Thursday, December 29, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

This would be my last post of this year. So I thought of putting something that would be good to make as a New Year breakfast, for a new beginning. I had made this for Christmas, though. As this re heats well, you may even make it ahead of time and have a relaxed beginning to your New Year, after the festivities of the new year's eve. I have combined the recipes from the Cinnamon Pull-Apart recipe from  Joy the Baker and the Cinnabons recipe from Across the range, as the original Cinnamon Pull-apart recipe doesn't re-heat well. But if you have enough time and you can go with the original recipe itself. hubby was so generous with presents this Christmas (or was it Santa himself, I am not sure!..), I got an overload of presents - a bread machine,a digital food scale, a new camera and all the other stuff from my wish list. May be I was such a good girl throughout the year!! With all these new gadgets I hope to make my blog even better next year - of course, with all your encouragement and support.


1 cup milk - heat in microwave for 1 minute
1 egg, beaten
1/4  Cup melted butter
7 tbs water
1 box (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding powder
4 Cup bread or white flour
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp traditional yeast

1/2 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Dough can either be made in bread maker or the old fashioned way with hand. If using a breadmaker add the ingredients in the following order: boiling water, cold milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, egg, 1 cup of the flour, the pudding mix, 2 1/2 more cups of flour and dry yeast. Add another 1/2 cup of flour as the dough cycle runs, or as much flour as needed to make a soft, smooth dough . If  making the dough by hand in traditional manner take a large mixing bowl, combine the hot water with the cup of (cold) milk to make a luke warm milk-water mixture. Add dry yeast and when it starts to froth add the butter, sugar, salt, egg, flour and vanilla pudding mix. Then  make a sticky dough. Add more flour as needed (about a cup more, or as much as it takes to make a smooth dough). Let rise for an hour. Punch down. Roll dough to 17" x 10".
Combine filling ingredients and mix well. Heat in microwave 10 seconds to make it spreadable. Spread over rolled out dough getting as close to the edges as possible.  Slice the dough vertically, into six equal-sized strips.  Stack the strips on top of one another and slice the stack into six equal slices once again.  You’ll have six stacks of six squares.  Layer the dough squares in the loaf pan like a flip-book.  Place a kitchen towel over the loaf pan and allow in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Transfer the loaf to the oven and bake 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  (If the top seems to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil at the end of baking.)  Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan 20-30 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges of the pan to loosen and carefully turn the loaf out, transferring to a serving plate.  Serve warm.
Sending this over to Radhika's Let's cook #10 Baked Goodies event

and Sangeetha's Bake fest # 2 an event started by Vardhini

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Avocado Chapati

For this weeks Blog Hop Wednesday  by Radhika I am paired with Harini and  this Avocado Chapati is what I tried from her blog.I didn't alter the recipe much ,the only small change I did was using pulp of two avocado instead  of one and making this in the form of a triangle and layered chapati. The end result was a soft and delicious chapati which was well liked by all at home.
Ingredients -
Whole Wheat Flour- 2 cups
Avocado (pulp) - 2
Salt as per taste
Chat Masala -1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder- 1/2 tsp
Kasoori Methi- 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Method :
In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and knead well with very little water. Since the avocado pulp will have some moisture, add water gradually and make dough.
Cover the dough for about 10-15 min while the rest of the stuff is arranged.
Make about 12 equal portions of the dough and roll out rotis,apply a little oil and sprinkle some flour and fold in half .Apply little more oil and fold the semicircle again  to form a triangle ,roll out the triangle to form a thinner triangle. Cook both sides of the chapati on a hot griddle/tava.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Achappams are one of the traditional Kerala snacks. But of late I came to realize that something similar to these exists in other cultures/countries, known by varying names such as Rosettes, Rose Cookies etc. I haven't had a chance to try any of these other delicacies yet, but I feel that an Achappam is an achappam whatever name you call it by! My theory is that these would have probably reached the other cultures through the European colonization of Kerala - or probably the other way round. Any way, in the traditional Kerala version, as with most of the Kerala cooking, you have to use the coconut milk also.
The unique, flower like shape of these cookies are the result of using the uniquely shaped molds - it is important that you get a mold made of the right metal, something that could retain heat. The one I use is made of brass.
               Wishing all my beloved readers a Merry Christmas !
Rice powder  - 2 cups
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Coconut Milk - 1 ¼ cup
Eggs - 2
Sesame seeds - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp
Vegetable oil - enough for deep frying

Beat the eggs in a deep vessel. Add sugar and coconut milk and mix it until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the rest of the ingredients to make a thick batter.

Heat the oil and dip the achappam/rose cookie mould in it. Immediately dip the mould in to the batter, making sure that only about 3/4th the thickness of the mould goes in the batter. Now put the mould with the batter coating into hot oil. (If the mould is not hot enough or too hot the batter will not hold on to the mould). Hold the mould in the hot oil for a few seconds and then gently shake the mould so that the batter shapped like achappams separates from the mould. (It would take some practice and geting used to doing to get the batter off the mould without breaking the Achappams or them losing thier shape)

Fry both sides on low-medium heat till slightly golden brown. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel. Continue making more achappams until the batter is finished (make sure to dip the mould in the oil before dipping into the batter). Store in an airtight container to retain crispiness.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Chocolate Rum Raisin Cake

This being the season of cakes and cookies, I thought of baking something that evokes the spirit of the season. This delicious cake gets better with time. This is something that you can prepare ahead for your Christmas party and just forget about it till the big day.
1 cup Water
1/4 cup dark Rum or 1/2 cup Apple Juice
2/3 cup chopped Raisins
3/4 cup Butter or vegetable oil
1 Egg at room temperature
1 1/4 cup Sugar
1& 2/3 cup All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/3 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 inches tube pan  or the pan of  your choice with oil and flour.
Whisk together the melted butter and the sugar. Add egg and blend well. Boil one cup of water, and transfer into a mixing bowl. Add rum and raisins. Add  the raisin mixture once lukewarm to the sugar butter egg mix  .
In a separate mixing bowl, sift flour, baking soda ,cocoa powder and a pinch of salt . Stir the sifted flour into raisin mixture and mix well. Be careful not to overmix. If the batter is too thick add a little more water.
Pour into prepared pan and smooth batter evenly.
Bake at 350 degrees for 32- 35 minutes or until a toothpick tests with a few moist crumbs adhering. Cool 15 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife around the edges to loosen and turn out the cake.And if you are planing to have this later you can sprinkle the top and sides of the cake with another 2 tbsp of rum and place this in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. Allow it to age just like the fruit cakes.
Sending this over to Bake Fest #2 at Spicy Treats an event by Vardhini hosted by Sangeeta

