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August 30, 2016

Homemade Cardamom Powder !!!

Cardamom powder is one of the most important & basic ingredients in my kitchen.  Most supermarkets sell cardamom powder but it is very easy to make our own freshly grounded cardamom powder which can be used in baking, tea, sweets & savoury dishes.  

Ingredients :

  1. Green cardamom - 1/2 cup
  2. Granulated sugar - 2 tsp (optional)

Method :

1.   Dry roast the cardamom powder for few mins (or sun dry the cardamom for one hour)

2.   Mix sugar and grind them to fine powder.

Note :

We use sugar to get fine powder.  I don't use sugar, so I get coarse cardamom powder.  This can be used for both sweet & savoury preparation.

Store it in air tight container.

August 29, 2016

Egg Fried Rice !!!

Egg fried rice is one of my comfort and favourite weekday lunch menu.  Serve this with Chinese styled vegetable / chicken curry.  I make it very simple without much vegetables but if needed we can add peas, corn, carrot or beans for different flavours.  Cook the basmati rice and allow them to cool completely before adding other spices & egg for this preparation.  Perfect & easy lunch box menu !!!

Ingredients :

  1. Basmati Rice - 1 cup
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Oil - 1 tbsp
  4. Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
  5. Sesame oil - 2 tsp
  6. Onion - 1 no,sliced 
  7. Garlic - 1 tsp, chopped
  8. Ginger , finely chopped - 1/2 tsp
  9. Capsicum - 1 no, finely chopped
  10. Spring onion- 1 bunch, chopped
  11. Pepper powder - 1 tsp
  12. Egg - 3 nos

Method :

1.   Cook the basmati rice with little bit of salt, 1 tbsp of oil and lemon juice to correct consistency. Allow it to cool completely.

2.   Heat sesame oil in the pan, add chopped garlic, ginger and finely sliced onions.  Saute till tender.

3.   Add chopped capsicum, spring onions (preserve little for garnishing), pepper powder and salt to taste.

4.  Meanwhile, in a separate pan  cook and scramble the egg with salt and pepper powder till done.

5.   Now gradually add the cooked rice to the onion mixture and saute.

6.   Finally, add the scrambled egg to the rice and cook for few mins over low flame.

Serve warm.

August 26, 2016

Kara Boondi !!!

Kara boondi are great savoury treat and can be had as such or can be added to a variety of things like in raitas, chaats and as a part of other mixtures.  This is made using chickpea and rice flour along with other seasonings is poured through a special perforated laddle into hot oil to make this boondis.  Taste simple crunchy and delicious.

Ingredients :

  1. Gram flour (Besan) - 1 cup
  2. Rice flour - 3 tbsp
  3. Salt to taste
  4. A pinch of baking soda
  5. Red chilly powder - 2 tsp (1 tsp for less spice)
  6. Hing
  7. Curry leaves
  8. Cashew nuts - 10 nos
  9. Peanuts - 2 tbsp
  10. Garlic - 3 Pods
  11. Oil for deep frying

Method :

1.   Sieve and mix together gram flour and rice flour.  Add salt to taste, baking soda, red chilly powder and hing.  Gradually add water to make thick batter yet pour consistency ( like dosa  / pancake batter).

2.   Meanwhile heat oil in the deep frying pan.  Place the boondi maker over the hot oil and pour a ladle of batter to the boondi maker.

3.   You can see the batter dripping into the oil and fry them till done or oil stop sizzling around the boondi.

4.   Remove and strain the excess oil on a paper towel.

5.   Roast the cashew nuts, peanuts, garlic and curry leaves and add them to the boondi.  Mix well.

Store them in an air tight container.

August 22, 2016

Homemade Dabeli Masala Powder !!!

Dabeli is the most popular Gujarati street food.  Dabeli masala powder is mixed and cooked with potatoes along with sweet chutney.  And this is my version of making dabeli masala powder which taste really homely......

