Monday, 9 December 2013

Instant Raw Mango Pickle



It was very recently that I made a visit to the  nearest vegetable market at Sarakki and I  went overboard picking them fresh. I made quick rounds through the market to figure out who sold the best but alas, I had to resort to whatever they were to offer for it was unified price across stalls. When my eyes met the mangoes lying around, knowing very well that it was not the best season to buy them I very much did that. They were fresh enough and having no trace of been stored away for long I did not think twice. Discussions were made right at the stall as to what to do with them back home.

1) To make some Prawns curry to satisfy my taste buds.
2) To make some raw mango pickle to satisfy the spouse.

The first will be elaborated in another post. For now lets stick to the pickle.

The pickle preparation here requires no setting time, no major masala preparations, the only time consuming affair is to chop the mangoes into real small pieces. Once that's done the pickle takes just a matter of ten minutes to come together. The recipe could vary across Kerala but this is the simplest of them all.

This type of pickle is generally served at marriage feasts or festival feasts.

The preparation method here is different from what we use for the tender mango(കണ്ണി മാങ്ങാ) pickles of Kerala. Tender mango pickles need setting time and are best prepared when in season.


Ingredients
Raw Mango                                     500 gms
Asafoetida Stick                               20 gms
Fenugreek Seeds                              4 tsps
Chilli Powder                                   5 tbsps ( As per your taste)
Salt                                                   3 tsps (As per your taste)
Warm Water                                     75 ml
Gingely Oil                                       2-3 tsps

My way of making
1. Clean and chop the mangoes along with the outer skin to small pieces.
2. Dry fry the fenugreek seeds and asafoetida together for about two three minutes. Once cool, coarsely powder them.
3. Coat the mangoes with salt, chilli powder and fenugreek and asafoetida  mix and set aside for ten minutes.
4. Pour just about enough warm water over the coated mangoes. The mangoes themselves ooze out water so adjust the water level accordingly.
5. Transfer the same to clean dry bottles and dress them with 2-3 tsps of oil.

Notes
1.This is my mothers version of instant raw mango pickle.
2. The traditional pickle preparation requires much more elaborate preparation with crackling of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and other spices.
3. You could vary the preparation with use of vinegar, curry leaves and oil.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Sesame Coconut Ginger cookies



I seem to have long gone from baking and blogging isn't it?

My love for cookies comes naturally from the fact that I love to experiment basic ingredients that are available off the shelf and at all times at home. The thought process of baking these cookies has been in mind for a very very long time. I have told you about the blog LFE isnt it? A few reads into her recipes and you would know she has been using coconut oil in most of her bakes.
Coconut oil as such has never been my favourite oil for it leaves behind a taste. Dont give me those looks. I know I hail from "God's won Country" and all that but I never really liked cooking with this oil. Of course the oil came into play when I prepared traditional Kerala dishes otherwise it just lay around.

This time, I mustered some courage and decided to bake with coconut oil. I knew the lingering taste would be camouflaged with use of egg. Why did I chose sesame and ginger? Do your remember this post of mine? You could call these cookies a close relative. Sesame and ginger go well to keep the cold of your body in this erratic climate conditions.

These cookies turned out a winner for me because, K exclaimed " Oh! They don't chocolate? But they are good and I love these cookies". And I am a happy mommy.

On the other hand I have just about begun another blog here to keep writing non cooking related posts. Do hop in and say Hi.


Ingredients
Egg                                                      1
Coconut Oil                                         20 ml
Whole Wheat Flour                             150 gms
Powdered Sugar                                  100 gms (Reduce if you are on the lower side of sweet tolerance)
Dry Ginger                                          50 gms
Roasted Coconut                                 50 gms
Roasted Black Til                               10 gms
Baking Powder                                   1/2 tsp
Baking Soda                                        1/4 tsp

My way of making
1. Sift together Whole Wheat Flour, baking powder and baking soda.
2. To this add the roasted til and roasted coconut. Combine well till incorporated.
3. Pulse ginger into powder.
4. In a separate bowl whisk together egg, sugar and coconut oil.
5. To this add ginger powder and mix well.
6. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine well.
7. Preheat oven to 180C and bake cookies in a cookie tray for about 20 minutes or till brown edges appear.
8. Leave on a wired rack to cool.
9. They harden as they cool so do not over bake.

Notes
1. You could omit egg and replace with yogurt.
2. Any vegetable oil can be used instead of coconut oil. Since there was roasted coconut, coconut oil blend well and the taste did not linger on.
3.Keep a watch for the timing as it could vary from oven to oven.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Tava Idli

This post goes out as a tribute to Tarla Dalal.

I remember, the news of her death causing a stir on a certain group on FB, for obvious reasons , not many were just ready to accept her passing away as yet, yours truly included. But sadly the news was just true.  
She has been a source of inspiration to me too like many Indian women. No, not that I did not know how to cook, but her recipes were a savior, during those times when I was bored of the usual cooking routine. Her legacy would live on through her numerous recipes and books.


I had bookmarked this recipe from her site, sometime back. Yesterday was just perfect for me to try out the same since I was clearly not interested to make the usual Idli Fry or Idli Upma.

Well this recipe required me to go fetching for Pav Bhaji masala for I have never tried making Pav Bhaji at home ever.  Having never had Tava Idlis before it was a real challenge for me to get it right not knowing how Tava Idlis tasted ever.

Never the less, the dish turned out a little low on being tangy, but I thoroughly enjoyed this Spicy Tava version  of Idli. I did use up the left over Green Peas Masala in this dish as well.

Head here for the recipe.

Monday, 11 November 2013

NanKhatais for a SMILING cause


Have you ever wondered what the purpose of your presence is, on this beautiful (degrading) planet? I have, plenty a times and never found an apt answer to it. Never the less, I kept looking for the answer from all corners and all kinds of experience I have had in life.

It isn't easy to know what makes one happy until the experience sinks in.

I remember being happy

  • when I helped the class teacher maintain the attendance register,
  • when I helped(rather wrote) a class mate with Hindi homework and winning a rakhi brother,
  • when I shared my clothes with the needy,
  • when I helped unknown faces through philanthropy at work,
  • when I shared some time with disabled orphan children at an NGO near home at Chennai.

I realized over time, sharing is what made me happy. The very purpose of our existence here on this mother Earth is to share and care.  The only problem, I was/am too emotional about it.  I remember Mom telling me, I used to burst out the moment I saw the homeless on the street as a kid
not because I was petrified about them, but because I felt bad seeing them that way.

