Monthly Archives: September 2012

Badam Sheera

I used to make kiddo sleep by 8 PM when we were in the old apartment. But here in the new place,  its a great feat if I can drag him home by 8 PM. After a light dinner, bath and brushing his teeth later, I would take the protesting kid to the bed.

So, its hardly surprising that he won’t get up in the mornings, raising my BP again. Its tough to get a sleepy kid ready for school. Its all the more difficult, cause the mommy in question (yes, me, myself and Rajani) is also half asleep. The morning feet of brushing, breakfast and getting ready for school is always laced with a lot of coaxing and a lot of threats. He reaches school, just about in time and I always feel that I have aged an year more by then.

But this morning, he got up at 7AM sharp. He was bright eyed and started his day with full energy. Why? Because his 2nd term holidays are starting today. And beleive me, I feel as if I have aged two years this morning!

Like my son reaching the school late, I am also late for the last day of Blogging Marathon 20. I am paired with Preeti of Preeti’s Kitchen Life and this post is inspired from her Badam ka Halwa recipe.

Check out the other bloggers, who have posted their entries on time, here in the Blogging Marathon page.

Makes : 2 small servings  

Ingredients: 

  • Almonds                :           1/2 cup, blanched
  • Milk                         :           1/4 cup + 3 tbsp
  • Ghee                        :           1 tbsp
  • Sugar                       :           1/4 cup
  • Almond slivers, for garnish

Method: 

  1. Blanch the almonds and peel them. I did the blanching in MW.
  2. Blend the almonds with 3 tbsp of milk to get a paste. You might have to add a bit more milk, if required, to get a smooth paste.
  3. Heat ghee in a pan, add the almond paste and cook till it changes color. You need to stir continuosly, else the almonds might burn.
  4. Add 1/4 cup milk, stir and simmer for about  2-3 minutes. Add sugar and cook, stirring continuously, till the sugar dissolves and the water from it evaporates. Cook till the required consistency is reached.
  5. Serve hot, garnished with slivered almonds.

Note: The quantity of milk here is approximate. You might have to add a little more, if the halwa turns out to be very thick. The halwa will turn out to be hard, if you cook for a really long time after the sugar is added. You will have to take it out when the ‘halwa’ consistency is reached.

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Dal Makhni..well, almost!

There was this packet of black Urad dal sitting in the pantry for a long time. I have bought it with an idea of making Dal Makhni. So when I spotted the recipe in Preeti’s space, who is my BM partner for the last week of Blogging Marathon, I didn’t delay any further.

The dals were soaked and pressure cooked.

I chopped the onions and was checking for the chilies when it dawned on me that I was out of green chilies!

And tomatoes. And ginger. And chili powder. And coriander powder. And cumin seeds. And coriander leaves, while we are at it.

Ok, so it was time for grocery shopping and I was lagging behind. But with the dal in the pressure cooker and no shops anywhere in a 6 km radius, I had to act quickly. I reached out for the sambar powder (I hadn’t run out of that, thankfully!) and added it to the curry. It tasted decent, though not authentic.

Well, how can it be, without tomatoes and chilies or any of the flavors, that make it what it is!? Anyway, noting down the original recipe here.

And please check your pantry and the fridge before you start cooking this :)!

Recipe Source: Preeti’s Kitchen Life

Serves : 5-6

Ingredients:

  • Whole black Urad dal                :                 1 cup
  • Rajma (Red kidney beans)      :                  1/4 cup
  • Ginger                                              :                  1″ piece
  • Garlic                                                :                 3 pods
  • Green chilies                                  :                 2 -3
  • Onion                                                :                 1, chopped
  • Tomatoes                                        :                 2
  • Cumin seeds                                   :                 1 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi                                  :                 1 tsp
  • Chili powder                                   :                1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder                       :                 1 tsp
  • Milk                                                   :                 1/2 cup
  • Water                                                :                 1-2 cups
  • Salt
  • Ghee/Oil

Method:

Preparation:

  1. Wash and soak the dals in water for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  2. Add salt and enough water to cover the lentils and then pressure cook for a whistle. Then lower the heat to sim and cook further for about 10 minutes. The dals need to be cooked until they are really soft to touch.

Making:

  1. Finely chop the onions, green chilies, ginger and garlic. Chop one tomato and puree the other one.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a pan, add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the onions, chilies, ginger and garlic. Saute till it turns pink. Add the tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder, salt, half a tsp of turmeric powder and kasuri methi. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the pureed tomatoes. Cook for a further 3 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked dals and the milk and a cup of water. Add more water and bring it to the consistency you prefer. Bring to a boil and check/adjust the seasonings. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves and dotted with butter/cream.

