February 29, 2012

Milk Bundt Cake ~ My 150th Post

Let me warn you. This is going to be a ridiculously verbose post. You may even need a tissue or two. So gear up and read on...

There are some things that become a habit. And these habits become a way of life eventually. My blog is one such habit which has now become a way of life for me. When i began writing this blog, little did i know that i d be supported by all those wonderful wonderful people out there who cook and eat just like me. Ok maybe they are a lil unlike but what matters is that we are all foodies. I was never a big foodie. I was a very picky eater who always thought twice before i began eating my greens. I really did not know what my mom went through everytime i made unrealistic demands out of her culinary expertise. But the mother she is, she readily agreed and gave in. Only when i began cooking, i realised that to make food in any form, may it be a 3 course meal or peanut butter jelly sandwich, requires a modicum of patience, lots of love towards the person who is going to eat and some amount of creativity. Above everything, we all require a lil pat on the back when you bake that first cake or manage to make crispy brown dosas or when you proof your yeast right the first time.This blog has been that pat on the back for me. And its 150 posts that i ve written till date. I am going to bore you all for the next 3 mins but hang on and do read. I must thank a few souls who have made this happen so far. Mr. P my husband for enduring my food blogger tantrums on an everyday basis, My mom- the official PR of Tomato Blues and a few friends of Mr. P and myself. Thank you all aplenty. And then, my biggest thanks goes out to my beautiful readers and food blogger friends out here who take their time out to read all the stuff and nonsense that i write here. Thank you all for enduring my rants and raves on everything from my nose to my weekend blues and for believing in my recipes. This bundt cake is for you all for the patience and faith that you have displayed in me.


Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Makes one nice big bundt cake say about 12 inches. 


If someone asked me what s your favourite cake mould. Snap will come the answer, " bundt mould" There is something so beautiful about making a cake in a bundt mould. I think the mould lends some exoticism to the cake. I dont mind baking anything in a bundt mould. The batter here filled in a small pie crust mould and a bundt mould for me. ( Do you care as long as the cake is yummy??) Feel free to use any mould of your choice. I baked this for 35 mins once and the second time i did 40. In my opinion, 35 works just fine in an OTG. But if using a microwave convection, then try 40. I did the whole thing on electric mixer. If you are going to do it by hand it will take you a lil longer. Creaming the sugar and eggs takes about 5 to 6 mins by hand and combining the flour mixture and the eggs mixture takes about 5 to 6 mins again.You can omit the fruits and bake this into a plain cake as well.






What you need?

All Purpose Flour 1.5 cups
Eggs 3
Castor sugar or powdered sugar 1 cup
Salt a pinch
Butter softened at room temperature 130g or 12 tbsp and a lil more
Baking powder 1 tsp
Milk 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp
Cranberries dried 1/4 cup
Currants and raisins 1/4 cup
Flour for dusting


How to make it?



Grease your cake mould and keep aside.
Preheat your oven to 180 c.
In a large mixing bowl, place all the dry ingredients except the sugar and sieve well to combine.
In another bowl, cream the sugar, butter and eggs till light and fluffy. Takes about 5 mins on high speed in an electric mixer.
Then, slowly start adding the flour mixture and combine using the electric mixer on high speed for about 3 mins or until well incorporated.
Dust the raisins, currants and cranberries with flour and drop into the batter.


Transfer to the greased mould and bake for 35 mins or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Off this goes to Bake Fest Hosted By Kalyani for Vardhini and Radhika S Lets Cook Sweet Somethings


