Monday, 30 March 2015

489. vegetable poha

Generosity

        What is generosity? Its readiness or liberality in giving, kind, amplitude. Any charity organization in the world depends on the generosity of the people. People can be generous by donating money, providing service or being a part of the support. Providing service to the needy and less fortunate costs money. Recently my Club, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari, held a fundraising event. The committee organized a dinner and dance event. Music was provided by our local band Mombasa Roots and Voyager Beach Hotel helped in organizing this event and providing the entertainment. I think the hardest part was selling the tickets. Its so difficult to convince people to buy the tickets for a charity event.The event went well and was supported by many well wishers. However, not complaining too much as generosity has to come from the heart. While our Club does have a few ardent supporters, some feel that most of the charity organizations just splurge money in the name of charity. I guess one has to be part of and organization to know what actually goes on behind the scene.
       Check out our Club's website to see what are doing. Our Club donates food and other goods to the needy, helps in educating the community, free medical camps, which includes plastic surgery for the needy (not cosmetic), breast cancer awareness. 

Image result for generosity quotes
   
   Coming to today's recipe I made poha full of vegetables. You may have heard of kanda poha or bateta poha. Its usually served in India as a wholesome breakfast. However that does not mean you cannot serve it as a light dinner option or as a snack in between meals. Make it wholesome by adding loads of vegetables of your choice.Poha is flat, pressed or beaten rice. The rice is dehusked, parboiled and flattened.The flattened or pressed rice is dried. The flakes have rough edges and the thickness of the flakes depends on the pressure it was flattened. Thin poha, powa or chiura can be paper thin or thicker than a rice grain. Poha is used for making both sweet and savoury dishes. Its also used to to thicken gravies, bind patties or cutlets. Pohas are cooked in liquids like water, milk or cream or dry roasted or fried. Poha is easily available in most Indian stores.

Share your thoughts :
Do you support a charity organization?



VEGETABLE POHA 
4-6 servings

1½ cups flattened rice or poha
1 cup peeled and diced potatoes
¼ cup boiled peas
¼ cup diced and boiled carrot
¼ cup diced onion
½ cup cooked sweet corn
1 tsp ginger paste
1-2 green chillis
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (dhania)
2-3 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
2 tbsp raisins
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp sugar
1½ tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
¼ cup water


  1. Put the poha in a sieve and wash it under running water. Leave it in the sieve so that water can drain out.
  2. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. When it is hot add mustard, cumin and sesame seeds.
  4. Add asafoetida.
  5. Immediately add chopped onion and stir fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add ginger and chillis and stir fry for just a few seconds.
  7. Add cashew nuts and raisins. Add potatoes, turmeric powder and a bit of salt from the measured salt.
  8. Add ¼ cup water. Mix well. Cover the pan and reduce the heat. Cook the potatoes till just done and not mushy.
  9. Add peas, carrot and corn. Mix.
  10. Add poha and salt and mix well.
  11. If the mixture is too dry splash a bit of water.
  12. Cover and let the mixture cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  13. The poha should be done and should not be hard.
  14. Add sugar, lemon juice and coriander and mix well.
  15. Serve hot poha with a slice of lemon and your favourite chutney.
Tips:
  • If you soak the poha in water it becomes mushy.
  • You can prepare poha ahead and serve later. If you find that the mixture is too dry, sprinkle a bit of water, cover and heat the poha.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • You can add boiled peanuts instead of cashew nuts.
  • If you like you can add more poha or increase the amount of vegetables.
You may want to check out the following :
mooli parathas
Sending this recipe to the following event :




  

Friday, 27 March 2015

488.zucchini boats

 Feel the Light

   Songs can uplift the soul, calm your mind, create a peaceful environment, bring smiles on faces, sometimes tears, transport you to a different level and make your heart beat. One such song I heard recently was Feel the Light by Jennifer Lopez. She has sung the song for the upcoming movie Home.The song is wow but what makes it even more wow is the dress she had worn for the American Idol. The 20 foot radius and 40 foot diameter long dress almost covered the whole American Idol stage. Called a projector dress it acted as a blank canvas projecting a variety of special effect lights.Watch the video to believe and at the same time enjoy the beautiful lyrics of the song - Feel the Light 
 Have you noticed how all the animated movies have beautiful songs. Love listening to them. I love watching animated movies.Its amazing how one can watch them again and again and still enjoy them.When my kids were growing up, we've watched Little Mermaid, Dumbo, Jungle Book, Aladdin and Bambi so many times. It was their favourite thing to do during the weekend. Each weekend they had turns to decide which movie they would get to watch. Now I get the opportunity to watch them with my niece when I go to London or on flights. With earphones covering my ears, in my teeny weeny space, I get lost for a while and thoroughly enjoy the movie and flight! During my last flight to India watched Madagascar 3. Will I get to see Home on my next flight?
  We all know that we have to eat healthy but time and again we get tempted by all the unhealthy foods, fried ones, sweet ones, cheesy ones. I try and make our dinners light and healthy. But of course that's not the case everyday. The days we have soups, salads, my hubby feels hungry again by 10 p.m. However, our quest to eat healthier continues. Since I can't be serving soup everyday, I have to make innovative dishes which are healthy and yet appealing. Occasionally I make stuffed zucchini (courgettes) or boats as some call them with different types of filling. Easy to prepare and healthy, I usually serve it as a side dish, or with salad or soup.

Share your thoughts:
Do you love watching animated movies?






ZUCCHINI BOATS
Makes 3 big ones or 6 medium ones

3 big or 6 medium zucchini (courgettes)
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped carrot
¼ cup finely cut zucchini (use the scooped out bits)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small tomato finely chopped
¼ tsp salt + extra for sprinkling on the zucchini
½ tsp pepper powder
1 tbsp olive oil + extra for brushing
½ tsp italian seasoning or herbs of your choice
¼ cup grated cheese

  1. Put oil in a wide pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add onion, garlic and carrots. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini, tomato and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. You don't want to overcook the vegetables.
  4. Add the pepper, herbs or seasoning. Mix and keep on the side.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Grease a baking tray lightly.
  7. Trim the ends of the zucchini.
  8. Slice off a bit of the top part lengthwise.
  9. Carefully make incisions around and scoop out the inner part of the zucchini. Be careful not to go too deep and the zucchini does not break.
  10. Slice off a tiny bit at the bottom so that the boats sit well on the tray.
  11. Place the scooped out zucchini on the greased tray.
  12. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil.
  13. Sprinkle a bit of salt over them.
  14. Put the stuffing into the scooped out zucchinis.
  15. Place in the oven and bake for 10 -15 minutes.
  16. Take the tray out of the oven and sprinkle grated cheese over them.
  17. Place the zucchinis back in the oven. Bake till the cheese melts.
  18. Insert a knife into the zucchini. If it goes in easily its done. 
  19. Serve immediately with fresh tomato or chilli sauce.
Tips:
  • Add a filling of your choice.
  • Make sure to taste the zucchini before you bake them. They can be bitter sometimes.
  • Don't over bake the zucchini. It will begin to fall apart.
  • Adds nuts or seeds of your choice.
  • Adjust the spices and salt according to your taste.
  • You can use fresh herb of your choice.
  • If you have any scooped out zucchini left, use it up in a soup or curry.
You may want to check out the following :
pasta stuffed sweet pepper

eggplant mini pizza
baked broccoli

Sending this recipe to the following event :


