Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Kerstkransjes - Dutch Cookies

I have been making various cookies this week for Christmas . Two days back I made suji-crystal-cookies  and today it is these delicious Dutch Cookies. They were so yummy , they got over in a jiffy and I had to make one more batch the same day. These cookies are for International Food Challenge by Saras .








Recipe Source : dutchessroz.com


Ingredients :

200 gm .......................flour ( maida )
150 gm .....................cold butter ( finely chopped )
1 .............................egg  ( yolk n white separated )
1 tsp........................baking powder
100 gm .................sugar ( powdered )
pinch full ...............salt
1/4 tsp...................vanilla essence
2 tbsp..................almond flakes ( to garnish )



Method :


In a mixer add flour, butter, egg yolk, baking powder , salt , sugar and essence.

Process it for few seconds.

Knead into a smooth dough .

If needed add few drops of milk .

Wrap the dough in a cling film and chill it for 1 hour.

Take out the chilled dough and roll it to 1/23 cm thick disk.

Cut the cookies with cookie cutter.

Make a small hole at the centre with another cutter.

Brush the cookies with egg white and sprinkle almond flakes.

Arrange them on a greased baking tray 1 inch apart.

Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.



Monday, 29 December 2014

Suji Crystal Cookies

Feeling very excited to post these colorful cookies which were instant hit with everyone in the family. Personally I don't like such colorful snacks as there is a liberal usage of artificial colors. But I think once in while we all can afford indulging in such lovely treats and be childish. After all they are perfect for this festive Christmas season.

Though the name of these cookies is Suji cookies they do not contain Suji ( semolina ) at all. Instead the are made of maida and the almond powder used lends it a very rich texture and flavor.

 Loved making these cookies for Priya's  Home Bakers Event  hosted  by Niloufer .








Recipe Source : umaskitchenexperiments.com


Ingredients :


1 cup.......................maida
1/2 tsp.....................baking powder
1/2 tsp.....................baking soda
1/2 cup ..................sugar powder
1/2 cup ..................almonds ( dry powder )
1/2 cup..................ghee
a pinch ................salt
1/4 tsp.................vanilla essence
1/4 tsp each ........ food colors (  used yellow, pink and green )



Method :

In a mixer pulse together maida , baking powder and baking soda.

Also add sugar powder, almond powder, essence and salt to it.

Now take this in bowl and add ghee to it and knead to a soft smooth dough.

Rest the dough  for 15 - 20 minutes .

Make three portions of this dough .

Add 2 / 3 drops of color of your choice to each part and knead well.

The color should uniformly be spread all over.

Now take a small ball of each color and roll them to form a big ball.

This should be done gently so the colors don't mix and you get a marbled effect.

Press this ball to get a cookie shape.

Spread 2 inches apart on a greased baking tray .

Bake in a preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 150 degrees celcius.




Thursday, 18 December 2014

Alu Wadi - Patra



Alu vadi or patra ( rolls made with colocasia leaves) is a very popular side dish or a snack item among maharashtrians and gujarathis. Usually this is made with a filling of gram flour or soaked n ground tuvar daal. I had already made this alu wadi earlier with onions and gram flour filling .

This time for the Shhhh Cooking Secretly  I was paired with Saras who has a lovely blog sarasyummybites and she had given me potatoes and daal as secret ingredients for this month. So I decided to give this traditional snack a twist by making a filling of gram flour and boiled potatoes.

The result was very yummy and soft alu wadis which we all enjoyed .For step wise explaination and how to apply the filling and roll  please refer to my previous post for alu-wadi.







Ingredients :

9 to 10 .....................broad alu leaves (colocasia leaves )

Tempering

2 tbsp......................oil
1/2 tsp ....................mustard seeds
1/2 tsp...................sesame seeds


Filling :

2 cups .......................besan (chana flour)
2 / 3 ............................potatoes ( boiled , peeled n mashed)
2 tbsp........................ginger paste
3tbsp.........................thick tamarind pulp
1 cup..........................finely chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp..........................red chilly powder
1 tsp.........................turmeric powder
2 to 3 tbsp..................jaggery
salt to taste



Method :

  Mix all the ingredients given in the filling to make a thick batter.

Wash the leaves and wipe them dry.

Spread out the leaves and smear its back side with little oil.

Now apply the 2 to 3 tbsp of filling thinly and evenly on the leaf.

Pile up two to three leaves on each other.

Roll the leaves tightly taking care that the filling doesn't come out.

You may secure the roll by tying it with thread.

Keep these rolls in a steamer or a cooker and cook without pressure.

The rolls with get steamed in 30 to 40 minutes.

Let the roll cool down, then cut the slices.

Make tempering with oil , mustard seeds and sesame seeds and pour on them.



             



Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Baingan / Banjan Borani - ( Layered Afghani Eggplants )

This month for the International Food Challenge an event by Saras we tried dishes from Afghanistan.

This month's event was hosted by  Pavani who suggested some very interesting dishes. As I already had some brinjals at home I decided to make this Baingan Borani .

Baingan or Banjan Borani is a baked dish made with brinjals and tomatoes layered with a thick sauce . The dish tastes delicious and even the ones who don't much favour brinjals will love it.

Do serve the dish with whipped curd as this brings out the real flavour of the dish.