Over time I was able to do my bit for at least a handful of people and I am very very proud and happy about it. When I quit work, the only regret I had was I would not be able to help the needy financially going forward. Time could always be shared I realized. It wasn't easy with a kid at home. But, when an opportunity came by after so many years I did not stop myself. I was apprehensive how I would conduct myself. But I crossed all those borders yesterday and yet again I am happy I shared time there.

The purpose of the group was to bring on some smile and fun in the lives of few children at Desire Society. The fact that the NGO was closer to my place was even more inviting for me to be a part of SAS.I hope to be a part of the group in future too.

 I wanted to do something more than just spending time with the kids and of course I wanted to bake the kids something to cherish. Cookies were the obvious choice but which one?
I decided to stick to Nankhatais but I made two versions of them. The traditional one and the cocoa infused Nankhatais. The children instantly recognised that they were impressions on the cookies :) and I was more than glad. This time around I have used the traditional recipe itself rather than healthy version.

Since the aim was to share a smile, I have tried to incorporate the same.

Ingredients
Maida/ All purpose flour                                200 gms
Rava/Sooji/Semolina                                      100 gms
Castor Sugar                                                   150 gms
Butter                                                              125 gms
Baking Soda                                                   1/4 tsp
Curd                                                                2 Tbsp
Chopped/Crushed Pistaschos                          75 gms to 100 gms
Cardamom Powdered                                      1 Tbsp 10 -20 gms
Cocoa Powder                                                 30 gms

My way of making
1. Beat together butter, sugar and curd in a dry bowl.
2. In a separate bowl whisk in apf, semolina, baking soda. For the chocolate version add the cocoa powder as well.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine them well.
4. You can either include the pistachios in the dough mix or top the cookies with individual pistachios and garnish with powdered cardamom.
4. Pre heat oven to 160C.
5. Pinch out balls from the dough and lightly flattened them and place them atleast 5 cms apart and bake them at 160C for 15-20 minutes.
6. Relish them hot as an evening snack.

Notes
1. Different flavours can be added.
2. Choco chips could be added too in the chocolate version.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Meen Peera


For starters, this is the first time I got to attempt and taste this dish. Fish peera aka Meen peera is more of a South Kerala dish to be specific from Kottayam.  Like all other states, each district of Kerala have their own recipes when it comes to food.
Fish/ Meen peera is essentially nothing but a dish made with lots and lots of coconut. It can also be related to the Vegetable dish thoran. Ideally it can be called as fish thoran too.

Now why did I chose to make this particular dish? When I went fetching for some fish , white sardines (മലയാളം : വെള്ളുരി ) were the only familiar fish that was left with the vendor and having heard of the goodness these fish carry with them, I thought why not bring them home.  The cleaning is a pain but they taste just so so good that one would not mind cleaning them for hours!

These sardines carry with them a whole lot of nutrition ranging from the Omega -3 fatty acids, Minerals, Phosphorus to Vitamin B12. Its no joke that doctors and dieticians suggest to replace red meat with fish in ones diet. 

Most of the time these fishes are almost confused with Anchovies (മലയാളം : നതോലി ). They look similar but they vary in their body constitution. The fish vendor clearly explained and told me all the differences and the only one I managed to recollect is one is sleeker than the other, now don't ask me which. To me any type of fish is a fish and it ends there.  

My mom always associates a certain story at the mere mention of the fish velluri. It also happens to be her favourite fish so much that my maternal grandmother makes it a point even today to catch hold of some when mom is around at Kerala.

I have adapted the recipe from a malayalam magazine (Vanitha) in which seer fish (നെയ്‌, മീന) was used. I don't buy this magazine but thanks to my mom and mom in law. I just bring along the recipe pages whenever I visit them.

Ingredients
White Sardines/Velluri                                       250 gms Cleaned with head cut
Coconut Oil                                                       2-3 tsps 
Turmeric Powder                                               1-2 tsp
Fish Tamarind/ Kudam Puli/ Gambooge           2-3
Crushed Peppercorns                                         5-6 tsps (As per taste)
Water                                                                 1-2 tbsps
Salt                                                                    As per taste
To grind
Grated Coconut                                                 75-100 gms
Shallots                                                              20 gms (15-20 nos)
Ginger                                                               10 gms ( one small piece)
Green chillies                                                     4-5 nos (as per taste)
Curry Leaves                                                     1 sprig
Salt                                                                    As per taste

My way of making
1. Place a wok and pour in the oil. When the oil is hot enough sauté the fish with turmeric powder and salt.  Its better not to use a spoon and just lift the wok and turn and shake it around.
2. Pour in very little water (if required) since fish emits water and cook along with the tamarind.
3. When the fish is cooked, add in the ground masalas  and cook covered for about three four minutes until a soothing smell of coconut comes in.
4. Watch for the liquid consistency to reduce to an almost negligent consistency. Switch of the flame  and sprinkle in the crushed pepper corns and keep covered.
5. Peera is best had hot with steaming Kerala rice.

Notes
1. Its best to use an earthen cookware when cooking fish.
2. Sunflower oil can be used instead of coconut oil. But the dish tastes best and authentic with Coconut oil.
3. Do not use a spoon to mix the ingredients. These are small and brittle fish and they would break easily if done so. Always lift the vessel and shake them around like mention in step no 1

Monday, 28 October 2013

Ragi/Finger Millet Ladoos

Diwali is around the corner, already?
Well hailing from God's own country (where festivals are few), I really doubt  if I would have ever seen the extravagant celebration of Diwali if not for being in Chennai during my childhood.

It just feels like yesterday, that K got an idea on how to burst crackers and its that time of the year again. The crackers that year was just that for her experience. I remember being crazy for crackers as a kid, given the reason that, those days we stayed in apartments and ego and competition plays a big deal during festivals and celebrations. I have come a long way from then. I don't support bursting crackers anymore but K has developed liking towards it and I am sure time will tell her  why it isn't good.
Now that crackers have been ruled out, what next. Yup sweets, snacks and delicacy's and diyas's. That's the best I can do to bring in the festivity mood at home in a environment friendly way.

Ladoos are inevitably a necessity during festivals in India. Thanks to Chota Bheem, its become a popular sweet among kids too these days. I don't see it as a good trend though.

What if we could make these ladoos in a healthier way with nutrition and goodness loaded?

