Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ice cream cupcakes

Though spring had started over a week ago it was still very cold.But everything changed today  and it felt more like summer with 80 degree Fahrenheit.Aishwarya had outdoor P.E and was all hot and sweaty when she came back from school.So I thought of making something to cool her down. As she wanted something really fast I thought of making this and it was ready by the time she was out of her bath (she takes very long baths, that helped too). The picture is not that good as it was taken in a hurry before the  ice cream  melted.
Cupcake liners-8
Oreo Cookies-8(I used Double stuff )
Butter(melted)-1 tablespoon
Favorite ice cream flavor-1/2 gallon
Chocolate Flavored Shell Topping
Make a fine powder of the cookies and mix in melted butter.Line cupcake pans with liners, into each liner add a tablespoon of cookie crumbs and cover with a square of wax paper, and use the base of a glass to pack and flatten the crumbs.Add ice cream layer, cover with a cling wrap and freeze.If you want multi flavored cupcakes add another layer after the first one sets. After about 45 minutes to an hour your ice cream would be frozen. Take it out and decorate with chocolate shell and sprinkles. Now your icecream cupcake is ready to enjoy.
Sending this over to "Celebrate Sweets - Ice Cream" event  over at Rasoi

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spinach'N Cilantro Pesto Pasta

Here is one more Italian recipe, one serving of which I promise you,would give your daily dose of green vegetables:) . Jokes apart, this is one recipe that you can use to finish off those spinach and cilantro bunches that may be sitting in your refrigerator for long. If you have made too much of pesto you can even store some for later, by storing it in airtight containers - just make sure you add a teaspoon of olive oil covering the top of the pesto sauce so that it doesn't oxidize and discolor.
For Pesto
Fresh spinach leaves, well-washed and stemmed-1 cup
Cilantro or Parsley-1/4 cup
Almonds or  pine nuts, toasted-1/4 cup
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated-1/8 cup
Garlic cloves-1 1/2
Extra virgin olive oil-1 tablespoon
Sea salt-1/8 teaspoon
Fresh ground black pepper-1/4 teaspoon
Green chilli-2
Lime juice - from 1/2 a lime or 1 TBSP (Could use lemon juice too)
Place all ingredients into food processor and process to a fine paste.Add or reduce amount of oil to thin or thicken the sauce.
For Pasta.
Vegetable oil-1 tablespoon
Extra virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling pasta once cooked)-1 tablespoon
Garlic cloves (minced or pressed)-1
Dried basil-1 tablespoon
Vegetable mix(cut)-3 cups
Whole grain pasta, uncooked -16 ounces (I have used Rotini pasta)
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Cook pasta as indicated on package or until tender (usually 8 to 14 minutes).Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.Meanwhile, in a pan, heat vegetable oil and olive oil over low heat and immediately add garlic ,dried basil and vegetables, season with salt and pepper sauté for 3 minutes.Once pasta is cooked, drain on colander, drizzle with one tablespoon of olive oil, mix lightly.Now Add pesto sauce and pasta to the cooked vegetables cook for about 3 minutes on low heat (avoid over cooking to allow pesto to retain its nutrients intact) and serve.
Sending this over to"Herbs and Flowers in my Platter" - Coriander leaves/Cilantro event at Krithi's Kitchen
Herbs & Flowers in My Platter - Coriander

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Madeleines are little tea cakes that are perfect for tea parties or for a quick sweet treat. This recipe unlike other Madeleine recipes can be made without  any refrigeration of the batter.Yet have always have come out perfect each time I baked these.Those of you who doesn't own a Madeleine pan can make them in muffin tins; after all, these are little tea cakes, right?
Recipe source:Martha
Ingredients :
Melted butter ( 1 stick)-8 tbsp
All purpose flour-1/2 cup
Cake flour-1/2 cup
Pinch of salt
Eggs-2 large
Sugar-2/3 cup
Vanilla-1 tsp
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Pre-heat oven to 375 degree F. Butter and lightly flour the Madeleine pan.Beat eggs and sugar together until pale and foamy.Add in vanilla and lemon zest, then the flour and salt. Mix until just combined at a low speed, pour in melted butter and combine everything till butter is incorporated.Do not over mix.
Spoon batter into prepared madeleine pan and bake for 8-10 minutes until it turns golden brown. Turn over immediately onto cooling rack.
Sending this over to Treat to Eyes Series- 2 by Rumana

