungry eyes around) I still remember my fussy daughter licking the delicious dal with a sparkling desire through her eyes. This place was a blessing in terms of divine food for which each traveler or every family person would look upon. Similarly, the other day we had an awesome breakfast with Poori, aloo masala and bread toast. Mrs. Rohini is all in praise for her cook. I must admit, she has a great team of staff.
Though we went to other places, visiting 'Coffee trials' itself created an unique experience for us, with pleasant stay and divine food. I wish for their growth, on every tourist location and to serve across the country. All my best wishes!!


Friday, 8 November 2013

Pineapple upside-down cake

     The toughest part being an home-maker is that you have to cook something special even on your birthday!!  When it comes to Shama's and Varsha's I become actively involved and cook nice, but on my Big day, I just end up feeling lazy.....It was some weeks before I  told my kid that I will make some pineapple cake for her.  Yesterday, when Shama asked me whether to bring cake home, Varsha cooly replied that , ' No Daddy, mommy told she will make pineapple cake.  So, let her make today'.  I was literally shocked to hear this :(  So, with hard-heart, I baked this one.  To wrong me, this cake touched my heart.  One hot bite was, like literally melting.  wowww... thanks to Varsha!!  If not for her, my special day would have got unmarked :)

 
As the name goes, pineapple upside-down cake is baked with pineapples on bottom of cake dish, later titled upside down and served.  Though these are recommended with an dollop of cream, trust me just an hot slice is enough  :D  Technically speaking, the caramelized pinapple rings are followed by buttery white cake.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Healthy Sprouts salad

   Diwali is over and many are finding way to de-tox.  So am I here posting an healthy salad that you can munch at noon, evening snack or along with dinner, as an accompaniment.  This salad is made with sprouts which additionally supports the motive.  I, have topped them with few walnuts too!  Best part is with least additional time, with very few spices they go great on taste too!


 
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

 

Ingredients required:

  • 1 cup mixed sprouts, steam-cooked for five minutes
  • 2 tbspn finely chopped onion
  • 2 tbspn finely chopped tomatos (de-seeded)
  • 1 tbspn finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 whole shelled walnuts (which is later de-shelled and broken into tiny pieces)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder

Method

Mix all and serve.  Make sure you don't add more walnuts, because adding more will cause an bitter taste to salad. If you prefer to do so, then deskin them and add.  Also walnuts are best preferred, because almonds gives an 'too much crunchy effect' to salad. 
 

 
Happy cooking!!!
 

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