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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Naan- Indian Bread(No yeast)

Naan which is an oven-baked flatbread is available and popular world wide and is an excellent accompaniment to any curry. Naan is traditionally prepared in a charcoal-fired clay oven or tandoor. But you could even bake them in the regular oven.

This recipe is from the book, "Curry Cuisine -Fragrant dishes from India ,Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia".

Ingredients :
  • 2 heaping tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups whole milk
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

Caster (or castor) sugar is superfine refined sugar. Its finer than granulated sugar but not as fine as confectionary sugar. Keep some milk handy, when kneading the dough, I did have to add a little more milk approximately 1/4 cup more than recommended.

Preparation :

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place 2 non stick baking sheets in the oven to heat up.
  2. Whisk sugar and eggs with milk in a small mixing bowl, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Take the flour in a large mixing bowl and mix in the baking powder and salt.
  4. Gradually add the milk mixture to the flour, mixing with your hand, and knead lightly,just enough to make a soft dough. (Take care not to knead too much or the dough will beome too stretchy). Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 15 for minutes.
  5. Add the oil and mix lightly to incorporate it into the dough. Divide the dough into 16 small balls. Roll out each ball into a round about 4" in diameter. (To Form into the traditional "teardrop" shape, lay a round over one palm and gently pull one edge down until it stretches a bit).
  6. Place the breads on the hot trays and bake for 4-5 minutes.
  7. Serve warm. You could apply some butter before serving just when its hot out of the oven. It tastes divine. This recipe yields 16 Naans.

**You could even bake the Naan directly on the oven rack. If you wish, just layer it with aluminium foil. Thats how I did it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

16 Bean Soup.

What more Can I say, the name says it all. Lets say its , GOODNESS in a Bowl.!!!! . No, 16 Bean soup is not a typo, I really mean it . It does have 16 - sixteen beans in it. How would I know, of course I counted the listed ingredients at the back of this Goya- 16 bean soup Mix packet. When I made this soup last night, I kept thinking ,how come I did not come across this nutritional powerhouse earlier. But its Never too late. So what are you waiting for, grab youself this wonderful medley of beans and see(taste) for yourselves.

  • 2 cups Goya 16 Bean Soup Mix
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic finely sliced
  • 2 cups tomatoes chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp red crushed pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 cups vegetable stock/water
  • 4-5 cups water
You could add 1 carrot and about 2 stalks of chopped celery as well. Thats how its made traditionally I suppose.

Preparation :
  • Soak the 2 cups of 16 bean soup mix in about 4-5 cups of cold water and keep it overnight.(You could do the quick way too by soaking them in boiling water and keeping them aside covered for about 45 minutes to an hour).
  • Drain and rinse the beans . This is how they look after a goodnight Soak...
  • Now In a large saucepan combine beans with about 4-5 cups of water and salt and cook covered until almost cooked. For those of us who are aware of the power and speed of a pressure cooker, pressure cook till almost cooked.
  • In the meanwhile heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the bay leaves. Add the chopped onions and garlic. Saute till golden brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and fry for about 2-3 minutes. Add the red crushed pepper. Add about 4-5 cups of vegetable stock/water. By now, the beans would have been cooked, add them. Adjust the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat,cover and simmer until beans are tender.
  • Your 16 bean soup is ready to serve. We enjoyed our comforting soup with garlic bread.
  • This recipe serves 4.
This is for the benefit of readers who are interested in knowing the ingredients in this 16 Bean Mix . Here it goes - Pinto Beans, Small Red Beans, Pink Beans, Red Kidney Beans, Great Northern Beans, Baby Lima Beans, Large Lima Beans, Blackeye Peas,Small White Beans,Black Beans, Whole Green Peas, Yellow Split Peas, Green Split Peas, Lentils, Chick Peas and Pearl Barley.... What More Can one ask for...Enjoy.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lazeez Broccoli Paneer - Curried Broccoli And Cheese

Today is India's 61st Republic Day which is celebrated on 26th January every year. It marks the day on which the 'Constitution of India' was adopted. In the year 1950, on this very day, the country made its transition, from a 'British Dominion' to a 'Republic'. Wishing You all Happy Republic Day. !!!

