Pineapple fresh creamcake

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One of the motto’s for my life is “If it can wait, then let it wait.” Postponing things kind of run in the blood for me. So its not just a wonder if I a bake, click pictures, transfer them immediately and post it the very next day – its almost a miracle.

And you are seeing that miracle happen. Because this is a cake that was baked and decorated yesterday and the post is going live now. I am myself surprised. Could it be that I am getting to be….erm…more efficient? If I am, then I gotta lean back and take it slow ;-).

Coming to the cake here, it’s a pineapple fresh cream cake. This was baked for a close friend, sneaked into their house just before the clock hit 12 AM. Midnight cake cuttings are back in my life after a long gap. It feel like I am growing younger as life goes on.. :-)

Read on for the pictorial and the method. The base cake can be any vanilla sponge cake of your choice.

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Serves : 12

Ingredients:

  • 9″ cake, cut into three pieces. I used the hot milk cake as the base cake.
  • 1 can of tinned pineapple chunks in syrup
  • about 2 cups fresh cream, whipped with 3-4 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoon sugar, for adding to the syrup in tinned pineapple
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted for chocolate lace collar (optional)
  • cherry/strawberry preserve, for decoration

Method:

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I used the hot milk cake as the base cake. The cake had three layers. This is the first layer. Anchor it to the base with some whipped cream and spoon over some of the pineapple syrup from the can on the cake. You don’t have to drench the cake, but sprinkle it all over. You can sweeten the pineapple syrup with some sugar, if you want to.

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Layer some fresh cream on top. I left the edges out so that the top layer won’t squash it.

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Chop the pineapple chunks into smaller pieces and layer them all over.

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Keep the second layer on top and sprinkle with pineapple syrup from can.

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Repeat the cream and pineapple chunks layer.

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The final layer goes on top. Again sprinkle with syrup. And cover the whole cake with a thin layer of fresh cream.

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Freeze the crumb coated cake for 10-15 minutes until it firms up.

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Coat once again with fresh cream and give a smooth finish this time. It was a very hot day, so the cake went into the freezer again for 10-15 minutes.

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To make a chocolate collar, melt some chocolate chips and put that in a ziplock. Cut a small opening and draw pattern of your choice on a parchment paper and freeze for a minute. I used two smaller collars as against one big collar. Wrap the collar(s) around the cake and gently peel off the parchment paper. Decorate as you wish (I used some strawberry preserve, that’s what I had) and refrigerate until the time of serving.

A serrated knife works better with the chocolate collar.

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Piperade

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What I love most about this recipe is its name – Piperade!  Try saying it out and you will know what I mean. I tried learning how to pronounce it properly, but people are pronouncing it differently in different audios. So I am going to stick to my version – Pipparade :D!

Though the name is fancy and really interesting, the dish is a really simple one. It’s no more than sauteed onions and peppers with some tomatoes in it. What makes it French is the chilly that goes into it – Piment d’Espelette. A common substitute is cayenne pepper and that’s what I have used in this recipe.

The flavors include a combination of sweetness from the peppers and onions, heat from the chilly used and a little tartness from the tomatoes. But the sweetness dominates. This dish can be used in a variety of ways. One common way is to break an egg into it and bake/cook until its set. With a grilled piece of bread on the side, that would be a great meal for a busy day.

It can be a main dish, side dish or a condiment depending on how you serve it. It can be served over scrambled eggs, inside a sandwich, filling for rolls or even with rice – as one video suggested. My vote is for the grilled bread and baked eggs. But you make your choice :-). Read on for the recipe!

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Pictorial: 

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Blanch tomatoes by cutting a small ‘x’ in the base and then immersing them in boiling hot water for about 30 seconds or until the skin starts to kind of peel.

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Drain, peel the skin, dice finely and keep aside.

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Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sliced onions. Saute until the onion softens.

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Add the peppers and saute until it softens a bit.

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Add the diced tomatoes, cayenne pepper, salt and mix.

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Cover and cook, stirring in between, until the peppers are done and tomato turn mushy.

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Take the lid off and check the taste and consistency. If it’s runny, you can let it cook until it dries up a bit. Else you can use it as such.

