November 26, 2015

Butter cookies


Butter cookies are really easy to make & taste yum. Take pleasure in the delicious simplicity of a cookie with just a few, humble ingredients & beautifully balanced flavour in every bite.

Ingredients :
  1. All purpose flour - 2 1/4 cups
  2. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  3. Unsalted butter - 1 cup 
  4. Sugar - 2/3 cup
  5. Egg - 1 no
  6. Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Method :

1.   Sieve together flour and salt.

2.   Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg & vanilla extract.

3.   Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.  Knead the dough, cover and refrigerate it for atleast 2 hours.

4.   Roll the dough & cut them to your desired shape.  Preheat the oven at 350 F.  Grease and line up the baking tray with parchment paper.

5.   Bake the cookies for 10 - 12 mins.  (If required brush the cookies with egg wash before baking)


Enjoy :)

November 24, 2015

Rice n dal khichdi mix for babies - Very versatile !!!


Rice n dal mix powder is my little son's most favourite food.  Vegetable khichdi is the first one pot  meal served to the Indian babies.  Making them in small quantity is little tricky.  This powder is really handy for such situations.  I use this powder as a base for various delicious baby food like vegetable, chicken and mutton soup rice.   Ideal for babies above 6 months.

Ingredients :

  1. Parboiled rice - 1 cup
  2. Moong dal - 1/4 cup
  3. Masoor dal - 1/4 cup
  4. Cumin - 1 tsp
  5. Hing - 1/2 tsp
  6. Barley - 1/2 tsp
Dry roast them separately.  Allow them to cool completely & grind them to fine powder.  Store it in airtight container.


For preparation :
  1. Water
  2. Ghee - 1/4 tsp
  3. Breastmilk / formula (optional)
Cook a tbsp of rice dal powder in water first.  Add little ghee and milk if required.  Serve your kid.




November 22, 2015

Ribbon Pakoda - Crispy snack


Ribbon pakoda is also know as ribbon murukku.  Homemade rice flour is used for this snack, as we get crispy & tasty pakoda's.  It is a great snack idea for tea time.  Perfect snack for all special occasions & festivals. 


Ingredients :

  1. Raw rice flour - 2 cups
  2. Gram flour - 1/2 cup
  3. Roasted gram dal powder- 1/2 cup
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Hing - 1/2 tsp
  6. Chilly powder / Pepper powder - 1 tsp
  7. Sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp
  8. Oil - 2 tbsp + for frying
  9. Water for kneading

Method :

1.   Mix together raw rice flour, gram flour, roasted gram dal powder, chilly powder, salt to taste, hing, sesame seeds & 2 tbsp hot oil.  Add enough water & knead it to smooth dough.

2.  Take a murukku maker & use ribbon pakoda disc.  Grease the murukku maker & press the dough inside.  

3.   Heat oil over medium heat, press the ribbon pakoda's from the murukku maker & deep fry them till done & crispy.


Enjoy the snack !!!

November 20, 2015

Adhirasam



Adhirasam is most popular South Indian sweet and it is prepared especially during Diwali.  Rice flour  & jaggery are the main ingredients used & the rice flour should be moist to get perfect adhirasam.  Quite a challenging sweet to prepare but it taste just divine.

Ingredients :

  1. Raw rice - 2 cups
  2. Water - 1 cup
  3. Jaggery - 300 gms
  4. Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
  5. Ghee - 1 tbsp
  6. Oil for frying

Method :

1.   Wash and soak the rice for 3 hours.  Drain the water & spread the rice in a cloth for 1 hour.  Do not let it dry completely.  Moisture should be there.  Grind the rice to fine powder & sieve it. (Use the rice flour immediately otherwise it will loose its moisture)

2.   Heat jaggery and water in the pan.  Once the jaggery melted, filter it.  Reheat the jaggery in the pan & allow it to boil till single thread consistency.  

Note :

To check the single thread consistency, pour the jaggery mixture in the water.  It will settle down & you can make a ball out of it.



3.   Now mix the sieved rice flour, a tsp of ghee & sesame seeds.  Keep stirring for few mins.  Dough should be sticky & little loose.  Store the dough over night in an air tight container.  More than a day refrigerate the dough.

4.   Next day, heat oil over low medium flame.  Divide the dough into equal portion balls & flat them using your greased palm.  Deep fry them till golden brown in either sides.  It will take just 30 secs on each side.  

