Friday, 28 March 2014

Jain Tomato Sauce for Pizza


There are some days of the week when we follow stictly vegetarian diet and even avoid eating onions or garlic. On such days my meals are very simple rice,  curry, phodi and a simple vegetable stir fry . But many people observe such diet during the hindu month's of Shravan and Margashirsha and it becomes rather difficult for people to stay on simple meals for the whole month .


 So for such occasions I am giving the recipe of  tomato sauce which is without onion and garlic and can be used as a base sauce on Pizza . Will soon try to post the recipe for Jain Pizza too .







Ingredients :


250 gm ....................tomatoes ( chopped)
1/2 tsp....................chilly powder
1/2 tsp...................pepper powder
1 tsp ...................salt
1 tsp..................sugar
2 tbsp...............oil



Method :



Add 2 tbsp oil and saute tomatoes .

Cook till you get a thick chunky sauce like consistency.

Add chilly powder, tsp pepper powder ,sugar and salt.

Cook further for 2 more minutes and remove from fire.


Linking this to Viji 's SYS - March Hidden Ingredient  where my ingredient was to cook with a red colored fruit or a veggie.


Pumpkin Pulusu



Today I am posting a very delicious pumpkin dish which goes perfectly well with rotis or plain hot rice. Its called pulusu which is a sweet n sour curry much like rasam. This is my remake dish for  the remake of potluck-party-cyber-style an event by jagruti where this month I was paired with tahemeem shaik .


The original recipe calls for Butternut Squash , but as it is not easily available here I used pumpkin which is very similar to it. This pulusu was liked by all my family members and was finished at one go.

Thanks Jagruti and Tahemeem for this delicious recipe.






Ingredients :

1/4 kg .................pumpkin ( washed , peeled and cubed )
1/4 tsp..................mustard seeds
1/4 tsp................cumin seeds
2 .....................dry red chillies ( broken)
1 sprig..............curry leaves ( chopped)
1 ....................onion ( finely chopped)
4 to 5 .............garlic cloves ( finely chopped )
1....................tomato ( chopped )
2 tbsp..............oil
1 / 2 tsp............turmeric pd
1/2 tsp..............chilly powder
lemon sized ......tamarind ( soak in warm water and extract juice)
2 tbsp................jaggery
salt


Method :


Heat oil and add first four ingredients.

After they splutter add onion and garlic chopped and saute till soft.

Now add chilly powder, haldi, tamarind juice and jagerry.

Stir for a minute and add tomato chopped.

Cook for 2 minutes and add 1 cup water and give the mixture a boil.

In the end add cubed pumpkin and cook till tender but firm.

This should take 5 to 8 minutes.

This tastes yummy with rotis or hot plain rice and pickle.





Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Fereni ( Persian Dessert )

This month the theme was Persian Cuisine  for  IFC  (International Food Challenge ) an event started by  Sara  & Shobana  . And though our this month's host Savitha Ramesh  had given us a wide variety of dishes to chose from since I was very busy and didn't have time to try out more exotic dishes I opted for this simple elegant dessert called Fereni .


This is much like our popular Kashmiri Phirni . The only difference being in phirni the rice is soaked and the ground to paste whereas in fereni ready made rice flour is used. Though the dish hardly takes any time to prepare you get a very delicious dessert perfect for special occasions or parties.






Ingredients :

2 cups ..........................milk
3 tbsp.........................sugar
2 tsp....................rice flour
2 tbsp................rose water
1/2 tsp...............crushed cardamoms



Method : 


In a non stick pan boil 1 n 1/2 cup milk with sugar.

In the remaining 1/2 cup milk add rice flour and mix well.

When the milk sugar mixture boils add the rice flour .

Stir continuously and keep the flame low.

When the mixture thickens add rose water .

Add cardamom powder and cool the fereni.

Chill it till the serving time.






Monday, 17 March 2014

Mawa Gujiya



Today is Holi and here I am with one of the most popular sweets which is enjoyed during Holi . I know I am late in posting as Holi is almost over but then better late than never . The day went in celebrations and making of the sweets and so have to post the entry this late.

