22 Aug 2012

Mini Lunch series - 1.....A Fresh Start to re-blogging !!

I understand it has been a seriously long time since I blogged my recipes, but a lot has been going around in life here, relocating (a BIG one !!) and settling down. And wait,.... lot of experiments in the kitchen. I have loads of interesting, tasty and ever so easy recipes to make. I am really delighted to be back in the Blog-o-sphere !!

For breakfast, we had yesterday's leftover pasta, and some really tasty super simple Apple milkshake with nuts. The leftovers when put in front of Mr.CC (This is what I call hubby dear from now), brings out a hilariously comical expression on his face and his comical OMG, which can make me have a big smile on my face even when I type this. I will be giving the recipe of the tasty (I think I am seriously over using this word :P) lip smacking pasta sans photos sadly in my next post. I am in a mode where I want to be cooking different things every single day, so please bear with me to update the post with the photos of the pasta.

Coming to the actual recipe post, Mr.CC and myself just love okra and Thats just what I made for lunch today after a long time.

Mini Lunch - 1 : Basmati rice, Seasoned Lentil mash (Seasoned whole masoor dal), Stir-fried okra, set low fat Youghurt and a Kiwi

Microwave cooked Basmati rice

Serves 3

Preparation: 1 min
Cooking time : 13 mins
Standing time : 5 mins

Basmati rice - 3/4 cup
Water - 2 cups

1. Wash the rice 3 times and empty the washed rice into a Microwave proof glass dish.
2. Pour the measured amount of water over the rice and cook the rice, without a lid on High for 13.5 minutes
3. Once the rice is done close the dish with a lid and let it stand for 5 minutes.
4. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot, or use it to make other dishes.

Seasoned whole masoor dal / Seasoned Lentil mash

Serves 3

Preparation time : 2-3 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins

Whole masoor dal, soaked overnight - 2/3 cup
Ginger, finely chopped - 2.5 inch piece
Garlic, finely chopped - 2 big cloves
Dry red chillies (optional), round variety - 4
Dry curry leaves - few
Cumin - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/3 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Water - 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Lime juice - 2-3 tsps
Salt - 1 tsp

1. Cook (I pressure cooked them) the lentils till they turn really soft. Set aside.
2. In a deep pan, heat the oil on medium heat, drop in the chillies breaking them by hand, dry curry leaves, cumin and mustard.
3. Once the spices start spluttering add the garlic, saute till the garlic turns aromatic.
4. Add the ginger and saute of medium low heat till there is no raw smell. At this point add the turmeric saute for 10 secs.
5. Add the cooked lentils, salt and 1/2 cup water, adding more water when required according to the consistency desired. Mix well, let the dal simmer on low heat for 8-10 mins for the flavour of the seasoning to blend in nicely.
6. Remove from heat and add 2 tsps of lime juice, adding more if required. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Stir-fried Okra (MIL's style)

Serves 3

Preparation : 10 mins
Cooking time : 15 mins

Okra, chopped into bite size pieces - 700 gms
Cumin - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1/3 tsp
Dry curry leaves - few
Asafoetida - a pinch
Chilli powder (optional) - 1/4 tsp
Dessicated coconut / Fresh grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp

1. Heat oil in a wide pan, add the cumin, curry leaves, mustard and asafoetida.
2. Once the spices start spluttering, add the okra and stir well.
3. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 minutes.
4. After 3 mins add salt, mix well. Cover with a lid and cook for further 5 mins.
5. Remove the lid, add the chilli powder and dessicated coconut and cook for another 5-7 mins, stirring in between.
6. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Note: To avoid slimy okra, it is best to wash well the okra to remove the dirt and cut into the desired size and spreading them on kitchen paper to dry out completely while you are busy with other stuff.


Abhilasha :)

1 Jan 2012

Warm Wishes for the NEW YEAR ......

Lots of work going on here in the kitchen ;)

Heartfelt wishes for a very happy and prosperous new year and best wishes for the years to come !!