and to the ABC Series at Ramya's Recipe

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tomato Onion Chutney

For this weeks Blog Hop Wednesday  by Radhika I am paired with Rudra and  this Tomato Onion Chutney is what I tried from her blog.As usual I did a few alterations and ended up with this delicious dip.Thank you Rudra for this lip smacking good dip
Onion -1
Tomato - 4 medium sized
Green Chilli-1
Mustard Seeds -1/2 tbsp
Chilli powder-1/4tsp
Urad Dal - 1/4 tbsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Salt as required
Oil for cooking
Heat oil in a kadai and add chopped onion,ginger,chilli powder and green chilli and fry till onion turn translucent.Then add chopped tomatoes and curry leaves and saute till tomatoes turn mushy. Remove from the heat and allow them to cool.Grind this to a paste.
Again heat some oil in the kadai and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter add urad dal and saute till it turns golden followed by the asefoetida powder.Add the ground paste and saute till excess oil comes on the top.
Serve with hot idlies and dosa.
Sending this over to Radika's

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pazham Pori / Banana Fritters

Today it being Sunday and as we were all home in the evening,  I wanted to make something special.  I was wondering what to make that is yummy and filling and does't take much of my time.  That's when I noticed the ripe bananas on my banana hanger; so without wasting much time I made this Kerala special tea time snack and we all enjoyed it with great relish.
All purpose flour - 3/4 cup 
Rice flour - 1 tbsp (optional)
Salt - 1/8 tsp 
Sugar - 3 tsp 
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Water - 3/4 - 1 cup 
Ripe banana - 3 
Oil - to deep fry 
Prepare a thick batter with the flour, rice flour and water. Add salt, sugar and turmeric. Cut the banana into half and then slice each half into 2-3 thin pieces.  Dip the banana in the batter and deep fry in hot oil. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Elanchi / Pan Cake

This is a quick after-school snack I used to enjoy as a kid. Easy to make, tasty and filling, this can be considered Kerala's take on the pancakes or crepes, with the filling being sweetened coconut gratings.
Aishwarya is a fan of anything made with coconuts and she loves it whenever I make this at home, her only complaint being that I don't make it often enough.

All purpose flour( maida)-1 cup
Egg - 1
Water -1cup
Grated Coconut -    1½    cup
Sugar -   2    tbsp
Cardamom Powder   -  ¼    tsp

Break the egg into a bowl and beat it well.
Add the flour and salt , mix it well. Add enough water and prepare a smooth batter; the batter should be thinner than the dosa consistency.
In another bowl, mix together grated coconut, sugar and cardamom powder.Filling is ready. Keep  this aside.
Heat a non stick frying pan and  pour a spoonful of batter in the centre, spread with the back of the spoon to a thin round. Keep on medium flame.
When it is cooked on one side,place a spoon of the coconut filling on one end of the pancake and roll it.
Transfer it to a serving dish. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
Serve hot.
Sending this over to "SYF&HWS - Cook With SPICES" Series by Anu

and Desserts with Coconuts event by Raven hosted by Raksha

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Black Bean Burger Patties

The hungry monster in my home loves burgers. But as we are vegetarians, the options are limited for us. Typically I make burgers at home using the vegetable cutlets that I make. But Aishwarya doesn't like it that much as they are loaded with veggies, though both Jai and I simply love those. So for those days that we make home made burgers, we use Morning Star's vegetarian burger patties to make the burgers for Aishwarya. These are also good and convenient and even in the fast food chains like Burger King's they use these same patties to make the veggie burgers.
Morning Star has Bean Burgers among their products, which Aishwarya likes, but when I saw this recipe, I liked it more since I know what goes into this and when we made it, it was tasting better than the bought  out ones. All of us like it so much that we often takes it by itself even without the burger buns. These tastes awesome with just sour cream and some sambal paste or salsa on top.

Adapted and modified from Show Me The Curry
Ingredients: (makes approx 6 large patties)
For the Patty:
Black Beans (or you may use kidney beans also) – 1, 15 oz can, drained and rinsed
Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
Onions – 1/2 cup, chopped
Garlic – 2-3 cloves, chopped
Beans-1/2 cup,chopped
Garam masala-1tsp
Chilli powder-1/2tsp
Coriender powder-1tsp
Pepper powder-1/2tsp
Taco Seasoning – 1 tbsp or to taste
"Better than Bullion" vegetable base or chicken base -1/2 tsp
Shredded Carrots – 1/2 cup
Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Bread – 1 slice
Cooked Brown Rice – 1 cup
Frozen Corn – 1/2 cup
Salt – to taste
Soy Granules – 1/2 cup
Instant Oats – 1 cup
Cilantro – 5 springs, finely chopped
Eggs – 1, lightly beaten
Bread crumbs for coating

For the Burger:
Toasted Buns
Sour Cream


 In a pan, heat up 1 tbsp of Olive Oil. Once hot, add in the Onions and Garlic and allow them to caramelize a little.Add in the Soy Granules and  once dry add in the Bell Pepper and beans and cook for a little bit (1-2 min) Add in Taco Seasoning,vegetable base and other dry seasonnings, allow it to coat the vegetables and turn off the stove. Once the stove has been turned off, add in the finely shredded Carrots and mix well. Set the pan aside and allow it to cool down.
Pulse the Food processor about 3-4 times to make the bread slice into bread crumbles. In the Food Processor, add Cooked Brown Rice, Corn, Cooked Vegetables, Salt, Pulse about 6-7 times.Add in 3/4 of the can of Black Beans after draing them. Pulse for another 3-4 times till everything is mixed well.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Instant Oats, Cilantro & the balance of the Balck Beans. Mix gently but well. Now is a good time to do taste test before adding in Eggs.
Add in the eggs and mix well gently.If you have time put the mixture in the fridge and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.Divide up the mixture into equal portions,make a patty  Coat the them with bread crumbs. Heat a skillet up on medium heat with enough Oil.Once the skillet is hot, place gently, press the patty down if it is too thick and move it around so it gets coated in the Oil.Flip the patty once it browns on the bottom to cook the other side as well .
Once done, place on a toasted Bun.Garnish with Sour Cream and Salsa and serve.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