February 24, 2012

Rava Dosa ~ Semolina Crepes

I  am suffering from weekend blues. Adding to  my frustration is the horrible cold and the flu that has caught me. I ve no inkling of an idea as to why i m eagerly waiting for the weekend. There are no plans. No parties. Heck not even a good movie to go to but still all i want is the weekend. And the mean cold that i ve caught is making things no better for me.Everytime i look into the mirror, all i can conclude is that i ve a very ugly nose. I dont care if you all beg to differ . You just cant placate me on this one. Let s just say i wont wish the cold even on my worst enemy anytime. Having a cold coupled with weekend blues is a very dirty thing to go through. You cant eat chocolates, truffles or pasties. Not that i binge on them but you know there is that craving  you get at the wrong moments in your life. Like wanting to have a huge chocolate bar while you know that you have cavities as deep as the mariana trench. Phew! Life can be bad if you have a cold huh... But then, something did happen that lifted my spirits in this lowly phase of my life. ( i know i know i m blowing it out of proportion but whats life without some drama. Agree??) I made rava dosa and they came out so well that i pinched myself to see if this was a dream. This particular crepe has always evaded me by turning out to be too runny or too thick or too mushy. But, voila! this time, i made it just the way i or rather we like it.. crispy and all round in shape. You make some for this sunday s brunch and tell me how it turned out :)


Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 5 mins
Yields 15 dosas


What you need?

The Batter:

Bombay Rava roasted 1/2 cup
Maida 1/4 cup
Rice Flour 1 cup
Water 3 and 1/2 cups( adjust according to consistency)
Salt to taste

The Tempering:

Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Pepper corns 2 tbsp
Broken cashews 4 tbsp
Green chilies 10 chopped finely
Cilantro leaves chopped finely a small bunch
Oil 2 tbsp

How to make it?

Prepare the batter first by placing all the ingredients for the batter except water in a large mixing bowl and combine until well incorporated.
Start making a batter by adding water slowly and stirring simultaneously ensuring that there are no lumps.
The batter must be runny.
Now, heat oil in a kadai and add all the ingredients except the cilantro for tempering. Add this tempering and the cilantro to the batter and combine well.
Let it sit for an hour.
After an hour, you can see that the water and the flours have seperated. Give it a nice mix.
Heat a tawa and pour using a large ladle by starting with the sides and finishing in the center. If you have gaps, then cover using extra batter. Drizzle oil on the sides.
Cook closed on a medium flame until there is no raw batter on the surface and it becomes golden brown.
Flip over and cook for another minute.


Serve hot with any chutney of your choice.

Note: You can add onions to the batter too.
If you feel the batter is thick, then add more water so that you can spread the batter easily.
Also, scrub a cut onion on the tawa before you begin to ensure that the dosa does not stick to the surface.




February 23, 2012

Spinach Soya Delight

I am not a Soya Afficionado. Period. I dont rummage for that can of soya beans to add into every meal that i make. No that s so not me. If you read my tips and tweaks post you will understand better. I dont make an effort to especially make healthy food. I just want the food that i make by itself to be healthy. Too much to soak up huh?? Alright, now i ll jabber a little incoherently so that you wont feel so bored. The blog is as important to me as my husband yes you heard right. Its like as though i m married to this space. So no matter how big the pile of laundry is or the fact still remains that the pantry needs to be cleaned up or for that matter i have to think on todays lunch, for me writing this post is supremely important. Nothing else matters other than editing those images ( yes i do a lil editing) and boring you all with my constant yada yada and then sharing that winner or a dunce of a recipe that i have. Having said all that i just remembered that i have a drafts folder full of emails that are to be sent. I just have to press the send button but everytime i see it it makes me think of my nose. I feel i have a very silly nose rather a plumpy beaky nose and i really think i ve to get a nose job soon. So i ve stopped sending mails. I know its got no connection but still you know ........ anyway lets get back to spinach soya delight shall we??



Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Soaking Time: Overnight
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Serves 2

What you need?

Soya beans 1/2 cup soaked overnight and pressure cooked for 4 whistles or until done
Palak or spinach 2 cups chopped finely and cleaned thoroughly
Onion 1 chopped finely
Tomatoes 2 medium chopped finely
Green chili 1 
Garlic 4 cloves
Ginger 1/2" bit
Tomato Ketchup 1and 1/2 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Hing a large pinch
Red chili powder 3/4 tsp
Coriander Cumin seeds powder 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 2 to3 tsp

How to make it?