Recipe Source :  Afghan Cooking.
Ingredients :

250 gm ..................medium brinjals ( thicly sliced )
2 ...........................firm ripe tomatoes ( thickly sliced )
2 tbsp ....................olive oil
2 tbsp + 1 tsp ...................minced garlic
1 tsp....................chilly powder
1/2 tsp ...............turmeric powder
4 to 5 ................maggi chicken cubes
1 tsp ................pepper powder
1 cup ...............tomato paste ( use about 3 tomatoes )
fist full...........finely chopped coriander
1 cup............thick curd ( whipped)
salt for taste


Method :


Grease a non stick tawa.

Arrange the brinjal and tomato slices on it.

Shallow fry them with very little oil till the slices are semi cooked and tender.

In a pan add 1 tbsp oil and saute minced garlic till golden .

Add tomato paste, all masala powders and maggi cubes.

Cook till the sauce becomes thick and the raw smell of tomatoes disappeares.

Now grease a baking pan .

Pour 1/3 of the prepared sauce on it.

Now arrange 1/2 of brinjal slices on it.

Then arrange 1/2 tomato slices and sprinkle some chopped coriander.

Again repeat the above three steps .

At the top pour the remaining sauce to coat the brinjals and tomatoes completely.

Cover the pan with aluminium foil and bake for 1/2 an hour at 180 degrees.

Now uncover the pan and again bake for further 10 minutes .

Mix 1 tsp minced garlic, salt and whipped curd together.

Pour this whipped curd over the baked brinjals and serve with bread or roti.









Sunday, 30 November 2014

Basbousa - Egyptian Semolina Cake

This month for Home Bakers Challenge I chose to make this simple Egyptian semolina cake which was suggested by Nupur  .  Known as Basbousa basically this is a simple semolina cake .


Usually when we make a cake sugar is added before the cake is baked. But here the cake is first baked with very less sugar and then sugar syrup is poured on the baked cake which is still hot. This makes the cake moist and keeps it super soft for a longer time.








Ingredients :

2 cups .....................rawa ( semolina )
1/2 cup ..................sugar
1/2 cup................... scraped coconut
2 tbsp.......................ghee
1 tsp........................baking powder
1/2 cup.......................milk
3/4  cup....................buttermilk
few drops................vanilla essence
few almonds



For Sugar Syrup :

1 cup....................sugar
1 cup.....................water
1 tbsp...................rose water








Method :


Mix all the ingredients except almonds .

Keep the mixture in fridge for 2 hours.

Now grease a cake tin and pour the mixutre in it.

Press almonds on the batter top to garnish it.

Bake in a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 180 degrees.

Make sugar syrup by boiling water and sugar.

Let the mixture boil for 2 - 3 minutes and switch off the gas.

When warm add rose water to the syrup.

Cut the baked basbouse into pieces when still warm.

Pour the warm sugar syrup on the baked cake immediately.

This will ensure that all the sugar syrup is soaked properly.

This makes the cake very moist and soft.







Saturday, 29 November 2014

Rajasthani Bhindi Masala

 I have seen many people who hate eating lady's fingers or bhindi. Bhindi sabji sometimes tends to become sticky and that is what puts off most of the people away.

But if you add some sour ingredient like mango powder, tamarind juice, lemon juice etc it helps in reducing this stickiness and makes the sabji very interesting.

 Try this yummy rajasthani preparation and you will be left asking for more.

The deep frying in this recipe makes this dish super delicious though it increases the oil content. But then once in a while we all need some indulgence.






Ingredients :


1/4 kg .....................Bhindi ( lady's fingers)
2 ............................potatoes
2 ...........................onions ( sliced )
2 ...........................tomatoes
1 tsp......................chilly powder
1/2 tsp...................garam masala (Dhania , jeera , dalchini, lavang )
1 tsp....................dry mango powder ( amchoor )
1/4 tsp................turmeric powder
1 tbsp...............oil
salt
oil for deep frying




Method :


Wash and cut the lady's fingers vertically in long finger like shape.

Wash peel and cut potatoes also length wise.

Cut tomatoes into medium pieces.

In a pan heat oil and deep fry the potatoes and lady's fingers little at a time.

Fry them till crisp, drain out the oil and keep aside.

Now in a non stick pan take 2 tbsp oil.

When the oil is hot add onions and saute till golden.

Add the tomato pieces and saute till the raw smell of tomatoes disappears.

Now add all the masala powders, salt and mix well.

Add fried potatoes and bhindi and stir.

Add 1/2 cup or more water and cover the pan with a lid.

Cook for 10 minutes or till you get a thick semi dry gravy.

Serve hot with rotis.



Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Sheermal - Persian Flat Bread ( We Knead To Bake )

Its that time of the month once again when we the members of we-knead-to-bake  post recipe
of some interesting bread suggested by aparna .

Last few months I missed this opportunity but now again I am back with this lovely soft and fluffy bread.This month our challenge was to make this soft Persian flat bread called Sheermal.

This velvetty bread is super soft with sweet milky taste. Though it tastes excellent with a side dish I preferred to eat it all by itself. The milk, ghee and saffron together lend a very aromatic touch to this bread. This was our dinner yesterday with chole and pickle.