In going with the Republic day Celebrations , I decided to cook keeping in mind the colors of the Indian Flag - Deep Saffron, White and Green. Hoping you can see those colors reflected in this preparation..atleast the green of the broccoli and almost white of the paneer.

Ingredients :
  • 4 -5 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 10 0z Paneer/Indian Cheese cubed
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 " piece of ginger
  • 2 large tomatoes pureed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • salt to taste
  • 4- 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
Preparation :
  • Steam cook the Broccoli until tender. (Don't really have to cook broccoli for long time- It can be even eaten raw). Then puree it in a blender.

  • Shallow fry the Paneer cubes .(This step is optional.)
  • Now make a puree of onion, ginger and garlic and another puree of tomatoes.
  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the bay leaves and black cardamom. Add the onion pureed mixture. Saute till its golden brown and you no longer get the raw smell of onion.
  • Add the tomato puree and fry for about 2-3 minutes and add the dry spices (turmeric powder , red chilli powder , garam masala and salt.
  • Add the broccoli puree and mix well. Add the fried Paneer Cubes.
  • Let it simmer on low flame for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add lime juice and mix well.
  • Ready to serve. This recipe serves 4.
Enjoy this Lazeez Broccoli Paneer with any Indian Bread. We savoured it with hot home made Butter Naan. I'll be back with the recipe for the Naan tomorrow. Till then Jai Hind !!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baingan Ka Bharta - Roasted Eggplant Dip

This is one of the comfort foods for me, Baingan Ka Bharta . It is traditionally a charcoal-smoked
brinjal/eggplant delicacy cooked with onions and tomatoes. You could even roast the eggplants on a stove top , oven or a gas grill. The preferred way would be the charcoal grill or tandoor where you could get the charcoal flavor.

Ingredients :
  • 2 large Eggplants/Baingan (approximately 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cups tomatoes finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • Freshly chopped Cilantro
Preparation :
  • Roast the eggplants until the skin starts peeling off. (Baste/Brush them with a little oil before roasting).Allow it to cool.

  • Remove the skin and stem.

  • Chop and mash the roasted eggplants. Also finely chop the onion,tomatoes, garlic,ginger and green chillies.

  • Heat oil and add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add onion and garlic and saute till golden brown. Add ginger and green chillies. Fry for a minute. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder,red chilli powder and salt. Fry till the oil leaves the sides.

  • Add the mashed eggplant and mix well. Fry for about 2 -3 minutes. Let it cook for another 4-5 minutes on slow flame.
  • Baingan Ka Bharta is ready to be served. Garnish with freshly chopped Cilantro. Serve with hot butter Naan.
  • This recipe serves 4.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tricolor Pilaf with Avocado and Mango Raita

Today's focus is on Avocado. This is another wonder fruit with many health benefits.Its also said that, An Avocado a Day keeps the doctor away.

Some of the health benefits of Avocado :
  • Prevention of Breast cancer and Prostrate cancer.
  • Good for the health of your Eyes and heart.
  • Helps in lowering Cholesterol.
  • Prevention of Strokes.
  • Known to be a Vitamin E Powerhouse.
  • Excellent source of Glutathione which is an antioxidant which prevents aging,cancer and heart diseases.

For more detailed explanation of the health benefits please read here.

Avocado and Mango Raita

Ingredients :

  • 1 Avocado peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced mango
  • 1 Jalapeno chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion chopped
  • handful of fresh Cilantro chopped
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt whisked
  • salt to taste

Here's a Basic Guide of How to cut and peel an Avocado.

Preparation : I Hope the following pictorial instructions are self explanatory. Just add all the ingredients in a bowl and adjust the seasoning (salt). Raita is ready to serve.

Tricolor Pilaf - Tiranga Pulao


  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup peas frozen
  • 1 cup corn frozen
  • handful of raisins
  • 1" piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • salt to taste
    2 tbsp Olive oil

Preparation :

  • Wash and Soak 2 cups of rice in 4 cups of water. You will not need to add anymore water to make the pilaf. Just use this rice with the water. Keep this aside for around 15-20 minutes .
  • Heat some oil in a pan . Add Cumin seeds. When they splutter, add peppercorns, and the freshly chopped ginger. Fry for about a minute.
  • Add the raisins, grated carrot,peas and corn. Fry for a minute.Add turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder. Then add the rice with the water which we had kept aside earlier.
  • Let this cook uncovered on medium flame. Now when you see that most of the water has dried up (like 85-90%) set the stove to the lowest flame and cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes
  • Your Pilaf is ready to serve with the Avocado and Mango Raita.
* Its Tricolor/Tiranga because of the orange color of the carrot, green color of the peas and yellow of the corn.