Steam the spinach, let it cool and grind into a coarse paste with ginger, garlic and green chillies without adding water. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and hing. Once they splutter, add the onions and saute till pink
Now, add the tomatoes and saute till oil separates. Takes about 2 to 3 mins
Once the tomatoes are done, add in all the spice powders combine well and saute for about 30 secs.
Add the tomato ketchup at this stage and combine well.
Now, add the soya beans and combine gently.
Saute for about 2 to 3 mins.
Next, add the ground spinach paste and mix thoroughly.
Saute on a low flame for about 3 to 4 mins.
Add salt and mix well.


Serve hot with phulkas or layered sesame parathas

February 22, 2012

Fortified Curd Rice~ BM13 Day 7

Well it s the last day of the BM. It has been a swell of an experience and heck i managed to cook all the seven days albeit the fact that i did bore Mr. P a lil with my constant prolix accounts of who s doing what. That part of the conversation s never enjoyed or appreciated by anyone until i say the magic words, " i am going to make dash dash recipe tomorrow" and then i can see that those words almost cast a spell. Wondering why i m using so many fantasy words, well i ve been on a Harry Potter high the last few hours. I m a complete HP addict who knows her spells and curses by heart. Why, if i need to swear, dont be surprised if i say cruciatus under my breath and you hear it by mistake. It s a dog of a habit and its quite hard to overcome. I love HP and every bit of it. Period. Having said that i must tell you that JK s take on british food in Hogwarts will almost make every foodie worth her name drool. So what s the connection between HP and todays recipe? Nothing. Yes you heard me right. I just felt like talking about HP without being interrupted or boohed at and so i just went on... Well i better come back to the recipe. I am a true south indian body, flesh and soul. No changing that. Having said that, i love my yoghurt, rice and pickle. Lets just say, i cook a three course meal and everything but only yoghurt and mind you only yoghurt and nothing else can complete my meal. As a kid, i remember amma packing this for lunch for me during the beginning of summers when we used to slog it off for our finals. It does make you sleepy but who cares as long as it s good old curd rice.Most kids are simply not willing to have curd rice. See its easy to make a kid eat a sandwich why even greens but not curd rice. So its in us to make it a lil interesting for them. This recipe is a lil tweaked to fit into the accepted by kids stamp. Read on.


Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 10 mins
 Serves 2

What you need?

Cooked rice cooled and mashed well 1 cup
Fresh curds 3/4 cup
Butter 2 tsp softened and at room temperature
Milk 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

The Veggies and Fruits:

Carrot grated 1/4 cup
Pomegranate seeds 4 tbsp
Green grapes or black grapes a handful
Apple peeled and cubed 4 tbsp
Cucumber grated 3 tbsp
Raisins 2 tbsp
Cashews broken 2 tbsp

The Tempering:

Green chili or curd chili 1 ( optional)
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves a sprig
Ghee 3 tsp

The Garnish:

Grated ginger 1 tsp
Cilantro chopped finely 3 tbsp


How to make it?

In a large mixing bowl, place the rice and the curd and mix well.
In another bowl, combine the milk and butter well and add this to the rice.
Now, add all the fruits and veggies and combine well.
Add salt and mix again.
Heat a kadai with ghee and roast the cashews till light brown. Remove.
Now, saute the raisins till they just fluff up and remove.
Add all the tempering ingredients one by one beginning with mustard and add to the rice along with the cashews and raisins.
Mix well.
Garnish with coriander leaves and grated ginger.


Give it a nice mix before packing away for lunch or serving.Go on to the  Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#12

Note: You can also add mango ginger instead of the ginger. And if you find raw mangoes, do add them to the rice as they give a nice zing to the dish.

February 21, 2012

Cauliflower Peas Pulao~ BM13 Day 6

My affair with cauliflower and peas goes way back. Like when i was 10 years old. I ve been in love with both of them, the curly haired cute head and the vibrant green round lil fella. I ve always liked eating roasted cauliflower florets by the bowls and peas... no asking.They used to disappear into my mouth in the same speed in which my mom shelled them or rather my grandma shelled them. I dont remember my mom shelling peas much. But grandma yes i do. I can still visualize clucking her tongue in and out shelling peas, cleaning greens and sorting curry leaves in that tiny kitchen of hers. Fond memories which always make me nostalgic.I used to sit next to her and as she admonished me fondly, pop those peas and sometimes peanuts too.. haa.. those were rare treats but yes i loved doing all that... and my affair with the florets and the green fellas has only been growing. All this literally translates to only one thing, Give me something which has cauliflower and peas and you wont hear a single word from me until i lick the plate clean. That s precisely what happened to this pulao that i made as a part of the BM13. Its day 6 and zoom comes my pulao for today.


