Monthly Archives: August 2012

Broccoli Soup

Like it or not, we have to eat three times a day. To cut out the tedious work, I have tried every possible trick in the book and then some more.

I cook more rice than needed and serve with curd and pickle the next day. Breakfast is cornflakes. There will be dosa batter (ready made, of course) in the fridge. I cut the vegetables for the week in advance, so that I won’t feel lazy. I grate coconut in advance, always. I even blend the coconut, green chilies and cumin seeds together so that making thoran (side dish with coconut) is easy.

I have even tried having a heavy lunch, so that I can skip dinner. It didn’t work, obviously, cos the stomach cannot be reasoned, it can only be fed at regular intervals.

The ‘restaurant threat’ is reserved for those days when laziness is at its peak (read weekends). Hubby doesn’t mind, but there are times when he wants to relax at home too. But in the new place, the nearest restaurant is at least 7-8 kms away. Now I have to resort to easy meals like this to kill those hunger pangs which never fail to attack me at 8AM, 1 PM and 8 PM everyday.

Serves : 1

Ingredients:

  • Broccoli       :          1 cup florets
  • Garlic            :          2 pods
  • Butter           :          1 -2 tsp
  • Milk              :          1 cup (might need more)
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. Microwave the broccoli florets and peeled garlic pods with the butter for 4-5 minutes or till cooked.
  2. Cool it and blend with milk. If it turns out to be too thick, add some more milk to get to the desired consistency.
  3. Add seasonings. Mix and pour it back to the same MW bowl and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings. Serve with toasted bread and salad.

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Cabbage Stuffed Paratha

It would have been their fiftieth wedding anniversary in September. That’s when our neighbor uncle passed away, peacefully, in his sleep.

A few days short of fifty years of togetherness. A happy lifetime together with aunty.

They weren’t financially well off. But looking at them, you would know that you don’t need money to be happy.

And our poor aachi aunty, she has to get up every morning alone, knowing that the familiar face will not be around. I wish her the courage to face the coming days and years.

Your silent presence will be missed, uncle. May your soul rest in peace.

Recipe Source : Yummy Tummy

Ingredients:

  • Cabbage                      :        1 cup, very finely chopped
  • Onion                           :        1 small, finely chopped
  • Chili Powder             :         1 tsp (or to taste)
  • Turmeric Powder   :         1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Powder  :        1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste :         1 tsp
  • Wheat Flour              :          2 cups
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Make the chapati dough by mixing and kneading the wheat flour with about a cup of water. Cover and keep aside. Mince or grate the cabbage for stuffing. I use food processor for mincing cabbage and for making the chapati dough. So it gets done in a jiffy.
  2. Heat  about 2 tsp of oil in a kadai. Add the ginger garlic paste and the onions. Saute till the onions turn pink. Add the cabbage and the chili, coriander, turmeric powders and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes plus, stirring now and then, till the cabbage is cooked and the stuffing is totally dry. Keep aside.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Roll out one ball out into 4″ diameter circle first. Dust the dough with some wheat flour for easy rolling.
  4. Add about a tbsp of the cabbage filling and seal the dough ball from all sides. Dust in flour again and roll out into a 6 – 7″ big paratha. Do not apply a lot of pressure since the filling might break out.
  5. Cook both sides of the paratha in a hot tawa, smearing ghee or oil. Repeat the rolling, filling and cooking with the remaining dough balls.
  6. Serve hot with curd and pickle.

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Mint Pesto Sandwiches

Moms know their kids’ well. Really well.

For example, it takes less than a moment for me to know when my child is hungry, angry, tired or bored. I could spot him a mile away anywhere. As any proud mama, I assumed that I knew everything about him.

That’s when the school Sports Day came.

Looking for my son, in a group of 150 kids – all of them almost of the same height and wearing the same white & white uniform, was no easy deal. I must have waved at least 20 kids , thinking it was mine. In fact, to this day, I am not sure I would have spotted him correctly, if it not for his teacher directing him to walk forward.

He was the only one who was marching backwards!

Unique kid, but still a bit difficult to differentiate easily in a similar crowd.

The feeling is similar when I buy green leafy vegetables. Each variety is different, but still difficult and confusing to differentiate when there are too many varieties sitting next to each other. So I am sticking to some greens that no one can get confused with, for the last week of Blogging Marathon 19. The theme is ‘Cooking with Greens’, and I have chosen the ‘Spread, Stuffing and Blended’ combination.

Starting with Mint and coriander pesto. Cabbage and Broccoli recipes to follow. Now, that’s some greens no one is going to get confused with!