In my veg box  courgettes event logo

Sliceoffme

Citrus spice and all things nice

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

487.Strawberry oreo cheesecake

very berry yummy

      Today was not such a great day for me. From the time I woke up I was on the go and trying to juggle so many chores all together. In all this what did I sacrifice? My exercise. By noon I was feeling a bit relieved that chores were getting ticked off my list. However come evening and again I experienced a general slum in my overall existence. Felt bad that I sacrificed exercise to do other chores. I questioned myself and thought why didn't I sacrifice my meal time? However, things had to be done so there was no other option. To add to the fight for time, I had to sit at the national id card office for over two hours. According to their records my new id card was prepared and ready. However, they couldn't find it. I knew that if I left their office leaving the relevant details with them, nothing will be done. I will be forgotten and would still have to spend the same amount of time waiting for my id card. Till it was time for them to close they could not find my id card. So that task still remains to be tackled. It really baffles me why government offices can never work with efficiency and they clearly have not heard of consumer rights. They behave as though they are doing us a great big favour. One of the staff, a lady was 'barking' out instructions. Yes  barking... there was no politeness and she spoke to everyone with anger. It took a great effort on my part to keep my mouth shut as I knew if I told her something, she would actually make getting my id card even more difficult if she wanted to.  
    Coming to today's recipe, I've always wanted to try making a cheesecake using sweetened condensed milk. Finally made the cheesecake when I was in Bangalore visiting my daughter. Made the cheesecake for my birthday but didn't get time to post it then. Lovely strawberries, kept on beckoning me so made strawberry oreo cheesecake. Instead of making one big cheesecake I decided to make it in different containers, muffin cups, small pie dish, glasses etc. I found the the individual cheesecakes so much more appealing and easy to serve. Coming to the oreos, the dark black colour is does not appeal to me so hardly ever have them. However, after making this cheesecake, I have changed my mind... as the saying goes 'do not judge a book by its cover'. 

Share your thoughts:
Do you dread going to a government office to get any work done?




STRAWBERRY OREO CHEESECAKE
8-10 Servings (depends on the size of the containers)

For the crust :
150 g oreos- (about 1½ cups crushed) 
2 tbsp butter

For the cheesecake :
250 g fresh strawberries (will get 1 cup crushed)
1 cup fresh cream
½ tin (200 g ) sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp agar agar powder or 5 tbsp agar agar flakes
½ cup water
1 cup curd cheese (yogurt with whey removed) or cream cheese
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar

For topping :
sprinkles, oreo, fresh chopped strawberries

Preparation of the crust :

  1. Crush the oreos lightly in a food processor along with the oreo cream. Or alternatively you can crush them with a rolling pin.
  2. Melt butter and add to the crushed oreos.
  3. Divide the crumb mixture into the individual containers.
  4. Press gently. 
  5. Put the containers in the fridge to allow the crust to set.
Preparation of  the cheesecake :
  1. Add the agar agar to the water and leave it on the side for 5 minutes.
  2. Wash and hull the strawberries. Crush into a puree in a food processor.
  3. Whisk curd cheese, condensed milk, sugar and cream together.
  4.  Keep on stirring the agar agar mixture over very low heat till the agar agar dissolves.
  5. Heat the strawberry puree over low heat till it is a bit hot.
  6. Mix the agar agar mixture into the strawberry puree. Mix well.
  7. Let the mixture cool down till it is warm.
  8. Add it to the curd cheese mixture and whisk it gently.
  9. Top the oreo crust with the curd cheese mixture.
  10. Put the cheesecakes in the fridge to set. Its best to leave it overnight for a good set. 
  11. To serve, add a topping of your choice, sprinkles, oreo cookies or chopped fresh strawberries or chocolate curls.
Tips :
  • If you don't want to use oreos, use any chocolate cookies for the crust.
  • If you want to use gelatin instead of agar agar, use 2 tbsp gelatin. Let it bloom in the water for 5 minutes. To dissolve it place the bowl  with gelatin mixture into a hot bowl of water. Mix till it dissolves. Add the gelatin mixture to the warm strawberry mixture. 
  • The fresh cream I bought was sour so instead of that I used amul cream. It worked well.
You may want to check out the following :
passion fruit cheesecake
Sending this recipe to the following event :







Tuesday, 24 March 2015

486. Kummelweck rolls

Caraway is a fruit and not a seed

     Our We Knead to bake challenge for the month of March was Kummelweck rolls. Kummelweck, kimmelweck or kümmelweck is topped with salt and caraway seeds which gives it its distinctive flavour. Kümmel in German means caraway, and weck means roll. So simply put these are caraway rolls.  A beef on a weck is a sandwich famous in New York. I am not going  into details about the origin of the rolls as it will be like repeating what is in the wikipedia. These rolls are chewy and crusty from he outside and soft from the inside. The caraway seeds add an earthy, fennel like flavour to these rolls. Caraway seeds are not actually seeds but the crescent shaped ridged fruit of a biennial plant belonging to the apiaceae family. Also known as persian cumin, meridian fennel caraway has the pungent fennel and earthy taste all in one. Caraway is usually used in breads, cakes, cookies and some sauerkraut. Its also added to cheese during the cheese making process to add a distinct flavour.
    This month's challenge was to make the rolls and then make our own 'weck' to emphasize the usage of these rolls as sandwich rolls. However, I really didn't get to that stage. I baked the rolls to serve as a veg burger. Hubby had to go out for meeting with dinner, so I put the rolls away. Then came one event after the other and the rolls were consumed with tea as breakfast. The last two I made with my favourite, baked beans with cheese. Not exactly a sandwich but maybe will get down to making the veg burger ( will need to check the muharat:)) one day. My research on the internet has led me to believe that caraway is kala jeera or shahi jeera in hindi.
     While the rolls were baking, the house smelt really good because of the caraway seeds. And the overall taste, with sea salt and caraway was heavenly.I made the rolls using both plain and wholewheat flour and without eggs.

Share your thought :
Do you love baking breads?