Prep Time: Under 30 mins
Cook Time: Under 30 mins
 Serves 2


What You Need?

Veggies:

Cauliflower florets 1 cup
Shelled green peas 1/2 cup
Onions 1 sliced lengthwise thinly
Tomatoes 2 chopped very finely

The Spice Paste:

Shallots or pearl onions 6 to 7 or 1 large onion
Green chili 1
Ginger 1/2" piece
Garlic cloves 4
Oil 1/2 tsp

The Rice:

Basmati rice or any long grained rice 1 cup soaked in water for 10 mins
Cloves 3
Cinnamon 1" bit
Bay Leaf 1
Fresh Curd 1 cup whisked well
Water 1 cup
Ghee 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Spice Powders:

Garam masala 1 tsp

The Garnish:

Cilantro leaves 3 tbsp chopped finely

How to make it:

Soak the rice in some water for 10 mins, drain and saute in 1/2 tsp of oil in a kadai. Keep aside.
Boil water in a large vessel with some salt. Once the water starts bubbling, add the cauliflower and the peas,turn off the stove and keep closed for 10 mins.
Now, heat the same kadai used to saute the rice and saute the pearl onions and green chili. Let it cool and grind it to a smooth paste along with ginger and garlic without adding any water. Set aside.
The cauliflower must be done by now. Strain using a colander and keep ready/
Heat a pressure cooker with some ghee. Add the cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon and saute for 30 secs.
Now, add the onions and saute till pink.
Next add the ground spice paste and saute on low flame for about 30 to 40 secs.
Add the tomatoes next and saute till they are mushy and oil separates.
Now, add the garam masala and combine well.
Add the cauliflower and peas and combine.
Now, mix the curd with 1 cup water and add to the mixture.
Gently mix and add the rice and salt to this.
Mix again, close and pressure cook for 1 whistle on low flame or alternatively, cook on stove top until done or cook in an electric rice cooker.


Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with any raitha.
See what the other bloggers are doing on this page:  Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#12

Note: You can also use any short grained variety rice for this recipe

February 20, 2012

Spring Onion Peas Rice BM13 Day 5

Its day 5 of the BM13.Remember, i was talking so fondly about suma aunty s recipes in my other post. Well this is just one of her recipes but i tweaked it a little. Nevertheless, the flavors were just like the way i prefer. Mellow and yet lovely. This one is a quickie on the stove and the only thing you need to remember is to buy chives or spring onions.


Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
 Serves 2


What you need?

Spring onions a small bunch chopped finely
Shallots or pearl onions 10 to 12 peeled and chopped
Green peas 1/4 cup
Cooked rice 1 cup
Lemon juice 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Vaangi bath powder or sambhar powder 1.5 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad dal 1tsp
Dry red chili 1 torn
Curry leaves a sprig
Salt to taste

For Garnish

Cashews roasted in ghee 2 tbsp

How to make it?

Heat a pan with the oil and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add the urad dal and dry red chili. Add curry leaves next.
Now, add the shallots and the spring onions and saute till the onions turn a light brown.
Add the turmeric powder and the spice powders. Saute for another 2 mins.
Next add the salt and rice to this mixture and combine well.
Let it cool down a bit.
Then add the lemon juice and mix well.


Garnish with cashews and serve hot with appalams or any raitha. Even stir fries go great with this rice if you are packing it for lunch. See what the other marathoners are cooking up by clicking Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#12.


Note: If you dont have shallots, feel free to use regular onions. Either ways, it tastes great!!