 For this weeks Blog Hop Wednesday by Radhika I was paired with Sumedha and this vegetarian chili is what I choose to try from her space.This spicy stew was tasty as anticipated and it was a  filling lunch and to top that it was perfect for this cold climate.
Soy granules Morningstar meal starters/ Ground Sausage Style Veggie protein from Trader Joe – 1     pkg. ( 14 oz/ 2 cups - .)
Onion – 1 medium size/ 1 cup chopped
Tomato – 1 medium size/ half cup chopped
Green bell pepper-1chopped
Garlic - 6 Cloves -  Finely chopped
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp.
Chili powder – 1½ tsp.
Taco seasoning  powder – 2 tsp. (½ oz)
Tomato paste – 1 Can
Kidney beans – 1 Can
Garbanzo beans – 1 Can
Oil – 2 tsp.
Water – As required/ about 4 to 5 cups.
Method :
In a large pan, add some oil and fry onion till translucent. Add garlic, soy and fry them on medium heat until soy  is cooked (about 5  to 9 minutes).Add salt just enough for this mixture.Now add turmeric, chilli powder, taco seasoning and saute for a minute. Add tomatoes ,bell peppers and tomato paste and continue to saute for another 3 minutes.Add a cup of water to this and mix  thoroughly.Now add kidney beans and garbanzo beans with their liquid and mix thoroughly. Adjust the water as required. [ Water should be little more water than soup consistency.]Simmer on low heat for 25 minutes. Then, open the lid and continue to boil for another 5 minutes.
 Serve  hot with cornbread.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesdays

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Scallion'N Garlic Pancakes

Scallion pancakes are pan-fried bread. It has origins in the Chinese culture. Unlike a true pancake, it is made from dough instead of batter and is a lot like Indian parathas and other simple flat breads. I have used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour  and and alterd the filling to my taste.This would make a nice appetizer or a filling breakfast.
Whole wheat flour-1 &1/2 cups
 Luke warm water-2/3rd cup
Oil -1 tbs
Scallion/Spring onion-1 cup(thinly sliced)
Garlic-4 cloves(thinly sliced)
Chilli flakes-1tsp
Salt -1/4 tsp
Vegetable oil-2tbs
Mix flour, salt , water and oil together to make a soft dough (add more water if needed).
Knead the dough on a lightly greased surface to make the dough smooth and pliable.
Set the dough aside and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest for at least ten minutes or more.
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts.
Mix all the ingredients listed under the filling.
Roll the dough out into a thin pancake about 1/4th inch thickness.Spread a thin layer of the filling over the pancake roll the pancake like a rug, wind the pancake into a spiral as if shaping a cinnamon roll, then tuck the loose end underneath.Roll out the rolled pancake to 1/8th inch thickness, pan-fry in a little oil on both sides until golden Slice into quarters or eighths and  serve.
Sending this over to Kaveri's  Herbs and Flowers in my platter event

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
Here is one of the perennial thanksgiving favorites - the pecan pie with a twist.
Hope you would enjoy this one.
Once again, Happy Holidays to you all!
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence
For the crust:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into medium cubes (about 16 pieces)
3 tbsp. ice cold water

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark corn syrup or sugar cane syrup (such as Steen's)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 cups pecan halves

To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix briefly to combine.  Add the cubes of butter to the bowl and mix on low speed until the texture resembles coarse cornmeal and the largest chunks of butter are not much larger than peas.  Add the water to the bowl and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together.
Form the dough into a 1 " thick disc, wrap  with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until chilled.
Heat the oven to 350 degree F .Roll the dick on a lightly floured work space into a 12 " circle.Fit this into the bottom of a 9 "pie pan .Trim the excess and crimp as desired.

To make the filling: melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, remove from heat and let cool. Beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl until frothy and then blend in the sugar. Stir in the syrup, vanilla, salt, and the melted butter mixture until well blended.
Arrange the pecans on the bottom of the pie crust and carefully pour the egg mixture over them. Bake until the filling is set and slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Test for doneness by sticking a thin knife in the center of the pie, if it comes out pretty clean, you're good to go. Transfer the pie to rack and cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sukhiyan / Sugiyan

This is a typical, traditional tea-time snack of Kerala. My memories of this are of my mother making these during our holidays, when we kids were always on the look-out for something to munch on. My mom used to make the Sukhiyan with sprouted moong-beans (green gram), to give us the added nutrients. But as I am not as good a planner as my mother used to be, I make things at a whim, without much pre-planning; so there is no question of using sprouted beans for my recipe. But if you want to , you can try this same recipe out with the sprouted beans as well, and it would come out equally good. This is a protein- rich snack good for growing kids.
Green gram /Moong bean - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup or to taste
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
All purpose flour  - 1 cup
Salt - A pinch
Cook the green gram in a pressure cooker with just  enough water, until done. Meanwhile melt the jaggery in 1/4 cup water,strain to remove any unwanted particles. Reheat the jaggery in a wide pan. When the jaggery syrup starts thickening, add the cooked green gram to this after draining the excess water   Add ghee to this when it becomes somewhat dry  cook until all the water is evaporated and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Remove from the stove, add cardamom powder and let it cool.
Mix all purpose flour, turmeric powder and a pinch of salt in water to make a thick batter. When the green gram mixture is cold enough to touch, make small balls out of it. Dip them in the flour batter and deep fry on  medium heat until the balls turn golden in color.
 Sending  this over to Priya's Cooking with seeds- Moong Beans event

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crazy Corn / Cup Corn

 For this weeks Blog Hop Wednesday by Radhika  I am paired with Princy. As I  was going through her blog I came upon this  recipe which I tweaked a bit to suit me  and voila I  ended up with this yummy and healthy  guilt free snack.So those of you who are looking for a quick fix healthy snack look no further.
Frozen corn 1 cup
Butter- 1 tsp or as you need
Salt to taste
Parmesan cheese-1/2 tsp
Garlic powder-1/4 tsp
Smoked paprika powder-1/2 tsp
Pepper as you need
Lime juice- 1/2 tsp (optional)
Dash of your favorite dried herb
Microwave the corn for 2 minutes. Drain all the liquid using a strainer. Now mix the remaining ingredients well.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesday