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Kadachakka Varutharacha Curry (Breadfruit Curry)

Breadfruit or kadachakka as it is known in Kerala, is a childhood favorite of both my husband and mine. We used to feel nostalgic about the good old days when we used to have this as a stir fry, curry or in the form of delicious chips. Since we can't get fresh kadachakka where we are in the US, we had to be happy with the frozen ones that we get at the Indian store. But with the frozen ones, this is the best preparation we can have as making stir-fry or chips with the frozen ones won't be doing justice to the taste of those we make with the fresh fruits. But in a curry like this, the masalas to some extend masks the lack of freshness - so this is the only form in which we have this these days.
Bread fruit-1(2 1/2 cups cubed frozen)
Ginger-2" piece
Grated coconut-1cup or Dried shredded coconut-3/4cup)
Fennel seeds-1/4tsp
Coriander powder-2tsp
Chilly powder-1tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Pepper corns-1/4tsp
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Salt -to taste
 Shallots -3 sliced
 Curry leaves -1sprig

Heat the pressure cooker and add 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot enough add the diced onion.When it starts to turn slight brown add the tomato(traditionally tomatoes are not added, so if you  wish you can skip adding this). Now when the tomatoes have wilted in the oil  add ginger,turmeric,green chilies,curry leaves and saute for a minute. Now add the cubed breadfruit, salt and1 1/2 cup of water. Put the lid on the pressure cooker and once the steam comes, put the weight on and keep the flame low. Wait for 5 minutes and then turn off the heat.
Now heat a pan, add 1 tbs oil and add the grated coconut to this. Once the coconut starts to turn brown, add all the remaining ingredients other than the ones used for seasoning. Saute for 1 more minute, taking special care not to burn the masalas. Now add a little bit of water to this and grind it to a fine paste.
Add this paste to the cooked breadfruit and let this simmer for about 5 minutes till the gravy thickens.
Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of oil and brown the shallots. Once shallots are turning brown, add the curry leaves, saute a little and add this to the gravy.
Sending this over to Kerala Kitchen Event hosted by Magpie

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cabbage Kofta

This is a simple recipe that can be made in a jiffy for an unplanned party and which is a sure crowd pleaser.Though the ingredient list is a long one, its just your every day ingredients and once you have the ingredients ready you can make this in no time. So do give this a try and enjoy this with your friends or with your family on a day that you want to have something special.
For Kofta
 Cabbage-1/4 of medium one ( you can substitute this with 1 cup grated pumpkin)
 Besan flour-4 tbs
 Garlic-4-5 cloves
 Green chilli-1/2tsp Chopped
 Coriander powder-1/4tsp
 Salt -to taste
For Gravy:
 Tomato paste-2 tsp
 Milk-1/4 cup
 Ghee-1 tbs
 Heavy cream-1tbs (optional)
 Kasuri methi-1/4tsp
For paste:
 Ginger-1tsp, grated
 Cinnamon-1 stick
 Cumin -1tsp
 Garlic cloves-2
 Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
For making koftas:
Mix all the ingredients listed to make koftas and fry spoonfuls of this immediately  in  hot oil till the mixture turns golden.
Heat a pan, add about a table spoon of ghee or oil and saute all the ingredients for paste till onion turns translucent. Make a paste of this sauted ingredients using about a cup of water. Mix it with tomato paste, milk,ghee,kasuri methi and salt and cook for 4 -5 minutes.When the gravy reaches desired consistency add cilantro and heavy cream.Add the koftas to the gravy before serving .Serve hot.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Deep,Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Buttercream