February 19, 2012

Roasted Potato Chutney Rice BM13 Day 4

Mmmmm... its a lazy sunday and its day 4 of the BM13. Let me be very honest with you. I ve no intentions to enter the kitchen in even the farthest future today. I have been bitten by that lousy bug called lazy and i need not tell you how much that bite can effect you. Well its bitten me now and no i dint make this today. I made it for lunch yesterday with some yummy bread raitha. Mr.P who detests any kind of lunch box or picnic recipes, gobbled it up in the first shot and then had a second helping too. And then my students came along, nibbled a bit and then oohed and aahed over my rice. By then , i was sure that i had a top dog recipe with me. So that s what is for Day 4 BM13.



 Prep Time: Under 20 mins
 Cook Time: Under 30 mins
 Serves 2

What you need?

For the gravy mixture:

Onion 1
Tomatoes 2
Green chillies 1 to 2 depending on the heat you like

The Spice Powders:

Turmeric powder 1/2tsp
Garam Masala Powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander Cumin powder 1/2 tsp

For The Rice:

Cooked Rice 1 cup cooled and grains separated.
Baby Potatoes 150 g or 10 no.s boiled, peeled and halved.
Fresh curd 1 tbsp
Ghee 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For The Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Dry long red chilli
Oil 2 tbsp

For The Garnish:

Cilantro leaves chopped finely 2 tbsp
Mint leaves 2 to 3

How to make it?

Preheat the oven to 180 deg. Line a baking tray with foil, spray with oil and place the potatoes on it. Roast for 20 mins until they are light brown.
In the meanwhile, grind together tomatoes, onion and green chilli to a fine paste without adding water.
Heat a pan with oil. Add all the ingredients for tempering starting with mustard seeds.
Now, add the ground paste and saute well. Fry till the oil separates from the gravy. Takes about 5 to 7 mins.
Now, add the spice powders and combine well. Add the curd and mix well and cook on low flame for 30 secs. Keep aside.
Once the potatoes are done, add them to the gravy and saute for a min on low flame.
Add the rice, salt and ghee to the potato mixture and combine well.
Garnish with cilantro leaves and mint leaves.


Serve hot with any raitha or pack it away with some flavourful gobi potato curry.

Note: Instead of roasting the potatoes in the oven, you can also deep fry it. I just stuck to the healthier version.
You can boil the potatoes previous night and store in the fridge.
I added the curd which gave me a nice creamy texture to the rice. You can also add cheese to this rice. Say about 2 tbsp grated for 1 cup of rice and the kids will surely love it.
You have to plan a lil for this recipe but believe me its truly worth all that planning. Have a look at the other marathoners by clicking here.
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#12
If you want to know more on the marathon, then join us here

February 18, 2012

Mint Coriander Rice BM13 Day 3

My..my this is truly a marathon. I can say it has sort of converted me from lazy to a lil active. Come morning, i start raking my brains to think of all those lunch box recipes that a dear friends mom used to make for us during our college days. The ideas that came from her always left us a little stumped. Lets just say, she s a woman who will make you eat anything and you will even forget that you dislike that particular vegetable after eating her incredibly delicious rice recipes. There are a few i remember every time or at a time when i m doing something totally unconnected with food like say, teaching grammar to my students. Those are vangi bath, spring onion rice, carrot rice and her simply relish bisi bele bath. When Valli announced the themes and i saw the rice option, i was only thinking of Suma aunty who has fed us a zillion times with her delicious dishes. That s just who i was thinking of when i made this mint coriander rice.
  

Prep Time: Under 30 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
 Serves 2

What you need?

For the Spice Paste:

Mint leaves 1/2 cup tightly packed
Cilantro a small bunch say about 1/4 cup loosely
Green chili 1
Grated fresh coconut 2 to 3 tbsp

Cooked Rice 1 and 1/2 cups cooled

For The Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Cashews broken 2 tbsp
Ghee or oil 2 to 3 tbsp
Curry leaves a sprig

How to make it?

Heat a kadai with a 1/2 tsp oil and saute the green chili, mint leaves and coriander till the leaves wilt.
Let it cool and then grind to a smooth paste along with the grated coconut. Keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsp oil and add all the ingredients for tempering. Add cashews in the last.
After the cashews brown a teeny weeny bit,  add the ground paste, rice and salt and combine well.