Recipe Source: Macheesmo

Ingredients:

  • Mint leaves              :        1 bunch (About 1.5 cups)
  • Coriander leaves   :        1/4 bunch (About 1/2 cup)
  • Almonds                   :        2 tbsp
  • Garlic                         :        3-4 cloves
  • Cheese                       :        1/3 cup
  • Olive Oil                    :        1/3 cup (or more)
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. Clean and wash the mint and coriander leaves. Pluck the leaves and discard the stems for the mint.
  2. Toast almonds in a pan for about 2 minutes (optional).
  3. Toss everything in a food processor and pulse it a couple of times to get a coarse mix, don’t grind it into a paste.
  4. Do a taste test and season with salt and pepper.  Use as a spread for pizza or sandwiches or for making pasta.

For the sandwich:

  • Mint Pesto
  • Thinly Sliced Cucumber
  • Thinly sliced Tomatoes
  • Cheese Slice
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Bread Slices
  • Butter/Ghee
  1. Spread a tsp or two of pesto on a slice of bread. Top it with a couple of slices of cucumber, tomato and cheese. Cover with another slice of bread.
  2. Heat a spoon of ghee or butter in a pan and toast the sandwich on both sides for half a minute each or till the bread turns golden. You can grill the sandwich instead of this stovetop method too.

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Filed under Any Time Foods, Break Fast Recipes

Chocolate Syrup

Kiddo had a test for allergy and he was asked to come into the lab after 48 hours of giving a shot. It took me an hour and a half of travel, one way, to get to the lab and another 1.5 hours to come back home. And at the lab, all they did was to  look into his hand and say that he was fine.

Three hours of travel for a two minute job.

Yet I am not complaining. I am too tired for even that!

All I want now is to sit, relax and have a cup of hot chocolate. It is made more tastier by the fact that it is homemade. Completely.

Recipe Source: One Good thing by Jillee

Ingredients:

  • Cocoa Powder                     :       3/4 cup
  • Sugar                                       :       1 1/2 cups
  • Water                                      :       1 cup
  • Vanilla Extract                   :       1 tsp
  • Salt                                           :      a pinch

Method:

  1. Mix the cocoa powder, sugar and salt in a thick bottomed pan. Whisk.
  2. Add water and mix with a rubber spatula so that there are no dry lumps.
  3. Heat this and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. When it boils, reduce the heat and cook for a further 1 minute.
  4. Cool and refrigerate. Drizzle over ice creams, make milkshakes or hot chocolate.

Note: Before storing in a bottle, I filtered the syrup using a tea strainer to remove the dregs from cocoa. Else, you can filter when you are making your hot cocoa or milkshake.

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Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads, Sweets and Desserts

Chocolate Brownies

From the minute I entered my brother’s place, I had to endure really mean looks from my niece. I was a stranger whom she didn’t approve of. Not one to sit quiet, she would let out loud screeches whenever she found me doing things she didn’t like.

Like talking to her parents. Or even mine, for that matter. I tried complaining to my brother and sister in law, they responded with a very logical ‘She will be clingy, she is only one year old’ to me.

Well, can’t argue that. She is too young to be reasoned. And yes, I was invading her territory. And errrrr….my son was playing with her toys.

That’s too much to take in for anyone, let alone an year old baby.

So, after a failed attempt of winning her through love and patience, I resorted to the next best method. Bribing.

Nutella, at first. And then chocolate brownies. And behold…I am her favorite aunt now.

Note down the recipe, if you have a child or even adult to win over.

Recipe Source: My Diverse Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • All purpose Flour                :      1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar                                        :       1 cup
  • Cocoa                                       :        1/2 cup
  • Baking Soda                          :        1 tsp
  • Egg                                            :        1
  • Sour milk/Butter milk     :         3/4 cup
  • Butter                                      :         1 stick (about 115 gms)
  • Vanilla Extract                    :         1 tsp

Method:

  1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 13 X 9 pan.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar in a big bowl. Add the egg (I followed Aparna’s method of substituting it with a spoon of baking powder). Add in everything and beat well with a hand mixer. I had doubled the recipe and used a really large bowl for mixing.
  3. Pour into the greased tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, checking with a skewer towards the end, Take off the oven when the skewer comes out with a few dry crumbs attached to it. Once its cool, cut into small squares and top with ice cream and serve.

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Filed under Cakes and Bakes, Sweets and Desserts

Chocolate Blunder

I have lost the words.

I have lost the rhythm.

I have even lost the recipe here – which is a good thing, actually.

If you are wondering why – the halwa (well, that’s what I was trying to make) turned out to be sticky. It ended up giving a good exercise for my jaws. It had me chewing and sent me to a contemplative mood for a long time.

The only saving grace was that chocolate, being chocolate, tasted good the entire half an hour it was in my mouth. So there is no way I am going to share my version of the recipe. I might have people cook from here and serve it when I visit them!

You can check out the original recipe here, for a blunder-free version.

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Quick Capsicum Curry

‘Yes and No’ means ‘First I will and then I won’t’.

Says my son when I question him why his lunch box is coming back as such. Nothing is eaten from it, not even the fruit pieces. The lunch box is returned to me in the evening with a matching foul mood to accompany it.