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Black Bean Soup

I prefer soups for lunch both during winter and summer. During summer, this helps us not to feel so thirsty, as with some other foods; and during winters, the warmth that a hot bowl of soup provides is unparalleled.  The black bean soup is one of my all time favorites as this is easy on your stomach yet filling enough. I got this recipe from Jay's cousin, when she threw a soup party. And ever since, this had been a staple at our house.
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman - serves 4-6
3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder, or more to taste
2 15-ounce cans black beans, or 3 cups cooked from dry
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lime, or to taste
2 Carrots
1/2 cup chopped Cilantro
1 green chilli
Sour cream or plain yogurt to garnish, or 1 egg
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic green chilies, coriander leaves, and carrots and chili powder and cook, stirring constantly, for an additional minute.
Add the beans, stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes.
If using the egg, heat an additional tablespoon of oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat in the meantime. Add the egg, cover, and fry slowly until the whites are completely set and the yolk is to your liking (I prefer it soft so it disperses into the soup).
To thicken the soup, purée it briefly with a stick blender, transfer half through food mill or into a blender, or just mash it by hand. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice. Adjust seasoning as necessary, garnish with cilantro and egg or yogurt or sour cream. Serve hot.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Homemade Pop-Tarts

There was a time in Aishwarya's life when she would only have as her school lunch, just a quarter of a pop-tarts - that too the store bought variety. She refused to have anything else. Going through the ingredients of this, I felt that I could make a better and healthier version, and this is what I ended up with.
Though her pop-tart days are over, she still take this for lunch some times, may be as a nostalgic reminder of her kindergarten days.
Recipe source: Bonappetit
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour plus additional for shaping and rolling
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 tablespoons ice water
12 tablespoons of preserves, we used strawberry and cherry
granulated sugar
For a photo tutorial on how to roll, cut and fill the dough, go over  here.

Whisk 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl. Add butter. Using fingertips or back of fork, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water by tablespoonfuls, tossing until moist clumps form. Gather dough into ball. Divide in half; shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic. Chill for 1 hour.

Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on floured surface to about 13x11 inches. Trim to 12x10-inch rectangle, then cut into eight 5x3-inch rectangles.

Arrange 4 rectangles, spaced apart, on each sheet. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons preserves in row down center of each rectangle. Top preserves with second dough rectangle. Using fingertips, gently press all edges of each tart to seal; press all edges with tines of fork to double-seal. Using toothpick, poke a few holes in center of top dough rectangle.I love to sprinkle some granulated sugar on top of the tarts. Cover; freeze tarts on sheets at least 2 hours or for up to 1 week.

Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake frozen tarts uncovered until golden, reversing sheets after 15 minutes, 25 to 30 minutes total (some preserves may leak out). Immediately transfer tarts to rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Onion Bhaji / Onion Pakora

Onion Bhaji or Onion pakora is the Indian version of the onion rings. These are typically served as starters or as evening snack as an accompaniment to the Indian tea or coffee service. If you are thinking of trying this out, I would recommend trying it out on a cold or rainy day, as these can really lift your spirits up. Best to serve it hot, fresh out of the frying pan. While I was making it for this post, we finished the bulk of it by the time I could even click a photo...

Big Onion-4
Chick pea Flour/Gram flour-1  cup
Rice Flour-2tbsp
Chilly Powder- 3/4 tsp to 1tsp
Turmeric Powder-1/4tsp
Asafoetida powder-1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Baking Soda- a pinch (opt)
Water- as required
Cut the onion into fine slices.In a bowl mix chick pea flour,chilly powder,turmeric ,salt,asafoetida powder,rice flour,baking soda and  enough  water to make a batter the consistency of pancake batter . Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.Add the onion slices to the batter, coat them with the batter .Now drop the coated  onion in small portions in batches  into the  hot oil carefully once the oil  is around 180 C.Deep fry them till golden.  Remove from the oil and drain. Serve the hot pakoda  with  tomato sauce or your favourite dip.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thick & Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

For this weeks Blog hop Wednesday by Radhika  Iam paired with Vidya ,those of you who haven't been to her space need to take a look of her wonderful space. She has tempting dishes all so presented well and to top that  her  photography is great. I choose this cookie recipe as I had been on the look out for a perfect bakery style chocolate chip cookie and I was well pleased with the outcome.
All purpose flour-2 cups+2 tbsp
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Salt-1/2 tsp
Butter- 12 tbsp
Brown sugar-1 cup(packed)
Granulated sugar-1/2 cup
Egg- 1 large +1 yolk
vanilla essence-2 tsp
Chocolate chips- 1 to 1 1/2 cups
Preheat the oven to 325 deg F.
Line the baking tray with parchment paper or lightly grease the tray.
Whisk flour,baking soda and salt together until combined,keep aside.
Beat butter and both the sugars together until combined.
Beat in the egg,yolk and vanilla essence .Now add the dry ingredients and mix well.
Now add the chocolate chips.
Measure almost 1/4 cup of dough and roll into a ball.Using your fingers split the ball into two.
Place the dough halves on the prepared baking tray ,with the uneven surface facing up.Place each dough halves  2 1/2  inch apart.
Bake until it turns light brown and edges begin to become crisp for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesday

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Sugar Cookies

For Aishwarya's Halloween class party on Friday, I had to send something that relates to the theme. I made these cookies with help from Aishwarya and Aishwarya did the entire frosting. The sugary cob-webs was a big hit with the kids. So if you are planning to bake something for this Halloween for the kids, and/or with the kids, you can try this.
Happy Halloween!
Yields 35 cookies
Ingredients for Cookies:
1 cup butter, softened (no substitutes)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for Frosting:
2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (the sugar must be sifted)
1 tablespoon milk (adding in more if needed for proper spreading consistency)
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (can use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in place of the almond)
food coloring (use your choice of colors)
For cookies;
In a large bowl combine butter with sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract; beat using an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy.In another bowl combine the flour with baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the butter mixture until well blended.Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.Line cookie sheets with parchment paper (do not grease cookie sheets use parchment paper only).On a very lightly floured surface roll out the dough into about 1/4-inch thickness.Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters.Place cookies 2-inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 4-6 minutes.Remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely before icing.