Serve hot with any raitha or if you are packing it off for lunch, send along some Baby Potato Fry and some chips. Your kid is sure to love it. He ll come back beaming from school. Have a look at all those other bloggers doing this marathon with me by clicking here.Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#12

P.S You can even add onions to this rice before you add the rice and fry them till they are pink and proceed as per the recipe later.

February 17, 2012

Cabbage Rice BM13 Day 2

Hola!! Its day 2 and guess what? Yesterday was thursday and Mr. P fasts. So no cooking. What did i do? Well its a long story. I was talking to my mom over the phone. Knowing if its a thursday then i dont cook nor do i eat much, promptly came the response from the other end, " Gudiya you cook something for yourself. You have to eat rice atleast once a day" Well that is the mantra i ve been hearing ever since i was 4 years old. I dont like it my mother knows it but still she insists cos she has always felt that i m terribly in need of some adipose and that comes only from rice for her. Not roti, not subzi, not dal, well.. not even pizza but only rice. Ok so i got subjected to this so old mantra of my mom and well... as she fired away at my eating habits, she did plant an idea in my head. Gudiya, make cabbage rice with ghee and cashews. My, my... there she caught me. If there s something that i cant resist it s hot rice, ghee and some salt with some paruppu podi. Weird na for a person who calls herself a food maniac. But in my opinion, there s nothing in the world to beat that heavenly combination of hot rice and ghee. So thanks to mom for planting this evil scheme in my head and i went right ahead and made it just like the way my mom wanted me to !!




Prep Time: Under 20 mins if the rice is ready
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Serves 2 to 3


What you need?

Cooked rice 1 and 1/2 cups cooled and separate.
Cabbage 3/4 cup shredded
Onion 1 chopped finely
Curry leaves a sprig
Salt to taste

For The Spice Paste:

Roasted gram 2 tbsp
Coconut grated 3 tbsp
Green chili 1 ( cos its a kid friendly dish but go ahead and increase the heat if you are making it for adults)
Cilantro chopped finely 2 tbsp
Ginger 1/2" bit



For The Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Cashews broken 2 tbsp
Ghee 2 tbsp

For the Garnish:

Cilantro chopped finely 2 tbsp

How to make it?

Grind all the ingredients for the spice paste with very little water to a smooth consistency and keep aside.
Heat a pan with the ghee. Add the ingredients for tempering one by one beginning with the mustard. Add the cashews in the end.
Once the cashews are a very light brown, add the curry leaves and the onions. Saute till the onions become pink.
At this stage, add the cabbage and saute till the raw smell of cabbage goes away and they shrivel up a little.
Now, add the ground paste and combine well. Cook till aromatic. Takes about 3 to 4 mins. Do this on a low flame as the paste sticks to the vessel quickly.
Once done, add the rice and salt and combine well. Wait until the rice heats up a little but again have an eye on the flame.

Finally, garnish with cilantro and serve with tomato ketchup. No dont make faces. You have to believe me on this one. It tastes amazing with ketchup.

P.S If you are wondering about the rose in the pic, that was given by Mr. P dearest for the Valentines.

P.P.S See the notes section on my previous post of  Red Bell Pepper Rice for some tweaks about any lunchbox recipes.

And check out what my co blog marathoners are doing here.
Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#12

February 16, 2012

Red Bell Pepper Rice BM13 Day 1

It s simply wonderful to post everyday of the week. Sundays dont count huh..... Be it just out of  passion towards cooking or be it a blogathon by Valli. It s absolute fun to cook up on one theme and post for a week. Sundays count here Phew!! Anyway i picked Healthy Lunch Box Recipes for Kids- Rice dishes for BM13. Hmmm...been thinking and planning ahead for this BM. And here s my first recipe. Red Bell Pepper Rice with cilantro raitha. Raitha recipe next week sometime and for now some of that tongue ticklish rice.


Prep Time: Under 30 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Serves 2 

What you need?

