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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Broccoli and Cashew Pulao

This I promise is a quick one pot meal. This is an awesome go to recipe when you are either too lazy to cook (happens to me once in a while) or  not motivated enough or have more exciting things to do and looking for some quick fix. 

For me in those days of desperation and many a times time crunch, I always make Pilaf / Pulao. Its a one pot meal and goes well with a side of any Raita (Yogurt dip) or just plain yogurt and some pickle. The last option of course is just ordering pizza and just sitting back and relaxing. I believe life is too short to sweat over little things.    

Today's recipe is Broccoli and Cashew Pulao, so if you are not a big fan of Broccoli  feel free to substitute   it with cauliflower florets. This was made for a quick lunch for me and the biggest broccoli fan (my 5 year old). With the weather warming up I let him play for a while with his school friends after I  pick him up from school. Its such a beautiful feeling to see the kids enjoying the outdoors. Its been  gorgeous weather, these couple days. Don't want to jinx it. So not much time to prepare lunch, I cooked this Pilaf for the very first time and loved it. 


1 cup rice washed and soaked in 2 cups water
2 cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 green chillies slit lengthwise
handful golden raisins
1/4 cups cashews
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 cloves
2-3 black peppercorns
cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tsp cumin coriander powder
1-2 tbsp chopped Cilantro

In a thick bottomed  sauce pan, heat oil. Add Cumin seeds, when they crackle, add cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick. Add ginger garlic paste and let it saute for about a minute. Add the cashews and raisins. When the raisins plump up, add the dry spices and the freshly chopped Cilantro.Next add the broccoli florets and the green chillies. Mix it well. Now add the rice which you had kept aside with the water. Add salt. Give it a good stir, and cook uncovered on medium heat till almost 90% of the water has dried up. Now set the stove to the lowest flame and cook covered for about 5 minutes. Take it off the heat , fluff it well and serve. You could serve this with any raita of your choice or it tastes good as is. This recipe serves 2-3. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hokkaido Milk Bread and Rolls With Tangzhong

This is the bread for the month of March we had to bake for the "We Knead to Bake" Bread  Baking  event. 
Until Aparna our fearless leader heading this group announced about this bread, I had never even heard about Hokkaido Milk bread and Tangzhong.

Thanks Aparna for your detailed step by step instructions and ample of tips, It was quite easy to bake this bread. Check out her space here and see for yourself and learn more about Hokkaido Milk bread. Its a popular bread in South Asian bakeries across the world. It has a soft pillowy texture and I can promise you this, once you taste this bread you would want to bake this again and again. That's the Hokkaido Magic !!!

Original Recipe from 65 Degrees Tangzhong "65C Bread Doctor" by Yvonne Chen and adapted from Kirbie's Cravings


For the Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Milk
For the Dough :
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp powdered milk
  • 2 tsp instant dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup cream
  • 1/3 cup tangzhong (Use Half of the tangzhong from above)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter cut into small pieces softened at room temperature 