Ragi or Finger Millet definitely falls under this category. My love for this cereal has just begun. They taste good in cookies, porridge, cakes and halwa too. I am yet to taste/make Ragi mude which is a staple in Karnataka. Having tried Ragi/Finger Millet in cakes and cookies, I was tempted to try them as ladoos. Yeah, you read it right Ragi Ladoos.
That's exactly what I attempted a few days back and I am glad I just mad them. They were s(z)imply fantastic and who says ladoo making is difficult. You could put this entire dish in around 15 minutes.

AR who usually stays away from Ragi was more than glee to finish them off.

Look no further, for some guilt free ladoos.

Ingredients
Ragi/Finger Miller flour            - 200 gms
Peanut (whole/crushed )           - 50 gms
Jaggery Powdered (pure)         - 75 gms or as per your taste
Shredded Coconut                    - 75 to 100 gms
Milk                                          - 3 to 4 tsps
Cardamom crushed                   - 4/ 5 pods
Powdered Almonds                  - 10 to 20 gms / 3-4 tbsps


My way of making
1. Dry roast the Ragi  flour in a wok. This helps in removing any moisture in the flour and the raw taste.
2. Crush the peanuts and add them to the roasted Ragi flour.
3. To this add coconut, jaggery, cardamom powder and combine them well.
4.  Add few teaspoons of milk, one teaspoon at a time, to the mixture and check for the consistency. If you are able to make balls, you are at the right consistency else add some more and keep repeating till you can hold up the mixture to make stiff balls.
5. Roll each ball in powdered almonds when moist.

Notes
1. You could roast the flour in some ghee.
2. If you know that jaggery could have impurities its better to use strained jaggery syrup.
3. This keeps for a week if refrigerated.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Parippu Vada/ Dal Fritters



Weekends are usually when I make some elaborate snacks, breakfast or lunch. This weekend was no different except that,  I was in my kitchen after a 10 day break and settling in before the school reopened for the little one.

Figuring out what to make, I glanced upon the bottle of toor dal that mom had packed. A while since I made some vada I realized and since it was a rainy gloomy weather here at Bangalore, the only snack that could do justice was some parippu vada. I sent AR and K to fetch some channa dal the moment I decided to make these vadas. Such a blessing to have them in my life!

This common chaya kada palahaaram (snacks at any tea shop) from Kerala once ruled all households during evenings when children were back from school for snacks. The trend slowly disappeared with conscious eating and now is termed a junk food. That reminds me of mom, making them way back in the 80's and 90's whenever she could find some time.Nevertheless my love for these fritters would never cease how ever health conscious I tend to be. There's nothing that can replace them.

I am yet to try baking them and hence have kept apart some batter for the same.

Ingredients
Toor Dal                                - 100 gms
Channa Dal                            - 150 gms
Shallots finely sliced              - 10 to 15 nos
Ginger thinly sliced               -  3-4 tsps
Green chillies finely cut         - 3-4 (depending on spice level)
Curry Leaves crushed           - a sprig or two
Fennel Seeds                        - 2 tsps
Peppercorns crushed            - 3-4 tsps (depending on spice level)
Asafoetida                            - pinch
Salt                                       - as per taste
Oil                                        - to fry

My way of making
1. Wash, clean and soak the dals for about 2-3 hours.
2. Drain the water and dry them so that they are just enough moist.
3. Grind the Dals without water, if you are not very sure just pulse them together for about 4-5 times.
4. Combine together rest of the ingredients. This is how they should like when put together.
5. Make small balls of the mix and press them between the palms of your hand.
6. Heat a wok, pour in the oil and when the oil is hot, drop in the vadas one by one. Reduce the flame and turn them around when one side browns.
7. Drain them over paper towel.
8. Hot crispy fritters are ready to be served with tea.

Notes
1. I have used very very minimal oil even though it was deep fried, a trick that I learnt from my paternal grandmother.
2. You could use coconut oil as well for frying for the authentic flavour.
3. If baking, preheat oven to 180C and bake each side for about 15 mts or till they turn brown.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Shooting for CAL

That I did a video shoot for CAL is no secret, since the over excited me, broke the news on a social media site the very moment the shoot was over and quite a many of you were happy for me too.

This is how it all began: 

CAL on their FB  page, sometime in early July put up a post for requests on cooking traditional South Indian recipes in the comfort of ones own kitchen and let their people shoot the same. I without a second thought, responded to their post assuming that there would be quite a number of responses and I might just pass along. But destiny had other plans. 

I got a response back from the team and a few interactions later, we decided to shoot on July 19, 2013. 

I had decided four traditional dishes after consultation with senior ladies in my family. 
  • Kerala Chicken Stew
  • Mambazha Pullisery
  • Unniappam
  • Ella Ada
Moments before the shoot, things were casual and usual. All that I had to do was assure and recheck the list of ingredients for all the dishes that I was to prepare were kept handy. The clock struck 10  and things were not the same anymore.

In came the team, and emotions were bubbling up. Not sure if I could pull this through good enough, I was visibly shaken. The turmoil with-in had begun and the only solace was Arun's presence and the mere thought that I was about to shoot in my own  abode was a bigger relief. 

And after a full days shoot from 10 AM to 3 PM, we were done with three dishes. The shorter I keep the detail, the better.

I just could not go ahead with the fourth dish, thanks to my nagging ACL issues.

So if you would want to have a look at the video here they are :




NB: The recipes are made in the way my folks prefer. If there has been any omissions kindly let me know, so that I can improve upon.

C&C are most welcome.

Monday, 30 September 2013

Kerala Palappam/Lace Hoppers

There are some dishes that should be made at home, from scratch and some that can be made from ready mixes off the super market shelf. Palappam 's made from the ready mix is one such, that can never come close in taste to the ones that are home made from the fermented batter.

To this date, I had no courage to make these tasty, mouth watering palappams at home for the fear of wrong consistency after the failures with the ready mix. Never have I got the thin paper weight appams the way it should be. There were days when I thought if I could make vattayappam , why not the simple palappams.  A neighbour one day asked me, "Could you share the recipe of the batter needed for the palappams?" and that's when I knew it was about time to try this out and to my surprise it turned out to be one of my best attempts to date. 

 Then again, my maternal grandmother used to make with the toddy(kallu in malayalam) and its called Kalappam. Since toddy is not easily available here at Bangalore (sources say you get them somewhere in the outskirts at Shyanumangala ;)) I settled down for some yeast as the rising agent this time around. Next time I plan to get real authentic with toddy.

Palappams are prepared in a special pan called appa chatti. Pans made from iron are the best, but non stick would work well too.