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Onion Parathas

There are times when we are happy, and times when we are sad.

And then there are times when we are plain stupid.

Now, these, I can tell you, are recollected with so much of embarrassment and so much of laughter (depending on which side of the joke you are in)!

Like, the lunch I gave to my hubby’s colleagues. I served dry, tough rotis with a lukewarm curry, followed by a totally sour curd rice. The over enthusiastic me, had double cooked the rotis and forgot to add milk to prevent the yogurt from turning sour.

The saving grace was the brownies. Though, by the end of the meal, everyone was skeptic to try them. Then finally with a ‘how much worse can it get’ attitude, they plunged in and were pleasantly surprised. Then they all watched a movie together to get over the lunch experience and went back home with a ‘I will never come here again’ promise to themselves.

I haven’t gotten over the experience yet. And to this day, I order food from outside if someone is visiting. That way, if the food is not good, I too can join in everyone’s “what the food!” cursing with an open heart.

Its the final week of Blogging Marathon 20 and my theme for this week is ‘BM paired’. I am paired with Preethi of Preethi’s Kitchen Life and I have chosen her Onion Parathas as the first dish to feature here.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more recipes from the other participating bloggers.

Recipe Source : Preethi’s Kitchen Life

Makes 6-8 parathas

Ingredients:

For the dough

  • Wheat flour                 :           2 cups
  • Water
  • Salt                                  :        as required
  • Oil                                    :           1 -2 tsp

For filling:

  • Onion                             :         1 big, chopped fine
  • Chili powder               :          1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves      :           1 tbsp, chopped fine
  • Kasuri Methi              :          1 tsp
  • Chat masala                :          1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Salt

Method: 

  1. Add the flour, salt and a tsp or two of oil in a wide opened bowl. Add with one cup of water and bring together the flour to make a dough. Add more water (in quarter cupfuls) as required. Knead the dough to the chapati dough consistency and keep aside for 20 minutes.
  2. For the filling, chop the onion and coriander leaves fine. Add the chili powder, salt, chat masala and kasuri methi to ti. Spread out in a piece of tissue paper or old news paper for half an hour. This is to dry out the filling as the onions will let out water. I forgot to do this and ended up with small sized parathas as you won’t be able to roll them properly.
  3. Divide the dough into small lemon sized balls. You might get around 6-8 dough balls. Dust them in flour and roll them into 4″ circles with a rolling pin. Keep a tablespoon of filling inside and bring together the edges into the centre so that the filling is enclosed.
  4. Dust will flour again and roll them out again into 7″ circles. Do not exert too much pressure on the rolling pin, as the filling might break out of the parathas.
  5. Heat a pan and cook the parathas on both sides adding half a teaspoon of ghee on both the sides while cooking. Serve hot with yogurt and pickle or with a simple dal.

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Ulli Theeyal

Not much to say, except that I don’t understand why I am posting the recipes here late, even though everything was in the drafts for sometime now!

Cooking now a days is a chore to be done, and not something done with a passion or love.

So the current speciality of the house is 1) undercooked veggies 2) watery/spicy sambars or 3) burned and charred vegetables. Visitors – you have been warned!

But despite my current low ratings in the kitchen department, this theeyal turned out to be nice, with that wonderful aroma of roasted coconut!

This is my post for Blogging Marathon 20, under the theme ‘Cooking with Onions’. Check out the Blogging Marathon page to checkout more recipes from fellow BM mates.

Serves about 2-3

Ingredients:

  • Shallots                          :            1 cup (or 2 big onions)
  • Tamarind paste          :             1/2 tsp
  • Water                              :             1 – 2 cups
  • Turmeric powder       :            1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil

To grind:

  • Coconut                        :             3/4 cup
  • Coriander Powder    :             2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder              :             1 tsp

To temper:

  • Mustard seeds           :              1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds       :              1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves, a few
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Peel the onions and wash them. If using big onions, slice them thinly. For pearl onions, you needn’t slice them, though some people prefer to do it that way.
  2. Heat a pan and add the coconut and roast till its brown in color and a nice aroma comes. Take care not to burn the coconut.
  3. Blend in a mixie with coriander powder and chilli powder to get a smooth paste. You might have to add about a tablespoon or two of water too. Keep aside till required.
  4. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a pan and add the onions. Mix the tamarind paste and water and add to the pan the onions turn pink. Bring it a boil, and add the coconut paste and required amount of salt.
  5. Boil for another 8-10 minutes, till the desired thickness is reached. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings per taste. I like it a bit thick, but still of pouring consistency. Serve with rice and a side dish.