KUMMELWECK 
Makes 8 rolls
 adapted from Jewish Food

2 cups wholewheat flour
1 -1¼ cups all purpose flour (plain flour)
½ cup warm milk
½ -¾ cup warm water
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp honey
1½ tsp salt
2½ tsp instant active dry yeast
1 tbsp vital gluten

for topping :
coarse sea salt
caraway seeds (about 1-2 tsp)
egg wash or milk

extra oil for greasing


  1. Sift flours, salt and vital gluten together into a big bowl.
  2. Add yeast and mix well into the flour.
  3. Add oil and rub into the flour.
  4. Mix water, milk and honey together.
  5. Add the water mixture into the dough and mix it till it all comes together.
  6. Flour the work top or board with a bit of flour.
  7. Knead the dough for 10 - 15 minutes till it is smooth and silky.
  8. Keep adding a bit of flour if the dough sticks too much to your hand.
  9. Grease the bowl with a bit of oil.
  10. Form the dough into a big ball and place it into the bowl.
  11. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and place it in a warm place.
  12. Let the dough rise till its double the size. This will take about 1-1½ hours depending how warm your kitchen is.
  13. Knead the dough gently to deflate it and again form into a big ball. Let it rise covered for 30 minutes.
  14. Grease a baking tray lightly.
  15. Deflate the dough. Divide it into 8 parts and form each part into a ball. Flatten it slightly and place it on the greased baking tray. 
  16. Slit a cross on the top of the buns with a sharp knife or scissors. 
  17. Let the rolls rise for 30 - 40 minutes.
  18. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  19. Brush the tops with egg wash or milk. 
  20. Sprinkle sea salt and caraway seeds on top.
  21. Before putting the rolls in the oven spritz it with a mist of water.
  22. Let the rolls bake for 5 minutes at 200°C and then reduce the temperature to 180°C. Mist the buns again.
  23. Bake for a further 15 -20 minutes till they are golden brown.
  24. Cool the rolls on a wire rack.
  25. Use the rolls to serve with your favourite burger or sandwich filling.
Tips :
  • If you are using an egg to brush on top its best to add a tbsp or two of water. Mix and use.
  • Knead the dough using the heel of your hand if you are not using a dough kneading machine.
  • You can use only plain flour if you choose to. 
  • If you are using bread flour then you do not need to add gluten.
  • If you are not using instant yeast, then you need to activate the yeast by mixing warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over it. Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes till it becomes all frothy. Use this to knead the flour along with the warm milk.
  • You can add one egg white to the dough.
You may want to check out the following :







Sending this recipe to the following events :




Monday, 23 March 2015

485.Punjabi pakora kadhi

a different type of kadhi

    Our trip to India was delightful in many ways, meeting up with family and friends, shopping and the culinary delights. One of the bonus points of travelling to India was an allergy test. Yes you heard me right an allergy test. Hubby dear thought he was allergic (his whole body kept on itching) to something and insisted on an allergy test. The tests came back and we found out that he was not allergic to anything! Years ago he had developed rashes on applying chana (besan) flour. So we presumed he was allergic to besan and there started our journey in trying to replace besan with other dals. That's pretty difficult when you consider the fact that most of  the indian snacks contain besan. So the chana dal in dokhras and handvo was replaced by moong dal, for kadhi started using millet flour and was pretty much comfortable on my journey to chana less recipes. So finally there was a scientific proof that hubby dear is not allergic to chana( besan). The actual problem was just dry skin because of the dry weather in Bangalore. Getting back home, hubby dear agreed that I can prepare kadhi with besan flour for lunch. Obviously he had all the anti allergy medicines on stand by. For shh cooking secretly Anu Kollon my partner for the month of March, gave me the ingredients flour and yogurt. Since then punjabi pakora kadhi was on my mind. She gave me the freedom to use any flour. Hubby dear enjoyed the dish with rice and am suppose to make it again soon.
   So here is the recipe. Before that let's share a thought.

Share your thought :
Do you hate getting pricked by a needle when you need to get tests done or take medicine via an injection?






PUNJABI PAKORA KADHI
6 servings

For the pakoras:

1 cup besan flour (chana flour, chickpea flour)
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 cup lightly packed (about 50g), finely chopped spinach 
1 green chilli, finely chopped or minced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
⅓ cup water
1 tsp salt
a generous pinch of turmeric powder (haldi)
a generous pinch of eno or soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
oil for deep frying

For the kadhi:

2 cups sour yogurt
¼ cup besan flour (chana flour, chickpea flour)
2½ -3 cups water
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1¼ - 1½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

For tempering (vaghar) :

1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 dry red chilli
¼ tsp fenugreek seed (methi seeds)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 -3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 small onion sliced
1 sprig curry leaves ( kari pata) - remove the leaves from the stem.
3-4 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
6-8 peppercorns
a pinch asafoetida (hing)

Preparation of the pakoras :

  1. Heat oil in a wok or deep pan over medium heat.
  2. In the meantime,mix all the ingredients for the pakora into a batter.
  3. Put a small drop of batter in the oil. If it comes up, the oil is ready.
  4. Reduce the heat to low.
  5. Using two spoons (scoop the batter with one and slide off into the oil with the other spoon) or your hand, drop batter into the oil. The amount of batter dropped is about a tablespoon.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, fry the pakoras till they are light golden in colour and are done from the inside. Break one pakora to check.
  7. Using up all the batter, make pakoras. If the oil becomes cool, set the heat to medium again.
  8. Leave the fried pakoras on a kitchen towel so that it absorbs all the excess oil. 
Preparation of the kadhi :
  1. Put yogurt, water, salt and besan flour into a deep pan. 
  2. Whisk the mixture with a hand blender or whisk.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients for the kadhi.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Put the pan over medium heat and keep on stirring constantly. 
  6. Keep on stirring till the mixture becomes thick and creamy. 
  7. Lower the heat, and let the kadhi simmer for 5 minutes. Remember to stir is frequently.
Preparation of the tempering :
  1. Heat ghee in a pan over low heat.
  2. Add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and methi to the ghee.
  3. Add red chilli, cumin and mustard seeds.
  4. Add curry leaves and asafoetida. 
  5. Stir.
  6. Add onion slices and stir fry till it is soft and light pink.
  7. Add the chopped garlic.
  8. Cook for a few seconds.
  9. Add chopped coriander and mix well.
  10. Take the pan off the heat.
The finale :
  1. Just before serving, heat the kadhi again.
  2. Add the pakoras. Mix well. Heat for a minute or two.
  3. Add the tempering on top and serve pakora kadhi with rice.
Tips :
  • Add fresh methi (fenugreek) instead of spinach.
  • Make sure you use sour yogurt for this kadhi. It tastes so much better.
  • I made more pakoras as we like a bit more pakoras in the kadhi and also a few got eaten before I could add them to the kadhi.
  • To drop batter into the oil using your hand is easy. Scoop up a bit of batter with your four fingers and using your thumb slip it off into the oil. Fry about 6-8 pakoras at a time and do not overcrowd the pan or wok. 
  • If you want to use less pakoras, use half the recipe.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
You may want to check out the following :







Sending this recipe to the following event:




Saturday, 14 March 2015

484.Extra nutty dark chocolate fudge brownies

Still catching up!