Ingredients :


2 tsp .................sugar
1 tsp ..................dry active yeast
1/4 cup .............water ( lukewarm)
1........................egg
2 1/2 cups..........maida
1 tsp .................salt
4 tbsp...............ghee
5 to 6 tbsp.........milk
1/4 tsp...............rose essence
1/8 tsp.............saffron ( soaked in 1 tbsp milk )







Method :


Mix sugar , yeast and lukewarm water in a bowl and keep aside for 10 minutes.

When the mixture becomes frothy add maida.

Add egg, salt and mix it lightly with finger tips.

Add ghee gradually and continue mixing till you get a bread crumbs like texture.

Add rose essence and milk gradually and knead to get a soft elastic dough.

Apply ghee on dough and keep it in greased bowl.

Wrap the bowl and keep it for 1 hour for the dough to rise.

After 1 hour punch the dough , knead it and again keep it aside for 15 - 20 minutes.

Now knead it and make 4 to 5 balls from this dough.

Flatten with with your palms .

Brush the top with some saffron milk.

Bake at 180 degrees in a preheated oven.

Apply ghee and serve hot with any side dish.

Grilled tandoori pomfret



Today there is a craze among everyone to eat healthy . But again there are some who don't want to compromise on taste. I count myself among such few people. So I always try to find ways to make the dishes healthy as well as tastier.


 One such dish which I have always liked is this tandoori pomfrets. Very little oil used just for brushing makes it nutritious and the fish provides you high quality protein .

I have grilled the fish in the grill section of microwave but if you don't have a microwave you can shallow fry them in a non stick pan also. The fish will be tasty but you won't get the grilled effect.






Ingredients :

4 .......................Pomfrets
1 n 1/2 tbsp.......tandoori masala
2 tsp.................chilly powder
2 tsp.................turmeric powder
1 tbsp...............lemon juice
salt
oil for brushing
2 .....................onion ( cut in rings )


Method :


To clean the fish scarp the tough layer on pomfrets with a blunt knife and trim the side fins.

Give a cut from side ways carefully with a sharp knife keeping the head n tail intact.

Clean the stomach  and wash the pomfrets thoroughly.

Mix all masala powders with salt and lemon juice .

Apply this paste to the pomfrets properly from all sides.






Marinate for 2 hours or more.

Arrange them on a well greased plate.

Grill in a microwave for total 10 to 12 minutes.

Turn them over and grill the other side again for 10 to 12 minutes.

Serve hot with onion rings .






Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Green Vegatable Pulav



Want to make something filling , nutritious and tasty ?  Then try this easy to make one meal dish. I have added carrots, sweet corn, french beans and cauliflower in this pulav . But you can surely add or omit the vegetables as per what is available in your kitchen . Serve this pulav hot with papad or boondi ka raita .








Ingredients :


1 cup....................fresh sweet corn / green peas
1 cup....................carrots ( washed and cubed)
1 cup....................french beans ( washed stringed and chopped)
1 cup....................cauliflower florets
1 cup....................onion ( chopped )
3 cups ................basmati or pulav rice ( washed and drained )
3 to 4 tbsp...........oil
salt







For the Green Masala :


fistful ......................fresh coriander leaves
6 to 8 .....................green chillies
5 to 6 ....................garlic cloves
1 inch....................ginger piece
2 to 3 ...................cloves
1/2 inch.................cinnamon
2 .........................cardamoms
7 to 8 ................pepper
1/2 tsp.................cumin seeds








Method :


Grind all the ingredients given under green masala without adding water and keep aside

Heat oil directly in the pressure cooker and add chopped onions.

Saute the onions till translucent and add all the vegetables one by one.

Saute them all till they are semi soft.

Now add the ground masala and saute till oil separates.

Finally add drained rice and again saute till rice is well coated with masala ( for 5 minutes)

Now add 5 cups hot water in the cooker and pressure cook the pulav to just 2 whistles.

Switch off the flames and let the rice be inside till the pressure goes down on its own.

This ensures that each rice grain separates and cooks properly.

Serve with pickle, papad and raita of your choice.






Sunday, 16 November 2014

Badam Ka Halwa - For ICC

I am back doing challenges after a long gap and the first recipe which I am going to do this month is Badam Ka Halwa for  ICC ( Indian Cooking Challenge )  by Srivalli . In this we members make a traditional Indian recipe and post it on every 15th of the month.

Rajasthan is better known for its spicy n vibrant dishes but the sweet dishes from this state too are very famous . I have already made few rajasthani sweets like Gond ke laddoo , Ghevar , Mawa Kachori  in the past. So this time when I came to know that for ICC we were supposed to make this Badam ka Halwa I was happy.

   Cold in Rajasthan being very severe this halwa is usually consumed in winters and that too only few teaspoonfuls because Badam ( almonds ) as you all know are heaty. I came to know about this halwa a few years back through one of my rajasthani friends and since then I make this halwa in winters and we eat 1 tsp of this halwa for breakfast during winters.

This is a very easy n healthy recipe .You can make this in more quantity and store it in fridge for almost a month.






Ingredients :


1/2 cup .....................Almonds ( soaked in warm water )
5 tbsp......................ghee ( preferably home made )
4 tbsp......................sugar
1/ tsp.......................crushed cardamon seeds
4 tbsp......................milk powder.
1/2 cup..................warm water


Method :


Soak the almonds in warm water for 1 hour .

Grind the almonds along with the skin to a smooth but dry paste.

In a non stick pan add ghee and stir fry this paste till light golden in colour.