Some of the savory items which are enjoyed during this day are kachoris, samosas and among the sweets are  puran polis in south and jalebi and gujhias in north. 

These mawa gujhiyas are relished all over North India on the day of Holi and are the must for this special occasion.  And this is the reason why we were given this lovely and apt challenge by  santosh bangar our host for  south-vs-north-challenge an event by Divya. They were simply heavenly.








Ingredients :

For the cover :

2 cups......................maida
4 tbsp ...................ghee
a pinch ..................salt
warm water


For the filling : 

200 gm .....................mawa
1 cup........................fresh grated coconut
2 tbsp.....................ghee
100 gm ....................sugar
1 /2 tsp....................saffron extract
1/2 tsp....................crushed cardamom seeds
2 tbsp....................almond slivers
2 tbsp....................raisins

Oil for deep frying .




Method :


Add ghee in maida and salt and rub with your fingers.

Add water and knead a semi soft dough.

Cover the dough with wet cloth and keep aside for 1 hour.

In a pan heat 2 tbsp ghee and add crumbled mawa into it.

Roast mawa till it becomes light golden.

Now add sugar and coconut and fry till sugar melts and mixture thickens.

Switch the gas and add saffron, almonds, raisins and cardamom powder.

Mix everything and let the mixture cool down.

Now make approximately 15 balls of the dough.

Also divide the mawa mixture into 15 equal parts.

Roll each ball into a round puri.

Keep the mawa mixture in middle of the puri and apply water on half edge of the puri .

Now fold the other half of puri on it to make a semicircle.

Press with your fingers to seal the ends or fold the edges and seal them.

Heat oil in a frying pan and deep fry 2 to 3 gujias at a time.

Fry on  a medium flame till the gujias are golden and crisp.

Remove with a slotted spoon draining out all the oil.

Serve hot or cold as you like.



Saturday, 15 March 2014

Saltine Crackers

This month it was  Aarthy  who suggested a brilliant idea of making crackers for baking-partners a very interesting event by Swathi . She suggested two type of crackers - Saltine Crackers which are usually salty and Graham Crackers which are sweet . I chose to make Saltine Crackers and am also planning to make the sweet variety soon .

 As making crackers was completely new to me I did not modify the recipe at all and thought of following the original recipe . But I made two goof ups -  firstly I completely forgot to fold the rolled out dough and then also forgot the prick the rolled crackers with a fork . But even after all this my crackers turned out good. They were not very crispy n crunchy but still were yummy and delicious. Planning to make them again for perfection.






Ingredients : 

3/4 cup.........................maida
1 pinch.........................baking soda
2/ 3 drops ...................... vinegar
1 pinch .........................salt
1/2 tsp.........................sugar
1/4 cup........................lukewarm water
1 1/2 tsp......................dry yeast
3 tbsp........................water
1 tbsp........................butter
1 tbsp.......................oil
1 tsp salt + 1 tbsp pepper powder ( for topping )


Method :


Boil 3 tbsp water, butter and oil till butter melts and cool till it is lukewarm

Add yeast and sugar to 1/4 cup lukewarm water and set aside for 10 minutes.

When the yeast mixture becomes frothy add maida, salt , soda and vinegar .

Mix the mixture and add the lukewarm butter mixture.

Now knead to form a dough.

The dough will be very soft and sticky.

Keep the dough in a well greased bowl and plastic wrap it.

Keep the bowl in fridge overnight.

The next day bring the dough to room temperature and knead it .

You will need extra maida as the dough will be very sticky.

Roll the dough in a rectange and fold one third rectange through the left half .

Fold the right side on the left part .

It should resemble the folded envelope. ( I forgot this step totally )

Again roll the dough in rectange shape and roll it very thin.

Press the topping with the rolling pin for it to stick in the crackers

Cut them into squares .

Seperate them carefully and place them on a greased tray.

Now prick them with a fork . ( I forgot this step too )

Bake these crackers in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 180 degrees.






