Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Palak Paneer Parathas with Tomato Chilli Relish

For this week's Blog hop Wednesday by Radhika, I was paired with Kalyani. She has a wonderful food blog. Most of her recipes comes in combinations. I tried out this combo. Both the Paratha and relish was well liked, my daughter who hates bell pepper gave me a double thumps up after trying this. I made a few changes to my liking in the making of the tomato relish. Mainly in the order in which the ingredients were added and also to increase the spice level as I love my food to be a  little spicy.   I have bookmarked more recipes to try from her space,as we loved this so much.

Recipe Source:Sizzling Tastebuds
Makes:  6 parathas and 3/4 cup of relish
(A) For Palak Paneer Paratha:
Palak (fresh Spinach) - 15 leaves
Wholewheat flour / atta - 1 cups
Panner - 5 TBSP grated
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste + oil - to fry the paratha

Blanch the leaves in boiling water for 2 mins. Drain. Puree with half the grated paneer to a thick consistency without adding ANY water (spinach itself is watery). Retain the drained water from the blanched spinach. In a large bowl, add the atta (wholewheat flour), rest of the grated paneer, spinach-panner mixture, salt and red chilli powder. Incorpoate the panner and spinach well into the atta till it resembles crumbs. Now. add the preserved blanched water (from the spinach) little by litte and form into a chapati like dough. Pinch out a large lemon sized ball and roll out slightly thick parathas. Cook on a hot tava. Drizzle 1/4 tsp oil on one side. When cooked, flip on the other side till the paratha is fully cooked ( although this is a paratha, it didnt require more than 1/2 - 3/4 tsp of oil / paratha).
 Work with the remaining dough and make the rest of the parathas similarly.Serve hot with the Tomato - Chilli relish (recipe below)

(B) Tomato - Chilli Relish: This can be prepared in a larger quantity and stores well for 4 - 6 days under refrigeration. Increase the quantities if you want to prepare in bulk, and reduce the water quantity indicated below..You can enjoy this relish with chapati/ poori / curd rice or even dosas.

Ripe tomatoes - 2 medium
Bell pepper - 1 medium
Green chilli - 1 no (i used the less spicy ones) - deseeded
Onion - 1 no - chopped fine
Oil for tempering
Tempering : Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves
Turmeric powder - a dash
Tamarind paste - 1/3 TBSP
Rasam Powder -1 and 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Jaggery / Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Method :
In a pan, heat 1 TBSP oil and add the tempering. Once mustard stops spluterring, add onions, turmeric and fry till translucent. Add finely chopped tomatoes and green chilly. Fry again. Add salt and 1/2 cup of water and cook covered for 4 mins. Now add the bell peppers  and cook again for 2-3 mins till the peppers are done cooking. Now add Rasam powder, tamarind paste, sugar, coriander leaves and mix well. Add a little more water to get the right consistency. Serve with Palak Paneer Paratha (recipe above) or even curd rice / chapatis / phulkas :)
Sending this over to

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thayir Vada / Curd Vada / Dahi Vada and a Tag

Yesterday I had made some medu vadas for breakfast. I had made more batter than what was needed for our small family. Since I was expecting some guests for dinner today, I thought of making half of the batch into thayir vadas so that I can have one more item without much effort. And I knew that it being summer still, everyone would like the coolness that thayir vada's are famous for. It was appreciated by all well, especially since today was a warm day.
Meduvada/Uzhunnuvada-1/2 the amount made of this recipe
For Curd/dahi mixture:
3-4 cups curd/yogurt(preferably not so sour)
1 tbs grated ginger
1/2 tsp green chilli paste
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 red chillies,broken
5-6 curry leaves
a pinch of hing
1/2 cup of grated carrot
few cilantro
Whisk yogurt with salt well. Add grated ginger and green chilli paste to this and mix well. When the vadas are golden brown drop the hot vadas drained from the oil directly  into the curd mixture and let it soak in it for 30-45 mins .
After the soaking, remove the soaked vada's and arrange them on a plate and pour the left over curd over it. Garnish with cilantro and grated carrot. Heat the oil in a small pan and splutter the mustard seeds. Add broken red chillies and curry leaves and a pinch of  hing to this. Remove this from the stove. Add the seasoning to the soaked vadas. Chill them and serve.

Kaveri of Palakkad Chamayal , Ramya of Ramya's Recipes  and Santosh of  Santosh's Kitchen has tagged me for this 7 Links Tag game. I would like to thank them for that. This is the first time I have heard of this game and it sounds like an interesting concept.
The blogger who is tagged in this game must select the most apt posts from his/her blog for the categories below, which are the 7 links:

 1. The most beautiful post
 2. The most popular post
 3. The most controversial post
 4. The most helpful post
 5. The post that was surprisingly successful
 6. The post that did not get the attention it deserved
 7. The post I am most proud of

Then the blogger should publish these in his/her space, choose 5 other blogger friends and pass it so as to keep the ball rolling. I thought this was a good incentive to go through my older posts with a critical eye and these were the ones that I came up with against each of these categories.