Ingredients :

  1. Red chillies - 3 nos
  2. Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
  3. Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
  4. Cinnamon - 1 stick
  5. Cloves - 2 nos
  6. Cumin - 1 tsp
  7. Black peppercorns - 1/2 tsp
  8. Sugar - 1 tsp
  9. Black cardamom - 1 no 

Method :

1.   Dry roast all the ingredients except sugar and grind them to fine powder.

2.   Mix sugar to the grounded powder.

Store it in air tight container.

August 19, 2016

Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs with Parsley !!!

I always purchased the big tub of Italian style breadcrumbs for making cutlets, fried chicken and for other fritters.  Just make your own with very few ingredients.  Take left-over bread, cut it into cubes and blend it up with the seasonings that you desire.  Start making a batch of these now ....... and these will be my main ingredient for stuffed Artichokes. 

Ingredients :
  1. Fresh Breadcrumbs - 2 cups
  2. Fresh garlic, minced - 2 cloves (or Garlic powder)
  3. Freshly chopped Parsley - 3 tbsp
  4. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese - 4 tbsp (optional)
  5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 4 tbsp
  6. Salt to taste

 Method :

1.   Toast the breadcrumbs in  a dry skillet for few mins or until they dry out a bit with little color.

2.   In a bowl, mix together the toasted bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, cheese, salt and olive oil. 

Use immediately or freeze it.

August 17, 2016

Chettinad Spice Paste

Chettinad is a region in Tamil Nadu widely known for his delicious cuisine.  This is the basic spice paste mix used in chettinad recipes.  It's hot and spicy, which are extremely delicious when cooked with vegetables / Chicken / Mutton.  All the spices are first dry roasted and then ground to paste.  This can be stored in air tight container for 2 - 3 days or freeze them for longer use. 

Ingredients :
  1. Coconut, grated - 1/4 cup
  2. Cinnamon - 1 stick
  3. Red chillies - 3 nos
  4. Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
  5. Ginger - 1 inch
  6. Garlic - 4 pods
  7. Cardamom - 2 nos
  8. Curry leaves - 2 tbsp
  9. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  10. Star anise - 1 no
  11. Kalpasi 
  12. Cloves - 2 nos
  13. Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
  14. Oil - 1 tsp
Roast the ingredients and grind them to smooth paste using little water.

August 15, 2016

Semiya Kesari | Vermicelli Kesari

This a simple sweet for any special day / occasion.  Vermicelli needs to be cooked completely before adding sugar, else you will get rubbery consistency.  Good change from regular rava kesari.  

Ingredients :
  1. Semiya (Vermicelli) - 1/2 cup
  2. Water - 1 cup
  3. Sugar - 1/4 cup
  4. Orange food colouring - few drops
  5. Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
  7. Ghee - 3 tbsp

Method :

1.   Heat ghee in the non-stick pan, roast the broken cashew nuts.  Remove & keep aside.

2.   Boil the water in a pan.  

3.   In the same ghee, roast the vermicelli, orange color and slowly add the boiling water.  Cover and cook over low-medium flame till done.

4.   Add sugar and keep stirring till done.

5.   Finally, add cardamom powder and roasted cashew nuts.

Serve warm.

August 10, 2016

Drumstick Leaves Rice Podi ( Murungai Ellai Podi)

Nothing can beat the homemade drumstick leaves podi.  I usually stock these powder at home which taste great with hot steamed rice and a drop of ghee.  This will be handy when I feel lazy to cook.   Drumstick leaves are very good source of Iron, calcium, vitamins which is essential for healthy bones  for growing kids and for new moms.  