Now slowly add warm water and sugar ,

Lower the heat and cover the pan with lid.

Let the mixture cook till u get thick porridge like consistency.

Now add milk powder and crushed cardamoms .

Mix well till ghee seperates.

Your halwa is ready to be served .




Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Paneer Ke Pakode



Paneer Pakoda is a very easy breezy starter . Whenever you have little time and want something delicious you can count on this dish. I usually make the paneer for this pakodas at home by adding lemon juice to boiling milk and curdling it. Such home made cottage cheese is more smooth and crumbly. But if you want you can make these pakodas with store bought paneer also.






Ingredients for pakodas : 


250 gm ................paneer ( cottage cheese )
2  ......................onion ( very finely chopped )
2 ......................boiled potatoes ( peeled and mashed)
2 to 3 ..............green chillies ( very finely chopped)
fistful.................fresh coriander leaves ( finely chopped )
2 tsp................cumin coriander powder
1 tsp................sugar
salt



Batter for frying :


1/2 cup.................besan ( chick pea flour )
1/2 tsp...................turmeric powder
1/4 tsp...................chilly powder
1/4 tsp..................ajwain powder
salt
oil for deep frying



Method :


Mix all ingredients given in pakoda well .

Roll them into 1 inch elongated shapes. ( makes about 12 to 14 ).

Now in a vessel mix all the things for batter except oil.

Make a thick batter like that of idli batter consistency.

Dip the elongated pakodas in this batter and deep fry in hot oil til golden in colour.

Serve hot with chutney of ketchup.





Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Lima Beans Curry ( Karwari Style )

Its really been a long long time since I last posted something here. But now I have made a promise
 to myself to be regular in posting . So  today to start with I am posting the recipe of this simple but
 yummy Lima Beans Curry - with  karwari-sambar-masala . I am sure u all will like it.

I usually cook these beans in north indian style with lots of onions n tomatoes along with ginger garlic paste. Yesterday I soaked the lima beans and then realised that I am craving for something authentically karwari, ( As I was back from a vacation and was deprived of home cooked food ) So I decided to try this curry the karwari style. No need to say that the curry tasted amazing and we loved having it with hot rice n potato phodi .  Finally enjoying being back at home.





Ingredients : 


1 cup......................Lima beans
1 cup....................fresh grated coconut
3 to 4 ..................dry red chillies
1 /2 tsp................turmeric powder
1 tbsp.................. karwari-sambar-masala
2 to 3 .................dry kokam pieces
1 tbsp..................jaggery
1 tsp...................mustard seeds
1/4 tsp...............asefoetida (hing)
2 sprigs............curry leaves ( I have not used )
2 tbsp.................coconut oil
salt



Method :


Soak the lima beans over night and pressure cook them for 20 to 25 minutes till soft.

Grind coconut with dry red chillies and haldi.

In a pan heat coconut oil and give a tadka of mustard seeds , curry leaves and hing.

Add the cooked beans and saute for 2 minutes.

Now add the ground coconut , sambar masala, jagerry, kokam and salt .

Add enough water and boil the curry for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with plain rice.




Monday, 21 July 2014

Peach N Cornflakes Pudding

I love baked items and especially bread pudding is my childhood favorite. So this time while making bread pudding.  I also added equal amount of cornflakes and peaches to give a twist to the normal bread pudding.
The pudding filled my kitchen with a lovely peachy aroma when I baked it.

 The reason for adding cornflakes n peaches was that these are my secret ingredients for our monthly event shhh-cooking-secretly-challenge started by Priya Suresh. My this month's partner Sonali gave me these two secret ingredients which worked wonders and made the pudding very delicious .







Ingredients :

2 cups..............................cornflakes ( roasted )
2 cups............................bread crumbs
2 ..................................eggs
2 .................................peaches ( deseeded n cubed )
1 cup...........................sugar
1 tsp...........................baking powder
1/2 tsp........................fruit flavored essence
1 tbsp.......................ghee





Method :

In a bowl mix bread crumbs with eggs , sugar, baking powder and essence.

Keep aside for 1/2 an hour .

Then add the chopped peaches and cornflakes n mix gently.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or till the surface becomes golden.

Serve as it is or serve with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Cherry Shortcakes


Shortcakes were something I had heard of but never ever tasted or tried. So felt very excited to try them out when Swathi suggested these yummy berry shortcakes for this month's baking-partners challenge. They were very simple to make but had an exotic feel. The taste was yumm and were enjoyed by all of us. 

These shortcakes are very rich and heavy too. They make an excellent dessert options and the cherries can be replaced with any other fresh fruit of your choice .








Ingredients :

2 cups.......................fresh cherries
4 tbsp.......................sugar
1 cup........................maida
1/4 cup...................cornflour
1 tbsp....................baking powder
1/4 tsp.....................salt
2 n 1/2 cup ..............fresh heavy cream
2 tbsp......................melted butter





Method :


Wash, wipe n deseed half the cherries n chop them roughly.

Now sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar on it keep them aside so sugar mixes well in cherries .

In a bowl mix well maida , salt , 1 tbsp sugar and baking powder together.

Mix beated heavy cream gradually and try to bring all the flour together with fingers.

When it resembles like bread crumbs add cream so that the flour just comes together.




Take care not to knead the dough at all.

Now pat this dough on a well floured platform and shape it into a 1/4 inch thick disc.





