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Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Mango milk shake - a simple summer cooler

It is that time of the year again. Holidays!!! The kid is at home, feeling hungry at all hours. Not only does she feel hungry and thirsty for 'specific' things - as in, I am thirsty for Coke, I am hungry for noodles........but she also wants variety in her food. Gone are the days when I could mash up pretty much any combination of edible stuff and coax her into eating it.
This mango milk shake with splashes of colour from mango and tutti fruity is visually appealing, not to mention easy to make.

What you need:
Mango - 1, peeled, and chopped (Finely chop and set aside about 4-5 tbsp of mango)
Millk - 2 cups, chilled
Sugar - 2 tsp (adjust depending on sweetness of mango)
Tutti fruity - a few spoonfuls

Puree the mango and sugar in a blender. Add the chilled milk and blend again until frothy. Pour into a glass. Top with some chopped mango and tutti fruity. Serve chilled.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bhel puri - Yes you too can make it at home

Chaat and Mumbai are almost synonyms. Almost every street here has not one, but several vendors who, once the sun goes down, set up their make shift chaat counters on the roadside. The way they throw a few things together, mix it up and serve it with ease is nothing short of an art that they have perfected. With so many options available, I prefer to have my quota of chaat at the nearest chaat shop but this time, I tried my hand at making it at home. While it is quite easy to put together once you are done with all the chopping and dicing, I think that the experience of standing amidst a crowd of fellow chaat lovers, watching the magic unfold as the flavours are blended together by practiced hands, is something that gives your chaat a certain character that cannot be replicated at home.

What you need:
Puffed rice/murmura
Onion - chopped fine
Tomato - chopped fine
Cilantro/corriander - chopped fine
Green chutney
Tamarind chutney
Chaat masala
Salt
Peanuts toasted in a little oil
Sev - for garnishing

I have not mentioned quantities in the above recipe, firstly because I didn't measure each ingredient separately and secondly because the recipe is very forgiving and you can add as much of each ingredient as you would like. So, if you want your bhel to be spicy, add more green chutney to it, whereas if you want it to be sweet and tangy, add more tamarind chutney to it. Keep tasting and adding or subtracting ingredients as per your wish. You could also add boiled, cubed potatoes, or raw mangoes if you would like to.
Take the puffed rice (which is the main ingredient) in a large mixing bowl. Add in all the other ingredients in the order listed. Mix well. Top with sev and serve immediately.

This post is part of the Blogging Marathon under the theme After school snacks. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 37
It also goes to Sowmya who is hosting Valli's Kids Delight -after school snacks.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The best whole wheat garlic bread recipe ever

For someone who hadn't tasted garlic before marriage, I sure have come a long way. This is one thing that is still not bought at my parents'. I, though, have developed a taste for the pungent bulb in certain dishes. Garlic bread is a favourite in our household and we are partial to the one served at Dominos. I tried recreating that at home using this recipe as the base and then tweaking it to suit my taste. I have made this using only whole wheat, no maida/APF at all.


What you need : (Recipe source : Veg Nation)
Whole wheat flour : 1 cup + 1/2 cup (The original recipe uses APF)
Instant yeast - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 7 cloves - peeled and ground/crushed coarsely
Olive oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
Water - Start with 1/2 a cup and then add more if needed. I used a little over 3/4 cups.
Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
Grated cheddar - 2 tbsp

Add instant yeast sugar, salt, 1 tbsp of olive oil and lukewarm water to 1 cup of the flour. Knead gently till the mixture just comes together. Cover and set aside until it doubles in volume. Once it doubles, punch the dough down, add the remaining flour and ground garlic and knead again to a smooth dough. Cover and let it rise until double again.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle. Spread the grated cheese over it and then fold the circle in half over itself to make a semi-circle. Seal the edges by pressing well. Spread the remaining oil on top of the dough and sprinkle seasoning over it.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy warm.

This post goes to PJ who is hosting Valli's Kid's Delight themed on Baked Treats.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 37




Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Jeera biscuits - savoury cumin flavoured cookies

The local trains of Mumbai are a world of their own.  Getting into the local train every morning is an exercise in dexterity and street smartness. Not only do you have to make sure you are properly positioned on the platform to make your entry into the exact compartment that you want to get into easy and quick, but you also have to deal with people who elbow their way through the crowd, walking into the thick of things and then standing right in the middle of all the seats. All quirks of humanity unfold along those railway tracks, in a compartment where humans are packed like sardines. Some smell like sardines too, but then, you learn to ignore and move away. The quirkiness of some of the regulars is enough to merit a post of its own. So I'll leave that for another post and move on to the subject of this post - salt biscuits that taste great with tea or on their own. Spiced with cumin, ajwain and methi, carrying these with you will also give you something to look forward to in case you get stuck next to someone who thinks that deodorant is an insult in a foreign language. You might elicit strange looks, though, if you keep opening your dabba and smelling these, but then, who cares?