Now its award Time :
I have been showered with this wonderful award from two of my blogpals. Kitchen Queen from Khatta Meetha Theekha. and Priya from Priyas Recipes . I appreciate their generosity and kindness. Do check out their blogs. Both of them have a wonderful collection of recipes. I do enjoy visiting them and If you have'nt done so yet..Now's a good time.

I know this post is getting so long already so instead of passing it on to each of you , my amazing and supportive readers, please feel free to accept this award and spread the happiness by displaying it at your space. Happy Blogging and Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Red Cabbage Stir-Fry

Cabbage(Red/Green) is often an overlooked vegetable. But after knowing about the many health benefits maybe we could make some room for the humble Cabbage in our lives as well. It is such an abundant and inexpensive vegetable

Some benefits of including cabbage in our diet.

  • They are a very good source of fiber to begin with.
  • Loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and Manganese.
  • They have Shown to have anti-cancer properties.
  • Optimize Your Cells' Detoxification / Cleansing Ability.
  • Promote Gastrointestinal Health.
  • Promote Women's Health.
  • Peptic Ulcer Treatment.
  • Red Cabbage Is Protective against Alzheimer's Disease.
  • Provide significant cardiovascular benefits as well.

For more detailed information about the above mentioned health benefits, kindly read here.

Ingredients :
  • 1 head of Red Cabbage chopped/shredded
  • 1 cup shelled frozen peas (optional)
  • 2-3 green chillies slit lenghtwise
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1" piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin-cilantro powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan/kadai. Keep the flame on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add ginger and curry leaves. Saute for about a minute and add green chillies. Add the shredded red cabbage, turmeric powder, red chilli powder,cumin-cilantro powder and salt. Mix it well.
  2. Now cook this uncovered on low flame. Do not add any water. Keep stirring occasionally. When its almost cooked add the frozen peas and keep it on medium to high flame. When you see the peas are cooked . Add the fresh lemon juice and mix well.
  3. Red Cabbage Stir-fry is ready to be served as a side dish with Rice and Dal or as the main dish served with hot phulkas/Roti and Raita.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Zayekedar Dal - Split Moong and Split Urad

What do split Moong dal and Split Urad dal have in common...Yeah, you got it they are both split. So I thought why not combine them both and let them be happy. I was trying to play matchmaker to the dals(lentils). Not that there's anything wrong with being Split or Single. The result was amazing, you get one Zayekedar Dal.

Ingredients :
  • 3/4 cup Split Moong Dal (with the green husk/Chilka)
  • 3/4 cup Split Urad Dal (with the black husk/Chilka)
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1" piece of ginger chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin-cilantro powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • salt to taste
  • Oil
**You could use 2-3 small green chillies slit lengthwise instead of Jalapeno pepper.

Preparation :
  1. Wash the lentils/dal and add 3-4 cups of water , turmeric powder, chopped ginger and salt. Pressure cook until cooked.
  2. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan/kadai . Add the cumin seeds, when they splutter add hing(asafoetida). Immediately add the chopped onion and garlic. Saute till they are golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and Pepper.Fry for about 3-4 minutes until the oil leaves the masala(or until the tomatoes are well blended). Add red chilli powder, cumin-cilantro powder. Mix well. Add the boiled dal . Bring it to a boil and let it simmer on slow flame for 2-3 minutes .
  3. Your Zayekedar dal is ready to serve. Serve with rice or any Indian bread of your choice. Garnish it with fresh Cilantro leaves and serve it along with a lemon/lime wedge.

****This dal does have a tendency to thicken, so add more water depending on whether you are going to serve with Rice or Indian bread.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rich and Creamy Chocolate Cake

This is a pretty quick and easy recipe. For this particular cake, I have used one of my favorite frosting- Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy Chocolate Frosting. You could use any frosting of your choice.This post is even more precious to me as the pictures have been taken by my baking buddy- my 6 year old son. Since he always is so enthusiastic about his baking projects with his mom, I did let him take the clicks for this post and I'm very proud of him. I know I'm being boastful. When it comes to kids don't we all feel so proud to see our little ones..spread their wings and try to explore the world..and through their eyes and innocent hearts..this world is a such a beautiful place.