 1. The most beautiful post :
Deep,Dark Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Buttercream
  Personally, there are other posts that I thought were more appealing to me, but based on the feedback I got from my friends, this was the one that created the most "wow"s. Another reason I selected this one is that I took this photograph before my food blogging days, when I was not paying too much attention to the visual appeal of the food item - still, looking back, I am proud of my handiwork.

 2. The most popular post -Cooking with your Little Sous-chef and Yin Yang Tofu

 I had to pick two posts for this because, if I went strictly by the number of pageviews, Cooking with your Little Sous-chef event that I hosted was my most popular post. But that being an event rather than a food post, I picked the Ying Yang Tofu which was a close second.

 3. The most controversial post-Coconut Cookies
 There were no controversy as such about this post in my blog, yet as one of the finalists in the Manjula's Kitchen contest, this one generated a little bit of controversy. There were some who thought I had used saffron in this and had failed to mention it while it was just the browned coconut which was showing up. Also there were those who commented that it was not sweet enough while the recipe had more sugar than what is normally used in a typical cookie recipe. Apart from all  this, this post is special for me because many of my blogger friends and viewers started frequenting my space by seeing this post.
 4. The most helpful post-Vishu katta
  I had so many people who had Googled for making Vishu katta the easy way, who ended up on this post. I am happy that my post could make the long, tedious process of making the Vishu katta, simpler.
 5. The post that was surprisingly successful -Cinnamon rolls
 I had tried making cinnamon rolls before, but it didn't turn out to be this successful. But this time around,  when I tried mixing two of my favorite recipes, I ended up with great result.
 6. The post that did not get the attention it deserved-Upside-Down Double Apple Muffins

  I was disappointed with the repeat views this post received. I thought this deserved better as this was one of my favorites - being yummy and healthy at the same time.
 7. The post I am most proud of-Baklava
 I am really proud of how the Baklava turned out as I had always thought of this to require some special skills and training to make. But when I made this baklava, this was tasting even better than the best I had ever had.
Finally , let me pass the baton on to 5 blogger carry on with the game Hope you all would play along and enjoy as I had.

Deepa of  Hamaree Rasoi
Priya of Bon Appetit
Prathima  of Prats Corner
Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds
Angela of This is what I eat...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Red Velvet Cake for a Red Letter Day

Today my little girl turns 10 years and to  mark this special day she suggested having a Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. I was a bit surprised by the cake request which was so very different from her earlier birthdays. May be its a sign of her growing bigger and her tastes changing as a result. I wanted it to be a bit different from the traditional Red velvet So I layered  one of the inner layers with cherry preserve and  covered the entire cake with cream cheese frosting.
Source:Joy of baking
For the cake-I used this same recipe
For the Frosting

1 - 8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 8 ounce tub of Mascarpone cheese,or another pack of cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 1/2cups cold heavy whipping cream
Beat the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat until smooth. Gradually add the heavy cream and whip until the frosting is thick enough to spread. Add more sugar or cream as needed to get the right consistency.
Assemble: Once the cake cools  down cut off the domed portion of the cake using a serrated knife, . Place one of the cake, onto your serving platter. Spread the cake layer with a layer of frosting.Spread the lightly diluted cherry  preserve on top of the frosting.  Place another layer of frosting on top of this. Place the other cake on top of the frosting.  Frost the top and sides of the cake. And finally pipe your  design of choice  on the cake.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Jicama 'N Carrot Salad

Even though I like experimenting with new vegetables, I never thought of trying out anything with Jicama till now, as it didn't look interesting to me. But the last time when we were at the super market Aishwarya insisted on buying this, saying 'you always ask me to try out new things, so why are you not trying this'. So I had to buy this as I had to set an example by practicing what I preach. But it stayed there untouched for a few days as I couldn't make myself use it. After a few reminders from Aishwarya, I finally made this salad. And it proved to be a pleasant surprise.
This is basically a carrots and raisins salad, I just added  jicama also into it. So for those of you who cannot get hold of jicama, it tastes as good with just carrots and raisins in it. I got this simple yet yummy salad recipe from my hubby's aunt.
Jicama-sliced 2 cups
Carrots-sliced 1 cup
Raisin-1 cup
Ginger-2" piece
Garlic-1 clove
Green chili-1
Sugar-1 1/2tsp
Salt-as required
Pepper 1tsp
Slice all the fresh ingredients except chilli into little match stick size. Slice chilli as thin as possible. Mix all the ingredients together.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Malai Kulfi