For the frosting
Mix the confectioners sugar in a bowl, along with milk (start with 1-2 tablespoons, you may need more milk for the perfect spreading consistency). Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until the icing is smooth and glossy (if the icing is too thick, add in a small amount more of corn syrup).
Divide into as many separate bowls as you wish for different colors. Add in food coloring until desired intensity is achieved. I made frosting of two consistencies; one was thick and the other, thinner than that. I colored the thin one black. And I used a spoon to spread the thick icing on the cookies. On top of the wet white thick icing, pipe on the thinned back icings in circles. Drag a toothpick through the icing, starting at the middle, towards the outermost circle to make a spiderweb pattern. Let dry overnight. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Wish all my friends a fabulous Diwali.For this Diwali I thought of sharing with you all one of my favorite desserts - Rasgulla. Rasgullas are offered in the world-famous Jaganath temple at Puri as an offering to goddess Lakshmi. And so I thought it was appropriate that we have this for our Diwali celebration.
Recipe Source:Rak's Kitchen

Milk(full cream)-1 Litre
Lemon juice- 3 tbs
Sugar-2 cups
Water-3 &1/2cups
Cardamom powder-1/8 tsp
Ice cubes-12 nos
Bring the milk to a boil. Now lower the heat, add the lemon juice and stir well. After a few minutes milk will curdle and whey becomes clear and will separate. Now switch off the heat and add ice cubes and mix well. Drain the whey using a strainer  and rinse the cheese under cold water, and squeeze out the water well. This process removes the sourness of the lemon from the cheese. Transfer the cheese  into a  cheesecloth or muslin cloth. Then squeeze the excess water by keeping the cheese(wrapped in cheesecloth) under a heavy pan (or anything that is heavy). After 40 minutes check the cheese by taking a little  bit in your palm and rubbing with your fingers. After rubbing it for about 15-20 seconds, you should be able to make a firm but smooth ball. If it is not ready, keep it pressed for a little longer. Now knead this for 7-10 minutes gently to make it like a soft and smooth dough. I have tried using the food processor and that also works fine.
Make smooth equal sized  balls. You can make around 25 balls. Meanwhile put the sugar,cardamom powder,clove and water in a pressure cooker and  bring to a boil. Add the cheese balls  carefully one by one .After the pressure cooker starts steaming, put the weight and turn the heat to low and cook for about seven minutes. Open the cooker when all the pressure is released by itself. By now Rasgullas  would have doubled in size.
Refrigerate this and serve chilled!
Sending this  over  to 'My Diwali My Way' hosted by Khushi of 'A Girl`s Dairy'

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fruit Salad with Custard.

Last week, it was the  Diwali Celebration at Aishwarya's school. All the Indian parents made a dish each to give a taste of India to the staff and teachers of the school. Since I had a hectic week even otherwise, I thought of making a "make ahead" dish. As I am desserts person, I opted for this one. This is something I could make blindfolded as we make this so often at home. My mom used to make this when I was a kid and I literally "grew up" having this!
This was well appreciated by everyone who had this at the feast and I had the recipe requests from many. So here is a quick, simple and healthy dessert for the holidays.
Custard powder -4 Tbs (can substitute this with corn starch)
Milk -2 1/2cups
Fruits ( apples,grapes,oranges,pineapple, banana or any others of your liking)-1 cup
Sugar- 5 Tbs
Vanilla extract -1/2 tsp ( if using corn starch)
Jello-1 packet (You will only need half of the Jello for this quantity of fruit salad)
Mix the custard  powder or  cornstarch in 1/4 cup of cold milk. Bring the rest of the milk to a boil along with 4 table spoons of sugar. Take the milk away from the heat; add the custard mix. Cook this for about 5 minutes or till the custard  thickens. (For those of you who are using corn starch in place of the custard powder, add a little bit of yellow food color to give your custard the usual color and add the vanilla extract to this.) Refrigerate this for 5 hours or till evenly cold. Make Jello as per the directions on the pack but use 1/2 a cup less water so that the Jello can be cut into little pieces after it sets. Refrigerate this till it sets and cut into small pieces. Meanwhile cut the fruits into little bite sized pieces. Add 1 tablespoons of sugar along with juice of half a lemon and mix well and refrigerate this too. After 5 hrs or so mix the fruits  and jello along with custard and serve

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hara Bhara Kebab

For this week's Blog hop Wednesday by Radhika, I was paired with  Archana . She has a wonderful food blog with so many tempting dishes.While going through her blog I came upon  this recipe and remembered a promise I made to my daughter last summer when we were in India. While restauarnt hopping there, Aishwarya had tried this and as she is a big fan of anything green, got a big liking for this. She made me promise that I would try this out once back in the US,but I completely forgot about this until I saw it in The Mad Scientist's Kitchen.  Thank you Archana, you  just made my daughter one happy girl.
Recipe source:The Mad Scientist's Kitchen
3 potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 cup frozen peas,
1 1/2 cups spinach leaves, washed and finely chopped
2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped
2tbs mint chutney
1tbs chat masala
3tbs slightly crushed cashew nuts
3 tbsp corn flour
3 tsp olive oil
Blanch spinach and green peas,squeese out the water and puree both spinach, peas and chillies without addding water. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the oil. Mash until fairly smooth.
Take a spoonful of the mixture, the size of a golf ball, and flatten it to make a burger shape. Repeat with the remaining mixture.Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and lightly fry the patties for 2 minutes on each side, cooking them well. Drain on kitchen paper towels. Serve hot.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Vegetable Pot Pie