Here is a glance of what all was going on in my kitchen here :)

Eggless chocolate sponge with strawberries and vanilla cream

Eggless Blackforest gateau

Fresh fenugreek leaves (methi) paratha (Home grown methi)

A glance of my soon coming mini lunch series (An attempt to blog regularly a balanced lunch recipe )

Spinach (palak) paratha, okra stir fry and onion-fresh corriander raita

Bisi bela huli and onion-tomato raita

Vegetarian fried rice-noodles and soya chunks in a spicy sauce

I wish you all a sweet and savoury year ahead ..... indulge and enjoy keeping in check your waistline ....... ^_^

CHEERS for the new year !!

Thanks for stopping by, all your comments and mails mean a lot to me........they make my day :)


12 Oct 2011

Moist and eggless chocolate marble cake

I welcome all you readers to a world of eggless bakes that tries to compete neck to neck with the "real deal", yes I try and bake without any eggs trying to achieve the same kind if texture, moistness and the quality of the baked goodies with added eggs. I have got a taste of both the versions. Of late I have been baking lot of bread, almost once a week and now I have the bread formula in my head !!

Lot can be done to create a recipe from a base recipe
- tweaking it here and there but mostly trying to keep it as it was
- trying to understand the purpose of each element in the recipe and trying to substitute some in some cases like nut allergy, gluten intolerance, egg allergy etc...,
- trying to add some more elements into the recipe to make it more suitable to your tastes

Whatever you try to do to an original recipe, the basic thing will be to understand the purpose of each and every element of the recipe. Not only what the recipe contains but understanding the method is also very important. I have been trying to do a so called "research" on how to make eggless bakes as tasty and trying to imitate the quality of the baked goods with eggs in it. Difficult as it is, I decided in making my experimenting more exciting by trying to avoid using the saturated solid fat like butter.

The bread experimenting had started some months back, after many partially cooked, ok and good bread later, I got my recipe for a basic bread loaf. After some accidental experimenting, yes I say accidental because I had never intended to add those things into the recipe until after I started making it. Well after an accidental experiment SUCCESS !! in baking a chocolate marble cake with khoa and I was on cloud nine after hubby dear rated it a 9 on 10 (he told a 9 because he found it a bit salty, well no arguments he is the best critic when it comes to my food :)......). I thought why not try making it with ricotta cheese. Hence, this recipe

For a 21 x 12 x 8 cm loaf you need, all the measurements are in cups and spoons for ease.

Milk - 1 cup (I used whole milk, you can even use skimmed milk)
Rice vinegar - 2 tsps (I used this since the vinegar available here are either with herbs or strong tasting for a cake)
Semi-white wheat flour (farine mi-blanche) - 3/4 cup + 4 tbsps
Fine semolina - 1/2 cup
Raw cane sugar - 1 cup + 4 tbsps
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 2/3 tsp
Sunflower oil - 1/3 cup
Ricotta cheese - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 4 tsps
Cocoa powder - 4 tbsps

1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C. Line the loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Mix the vinegar into the milk and keep aside. (If you are using rice vinegar like me the milk wont curdle like with other vinegars, dont bother the cake will turn out well !)
3. Put in the measured flour (3/4 cup), semolina (1/2 cup), sugar (1 cup), baking powder and baking soda mix them well so that the leavening agents are homogenously distributed.
4. Mix into the milk-vinegar mixture the oil and vanilla extract.
5. Mix the milk mixture and the flour mixture into a smooth batter. The batter will be slightly thin at this stage.
6. In a separate bowl beat and smoothen out the ricotta cheese that has already been measured.
7. Add this to the cake batter in step 5 and fold it in nicely to obtain a homogenous mixture.
8. Take around 1/3 rd of the prepared cake batter and to it add the cocoa powder and mix till you get a uniformly coloured batter.
9. To the rest of the cake batter add the flour (4tbsps) and sugar (4 tbsps) and mix well.
10. Now following this method for marbling the cake (excellent video!! with the method and results), fill in the prepared loaf tin or any tin of your desire with all the cake batter.
11. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 60 mins or till the cake tester comes out clean. Cool it, slice and serve as it is or with berries or icecream.

