Nov 21, 2014

Spicy french toast

Ingredients
1egg,
1 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves,
1/2  tsp ginger garlic paste  
salt & pepper

 Method
Whisk 1 egg,1 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves, 1/2  tsp ginger garlic paste with salt and pepper. Dip cut slices of 6 brown/white  bread into mixture and shallow fry on griddle.Add little ghee while cooking.

Sep 1, 2014

Pineapple Pastry


                                        When I was a kid, every Saturday, my mom used to take me to Hanuman Temple. And on the way back, we used to stop many times in Monginis, a popular chain of bakeries which was very famous some 20 years back. This cake shop had many pastries and cakes. The pastries which were most popular back then were Black forest pastry and Pineapple pastry. They were delicious.          Nowadays, many bakeries have sprung,, many more international and national brands are available. But this pineapple pastry takes me back to my childhood....
 
Ingredients:
A) Basic sponge cake 
     Please find the recipe here
B) For the frosting
  • 2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
  • ½ cup Confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 Cup Pineapple chunks
  • few cherries
  • colorful sprinkles 
C) For the syrup:
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Powdered sugar
  • ½ to ¾ cup Ice-cold water/ drained syrup from canned pineapple
Method:
A) For the Basic Fat Free Sponge cake
          Cool completely before frosting. Substitute pineapple extract for vanilla extract.


    B) Pineapple Pastry
    • Chill the beater blades and the bowl in which you will use to whip the cream. Chill the whipping cream. Do not use Amul cream as it does not whip at all. You can use Rich's Whipping cream or bluebird whipping cream powder.
    • Place the bowl on ice bed and then start whipping cream while slowly adding sugar till cream is thick and stiff.
    • If you are using canned pineapple, drain all the syrup. Keep few pieces intact for top. chop coarsely rest of pineapple pieces.
    • Mix lemon juice, sugar and water OR drained pineapple juice from can in a bowl.
    • Place one cake over a cake pedestal or plate, poke holes with a fork in a few places on the cake.
    • Spoon the syrup all over the cake in a till cake is moist (but not soggy).
    • Spread an even layer of the cream, and place pineapple chunks and sliced maraschino cherries. 
    • Place the other cake on top of this and repeat the moistening procedure. 
    • Spread an even thick layer of cream on top. 
    • To finish decorate with remaining pineapple chunks, cherries and sprinkles
    • Cut into pieces and serve pineapple pastry

    Aug 25, 2014

    Braised Chinese Cabbage

                              Chinese white cabbage is a Chinese leaf vegetable often used in Chinese cuisine, it is particularly popular in northern China around Beijing (Peking). This recipe is quick, simple yet delicious n healthy way to enjoy chinese cabbage. Serve it with hot steamed rice or noodles.

    Ingredients:
    • 500g Chinese white cabbage
    • 1 thinly sliced green pepper
    • 200 gm mushrooms, sliced
    • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 1 tsp brown sugar
    • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
    • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
    • salt
    • ground black pepper
    Method:
    •  Wash the napa cabbage and separate the leaves and wash all the leaves. Chop 1 inch pieces.

    •  Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok/ large frying pan and heat up the oil till its sizzling hot on high flame.
    • Then add the Chinese white cabbage into the wok, stir fry it for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring constantly. 
    • Add the green pepper strips and the mushrooms into wok along with the dark soy sauce, sugar, salt and black pepper
    •  Pour over about 4 tablespoons of water, stir it well with the vegetables, cover the wok and cook for 4 - 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

    • Serve with boiled rice or fried rice.