Ingredients :
  • 1 + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs

Preparation :

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg F (180 deg C). Grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, sugar and vanilla essence
  3. Add milk, vegetable oil and eggs.
  4. Mix until all ingredients are blended , either by hand or by using an electric mixer at slow speed.
  5. Pour into the prepared cake pan. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cake to cool. Then slice the cake through the middle to make two layers (easier if the cake has been in the fridge).
  7. Apply the frosting and your Rich and Creamy Chocolate cake is ready.
    ***Recipe adapted from here. Here you can also find the recipe for the Frosting (If you want to make it from scratch.)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lemon Sevai - Lemon Rice Noodles

Lemon Sevai is an easy and delicious dish to prepare. It is so versatile you could even eat it for breakfast, lunch ,dinner or just as a snack. It could be served with coconut chutney. We prefer it with Sambar or tomato rasam if its for lunch/dinner. Here in the US, Sevai could be bought at any Indian grocery store. My hubby loves to cook as well and this is his recipe.

  • 1/2 packet of dry Rice Sevai/Idiappam/Rice Sticks (250 gms/approx 10 oz)
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts
  • handful of Cashews
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch of asofoetida
  • 1 tsp channa dal
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • 4-5 Curry leaves
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies slit lenghtwise
  • 1 dry red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 -3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
Preparation :
  1. In a big pot, bring enough water to a boil and cook the Sevai until cooked (for about 5 minutes). It should be fully cooked and not Al Dente.
  2. Drain the Sevai and keep it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add channa dal and urad dal. Fry them for a minute and add peanuts and cashews. Fry them till they are roasted. Add cumin seeds, let them splutter. Next add ginger. Fry for a moment and then add asofoetida,curry leaves,red chilli, green chillies,turmeric powder. Keep it on low flame and add the cooked Sevai and mix it well.
    Adjust the salt (sevai does have salt in it). Then add the lemon juice and keep it on low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Ready to serve. We had this for dinner with hot and Spicy Rasam. This recipe serves 4.
Now Its Award Time. My Dear blogpal , Anncoo has been kind enough to shower me with this precious gift, I love your Blog Award. She's one awesome baker and chef. Her passion shows in her beautiful and wonderful creations- her cakes, cheese cakes, cup cakes, her themed birthday cakes to name a few..are to die for. As they say seeing is believing. Do check out her blog Anncoo's hobby and you'll be in love with her space..just like Moi...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Aloo Baingan Ki Subzi - Potato and Eggplant in Tomato gravy

Potato and Eggplant/Aubergine/Brinjal is an easy dish to prepare and goes well with any Indian Bread. Now Eggplant is one vegetable which I find where either people love it or just can't stand it. I belong to the category of people who can't have enough of it. How can you not fall in love with the beautiful purple color. Also I love colors and love to be surrounded by them , so you guessed it right , I'll always have Eggplants at home..though I'm the only one who eats them...sad. But I do keep on trying new recipes so my kids and my husband can eat a little more of this beautiful vegetable. So far the only recipe they love is Baingan ka Bharta..(because you really do not see any baingan..its all mashed up..poor Baingan, lost its identity by the time its on the table.) I'll soon post that recipe when I make Baingan Bharta, till then enjoy this Aloo Baingan Ki Subzi.

  • 6-8 small eggplants unpeeled and cubed
  • 2 medium size potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies slit lengthwise
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin-cilantro powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the chopped onions and garlic. Saute till they are golden brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes and slit green chillies. Fry for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cumin-cilantro powder and salt. Add the diced potatoes and eggplant. Mix it well.
  4. Cook covered on medium heat until the vegetables are almost cooked. (You could add a little water about 1/4 cup , many a times it will cook in the tomato gravy itself).
  5. Now cook uncovered till fully cooked.
  6. Ready to serve. Garnish with fresh Cilantro.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chocolate Chip Brownies - Whole Wheat Brownies and Award