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Spicy Mutta Curry

There was a party a couple of days back and everyone received this cute little strawberry bag pouches as return gifts. Before the moms could even have a look at the bag, the kids snatched them away.

One kid was wearing it as a garland and another one was wearing it on his head like a cap. Pretty soon, a set of kids started using them as a cape. Add the mask for the eyes and you have a real superhero costume!

Superheroes with grocery bag capes! It was such a fun sight :).

So many uses for a grocery bag!

Talking about versatility, this onion based gravy too is versatile. Made for the third week of Blogging Marathon, under ‘Cooking with Onions’ theme, I served them with idli. But pair these with aappam, dosa, puttu, chapati or idiappam, it will be good. Add the eggs or leave them out, it will still taste great. Try this very simple, but absolutely tasty, onion masala curry.

Check out the other themes and recipes at the Blogging Marathon page.

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Onions                            :    2, big
  • Tomato                          :    1, optional
  • Ginger garlic paste    :     1 tsp
  • Garam Masala             :     1 tsp
  • Chilli Powder               :    1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder     :    1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder      :    1/4 tsp
  • Egg                                   :     2 (optional)
  • Salt
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Bring a pan of water to boil, add the eggs and hard boil them for about 10 minutes. When they are cooked and are cool enough to touch, remove the shell, make 3-4 slits and keep aside.
  2. For the gravy, peel and thinly slice the onions. If using tomatoes, slice them too.
  3. Heat one tbsp oil in a pan and add the onions. Saute and cook till it turns pink. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute more. Add the tomatoes if you are using, followed by the spice powders. Stir frequently to avoid the spices from burning. You can add a tsp or two of water, to prevent the spices from burning.
  4. If you want a gravy, add about half a cup of water and bring it to a boil. Add the eggs. Let everything cook together for a minute or two. Take off the stove and keep covered till the time of serving.
  5. This goes well with a lot of  South Indian breakfast items. It pairs really nice with aappam, puttu, idli, idiappam, dosa and even chapathis.

Note :

  • You can totally omit the egg and the tomatoes and yet have a spicy onion curry, which will taste fantastic.
  • You can substitute all the spice powders with a teaspoon or two of sambar powder.

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B&W Wednesdays 50

This picture is linked to Susan’s Black and White Wednesdays, hosted this week by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything.

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Onion Vinegar Pickle

Its the third week of Blogging Marathon and this week, you will see me featuring dishes where onion is the main ingredient. My recipe was ready a long time back, but I couldn’t get around posting it on time.

I was awake till late night yesterday, helping my son with his school project. Kiddo had taken off almost the whole of last week and I came to know about the project only yesterday at around his bed time. A quick google search and then using what we had at home, we made a 3D model.

So really different from his last year’s project!

Last year, kiddo was asked to do a chart about green leafy vegetables. The chart had to have a picture, nutrient info and uses. We had about a week’s notice to prepare.

I totally forgot that it was for a four year old child, and gathered so much information, that my husband had to remind me that our son is not doing a PhD.

Finally, my husband edited my entire 25 page chart into three lines. It read :

Green Leafy Vegetables

  1. Has Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Calcium, Iron               
  2. Is Good for Eyes, bones, muscles and heart                                  
  3. Can be cooked or served raw, as salads                                         

With some stickers of the veggies, that my FIL got after hunting the entire neighborhood shops, the chart was complete.

And to think I spent an entire week, wondering how to do this! Three lines – why, I could have done it in five minutes!

Just like my onion pickle here. I thought so much for a different recipe, hunted so much and finally landed with such a simple recipe, that it’s even difficult to call it a recipe!

Sometimes, its so hard to get the simple things right :)!

While you are here, check out the Blogging Marathon page for a lot of recipes, from a lot of bloggers.