This is one experiment that turned out to be a success !
The ricotta version was good though I find myself partial to the khoa one.The chocolate marble cake with khoa tasted out of this world ! It was utterly delicious and one of the most addictive cakes that I have ever made. 

It is very important to handle the cake with care and let it cool completely before you try and cut it.

I will be posting the khoa version soon, so wait up you guys for an absolute treat !!

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

29 Aug 2011

Amazingly soft butterless & eggless milk buns

Back into the blogosphere after a really long break !!!

I have been continually trying and experimenting with new recipes or improvising on the old ones during these months of absence. Many new recipes were born out of sheer need for palate pleasing food without many gadgets and many ingredients. I was out of the baking zone for a long long time.......happy to be back and enjoying the joy of baking bread at home, with amazing results :)

Several recipes, trials, not so-so and so-so results later I finally got "THE" recipe for really soft home made milk buns. The trick to getting these soft is the amount of liquid and kneading of the dough.

I got this video when I was searching for bread on youtube, it was this recipe that worked for me. I tweaked the recipe a bit, most of it is exactly as in the video.

So here goes the recipe, for 6 small buns you will need,

Whole wheat flour - 250 gms
Whole Milk - 200 gms
Sugar - 30 gms
Active dried yeast - 4 gms
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Olive oil - 25 gms + more while kneading

1. Take 1 1/2 tsps of sugar from the already measured amount place it in a glass or porcelain bowl pour some of the luke warm milk on to it, mix well and then sprinkle the yeast over it. Cover it and leave it aside to ferment and bubble up for 10 - 12 mins.

2. Mix into the rest of the luke warm milk the left out sugar and salt.

3. Place the mixing bowl over a measuring scale and measure the flour and oil. Mix the oil well into the flour.

4. Mix the yeast mixture well with a wooden spoon. Make a well in the center of the flour-oil mixture and pour the yeast mixture and the milk-sugar-salt mixture (IMP: reserve 1/3rd of the milk-sugar-salt mixture for brushing the rolls later).

5. Mix all the above nicely with a wooden spoon and then, take some oil on to your hand and start kneading the dough. Knead till the dough is soft and does not stick to your hand. It took around 12- 13 mins for me to achieve this by hand.

6. In a big greased plastic / glass / porcelain bowl transfer the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 90 mins or till doubled in size.

7. When the dough is doubled, remove the dough and gently form it into a tube and cut 6 equal pieces. Shape them into a ball and place them on a prepared (greased & floured) baking tray and lightly flatten them.

8. Brush the rolls with the left out milk-sugar-salt mixture and cover them with greased plastic wrap for the final rising of 45 mins.

9. During the last 10 mins of the final rising, preheat the oven to 220 deg C.

10. Now, uncover the risen rolls, sprinkle with toppings of your choice.(I had sprinkled some with white sesame seeds.). Place the trays in the oven and bake for 10-12 mins.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

20 Apr 2011

An almost museli - fruit and nut granola

Breakfast is one of the most important meal to kick start a day packed with energy. Here, we both prefer a nutrient rich and light breakfast. I used to buy this breakfast cereal to eat in the morning with milk, we used to always find it very sticky and too soft once you pour milk over it. Then I saw many recipes for something called granola, I did know what museli was and I loved it for breakfast with some cut apples in it. It was just a "perfect" way to start a day for me !

I just felt that most of the granola recipes had too much sugar and oil (may be butter also) in it. I got this really good recipe for a granola here, from Meeta at What's for lunch, honey?.
Oh yea, I did tweak the recipe here and there to suit our tastes. I am giving here the final version of the recipe that I usually make when we want a good museli at home.