Recipe adapted from: Piperade

Serves 3-4 

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 pods garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 peppers in different colors, cut into 1″ long pieces
  • 4 tomatoes, blanched and peeled
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt as needed

Method:

  1. Blanch tomatoes by cutting a small ‘x’ in the base and then immersing them in boiling hot water for about 30 seconds or until the skin starts to wrinkle and peel. Drain, peel the skin, dice finely and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the garlic and sliced onions. Saute until the onion softens.
  3. Add the peppers and saute until it softens a bit.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes, cayenne pepper, salt and mix. Cover and cook, stirring in between, until the peppers are done and tomato turn mushy.
  5. Take the lid off and check the taste and consistency. If it’s runny, you can let it cook until it dries up a bit. Else you can use it as such.
  6. Serve as a sandwich filling, over rice, with baked eggs and grilled bread or as you prefer.

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This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under French recipes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 55

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Soupe au Pistou recipe

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It was during a shopping trip together that my neighbor told me about this recipe that her mom makes. Dried beans,brown rice and mixed vegetables cooked like a soup in pressure cooker and served hot with salt and pepper. A light, yet filling and healthy, dinner for the whole family.

I picked up all the needed stuff for the recipe and back home I realized that it is a very close version of the French soup – Soupe au Pistou. This soup also has a mix of vegetables, dried beans and pasta (or even rice) in it. The only difference is that at the end, you add a spoon of Pistou (its Pesto minus the nuts) which adds a good flavor to the soup. Well, the pistou soup has to use some pistou in it, right!?

The recipe here, is adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s book – around the French table and I know I am going to try the version with rice as well later!

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Pictorial

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Soak your choice of beans overnight or at least for four hours until the beans have doubled in size.

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I used one cup from the 16 bean soup pack.

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Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter in a pressure cooker or a thick bottomed pan. Add four minced garlic pods and one sliced onion and saute until the onions turn soft. Season with salt and pepper.

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Cut 1 carrot, about 10 french beans and one small potato into slightly big pieces. The choice of vegetables is up to you.

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Once the onions are cooked, add the vegetables. I had some sautéed mushrooms as well to be used up, so that also went in.

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Add about four cups of stock or water.

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Follow this up with 1/3 cup pasta, one cup of soaked beans, one tomato diced and 1/2 cup corn.

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Check the seasonings and adjust as required.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs ( I didn’t have the fresh ones in hand).

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Pressure cook for one whistle or cook in low flame until everything in the soup is cooked well. Once the pressure drops in the cooker, serve hot in a bowl with a spoonful of pistou (pesto without nuts).

Recipe source: Dorie Greenspan’s book – around my French table

Serves: 2 as a meal

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of beans of your choice, soaked overnight or one can of beans*
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion chopped fine
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/4″ semi circles
  • 10-12 beans, cut into 1″ long pieces
  • 1 small potato, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms (I had this, so it went into the soup)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) of dried Italian seasonings
  • pistou, at the time of serving ( You can use pesto as a close substitute)

Method:

  1. Soak your choice of beans overnight or at least for four hours until the beans have doubled in size. I used one cup from the 16 bean soup pack.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter in a pressure cooker or a thick bottomed pan. Add four minced garlic pods and one sliced onion and saute until the onions turn soft. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cut 1 carrot, about 10 french beans and one small potato into slightly big pieces. The choice of vegetables is up to you.Once the onions are cooked, add the vegetables. I had some sautéed mushrooms as well to be used up, so that also went in.
  4. Add about four cups of stock or water.
  5. Follow this up with 1/3 cup pasta, one cup of soaked beans, one tomato diced and 1/2 cup corn.
  6. Check the seasonings and adjust as required.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs ( I didn’t have the fresh ones in hand).
  7. Pressure cook for one whistle or cook in low flame until everything in the soup is cooked well. Once the pressure drops in the cooker, serve hot in a bowl with a spoonful of pistou (pesto without nuts).

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This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under French recipes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 55

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Tomato tartine

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The image I had about French food was that it was elaborate and time consuming. With that image planted firm long back, I have never really tried to learn more about it.

It’s Valli’s Blogging Marathon that has me thinking about French cuisine and to my surprise, I find its not all that hard. There are quite a lot of recipes, with lots of vegetarian options, that you can try out. To save myself time from digging around aimlessly, I took out Dorie Greenspan’s book ‘Around my French table’ from the library.

The book contains recipes she has been served and she has served others when in France. Going through the book, it was a realization that food is kind of global now a days and the recipes have long left their roots to become part of other cultures as well. For example, hummus is as popular in US or France as it is in the Middle East. It’s not surprising to include it in a book because its become a part of daily lives there.