Preparation :
  •   Making the Tangzhong (Flour-water Roux): In a saucepan, whisk together flour, water and milk until smooth and there are no lumps. Now place the saucepan on the stove and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth. Watch the roux/Tangzhong until you start seeing "lines" forming in the roux/tangzhong as you whisk it. take the pan off the heat. Le the roux/tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It should have the consistency of a soft and creamy creme patisserie. If not using immediately,  transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day.  Discard the Tangzhong after that.  
  • Making the Bread Dough : Making this dough in the food processor makes it much easier as it is a bit sticky and could take some time, and effort to knead it by hand. Put the flour, salt, sugar, powdered milk and instant yeast in a food processor and pulse a coupe times to mix. In another bowl mix milk, cream and tangzhong ( half of the tangzhong which you just made above) till smooth and add to the processor bowl. Run on slow speed until the dough comes together. Add the butter and process till you get a smooth and elastic dough. the dough will look a bit sticky, but kneading it will make it smooth. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so that it is well coated. Cover with a towel and let the dough rise for about 45 minuets to 1 hr or till almost double in volume.   
  • Place the dough on your working surface.I made 1 loaf (7" x 3") and 6 small rolls. I divided the dough into two equal pieces first. Then divided the first half into three equal pieces to make a loaf.  The other half was divided into six equal pieces for six rolls. 
  • Shaping of the portions for the loaf and the rolls is the same : Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape about 1/8" thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval.Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold. (See the Collage in Aparna's blog here.) Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle.Roll the rectangle from, one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Do this with each of the  larger pieces and place the sealed edges in a well oiled loaf pan. Cover and leave the dough to rose for about 45 minuets to an hour.   
  • I repeated the same process for my rolls. Just before rolling up each rectangle, I added  about 1 tbsp Raspberry Jam in the center carefully brought all the 4 sides together and sealed it to form a roll. Repeat this with the other 5  dough  pieces. Now place them in a well oiled cake Pan. Cover and let it rise for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk(or cream) and bake at 325 F (170 C) for about 30 minutes till they are done (beautifully brown on top). Cool for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm.  Enjoy !!!                    

This Recipe makes enough to make One loaf (9" X 5" loaf pan) or Two small loaves (6" X 4") or (7" x 3")  or One mall loaf (6" X 4" ) or (7" X 3" ) and 6 small rolls  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chole Saag - Chickpeas with Broccoli Rabe

You can call me one sneaky mom when it comes to incorporating not so desirable but highly nutritious  vegetables into my kids favorite dishes.  Broccoli Rabe is a great source of Vitamins A, C and K. Also has Potassium, Calcium and Iron. 

 I have been thinking of creative and delicious ways to cook Broccoli Rabe. Even though it has Broccoli in its name , it is no way related to the Broccoli vegetable. The leaves do surround a cluster of  small buds which resemble small heads of Broccoli.     

 I first heard about this green leafy vegetable on the  Rachael Ray Show and since then haven been waiting for an opportunity to cook it. I must say that its an acquired taste and does have a bitter flavor so I thought of adding it to a classic dish such as Chole Masala / Chickpea Masala would make it at least palatable and appealing to my kids. This trick worked.  Since we all LOVE chole at our house and its requested at least once a week, I was ready to try this beautiful leafy vegetable with my Chole recipe.  I made some Jeera Khulcha (Cumin Flatbread) which complimented my dish so well and my Chickpeas with Broccoli Rabe can now be a regular at my house.

 Here's the recipe from Sadhna Ginde for the Khulchas which I have tried and they were so soft and perfect.   

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup boiled chickpeas /  8 oz can Chickpeas
  • 1/2 bunch Broccoli Rabe chopped (2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 red onion minced
  • 2-3 green chillies minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander-cumin powder
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice(optional)
  • 1/4 cup cream (optional)
* If you do not find Broccoli Rabe, you can substitute any leafy vegetable of your choice (Spinach , Mustard greens, Collard greens, Escarole etc)

  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a minute then add the minced onion. Let it turn golden brown on medium flame. When you no longer get the raw onion smell, its time for the tomato puree and the minced green chillies. Stir it well. Let it cook until the oil  comes up (its an indication that its cooked).
  •  Now add the dry spices (turmeric, red chili powder, cumin-coriander powder and salt). Mix it well. Add the boiled chickpeas. Let it cook covered for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped Broccoli Rabe. Mix it well. Cook covered until the Broccoli Rabe is wilted and looks well incorporated. Now add 1/4 cup cream(optional). Let it cook for another couple minutes. Take it off the heat and add freshly squeezed lime juice. Mix it well. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.   

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bajre Ki Roti - Indian Flatbread (Pearl Millet)

Bajra / Bajri also known as Pearl Millet is an ancient food grain. India is the largest producer of Pearl Millet according to Wiki. It has numerous health benefits and recently it has gained more popularity because of it being gluten-free. 