What works well with palappams are Egg curry with coconut milk, Veg stew , Kadla Curry, Chichen/Mutton Stew, Egg roast and plenty other combinations with Egg, Chicken, Mutton. And yes there are some who would just want to soak them in coconut milk and have them in their natural best taste. 



Ingredients
Raw Rice                           - 350 gms (Sona Masoori is what I used)
Cooked Rice                      - 50 to 100 gms ( fistful would do too)
Coconut Milk                     - 200 ml
Shredded Coconut              - 100 to 150 gms
Sugar                                  - 75 gms( 5 to 6 headed tbsps)/ as per your taste.
Yeast                                  - 1 tsp ( Optional)
Salt                                     - As per your taste though 

My way of Making
1. Soak raw rice in water for 3-4 hours.
2. Drain the water and grind together soaked raw rice, cooked rice, shredded coconut to a fine mixture. A little bit of grainy texture is fine.
3. Next step  requires you to make a thick mixture of the fermenting agent. For this you will need to take around four to five tablespoons of the finely ground mixture and cook it to a thick consistency with one tablespoon of sugar.
4. Add the thick mixture to the ground mix (Step 2) along with the coconut milk and rest of sugar. Mix well  and leave it aside for the batter to ferment for about 8 to 10 hours.
5. This step is optional but recommended if you reside in a place like Bangalore where the weather does not help much, you could add some yeast to the batter to help raise. Dissolve 1 tsp of yeast in luke warm water and allow it to bubble. Add this to the batter and let rest.

6. When its time for breakfast, You could add some water to loosen up the bubbly fermented batter, if needed. 
7. Heat an appa chatti and  pour a ladle of batter. Immediately twirl  the batter two times around the chatti.
8. Cover and cook for around three four minutes.
9. You could wait for the sides to brown (the way I like it) or take them off the pan, when you see the sides leaving the pan.
10. Do not flip them over , when removing from the pan. They are best served hot and fresh

Notes
1. Yeast is OPTIONAL. I waited for about 6-8 hours and then added some yeast since I saw no raise in the batter on a cold cold day.
2. The appam batter must be thin else the batter would not twirl.  Mine did not require any additional water or coconut milk. The batter was of just right consistency for the first time ever.
3. The appams must be cooked on a low flame all throughout. Its best to stay closer to the stove when cooking appams for you may end up with burnt ones.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Simple Egg Curry with Coconut Milk



Theres no big deal to this simple recipe. Since I was short of time and I had to figure out something for dinner, I put together few eggs, bit of spices, and used up left over coconut milk. This goes well with Palappams as well.

Ingredients
Boiled Eggs                            - 3 Nos
Onions                                   - 1 Medium Sized thinly sliced
Ginger Garlic Paste                 - 2 tsp
Tomato                                  - 1 thinly sliced
Coriander Leaves                   - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Green Chillies                         - 2 to 3 finely chopped / as per taste
Curry Leaves                          - One sprig
Turmeric Powder                    - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala                        -2 tsp
Oil                                          - 2 tsp
Salt                                        - as per taste

My way of making
1. Saute onions, ginger garlic, tomatoes, green chillies,curry leaves and coriander in medium flame. The ingredients have to be added and saute one at a time.
2. To this add  turmeric powder and garam masala and saute till you get a wet masala consistency.
3. Bring in the boiled eggs. You could lightly make some diagonal cuts on the egg or cut them into quarters/halfs and add them to the wet masala.
4. Cover and simmer for two three minutes.
5. Once the masalas are evenly spread, check for salt and pour in the Coconut milk and simmer only for few seconds.
6. Garnish with some curry leaves or coriander leaves.

Notes
1. This is a last minute fix recipe, not the traditional way of preparing Egg curry in coconut milk.
2. You could add some boiled potatoes along with boiled eggs.
3. Do not mix the eggs and masala with a spoon or spatula, egg would break and not retain shape.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Crab Sukka



Ever since the evening I taught K, the different creatures that live in water, the crab had stuck to both mom's and daughter's minds. Every evening she would want to see pictures of different types of crabs and I was so tempted to bring some home and show her how they looked. And that did finally happen! I mustered enough courage to buy and cook them up at home. It did turn out to be a pleasant dish for me and my better half.

My memories of having crab curry dates back by at least two decades when my paternal grandmother used to prepare them. Strange! but I so distinctly remember my grand mom sitting by the pond breaking apart the crabs, cleaning them, marinating them and preparing one of the most tasty spicy tangy crab curry.
My stint at Mangalore was yet another opportunity to taste some of the best coastal dishes with a different taste altogether from that of Kerala.

Confused on what to make with these crabs, I asked around for suggestions from friends and relatives and I zeroed in on Crab Sukka.
Sukkas are very distinctive to Mangalorean cuisine. Chicken sukka and Crab Sukka are one of the most favored dish as starters. The perfect blend of masala and dry coconut is what makes this dish delectable.

Courtesy: A Mangalorean family staying upstairs

Ingredients
Cleaned and Cut Crabs                                                               1 Kg
For Sauting and First Cooking
Coconut                                                                                      2 tbsp
Curry Leaves                                                                               2 sprigs
Onion Finely Chopped                                                                1 Large
Turmeric powder                                                                         1/4 tsp
2-3 Tamarind (Gambooge, Malabar Tamarind, Fish Tamarind)    soaked in warm water for about 5 mts                                
Salt                                                                                            as per your taste
For Grinding to a paste/powder
Coriander Seeds                                                                          3 tbsp
Cumin Seeds                                                                                1 tsp
Poppy Seeds                                                                                2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds                                                                          1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies                                                                          15 or depending on your spice level
Garlic                                                                                          4-5 pods

Dry Fried Coconut                                                                      3/4 cup

My way of making
1. Wash,clean,cut and keep ready the crab. You may want to look up Youtube on how to do that or get your fish vendor to do it.
2. Heat oil, saute onions and curry leaves for about five minutes and to this add the crabs.
3. Add the tamarind water to this and let cook, covered until the crab turns orange which indicates its cooked.
4. Add salt as per your taste.

5. Meanwhile dry roast or fry the ingredients except coconut. They are done when you have a nice aroma filling your kitchen. Cool and grind them to a paste or powder.
6. Dry fry the shredded coconut separately. Care must be taken not to burn them. Keep a watch for after 10 minutes. Stir continuously. You may or may not grind this. If you like the coconut flavour to mix well, please go ahead and grind them

7.Once the crab is cooked , add the masala paste to it and let cook for about 5 minutes.
8. To this add the fried coconut and cook covered for 10-15 mts so that the flavour spreads uniformly. Once done cook in high flame on continuous stirring till all the gravy is absorbed.