Cut rounds with a cutter.




Dip these rounds in molten butter and arrange them on greased baking tray.





Bake them in a preheated oven for 20 minutes  or till they rise.





Cut the cakes horizontally into half.

When the cakes are baking whip the remaining cream n sugar till stiff .

When the cakes cool down add a spoonful of this stiff whipped cream and some chopped cherries.

Keep the other half on top and again add a spoonful of cream and cherries.





Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Manapparai Murukku - For ICC

Murukku or rather Chakali as it is known in Maharashtra is a very popular fried snack made for Diwali. In South  they are called murukku and many different varieties of murrukus are found here.

Today for indian-cooking-challenge ( ICC )  Srivalli suggested that we try out these crunchy and addictive manapparai murukkus a very famous n popular snack from Tamil Nadu .

 As I have always used store bought ready made murukku flour , it was a new experience roastign urad dal and then sieving it to get smooth flour . though a bit time consuming it was very satisfying experience. Satisfying because the resulting murukkus were so delicious n crunchy that I really doubt whether I would have achieved same result had I bought store bought flour for muukkus.

Now without any further delay let me tell you the exact recipe for this yummy snack.







Ingredients :

1 cup...........................rice flour
1/4 cup........................urad dal
1/4 tsp each................hing, ajwain, cumin seeds
1 tsp...........................ghee
2 tsp...........................oil
salt
oil for deep frying
water about 1/2 cup or little more




Method :

Dry roast urad dal and grind to really smooth paste.

Also dry roast rice flour.

Add all spices , ghee , oil and salt to the flours.

Knead a soft yet firm dough with just enough water.

Press murukkus in hot oil with the murukku press and deep fry till golden in colour.

Fry on a low to medium flame till the murukkus are crisp.

Lift them with a perforated spoon to drain out all the oil.

Cool n store in an air tight container.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Kunafeh - Sweet Cheese Pastry

This month for the  home-bakers-challenge a monthly baking event started by Priya Suresh and this month  hosted by Nupur we had a wide variety of Arabic desserts to choose from. Arabic sweets are very well known for their liberal use of butter and dry fruits.

I think Baklava is one of the most richest and most popular of the Arabic desserts . But few others like Kunafeh, basbousa are eqyally addictive ones and so I tried my hands at both these yummy treats.

Though I personally wanted to try baklava very badly I changed my decision due to the rich and heavy ingredients like lots of butter and dry fruits in this sinfully royal dessert. Instead I decided to try Kunafeh which is comparatively simpler and yet very addictive.

 The crispy pastry sheets with cheese and sugar syrup taste very yummy and one just can't stop eating this dessert.






Ingredients :


10 sheets ........................phyllo pastry
1/2 cup.......................molten unsalted butter
1 cup.........................mozarella cheese ( shredded )
1 cup.........................cheddar cheese ( shredded)
1/2 cup ...................sugar syrup or diluted honey
2 tbsp....................nuts ( almonds / pistachios for garnishing)




Method :


Pulse the pastry till it is shredded into small pieces.

Mix in the butter gently.

Press half of this shredded pastry in a small pan.

Spread the shredded cheese on it .

Again press the remaining half of the shredded pastry .

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or till golden brown and puffed up.

Pour the sugar syrup evenly over the pastry and let it get absorbed.

Garnish with nuts.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Masala Prawns Curry

Any non - vegetarian will love prawns as they are very tasty and can be made into variety of dishes. The only fish with which I usually experiment are prawns , pomfrets , surmai ( seer fish ) and rawas ( salmon ) . This is because other fishes have a peculiar flavor which doesn't go well with any masalas and we prefer to have them made only in our traditional way.

So today when I had to cook prawns decided to make something of my own . This curry turned out very tasty and was relished by all.

I used all the whole spices and ground it with coconut , but you can also replace it with whatever garam masala powder you have handy and also use coconut milk powder instead of fresh coconut.

Don't try to skip cumin, garlic and curry leaves as they lend a very nice flavor to the curry.







Ingredients :

25 to 30........................big sized prawns ( shelled n cleaned )
2 .................................onions ( finely chopped )
2.................................tomatoes ( finely chopped )
2 ...............................potatoes ( peeled n cubed )
1/2 cup.......................freshly scraped coconut
2 tsp...........................chilly powder
1 tsp...........................turmeric powder
1/4 tsp each ...............pepper, cloves, cardamom,cinnamon, nutmeg
2 tsp...........................garlic paste
1/2 tsp........................cumin seeds
1/2 tsp........................mustard seeds
2 tbsp..........................curry leaves ( finely chopped  )
2 to 3  tbsp.........................butter
chopped coriander for garnishing
salt


Method :

Heat butter in a pan and saute prawns for 5 minutes and keep aside.

In the same butter crackle mustard and cumin seeds.

Add to it curry leaves, chopped onions , garlic paste and saute till onion are transparent.

Now add chopped tomatoes and saute for 5 to 10 minutes till butter separates.

Add chilly, turmeric powder, salt and stir .

Add potatoes and mix well and cook covered for 5 minutes.

Grind coconut with pepper , cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg.

When the potatoes are cooked add prawns and the ground coconut masala.

Cook for just 5 minutes and adjust the salt .

Garnished with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis or parathas.