Bajre ki Roti is more popular in the state of Rajasthan in India.  Because of its easy accessibility  it is more of a farmers food. Its highly nutritious and filling , so its a great food of choice for the humble farmers who relish these with raw red onion and Lahsun ki chutney(Garlic and Red Chilli Chutney). These could be paired with any vegetable side dish of your choice. Many enjoy them with just ghee and jaggery. Its food that is so simple, humble and yet Divine. A taste of Vibrant and Beautiful Rajasthan with each and every bite of this precious Barje Ki Roti.  

  • 3 cups Bajra Flour /Pearl Millet Flour 
  • warm water
  • salt
  • Ghee/Clarified butter
Preparation :

  • Making the Dough : Add salt to the bajra flour. Now make a little well in the center and add warm water. Mix the flour and water and knead the flour adding water little by little at a time. The moment the dough somewhat comes to together, its done. Do not add any more water. Knead this for a minute.   Divide the dough into 8-9 balls  The texture of this dough is a bit crumbly. Do not panic its going to be alright. I've been there. I saw my mom make these with such ease but when I tried them for the very first time I was panic stricken and I just wanted to quit and never make them again. So it does require a bit of practice. But its still doable if you are attempting these for the very first time. Kneading this Bajra  flour dough is a bit different than our regular wheat flour dough. Since this is gluten free there's  no binding agent in this dough. To make it a bit easier many add some wheat flour to the above recipe. That not only makes it easy to knead the dough but makes it much easier to roll out the Rotis.       
  • Rolling the Rotis:  I have used a 1 gallon Ziploc Bag to make the Rotis. Cut the Ziploc bag on the 3 sides so that it makes 2 sheets. Now making this Bajre ki Roti is easy peasy.   Just flatten a ball of dough between the palms of your hands. Place this between the 2 cut sheets of Ziploc. Using a rolling pin roll gently so that it is about 6 " disc. These Rotis /flatbread are a bit thick. Now carefully remove the top plastic sheet and gently turn the the Roti from the bottom sheet onto your palm. Heat a hot griddle /Tawa. Cook this bajre Ki Roti on medium flame. Once the underside is cooked, turn it over and cook the other side as well. Apply ghee liberally and serve with any vegetable side dish. We enjoyed our Bajre ki Roti with  Aloo Baingan Ki Subzi (Potato and Eggplant Subzi) and Achaar(pickle)    

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Adai Dosa - Rice and Lentil Crêpes

Adai is a healthy protein packed option for breakfast , lunch , dinner or maybe snack. These Dosa/Crêpes are very versatile and can be served with Chutney, Sambhar, Jaggery and even Ketchup.

In fact if truth be known, I heard about the existence of Adai dosa after I was married and learnt how to make them from my MIL. Since its so nutritious and I have a picky eater in my 5 year old kid, this has become a regular now. Though I have to admit I still love my regular dosa (Rice/urad dal), but once in a while I enjoy these Adai as well. My Kids enjoy them with ketchup or Mulaga Podi(chutney powder). Me and my hubby love our chutney. My MIL enjoys her Adai with  jaggery which was a little surprising to me as well. Yes, I wasn't aware of this combination. But believe me it does taste divine, hot adai just off the griddle with jaggery. My FIL loves it with Mulaga Podi.  So there you go everyone is happy.

 If you have some leftover batter just refrigerate it and use it when required. The batter is good for up to 5 days.

  • 1 cup Rice *
  • 1/4 cup Urad dal/Split Black gram
  • 1/4 cup Tuvar/toor/split pigeon peas
  • 1/4 cup Chana dal/Bengal gram dal
  • 1/4 cup Whole green moong/moong bean
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida(Hing)
  • 2-3 whole red chilies
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1" ginger
  • salt
  • oil
* I have used Sona masoori rice in this recipe. Sometimes I use Pooni rice too.