Aloo Pyaaz Ki Tikoni Kachori

Wishing all my friends a very Happy Holi . Holi is a festival of colours and is celebrated with full enthusiasm. Special sweets and savory snacks are made during this occasion for all the near and dear ones and every one relishes them with great fun. Samosas and kachoris are the most popular snacks had during Holi and so today I am posting the recipe of a very easy to make aloo kachori which will make your Holi all the more colorful.







Ingredients :

For the other cover
 2 cups .....................maida
4 tbsp........................oil
1 tsp........................salt
oil for deep frying

Knead a soft but firm dough using water and keep aside till further use.



For  the filling :


3 to 4  .................boiled potatoes mash
2 tbsp...................ginger chilly and coriander ( roughly ground )
1 tsp....................cumin seeds ( roughly crushed)
1 tsp....................fennel seeds ( roughly crushed)
1/2 tsp....................cumin - coriander powder
1/2 tsp...................turmeric powder
2 tbsp....................oil
salt

Method :


Mash the boiled potatoes .

In a non stick pan heat oil and add cumin seeds.

Then add ginger chilly coriander paste and saute till it gives out nice aroma.

Now add the potato mash and mix well

Add all masalas and salt and stir for 2 minutes.

The filling for kachoris is ready.


To make kachoris :

Make 15 to 16 balls of the dough .

Also make same number of balls of the filling.

Roll the balls into puri shape.





Make a cone shape of the puri as in the picture.




Put the filling and seal the upper ends by pressing with your fingers .

Press and flatten a little with your hands.





Deep fry the kachoris in hot oil till golden and crisp.



Instant Mango Pickle With Jaggery & Mustard

This tangy instant raw mango pickle was what we had to make for February's challenge for indian-cooking-challenge ( ICC ) an event by Srivalli. This mouth watering pickle was suggested by varada .

Nowadays the markets are flooded with variety of raw mangoes and this the perfect month to make achars or pickles for the coming year. But these pickles do take some time to marinate and hence can't be consumed immediately. But the recipe I am posting today is of instant  hot and sweet jaggery mango pickle which can be made in small quantities and can be had immediately.






Ingredients : 

1/4 kg ...........................raw mango ( kairi )
1 n 1/2 cup....................jaggery
2 tbsp............................mustard seeds
2 tbsp..........................chilli powder
1/2 tsp..........................fenugreek seeds ( methi )
2 to 3 tbsp....................salt


For Tempering the Pickle :

1/2 cup ...................oil
1 tbsp.....................mustard seeds
1 tsp.......................asefoetida ( hing powder)



Method :


Wash the raw mangoes thoroughly and wipe them dry.

Peel the skin and cut them in cubes.

In little oil stir fry the cubed mangoes till they are half cooked.

Now prepare the tempering by heating oil in a small pan.

For tempering add 1 tbsp  mustard seeds when the oil is hot and let them crackle.

Now add methi seeds.

Switch off the gas and let the oil cool down a bit.

Now add hing powder and let the oil cool down completely.

Adding hing in hot oil burns out asefoetida and doesn't give out its proper flavor.

In a grinder grind jaggery , mustard seeds, chilli powder , methi and salt.

Mix this well in cubed mango pieces and pour the cooled oil over it.

The pickle is ready to eat .

Monday, 10 March 2014

Cheesecake Cupcakes

Cupcakes - the goodness and flavor of cakes packed in mini cute package. This is the current trend going on. Making and eating big cakes is a complete no no in today's health conscious society. Its then better to make the cakes in small size where you can enjoy them and also control the individual portion.

I have made cheese cakes a lot of times in different flavors but never baked them. So when for home-bakers-challenge  our this month's host Siri @ thebravecook   gave this cheesecake cupcakes as one of the choices I decided to give it a try. The cakes when baked had fluffed beautifully, actually I should have taken at least one click at that time. But when they cooled down they just sunk . Though the texture of these cupcakes was amazingly soft . Topped with orange crush ( orange toppings being my personal favorite ) they tasted just out of this world.