   Yes I am still working on the backlogged recipes. Sometimes I get the feeling in my over enthusiasm have I joined too many groups? Maybe but don't feel backing out of any. They all offer different challenges.The baking eggless group was back in February after a short break. I couldn't do the Feb challenge but made the March one. The brownies are extra chocolatey, loaded with nuts and so delicious. The brownies turned baked well, and just as I turn it out onto the wire rack, the glass tray in which I had baked it fell and broke! The baking tray belonged to my mother in law and have been using it for over 32 years! Did feel bad. I found that my 8"X 8" baking tin was all rusted. We get salty water in our taps and everything rusts so quickly. We have to buy bottled water for cooking and drinking. Anyway next trip to the supermarket I am buying a 8 X 8" tin. 
  Coming to the brownies, the challenge is that we are given a recipe which has eggs. We have to make it eggless. I just substituted the eggs with yogurt. The brownies were fudgy and nutty. I love the taste of the sea salt in every bite. It balanced the sweetness.

Share your thought:
Even though any glass breaking is considered lucky, do you still feel really bad when something breaks?







EXTRA NUTTY DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES
Serves 9
Recipe adapted from : Joy the Baker

1¼ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
¾ cup thick yogurt
1 cup (7oz) dark chocolate chips 
½ cup (100g) butter
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1¼ cups lightly packed brown sugar
¼ tsp sea salt and extra to sprinkle on top
⅓ cup chopped mixed nuts ( I used walnuts, hazelnuts and cashew nuts)
1 tsp vanilla extract or orange zest

  1. Grease a 8" X 8" baking tray with butter and line with parchment paper or dust it with flour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Put water ¼ full in a pan and put it to boil.
  4. You need another pan or heat resistant bowl that will sit over the pan with boiling water.
  5. Add chocolate and butter to the smaller pan. Put it over the simmering water. The bottom of the pan should not touch the water. 
  6. Stir constantly till the butter and chocolate melts.
  7. Add the cocoa powder and mix it well.
  8. Remove the pan from the bigger pan and let the chocolate cool down a bit.
  9. Sift flour and soda bicarbonate together. Add the salt and mix well.
  10. Put yogurt, orange zest (or vanilla) and sugar in another bowl and whisk it lightly.
  11. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well.
  12. Add the flour and mix till the flour is incorporated well into the mixture. Do not over beat.
  13. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  14. Level it out gently.
  15. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over it. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over it.
  16. Bake the brownies for 30 -35 minutes. The top should not appear glossy and a tooth pick or a skewer inserted into the brownie comes out clean.
  17. Let the brownie cool in the tin for a while.
  18. Remove from the tin and slice and serve.
Tips:
  • Make sure the chocolate mixture has cooled down a bit otherwise it may curdle the yogurt.
  • Don't over mix or beat or whisk. Too much whisking incorporates air and on baking the middle will sink.
  • The batter should not liquidy otherwise again the brownies will sink in the middle.
  • Be patient let the brownies cool down in the tin.
  • Add nuts of your choice.
  • I just love the combination of orange and chocolate so added orange zest. You can add vanilla extract if you like.
  • For an egg version visit Joy the baker.
You may want to check out the following :
eggless swedish tea ring

Sending this recipe to the following events:




Thursday, 12 March 2015

483. savoury pizza muffins

A good light dinner or lunch idea

  Woman's Day was on March 8th and for many it may have not been so special a day or maybe your family made it special for you. Hubby dear spent the day questioning when is Man's Day??? Several times my daughter fights not to be treated differently from her two siblings, but we just cannot help worrying a bit more for her than her two brothers. The world is still not safe for women. They are easy targets and its so easy for men to label them as cheap, brainless, provocative, asking for it, weak, animals, uneducated, selfish, etc. We have given our daughter the same opportunities as her brothers.However, we are just a bit more cautious and keep in touch with her more often than we do with the boys. If she gets home late from work we worry a bit, we ask her to leave mobile numbers of friends, hotel name, room number etc when she goes on holidays with her friends, rickshaw number and the drivers license number to be sent to friends or when taking taxis she has to call a friend to inform that she has left home and to call again when she reaches her destination. Women still constantly have to fight for basic respect whether you are a corporate leader or a home maker. If we do not teach our sons to respect and value women, then change will not come quickly.   
      Home Bakers Challenge for the month of February was different types of savoury muffins. Though I have collected a few savoury muffin recipes I never really got down to making any of them. From the choices given, I loved the way the spinach feta muffins looked and decided to bake them. Though the family ate it up, the taste of the baking agent was just too strong. I will make them again but will not add the baking agent. In the meantime, I tried out the savoury pizza muffins and added ingredients that were at home. We had the muffins with the yummy yummy strawberry mango mesclun salad. The left over muffins tasted much better today! 

Share your thought:
Do you worry more about your daughter than your son?




SAVOURY PIZZA MUFFINS
Makes 9 big ones or 12 medium ones

⅓ cup whole wheat flour (atta)
⅓ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dried oregano ( or 1½ tsp fresh chopped oregano)
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
⅔ cup finely chopped onion
⅔ cup chopped mushrooms
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder
⅓ cup finely chopped cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
2 tbsp chopped olives
½ -1 tsp red chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sugar
⅓ cup milk
1 large egg
2 tbsp pizza sauce


  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir the onion till it is slightly soft. Add the garlic and stir fry for a few seconds. Add mushrooms, mixing constantly, cook it for 30 seconds. Let the mixture cool down.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Line muffin cups or  muffin tray with paper cups. If you are baking without the paper, then grease the tray or cups lightly with oil.
  4. Sift flours, baking powder, sugar, salt together into a bowl. Add the chilli flakes, oregano and pepper and mix well.
  5. In another bowl add egg, milk and pizza sauce. Whisk it together.
  6. Add cheese, olives and the mushroom onion mixture to the egg mixture. Mix well.
  7. Add flour mixture and mix just enough so that the flour is wet. Do not over mix.
  8. Fill the prepared tray or cups ⅔ of the way with the mixture.
  9. Bake the muffins for 15 -20 minutes or till the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean.
  10. Remove the muffins from the oven and place them on the wire rack to cool down a bit.
  11. Serve warm with your favourite salad.
Tips:
  • Add any vegetables that you may like... bell peppers, sweet corn etc.
  • Add herbs of your choice.
  • To make an eggless version add about ¼ cup thick yogurt.
  • These muffins are excellent for kids lunch boxes, pizza taste but healthier than a normal pizza.
You may want to check out the following :

savoury rose rolls
nachos with mango salsa

veggie pizza rolls

Sending this recipe to the following events :




Home Baking challenge



simply food

Monday, 30 March 2015

489. vegetable poha

Generosity

        What is generosity? Its readiness or liberality in giving, kind, amplitude. Any charity organization in the world depends on the generosity of the people. People can be generous by donating money, providing service or being a part of the support. Providing service to the needy and less fortunate costs money. Recently my Club, Lions Club of Mombasa Bahari, held a fundraising event. The committee organized a dinner and dance event. Music was provided by our local band Mombasa Roots and Voyager Beach Hotel helped in organizing this event and providing the entertainment. I think the hardest part was selling the tickets. Its so difficult to convince people to buy the tickets for a charity event.The event went well and was supported by many well wishers. However, not complaining too much as generosity has to come from the heart. While our Club does have a few ardent supporters, some feel that most of the charity organizations just splurge money in the name of charity. I guess one has to be part of and organization to know what actually goes on behind the scene.
       Check out our Club's website to see what are doing. Our Club donates food and other goods to the needy, helps in educating the community, free medical camps, which includes plastic surgery for the needy (not cosmetic), breast cancer awareness. 