With all the festivals one after the other and other celebrations at home I couldn't find  time to  take a breather for my blog  or visit any of my blogger friends as much as I love to do. I hope all of you are enjoying this festival season as much as I am.
If you are looking for an easy and satisfying dish to make for your family or friends,this festival season look no further - this is the ideal one. It is a quick recipe and the beauty of this is that if you are hard for time, you can even split this recipe and and make the vegetable portion beforehand and refrigerate it. When you want to serve it just pop it in along with the puff pastry in the oven to get a hot and appealing meal.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
1/4 fennel bulb, top and core removed, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tbs all-purpose flour
3/4 cup good vegetable stock
1/8 tsp star anise  powder
1/8 tsp fennel powder
Pinch saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon  salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup fresh paneer
1/4 cup diced potatoes
2 tbs green peas
1/4 cup peeled,diced carrots
1/4cup peeled, diced butternut squash
1/8 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
1 sheet frozen puff pastry,thawed

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and fennel and saute until translucent. Add the flour, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly add the stock, fennel,star anise,saffron, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the heavy cream and season to taste. The sauce should be highly seasoned.
Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water . Lift out with a sieve. Add the carrots,peas and squash to the pot and cook in the boiling water. Drain well. Add the paneer,potatoes, mixed vegetables and parsley to the sauce and mix well.
Heat oven to 400 degree F.Cut the puff pastry into eight rectangles. Divide the filling equally among 4 ovenproof bowls  Place on a baking sheet and bake along with the puff pastery for about 20 minutes till the pastery is  golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot.Serve hot .

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mint Aloo Chaat

This is the 6th week of Blog Hop Wednesday and this week I am paired with Radhika, the mastermind behind this series. As many of you know, she has a wonderful food blog; and each time I visit her space I find recipes that call out to you. This recipe caught my attention due to its simplicity and ease of preparation. It was well liked by my family. I especially loved the freshness that lingers back in your mouth even long after having this.
Recipe Source: Tickling Palates
Baby Potatoes-1/2 Kgs.
Coriander leaves-1 bunch
Mint leaves-1/2 bunch
Green chillies-3 – 4
Corn flour-1 tbsp
Chaat masala-1/2 tsp
Salt-To taste
Butter-2 tbsp
Pressure cook the baby potatoes with a pinch of salt and remove the skin. If your potatoes are big cut them in two.  Wash the coriander and mint leaves.  Grind  the leaves, green chillies, ginger and salt together to a fine paste adding just little water.In a bowl mix the corn flour with little water without any lumps. Add this to the ground green paste and mix well.Put  potatoes into this and mix well to marinate. Let it stand for 10-15 mins.Melt butter in a pan and add the marinated baby potatoes and mix well. Cook over low flame till the butter mingles with the potatoes and coats it well. Take care not to burn.
Switch off the stove and sprinkle chaat masala generously and give it a toss. Transfer to a plate and serve hot.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesday

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Nutella Raspberry Crepes

We don't typically cook anything for breakfast on weekdays. We would either have something simple like boiled eggs, cereals or just reheat some oats porridge made the previous night. It is only on Sundays that we have a freshly cooked meal for breakfast. Typically it is  Jai who makes the breakfast  and as Aishwarya loves pancakes, that would be the most frequent one.(He makes excellent pancakes from scratch - I'll post the recipe for that later).
Today, for a change, I thought of taking the mantle to make the breakfast. When I asked Aishwarya what she wanted today, she demanded something made with Nutella, her favorite spread. So I thought of making this delicious crepe that I often make using Alton Brown's original recipe.
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan
Nuttella as required
In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to a plate.
Spread each crepe with about 1 tablespoon of hazelnut spread. In one half of the crepe, arrange rasberries on top of nuttella  and fold the crepe over in half. Repeat this with all of the crepes.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Apple 'N Carrot Turnover-A Tribute to Steve

The news of the sad demise of Steve Jobs was a rather upsetting one, though expected. We all knew that he was not keeping well,  but we were hoping for him to comeback bouncing to active life the way he had done always - whether in career or life.
For me living in Cupertino, Apple is a part of the everyday life. I have to pass the Apple headquarters almost every day. I see Apple employees tutoring kids in my daughter's school, and of course, so many of my neighbors work for Apple. And one of the first things that my friends from India ask me when they realize that I live in Cupertino just a block away from the Apple Headquarters is that whether I had ever seen Steve Jobs. I used to joke that Steve used to have lunch at our place every other day! But the sad part is that though I had lived for over 5 years now so close to Apple, I had never once got a chance to see this icon of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship even once!
I dedicate this apple turnover to the memory of one of the ever resilient and iconic figures  of the new generation.
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cups (1/4-inch) diced peeled carrots
1 cup (1/4-inch) diced peeled gala apple
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly pepper flakes
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 recipe of pie crust (use only 1/4 cup sugar)
1 tablespoon milk
Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and chilli flakes sauté for 3 minutes. Add carrots; sauté for another 3 minutes. Add apple; cook 2 more minutes or until carrot and apple are tender. Stir in salt. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Gently stir in cheese and basil. Separate pie dough into 8 pieces. Roll each portion into a 5-inch circle on a lightly floured surface.(Combine 1tbs mustard sauce and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl. Apply a thin layer of this on the rolled out dough - this is an optional step, only if you love the flavor of mustard sauce). Spoon about 2 tablespoons apple mixture onto half of each circle, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Fold dough over filling; press edges together with a fork to seal. I have used a mold.  Brush milk over dough. Place turnovers 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lightly coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 19 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kesari / Suji Halwa / Sheera

Today being the first day of  Saraswati Pooja, I thought of making Kesari as an offering to Sarawati devi. My reasoning was that since Saraswati pooja is of major significance for the kids, the offering also should be appealing to my little one. After the pooja she was happy to gobble up the major share of it and is looking forward to what the offering would be for tomorrow!
I am dedicating this post to all those little ones who are about to take their first steps to the world of knowledge on this upcoming Vijayadasami day.
1 cup of rava (semolina)
1&1/2 to 2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of cashewnuts (optional)
1/4 cup of raisins(optional)
4 tbsp of ghee
A pinch of orange food color
1tsp cardamom or 4 cloves or a mix of both
2 & 1/2 cups of  hot water
In a thick bottom pan roast cashew and raisins in 1tbs of ghee. (As my daughter doesn't like cashew and raisins in kesari I didn't do this step.)  Set the roasted nuts and raisins aside. Heat another tablespoon of ghee and roast the rava till it turns to a light pink color. Add 2 and 1/2 cups of hot water to this. Stir constantly while doing this.  When rava is fully cooked, add the sugar and stir well. If you are adding color do that at this time. When the sugar is fully dissolved, add the remaining ghee. Keep stirring until the rava starts leaving the sides of the pan and white streaks start to appear. Garnish with the fried cashews and raisins and cardamom powder. If you prefer to cut it into little squares or diamonds transfer it into a greased tray or mould and once it cools down cut it in your desired shape.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chilli Soy