These are what you need to make a hearty granola,

5 cereal mix, rolled - 400 gms
Cranberries, raisins, apricots and dates - 145 gms
Figs, almonds, pistachios and walnuts - 140 gms
Sunflower seeds - 90 gms
Cinnamon, ground - 2/3 tsp
Raw cane sugar - 90 gms
Molasses - 20 gms (1 Tbsp)
Water - 25 gms
Oil - 1/3 tsp (I used rape seed oil)

1. Preheat the oven at 160 deg C. Line a sheet tray with baking paper. 

2. In a big pan mix the sugar, molasses, water and oil. Heat it and keep stirring it to make it a homogeneous mixture and to help the sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat as soon as the sugar has dissolved.

3. To the sugar mixture add the 5 rolled cereal mix, chopped figs (only it they are too wet), chopped almonds, pistachios and walnuts, sunflower seeds and ground cinnamon. Mix well to nicely coat all the cereal and nuts as much as possible.

4. Spread this mixture on the lined baking tray. Bake for 30 mins or till the cereal starts looking lightly browned. Mix the baking mixture 2 - 3 times, so that they are all equally browned.

5. As soon as the baked cereal mixture is removed from the oven, tip in rest of the dry fruits (chopped if needed like the apricots). Mix well and let it cool completely before storing it in a container.

Serving suggestions: Eat as a morning cereal, sprinkle over milkshakes, use to layer parfaits, you can even add some to your home made icecream, oh! I can go on..... :P

Have fun baking :)

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

13 Apr 2011

Some teasing and a delectable Beetroot halwa

There are times in your life where you feel so elated at such simple things life throws at you. You have so much fun doing somethings so silly !!!! little you realise that if someone sees what you were upto, you would look quite stupid. Well.... as long as there you have fun and find joy in somethings, nothing really bothers you ! (right ?).

It is kind of related and unrelated to me having a good time teasing a neighbour's cat.....  :) It is one of the most good looking cats I have seen here ! It is a very naught cat too. The other day when it was raining I noticed something sitting on my bathroom window, it was this naughty cat sitting there. Our neighbour has two cats, and both of them are really naughty and very very good looking ones !

Every evening, she whistles for the cats calling their names and they slowly reluctantly come back home, exactly like how we used to be when we were kids (but mom never used to whistle for us obviously ! ..... :P).

Ok now back to the recipe story. Once when I had asked my dear hubby whether he had tasted beetroot halwa, he told me "Oh yes ! mom used to make it so many times, I used to really like it." Contrary to him, I had tasted the halwa only once till now. It was so good !!. 

The next day I got hands on really fresh beetroot in the supermarket, asked mom whether anything different has to be done to prepare beetroot halwa or is it the same as the one we prepare with carrots. She told me to try out the same way that we prepare carrot halwa. I did try and succeed :) yay !
I pretty much followed the same method and mesurement ratios as for carrot halwa.

We need,

Beetroot, grated (with a big grating slot) - 220 gms
Milk - 11/2 cups
Cashews, pistachios and almonds - 5 each, chopped
Raw cane sugar (or you can use the regular white one) - 41/2 Tbsps (I would suggest you to reduce the sugar or increase depending on the sweetness of the beetroot)
Green cardamom pods, powdered - 2
Ghee / clarified butter - 1/3 tsp

1. Heat the ghee in a pan, add the cashews and saute them till they turn light golden brown.

2. Tip in all the grated beetroot and fry for 6-7 mins (till the raw smell goes and it starts to change colour.

3. Pour the milk and bring it to a boil and keep stirring it, you do not want the bottom to burn !

4. Once the milk starts boiling add in the chopped pistachios and almonds. Keep stirring.

5. Once the beetroot has absorbed almost all of the milk poured, add the sugar and cardamom powder and stir well. The mixture will get little thinner in consistency due to the addition of sugar.

6. Cook the halwa for another 8-9 mins. Just take care not to cook the halwa till it is too dry because it will get really sticky. So remove it from the heat when the halwa is soft just take care that you do not see any watering liquid.

Thanks for visiting my blog :)

25 Mar 2011

Loads of recipes coming soon....

The windows os has crashed. I am using Linux now. Just waiting impatiently for Hubby dear to fix it, for me to post on my blog....

I will be soon posting some of my recipes....

Thanks for visiting my blog :)