Image result for generosity quotes
   
   Coming to today's recipe I made poha full of vegetables. You may have heard of kanda poha or bateta poha. Its usually served in India as a wholesome breakfast. However that does not mean you cannot serve it as a light dinner option or as a snack in between meals. Make it wholesome by adding loads of vegetables of your choice.Poha is flat, pressed or beaten rice. The rice is dehusked, parboiled and flattened.The flattened or pressed rice is dried. The flakes have rough edges and the thickness of the flakes depends on the pressure it was flattened. Thin poha, powa or chiura can be paper thin or thicker than a rice grain. Poha is used for making both sweet and savoury dishes. Its also used to to thicken gravies, bind patties or cutlets. Pohas are cooked in liquids like water, milk or cream or dry roasted or fried. Poha is easily available in most Indian stores.

Share your thoughts :
Do you support a charity organization?



VEGETABLE POHA 
4-6 servings

1½ cups flattened rice or poha
1 cup peeled and diced potatoes
¼ cup boiled peas
¼ cup diced and boiled carrot
¼ cup diced onion
½ cup cooked sweet corn
1 tsp ginger paste
1-2 green chillis
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (dhania)
2-3 tbsp chopped cashew nuts
2 tbsp raisins
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp sugar
1½ tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (tal)
¼ cup water


  1. Put the poha in a sieve and wash it under running water. Leave it in the sieve so that water can drain out.
  2. Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  3. When it is hot add mustard, cumin and sesame seeds.
  4. Add asafoetida.
  5. Immediately add chopped onion and stir fry for a few seconds.
  6. Add ginger and chillis and stir fry for just a few seconds.
  7. Add cashew nuts and raisins. Add potatoes, turmeric powder and a bit of salt from the measured salt.
  8. Add ¼ cup water. Mix well. Cover the pan and reduce the heat. Cook the potatoes till just done and not mushy.
  9. Add peas, carrot and corn. Mix.
  10. Add poha and salt and mix well.
  11. If the mixture is too dry splash a bit of water.
  12. Cover and let the mixture cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  13. The poha should be done and should not be hard.
  14. Add sugar, lemon juice and coriander and mix well.
  15. Serve hot poha with a slice of lemon and your favourite chutney.
Tips:
  • If you soak the poha in water it becomes mushy.
  • You can prepare poha ahead and serve later. If you find that the mixture is too dry, sprinkle a bit of water, cover and heat the poha.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • You can add boiled peanuts instead of cashew nuts.
  • If you like you can add more poha or increase the amount of vegetables.
You may want to check out the following :
mooli parathas
Sending this recipe to the following event :




  
Pin It

Friday, 27 March 2015

488.zucchini boats

 Feel the Light

   Songs can uplift the soul, calm your mind, create a peaceful environment, bring smiles on faces, sometimes tears, transport you to a different level and make your heart beat. One such song I heard recently was Feel the Light by Jennifer Lopez. She has sung the song for the upcoming movie Home.The song is wow but what makes it even more wow is the dress she had worn for the American Idol. The 20 foot radius and 40 foot diameter long dress almost covered the whole American Idol stage. Called a projector dress it acted as a blank canvas projecting a variety of special effect lights.Watch the video to believe and at the same time enjoy the beautiful lyrics of the song - Feel the Light 
 Have you noticed how all the animated movies have beautiful songs. Love listening to them. I love watching animated movies.Its amazing how one can watch them again and again and still enjoy them.When my kids were growing up, we've watched Little Mermaid, Dumbo, Jungle Book, Aladdin and Bambi so many times. It was their favourite thing to do during the weekend. Each weekend they had turns to decide which movie they would get to watch. Now I get the opportunity to watch them with my niece when I go to London or on flights. With earphones covering my ears, in my teeny weeny space, I get lost for a while and thoroughly enjoy the movie and flight! During my last flight to India watched Madagascar 3. Will I get to see Home on my next flight?
  We all know that we have to eat healthy but time and again we get tempted by all the unhealthy foods, fried ones, sweet ones, cheesy ones. I try and make our dinners light and healthy. But of course that's not the case everyday. The days we have soups, salads, my hubby feels hungry again by 10 p.m. However, our quest to eat healthier continues. Since I can't be serving soup everyday, I have to make innovative dishes which are healthy and yet appealing. Occasionally I make stuffed zucchini (courgettes) or boats as some call them with different types of filling. Easy to prepare and healthy, I usually serve it as a side dish, or with salad or soup.

Share your thoughts:
Do you love watching animated movies?






ZUCCHINI BOATS
Makes 3 big ones or 6 medium ones

3 big or 6 medium zucchini (courgettes)
¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ cup finely chopped carrot
¼ cup finely cut zucchini (use the scooped out bits)
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small tomato finely chopped
¼ tsp salt + extra for sprinkling on the zucchini
½ tsp pepper powder
1 tbsp olive oil + extra for brushing
½ tsp italian seasoning or herbs of your choice
¼ cup grated cheese

  1. Put oil in a wide pan over medium heat. 
  2. Add onion, garlic and carrots. Stir and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini, tomato and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes. You don't want to overcook the vegetables.
  4. Add the pepper, herbs or seasoning. Mix and keep on the side.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Grease a baking tray lightly.
  7. Trim the ends of the zucchini.
  8. Slice off a bit of the top part lengthwise.
  9. Carefully make incisions around and scoop out the inner part of the zucchini. Be careful not to go too deep and the zucchini does not break.
  10. Slice off a tiny bit at the bottom so that the boats sit well on the tray.
  11. Place the scooped out zucchini on the greased tray.
  12. Brush the zucchini lightly with olive oil.
  13. Sprinkle a bit of salt over them.
  14. Put the stuffing into the scooped out zucchinis.
  15. Place in the oven and bake for 10 -15 minutes.
  16. Take the tray out of the oven and sprinkle grated cheese over them.
  17. Place the zucchinis back in the oven. Bake till the cheese melts.
  18. Insert a knife into the zucchini. If it goes in easily its done. 
  19. Serve immediately with fresh tomato or chilli sauce.
Tips:
  • Add a filling of your choice.
  • Make sure to taste the zucchini before you bake them. They can be bitter sometimes.
  • Don't over bake the zucchini. It will begin to fall apart.
  • Adds nuts or seeds of your choice.
  • Adjust the spices and salt according to your taste.
  • You can use fresh herb of your choice.
  • If you have any scooped out zucchini left, use it up in a soup or curry.
You may want to check out the following :
pasta stuffed sweet pepper

eggplant mini pizza
baked broccoli

Sending this recipe to the following event :