Notes
1. Relish them with rice or as a starter.
2. This could be made with gravy by retaining a bit of water.
3. I prefer to use coconut oil since it gives the unique flavour to most of the coastal dishes. Please use oil that you are comfortable with.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

DALicious Chocolate Cake



If you are an Indian, you probably know how important it is have the different types of lentils stashed away in bottles in your shelves and making them a compulsory item in you every monthly grocery. In such acts I had too much of Moong dal left over to be used before the expiry date.

Being a mom, I know how good Moong dal is for a growing kid. I looked around a lot for some interesting recipes with Moong Dal but just found the usual fritters or soups and halwa which I was clearly in no mood to try.  My niche is baking and that's what I wanted to try.

Having read about a baker who chose the healthy way of baking cakes and getting professional with them and Moong dal cakes being her TM and best seller, I wanted to try them too and that's how this cake came into being. Its just so easy on your tummy and I being a person who doesn't like much of cream and fondants on my cake or my kids cake have kept it way too healthy and simple. Did you realise the recipe is egg less and butter less making it apt for the Mommies too.


Ingredients
Roasted and Finely Powdered Moong Dal                               200gms
Cocoa Powder                                                                          3 tbsps
Baking Powder                                                                         1/2 tsp
Baking Soda                                                                             1/4 tsp

Curd/Yoghurt                                                                            200 ml
Neutral Flavour Oil                                                                   1/4 cup (some 25 to 50 ml)
Sugar                                                                                         100 gms or as per your taste
Shredded dry coconut                                                               1/2 cup

My way of making
1. Sift together the powdered Moong dal, baking powder and baking soda
2. To this add Cocoa powder and mix them well.
3. In a separate bowl mix together Curd, sugar and oil.
4. Combine together the wet and dry ingredients until just well combined.
5. Do not over mix.
6. Preheat oven to 180C/350F
7. Prepare a cake tin and pour the mix and top it with shredded coconut and bake for about 25 minutes or till the centre of the cake is done.

Notes
1. Could be made more nutritious with nuts of your choice.
2. Flavours could be added.
3. It keeps well for a week, if stored in air tight containers and refrigerated.
4. If you are using eggs and butter please let me know the results.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Savoury Crackers



Bangalore feels like a hill station for past few days, thanks to the rains around coastal and interior parts of Karnataka. Its default that hot drinks are the only way to keep me on toes in this sulking weather. Don't those drinks need to be accompanied by snacks, Of course they do. Not a compulsive eater but someday's I just feel like.

Masala crackers have always been my quick fix to such temptations. This has been sitting in my FB page for long and since I had not baked/made much interesting stuff off late , I thought why not a post on these crackers and so here goes the recipe.



Ingredients
1/2 cup Refined Flour
1/2 cup Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp Baking soda
Sugar 2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp (adjust as per your need)
Curd as required to knead the dough
Savoury Mix
Fennel Seeds 1 tsp
Sesame Seeds 1 tsp
Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Green Chillies - 2
Curry Leaves - 10 to 12
Dry Ginger flakes - 10 no


My way of making
1. Sift the flours together and add salt,sugar,sesame seeds,pepper powder,fennel seeds,baking soda and mix well.
2. U can either fine chop the last of the three ingredients or just powder them together in your mixer on speed 1 (thats what I preferred).
3. Add to the mix and use the required amount of Curd to knead the dough until firm (like the texture for chappathis)
4. Meanwhile Pre heat your oven to 180C or 350F
5. Roll the dough as for chappathis with minimum thickness.
6. Cut to desired shapes and prick them with a fork so as to avoid them for raising and bake for about 15-20 mts at the same temperature of 180c or 350F.
7. Do check for the browning of the sides which is an indicator to remove them from the oven.
8. Enjoy your crackers when cooled with Tea or Coffee...


Notes
1. Lesser the thickness, crispier the crackers
2. I have replaced butter with curd here. If you prefer to use butter it would be 75 gms. Melt it before kneading it with the dough.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Mambazha Pulissery



Mangoes were an absolute no-no at our home during childhood and we used to make it all up at our maternal grandparents place (Kerala) with farm fresh mangoes for two whole months of April and May. Those were the days of getting to know the real experience of climbing trees and plucking mangoes or with a help of "thotti" as they call in Malayalam. It was all the more fun with all cousins together waiting to devour those mangoes, whether they were raw or ripe, it did not matter. 
My maternal grandmother had magic in her dishes that we cousins used to fight over them, but she being a sweet grandmother used to make sure and still makes sure every grandchildren and now great grand children gets their share of Mangoes and Jackfruits and every other farm grown stuff.  

Ah! this one dish got me nostalgic I say. Miss those days of absolute bliss during vacations.

This year I did not get to eat them and when AR got home some ripe mangoes (out of sheer surprise) and none of us were able to eat them up, I did not wait further and made my favorite dish of all those dishes made from Mangoes, the King of Fruits!

This dish called Mambazha Pulissery was an instant hit among all of us at my native. Its sweet, tangy and could be spicy depending on ones taste buds. This dish is pretty simple and can be made in a matter of about 15 mts if you have all the ingredients ready. Its basically a close relative of the Moru kuttan or the simple curry we make from curd down south. 


Ingredients
Ripe Mangoes ( I used Byganpalli)                       - 2 Nos.
Grated Coconut                                                   - 1/2 cup\
Water                                                                  - 1/4 cup
ButterMilk/Yoghurt                                              - 1 cup approx 500 ml
Split Green chillies                                                - 3 Nos
Curry Leaves                                                       - 2 or 3 stalks
Turmeric Powder                                                 -1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder                                                - 3/4 tsp or as per your taste
Salt                                                                       as per taste

For Tempering
Mustard Seeds                                                   - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds                                                - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red chilli                                                      - 3 nos
Oil

My way of making
1. Peel the skin and slice the mangoes to medium sized pieces.
2. Cook the mango slices and the seeds just until tender along with 1/4 cup water, salt turmeric powder, chilli powder , curry leaves and green chillies.
3. Grind the coconut to fine paste and add it to the cooked Mangoes mixture and simmer it to well combine.
4. Meanwhile add salt and turmeric to the buttermilk and keep ready. If using yoghurt, loosen it a bit with just sufficient water. 
5. Once the Mangoes and coconut mix blends, add the buttermilk/ yoghurt and let it simmer for two minutes just before it starts to boil.
6. Temper this with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chillies.
7. Relish with hot steaming rice or if you are like me slurp them right away.