  • Wash and Soak the rice and lentils/dal in about 4-5 cups water for 4 hours. Soak the red chilies with it too. Drain the water and grind the rice/lentils coarsely along with the red chilies, green chilli and ginger.  Just add enough water for grinding. The consistency of the batter should be like pancake batter. Now add salt and asafoetida. Mix it well. 
  • Heat a Dosa Tawa or griddle. Keep it on medium heat. Now take a ladleful of the batter and pour  onto the Tawa/griddle. Now using your ladle spread the batter in a circular motion. You can  make the crêpes as thick or thin as you desire. I like mine to be  medium thick. Traditionally they are a little on the  thicker side. Apply some oil around the Adai. When its cooked turn it and let it cook on the other side as well. Continue making the Adai in the same manner. 
  • Your Adai is ready to be served. This recipe yields 16-18 medium size Adai Dosa. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Shalgam Aur Mutter Ki Subzi - Turnip And Peas Subzi

This reminds me of my childhood when mom made this subzi. I couldn't resist buying it on my  visit to the  local produce market. When I saw these fresh turnips I had to buy them. Many a times I'm guilty of impulse buying. But I'm glad I bought these and made Shalgam Aur Mutter Ki Subzi for my family. This gave me an opportunity to share a few memories from my childhood with my kids. Also I made this Subzi in my cast iron skillet and the taste was  phenomenal.


  • 4 medium Turnips(Shalgam) washed , peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup frozen peas 
  • 2-3 green chillies slit lengthwise
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 1" ginger grated
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder  
  • 1 tbsp Coriander-cumin powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil
For the garnish
  • freshly chopped Cilantro
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice 

Preparation : Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, when they splutter add ginger ,chopped tomatoes and slit chillies. Fry for about 2 minutes. Then add the dry spices (turmeric, red chilli, coriander-cumin powder, salt). Give it a good stir. Add the cubed turnips. Mix it well. Add about 1/4 cup water and let it cook covered on medium heat till its almost cooked (8-10 minutes).Do check it from time to time and stir it as well. Add the frozen peas and mix it well.  Cook covered till the turnips are fully cooked.(About 4-5 minutes). Take it off the heat and add lime juice. Mix it well. Garnish with freshly chopped Cilantro. Serve with Phulkas ,Roti  or Parathas.  Could be served as a side dish along with dal and rice as well. This recipe serves 4-6. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Eggless Chocolate Avocado Cake - Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake

Though I have a few chocolate cake recipes on my blog, I always get requests for recipes of Eggless Cakes. So I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. This recipe which I tried from Joy the baker is a keeper . I loved the cake and the fact that it uses Avocado and unless someone told you wouldn't even know it has avocado. It just so happened that I had a couple Avocados, and I was looking for a cake recipe and this is what I found. This is a great cake for Valentine's Day ! I would even fill and frost it with chocolate ganache. I'm still not too sure about the Avocado butter cream yet. Maybe someday , I might give it a try. Until then enjoy this almost guilt free treat. 


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt *
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado( about 1 medium Avocado)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

* The recipe calls for 1/2 tsp salt, I cut it by half.   She has used Avocado Butter cream frosting and I have frosted my cake with chocolate butter cream frosting. These are the only changes I have made. 

  • Preheat Oven to 350 degree F . Grease and flour  two  8"or 9"  round pans.
  • In a big bowl Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa together and keep it aside. 
  • In a another bowl add oil, water, the mashed avocado,vinegar and Vanilla extract. Mix it well. Add sugar and whisk it well.
  • Now add the wet mix to the dry and whisk it until smooth. 
  • Pour  the batter into the greased cake pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the tooth pick inserted comes out clean. 
  • Allow the cakes to cool for about 15 minutes. Then invert them onto cooling racks to cool completely. 
  • This cake can be enjoyed as is or you could frost and fill it with the icing of your choice. I have used Chocolate butter cream. Joy the Baker has frosted her cake with Alton Brown's Avocado Butter cream frosting.