Thanks Priya Suresh  and   Siri for this yummy challenge






Ingredients :

2 cups .......................cream cheese ( home made )
1/2 cup ........................sugar
2 ............................eggs
1 tsp......................butter
2 tbsp + 5 tbsp .....................orange crush
10 .......................plain vanilla waffers







Method : 


Place a paper cupcake liner in each of 12 muffin cups.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees and keep ready.

In the meanwhile beat cream cheese until fluffy.

Add  sugar and butter and beat well.

Add eggs, one at a time, and again beat till very fluffy. 

In each muffin cup place a waffer at the bottom and spoon fluffy over wafers.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Let the cakes cool completely.

Top each  cupcake with a spoonful orange custard.







Sunday, 9 March 2014

Creamy Corn Stir Fry

I love using corn in different dishes. Soft juicy and tender corn adds a very nice crunchy flavor to any dish. It can be made into soup, salad, starters , side dish or even pulavs. You will always find some fresh or frozen corn in my kitchen.

Today the dish which I am making is one such versatile dish which can be used as a side dish with pulav or rotis. It can also be used as a filling in sandwiches or can be had just like a snack. You will be amazed by the simplicity of this dish and will definitely love it.







Ingredients :

2 cups .....................fresh tender corn kernels
2 ............................onions ( finely chopped )
2 ............................green chillies ( finely chopped )
1 cup ....................milk
2 tbsp....................fresh cream
2 ..........................cheese slices ( I used britannia )
2 tbsp....................ghee/ butter
salt


Method :

In a pan heat ghee and add chopped onions and chillies and saute.
When the onion becomes translucent add corn and saute again for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add salt and milk and cook till tender and all the milk evaporates.
In the end add fresh cream stir for 2 minutes.
Add cheese slices and cook till cheese melts.
The corn should be soft , creamy and cheesy.
Serve as a snack or with rotis.


Linking this to potluck-party-cyber-style   @ Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey






Sunday, 2 March 2014

Cinnamon Swirl Brioche

Making and baking breads was a dream for me just two years back . But ever since I entered this blogging world I was amazed to see so many wonderful breads being baked by fellow bloggers which were totally unheard of by me before.

Then again I was very hesitant to try out such daring experiments and so decided to join some online baking groups where every month the members bake a bread or some other baked item . I must say that this helped me improvise my baking skills a lot.

One such unique baking group is baking-eggless  by Gayathri  . Unique in the sense here we not only make a baking item but we substitute the eggs with some other vegetarian ingredient and try to make it as perfect as the one with egg variety. This month's challenge was this lovely Cinnamon Swirl Brioche which made use of 8 eggs and thats really a large amount to substitute.

Making this delcious Cinnamon Swirl Brioche was a real challenge as I had to think of the substitute for 8 eggs. Finally used a combination of flax seeds and paneer . Also due to health issues have planned to avoid the use of maida as far as possible and so used maida and wheat flour in 50 : 50 proportion. Was a bit worried of the results but the Brioche was so delicious and soft  that it got over within minutes . The brioche had a soft texture and a nutty flavor due to flaxseeds .

Thanks once again Gayathri for introducing us to such an interesting bake.








The original Recipe is from Barbara Bakes.

Ingredients :

1 tbsp...................yeast
1/2 cup...........lukewarm water
4 tbsp.............flax seeds
1 tbsp..................salt
4 tbsp.................. paneer
1/2 cup ..............honey
1 n 1/2 cup ........loni ( homemade butter )
3 n 1/2 cups ..............wheat flour
3 n 1/2  cups ..............maida

Mix together and keep :

1 cup .............sugar
3 tbsp.............cinnamon powder
1/2 tbsp .........salt



Method :

Mix water, yeast,honey and molten butter in a big bowl .

After 10 minutes add paneer and flax seeds paste and mix well .

Now gradually add all the flour ( wheat and maida ) and mix properly.

Keep aside for 2 hours for the dough to rise and then collapse.

You can refrigerate this dough and use it over the next five days.

When making the Brioche grease a bread loaf tin.

Roll the dough carefully into a wide rectangle.





Wet the top surface of the rectangle with little water .

Now sprinkle  the sugar cinnamon filling on it and again sprinkle some water on it.





Now roll the rectangle and keep it for 10 to 15 minutes.