    Aug 19, 2014

    Creamy Veggie Toast

                         Neil my BABY is now almost 4 years old. He has some activity happening every week in school where in parents need to do, make or send something creative. His school celebrated Mother's day and had requested the moms to make and bring along a healthy snack dish for kids....
    Here's what I made ....
                             Creamy veggie toast is simple way of sneaking in nutrients of vegetables in smooth cheesy milky goodness full of vitamin D served on whole-wheat brown toast. It’s easy to prepare and full packed with nutrition and taste.
    Serves : 2
    Ingredients:
    •  8 slices brown bread
    •  2 slices of cheese slices
    •  250 ml whole milk
    •  2 tbsp. whole-wheat flour
    •  2 tbsp. olive oil
    •  1 tbsp. butter
    •  1 tbsp. Italian mixed herbs
    •  2 tbsp chopped garlic
    •  ½ cup boiled sweetcorn
    •  ½ cup cubed paneer
    •  ¼ cup thinly sliced red capsicum
    •  ¼ cup thinly sliced yellow capsicum
    •  ¼ cup coarsely grated carrot
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    Method:
    • In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter along with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add whole-wheat flour and roast it till flour becomes golden for about 2 min on medium flame.
    • Once flour is cooked, turn off stove and let it cool down a bit for 2 min. Add the milk to flour- butter mixture (roux) and whisk well to ensure no lumps are present.
    • Place the skillet back on stove top and cook on medium flame till mixture starts to thicken, stirring all the time. Add salt, pepper and mixed herbs to taste. Our easy creamy white sauce is ready. 
    • In another skillet, pour 1 tbsp olive oil, once heated add chopped garlic and saute till it is golden brown. Add all the vegetables and cook on medium flame for 4-5 min till the vegetables are cooked.
    • Now, pour white sauce over the vegetables and add cubed paneer and cook with the lid covered for 3-4 min on low flame.
    • Meanwhile, cut each brown bread slice into 4 squares. Also cut the cheese slices into small squares.
    • To assemble the creamy veggie toast, we place a tbsp. of creamy veggie mixture over the brown bread squares, place a small cheese slice on the top.
    • Bake in preheated oven at 170 C for 8-10 min till the cheese on top is melted golden crust and the toasts are crispy toasted. You can toast them on stove top as well on low flame and covered, to ensure cheese melts and bread is toasted 
    •   Serve with tomato sauce and voila, your child is waiting to devour these creamy veggie squares.

    Aug 4, 2014

    Eggless Chocolate cake


           "Shravanmasi harsha manasi…hiraval daate chohikade!
    Kshanat yete sarsar shirave…kshanat firuni unh pade!! ” – Baalkavi.

              The holy month of Shravan begins, which brings in the eagerly waited monsoon and marks the beginning of hindu festival season.
          Many Hindus fast many days in this month and meat is not consumed during this month.
                Rainy season is in full blast this month and rains bring along with them many water borne diseases. Hence, poultry and animal diseases are also common and have more chance of being infected. so its better to avoid meat.
                  Shravan in mythological terms is the month of love and romance. Practically it is the breeding season for most of the animals. Fishing during this time is prohibited by Hindu laws as the female fish have eggs in their stomach. It is a sin to kill animals when they are pregnant or hatching eggs. That's the second reason why Hindus avoid meat and fish during this month. Thus the reason for eating only vegetarian foods during the month of Shravan have both religious and scientific explanations.

             Here's a Shravan special egg-less chocolate cake with the ingredients commonly available in your kitchen pantry.  I have added fresh whipped cream, cherries and chocolate strips to decorate and enhance the cake as this was made for my hubby's birthday.
    Ingredients:
    • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
    • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/3 cup oil
    • 1 tbsp white vinegar
    • 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup COLD milk
    Method:
    • Pre-heat oven to 180C / 350F.
    • Mix the sugar with the milk, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Take care to use cold milk otherwise the vinegar will curdle it
    • Mix the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Sift this dry mixture into the wet ingredients in batches, folding it in after each addition. Don't overmix at this stage, just gently fold in. Few small lumps in the batter are fine.
    • Lightly grease with oil or butter whatever pan you are using. Pour the batter in and bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 mins.
    •  Let the cake cool and transfer to a cooling rack or cutting board. 
    • This cake has slight hard texture, so its better idea to soak with sugar water syrup.