You can call this Deep,Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Buttercream or in short, in my hubby's words "Chocolate Overdose cake".
This is one of our favorite cakes - the one which is requested for by both my daughter and husband over and over as their birthday cake. This picture is from my daughters birthday of last year as I don't have a better quality picture of the latest one.Though I felt like making it again just for this post, there is one part of me which was saying no as I have the tendency to over indulge myself with this with ultimate result of gaining a few pounds in the middle and not being able to fit myself into the spring cloths. And I am sure my husband wouldn't agree to getting me a new wardrobe. :( So those of you who are trim and who doesn't care of the calories may try this out - but for me it is only a twice an year delight.
Source: Hershey's Fabulous Desserts
For the Cake:
 Sugar - 2 cups
 All purpose flour- 1 3/4 cup
 Cocoa powder - 3/4 cup
 Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
 Baking soda - 1 1/2 tsp
 Salt - 1 tsp
 Eggs - 2 nos
 Milk - 1 cup
 Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
 Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
 Boiling water - 1 cup
Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease and flour baking pan. In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium for 2 mts. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 mts, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Set it aside to cool completely while you are working on the frosting.
(Note: This makes 2 number of 9" round cakes or 1 number of 13"X9"X2" cake or 3 dozen cupcakes)
For the butter-cream frosting:
 Butter - 6 tbs
 Cocoa - 1/3 cup (for light flavor or you can add up to 1/2 cup for a richer flavor)
 Confectioner's sugar - 2 2/3 cup
 Milk - 1/3 cup
 Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Cream the butter and blend in cocoa and sugar, alternatively with milk. Beat to spreading consistency. Blend in the vanilla extract. Makes 2 cups of frosting.

For the Ganache:
 Heavy cream - 1 cup
 Semi sweet chocolate - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
 Corn syrup - 1 tbs
 Salt - a pinch
Bring the heavy cream to a boil in medium heat. Remove from the stove top after a single boil and add the remaining ingredients and combine well.

Once the cake, ganache and the frosting are at the room temperature, frost the cake with the butter cream. My cake pan had a dip at the middle. So I filled the depression with the ganache. But for those of you who are using a plain pan, you can scoop off some cake from the middle and fill it with the ganache.  You may decorate the cake as you wish. I added some chocolate curls and some cherries to give it a little more "oomph".

Sending this to Priya's Crazy for Cakes Event.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kale Stir fry Kerala Style

Today it being St Patricks Day, I  thought of making something green to mark this day. So I made our favorite Kale stir fry in Kerala style or should I say my mom style.This is one stir fry we at my home never get tired of eating  and one that has become a once a week staple dish.This is an easy dish to put together,and goes well with rice.
Kale-1 bunch
Coconut grated-1/2 cup
Onion-1/4 cup
Green Chilli-2 sliced fine
Salt -to taste
Mustard seeds-1/2tsp
Red dry chilli-1
Wash and separate kale leaves and stems. Shred leaves and thinly slice the tender part of the stems.Mix kale, coconut, onion ,green chilli and salt well.You can literally rub each ingredient together using your hands.Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter add the red chilli and the kale mixture. Stir well and cook covered for 2 minutes.Open the lid and stir again. Put the lid back on and cook for another 2 minutes,continue this till kale is cooked to your likeness.We prefer it not overly cooked ,so 5 minutes or so is all that I cook.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mooli - Radish Paratha

The stuffed parathas that I knew  while growing up were Aloo paratha and Gobi paratha.Once my daughter was born, I started using any of the vegetables that my daughter doesn't fancy as the stuffing ,since she loved  eating stuffed parathas irrespective of the stuffing used .This post is dedicted to my choosy daughter who made me a better cook through her own stubborn ways.
White Radish-1(grated)
Green chillies-2(finely chopped)
Red chilli flakes-1 tsp(according to spice tolerance level)
Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
Garam masala-1/2 tsp
Salt-1/2tsp or to taste
Wheat flour-1 and 1/2 cups
Oil or Butter for buttering the finished parathas
Mix radish with 1/2 teasppon of salt and set aside for 10 minutes.Radish will leave some water. Squeeze it dry preserving the water that is squeezed out..Now use 1/2 cup and a tablespoon of this water and mix it with the wheat flour to make a smooth dough just like that for chapathi.Cover and keep the dough for 15 minutes. Meanwhile dry roast radish in a pan and to the dry radish add the remaining ingredients (except oil/butter). Divide dough into approx 8 balls. Divide Radish mixture into 8 equal portions.Roll out one dough ball into a small disc use enough dry flour to prevent sticking. Place one portion of Radish mixture at the center of the disc.Wrap the dough around the Radish mixture to form a ball. Roll out  ball to form the paratha. Shake off any excess dry flour and place the paratha on a hot skillet or tava.