Thursday, 3 July 2014

Tofu Pad Thai Noodles

For this month's  International Food Challenge  we made some very yummy Thai dishes . This group is started by two bloggers Saras and Shobana

Yesterday I posted the recipe of kluai-nam-wa ( bananas-in-coconut-milk ) and today I am posting these delicious Tofu Pad Thai Noodles.

I loved the tangy tamarind sauce used in this and the sesame seeds and peanuts added a fantastic crunchiness to the noodles.

Thanks  Sangeetha Priya once again for introducing us to this lovely cuisine.




Ingredients :

1 pack .........................Hakka Noodles
1 cup...........................Moong sprouts ( I used homemade sprouted moong )
2 cups .......................chopped veggies ( I used carrots, capsicum, cabbage )
200 gm.......................tofu
2 tbsp.......................cornflour
4 tbsp.......................thick tamarind juice
2 tbsp......................red chilli powder
2 tbsp......................sugar
2 tbsp......................soya sauce
1 tbsp....................sesame seeds
4 tbsp...................peanuts
2 tbsp...................chopped mint leaves
2 tbsp...................oil
1 tsp.....................pepper powder
salt to taste


Method :

In a bowl add tamarind juice, red chilli sauce , sugar, soya sauce and salt.

Take half of this mixture and add cornflour to it.

Marinate tofu pieces with this cornflour mixture for atleast half an hour.

On a non stick pan shallow fry the marinated tofu pieces till golden brown .

Boil water in a big vessel and cook the hakka noodles for 5 minutes.

Keep the noodles firm and don't overcook them.,

Drain out the hot water and wash the noodles under cold water .

Add 1 tsp oil to noodles and mix them well and keep aside . ( this prevents them from sticking )

Now in a pan heat oil and add sesame seeds and peanuts and stir for 2 minutes.

Then add carrots and cabbage and saute them for 2 minutes on high flame.

Then add sprouts and capsicum and again saute for 2 minutes on high flame.

Now add the remaing half tamarind mixture and noodles and mix everything well.

In the end add half tofu pieces , pepper powder and half the chopped mint leaves.

Mix well and serve garnished with remaining tofu and mint leaves.


Kluai Nam Wa - Bananas In Coconut Milk - A Thai Dessert

I love to try dishes from various Indian States as well as from other countries. This is the reason why I joined International Food Challenge a lovely group by two lovely blogger Saras and Shobana . In this group every month we are given selected recipes from any one country by that month's host.

 Our this month's host is Sangeetha Priya and she has suggested some wonderful n yummy recipes from Thai Cuisine.

I selected this easy n delicious dessert called  Kluai Nam Wa which in simple english means Bananas in Coconut Milk.

This simple dessert is unbelievably yummy and the coconut milk lends it a beautiful flavor and aroma.
Maharashtrians have a similar dish called Kelyache Shikran  (bananas in sweet milk ).

 But this Thai dessert is equally easy n yet exotic.

Loved the dessert Sangeetha .







Ingredients :


2 ...........................bananas
2 cups....................freshly scraped coconut
1 cup ...................warm water
1/2 cup.................jaggery
1/2 tsp...................cardamom powder
a pinch.................salt



Method :


Wash the bananas and peel them.

Cut the bananas into round slices.

Grind together scraped coconut and warm water.

Squeeze out the juice of coconut and again grind with warm water.

Again repeat and take out the juice of coconut.

Mix both the juices and add jaggery and salt to it.

Boil this on a low to medium flame till somewhat thick .

Add cut bananas and further cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle cardamom powder .

Serve chilled.



Note :

The coconut left after extracting juice can be used in chutney for idli / dosas.




Kanda Bhajji ( Onion Fritters )


Finally the rains have arrived in Mumbai and its green n fresh everywhere. Though I personally don't like the monsoons in Mumbai because it causes water logging, gutters overflowing , late running trains and a whole lot of other problems, its a fact that we need water for the coming year. And so it was a great relief that finally rains decided to visit us. 

Now rains and hot pakodas / bhajia with chai / tea are synonymous and so I had to celebrate the first rains with some hot pakodas to munch on. So I made the famous  kanda bhajii ( onion fritters / pyaz ke pakode ) yesterday and we enjoyed them at tea time. 

So you too give them a try and do let me know how they turned out.




Ingredients :

2 to 3 ......................Onions ( peeled and thinly sliced )
1 tsp.......................coriander seeds ( roasted )
2 ..........................green chillies ( very finely chopped )
2 tbsp....................fresh coriander ( finely chopped)
1/2 tsp...................turmeric powder
4 to 5 tbsp...............besan ( gram dal flour )
salt
oil for deep frying


Method :

In one bowl mix all the ingredients in a bowl except oil and besan.

Do not add water water as the onions will start leaving little water.

Now add besan and mix everything well.

The besan should just coat the onions and shouldn't be like batter consistency.

Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.

Drop spoonful of mixture in pan and fry till crisp and golden .

Serve hot with a cup of tea on a rainy evening.








Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Hungarian Kiffles ( Eggless )

This month for our Baking Eggless challenge Gayathri chose these delicious Hungarian Croissant Rolls called Kipfels / Kiffles.

They are usually made during functions , wedding and festivals and are traditionally made with eggs and filled with lekvar ( a jam filling of apricots or prunes )

Our challenge was to make them eggless and so to replace eggs I used thick curds which worked wonders and gave a very rich and smooth finish to the pastry. 