Now cut the roll into half and stretch each half to 14 inches rolls.





Cut the first roll vertically so that the cinnamon sugar lines are clearly visible.





Now keeping the cut side open braid the rolls and keep them in a greased loaf tin.





Also cut the second half in a similar way and braid it .

Since I did not have a second loaf tin , I used a circular tin.

This gave me a beautiful shaped brioche which looked like a blooming flower.






Cover the pan and let the dough rise for 2 hours.

Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes at 180 degrees .

Reduce the temperature to 150 degrees and further bake for 20 minutes.

The top will be golden brown in color.

Cool it completely on a wire rack and then slice it.




















Andalusian Gazpacho soup - For IFC

Who doesn't like to have hot comforting soups on a cold wintery evening. Soup is one of my favorite dishes and I like to have it warm. So the very idea of cold soup was very new and somewhat not that interesting for me in the beginning.

 Yes you guessed it correctly . The soup recipe which I am posting today is a cold vegetable soup. It is a dish from Spain made by Andalusian community there. Though I made this soup almost hesitantly I was really glad that I gave it a try . The soup turned out very tasty and loved to have it with warm bread . This soup is had during the warm summers and is very famous worldwide.

Thanks Shey  for choosing such wonderful dishes and introducing us to such an interesting  cuisine. Linking this to IFC  (International Food Challenge ) is an event started by  Sara  & Shobana





Ingredients :

4 to 5 ......................Tomatoes
1 .............................cucumber
1 ...........................capsicum
1 big......................onion
2 .........................bread slices
3 to 4 tbsp.............olive oil
1 tsp....................cumin powder
1/2 tsp....................pepper powder
3 to 4 ...................garlic cloves
few......................walnuts toasted in olive oil ( for garnish )
juice of 1 lemon
salt




Method :

Give two cuts to the base of tomatoes.

Boil water in a vessel and add tomatoes to this and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove the skin and puree the tomatoes.

Chop roughly half of cucumber, capsicum and onion.

Chop the remaining half vegetables very fine and chill them till further use.

Now grind the roughly chopped veggies with tomato puree.

Add to it olive oil, pepper powder, garlic cloves, cumin powder, lemon juice  and salt.

Also add the bread slices.

This gives thickness to the soup.

Chill the soup till the serving time.

While serving you can garnish the soup with some toasted bread croutons.

I garnished it with walnuts and served with freshly made garlic cheese pull apart bread.









Sprouted Pulses Curry - Gujarati Style

This was one of the yummiest and most simple recipe which I made for this month's remake for the  potluck-party-cyber-style  . I was paired with  Jagruti and she had made this delicious gujarati bean sprouts curry for the party which I had to remake. Loved this mildly flavoured pulses dish a lot.

For sprouting the pulses . Wash the pulses thoroughly and soak them in water for 6 to 8 hours.Drain out the water and tie the pulses loosely in a muslin cloth for 6 to 8 hours again.By this time you will see small sprouts on the pulses.The pulses are now ready to be used.If they have not sprouted properly you can again soak them for some more hours in water.Also instead of roasting the groundnuts for garnish I sauteed them and used them  whole . This gave more crunchiness to the curry.






Ingredients :

1 cup .....................sprouted mixed pulses ( moong, matki, masur, rajma etc )
1 tsp......................cumin seeds
1 tbsp................... crushed green chilli garlic paste
1/2 tsp..................turmeric powder
1/2 tsp....................garam masala powder
1 cup ....................milk
1/2 cup.................groundnuts ( sauteed in 1 tsp of oil)
2 tbsp..................chopped coriander
2 tbsp.....................oil
water
salt


Method :


In a grinder coarsely grind mixed pulses.

In a pan heat oil and splutter jeera.

Add crushed chilli garlic paste and stir till golden in colour.

Now add the ground pulses and stir fry for few minutes.

Add all the masalas and salt and mix well.

Add milk and water and cook till done with lid covered.

If the curry becomes very thick you can add more water.

Garnish with sauteed groundnuts and chopped coriander.

Have this delicious curry with rotis .