When referenced by their local names, the food appears to be ‘foreign’ than it actually is. Carottes rapees sounds very French. But if I tell you that its grated carrot salad with some amazing dressing, it sounds like something we can try our hands on. I bet you, to a foreigner, our simple homemade lunch or rice, rasam and thogayal  might sound a lot more complicated than it actually is!!

Anyway, coming to the recipe here – its a tartine. Tartines are open sandwiches. Dorie explains it well by mentioning that these are more of a concept than a single recipe. A piece of bread with one or more spreads and with one or more fillings on top and that’s your tartine.  It can be a heavy meal, a light one or something to nibble on…its upto you. The book has a recipe for tartine regime or dieter’s tartine, which has a low fat spread and a topping of seasoned tomatoes and cucumber. That’s the first recipe for you this week.

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Recipe adapted slighty from Dorie Greenspan’s book – around my French table

Serves : 1

Theme : French recipes

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices French bread
  • 2 teaspoon cream cheese*
  • 1 tomato diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 cucumber cut into small cubes
  • salt and pepper

*The book suggested fromage blanc or a substitute of cottage cheese+sour cream

Method:

  1. Slice the bread and grill or toast it.
  2. Spread the cheese over it.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the diced tomatoes and cucumbers with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon this over the bread.
  5. Slice the bread in half or serve whole. Add a salad on the side and a its a mini meal!

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This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under French recipes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 55

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Brinjal puli kuzhambu

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In a family of three kids, I was the only girl. Now I have three nieces to give me company :-).

It’s sad that I am missing out a lot in their growing up stage, but like my son said yesterday – today’s technology is great. So thanks to the internet, I do get to see glimpses of their lives.

I was in Bangalore when my elder brother’s second daughter was born in January. And my younger brother’s daughter was born in May. We took a road trip to go see her after my son’s vacation started. We covered New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and finally Illinois to see her.

The little kid in the family( my younger brother) has a little kid of his own now!

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The high light of the trip was of course my 6 week old niece and how she smiles. But on a side track , I picked up this recipe from my brother’s MIL. It’s a version of the regular puli kuzhambu, but this has enough vegetables and beans in it to contribute to a healthy dinner.

Serve this with a cup of rice and the dinner is done!

Pictorial:

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Heat 2 teaspoon oil in a pan and add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and half teaspoon of fenugreek seeds.

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Add 5-6 curry leaves, 3-5 pods of chopped garlic and 2 chopped small onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

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Add 3/4 cup of sliced radish. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

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Add 2 cups of diced eggplant. Cook for 3-4 minutes.

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Add 1 teaspoon tamarind paste (or use 2 cups tamarind water), salt and 1 tablespoon sambar powder in two cups water.

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Add this to the cooked vegetables.

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Cook two cups rajma or red kidney beans.

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Add that as well to the kuzhambu.

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Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes.

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Add 1 tablespoon of fenugreek powder at this point.

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Grind 1 cup coconut into a very smooth paste and add that to the kuzhambu. You can thicken the curry by using a paste of 2 tablespoon flour with 1/2 cup water instead of coconut.

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Let it boil for 5 minutes. Taste test, adjust seasonings and serve hot with rice.

Recipe source:  My brother’s MIL

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

for seasoning:

  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves

for kuzhambu

  • 4-5 garlic pods, chopped fine
  • 2-3 small onions, chopped fine ( or 1/2 medium onion, sliced)
  • 3/4 cup sliced radish pieces
  • 2 cups diced eggplant pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sambar powder
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • salt as needed
  • 2 cups cooked rajma(red kidney beans)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek powder
  • 1 cup coconut, ground to a very smooth paste with some water

Method:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoon oil in a pan and add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and half teaspoon of fenugreek seeds.
  2. Add 5-6 curry leaves, 3-5 pods of chopped garlic and 2 chopped small onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add 3/4 cup of sliced radish. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of diced eggplant. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Mix 1 teaspoon tamarind paste in two cups water (or use 2 cups tamarind water) along with salt and 1 tablespoon sambar powder. Add this to the cooked vegetables.
  5. Cook two cups rajma or red kidney beans. Add that as well to the kuzhambu. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of fenugreek powder at this point.
  6. Grind 1 cup coconut into a very smooth paste and add that to the kuzhambu. You can thicken the curry by using a paste of 2 tablespoon flour with 1/2 cup water instead of coconut. Let it boil for 5 minutes.
  7. Taste test, adjust seasonings and serve hot with rice.