For this weeks Blog hop Wednesday  by Radhika, I was paired with Deepali. She has many easy to cook recipes  but as a sweet lover my choice was this Malai Kulfi as it sounded easier than the recipe I usually use. It was indeed easy and yummy as it sounded. To know what my fellow blog hoppers are up to this week  hop over here
Source:Confusion Cook
Ingredients :
Makes:18-20 kulfis
2 litre – Full Cream Milk
1 tin – Condensed Milk (400g)
4 tbsp – Coarsely Ground Cashew
1 tsp – Cardamom Powder
Method :
Reduce the milk to half the quantity.
When it is reduced, add condensed milk and milk, heat it for another minute or so. Allow it to cool.
When cool, add cashew and cardamom powder. Give it a nice mix.
Pour into moulds or Freezer container used for ice creams and such .
Freeze it  overnight or for 6 hours.
De-mould and  serve cold Garnish using chopped pistachio if desired.
Sending this over to Blog Hop Wednesdays

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Coconut Burfi

I have today a sweet dish for you . This is to mark a special occasion. As a blogger, I am happy to announce the premiere of my second blog, Miles of Smiles.  This is a blog dedicated to my second passion - tooth care. With all the sweet delicacies that I post on my blog, the dentist in me wanted to make amends - well, that may be one way of looking at it.
I hope you would shower Miles of Smiles with the same love and positive encouragement as you do for Sugar'N Spice.
Source: Saffron Hut
Sugar-1 cup
Milk-1 cup
Heavy cream-1 cup
Fresh  coconut-1 cup  ( frozen  coconut can be used if  thawed )
Cardamom Powder-1 teaspoon
Simmer sugar, milk, cream and coconut  in a wide mouthed non stick pan at medium heat till all the milk dries up  and mixture becomes very thick and starts to leave the sides of the pan. Add cardamom powder and give a final stir. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 8-inch tray.Let it cool or better refrigerator for 8 hours. Cut into squares or desired shape.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Chocolate, as the studies say, creates a feeling of excitement or elation. It has a good antioxidant agent,which can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and can protect the cells from the damage caused by toxins. So what more reasons does a person need to indulge in this wonder food? If you are looking for more reasons  to make this cake here are more. Its so easy and sinfully delicious. It is like a brownie with pudding underneath. It's perfect when served warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream so can be served in cold or hot weather.
Recipe Source:King Arthur Flour
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
First layer
1 cup  All-Purpose Flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, but very good)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Second layer
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3cup sugar
1/3cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/2 cups hot water or hot brewed coffee

 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan.

To make the first layer: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, 6 tablespoons cocoa, and 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder. Stir in the milk, vanilla, and oil, mixing until smooth. Pour the batter into the 9"round pan.

 To make the second layer: Mix the 3/4 cup brown sugar with the 1/4 cup cocoa , and sprinkle this mixture over the batter. Gently drizzle the hot coffee or water over the uncooked batter; there's no need to mix it in. Really.
Place the pan in the preheated oven, and bake for 45 minutes, removing the cake when it appears set and is bubbly around the bottom.
Let the cake cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. The sauce will thicken as it stands, and when totally cooled will be the consistency of medium-thick fudge sauce.
 To serve, scoop servings of the warm cake onto individual plates; top with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired. If you can't serve it while it's warm, keep it in refrigerator , and reheat it VERY briefly in the microwave just before serving.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Spicy Green Banana Fritters aka Kaya Bajji

Certain things trigger nostalgic memories and take you back to your childhood. When it is raining I am almost always taken back to my mother's kitchen, where she would be making something hot and spicy. Since she had a very good fruit and vegetable garden, she used to make a variety of different fritters which I used to enjoy a lot. These days when I have control over my kitchen I don't make fritters as much - as I correlates deep frying with 'unhealthy'. Me and healthy? I know what you would be thinking  with all the sweet dishes that I post :-). Well, I have to keep a balance somewhere - and I do that by limiting my deep frying. Yet I made this banana fritters for the sake of Aishwarya, so that she would know how the typical Kerala Kaya Bajji would taste like. And of course, she liked it very much.
I am sending this over to Kerala Kitchen hosted by yours truly this month...
If you are posting any dishes connected with Kerala, please do send your entries!