Ingredients :
  1. Drumstick leaves - 2 cups
  2. Channa dal - 3 tbsp
  3. Ural dal - 2 tbsp
  4. Ground nuts - 2 tbsp (or Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp or coriander seeds - 1 tbsp)
  5. Dry coconut powder - 1 tbsp
  6. Hing - 1 tsp
  7. Tamarind - small lemon size
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Garlic - 2 cloves
  10. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  11. Dry red chillies - 10 nos
  12. Ghee - 2 tsp    
Method :

1.   Clean, wash and dry the drumstick leaves over paper towels for an hour.

2.   Dry roast the drumstick leaves till crispy.

3.   Heat ghee in the pan, roast channa dal, urad dal, ground nuts, tamarind, garlic, cumin seeds, red chillies and allow them to cool completely.

4.  Grind them to coarse or fine powder along with the drumstick leaves, salt and hing.

5.  Store it in air tight container.

Serve it with rice &  ghee. 

August 9, 2016

French toast !!!

I grew up loving this version of French Toast.  It is really light and airy bread that soaks up the egg mixture creating a custard like French Toast.  It's super easy to make and all you need is bread, milk, eggs, sugar and there's a secret ingredient that will make this the best French toast recipe..... Pepper Powder.  We can serve it with syrup / fresh fruits / Tomato ketchup. 

Ingredients :

  1. Brioche / Sweet bread - 3 slices
  2. Egg - 1 no
  3. Sugar - 2 tsp (as per your taste)
  4. Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
  5. Milk - 1 tbsp

Method :

1.   Beat the egg and add sugar, pepper powder and milk.  Mix well.

2.   Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Place each slice of bread in the mixture.  Turn the bread over and coat both sides well.

3.   Cook egg coated bread until golden, turn over to cook the other side.

Serve warm.


August 4, 2016

Eggless Marble cake

Sponge marble cake is best anytime with tea.  It taste and looks absolutely amazing with vanilla & chocolate swirls.  We can use the same batter for make cupcakes.  Taste great with buttercream frosting or simple chocolate frosting.

Ingredients :

  1. All purpose flour - 1 1/4 cups
  2. Baking powder - 2 tsp
  3. Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  4. Milk powder or condensed milk - 3 tbsp
  5. Cocoa powder - 2 tbsp
  6. Hot water - 2 tbsp
  7. Butter - 1/2 cup
  8. Powdered sugar - 1 cup
  9. Milk - 3/4 cup
  10. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp

 Method :

1.   Preheat the oven to 180 C.  Grease & line up the baking pan with parchment paper.

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

3.   Mix together cocoa powder and hot water without any lumps.  Cool down to room temperature.

4.   Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the flour mixture alternating with milk.  Beat to a smooth batter.

5.   Divide the cake batter and mix cocoa mixture in one half.  Add vanilla essence to other half.

6.   Pour the vanilla mixture and cocoa mixture alternatively in the prepared baking pan.  Swirl the batter using fork to get marble effect.

7.   Bake it for 45 mins or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow it to cool completely before slicing.

Happy baking :)

August 2, 2016

Achappam / Eggless Rosette Cookies

Rosette cookies are made with flour, rice flour, coconut milk and sugar.  These ingredients are combined together and then deep fried using iron mould.  The iron mould is heated to a very high temperature in oil then dipped into the batter and deep fried till the achappam is separated from the mould.  Little tricky to do but taste delicious !!!

Ingredients :

  1. All purpose flour - 1 cup
  2. Rice flour -  1 3/4 cups
  3. Sugar - 3/4 cup
  4. Salt - 1/4 tsp
  5. Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Carom seeds or Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
  7. Coconut milk - 1 cup
  8. Water, as desired
  9. Oil for frying

Method :

1.  Mix together the rice flour, maida, baking powder,salt, sugar, coconut milk & carom seeds.  Batter should resemble to dosa or pancake batter.  Add water if required, depending upon the batter consistency.

2.   Heat oil in the heavy bottomed pan & put the mould in the oil while heating.  Now dip the hot mould in the batter & fry it in the oil.

3.   Achappam begins to leave from the mould once it starts cooking (use skewer to detach the achappam, if required).  Cook until its crisp & slightly brown in color.

Store it in the air tight container.
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