    Jul 21, 2014

    Fresh Cucumber salad with black olive dressing

    Cucumber Salad...
                                    This isn't a recipe per se.. just wanted dazzle up those cucumbers with light heathy dressing and enjoy it as salad. This salad can be added on hot dog, sandwiches, cheese toasts to add in crisp and fresh taste of cucumbers.


    Ingredients:
    • 2 small tender cucumbers
     Dressing:
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp vinegar
    • 2 chopped black olives
    • 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
    • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
    • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
    • Mediterranean sea salt
    Method:

    Peel the cucumbers with peeler till you get thin long slices of cucumber. Mix all the ingredients for dressing in a small bowl and whisk with a fork. Mix the dressing with cucumbers and let the salad sit in fridge for 15 mins. Enjoy the salad on its own, as side dressing, as a topping on your sandwich.

    Jul 18, 2014

    Vegetable Momos


    Momos ...
    Steamed healthy dumplings packed with flavor and nutrition..
                            In Bangalore, the best place to eat veg and chicken momos is an north eastern indian couple on scooter, who sell amazing momos just outside Garuda Mall. The momos are very economically priced and are full of flavor, wrapped in thin soft shell of white dough. If you are in Bangalore, you gotta try these momos from the smiling happy couple.
                   My kiddo loves momos, he is ever ready to gulp down a plate of chicken momos. Here I have attempted veg momos and they turned out really well, so sharing my adventure with you. The art of pinching and making half moon shaped momos is still to be mastered by me, all the momos here were shaped by my hubby who did it so well even at his first attempt. If you find this shape difficult, feel free to shape into round modaks. The redchilli-garlic chutney is must for momos.


    Ingredients:
    A) For the Dough
    • 1 cup All purpose flour (maida)
    • a pinch of baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp of salt
    B) For the filling
    • 2 tbsp oil
    • 2 tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 cup finely chopped onion
    • 1 1/2 cup grated carrots
    • 1 1/2 cup grated cabbage
    • 2 tsp soy sauce
    • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
    • salt to taste
    C) For the chutney:
    • 100 gms peeled garlic( about a cup)
    • 25 gms dried whole chillies ( 4-5 long)
    • 1 tbsp vinegar
    • salt to taste
    Method:
    • For stuffing: Heat Oil in a hot pan and add in the minced garlic and onions.Add the salt and pepper After 2 mins add grated carrots and cabbage. Let it cook until the moisture vanishes.Now add soy sauce and check and adjust seasonings and cook for some more time.
    • For dough: Create a semi stiff dough from the plain flour by adding some salt and baking powder. After done, pour in some oil and knead for 2-3 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth for 15-30 minutes.
    • For making Momos:

     Take a small amount of dough, and start rolling in a greased surface. Dust flour as needed to make a thin base for momo.
      Dab a tiny bit of water on the edges of the circle. Put a tablespoon-full of filling in the centre of each circle.
               Fold the edges over the filling and pinch and twist to seal or fold the Momo in half (into a semi-circular shape) and pinch the edges shut. Get as creative as you like with shapes, as long as you make sure to seal the edges well.


     Cover the momos with damp cloth till you finish making all the momos that can fit in your steamer

    • For Steaming: Boil water in a steamer. While the water is boiling, grease the steamer decks. After greasing add momos to the decks.After water boils, add the decks to the steamer and cover cook for 7-10 mins.
    • After they get cooked, they will get a little bit transparent. After cooking for 10 mins, let them rest for 2-3 mins in the covered steamer. Finally that shake the steamer and the momos will come out, if you have greased the decks well.
    • For Chutney:  Grind garlic, red chillies, vinegar and salt with little water



    Jul 7, 2014

    Bok Choy stirfry with exotic vegetables


           Bok choy,a popular ingredient in chinese cooking, is the perfect vegetable for a quick, healthy side dish  for an Asian style entree Here tofu, mushrooms and bell peppers add flavor and make it more substantial.
                   This basic stir-fry can be served as is, quick and easy, this is one of my favorite ways to load up on leafy greens. Serve with fluffy white rice, or over noodles in soup. 
           Boy Choy is not easily available in India. But I was able to order fresh bok choy from Green Tokri, a farm located in Pune who delivers garden fresh vegetables and herbs right at your doorstep. They also offer variety of seasonal fruits and sauces and condiments.