1Green Plantains/ Green Banana
1 cup  Besan/ chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon Asafoetida
1 teaspoon Red chili powder
1/8teaspoon Baking soda
Salt to taste
Cooking oil to deep fry

Mix besan, asafoetida, red chili powder ,baking soda, salt and water well.(Always add water to the mixture little by little,mix and check the consistency of batter.When it reaches a cake batter consistency your batter is ready
 Remove the outer skin of each plantain and cut it in the middle and then cut  into 4 long pieces length wise . Keep it dipped in cold water to prevent turning black.
Heat oil in a frying pan and when hot enough, dip the cut plantain into the batter and deep fry Turn it and cook on both sides till golden brown . Serve hot
Sending this spicy banana fritters over to and Serve it Fried at Krithi's Kitchen

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Straberry Banana Muffins

For August's, Sweet Punch  event, the organizers had challenged our little group to make this  Strawberry Banana Muffins from Joy of Baking.  This was an easy muffin to put together, I followed the recipe to a tee. I was very happy with the results. I am sure everyone in our Sweet Punch group would have made this with out any difficulty as this time we had not only the recipe to get the directions but a video too.
Recipe Source:Joy of Baking
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1 cup (240 ml) fresh strawberries (cut into bite sized pieces)
2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (160 grams) light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon (4 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or lightly butter or spray the muffin cups with a vegetable spray.

In a small saucepan melt the butter. Let cool to room temperature.

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine.

In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold in the berries, making sure they are coated with flour. (This helps to prevent the berries from sinking during baking.) Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix the batter or tough muffins will result.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. Place in the oven and bake until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Can be stored for a few days at room temperature.

Makes 12 regular sized muffins. Preparation time: 20 minutes

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rava Ladoo

Last two  months I had been so lazy about my blogging. I was thinking a way to get  past this laziness somehow  when Radhika of Tickling Palates announced the "Blog Hop Wednesday" event. I signed up immedatly and I am happy I did that. How it works is that we bloggers  are grouped and paired, and we visit each other's space to try out new recipes and blog about our experience on alternate Wednesdays. What a nice way to better ourselves as cooks and make friends; right? Thank you Radhika for this wonderful idea. This week I was paired with Suchitra of Simple Indian Food- An Easy Cooking Blog . She has a wide array of dishes for me to choose from. As I was having visitors and short of time, I tried this rava ladoo which she had mentioned can be done in five minutes flat. She was so right! It was an easy and tasty dessert which was thoroughly enjoyed by my family and friends. I did change the quantities a little to suit our taste buds though. To know what other blog hoppers are cooking drop in here

Source:Simple Indian Food

 Rava (semolina)-1 1/2 cups
 Sugar-3/4 cup
 Ghee - 1/2 cup
 Cardamom powder-1/2 tsp
 Cashew/Almonds broken into small pieces-1 1/2tbs
 Raisins-1 1/2tbs
 Milk-1/4 cup
Dry roast Rava in a pan till they start to turn lightly golden.Powder this along with sugar to a fine mixture. Heat the ghee and roast the nuts and raisins. Add the powdered mixture along with the cardamom powder to this. Add milk little by little, mix well and test if you can form small, firm balls with these by trial and error.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Kerala Kitchen - Aug 2011 Event Announcement

I am delighted to host this month's Kerala Kitchen. This event, initiated by Rose and Ria, celebrates Kerala cuisine and is a very popular one in the blogosphere.  I am looking forward to all your active participation in the event to make it into a grand success.

In case you are new to this check out the rules below. 

In order to submit your Kerala dishes or Kerala-inspired dishes for the month of August, please do so before Aug 31st, 2011 by filling out the form below this post.
Make sure to add a link to this post as well as the main event page of Kerala Kitchen to the posts you are submitting!

Another change from the exisiting rules is that old posts are not allowed for this event anymore.
For more info and guidelines and for the event logos check out the main event page here

Badges will be awarded to:
- Top Dish
- Best Pic
- Top Contributor : Most number of entries
- Member: All participants will get Kerala Kitchen member badges

Monday, August 1, 2011

Tomato Egg Kurma

This is a recipe I had in my collection from almost 10 years back. If I remember correctly, I had noted this down from one of the cookery shows in some Malayalam channel. This is a simple recipe, so easy to make, yet gives good results. When I am short of time and want to give the feeling of having made something special, I make this. Even without adding nuts or coconut milk this curry has the rich gravy for a good kurma.

Onion - 2 nos, diced
Tomato - 2 nos, diced
Eggs - 2 nos, hard boiled
Garlic - 5 cloves
Green chilli - 3 nos
Curry leaves - a few
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1tsp
Meat masala/vegetable masala - 1 tsp

Separate the yolk of the hard boiled eggs and cut the whites into small pieces. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai and when hot add onion, garlic, green chilli and curry leaves. Add all the other powders and saute till the raw smell is no more. Add tomato saute for a minute and add 1 glass of water. Add salt to taste and crumble the egg yolks into it. When the gravy thickens, add the egg whites. This curry goes well with chapathis or rice.

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