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This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under healthy dinner recipes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 55

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Saboot masoor dal

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The kid’s first bicycle was a gift from my brother. He was in kindergarten then (the kid, not my brother – just thought I would clarify :D). There was no play area near our house at that point of time and so the cycle sat inside the four walls.

Then we moved to the gated community and there was enough space to use the cycle. So the cycle came out and with the training wheels on, the kid used it for a little while. Pretty soon after that, the macho man that my husband is,  took out the training wheels. The kid, all of 5 years then, needed someone to run along with him until he could ride by himself. But I refused to be that someone. So again, the poor cycle went back to the jailhouse.

A lot later, my husband spent a little time – may be an hour max.- one day and the kid never looked back..He just started riding. It did help that he was almost 7 years old and way too tall for the cycle. Anytime he felt he might fall, he could easily keep his foot on the ground. The cycle did get some good use after that and we were thinking of getting one appropriate for his age when we moved to U.S.

We did get him a cycle here this spring. Its a really tall one and yet he rides smoothly. The day he got the cycle, he let his dad test it out and every other kid who asked him. But when I asked for my turn, he hugged the cycle and had a really worried look in his face. “No”, he told me, “I can’t give you my cycle. You are heavy and you will break it.” Sigh….

Gone is the trusting little boy who looks at his mom as the super woman. Now we have a mini grown up man who takes his decision based on what he sees! Well, you know that is good when he looks at this meal and tell you that it looks yummy and healthy :-).

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Recipe source: A friend in Edison

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups saboot masoor dal
  • 2 teaspoon oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon jeera
  • pinch hing
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3-4 green chillies, chopped fine
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 small tomato, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon each chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • water as required to get the right consistency

Method:

  1. Soak the dal in water for half an hour and pressure cook with enough water until done. About 5 whistles or so. Once its done, let the pressure come down and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil or ghee in a pan and add jeera and hing. Once the jeera changes color, add the chopped onions along with ginger garlic paste (or minced ginger and garlic), green chillies. Let it cook until the onion changes color.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.
  4. Add all the spice powders – chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and turmeric powder. Cook until the tomatoes are totally mushy. You can add a tablespoon or two of water if the curry sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the cooked dal along with the water in which it was cooked. Season with salt and let it come to a boil.
  6. You might want to add more water to bring it to the consistency you want. Start with half cup and then take it from there.
  7. Check the seasonings and adjust according to your preference. Cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  8. Take off the heat. Serve with rotis, rice or even idli and dosa. I tried it with them all and it tasted yummy every time!

 

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This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under healthy dinner recipes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 55

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Ribollita

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I tell many times that I am lazy, but in reality, I am not. Its just that I don’t like cooking every single meal, every single day. Another thing is that after years and years of trying to find shortcuts, I have finally come to accept that the stomach commands and we obey. Such ‘gyan’ (knowledge) makes you accept the everyday cooking with a little positivism.

That doesn’t mean that I have given up on looking for shortcuts. I still look at every possible way to cut down extra or even regular work. So you can imagine my happiness when I came across this heavy vegetable laden recipe for ribollita. This Tuscan thick soup has it all – vegetables, bread, beans and lots of flavor. I am guessing its kind of stew with all left overs cooked together, like our kootu or avial recipes. But still, its a great healthy choice for dinner for the whole family.

So make these, serve these with love and accept that if you don’t struggle against your stomach, your life is pretty much easy and very tasty.

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Source:  Food.com

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil or oil of  your choice
  • 4-5 garlic pods, minced or crushed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped savoy cabbage/spinach/kale or any green leafy vegetable
  • 2 cups of cooked beans of your choice, 1 can cannellini beans in the original recipe
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock or water
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes or 1 cup of pureed tomatoes
  • 1/2 loaf sourdough bread, torn into pieces
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning- optional
  • salt, pepper, red chili flakes – for seasoning

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the garlic cloves. Saute for a minute and add the chopped onion, celery and carrots. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the cabbage/kale/spinach and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, cooked beans and all the seasonings. Let it come to a boil.
  3. Take 1 cup of the soup aside and let it cool. Blend it to a coarse paste and add it back to the soup and bring it to a boil.
  4. You can toast the bread and add it to the soup and cook until the soup is thick and the flavors blend. Check seasonings and consistency. Adjust according to your preference.
  5. If you don’t have the crusty bakery bread, you can toast the bread and serve it on the side like I did.