     Ingredients:
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 2-3 tbsp finely chopped garlic
    • 1 large onion (sliced)
    • 2 mature bokchoys
    • 1 red capsicum (sliced)
    • 1 yellow capsicum (sliced)
    • 200 gm mushroom (sliced)
    • 200 gms cubed tofu/ paneer
    • 2 tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 tsp vinegar
    • 1 tbsp brown sugar
    • 2 tsp chilli sauce
    • 1 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup water
    • salt and pepper to taste
    Method:
    • If you are using baby bok choy, just split into half and wash it under water copiously. In order to prep mature bok choy, separate the leaves from the stems by slicing the bok choy head crosswise at about the point where the leaves begin to spread out. Now separate all the leaves and wash them with water. Allow the leaves to drain in colander.

    • Cut the leaves to separate the white stem and green leaves. Cut the white stem in 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices. Slice the green leaves into large chunks and keep the entire inner leaves with greens. Keep the stems and leaves separately.
    •  Now, its time to make sauce. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, chilli sauce( depending on heat you want) brown sugar, vinegar, water. let it stand aside allowing the flavors to mingle while you stir-fry your veggies.

    • Place your wok/ wide frying pan on stove and turn on heat medium high. Heat the oil and add garlic and sliced red onion and saute for 2 mins till onions start becoming soft.
    • Add in stems of bok choy, sliced red and yellow capsicums and sliced mushrooms. I have added mushrooms as they release juices while cooking eliminating the need of adding more oil. If you are not adding mushrooms, sprinkle water every time you saute and cook covered.
    • Cook covered stiring after every 2 min, till the veggies are cooked but still retain crunch. when teh veggies are almost cooked add bok choy greens and panner/ tofu cubes. let them cook covered for 2 mins more.
    • Add the sauces and season with salt and pepper according to taste. Cook for 1-2 min till sauce forms coating over veggies.

    • Serve warm with long grained rice seasoned with pandan leaf / lemongrass while steaming rice.

    Jun 27, 2014

    Tomato Soup with Baked beans on Toast

                Juicy Red Delicious Tomatoes.....
    Neil loves tomato soup, this soup is tangy and sweet with hint of pepper. Very simple to make and will be devoured by your kids and family. We can add in baked beans on the toast with avocado butter and turn this into light evening dinner.

    Tomato Soup

    Serves 4
    Ingredients
    • 12 small tomatoes
    • 2 tsp of sugar
    • 1 tsp of crushed black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    Method:
    • Crush the tomatoes to smooth paste using a hand blender.
    • Strain the tomato juice through a sieve. Do not Discard the leftover crushed tomato in the sieve, we will use it later... No wastage ;)
    • Now add the sugar, salt and pepper according to the taste.
    • Boil the tomato juice over medium heat in a large saucepan for about 7-8 min, until the opaque tomato juice has turned dark red and cooked completely.
    • Serve with chopped fresh basil or croutons. You could stir in a dollop of Cream , if desired.

    Baked Beans on Toast


    Serves 4
    Ingredients:
    • 1 large french baguette
    • 2 ripe avocados
    • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
    • Leftover tomato crush from the soup/ 1 finely chopped small tomato
    • 3-4 Italian basil leaves
    • 1 can of baked beans
    • salt
    • pepper
    • sugar
    Method:
    • Slice the french baguette in 1/2'' slices and toast them in a skillet on the stove.
    • In a small saucepan, add olive oil and tomato, sprinkle pinch of salt, pepper and sugar. throw in some finely chopped basil leaves. Let tomato mix cook for 5-6 min so that all the flavors intermingle and cook together.
    • Scoop out the flesh of two avocados and smash with the back of spoon to get creamy natural butter.