When bubbles appear, flip the paratha over.Wait approx 30 – 40 secs . Flip the paratha back to the other side and gently press to cook. Continue this till both sides are cooked.Spread a little butter onto both sides once you remove from the skillet .Serve hot with pickle or yogurt.
Sending this over to A Veggie/ Fruit a Month,event  by Priya hosted by Sweet Artichoke.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lentil Soup with Cilantro Chutney

This is one of the easiest of Indian dishes that is highly packed with proteins any growing kid need. Typically, if we take dal curry along with rice or roti, we won't be having that much of dal in-take. That might be sufficient for grown-ups, but kids of growing age may need some more proteins, especially so if you are a vegetarian. A weekly dose of this soup would cover any gaps of  protein in-take, and to top it, kids would simply love this.
For the soup:
 Ghee  or vegetable oil - 1 tsp
 Coriander powder - 1 tsp
 Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
 Pepper powder - to taste
 Vegetable stock - 4 1/2 cups
 Yellow lentils (moong dal) - 1 1/2 cups
For the chutney:
 Cilantro - 1 cup
 Lime juice - 1 tbs
 Vegetable oil - 2 tsp
 Fresh, grated ginger - 2 tsp
 Green chilli - 2 nos

Wash the lentils well. Heat oil/ghee in a pressure cooker, add coriander, cumin and pepper powders and saute it for a minute. Now add the vegetable stock and the lentils. Put the lid on and when the steam starts to come, put on the weight, turn down the heat to low and pressure cook for 8 minutes. (if you are not using a pressure cooker, cook for 40-50 minutes, till the lentils are tender)
Open the lid and stir in 1 tsp of salt (or to taste). Make a paste out of all the ingredients for chutney. Serve the soup topped with chutney. If you don't mind the calories, you can splutter a tsp of cumin seeds in a teaspoon of heated ghee in a separate pan and add to this before serving for that extra flavor.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Zesty Rasam

This is a quick and easy recipe ideal for someone who is busy or is sick or when you don't have access to the typical spices needed to make the regular rasam. The base recipe I got from my college days, when I was a newly married. The front office manager at the dental college and hospital I studied was a nice Tamil lady, Rajeshwari. She gave me this recipe when I told her about my failed experiment making rasam, and of my hubbie commenting that it was more of a tomato curry!
And this one turned out to be a big hit with my husband and it was so easy to make that he himself could make it once in a while.
Peppercorns - 1tbsp (or according to your preference of spiciness)
Tomato - 2 numbers, cut into small pieces
Garlic - 3 cloves
Cilantro - 1/2 cup, chopped
Mustard seed - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 sprig
Dried red chilli - 1 no
Vegetable oil or ghee - 1 tbsp
Hing(asafoetida) - a pinch (optional)

Crush the peppercorns and garlic. Add the chopped tomatoes and cilantro and mash it all together slightly  with your hands. Now heat a pan with the oil. Add mustard seeds and when it starts to splutter, add curry leaves, red chilli and hing. After about 5 seconds add the crushed tomato mix to this. Add about 1 1/2 cups of water and enough salt. When this starts to boil, remove from fire and your zesty rasam is ready.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mexican Scrambled Egg

This may not be the typical Mexican scrambled egg that you might have tried. I had taken liberties to suit the tastes of our household. So I don't claim this as an authentic recipe, but I can assure you that this would please your taste-buds (if your tastes are anywhere like mine :) )
Tortillas-4(cut into thin strips)
Bell peppers-1/2 cup
Green onion-1/4 cup
Tomatoes de-seeded -1/4 cup (tomato paste-1tsp)
Cilantro-1/8 cup
Green chilli-1 tsp
Cumin powder-1/4 tsp
Butter or oil- 2 tbs
Whisk the eggs and keep aside.Heat a pan and add the butter. Now add green onion and chilli along with carrots.When half done add tomatoes and saute for a minute. Now add bell peppers and rest of the ingredients except  for the eggs. Saute for another minute. Add salt to taste. Finally add the eggs and cook till eggs are set. If desired, you can add 1/4 cup cheese along with the eggs. Serve hot. 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Whole Wheat Almond Cookies