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This recipe goes to Blogging Marathon 55, under healthy dinner recipes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 55

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Ragda pattice

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There are two ways for me to remember ragda pattice. One would be the memorable trip to Ahmedabad, which was all about friends, fun and food. The other memory is the walk in our old apartment with a friend of mine who explained this dish to me in detail – that was her dinner for her family that day. By some curious, but lucky, twist in fate – she is now staying close to my old apartment in U.S. We were able to meet once – miles away from where we met last.

Anyway, back to ragda pattice. I know it seems like a lot of work, but it actually isn’t. A little bit of planning ahead will turn make this seemingly overwhelming recipe into something that’s quite manageable. Soak your vatana, cook your potatoes and you are already done with half the work.

This is a chaat item, but it can easily be turned into a dinner itself. Read on for the recipe.

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Recipe adapted from : Ribbons to pastas

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

For the ragda:

  • 2 cups white/yellow peas
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch hing
  • salt
  • 2 tsp oil

To grind together as a paste:

  • 4 pods garlic or 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 small bunch coriander leaves
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp each red chili powder, garam masala and chaat masala

Method:

  1. Soak the peas (vatana) overnight or at least for 4-5 hours until it doubles up in size.
  2. Pressure cook the peas with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, a pinch of hing  and enough water to float for 2-3 cms on top of the fully immersed peas.
  3. Once the pressure drops, check whether it’s cooked fully and keep aside. Took 5 whistles in my cooker.
  4. Grind the garlic pods, coriander leaves, tomato along with the spice powders.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and cook this paste until the raw smell goes off.
  6. Add the cooked peas, salt and mix well. Add more water if needed to get the consistency of a curry. It shouldn’t be runny, but shouldn’t be thick as well.

For the Pattice 

Ingredients:

  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • salt
  • 2-3 tsp oil for shallow frying

Method:

  1. Pressure cook the potatoes.
  2. Peel skin and mash well with everything once its cool enough to handle.
  3. Take a lemon sized ball of mashed potatoes,  shape it into a cutlet like tikki and shallow fry in batches.

Assembling ragda pattice:

  • 2 tikkis per person
  • 1/3 cup ragda
  • 1 tsp tamarind chutney ( per taste )
  • 1 tsp yogurt ( per taste )
  • 1 tsp mint coriander chutney (I didn’t have any)
  • 1 tsp chopped onions
  • 1 tsp sev (I had only mixture :D)
  • 1 piece lemon wedge

Method:

  1. Plate the tikkis on a bowl and pour the ragda on top.
  2. Add all the chutneys and onion and sev.
  3. Adjust the quantities according to taste and serve with lemon wedges, squeezing the juice per personal preference.

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Tres leches II

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If I have to choose one character from literature I can identify myself with, it won’t be superman, spider man or wonder woman. That character would be Anne of Green gables. Not the later books where she grows up to be a sensible woman, but the first one where she is a simple yakkety yak and messes up a lot of things.

Anne gets her best friend Diana drunk by serving red wine under the assumption that it was raspberry cordial. Later she makes a beautiful layer cake for  Mrs. Allen whom she adores. The only thing was – instead of vanilla, she mixes anodyne liniment (a medicine) and the cake tastes awful. The sweet lady that Mrs. Allen is, she eats the cake to spare Anne’s feelings. But her guardian Marilla finds out about the disaster and Anne is mortified. I have had my fills of cake disasters to know what it feels like!

Now this cake is not Anne’s layer cake with liniment. It’s a different version of Tres leches cake, a much simpler one, I might add. This cake wasn’t a disaster as well. In fact it was a big hit, even I liked it a lot, which is becoming rare nowadays.

Coming back to Anne, its a wonderful book and a great read for kids and adults alike. I haven’t read all the books, but have read the first two books again and again. It’s almost like I don’t want her to grow up, instead happier where she is a kid..a feeling that crops up in real life also at times, I guess :-)!

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Recipe source: All recipes

Makes : 9X13″ cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour/maida
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup/1 stick/110 gms unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

The three milk syrup

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk (substitute cream or even skip this)

Frosting

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 350F/180C. Grease a 13X9 baking pan. I used an aluminium food tray with lid, making it convenient for travel.
  2. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the softened stick of butter and with one cup sugar until its creamy and fluffy. Add all the five eggs and 2 tsp vanilla extract (ideally, one at a time, but you will be adding the flour later, so even if the mix curdles, its going to be okay) and mix until its incorporated well.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon baking powder and mix well again.
  4. Add flour in 1/4 cupful batches and keep mixing until its all well blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes free of crumbs.
  5. Once the cake is baked fully, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely.
  6. Prepare the tres leches syrup in the meantime. Combine the whole milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk together. Keep refrigerated until the cake cools down.
  7. Pierce the cake with fork all over. Add the prepared syrup over the cake.
  8. For a simple topping, whip the cream with sugar and vanilla extract until thick and spread on top. I went for rose swirls.