Notes
1. Ripe juicy mangoes is a must for the dish
2. Sour buttermilk would be the ideal choice to make this dish.
3. Care should be taken not to boil once the buttermilk is added.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Sesame Ginger Cookies


Thanks to the pre monsoon showers at Bangalore, the weathers already turned from unbearable heat to unbearable chillness. All that I look to eat now is some soups, cutlets, samosas and masala tea. How I wish I could eat them without having to worry about adding up some calories ;)

Baking healthy cookies has so turned into an obsession for me, that I can keep myself away from anything to do them be it forgoing my sleep as well. Not really! So this time around I decided let me bake something that could give me the energy and keep me on my toes in this clumsy weather.

Ginger and Sesame are two ingredients thats always around in my kitchen pantry. Having googled enough I realized they can do justice to my need of energy. Thats how the idea of ginger sesame cookies came up.

Sesame seeds are a good store house of energy and the abundant presence of various forms of nutrients such as copper, manganese, tryptophan, calcium, ,magnesium, iron,  phosphorus, Zinc, selenium, fiber makes it every bit a healthy ingredient. It also goes a long way to keep cholesterol at bay according to few studies.

A google search on the cookies will give u some links that has cornflour and all purpose flour as their ingredients. I generally avoid them in my cookies these days and I am happy at the end result for I got some good compliments from AR's colleagues.

Ingredients
Whole Wheat Flour                                     200 gms
Brown Sugar Powdered                              30 gms
Powdered Dry Ginger                                 6-7 tsp
Shredded Coconut                                      50 gms
Salt less Butter at Room Temperature          40 gms
Sesame seeds                                             5-6 tbsp just enough to roll the cookies on
Baking Powder                                           1/2 tsp
Baking soda                                                 a pinch would do. 1/4 tsp at the max.

My way of making
1. Dry roast sesame seeds and keep aside.
2. In a bowl mix together the powdered ginger, shredded coconut and brown sugar.
3. In a separate bowl sift together the whole wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda.
4. Bring both the mixes together and add in the butter and make them into a dough.
5. Refrigerate the dough for around 1 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 180 C.
7. Pinch out some dough, roll them into balls, press them between your palms to flatten and roll them on the sesame seeds. The sesame seeds will stick on to the cookies.
8. Place them on the cookie tray and bake at 180C for 30 mts.
9. Cool and relish them with a hot cup of tea.

Notes
1. You could add some almond meal to the mix and make it healthier.
2. You could replace butter with buttermilk or milk. The cookies would turn out soft and chewy types.
3. Nuts like cashews and pistas could be added as well.

   

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Simple Chocolate Brownies


This recipe is like a must bake dish for all those into baking and most probably one of the earliest or the first recipes that one tries out when venturing into the world of baking. Its that simple. I just did not fall prey to this mantra and kept postponing it for eternity.

But alas I finally found my urge to bake them, guess why?? Of course, depriving myself of all those junk food (at least at home) made me just crave them more. Thank the weather here at Bangalore, I just did not mind gorging on them. And like after a long long time, I decided to use the white flour which I wanted to use only when I have to bake something exotic and those recipes that cannot be substituted with. Brownies are one such dish. These are really really rich and like they say an indulgent food (read chocolate) , specially when you just need a mood boost. Well you don't need to be depressed to make them, just go bake them right away. Perfect for the quick after dinner deserts ,where you just need to mix up the ingredients at one go and bake.

And guess what, Kavya has begun to like being around me when I bake stuff and extends her hand every single time I bake these days. Makes me more than happy to keep baking for her (and myself). Thanks to her for helping me with throwing in the flour this time around into the mix.

This is a very basic recipe which I adopted from a cookbook for kids and parents- Make and do Cookbook.


  • The original recipe calls for chocolate chips that have to be melted on a heatproof bowl and then mixed along with the butter (Step 2). I have replaced it with chocolate powder.
  • Use of baking powder is a debate in Brownies. Purist may not need agree to using Baking Powder,  I added some though.


Ingredients
Butter                                           - 170 gms
Eggs (preferably room temp)       - 2 Nos
Regular Sugar                              - 175 gms
Coca Powder                               - 3 (un-levelled) large tsp somewhere around 75 gms
Flour                                             - 200 gms
Vanilla Extract                             - 1 tsp
Baking Powder                            - 1/2 tsp


My way of making
1. Melt butter just to the level of softening.
2. Once done, to this add sugar and beat well. Add the eggs one at a time and beat them well. Once done add the vanilla extract and Cocoa powder. Mix them well.
3. To this add the flour and baking powder. Blend them well till no streaks of white flour are seen.
4. Preheat oven to 180C and Prepare (grease your baking pan) a square baking pan or for that matter any mould will do.
4. Pour in the batter and bake at 180C for 30 minutes.
5. Let cool and fudgy dense chocolate brownies are ready to be relished.

Notes
1. Add some nuts, chocolate chips and make them more yummylicious.
2. Vanilla Ice Creams goes well when served with warm brownies.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Eggless,Vegan Ragi/Finger Millet Cookies



It's raining Ragi/Finger Millets at our home! Ragi as I mentioned in my earlier post, is a good source of protein, calcium, fibre and carbohydrates. So why not try every possible dish that could be made with Ragi.

Baking cookies have always fascinated me, ever since I started baking. I try and make them by all  means a healthy ones, most of them ending in the trash but that does not stop me from trying. Along these lines, I had to compulsively bake some Ragi cookies that's so famously available in all super markets and home bakers list. But I wanted to make it egg-less, flour-less and a Vegan one too. It all seemed impossible but when I finished I was glee that I had my Ragi cookies freshly baked and more so the aroma of baking just excited me.

Cookies are the easiest ways to start off with kids helping in the kitchen and cooking, like the toppings of the cookies, mixing the flours, assembling them in the baking tray. Since Kavya was behind me for chocolates, I traded it with some help from her the cookie toppings. Isn't she good? We were so thrilled when we saw the cookies nicely decorated with chocolates and cashews.