For this months Sweet Punch challenge we were challenged to make Whole Wheat Almond Cookies.This was so easy  and not a challenge at all. I followed the recipe to the T,the cookies came out tasting good, but to add a little twist I rolled the cookies in cardamom sugar. It took it to another whole new level.
Recipe source: Manjula's Kitchen

Recipe makes about 24.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 teaspoon green cardamom seed coarsely powder (ilaichi)
1/2 cup unsalted butter (8 tablespoons or 4oz)
About 2 tablespoons of milk or as needed
Preheat the oven to 360 degree F.
In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, sliced almonds and cardamom powder well.
Next add soft butter and milk to the flour mixture to make dough. Dough should be very soft.
Divide the dough into about 24 equal parts and make them into balls.
Press each ball between your palms lightly; every piece should be about 1/2” in thickness.
Place the dough balls on an ungreased cookie sheet about inch a part.
Bake the cookies for about 18 minutes or until cookies are lightly gold brown.
After they become lightly golden brown remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Let the cookies cool down for two to three minutes before taking them off the cookie sheet.If you wanna some cinnamon sugar on the cookies,put the cookies in a paper bag with 1table spoon of sugar and 1/8th tsp of cardamom and shake them all together and your yummy cookies are ready.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Samosa Hand Pies

I had some leftover pie-crust and I didn't want to put it in the freezer again as I tend to forget about little quantities of left overs. Since the pie was sweet, I wanted to make something savory. So I thought of making a samosa hand pie. And it turned out pretty good. I find this a good substitute for the traditional fried samosas  - something I can prepare ahead and serve the guests hot as I can make it all at one go, unlike the tedium of frying samosas one by one.
Pie crust
Potatoes,boiled ,chopped-2 cups
Green peas,cooked-1/2 cup
Green Chillies,chopped-4
Salt to taste
Chilli powder-1/2tsp
Amchoor powder(or can substitute with lemon juice)-1 tsp
Garam masala-1/4 tsp
Anardana(dry pomegranate seeds)-1/2 tsp
Cilantro,chopped-1/4 cup
Heat oil,add green chillies after about half a minute add potatoes and peas.Mix well and add all the spices and cilantro leaves.Mix well and remove from heat.
Roll  out the pie-crust on parchment and cut whatever shapes you want. Put a tablespoon of filling over this  and cover with another piece of pie-crust similarly cut. Crimp the sides. Make a small  X shaped cut for the steam to escape.  Transfer your samosas onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Cook them for about 20 minutes at 350 degree F. Keep an eye on them and remove them when they start to become generally light brown and darker brown in spots.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Enoki Mushroom soup

I like mushrooms very much. And I try to get something new whenever I am out shopping for vegetables. Even though I find these Enoki mushrooms at the grocery store, I had never tried these before. So the last time I was out shopping, I bought this on an impulse, thinking I will try this out on a salad or something. But since we were under a cold spell, I wasn't in a mood to have salads this week. And since this was sitting in my refrigerator for a few days, I thought of making a soup instead. And this is how my Enoki adventure ended up :)
Onion-2 Tbs(finely chopped.)
 Butter-1 Tbs.
 Thyme-a pinch
 Bay leaf-1/2
 Salt-1/2 tsp
 Paprika-1/2 tsp.
 White wine-1/4 cup
 Vegetable stock-1 can( non vegetarian's can use chicken broth)
 Flour-2 Tbs.
 Enoki mushrooms-1 package
 Milk-1 cup
 Parsley for garnish
 Saute onion in butter in a large saucepan until onions are translucent and slightly browned.Add thyme, bay leaf, salt, paprika and flour. Saute for about a minute, then add wine and 1/2 can vegetable stock to sautéed onions. Cover mixture and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.Remove bay leaf and add remaining 1/2 can vegetable stock. Stir until mixture begins to thicken.Add enoki mushrooms and simmer for 1 minute.Stir in milk.Turn heat down to low; do not boil.Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).

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