For the rice:

Cooked rice 1 and 1/2 cups
Red bell pepper 1 chopped finely
Fresh grated coconut 2 tbsp
Lemon 1
Salt to taste 

For the spice powder:

Channa dal 1 tbsp
Urad dal 1 tbsp
Dry red chilies 2 to3 depending on the heat you like
Coriander seeds 1 tbsp
Oil 1/2 tsp

For the tempering:

Oil 1 to 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves a sprig
Peanuts roasted 2 to 3 tbsp

Dry red chili 1 

How to make it?

First in a kadai roast all the ingredients under the spice powder list with a 1/2 tsp oil until the dals turn light brown and aromatic. Let it cool and grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.
Heat the same kadai and add 2 tbsp oil. First add the peanuts and roast them till they are brown. Make sure you dont overdo this cos they tend to burn quick plus do this on low flame only after the oil has heated up well. Remove the peanuts and drain on a kitchen towel.
Now in the same kadai with the same oil, add the ingredients for tempering one by one beginning with mustard seeds.
Once this is done, add the turmeric powder and bell pepper and saute till they wither lightly. Like you know they ll shrivel up nicely. 
At this stage, add the spice powder and salt and combine well.
Add rice next and mix well. Make sure that the rice is evenly mixed with the bell pepper mixture.
Add the peanuts and grated coconut and mix well.
Let it become a lil warm. And then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon and mix well.
Serve hot with any raitha of your choice or if you are packing it off for your kids lunch, send along some appalams or vadagams to enjoy with this rice.



Note: Make sure you add the lemon juice only in the end when the rice is warm. If you add in while the rice is hot, then it may turn bitter. 
You can also use yellow bell peppers and green bell peppers for this. Why, you can even try a combination of all the three for a colourful delight. You can make this whole thing in ghee and add cashews for garnish too. Dont fry the coconut. Just keep it fresh and you get an awesome dish!!
Alternatively, you can convert this whole thing in to a one pot meal by frying all the ingredients first and then adding rice along with required quantity of water and then pressure cooking for 2 to 3 whistles. Just make sure you dont add too much water because the rice grains have to be separate for this rice.
Ok i got one more note and then i m done. If you want your rice grains to be separate then, saute them for a minute before you add the water and then proceed as usual.
Phew... quite a lengthy post note huh??
If you want to know where the others are running along with me, then check out this link. 

February 14, 2012

Rajasthani Kadhoo

If i am making rotis for lunch, then rest assured i will be at sixes and sevens in the kitchen. The question of what to make alongside the roti always remains a bully of a situation. Making paneer based side dishes and mixed vegetable sides on a regular are just so not my cup of tea. I detest the sternuous soaking and grinding involved in making a makhani or butter masala. Its ok once in a while but when you are almost on a whirl wind and you want to eat something more that beans, carrots, peas and paneer, then i think one must start ferreting out for new dishes. On one such crazy rummaging for a new dish on the table, i discovered this rajasthani kadhoo. Believe me the flavours are simply wonderful and if you are a person who hates that big fat red pumpkin then you will not after you eat this.


Prep Time: Under 10 mins
Cook Time: Under 30 mins
Serves 2

What you need?

Red pumpkin 1/4 kg cut into cubes
Potato 1 large peeled and cubes
Tomato 1 chopped finely
Cloves 2 
Cinnamon 1/2"
Bay leaf 1
Cardamom 1 
Sugar 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Curd 2 tbsp
Oil or ghee 2 to 3 tbsp

Spice powders:

Chili powder 1tsp
Cumin coriander seeds powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Hing 1/4 tsp

Tempering:

Kalonji or nigella seeds 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp

Garnish:

Cilantro chopped finely 2 tbsp
Lemon wedges to serve

How to make it?

Heat a kadai with oil or ghee. Add mustard seeds, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds,cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaves and saute for 30 secs or until mustard splutters.
Add the curd and saute for about a minute.
Add the tomatoes and saute till oil leaves the sides.
Next, add all the spice powders, combine and saute for 30 secs.
Now, toss in the potatoes and pumpkins and give it a nice toss to ensure that its mixed well with the curd mixture.
Cook closed till vegetables are tender and cooked but take care not to make them mushy. Takes about 12 to 15 mins.
Add salt and sugar once done and combine well.
Now, garnish with cilantro and squeeze a lemon wedge just before serving.