Ingredients:

  • Pearl Onions/Shallots         :         15 – 20, peeled ( about 4-5 per person)
  • Beetroot                                    :         2 one inch pieces, optional – for color
  • Vinegar                                      :         1/4 cup
  • Water                                         :         3/4 cup
  • Peppercorns                           :         optional, can add a few

Method:

  1. Peel and wash the onions. Keep them aside.
  2. Boil the water with beetroot and peppercorns. Skip this step if not using the beets and pepper.
  3. Cool the water completely and discard the beetroot pieces. The beetroot pieces impart a nice pink shade to the onions.
  4. Mix the cooled water and vinegar. In a glass or ceramic jar, add the onions and pour the vinegar-water mix on top. The liquid should be at least a centimeter or two above the onions. Keep aside for 3-4 hours.
  5. Drain at the time of serving. This stays good for 4-5 days when refrigerated. This is a compliment appetizer is served in some restaurants, while waiting for the food to come.

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Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads

Carrot Watermelon Juice

Breakfasts are simple affairs at my place. The menu is fixed. Cornflakes, on weekdays.

And on weekends, guess what – its Corn Flakes again! That’s because I wake up pretty late, and hubby and kiddo know its  better to rely on corn flakes, than on me to wake up and prepare breakfast for them.

For a change, they switch their types on weekends. Hubby has strawberry or chocolate corn flakes and the kid has bran or  oats type. So the problem of variety (in my opinion, at least) is solved.

I have half heartedly tried the usual idli/dosa breakfasts, but hubby and kiddo prefer to run on a light, liquid breakfast than on something heavy or oily. So cereals is more of their choice than of mine.

So for the second week of Blogging Marathon 20, when I chose Low Fat or Low Calorie breakfast, I had no idea what to feature here. I can’t present you cereals in a bowl three days in a row, so I thought of smoothies or juices for Day One.

Check out many more recipes and more varieties here at the Blogging Marathon page.

Inspired From : Healthy Breakfast Juice Recipes

Makes 2 glasses

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon                 :             1/2 of a small one (about 3 cups, when cubed)
  • Carrots                            :             2 big

Method:

  1. Wash, clean and peel the carrots and cut the watermelon into cubes.
  2. Run them through a juicer, if you have one. Or blend them in a mixer and strain it to get the juice.
  3. Try adding black salt/mint/sugar or  ginger for additional flavoring.

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No Bake Oatmeal Cookies

Tears filled my eyes and horror filled my heart. I had no courage to open that page and see what’s written there. I knew it was not good news.

My hands trembled while I was forcing myself to read the contents. My heart was pounding.

Hubby dear put his hand around me and gave a small squeeze to tell me silently that we will face this together.

I read the contents, felt myself relax a bit.

I turned to my hubby and said, ‘Honey, this month’s power bill won’t kill us!’

But god knows – next month’s bill might give me a heart attack. So I am not taking any chances and going stove top way to make these delicious cookies. Make these and don’t worry about your electricity bill!

Recipe Source: Chocolate Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

Makes 35 – 40 cookies

Ingredients:

  • Sugar                                   :            2 cups
  • Cocoa                                  :            1/2 cup
  • Butter                                  :           100 gms
  • Milk                                     :            1/2 cup
  • Oats                                     :             3 cups   
  • Peanut Butter                 :              1/2 cup 
  • Vanilla Essense              :               1 tsp

Method:

  1. Measure the oatmeal and peanut butter and keep it ready before you start the actual cooking. Keep wax paper layered plates also ready.
  2. In a large thick bottomed pan, add the sugar, cocoa, milk and butter. Mix. Heat the pan, stirring the mixtu re.
  3. Bring it to a boil and let it boil for 2 whole minutes. Take off the heat, add the peanut butter first and give a mix and then add the oatmeal and vanilla.
  4. Mix everything together and drop spoonfuls into the wax paper. Cool for half an hour at least before digging in.

Note : I found these to be a bit too sweet and might reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup next time.

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Chocolate Banana Spread

I have chosen ‘Chocolate’ as theme for the first week of Blogging Marathon. With me reverting back the ‘bad old’ habits of staying awake in the night, the midnight snacks are back.

I was looking for a chocolate spread recipe without nuts and just came across this one. I had all the ingredients in hand and the recipe seemed very very simple. So I made this spread at 12 AM :D.

The spread is not for you if you don’t like bananas. Its mainly chocolate laced bananas with a hint of peanut butter. I liked it, and hence decided to feature them here.

 

Recipe Source: Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Spread

Servings : 2-3 sandwiches

Ingredients:

  • Ripe Banana                             :       1
  • Peanut Butter                          :        2 tbsp
  • Chocolate Syrup               :        2 tbsp

Method:

  1. Mash the banana with a fork, add the peanut butter and chocolate syrup.
  2. Microwave for 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate for the spread to become a bit thick.
  3. Spread on bread and feed that midnight hunger pang!

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