5.   Using two ladles, squeeze the excess oil.  Store it in air tight container.  It can stay on shelf for a week.


Happy cooking :)

November 18, 2015

Poha porridge mix for babies - Very unique !!!


Poha mix is served for babies above 7 months.  I first cook them in water and add cooked n grated potatoes at the end.  Addition of red poha flakes along with white poha flakes makes it more healthier & tastier.  

Ingredients :

  1. Red poha flakes - 1/2 cup
  2. White poha flakes - 1/2 cup
  3. Roasted gram dal - 1/2 cup
  4. Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp
Method :

Dry roast the ingredients separately.  Allow them to cool completely & grind them to smooth powder.  Store it in airtight container.


For porridge :
  1. Water 
  2. Breast milk / Formula
Cook a tbsp of poha mix in enough water.  Add breast milk / formula just before serving.  Cook without lumps.  


November 17, 2015

Snow bowling themed - Lumberjack cake


Prepare this big, nutritious cake for friends and family who, even if they are not lumberjacks, have serious appetites.  It keeps well and is better the day after it is baked.

Ingredients :

For cake :

  1. Dried pitted date, coarsely chopped - 1 cup
  2. Boiling water - 1 cup
  3. Baking soda - 1 tsp
  4. Butter, diced - 1/2 cup (125 gms)
  5. Brown sugar - 1 cup
  6. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  7. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  8. All purpose flour - 11/3 cups (200 g)
  9. Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
  10. 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  11. 3 medium tart cooking apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
Cream cheese frosting :
  1. Cream cheese, softened - 1/2 cup (125 g)
  2. Butter, softened - 1/4 cup
  3. Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
  4. Grated lemon zest - 1/2 tsp
  5. Icing sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Method :

1.   Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Grease & line up the baking pan with parchment paper.

2.   To prepare the cake, place the dates, boiling water and baking soda in a small heatproof bowl and leave to soak for 5 mins.  Add the butter and stir until melted.

3.   Beat the sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.  With mixer on low, beat in the flour, baking powder and coconut.  Stir in the date mixture and apple by hand.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.  Bake for 50 - 60 mins.  Leave to cool for 20 mins.  

4.   To prepare the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, lemon zest and icing sugar until smooth.  Spread over the top and sides of the cakes.  Cover & decorate the cake with fondant.


Happy baking :)


November 16, 2015

Mixed Vegetable Sabzi


Mixed vegetable sabzi is my all-time favourite side dish which taste awesome with rotis, naan, rice & paratha.  Vegetables are cooked in tomato-onion gravy with a blend of Indian spices.  This dry sabzi can be used as a stuffing for sandwiches & wraps.  

Ingredients :

  1. Oil
  2. Tomato - 2 large sized
  3. Onion - 2 medium sized
  4. Cashew nuts - 7 nos
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Butter - 1 tbsp
  7. Ginger garlic paste
  8. Vegetables (Carrot, beans, potato, cauliflower, peas, capsicum, paneer) - 1 1/2 cups
  9. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  10. Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  11. Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  12. Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  13. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  14. Kasturi methi leaves - 1 tbsp (Crushed)
  15. Cream - 2 tbsp (optional)
  16. Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :

1.   Heat a tsp of oil in the pan, fry onions, tomatoes, cashew nuts & salt to taste.  Cool them completely and ground them to smooth paste.  Keep aside.

2.   Heat oil in another pan, shallow fry the cut vegetables.  Keep aside.

3.   Heat butter in the pan, add ginger garlic paste.  Sauté.

4.   Add grounded masala paste, chilly powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala & kasturi methi leaves.  Cover & cook over medium heat for 10 mins.

5.   Add fried vegetables and cook for another 5 mins.

6.   Add cream & finely chopped coriander leaves.  Cook for another 2 mins.


Serve with naan / rotis / rice.

November 15, 2015

Crispy Fried Chicken - Kids friendly


There’s a lot to love about fried chicken. First, there’s that hot, crunchy, shatteringly crisp crust, fried to golden-brown perfection. Once you get through that, you’re rewarded with super juicy, moist meat—no dry, tastelessness here. 

Ingredients :
  1. Chicken (preferably with skin) - 500 gms
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  5. Chilly powder / Black pepper powder (to spice level)
  6. Egg - 1 no
  7. Flour (Maida) - 1/4 cup
  8. Bread crumbs - 1/4 cup
  9. Oil for deep frying


Method :

1.   Wash & clean the chicken pieces.  Add salt, ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, chilly powder / black pepper powder and egg.  Mix together.


