May 30, 2016

Skillet Tortilla Pizza !!!


Tortillas are so versatile!  There are so many ways we can use them.  We love pizza... and for those days when we need something super quick, these tortilla pizzas will work perfectly.  These tortilla pizzas make it easy to customise our own pizza quickly with different toppings.  Quick & easy to pack for lunch too !!!!


Ingredients :

  1. Tortilla wraps
  2. Mozzarella cheese
  3. Parmesan cheese, optional
  4. Tomato sauce
  5. Tomato slices (optional)
  6. Italian seasoning
For Tomato Sauce :
  1. Tomato puree - 1/2 cup
  2. Tomato ketchup - 1 tbsp
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Garlic - 2 pods, finely chopped
  5. Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Onion - 1/2 no, finely chopped
  7. Capsicum - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
  8. Dried Oregano 
  9. Dried Basil
  10. Red chilly flakes
  11. Oil - 1 tsp

Method :

For tomato sauce :

1.  Heat oil in the pan, add finely chopped garlic, onion and capsicum.  Saute.

2.  Add tomato puree, salt, pepper powder, dried oregano, basil, red chilly flakes and tomato ketchup.  Cover and cook till done.



3.   Heat a skillet or griddle on medium heat.  Cook the tortilla wrap on one side.

4.   Remove it from the pan and spread the tomato sauce over the cooked side.  Arrange some tomato slices and sprinkle some Italian seasoning, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

4.   Place the tortilla wrap back in the skillet over low heat.  Cover and cook the pizza for few mins or until the cheese melts completely.  Remove & cut them.


Serve immediately.

May 27, 2016

Funnel Cake !!!!


We love Funnel cakes around here. Light and fluffy, this gets dusted with powdered sugar and served hot for a fun and tasty treat.   This easy, homemade funnel cakes brings that State Fair food you love home to your own kitchen.  Funnel cakes make a great base for everything from fruit to ice cream. 


Ingredients :

  1. Egg – 1
  2. Milk – 1 cup
  3. All Purpose Flour  – 1 cup
  4. Baking Powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Salt – 1/2 tsp
  6. Vanilla Essence – 1/2 tsp
  7. Sugar – 1 tbsp
  8. Oil, for deep flying
  9. Powdered Sugar for garnish


Method :
1.   Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add sugar & mix well. Keep aside.
2.   In another bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla essence.
3.   Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients without any lumps.  Batter should be thin, so add more milk if required.
4.   Meanwhile heat oil over medium heat, fill the funnel with the batter closing the tip with the finger.
5.   Bring the funnel near the oil and release  your finger to start a stream of batter while moving the funnel in the circular motion.  Fry them on either sides till done or golden brown   in color.
6.   Sprinkle some powdered sugar and serve them with dollop of ice-cream.
Enjoy !!! 

May 25, 2016

Homemade Tomato Puree & How to Preserve them !!!!


Tomato puree is one of the most important ingredient in my kitchen.  This is used as a base for most of the dishes like gravies, salsa, kuruma & even for pizza sauce. Making tomato puree is something easy to do and will make your tomato dishes taste so much better. 


Ingredients :

  1. Tomatoes - 1 kg
  2. Water
  3. Vinegar - 1/2 cup
  4. Sugar - 1/2 cup
  5. Salt - 3/4 tbsp

Method :

1.   Wash and remove the stem side of tomatoes.  Make a cross cut at the bottom of each tomatoes.
  
2.   Boil the water and drop all the tomatoes.  Cook over medium heat for 5 mins or until the skin starts to split.

3.   Remove the tomatoes from the hot water & drop them in ice cold water for 5 mins.  

4.   Peel of the skin and cut the tomatoes into half.(Discard the seeds which is optional)

5.   Puree them in a blender to smooth paste.  Transfer the puree along with the vinegar, sugar and salt to the pot and cook them over medium heat till you get the desired consistency.

6.   Allow them to cool and store them in air-tight container.


Tips :

1.  Refrigerate the tomato puree which stays good for atleast two weeks.  

2.   Freeze the remaining tomato puree for longer use.


May 23, 2016

Cake Rusk


Homemade cake rusk is one of my favourite tea time snack.  Cake rusk are mildly sweet and crunchy that complement excellently with tea or coffee.  Cake rusks are great for dunking.  Store rusks in an airtight container.


Ingredients :

  1. All purpose flour - 1 cup
  2. Baking powder - 1 tsp
  3. Pinch of salt 
  4. Butter - 1/2 cup, at room temperature
  5. Eggs - 3 nos
  6. Sugar - 3/4 cup
  7. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
  8. Few drops of yellow color

Method :

1.   Preheat the oven at 180 C.  Grease and line up the baking pan with the parchment paper.

2.   Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Keep aside.

