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.

  • 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
  •  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
  •  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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.