In my veg box  courgettes event logo

Sliceoffme

Citrus spice and all things nice
Pin It

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

487.Strawberry oreo cheesecake

very berry yummy

      Today was not such a great day for me. From the time I woke up I was on the go and trying to juggle so many chores all together. In all this what did I sacrifice? My exercise. By noon I was feeling a bit relieved that chores were getting ticked off my list. However come evening and again I experienced a general slum in my overall existence. Felt bad that I sacrificed exercise to do other chores. I questioned myself and thought why didn't I sacrifice my meal time? However, things had to be done so there was no other option. To add to the fight for time, I had to sit at the national id card office for over two hours. According to their records my new id card was prepared and ready. However, they couldn't find it. I knew that if I left their office leaving the relevant details with them, nothing will be done. I will be forgotten and would still have to spend the same amount of time waiting for my id card. Till it was time for them to close they could not find my id card. So that task still remains to be tackled. It really baffles me why government offices can never work with efficiency and they clearly have not heard of consumer rights. They behave as though they are doing us a great big favour. One of the staff, a lady was 'barking' out instructions. Yes  barking... there was no politeness and she spoke to everyone with anger. It took a great effort on my part to keep my mouth shut as I knew if I told her something, she would actually make getting my id card even more difficult if she wanted to.  
    Coming to today's recipe, I've always wanted to try making a cheesecake using sweetened condensed milk. Finally made the cheesecake when I was in Bangalore visiting my daughter. Made the cheesecake for my birthday but didn't get time to post it then. Lovely strawberries, kept on beckoning me so made strawberry oreo cheesecake. Instead of making one big cheesecake I decided to make it in different containers, muffin cups, small pie dish, glasses etc. I found the the individual cheesecakes so much more appealing and easy to serve. Coming to the oreos, the dark black colour is does not appeal to me so hardly ever have them. However, after making this cheesecake, I have changed my mind... as the saying goes 'do not judge a book by its cover'. 

Share your thoughts:
Do you dread going to a government office to get any work done?




STRAWBERRY OREO CHEESECAKE
8-10 Servings (depends on the size of the containers)

For the crust :
150 g oreos- (about 1½ cups crushed) 
2 tbsp butter

For the cheesecake :
250 g fresh strawberries (will get 1 cup crushed)
1 cup fresh cream
½ tin (200 g ) sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp agar agar powder or 5 tbsp agar agar flakes
½ cup water
1 cup curd cheese (yogurt with whey removed) or cream cheese
2-3 tbsp powdered sugar

For topping :
sprinkles, oreo, fresh chopped strawberries

Preparation of the crust :

  1. Crush the oreos lightly in a food processor along with the oreo cream. Or alternatively you can crush them with a rolling pin.
  2. Melt butter and add to the crushed oreos.
  3. Divide the crumb mixture into the individual containers.
  4. Press gently. 
  5. Put the containers in the fridge to allow the crust to set.
Preparation of  the cheesecake :
  1. Add the agar agar to the water and leave it on the side for 5 minutes.
  2. Wash and hull the strawberries. Crush into a puree in a food processor.
  3. Whisk curd cheese, condensed milk, sugar and cream together.
  4.  Keep on stirring the agar agar mixture over very low heat till the agar agar dissolves.
  5. Heat the strawberry puree over low heat till it is a bit hot.
  6. Mix the agar agar mixture into the strawberry puree. Mix well.
  7. Let the mixture cool down till it is warm.
  8. Add it to the curd cheese mixture and whisk it gently.
  9. Top the oreo crust with the curd cheese mixture.
  10. Put the cheesecakes in the fridge to set. Its best to leave it overnight for a good set. 
  11. To serve, add a topping of your choice, sprinkles, oreo cookies or chopped fresh strawberries or chocolate curls.
Tips :
  • If you don't want to use oreos, use any chocolate cookies for the crust.
  • If you want to use gelatin instead of agar agar, use 2 tbsp gelatin. Let it bloom in the water for 5 minutes. To dissolve it place the bowl  with gelatin mixture into a hot bowl of water. Mix till it dissolves. Add the gelatin mixture to the warm strawberry mixture. 
  • The fresh cream I bought was sour so instead of that I used amul cream. It worked well.
You may want to check out the following :
passion fruit cheesecake
Sending this recipe to the following event :







Pin It

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

486. Kummelweck rolls

Caraway is a fruit and not a seed

     Our We Knead to bake challenge for the month of March was Kummelweck rolls. Kummelweck, kimmelweck or kümmelweck is topped with salt and caraway seeds which gives it its distinctive flavour. Kümmel in German means caraway, and weck means roll. So simply put these are caraway rolls.  A beef on a weck is a sandwich famous in New York. I am not going  into details about the origin of the rolls as it will be like repeating what is in the wikipedia. These rolls are chewy and crusty from he outside and soft from the inside. The caraway seeds add an earthy, fennel like flavour to these rolls. Caraway seeds are not actually seeds but the crescent shaped ridged fruit of a biennial plant belonging to the apiaceae family. Also known as persian cumin, meridian fennel caraway has the pungent fennel and earthy taste all in one. Caraway is usually used in breads, cakes, cookies and some sauerkraut. Its also added to cheese during the cheese making process to add a distinct flavour.
    This month's challenge was to make the rolls and then make our own 'weck' to emphasize the usage of these rolls as sandwich rolls. However, I really didn't get to that stage. I baked the rolls to serve as a veg burger. Hubby had to go out for meeting with dinner, so I put the rolls away. Then came one event after the other and the rolls were consumed with tea as breakfast. The last two I made with my favourite, baked beans with cheese. Not exactly a sandwich but maybe will get down to making the veg burger ( will need to check the muharat:)) one day. My research on the internet has led me to believe that caraway is kala jeera or shahi jeera in hindi.
     While the rolls were baking, the house smelt really good because of the caraway seeds. And the overall taste, with sea salt and caraway was heavenly.I made the rolls using both plain and wholewheat flour and without eggs.

Share your thought :
Do you love baking breads?