This is a dish that I usually make as an accompaniment to go along with fried rice. The original recipe is something I had from way back - I don't even remember where I got it from. I had made my own variations to this over the years. I would highly recommend this for any vegetarians who loves the Indo-Chinese cuisine, as my family and I had always loved this dish.
Soy chunks - 200 gm
Corn Flour - 1 tbsp
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Ginger pate - 30 gm
Garlic paste - 50 gm
Chilli Sauce - 3 tbsp
Soy sauce - 3 tbsp
Vinegar - 3 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Egg (optional) - 1 no
Oil - for shallow frying
Cook the soy chunks and squeeze out the water. Mix all the remaining  ingredients and marinate the soy chunks with it and keep for an hour. Shallow fry the soy chunks. You can have it as such or you can add a little more zing by doing a little more as below.
Stir fry vegetables like carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, onion etc. and add 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of tomato ketchup and mix the fried soy with this. This is typically how I love to have this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Microwaved Masala Peanuts

For this week's Blog hop Wednesday by Radhika, I was paired with Prathima . She has a wonderful blog with so many tempting dishes but this simple recipe caught my attention.This was something that I had always wanted to try but  kept on postponing. The recipe sounded perfect so I finally tried the microwave version of masala peanuts.Now I repent for not trying this out earlier, as this was such a delight to have and I have made this five times already after my first try. So instead of  going for the deep fried version, try this option for the same taste sans the calories. Thank you Prats for this awesome snack made in minutes.
Recipe Source: Prats Corner
Ingredients :
1 cup plain unsalted  raw peanuts
2-3 tbsp gram flour (Chickpea flour)
2-3 tsp rice flour (for crispness)
1/2 to 1 tsp chilli powder
a pinch of hing powder (asafoetida)
3 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Method :
Mix together all the dry ingredients .Add the oil to this and mix well. Add water and mix well ( I added a little more than 1/4 cup as I wanted an even smooth coating on my nuts). Transfer the peanuts onto a microwave safe bowl (flat and wide). Spread them so that they do not stick to each other. Cook on HIGH for 2 mins. Remove, break lumps  if any and stir the peanuts and place back in microwave and repeat this process in 1 minute increments until done.
The time in the microwave will depend on the power of the microwave,  and the amount of water added. It took me approximately about 10 minutes.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesday and Diwali Special-Sweets and Savories by Radhika

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sesame Balls / Ellunda

This recipe is originally from my mom. She used to make the Ellundas as a means of compensating for any deficiency of iron in our diets; and used to make them ever so frequent. So growing up, I used to regard these as more of a dietary supplement rather than as the snack that these really are. I began appreciating these more only after I grew up; even though as a mother myself, I don't make these anywhere as frequently as my mom used to.Both Jai and Aishwarya loves it whenever I am inclined to make this :-)
Black sesame seeds - 500g
Flattened rice - 300g
Jaggery - 250g
Coconut (grated) - 1 cup
Cardamom - 10
Water - 1/2 cup

Dry-roast sesame seeds and  flattened rice separately. When  flattened rice is cold enough, powder it  to a fine powder . Now powder the sesame but it should be powdered only coarsely. Melt the jaggery in water. Seive it and add coconut to this and cook till coconut dries up.Keep this aside. Add powdered cardamom to this . Mix together all the ingredients and make into little balls.

Sending this to Kerala Kitchen hosted by Divya

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Old Fashioned Baked Apples in Microwave

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Though it is healthy eating apples every day, during those chilly winter days you may not feel like biting into any of the cold fruits. This is one recipe that lets you have the goodness of apples in a wholesome and appetizing meal even on those cold winter days.
If you are in a hurry and yet want the great taste of oven baked apples, along with that wonderful aroma, all in a fraction of the time you should try this recipe.
Recipe source:ILoveInns
1 medium apple per person
1 tbs brown sugar per apple
1/2 tbs butter per apple
Cinnamon powder to taste
Using a melon baller, scoop out stem, core and seeds of apples leaving bottom intact. Using sharp knife, slice a thin waist around each apple. Arrange apples in microwaving pan. Fill each apple with 1 tbs brown sugar, top with 1/2 tbs butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover apples with kitchen towel . Microwave on high until tender. Let stand covered for 3 minutes before serving. Serve with some home made granola to make this a complete meal.
Microwave timing for different quantities of apples
 6 apples for 10 – 14 minutes
 4 apples for 6 – 10 minutes
 2 apples for 3 – 5 minutes
 1 apple for 2 – 3 minutes
Sending this over to ABC Series A for Apple at Ramya's Recipe

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Stuffed Artichoke Indian Style

Today Jay was in a mood to experiment. So he asked me to take my day off from kitchen and that he would make something different. He went out and came back with the artichokes and while I  enjoyed my Sunday, reading a book, he came up with a delicious artichoke bake. When I asked him how he did it (I know he was checking through many recipes on the internet), he said that he has combined many of what was there on the net and he would rather blog his recipe on my blog !!  Thus it saved me the job of posting a new recipe on Sugar'n Spice as well. Thanks to him I had a totally relaxed Sunday!