Here's what the cookie takes to bake

Ingredients

Ragi Flour                                                                              200 gms
Almond Meal ( Ground Blanched/Unblanched Almonds)    100 gms
Powdered Sugar                                                                    150 gms (adjust according to your taste)
Baking Powder                                                                      1 tsp
Chocolate Powder                                                                  3 tbsp
Cinnamon Powder                                                                 3/4 tsp (if you like the flavour inc to 1 tsp)
Peanut Butter                                                                         150 gms
Chocolate Chips & Broken Cashews                                     Handful for the toppings

Milk (skip if you want it to be vegan)                                    1/4 to 1/2 cup


My way of making
1. In a wok dry fry the Ragi Flour, this way the cookies tastes better rather than the chewy nature.
2. In a bowl sift together the Ragi Flour, Almond meal, sugar, baking powder, chocolate powder and cinnamon powder together.
3. To this add the Peanut butter and bring them together to make a dough.
4. Pinch out some dough and press them between your palms to flatten them and lay them in the baking tray leaving about few inches gap between each.
5. Preheat your oven to 180C and meanwhile top the cookies with nuts of your choice.
6. Bake the cookies at 180C for about 30 minutes. Mine was done around the 27th minute .
7. Cool them totally and enjoy them as a snack or a quick breakfast.
8. Store them in air tight containers or refrigerate them for longer shelf life

Notes
1. Milk could be used for preparing the dough but then your dish will not remain Vegan.
2. You could use White flour/Cornflour too, but that would make the dish highly unhealthy and will need to adjust the butter accordingly.
3. Jaggery could be another alternative to sugar and taste may vary, if any one tries let me know.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Curry Leaves Powder


Traditionally we Keralites or Keralans ( wonder who suggested this word!!) don't use much of podis in our every day eating like the people from Andhra. No no! this is not biasing just a FYI note. My primitive and college years at Chennai and Thanjavur opened up a whole new experience in the world of food. Oh yes I love my food and more so when its a very different cuisine that I haven't had before.

With a bruised leg (ah, that does not stop me from entering the kitchen anyways) and mom to my aid, I make sure that I borrow some of her recipes and tricks and tips.

Now that I had ordered in some 200 gms of Curry leaves assuming I could store it for long and was doubtful about my decision, I wanted to do something different from the usual stuff like using it in home made hair oils, or for seasoning buttermilk and dishes. That's when it hit me that I had heard about Curry Leaves powder. I was apprehensive at first but when the final product came into being I was totally amazed. I made this with mom's side by side instruction.

Ingredients
Curry Leaves            - 1 cup
Urad Dal                   - 1/2 cup
Dry Red Chillies       - 3 or 4 depending on how spicy you want it
Coconut  Shredded  - 5 to 6 tsp
Cumin Seeds            - 1/2 to3/4 tsp
Coriander Seeds       - 1/2 to 3/4 tsp
Salt                           -  as per your taste.
Asafoetida                - 1/4 tsp


My way of making
1. In a wok dry fry the curry leaves separately until they are crisp enough that they should powder when placed between your palms. Please don't burn your hands doing this. The aroma that fills your kitchen is sure to keep you going till the leaves turn powder.
2. Separately dry fry the Urad dal, Cumin seeds and Coriander seeds. Once it turns red, add coconut and dry fry everything together. This may take some time since coconut when dry fried tends to ooze out some oil and moisture, so keep stirring on low flame for about 10 to 15 mts. Oops don't miss adding the salt and asafoetida.
3. Switch off when done, add the roasted curry leaves to the mix and let cool.
4. Once cool, grind them in the food processor or your mixer to a coarse powder.
5. You could use this mixture for seasoning your thorans or use it as a mix for your afternoon's steaming rice.

Notes
1. You could avoid all the spices and make the simple curry leaf powder with some salt, that could be used in place of curry leaves for side dishes and mainly in the seasoning of buttermilk.
2. Alternatively you could add more spices like sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds and more varieties of dal's and make it more tasty and yummy.
3. When mixing with rice you could add some ghee or oil to enhance the flavour.
4. Shelf life of the powder reduces if moisture exists.
5. For more info visit here


Monday, 13 May 2013

Nutritional Healthy Bake



I am not sure if this qualify's for a cake and that's why the title 'bake'. This time around I tried to make something very very healthy keeping in mind that this was exclusively made for the kid at home. Now that vacation are on and an ever active kid to keep me on toes, I thought why not. It was always my wish to make something tasty with Finger Millet aka Ragi and I just used this chance to make some healthy stuff.

Ragi as such is given to infants as their first semi solid food and we all know the goodness this cereals carries along with it. High in protein, calcium and fiber , Ragi, has it goodness stored for elders too. In this state of Karnataka, Ragi is had as a drink or kashaya or the famous Ragi mude which is a staple diet among all people alike. This is how the recipe came into being.

Ingredients
(Dry Ingredients)
1 cup whole wheat flour (200 gms)
1/2 cup ragi flour           (100 gms)
Cocoa Powder             3 tbsps
Baking powder              1 tsp    
Baking soda                  1/2 tsp
(Wet Ingredients)
1/2 cup thick curd          (150 ml)
Jaggery grated               (1/2 cup to 3/4 cup) depending on ones sweetness (150 gms)
Banana (Nendran)         1 full ripe - else 2 ripe Yelakki Banana
Vanilla Essence             1  tsp   
Ghee                             3-4 tbsp
Milk                             1/4 cup to 1/2 cup
                              

My way of Making
1. Sift together the dry ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the curd and jaggery until well combined. To this add the well mashed bananas. Once mixed well, add vanilla essence and ghee and combine.
3. Add the sifted dry ingredients into the liquid mixture one step at a time and combine them well. Add milk only if needed to make a smooth batter.
4. Preheat your oven to 180C.
5. Pour this into a greased cake pan and bake for around 25 to 30 minutes until the center of the cake is done.
6. Cool and relish this nutritious bake with or without any frosting.

Note
1. The top of the cake would mostly turn out dry immediately after its done. Its better to cool it down before relishing the dish.
2. You could use the usual stuff like White flour, butter, egg to make this more of a sponge cake.
3. One could add some nuts as well to make it more of a healthy small meal combined with milk.
4. Mine was done around 23 minutes, so keep a watch.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Crunchy Poha Snack


Every evening I gaze into my kitchen shelves to spot out that one ingredient with which I could make some quick healthy snack. Most of the days it just ends up with that, thanks to the summers who would want to sweat it out in the kitchen even for a quick snack. A few days back it just got different when I remembered I had bookmarked a recipe

I recently started following LoveFoodEat, oh boy! you should see how she manages to dish out interesting and different dishes with normal stuff like Tamarind or for that matter Whole Wheat fllour and did I tell you all her food are organic stuff. Of course I just sit and read them for the love of her photographs she manages to click while making these yummy dishes. One such post was her Sweet Crunchy Rice Balls.