3.   Beat butter with sugar until fluffy and pale in color.  Add the color and mix well.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4.   Then add in the flour mixture and vanilla essence.  Pour the batter in the prepared pan and bake them for 15 - 20 mins or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.



5.   Let the cake cool down completely.  Using a sharp knife, cut it down the middle, then into thin strips. 

6.   Turn the cake out and let it cool. Then, using a sharp knife, cut it down the middle, then into thin strips.

7.   Place the strips on a baking sheet and bake at 150 C for 15  mins.  Turn them over and bake the other side for another 15 mins or until they are golden brown and crisp on all sides.


Store it an airtight container.

May 20, 2016

Asparagus Peas Pulao !!!


Asparagus peas pulao is a easy pulao recipe which is very aromatic and flavourful.  This can be made with fresh peas or frozen peas.  Asparagus along with garlic take this pulao to the next level.  Try this & you will like it :)


Ingredients :

  1. Basmati rice - 2 cups
  2. Asparagus - 1 lb
  3. Green peas - 1/2 cup
  4. Oil / Ghee - 1 tbsp
  5. Onion - 1 no, sliced
  6. Garlic, finely chopped - 1 tbsp
  7. Cinnamon stick - 1 no
  8. Cloves - 3 no
  9. Cardamom, green - 2 no
  10. Bay leaf - 1 no
  11. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Green chillies - 3 no (to spice)
  14. Coconut milk - 1 cup
  15. Water - 1 cup
  16. Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  17. Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :

1.   Clean and cut the asparagus. Keep aside.  Soak the basmati  rice in the water for half an hour.  

2.   Heat oil / Ghee in the heavy bottomed pan, add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, bayleaf and cumin seeds.  Add sliced onions and saute.

3.   Add finely chopped garlic, green chillies and saute.

4.   Add asparagus and green peas.  Saute.  

5.   Add coconut milk, water, lemon juice and salt to taste.  Cover and cook till rice is done.  Garnish it with coriander leaves.


Serve with raita.


May 18, 2016

How to Clean Mushrooms !!


Many types of mushrooms actually grow in trees, not in dirt and thus are brought to market relatively clean.  However, it is always best to give all mushrooms a good wash before using them.

Few people say we should never wash mushrooms as they act like little sponges and absorb too much water.  However, as long as we do not soak the mushrooms, cleaning them with water and then wiping them is faster and more efficient than wiping each one individually.  


STEP 1 :

Fill a large bowl with cold water.  

STEP 2 :

Add a handful of flour and swish around the water with your hand.

STEP 3 :

Drunk the whole mushrooms into the water and quickly swirl them around.  Immediately lift out the mushrooms and put them onto a kitchen towel to dry gently and thoroughly.


Tips :
Leave the stems on, as they prevent the mushrooms from soaking up too much water. 

May 16, 2016

Chicken Salna !!!!

image_841

Chicken Salna is the best side dish for chicken biryani and Indian breads.  This is one of the most popular dish served in the street stalls and along the highways in Tamil nadu.  Chicken Salna is used as a base for making kothu paratha and it is the match made for each other and I always like to have it when I visit my hometown.

image_847

Ingredients :
  1. Chicken - 1 kg, cut into pieces, washed & drained
  2. Onion - 2 large, finely chopped
  3. Tomato - 1 large, chopped
  4. Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  5. Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
  6. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Curry leaves
  8. Oil - 2 tbsp
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Green chillies - 1 no
  11. Fresh coconut - 1/4 cup, grated
  12. Cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
  13. Coriander leaves for garnishing
image_842

For Dry roast :
  1. Cloves - 3 nos
  2. Cinnamon stick - 1/2"
  3. Cardamom - 1 no
  4. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  5. Poppy seeds - 1/2 tsp
  6. Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
  7. Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Dry roast and grind them to fine powder.

image_846

Method :

1.   Grind together coconut, green chillies and cashew nuts to smooth paste.  

2.   Heat oil in the pan, add finely chopped onions.  Saute till tender.

3.   Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, curry leaves and salt to taste.  Saute.

4.   Add chicken and cook over high flame for 3 mins.  Add tomato, coconut paste and spice powder.  Cover and cook till done.  Add water to adjust the consistency.

5.   Garnish it with coriander leaves.

image_844

Serve it with parotta, biryani, pulao, chapati, appam, dosa or naan. 

May 13, 2016

Movie theatre chocolate chiffon cake - It's Butterfree !!!


Everyone deserves a homemade cake on their birthday.  Nothing feels quite as special as a big, over the top cream & sugar topped with delicious fondant and crowned with a ring of candles.