Note:

  • This cake needs to be refrigerated until the time of serving.
  • The syrup will ooze out and that’s the way its supposed to be.
  • Whipped cream with strawberries or cherries on top is one of the ways to decorate the cake.
  • The cake should be served on a plate or on a bowl because of the syrup.

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Linking this entry to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, hosted by PJ this month. The theme is ‘Cooking from Storybooks/TV shows’.

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Filed under Cakes and Bakes, Sweets and Desserts

Palak Khichdi

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Most of my knowledge about Indian mythology is from Amar chitra katha, the Indian comics. Interesting stories presented with beautiful pictures,  never fails to hit the mark!

Not just mythology, you had a lot of history based, folk based and even humor based stories. Now, the last category holds a special place  in my heart. Stories of the funny Tenali Rama or the wisdom laced humor of Birbal always leave you wanting more!

This khichdi is inspired from a Birbal story. On their morning walk around a cold lake in winter, a debate gets started whether someone would be so crazy as to stay in the water for a whole night in return for a reward. To test this out, Akbar announces the challenge to the public and soon someone accepts it.

That guy spends the whole night in the cold water with some guards around him to ensure that he doesn’t cheat. The next morning, Akbar asks him how he survived the night and he replies that he focused his sight and mind solely on a far away lamp to get him through the challenge. Akbar gets irked by the answer and decides not to pay the reward on the grounds that the lamp kept him warm.

Birbal felt it wasn’t fair. To prove his point, he invites Akbar for lunch to his place. The food seems to take a long time to get ready. After a long wait, Akbar walks into the kitchen and sees that Birbal is preparing khichdi. The problem was that the pot was hung about 10 feet over the stove.

Akbar asks Birbal how is he planning to get the khichdi cooked, as the pot was so far away from the stove! Birbal smartly replies,”If a lamp 50 feet away can keep a guy warm in an ice cold lake, why can’t a pot full of khichdi kept 10 feet away get cooked in time?” Akbar understands his mistake and orders the reward to be paid.

And they went back to the palace for a wholesome lunch, I hope!!

I have no idea whether this story really took place or not, but its a popular story and the saying “Birbal ki khichdi” even came out of it.

So here I have for you food from kids literature : Birbal ki khichdi, prepared by moi :D.

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Pictorial

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Cook 1 cup rice and 1/4 cup moong dal with 4 cups water. Keep aside.

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Heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add 1 teaspoon jeera in it.

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Once it changes color, add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic to it.

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Add one big chopped onion and saute further.

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Once the onion turns pink add one chopped tomato and cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

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Grind 2 cups of spinach with 2-3 green chillies and 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. You can add 1/2 cup coriander leaves and 1/4 cup mint leaves as well, if you want to.  Add this puree to the onion-tomato mix. Cook 3-4 minutes until the raw smell goes off.

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Add the cooked rice and dal mix and keep mixing until the color turns fully green.

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Add 2-3 cups of water till you get the consistency you desire. Take off the heat and serve with a dollop of butter on top. This dish pairs very well with yogurt and pickle.

Serves : 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt

grind together

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves

Method:

  1. Cook 1 cup rice and 1/4 cup moong dal with 4 cups water. Keep aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add 1 teaspoon jeera in it. Once it changes color, add 1 tablespoon chopped garlic to it. Add one big chopped onion and saute further.
  3.  Once the onion turns pink add one chopped tomato and cook 2-3 minutes. Add salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
  4. Grind 2 cups of spinach with 2-3 green chillies and 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. You can add 1/2 cup coriander leaves and 1/4 cup mint leaves as well, if you want to.  Add this puree to the onion-tomato mix. Cook 3-4 minutes until the raw smell goes off.
  5. Add the cooked rice and dal mix and keep mixing until the color turns fully green. Add 2-3 cups of water till you get the consistency you desire.
  6. Take off the heat and serve with a dollop of butter on top. This dish pairs very well with yogurt and pickle.

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Linking this entry to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, hosted by PJ this month. The theme is ‘Cooking from Storybooks/TV shows’.

9 Comments

Filed under Rice