    Now lets get ready to assemble the toast. Apply some tomato basil chutney on the toast. now smear with a layer of Natural Avocado butter. Spoon some baked beans on the toast... Voila... You have baked beans on the toast ready to be served with hot Tomato Soup

    Mar 12, 2014

    Basic Fat Free Sponge Cake

     Happy birthday to you.
     Happy birthday to you.
     Happy birthday to you dear bhai...
        All the happy birthdays means cakes, be it tiny cupcake or huge multi tier cake. We all celebrate birthdays by cutting cakes. My son always plans many days before his birthday what kinda cake he wants, and i spend many days researching various cake books, websites and blog hoping to make kinda cake Neil will love. He is sucha cutie pie, he loves all cakes made by his momma, no matter how good or bad they seem to me.
      Anyways, this post is about me wishing my dearest brother HAPPY BIRTHDAY. He is away in a farway land, alone celebrating his birthday due to official reasons. He is my elder brother and has always been der for me since I was born. He is my guide and friend. I know, I can always turn up at my brother's doorstep to enjoy for a celebration or just when I need a shoulder to cry. Oh! How much I miss you.... Hoping to meet you soon.
       This Post is about Basic Fat free sponge cake. Its a perfect cake to frost and decorate. Its very simple to make, light as feather and can soak up any flavors. Picture below is Pineapple Pastry, which is next upcoming post. The best part about this cake is its FAT FREE... No butter/ shortening/ oil, it becomes spongy because of eggs. So please read instructions well and get ready to enjoy..

    Ingredients:
    • 2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
    • 2 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1 ¾ Cups Powdered Sugar
    • 6 Eggs separated
    • 2 tsp Baking powder
    • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract 
    Method:
    • Preheat oven to 180C/ 350 F.
    • First lets make cake flour, remove 2 tbsp all purpose flour from 2 cups and substitute with 2 tbsp cornstarch. You can use the 2 tbsp all purpose flour to coat the baking pans.
    • Ok, lets talk about baking pans. If you are going to frost the cake, either you can use two 9-inch square/round baking pans, or bake in one pan and slice horizontally (that's what I do).
    • Once we decide which pans we are going to use, lets us discuss how to prepare the baking pans.This sponge cake has no fat added to it, hence the cake will stick to your baking pan, if you don't prepare them well. So how do we prepare the pans. You have two options:                                                                               a)  Grease the insides of the pan evenly with butter/ shortening/ ghee using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the pan with 1-2 tbsp of all-purpose flour. Tap pans gently on the kitchen counter to ensure the flour spreads and covers the pan on the base as well as sides  Remove the excess flour.                              b) Coat the pan with thin layer of butter/ shortening/ ghee and cover the pan with parchment paper to ensure easy removal
              Set pans aside till ready to use.
    • Eggs... Its better to use refrigerated eggs, as they are easier to separate. Lets get ready to separate the egg whites from the yolks. You can either separate using fingers, or jumble between egg shells. Separate each egg individually as if any egg breaks and yolk gets mixed, you need not discard entire batch.
    • Add vanilla extract to egg whites and start beat them in a grease free bowl. ensure that bowl is absolutely clean without any oily residue. because if you have any oil, egg white wont form peaks.Once soft peaks are formed start adding sugar, little at a time. The whites should form stiff peaks, such that when you invert the bowl, egg whites maintain shape and doesn't fall. This is your meringue.
    • Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl, such that they should be pale and thick and the color changes to light yellow.
    • Sift cake flour (all purpose flour + corn starch) and baking powder thrice ensuring no lumps are present.
    • Now gently add in yolks in whites and make egg mixture.
    • Slowly add in egg mixture by turning dry ingredients into the wet in a circular inward to outward motion. Do not beat or mix vigorously. The main purpose of folding is to allow more air into the mixture and to avoid flattening the frothy eggs. 
    • Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes till cake is done and springs back on touch and toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake.
    • Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then invert cakes onto cooling rack. 
    • Let cool completely if you are going to frost it.