2.   In a separate plate, mix together flour, bread crumbs and little salt.  Keep aside.


3.   Heat oil in the frying pan, coat the chicken pieces in the flour mix and deep fry them till golden brown.



Perfect for kids !!!!

November 14, 2015

Wheat porridge - Healthy babies diet !!!


Looking for some good & healthy baby food especially during night time.  This wheat porridge is perfect for babies above 7 months.  I always feed my son with this porridge for his dinner.  This keep the baby tummy full & more than that its just yum!!!

Ingredients :
  1. Good quality wheat flour - 1 cup
  2. Moong dal - 1/2 cup
  3. Almonds - 1/4 cup
  4. Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp
Dry roast them separately and cool them completely.  Grind them to smooth powder & sieve it.  Store it in airtight container.

For porridge :
  1. Breast milk / Formula
  2. Ghee - 1/4 tsp
  3. Water
Cook the wheat porridge mix in the water & little ghee. Cook them without any lumps. Add milk just before serving.  


Enjoy your baby's smile :)

November 13, 2015

Egg omelet kuruma


Egg omelet cooked in green masala taste simply divine with rice or rotis.  

Ingredients :

For green masala paste :

  1. Onion - 1 large sized
  2. Green chillies - 5 to 6 nos (to taste)
  3. Ginger - 1 inch size
  4. Garlic - 4 pods
  5. Fennel seeds
  6. Coconut 
  7. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Fry fennel seeds, onion, green chillies, ginger and garlic in oil and ground to smooth paste.

For Egg omelet :
  1. Oil - 1 tsp
  2. Egg - 2 nos
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  5. Finely chopped onion
  6. Green chilly, finely chopped
Beat eggs and add salt, turmeric powder, onion and green chilly.  Heat oil in the wide pan, cook the egg omelet and cut them in square size.  keep aside.

For kuruma :
  1. Oil - 1 tbsp
  2. Cinnamon stick - 1 no
  3. Cloves - 3 nos
  4. Cardamom - 2 nos
  5. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Mint leaves
  7. Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
  8. Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :

1.   Heat oil in the heavy bottomed pan, add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, turmeric powder and mint leaves.  Add grounded masala paste and enough water.  Cook till done.

2.   Finally, add squared egg omlets & cook for 2 mins.  Switch off the flame and add lemon juice.  Garnish it with coriander leaves. 


Serve with rice / rotis.

November 12, 2015

Ambur Chicken biryani - Restaurant style


Ambur is a place in South India where they make this spicy & flavourful biryani.  Traditionally, seeraga samba rice is used for this dish (I used basmati rice).  Chicken is cooked first and then the spices are added with the rice.  This can be cooked with mutton too.  Perfect menu for good Sunday afternoon.

Ingredients :
  1. Seeraga samba rice  - 2 cups
  2. Chicken - 1 kg
  3. Oil 
  4. Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  5. Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
  6. Chilly powder - 2 tsp (to spice taste)
  7. Cloves - 4 nos
  8. Cinnamon stick
  9. Cardamom - 4 nos
  10. Onion - 4 nos, medium sized
  11. Tomatoes - 4 nos, medium sized
  12. Curd - 1 cup
  13. Mint & coriander leaves 
  14. Chilly powder - 1 tsp
  15. Green chillies - 3 nos
  16. Lime - 1 no
  17. Salt to taste

Method :

1.   Heat oil in the pan, add 1/4 cup of curd, clove, cinnamon and cardamom.  Add garlic paste and then the ginger paste.  

2.   Add the chicken , green chillies along with the salt and cook till its half done.  Add in the onion and then the tomatoes.  Stir together for just about a minute.  

3.   Add coriander and mint leaves along with the remaining curd & chilly powder.  Add enough water (I added 3 cups) and close the pan and cook under low heat.  

4.   Meanwhile parboil the rice with salt and lime juice and filter the water and keep aside.

5.  In a heavy bottomed pan, add some oil and layer the cooked chicken masala followed by the cooked rice. Repeat the step and close the pan tight and cook for 15 mins over medium-low heat.

Serve warm with raita.

November 11, 2015

Chiroti


Chiroti is most popular dessert in Maharashtra & Karnataka which was served during special occasions.  This can be prepared in two ways by dipping the fried chrotis in sugar syrup or sprinkling powdered sugar over it.  I preferred soaking them in sugar syrup, it keeps the chiroti so juicy and moist inside & crispy outside.  This crispy delight is highly addictive & perfect for festivals.