KUMMELWECK 
Makes 8 rolls
 adapted from Jewish Food

2 cups wholewheat flour
1 -1¼ cups all purpose flour (plain flour)
½ cup warm milk
½ -¾ cup warm water
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp honey
1½ tsp salt
2½ tsp instant active dry yeast
1 tbsp vital gluten

for topping :
coarse sea salt
caraway seeds (about 1-2 tsp)
egg wash or milk

extra oil for greasing


  1. Sift flours, salt and vital gluten together into a big bowl.
  2. Add yeast and mix well into the flour.
  3. Add oil and rub into the flour.
  4. Mix water, milk and honey together.
  5. Add the water mixture into the dough and mix it till it all comes together.
  6. Flour the work top or board with a bit of flour.
  7. Knead the dough for 10 - 15 minutes till it is smooth and silky.
  8. Keep adding a bit of flour if the dough sticks too much to your hand.
  9. Grease the bowl with a bit of oil.
  10. Form the dough into a big ball and place it into the bowl.
  11. Cover the bowl with a tea towel or cling film and place it in a warm place.
  12. Let the dough rise till its double the size. This will take about 1-1½ hours depending how warm your kitchen is.
  13. Knead the dough gently to deflate it and again form into a big ball. Let it rise covered for 30 minutes.
  14. Grease a baking tray lightly.
  15. Deflate the dough. Divide it into 8 parts and form each part into a ball. Flatten it slightly and place it on the greased baking tray. 
  16. Slit a cross on the top of the buns with a sharp knife or scissors. 
  17. Let the rolls rise for 30 - 40 minutes.
  18. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  19. Brush the tops with egg wash or milk. 
  20. Sprinkle sea salt and caraway seeds on top.
  21. Before putting the rolls in the oven spritz it with a mist of water.
  22. Let the rolls bake for 5 minutes at 200°C and then reduce the temperature to 180°C. Mist the buns again.
  23. Bake for a further 15 -20 minutes till they are golden brown.
  24. Cool the rolls on a wire rack.
  25. Use the rolls to serve with your favourite burger or sandwich filling.
Tips :
  • If you are using an egg to brush on top its best to add a tbsp or two of water. Mix and use.
  • Knead the dough using the heel of your hand if you are not using a dough kneading machine.
  • You can use only plain flour if you choose to. 
  • If you are using bread flour then you do not need to add gluten.
  • If you are not using instant yeast, then you need to activate the yeast by mixing warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over it. Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes till it becomes all frothy. Use this to knead the flour along with the warm milk.
  • You can add one egg white to the dough.
You may want to check out the following :







Sending this recipe to the following events :




Pin It

Monday, 23 March 2015

485.Punjabi pakora kadhi

a different type of kadhi

    Our trip to India was delightful in many ways, meeting up with family and friends, shopping and the culinary delights. One of the bonus points of travelling to India was an allergy test. Yes you heard me right an allergy test. Hubby dear thought he was allergic (his whole body kept on itching) to something and insisted on an allergy test. The tests came back and we found out that he was not allergic to anything! Years ago he had developed rashes on applying chana (besan) flour. So we presumed he was allergic to besan and there started our journey in trying to replace besan with other dals. That's pretty difficult when you consider the fact that most of  the indian snacks contain besan. So the chana dal in dokhras and handvo was replaced by moong dal, for kadhi started using millet flour and was pretty much comfortable on my journey to chana less recipes. So finally there was a scientific proof that hubby dear is not allergic to chana( besan). The actual problem was just dry skin because of the dry weather in Bangalore. Getting back home, hubby dear agreed that I can prepare kadhi with besan flour for lunch. Obviously he had all the anti allergy medicines on stand by. For shh cooking secretly Anu Kollon my partner for the month of March, gave me the ingredients flour and yogurt. Since then punjabi pakora kadhi was on my mind. She gave me the freedom to use any flour. Hubby dear enjoyed the dish with rice and am suppose to make it again soon.
   So here is the recipe. Before that let's share a thought.

Share your thought :
Do you hate getting pricked by a needle when you need to get tests done or take medicine via an injection?






PUNJABI PAKORA KADHI
6 servings

For the pakoras:

1 cup besan flour (chana flour, chickpea flour)
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 cup lightly packed (about 50g), finely chopped spinach 
1 green chilli, finely chopped or minced
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
⅓ cup water
1 tsp salt
a generous pinch of turmeric powder (haldi)
a generous pinch of eno or soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
oil for deep frying

For the kadhi:

2 cups sour yogurt
¼ cup besan flour (chana flour, chickpea flour)
2½ -3 cups water
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1¼ - 1½ tsp salt
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp green chilli paste
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

For tempering (vaghar) :

1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
1 dry red chilli
¼ tsp fenugreek seed (methi seeds)
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 -3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 small onion sliced
1 sprig curry leaves ( kari pata) - remove the leaves from the stem.
3-4 cloves
1 inch cinnamon stick
6-8 peppercorns
a pinch asafoetida (hing)

Preparation of the pakoras :

  1. Heat oil in a wok or deep pan over medium heat.
  2. In the meantime,mix all the ingredients for the pakora into a batter.
  3. Put a small drop of batter in the oil. If it comes up, the oil is ready.
  4. Reduce the heat to low.
  5. Using two spoons (scoop the batter with one and slide off into the oil with the other spoon) or your hand, drop batter into the oil. The amount of batter dropped is about a tablespoon.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, fry the pakoras till they are light golden in colour and are done from the inside. Break one pakora to check.
  7. Using up all the batter, make pakoras. If the oil becomes cool, set the heat to medium again.
  8. Leave the fried pakoras on a kitchen towel so that it absorbs all the excess oil. 
Preparation of the kadhi :
  1. Put yogurt, water, salt and besan flour into a deep pan. 
  2. Whisk the mixture with a hand blender or whisk.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients for the kadhi.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Put the pan over medium heat and keep on stirring constantly. 
  6. Keep on stirring till the mixture becomes thick and creamy. 
  7. Lower the heat, and let the kadhi simmer for 5 minutes. Remember to stir is frequently.
Preparation of the tempering :
  1. Heat ghee in a pan over low heat.
  2. Add peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and methi to the ghee.
  3. Add red chilli, cumin and mustard seeds.
  4. Add curry leaves and asafoetida. 
  5. Stir.
  6. Add onion slices and stir fry till it is soft and light pink.
  7. Add the chopped garlic.
  8. Cook for a few seconds.
  9. Add chopped coriander and mix well.
  10. Take the pan off the heat.
The finale :
  1. Just before serving, heat the kadhi again.
  2. Add the pakoras. Mix well. Heat for a minute or two.
  3. Add the tempering on top and serve pakora kadhi with rice.
Tips :
  • Add fresh methi (fenugreek) instead of spinach.
  • Make sure you use sour yogurt for this kadhi. It tastes so much better.
  • I made more pakoras as we like a bit more pakoras in the kadhi and also a few got eaten before I could add them to the kadhi.
  • To drop batter into the oil using your hand is easy. Scoop up a bit of batter with your four fingers and using your thumb slip it off into the oil. Fry about 6-8 pakoras at a time and do not overcrowd the pan or wok. 
  • If you want to use less pakoras, use half the recipe.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
You may want to check out the following :







Sending this recipe to the following event:




Pin It

Saturday, 14 March 2015

484.Extra nutty dark chocolate fudge brownies

Still catching up!