I have learnt that in the evenings, a warm early dinner is more welcome than a lecture on not to waste food. I feed him his dinner first, almost as soon as he returns from school.

And the lecture…that I serve later!

I made the dough for rotis (for about 6 rotis). While it was resting I made the capsicum curry. The curry was done in less than 15 minutes. I made the rotis and the entire meal was done within 30 minutes.

Recipe Source: UK-Rasoi

Serves : 3

Ingredients:

  • Capsicum                           :           3 big
  • Gram Flour/Besan         :           5-6 tbsp
  • Red Chili Powder           :            1-2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder          :            1/2 tsp
  • Half of a lemon or 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Clean and dice the capsicum into 1″ squares.
  2. Heat about a tablespoon of oil. Add the capsicum pieces and cook for about 4-5 minutes. I prefer the peppers cooked than crunchy, so I cook for another 3-4 minutes until the peppers change color.
  3. Add salt, turmeric powder and chili powder. Mix well.
  4. Add the besan and mix well. Cook for 4-5 minutes, mixing frequently to avoid burning.
  5. Once the gram flour changes color and is cooked completely, take off the heat.
  6. Add the lemon juice and mix for the flavors to blend.
  7. Serve with chapati or rice.

puribhaji-001

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Filed under Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes

Short, Sweet & Spicy : Pepper Rasam

Some things in life are short.

Some others are sweet. Some spicy.

Like this post. Short and sweet :-D

And the recipe shared here : an easy to make sweet, spicy and tangy Menasina Saaru (Pepper Rasam).

Enjoy it with Carrot Palya and Beans Palya, all cooked in 30 min flat!

My Blog Hop Partner for this month is Smitha from Kannada Cuisine. And my Blogging Marathon theme is 30 minute meals. So here is the best of both worlds, a simple meal that can be put together in 30 minutes – all chosen from Smitha’s space.

This menu needs a bit of planning so that everything gets cooked within 30 min. You need to start off with rice (and I always cook dal along with it). Once the rice is in the cooker, you need to prepare the rasam. While the rasam is boiling, you can start preparing the vegetables. When the veggies are in the MW, you can finish off the rasam and get the seasonings ready for the vegetables. It was easy for me since I was only cooking for two. If the quantities were higher, I am not sure I could have managed two side dishes.

Pepper Rasam

Ingredients:

  • Tamarind paste             :         1 tsp
  • Jaggery                             :         1-2 tsp
  • Water                                :          3 cups approx
  • Coriander leaves           :         2 tbsp
  • Salt as required

Crush/Blend together:

  • Pepper                              :         1 tsp
  • Jeera                                  :         1 tsp
  • Garlic                                 :         2-3 cloves

Seasoning:

  • Ghee                                   :         1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds               :            1/2 tsp
  • Dry red Chillies             :           3
  • Curry leaves                   :           5-6
  • Hing                                   :            a pinch

Method:

  1. Add the tamarind paste and jaggery to 3 cups water. Bring it to a boil.
  2. Heat ghee in a separate pan. Add the seasoning (mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves and hing). Add the crushed pepper, jeera(cumin) and garlic to it. Take care not to burn it. Once its fragrant, tip it onto the tamarind water along with salt and coriander leaves. Let it boil for 3-5 minutes. Check salt and other seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  3. Serve hot with rice.

Carrot Palya

Serves 1 – 2.

Ingredients:

  • Carrot               :      1 big (or beans :  10-15)
  • Coconut           :       1/4 cup
  • Salt
  • Oil                      :        1 tsp
  • lemon juice    :         1/2 tsp, optional

Tempering

  • Mustard seeds    : 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal          :      1/2 tsp
  • Chana dal       :       1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilies     :      1
  • Curry leaves

Method:

  1. Wash and clean the vegetable. Slice into circles or chop into small cubes. Microwave covered for 5 minutes, or until the veggies are cooked.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the tempering items one after the other. Once they splutter, add the cooked carrots.
  3. Add salt and coconut and mix.
  4. Cook for a further minute, take off the heat and add lemon juice and serve.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#19

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Filed under Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes

What a thought!

To all those who miss me…

  • To my friends who were able to reach me in my mobile before, the signal is pretty bad in the new house. That’s why I am not reachable.
  • To my friends who used to reach me in the land line phone, the builder is not even done with laying down the cable.That’s why I am not reachable there.
  • To those whom I used to mail once in a while, I am busy with sweeping, mopping and washing the dishes. That’s why I am not responding to your mails.
  • To those who visit my blog, I am using data card for internet now. Do you have any idea how slow it is! That’s why I am not blogging regularly.
  • To those whom I used to meet regularly, I am out of station. That’s why I am not at home when you visit.
  • To mom, dad and brother, don’t say I am not reachable – cause I am right here next to you now!

I know you miss me, I miss you too and I will be back soon :)

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Filed under This, that and the other