    Mar 9, 2014

    Special egg omelette

     Lazy sunday morning...
    When you can roll in bed till late...
    No hungry mouths to feed....
    No tension about what to cook for lunch box...
    No guests dropping in, so no elaborate cooking required....
                                 I am already day dreaming of such a lazy morning when I just wanna lay down and enjoy food cooked by me (nah) or cooked by someone special (sounds just right). But though I am lazy, food should be great but quick to make. When words like great, quick, delicious come to my mind, they all point towards one name "EGGS". 
                             So here is what I came up with, this simple dish which is great for a quick breakfast, with the ingredients readily available in kitchen pantry. Nothing exotic, difficult, simple comfort food .Eggs wonderfully seasoned with chillies and jalapenos. Trust me it will become one of your HOT favorites. Eat with some toasted bread. Enjoy.
    Serves 1-2
    Ingredients:
    • 3 eggs
    • 2 cheese slices
    • 2 red chillies sliced
    • 1 medium onion sliced
    • 1 medium tomato sliced and seed
    • 1 jalapeno sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • salt
    • pepper
    • 1 tsp olive oil
     Procedure:
    1. Take deep frying pan and add olive oil and garlic. Let it cook until you feel strong smell of garlic, it takes about minute or so.
       
    2. Then add chillies, onion, tomatoes, jalepenos and mix well with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Let it cook for 1-2 min.
         
    3. Then crack the eggs into sauce, pop the lid on and let it cook for 5-7 minutes.
       
    4. Cook for 5 minutes if you like your egg yolks gooey or 7 minutes if you like egg yolks completely cooked.

       
    5. Remove from the heat and place cheese strips on the top, cover it.Now its time to toast your bread. By the time bread is toasted, the cheese melts on the omelet and you serve hot omelet with beautiful toasted  bread.

    Mar 5, 2014

    Chocochip Cookies

                           Chocochip cookie is one of the most amazing gift which America has gifted to entire world. Chocochip cookies are available all over India now. But trust me if you havent tasted the warm chocochip cookie baked fresh outta oven, you are missing heaven. This cookie is absolute sin with rich butter, chocolate chips and brown and white sugar. All the ingredients bind together to form rich chewy cookie at the center and crisp at the edges.

          And the best part is chocochip cookie is simple to make and is hit with kids, My son absolutely looooves them. Here I have drizzled some melted white chocolate over the cooked to make double chocochip cookies. Its simple equation more chocolate = more better...

    Makes 12 large cookies or 24 small ones
    Ingredients:
    • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup butter crisco/ butter
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 cup semisweet choco chips
    • 1/2 cup melted white chocolate

    Method:
    1. Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C.
    2. Sift together flour, salt and baking powder.
    3. In a large bowl, cream together crisco/ butter with sugar, till it becomes smooth n creamy. Add in the beaten egg and whisk till its well blended.
    4. Now add in flour and mix with a wooden spoon or silicon spatula .
    5. Add in chocochips and form the dough.
    6. Make balls and flatten with fork.
    7. Place the cookies on  silicon mat or parchment covered cookie sheet and bake for about 10 mins for smaller cookies and 12-13 min for the larger cookies. DO NOT OVERBAKE THE COOKIES. you should remove the cookies when they are cooked but yet soft.
    8. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies on cooling rack so that the steam doesn't make the under-surface soggy and cover the cookies with cloth till they cool down completely. this allows the cookies to be perfectly done. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.Drizzle with melted white chocolate.
    You can have this just like that or dunking in milk or apply some nutella between two cookies and have chocohip cookie sandwich or.... anyway you eat it, its going to taste great