Serve with rotis or phulkas of your choice.



February 13, 2012

Masala Buns Recipe| No Knead Yeast Bread Recipes

Making your own bread at home is probably the most rewarding experience for a person who loves cooking. The butterflies that flutter in the stomach while you wait to see if the yeast proofs right can never be compared to any other kind of butterflies in the stomach episodes. Its taken me 7 times to proof my yeast right. Yes you read right 7 times!!If you are going to ask me why go to all that trouble then that s one more reason for you to try your habd at bread making. It was simply beautiful to see the dough rise up and rise once more before i shaped it and baked it to cute little buns. This is my first yeast based recipe and i m soon gonna write a post on this finicky little friend i ve made in the recent past. Thinking who?? the yeast fella of course :)


Prep Time: 20 mins for prepping the dough
                   45 mins for the first raise
                   30 mins for the second raise
Cooking Time: Under 20 mins
Yields 12 small buns



What you need?

All purpose flour 2 and 1/4 cups
Fresh Yoghurt 4 tbsp
Garlic pods 6 minced finely
Active dry yeast 2 and 1/4 tsp
Salt 3/4 tsp
Sugar powdered 1 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Onions 1 large chopped finely
Green chilies 2 minced finely
Fresh Cilantro 3 tbsp chopped finely
Luke warm water 1 cup
Chili flakes 1 tsp for the batter and some for topping ( see variations for other ideas)
Sesame seeds for topping

How to make it?



In a bowl, place the yeast and sugar and combine well with the warm water. Keep covered for 10 mins until frothy on the top. Keep in a warm place and rest assured it will work like a charm!!
Now, in a large mixing bowl ( a bowl in which you can easily find out if the dough has doubled. Avoid using spherical bowls and try and use a cylindrical bowl for easy measurements of the rise), place all the dry ingredients and combine using a hand whisk until well incorporated.
At this stage, make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the yoghurt, oil and the yeast mixture in this order.
Start mixing the dough with a wooden ladle until well incorporated and without lumps.
You will have a very stick mixture by this time.
If the weather is cold, then preheat your oven at 180 degrees for 5 mins. If the weather is hot or warm you can leave it covered in a warm place. The oven method can be used in all weather conditions.
Then leave the dough inside but remember to switch off the oven.
Takes 45 mins for the first rise. 
In the meanwhile, grease your muffin pans with butter generously and keep aside.
After the dough has doubled, take it out and give it a nice stir.

It will come back to its almost original quantity level.
Once you have stirred the dough well, grease your hands with oil cos you will have very sticky dough even at this point. Good things in life take a lil mess you see
Now fill the muffin pans halfway and allow it to raise the second time. Once the dough rises, top up the dough with chili flakes and sesame seeds.
Once the dough has risen and doubled in the muffin pans ( takes about 30 mins again), preheat your oven at 205 degrees.
Bake the buns for 12 to 14 mins until the top has a golden brown crust.
Once done, remove and let cool on a cooling rack.
Then slowly tap them out on a clean dry kitchen counter.



There you go you have those mini beauties with you!!
An afternoon well spent dont you agree??
You can have it with chili garlic sauce or even eat with a hot bowl of soup like we did.


Variations: You can add a few cheese shreds along with some mixed herbs for a more exotic flavour. You can use mozarella or gouda cheese for a lovely texture and flavour!!


This is from that leftover batter that i had and i ve made the cheesy version with this. I devoured it whole and also regretted the fact that it dint last forever.

Now, this goes off to Bake Fest Guest Hosted By Me for Vardhini ,
Yeast Spotting

Note: You dont get a very nice brown colour in the buns so dont try and overbake them.
If you are using a 6 muffin pan then you will have some batter left. You can either bake them the second time, or make them into cheesy buns like i did or store them in the fridge and bake later.
I had to pry my buns out a lil with a fork cos i hadnt greased my pan well. So be very generous while you grease.
The buns last well for about 2 days.