Ingredients :

For the dough :
  1. All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup + 2 tbsp
  2. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  3. Melted ghee - 2 tbsp + 2 tbsp
  4. Water for kneading
  5. Oil for frying
  6. Almond powder for decoration (optional)
For the sugar syrup :
  1. Sugar - 1 cup
  2. Water - 1/2 cup
  3. Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  4. A few strands of saffron (or cardamom powder)

Method :

1.   Mix together 1 cup of flour, salt and 2 tbsp of melted ghee well.  Add enough water to make a smooth dough.  Keep aside for 15 mins.

2.   Prepare a sugar syrup by mixing sugar, water, lemon juice and finally saffron to single thread consistency.  Keep it warm.

3.  In a separate bowl, mix together 2 tbsp of maida with 2 tbsp of ghee and make a paste.  Keep aside.

4.   Divide the dough into 6 equal portion and roll them into thin rotis.  Place a roti on your work surface and spread the maida ghee mixture over it.  Now place the second roti over it and spread the maida mixture evenly.  Place the third roti over the second one and apply the maida paste over it.  Gently roll the rotis into a log and cut them into small circles.

5.  Roll and flatten the thick circles using the rolling pin.  Deep fry them in the oil till crispy.

6.  Soak the hot fried chiroti's in the sugar syrup for 2-3 mins.  Sprinkle some almond powder for decoration.


Store it in airtight container.

November 7, 2015

Rice n Urad dal cerelac for babies


Ural dal & roasted gram dal is good for bone strength for babies.  I serve this porridge to my kid atleast thrice a week & this is ideal for babies above 8 months.  For kids above one year & for adults, add freshly extracted coconut milk for more flavour. 

Ingredients :

  1. Rice - 1/2 cup
  2. Urad dal - 2 tbsp
  3. Roasted gram dal (Pottukadalai) - 2 tbsp
  4. Almonds (without skin) - 3 nos
For porridge :
  1. Formula / Breast milk
  2. Water
Method :

1.   Dry roast all the ingredients separately.  Allow it to cool.

2.   Grind them to fine powder and sieve it.  Store it in air tight container.

3.   Cook a tbsp of this mixture with water first.  Before serving add milk.  

Note :

Cook the mixture without any lumps.  

November 5, 2015

Crispy Stir Fried Okra


Stir fried okra is a tasty, crispy & perfect side dish for rice.  Rice flour makes it crispy & other seasonings brings more flavour to the dish.  Easy to make and taste just awesome with  plain dal rice, curd rice & rotis.  

Ingredients :

  1. Okra (Ladies finger) - 500 gas
  2. Oil - 3 tbsp
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Urad dal - 1 tsp
  5. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Chilly powder - 1 tbsp ( to spice level)
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Rice flour - 2 tbsp
  9. Curry leaves - 1 tbsp
  10. Cumin powder - 1 tsp (optional)

Method :

1.   Wash and dry the okra.  Cut the okra lengthwise and slit them crosswise.  

2.   Sprinkle turmeric powder, chilly powder, rice flour, salt to taste & cumin powder (optional) in the okra.  Toss them well.

3.   Heat oil in the pan, add mustard seeds, urad dal & curry leaves.  Add okra & stir fry them till crispy.


Serve them with rice.

November 3, 2015

Sweet diamond cuts | Maida biscuits


Diamond cuts is a sweet & crispy fried Indian cookie.  This is one among the addictive snack, worth to fill up one huge box and carry it every where you move around.  Diamond cuts are very easy to make and is very tasty.  For healthier version, substitute 1/2 cup of maida with wheat flour.  You will definitely love it :)

Ingredients :

  1. All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup
  2. Sugar, powdered - 1/4 cup plus for 2 tbsp for dusting
  3. Oil - 1 tbsp plus for frying
  4. A pinch of salt
  5. A pinch of baking soda (optional)
  6. Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Water for kneading

Method :

1.   Mix together flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, salt, baking soda, cardamom powder, 1 tbsp hot oil and enough water.  Knead the dough till smooth and set aside for 10 mins.

2.   Roll the dough to thin circle by dusting flour when required.  Now cut the rolled dough using knife both horizontally & vertically to form small diamonds.  Separate them and keep aside.

3.   Heat oil in the deep frying pan, drop the small diamond cuts and fry them till golden brown & crispy.

4.   Sprinkle & toss the diamond cuts with the powdered sugar.  Store it in airtight container.

Happy munching :)
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