   Yes I am still working on the backlogged recipes. Sometimes I get the feeling in my over enthusiasm have I joined too many groups? Maybe but don't feel backing out of any. They all offer different challenges.The baking eggless group was back in February after a short break. I couldn't do the Feb challenge but made the March one. The brownies are extra chocolatey, loaded with nuts and so delicious. The brownies turned baked well, and just as I turn it out onto the wire rack, the glass tray in which I had baked it fell and broke! The baking tray belonged to my mother in law and have been using it for over 32 years! Did feel bad. I found that my 8"X 8" baking tin was all rusted. We get salty water in our taps and everything rusts so quickly. We have to buy bottled water for cooking and drinking. Anyway next trip to the supermarket I am buying a 8 X 8" tin. 
  Coming to the brownies, the challenge is that we are given a recipe which has eggs. We have to make it eggless. I just substituted the eggs with yogurt. The brownies were fudgy and nutty. I love the taste of the sea salt in every bite. It balanced the sweetness.

Share your thought:
Even though any glass breaking is considered lucky, do you still feel really bad when something breaks?







EXTRA NUTTY DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE BROWNIES
Serves 9
Recipe adapted from : Joy the Baker

1¼ cups plain flour (all purpose flour)
½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
¾ cup thick yogurt
1 cup (7oz) dark chocolate chips 
½ cup (100g) butter
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1¼ cups lightly packed brown sugar
¼ tsp sea salt and extra to sprinkle on top
⅓ cup chopped mixed nuts ( I used walnuts, hazelnuts and cashew nuts)
1 tsp vanilla extract or orange zest

  1. Grease a 8" X 8" baking tray with butter and line with parchment paper or dust it with flour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Put water ¼ full in a pan and put it to boil.
  4. You need another pan or heat resistant bowl that will sit over the pan with boiling water.
  5. Add chocolate and butter to the smaller pan. Put it over the simmering water. The bottom of the pan should not touch the water. 
  6. Stir constantly till the butter and chocolate melts.
  7. Add the cocoa powder and mix it well.
  8. Remove the pan from the bigger pan and let the chocolate cool down a bit.
  9. Sift flour and soda bicarbonate together. Add the salt and mix well.
  10. Put yogurt, orange zest (or vanilla) and sugar in another bowl and whisk it lightly.
  11. Add the chocolate mixture and mix well.
  12. Add the flour and mix till the flour is incorporated well into the mixture. Do not over beat.
  13. Pour the batter into the prepared tin.
  14. Level it out gently.
  15. Sprinkle the chopped nuts over it. Sprinkle a bit of sea salt over it.
  16. Bake the brownies for 30 -35 minutes. The top should not appear glossy and a tooth pick or a skewer inserted into the brownie comes out clean.
  17. Let the brownie cool in the tin for a while.
  18. Remove from the tin and slice and serve.
Tips:
  • Make sure the chocolate mixture has cooled down a bit otherwise it may curdle the yogurt.
  • Don't over mix or beat or whisk. Too much whisking incorporates air and on baking the middle will sink.
  • The batter should not liquidy otherwise again the brownies will sink in the middle.
  • Be patient let the brownies cool down in the tin.
  • Add nuts of your choice.
  • I just love the combination of orange and chocolate so added orange zest. You can add vanilla extract if you like.
  • For an egg version visit Joy the baker.
You may want to check out the following :
eggless swedish tea ring

Sending this recipe to the following events:




Pin It

Thursday, 12 March 2015

483. savoury pizza muffins

A good light dinner or lunch idea

  Woman's Day was on March 8th and for many it may have not been so special a day or maybe your family made it special for you. Hubby dear spent the day questioning when is Man's Day??? Several times my daughter fights not to be treated differently from her two siblings, but we just cannot help worrying a bit more for her than her two brothers. The world is still not safe for women. They are easy targets and its so easy for men to label them as cheap, brainless, provocative, asking for it, weak, animals, uneducated, selfish, etc. We have given our daughter the same opportunities as her brothers.However, we are just a bit more cautious and keep in touch with her more often than we do with the boys. If she gets home late from work we worry a bit, we ask her to leave mobile numbers of friends, hotel name, room number etc when she goes on holidays with her friends, rickshaw number and the drivers license number to be sent to friends or when taking taxis she has to call a friend to inform that she has left home and to call again when she reaches her destination. Women still constantly have to fight for basic respect whether you are a corporate leader or a home maker. If we do not teach our sons to respect and value women, then change will not come quickly.   
      Home Bakers Challenge for the month of February was different types of savoury muffins. Though I have collected a few savoury muffin recipes I never really got down to making any of them. From the choices given, I loved the way the spinach feta muffins looked and decided to bake them. Though the family ate it up, the taste of the baking agent was just too strong. I will make them again but will not add the baking agent. In the meantime, I tried out the savoury pizza muffins and added ingredients that were at home. We had the muffins with the yummy yummy strawberry mango mesclun salad. The left over muffins tasted much better today! 

Share your thought:
Do you worry more about your daughter than your son?




SAVOURY PIZZA MUFFINS
Makes 9 big ones or 12 medium ones

⅓ cup whole wheat flour (atta)
⅓ cup plain flour (all purpose flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp dried oregano ( or 1½ tsp fresh chopped oregano)
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
⅔ cup finely chopped onion
⅔ cup chopped mushrooms
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper powder
⅓ cup finely chopped cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
2 tbsp chopped olives
½ -1 tsp red chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp sugar
⅓ cup milk
1 large egg
2 tbsp pizza sauce


  1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir the onion till it is slightly soft. Add the garlic and stir fry for a few seconds. Add mushrooms, mixing constantly, cook it for 30 seconds. Let the mixture cool down.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Line muffin cups or  muffin tray with paper cups. If you are baking without the paper, then grease the tray or cups lightly with oil.
  4. Sift flours, baking powder, sugar, salt together into a bowl. Add the chilli flakes, oregano and pepper and mix well.
  5. In another bowl add egg, milk and pizza sauce. Whisk it together.
  6. Add cheese, olives and the mushroom onion mixture to the egg mixture. Mix well.
  7. Add flour mixture and mix just enough so that the flour is wet. Do not over mix.
  8. Fill the prepared tray or cups ⅔ of the way with the mixture.
  9. Bake the muffins for 15 -20 minutes or till the tops are golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle of one of the muffins comes out clean.
  10. Remove the muffins from the oven and place them on the wire rack to cool down a bit.
  11. Serve warm with your favourite salad.
Tips:
  • Add any vegetables that you may like... bell peppers, sweet corn etc.
  • Add herbs of your choice.
  • To make an eggless version add about ¼ cup thick yogurt.
  • These muffins are excellent for kids lunch boxes, pizza taste but healthier than a normal pizza.
You may want to check out the following :

savoury rose rolls
nachos with mango salsa

veggie pizza rolls

Sending this recipe to the following events :




Home Baking challenge



simply food
Pin It
Blogging tips