I substitued lekvar with lemon marmalade which gave a very lemony yummy taste to these delicious pastry.

Thanks Gayathri for this lovely recipe , thoroughly enjoyed making it. 






Ingredients:

2 cups .....................wheat flour
1tsp ........................active dry yeast
a pinch.......................baking soda
1/2 tsp .................salt
2 tbsp...................sugar
1 ........................lemon ( squeeze the juice )
1 tbsp...............candied lemon zest
1/ cup..............warm milk
2/3 cup..............thick curd
85 gms ..............homemade butter ( loni )
4 tbsp.............jam ( I used lemon marmalade )
2 tbsp..........nuts ( used almonds and pistachios)

Method :

Now in a bowl add flour, yeast, salt, sugar, lemon juice , lemnon zest, baking soda, curds and butter .

Knead with warm milk to form a  soft dough.

Add butter and knead till soft and smooth.

Keep it covered in a greased bowl and set aside for 1 hour or more  till the dough doubles.

Now divide the dough into two and roll in to a big round of approx 8 to 10 " diameter.





Cut into 12 triangles like a pizza and keep a spoon full of jam at the broad corner of the wedge.

Add little jam or it might ooze out of the pastry.

Sprinkle some crushed nuts of top of jam.






Roll it like a croissant shape.

Arrange them on a greased baking tray and keep to rise for another 1/2 an hour.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes or till golden brown .

Serve warm.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Komaj - Persian Stuffed Bread


Komaj is one of the most unique breads I have come across . This bread consists of most unusual flavors like cumin seeds and turmeric . The stuffing is made with dates and cardamom powder. You will naturally wonder what kind of weird combination is this. But trust me it works amazingly. This stuff bread tastes superb with a hot cup of tea. Have it warm to get the real taste of this delcious bread. I baked it as a challenge for we-knead-to-bake an event by aparna . She has taken the recipe from the book  Saraban – A Chef’sJourney Through Persia.








Ingredients  for the bread :

3 cups ...................... all purpose flour
1 tsp........................dry active yeast
1/2 tsp ...................sugar
4 tbsp .....................sugar powder
1/2 tsp .................salt
1/8 cup ..............warm water
1/2 tsp................turmeric powder
2 tsp...................cumin seeds ( slightly crushed)
1........................egg
2/3 cup...........warm milk
1 n 1/2 tbsp....oil




Ingredients for the filling :


10 - 12 ....................soft deseeded dates ( chopped)
1 tsp.........................crushed cardamom
1 tbsp.....................soft unsalted butter

Mix these three thoroughly and keep aside to fill in the buns.

Milk for brushing

1tsp...................cumin seeds ( slightly crushed)










Method :

Dissolve yeast sugar and water in a bowl and set it aside for 10 minutes .

In another bowl mix well flour, turmeric powder , cumin seeds , sugar powder and salt.

Now add the yeast mixture which would have formed a froth to this flour bowl.

Mix everything very well and add milk and oil.

Knead for 5 minutes till you get a soft , elastic and non sticky dough.

Keep the dough covered in a well greased bowl for 1 hour and let it rise.

After 1 hour punch the dough and deflate it and again let it rise for 1 more hour.

Now make 8 equal ball of the dough and roll them 1/8 " ovals or rectangles.

Brush them with milk and keep a tsp of filling at corner of this rolled rectangle.

Now cover this filling with the other side of rectangle and press all sides to seal well.

Now with a cookie cutter cut the dough taking care that the filling doesn't come out.

Keep these rounds on greased baking tray and let them rise for 15 minutes.

Now brush them with milk and sprinkle some crushed cumin on top of each round bun.

Bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 12 - 15 minutes.

Have the buns warm while eating.










Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Masala Scones

Though I love baking I am not an expert baker and so there are certain bakes which I hesitate to prepare. Scones is one such baked dish. I have gone through many scone recipes in the past but was too scared to try one.

So this month when I saw that  Archana has suggested Scones and Tarts for our this months baking-partners-challenge it was tarts for me. But then when I read the recipe of scones found it interesting and moreover Archana made it sound so simple that I couldn't resist trying it out.

 And then when I finally gave them a try was really glad that I made a right choice . They were so crumbly and soft . The cheesy flavor was just yumm.

 Though the original recipe is eggless I tried them with eggs when I saw Swathi doing the same because I did not want to spoil the dish at any cost. I also substituted sage leaves with coriander leaves and chillies . The result was amazing and loved these scones with our morning breakfast.






Ingredients :

2 cups .....................wheat flour
1 tbsp.......................baking powder
1 tsp......................pepper powder
5 tbsp.....................chilled butter ( cubed)
2 tbsp......................fresh coriander leaves ( chopped)
2 ..........................green chillies ( very finely chopped )
2 .........................eggs
2 tbsp..................fresh cream
100 gms................grated cheddar cheese
salt to taste







Method :


In a bowl take the flour and add pepper powder and baking powder.

Now add the chilled butter cubes and rub the flour with your fingers.

Continue till you get a crumbly texture.

In another bowl whip eggs and fresh cream .

Mix chopped coriander and chillies to egg and cream mixture and beat lightly.

Add this to the crumbled flour.

Also add  cheese and salt and knead into a dough.

Take the dough on a well floured platform and roll it into a thick disk.