What you need:
Whole wheat flour - 1cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp (adjust to taste)
Cumin seeds/jeera - 1 tsp
Ajwain/omam/carraway seeds - 1 tsp
Kasuri methi - 1/2 tsp
Ghee/clarified butter - 1 tbsp
Curd - 3-4 tbsp

Take the whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda and ghee in a large mixing bowl. Mix with your finger tips until the mixture is crumbly. Add cumin, ajwain and kasuri methi. Add curd, starting with 1 tbsp and then adding as needed, and knead to a smooth dough. Set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 10-12 minutes until the bottom starts to brown.
These cookies will be a little soft when you take them out, but become crisp as they cool down.
Store in an air tight container once completely cool.
This post goes to PJ who is hosting Valli's Kid's Delight themed on Baked Treats.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 37

Monday, February 10, 2014

Colourful cupcakes

Ever since I first saw a rainbow cake, it has fascinated me. I love not only the vivid array of bright colours in the cake, but also the name itself. I recently tried making these at home with the few colours I had on hand and in cupcake form.
 
What you need: (Recipe source :Seduce your tastebuds)
All purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Thick curd - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
 Oil - 1/2 cup
Food colour - a few drops of each colour you wish to use

In a bowl, whisk the curd and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Add the baking powder and baking soda to this. When the mixture starts to bubble, add oil and vanilla essence. Mix well. Stir in the flour little by little, mixing well after each addition.
Divide into as many parts as the colours you intend to use. I used pink, green and then a mixture of red and green together which gave me a dark olive-green-ish colour. I also kept one part of the batter plain. Mix the colour into the batter until well mixed.
Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners. Pour half a spoon of each coloured batter into the liners, one on top of the other. Don't worry about spreading the batter evenly. It will settle into beautiful coloured patterns by itself.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celsius for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme Kids' Delight - Oven baked snacks.
Enjoy plain or with some whipped cream piped on top of it.

This post goes to PJ who is hosting Valli's Kid's Delight themed on Baked Treats.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 37

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Super soft idlis - the quintessential South Indian breakfast

How we perceive food is influenced by our regular eating habits and the culture that we are from. While idli is considered healthy,light and easy on the stomach as it is oil-free and steamed by most South Indians, I recently came across a person who believes that idli is a very heavy food as it contains dal.
Idli is something that is made in my household quite often. In spite of that, I have never thought of posting it on the blog so far, as it is something that I consider to be simple, everyday food. However, many friends have spoken to me about how difficult they find it to make soft, fluffy idlis. Hence, this post.

What you need:
Idli rice* - 4 cups
Urad dal - 1 cup
Methi/fenugreek seeds - 1 tbsp

Wash the rice and dal and soak separately in plenty of water for at least 8 hours. Add the methi seeds to the urad dal after washing the dal.*
After an hour or two of soaking, pop the urad dal with the water in which it is soaking into the refrigerator. *
Grind the urad dal, along with the cold water until it becomes light and soft. This takes close to half an hour in a grinder.
Add the soaked rice, in batches, with water if necessary, and grind until smooth. This will take another 20-25 minutes. In the last few minutes of grinding, add in some salt.
Set aside the ground batter over night to ferment.
In the morning, grease the idli plates, pour the batter into it and steam for 10-12 minutes.
Let it cool for 5 minutes and then serve hot with molaga podi, chutney or sambar.

Notes :
* Idli rice is not the same as the regular rice used for cooking. It is labelled and sold as idli rice in most major grocery stores.
* Methi seeds can be soaked with either rice or dal. However, since the urad dal is ground for a longer time in the grinder, I have found that the seeds are well ground if they are soaked with the urad dal, whereas, if you were to soak it with the rice, you might find little brown flakes of methi in your idlis.
* Putting the urad dal in the refrigerator is optional. However, I have found that the yield of batter is significantly more if this is done.

This is my post for Blogging Marathon #36, under the theme Oil-free breakfast.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 36
This is also my 14th post for Blogathon 2014, a daily blogging event for the month of January. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Peppy tomato oats to start the day with

Masala oats (oats in different Indian flavours) have been doing the rounds for a while now. Somehow, I have never been tempted to buy these. The only way I have eaten my oats till now is cooked and then mixed with milk, nuts and raisins. However, this recipe that I saw on a TV channel tempted me enough to buy Saffola masala oats. Loaded with vegetables, this is a great way to start your day.


What you need:
Saffola masala oats (I used the peppy tomato flavour) - 2 pkts (40 gm each)
Onion - 2, chopped fine
Ginger - a small piece, julienned
Green chilli - 2, minced
Carrot - 1, grated
Capsicum - 1/2 of a large one, chopped fine
Tomato - 1, chopped fine
Fresh green peas - a handful
Moong bean sprouts - a handful
Salt - to taste (Be careful with the salt as the oats comes with salt added to it)
Oil - 1 tsp
Jeera/cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp

Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin and mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the green chilli, ginger and onions. Saute until onions turn translucent. Add in the rest of the vegetables(except tomato) followed by the masala oats. Mix well, lower the heat, cover and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. You do not need to add water, as the water from the vegetables is sufficient for the oats to be cooked. Add in the tomatoes. Stir again and heat covered until the oats is well cooked. (takes 2-4 minutes). Switch off the heat and top with a handful of chopped corrainder leaves.
Serve hot.

This is my post for Blogging Marathon #36, under the theme Oil-free breakfast.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 36
This is also my 13th post for Blogathon 2014, a daily blogging event for the month of January.