Birthday calls for decadence and it doesn't  get much more decadent than a rich chocolate chiffon cake and that too it's butter.  YES,  IT'S BUTTERFREE !!!!


Ingredients :

  1. Eggs - 2 nos 
  2. Egg white - 1 large
  3. Granulated sugar - 1 cup
  4. Flour - 2/3 cup
  5. Unsweetened cocoa power - 1/3 cup
  6. Baking powder -  1 1/4 tsp
  7. Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  8. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  9. Oil - 1/2 cup
  10. Water or coffee - 1/3 cup
  11. Vanilla extract - 1 1/2 tsp
  12.  Cream of tartar - 1/4 tsp 
  13. Whipped cream (for frosting )
  14. Fondant, for decoration

Method :

1.   Preheat the oven at 180 C.  Grease and line up the baking pan with parchment paper.

2.   Sieve together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep aside.

3.   Separate the egg yolks from whites & whisk the egg whites (from 4 eggs).  Gradually beat in the 1/3 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks.  Keep aside.


4.   In the bowl of your electric mixer, whisk together egg yolks and the remaining sugar till creamy & smooth.

5.   Meanwhile combine together oil, water/coffee and vanilla extract.  Add them to the egg mixture followed by flour mixture.  Beat until well combined.


6.   Gently fold the egg whites into the batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake it for 35 mins or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow them to cool completely.

7.   Frost the cake with whipped cream frosting and cover them with fondant.  Refrigerate it.


Happy baking :)

May 11, 2016

How to clean Asparagus ?



It doesn't quite feel like spring is officially here until asparagus has been spotted, does it?  We saw several bunches for sale this past week and are looking forward to eating as much asparagus as we can until its brief season is over. If you're new to this vegetable, here are the best ways to clean them!

Anyway, cleaning asparagus is a quite quick and easy.... So, let's see how to do that !!!

STEP 1 :

Rinse the asparagus in the fresh running water & pat the spears dry with paper towels to get off any excess moisture. 

STEP 2:

Cut the tougher base from the stalk (Snap off the woody ends)


STEP 3 :

Once cut, you may opt to peel or not peel the bottom  of the stalk.  Thin stalk have a thin peel and do not require peeling but thicker stalks may benefit from peeling with a vegetable peeler.


STEP 4 :

Cut them to desired size or cook them just like that !!!


May 9, 2016

Drink Lemon Honey water in the morning - Natural Remedy !!!


A lemon can pack a powerful punch with some amazing benefits. It balances PH, keeps your skin clear and glowing, it kick starts your digestive system, helps with weight loss, and helps to control your coffee habit. Lemon is also a natural energizer, it hydrates, it detoxifies, and it oxygenates the body so it feels revitalized and refreshed!


 Why you need to take a sip of lemon water soon and often ?
  1. It’s good for your stomach 
  2. Superb for Skin Care
  3. Aids in Dental Care
  4. Cures Throat Infections
  5. Excellent for Weight Loss
  6. Controls High Blood Pressure
  7. Assist in curing Respiratory Disorders
  8. Good for treating Rheumatism
  9. Reduces Fever
  10. Acts as a blood purifier


Wondering What The Right Lemon Water Recipe Is? 
Ingredients :
  1. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  2. Luke warm water - 1 glass
  3. Honey, to taste
Method :

First thing in the morning, add the juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon) to 8 ounces of lukewarm to hot water. Feel free to mix in a little honey, if you’d like. Drinking lemon water once a day is fine, but you can drink it twice a day as well, or add lemon slices to tea or water throughout the day.
Enjoy!

May 7, 2016

Paal Ice | Milk Ice | Milk Popsicle


Paal ice is one of my favourite childhood popsicle and was in my to try list since last year.  Last weekend made these popsicles for dessert and we all enjoyed it.  This popsicles is very creamy and perfect treat for kids.


Ingredients :
  1. Full fat milk - 2 cups plus 1/4 cup
  2. Cornflour - 1 tbsp
  3. Sugar - 1/4 cup
  4. Milk powder - 2 tbsp
  5. Cardamom (crushed with skin) / Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp

Method :

1.   In a heavy bottomed pan, bring 2 cups of milk to boil.  Add sugar & cardamom powder and keep stirring till it reduces to 1 1/2 cups.

2.   Meanwhile, mix together 1/4 cups of milk, milk powder & cornflour without any lumps. 

3.   Pour the cornflour mixture into the boiling milk and keep stirring till the milk mixture become little thick.  Switch off the flame and allow them to cool completely.



4.   Pour the cooled milk mixture into the popsicle moulds and freeze them overnight.

5.   Before serving, dip the mould in hot water for few seconds & gently remove the popsicle from the mould.


Enjoy :)
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