Cut the disk into triangular parts and arrange them in a greased bowl.




Brush the surface with butter and bake in a preheated oven.

Bake at 180 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes till the top is golden .








BakingPartnersButton.jpg

Spinach Fatayer



I love making variety of savory bakes and so when I saw that this month's home-bakers-challenge had sweet as well as savory bakes was very happy to  choose this yummy snack item.

Spinach Fatayer is a very easy and healthy snack . This recipe is from Middle East and was one of the dishes chosen by Rafeeda who is hosting this month's home-bakers-challenge an event started by  Priya Suresh .

These samosa  like baked snacks were very easy to prepare and made for a delcious snack for our evening tea. You can make these fatayer for your party and get sure likes from kids and adults alike. The health conscious folks will really appreciate your choice of starters.

Everyone at home thoroughly enjoyed having them and have decided to include this hassle free dish in my party menu for starters .





Ingredients  for the covering :

1 cup..................maida
2 tbsp.................oil
1/4 cup...............warm water
salt to taste



Ingredients for the filling :

1 small bunch ...................fresh spinach
1...................................onion (finely chopped )
2 to 3 tbsp....................walnuts ( roughly crushed)
1.................................green chilly ( finely chopped )
1/4 tsp........................pepper powder
1 small....................lemon ( take the juice)
salt to taste.


Method :

Mix together maida, oil and salt .

Gradually add warm water and knead a soft dough.

Cover it with a wet muslin cloth and keep aside.

In a bowl mix well all ingredients given under filling .

Now make balls out of the dough and roll a puri .






Keep a heaped spoonful of the filling on it.







Fold the circle in a triangular shape and seal the edges by pressing them.






Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes till they become golden brown.




Home Baker's Challenge


Monday, 16 June 2014

Oats and Jaggery Chikki


I made this chikki for this month's shhh-cooking-secretly-challenge an event started by Priya Suresh . My Partner for this month is Laxmi Priya and she chose oats and jaggery as my secret ingredients. I used chikki gud ( special variety of jaggery used only to make chikkis and laddoos ) for this. Nuts I used were a mix of walnuts, almonds and cashew nuts but you can add or skip the nuts as per your choice. This is a good option as a sweet treat for all of us . Even kids will find this healthy sweet very tempting.








Ingredients :

2 cup ....................oats
1 cup....................shredded jaggery ( used for chikki)
1/4 cup.................black currants
1/4 cup.................candied orange peels
1/2 cup................mixed nuts ( crushed coarsely )
1 tsp..................ghee



Method :


Heat the shredded jaggery in a thick bottom pan with ghee.

The jaggery will first melt and then start bubbling.

Keep a bowl with cold water and drop very little bubbling jaggery in this bowl.

Try gathering the jaggery in bowl and form a ball.

Hit this hardned ball of jaggery on kitchen platform.

If it makes noise like you have hit a stone then the jaggery syrup is ready for use.

Now add all the above things and mix really well.

Immediately pour this on a well greased tray.

Take a greased knife and cut the chikki into desired shapes.

Let the chikki cool completely.

Then separate it and store in a plastic container.

If it becomes difficult to remove the chikki from the tray just hold the tray for a minute on medium flame.

The chikki now can easily be removed.



Amritsari Kulcha - Punjabi Special

Any food lover will completely agree that India has a mindblowing variety of breads ( rotis). Parathas, Kulchas, Naan, Roomali roti, Kerela Parotta , Rajasthani Bati and the list goes on and on . Indian breads are very nutririous and can be easily converted to full meal . Today's post Amritsari Kulcha stuffed with aloo is one such dish. These stuffed kulchas are very filling and can just be had with dahi ( curds ) and achar ( pickle) or you can serve them with any side dish of your choice.

This month  Srivalli had suggested Amritsari Kulchas for our indian-cooking-challenge ( ICC ) and I was more than happy to make these lovely kulchas. I had already missed last few challenges and desparately wanted to make these kulchas.

Serve these hot kulchas with a dollop of butter and have a very satisfying meal.










Ingredients :



For the dough :

4 cups .............................wheat flour
1/2 cup............................curds
2 tsp..............................sugar
1 tsp................................baking powder
1 pinch ..........................baking soda
1/2 cup...........................milk
1 tbsp..............................ghee
salt

For the filling :

5 to 6 .............................boiled potatoes ( peeled and mashed)
2 tbsp.............................ginger chilly paste
1 tbsp.............................amchoor ( dry mango powder )
1 tbsp............................dhana jeera powder
1 tbsp...........................black sesame
1/ cup..........................chopped fresh coriander
salt
oil


Method :


Knead a smooth but firm dough with all ingredients given in dough with just enough milk.

Keep it aside covered with wet muslin cloth for atleast 1 hour.

In the mean while mash the boiled potatoes and add chopped coriander and ginger chilly paste .

Also add amchoor and dhana jeera powder and salt to taste.

Mix very well till everything is well combined.

Now make big lemon sized balls of the dough and make equal balls of the filling.

Roll the dough to the size of puri and keep the filling inside.






Cover with dough from all sides and roll it.

Sprinkle some black sesame on it and continue to roll a kulcha of 6 to 8 '' diameter.

Cook on a how tawa by smearing ghee  on both sides.







Serve with any side dish  of your choice or with some pickle and curd.