4 large artichokes
4 button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup soy-granules , Morningstar meal starters
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup onion; diced
4 cloves garlic; minced
2 teaspoonLemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon curry powder
4 tablespoonsfresh parsley; minced
1 1/2 cupsbreadcrumbs; (fresh and soft)
1/2 cupParmesan cheese; grated
1/4 cup Mozzarella optional
For drizzling:
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon salt

Trim the stem off the bottom so artichokes can stand flat. Peel off the bottom leaves (the hardest ones).Place artichoke on its side and cut off the top inch or so to remove top thorns. With scissors, snip thorny tips from remaining leaves. With a spoon, scoop out the choke (the fuzzy part) in the center of the artichokes. Cut one lemon in half and squeeze into a large bowl of cold water. Put the cut artichokes in this water so that the lemon water coats the cut portions. This is to avoid discoloration. Steam the artichokes and cook for about 30-45 minutes, until the leaves pull away easily. Once done, drain out any water onto a towel, keeping the artichokes upside down.
While the artichokes are being steamed, prepare the stuffing.
Saute garlic and onion in butter till they turn translucent. Add the curry powder and saute for another minute. Add mushrooms and the soy-granules and saute again. Now add all the remaining herbs  and salt to this and when it is almost dry add the bread-crumbs and Parmesan cheese to this.
Combine the olive oil with the seasonings (for drizzling). Now drizzle half of this oil over the artichokes. Stuff the artichokes in the center as well as in between the leaves gently with the stuffing prepared. If you prefer you may put some mozzarella cheese over the stuffed artichokes. Now drizzle the artichokes with the remaining oil and bake at 350 degree F for 20 minutes till it is heated through.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


For this week's Blog hop Wednesday by Radhika, I was paired with Monika. She has a wonderful food blog with so many tempting dishes.But this being the week after Onam, I wanted to try something simple and not been blogged by me yet. My search ended at this simple yet scrumptious snack/breakfast dish.
Recipe Source:Sin A Mon
Idly batter-2 cups
Salt to taste
Ginger green chili paste-2 tsp
Onion chopped-1 medium
Curry leaves a handful
Cilantro - 1 tbsp chopped
Mix all the ingredients into the Idli batter  and mix well .Check for salt /seasonings.Take an unniappam chatti (or an aebleskiver pan) . Grease the molds with ghee or vegetable oil.Spoon  the batter into the greased molds till 3/4 full. Cover and cook till golden brown on low to medium heat.Flip slowly with a flat teaspoon  or skewer and cook on the other side.Serve hot with chutney,sambar or ketchup
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesday

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Masala Biscuits

This is a spicy cookie that is common in bakeries in India. My mom used to bake this when we were small. This is an easy recipe to put together, taking only a few minutes to make. And one of the added attractions is that it is egg-less. You may increase or decrease the spice level for these cookies to your taste.

All purpose flour-300 gms
Sugar-20 gms
Baking powder-1 1/2tsp
Green chillies ---}
Curry leaves----              
Ginger ---------}
Cilantro -------} 20 gm , altogether
Yogurt-2 to 3 tsp

Sieve the all purpose flour twice with baking powder and salt. Rub this mixture with shortening and sugar. Add the green chilli and herb mixture to this along with the yogurt and sesame. Knead it to a soft dough. Roll the dough into 1/2 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 mts.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Carrot 'N Vermecilli Kheer/Payasam

Wishing all my Malayalee friends around the globe a Very Very Happy ONAM!!!
This is a healthier version of the traditional semiya payasam that lets you indulge in your sweet delicacy and yet have your share of veggies. Aishwarya, my little bunny, loves anything made with carrots. One of her favorites is the carrot cream. But this is the Onam season I thought of mixing the carrot cream and the traditional Semiya (vermicelli) payasam recipes and came up with this one. As per my tasters, this is the best of both!

Carrot diced-1cups
Carrot grated-1/4 cup
Semiya /Vermecilli -1/2 cup
Whole Milk-41/2cups
Sugar-3/4 cup or as required
Condensed milk-1/2 cup
Ghee -1tbs
Cardamom- 2tsp
Cashew-2 tbs

Roast the semiya with 1/2tbs of ghee in a heavy bottom vessel till they turn golden.Add 4 cups of milk and sugar to this and cook the semiya till done.Meanwhile pressure cook carrots with half a cup of milk  till well done. Now Puree the carrots in a blender and add this to the cooked semiya along with the condensed milk. Remove when the payasam  consistency  is  that of a smoothie .Add cardamom powder.Roast the nuts and grated carrots using the remaining ghee . Garnish the payasam with this and serve.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Kerala Kitchen - Aug 2011 Event Round-up

Thank you all for sending in your wonderful recipes for the Aug 2011 Event of the Kerala Kitchen. We had a total of 25 entries and it was a difficult task for me to choose the winners for different categories. To me all of you are winners, yet for the sake of adhering to the tradition of the Kerala Kitchen Event, I have chosen the winners for the categories specified. Hope you all enjoyed participating in the event as I had in conducting it. Keep up the good work!

Ramya of Ramya's Recipe send in this Mathanga Vanpayar Erisseri

 Ramya of Ramya's Recipe send in this Yam Fries

Shoba Shyam of Good Food send in this Coconut rice

Ramya of Ramya's Recipe send in this Koottu Curry

 Ramya of Ramya's Recipe send in Egg Kothu Porotta

Ramya of Ramya's Recipe send in Fish Biriyani

Umm Mymoonah ofTaste of Pearl City send in Neythili Meen Aviyal

Rinku Naveen of Rinku's Kitchen Treat send in Kallumakkaya Upperi

Reshmi Mahesh of Easy Cook send in this Collard Green Stir fry

Reshmi Mahesh of Easy Cook also send in this Kerala Puttu

Kaveri of Palakkad Chamayal send in this Chammanthi Podi

Karishma J Anand of Effortless cooking, Easy baking send in this Multigrain power-packed dosa

Nashira of Plateful send in these Chicken puffs

Najla of Foodie Corner send in this Layered Moss Pudding

Kaveri of palakkad Chamayal send in this Mangai Kootan

Indu of Indugetscooking send in this Kottayam Style Red Fish Curry

Najla of Foodie Corner send in this Spring Roll

Sobha Shyam of Good Food send in this Savoury Kozhukattai

Sobha Shyam of Good Food send in this Vegetable Kurma

Jehanne of The Cooking Doctor send in this Stir-Fry Tapioca with saffron

Roshan of Roshan's Cucina send in Pazham-Puttu

Divya of Easycooking send in this Neichoru ~ Ghee Rice

Smitha Mohanan of Food my companion send in this Fried dried fish

Lastly my dish Kaya Bhaji

For the month of August is Umm Mymoonah ofTaste of Pearl City's Neythili Meen Aviyal

For the month of August is Nashira of Plateful 's Chicken puffs

For the month of August is Ramya of Ramya's Recipe

Congratulations to all the winners and all the wonderful participants of  this event! Thank you all for the participation
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