This dish comes close to the peanut or sesame balls which are made with jaggery syrup and close to aval nanachathu ( a kerala delicacy). I am sure this has got you drooling already. So let me spare you with the story and get to the recipe

Ingredients
1 cup Flattened Rice or Poha (200 gms)
3/4 cup Jaggery (150 gms)
1/4  cup water or even less
Cardamom 3-4 pods
Sesame Seeds 2 tbsp
Ghee 2 tsp(optional) 
Coconut oil/Ghee 


My Way of Making
1.  Heat a wok and to it add the 2 tsp of ghee. Roast the flattened rice till crisp in low to medium flame.
2. Prepare the jaggery syrup and when its thick enough add the crushed cardamom pods and let it remain on the heat on low flame least you want the syrup getting hard.
3. Roast the sesame seeds as well.
4. Add the crisp poha and  sesame seeds to the jaggery syrup and mix well together till the mixture starts leaving the sides. 
5. Apply some ghee or coconut oil (I used coconut oil this time for a change)  to your hands and start rolling the mixture into balls once the mixture has cooled off a bit for you might burn your hand if you are not fast enough.
6. Allow to cool and store them in air tight containers or in the refrigirator


Notes
1. Use just the right amount of jaggery else you might end up in a too sweet dish and taste bitter.
2. This dish might  burn your hands so take extreme precaution while rolling the balls.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Chicken Savoury Muffins


 
What happens when you have left overs like rice? Make use of it for fried rice, curd rice and all other types of rice or may be make some (kondatams)fryums with them. I was clearly in no mood to make these simple things, now that the baking bug has caught me. I googled and googled until my search landed me on a page I really really liked and excited me.

I was short of few ingredients and I sent AR to fetch them for me. Ya, a very supportive husband that way, but oh he did not know what I was about to do with those ingredients. He was in total awe when he finally got to taste them.

This is definitely on the higher side of calories but its so filling that one can't eat more than two or three muffins at a stretch. So lets get started.


Ingredients
Left over cooked rice              - 1 cup 200 to 300 gms
Shredded Roasted Chicken    - 3/4 cup 150 to 250 gms
Eggs                                        - 3 to 4 depending on how much rice you have used
Oregano, basil, pepper, salt    - as per your taste.

My way of making

1. Mix all ingredients together along with spices.
2. Preheat oven to 180C and prepare a muffin tray.
3. Spoon some of the mix into the muffin tray and bake until around 20 minutes till you see a crust like formation on the top of the muffin or a toothpick inserted to the centre comes out clean.
4. Let them cool.
5. Relish them fresh


Notes
1. The original recipe calls for some cheese. Since I had none with me I skipped them. I am sure it would taste heavenly with them.
2. Not sure if this could be done without eggs. If anyone tries it out please let me know as well.
3. Chicken could be replaced with some peas masala, paneer masala, mushrooms and much more.
4. Mine was done around 17th minute so keep an eye from around 15.
5. I haven't added any veggies like tomatoes and onions separately since the roasted chicken already was prepared with a masala base.






Friday, 22 March 2013

Sponge Cake - Condensed milk



So what happens when your refrigerator conks off and you have butter, condensed milk, ghee, curd and all the other dairy products stored up, well would not matter much if it was the winter season but cant vouch for at this time of the year, so I just used up the condensed milk to make some sponge cake. This time around I used some butter too( yup! thanks again to the break down.) The beauty of condensed milk is that you just don't have to add sugar to the cake batter.

Sponge cake either way doesn't require much ingredients but this one is even more simple.

Ingredients
1.5 cups all purpose flour (approx to 200 gms)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 can (200 ml) condensed milk (that's all is what I had!)
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla essence

My way of making
1. Sift the flour,baking powder and baking soda together well so as to blend them with each other.
2. In a separate bowl mix together all the wet ingredients except milk.
3. Make some space in the center of the bowl of mixed dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.
4. If needed add milk step by step till you get a batter that is of ribbon form. Do not over mix as this will lead to stiff cake and more of milk will lead you to a very very moist cake.
5. Oh did we miss Pre Heating the oven to 180C?. Meanwhile prepare the greased loaf pan or cake tin and pour the batter into it and bake at 180C till about 20 minutes. Mine was done just around 18 mts so you may want to watch out by 15 mts.
6. Let it cool and enjoy as such or with some chocolate sauce just as I did. (My attempts at making the perfect chocolate sauce at home itself is still on.)

Note
1. Cake quality depends very much on how much mixing you do to the batter.
2. You could use some sprinklers to decorate the cake.
3. You could substitute milk with some orange juice as well.

On other notes if you would like to know more about egg-less baking here is a link  for your reference.


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sprouted Salad


With the ever growing demand for ladies to be on feet 24*7*365, snacking is definitely needed. What if that could be made healthy and quick fast snack. Proteins definitely play a big part in keeping the day going. What better than sprouts to fulfil the need of proteins. Typically sprouts could be made from anything like chickpeas to green gram to horse gram. Green gram and chickpeas usually makes up for sprouts but not many are in favour of horse gram. My stint with horse gram started way back in school when I was told to have them just steamed or as a sprout for health reasons. Then I just hated it. Now I tend to have them whenever I get a chance given the reason that AR is in favour of it too.

Horse gram definitely has its heath advantages like weight loss and sugar control.

Ingredients
100 gms sprouted horse gram
2 medium sized onions (chopped)
1 to 11/2 medium sized tomatoes (chopped)
1 tsp Olive Oil
1/3 tsp Vinegar
Salt - as per taste
Freshly ground Pepper - as per taste

My way of making
1. Soak horse gram overnight and drain water next day and leave it aside to sprout.
2. Steam the sprouted horse gram for few minutes before making the salad.
3. Mix Olive oil and vinegar to make the salad dressing and keep aside.
4. Mix together sprouts, chopped tomatoes and onions together with salt and pepper.
5. Add to this the salad dressing and toss them for seconds.

Makes a good filling snack on a very busy day!

Note
1. You will need to clean and wash the horse gram well since stone and mud particles are easily a spoil sport in this dish.
2. The general rule to make salad dressing is 3:1 wrt to Olive Oil to Vinegar.