This is my 50th post. I was thinking of a recipe which would be appropriate to celebrate this small milestone and decided to bake Brownies. They are a quick and easy dessert or snack. I tried to make it healthy (I know it does have lotz of sugar and butter - but I tried to make it a bit healthier) by adding Whole wheat flour and was pleasantly surprised by the results. Recipe is adapted from here .
Ingredients :
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9 inch square cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl mix together whole wheat Flour,baking powder,salt and sugar.
  3. In another bowl Blend melted butter and cocoa.
  4. Add butter/cocoa mixture to the large bowl with the dry ingredients. Add the eggs. Mix well.
  5. Add the Chocolate chips and buttermilk . Mix until all ingredients are blended.Pour into the prepared cake pan.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let brownies cool, then cut into squares.

-----------------------And now its award time ------------------------

What perfect timing, My 50th post and an award. It make se so happy and its an humbling feeling that some of you out there read my recipes and love my blog. I am excited to receive this award from my blogpal , Faiza Ali of Faiza Ali's Kitchen who has passed this awesome 'beautiful blogger' award. Thank you so much for the generosity . She has a beautiful blog with a wonderful collection of recipes. Do check it out.

Now I would love to share this Beautiful Blogger award with all my wonderful blogpals who have motivated me with their feedback and kind words and helped me to go on. It would make me even more happy if each one of you could collect this award and display it on your beautiful blog as a thank you for being so supportive and help me celebrate my small little achievement.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Escarole and bean Soup

Winter always inspires me to try out new Soups . The wintry cold, the snow and the shorter days just makes me a couch potato, enjoying the fireplace and watching movies or reading. So Soups are really your best choice, as they are quick, easy, healthy and one pot meals. What more can one ask for. So for those lazy days, this is a good recipe.

Also when I go grocery shopping and if I see a new vegetable or fruit. I'm always excited to try it out. So this escarole was bought by the intention of making soup out of it. It was sitting there in my fridge for couple days feeling sad, and I was feeling guilty that I did not use it sooner. So today was the day since it snowed this morning, and this is the soup we had for lunch.


  • 1 bunch Escarole chopped
  • 2 cups red kidney beans cooked
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic finely sliced
  • 1 cup tomatoes chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation :

  1. Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and saute onions and garlic, until you no longer get the raw smell of onion/garlic.
  2. Add the tomatoes and fry for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped Escarole and fry until they reduce in size and wilt.

4. Add the precooked red kidney beans and season it with salt and red chilli flakes. Add the vegetable stock and water and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Soup is ready to serve . Serve with garlic bread or any Italian Bread.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Award time- Kreativ Blogger Award.

My dear blogger friend, Mausi from 7th Kitchen ~ Everyday Food Blog awarded me this Kreative Blogger Award. Thank you so much for this 1st award of 2010. I'm really honoured and humbled by this award.

So here is how it works.
Rules for accepting this award:
1) Thank the person giving the award
2) Copy the award to your blog
3) Place a link to their blog
4) Name 7 things people don't know about you
5) Nominate 7 bloggers
6) Place a link to those bloggers
7) Leave a comment letting those bloggers know about the award

7 things people don't know about me.
1. I believe in Karma, What goes around comes around.
2. My Blood group is b+ and so is my Motto in Life ,"BE POSITIVE".
3. I'm a bathroom Singer (since I'm not blessed with a singing voice.)
4. I love to watch comedy shows and funny movies and love having people around me who can make me laugh.
5. I'm a daydreamer.
6. I talk a lot and speak super fast.
7. I love hiking and camping.

I have to pass this award to my 7 favorite blogs :
Believe me this was the most difficult part. Its hard to choose from such a vast array of blogs with such beautiful and wonderful recipes. Every one has its own identity, its own fingerprint If I may say. So how could I select just 7 blogs. They are all my favorites. I came up with a foolproof way of picking. I did not want anybody to feel bad, so I had my 2 yr old son pick up names from a bowl full of all the names of my very supportive followers.

Here are the 7 favorite blogs picked... Drum rolls please...
And the Kreativ Blogger Award goes to..... (This feels like I'm at the Oscars...)
  1. Sarah Naveen at Vazhayila
  2. Shanthi at Shanthi Krishnakumar's Cook Book
  3. Vinolia at Akal's Saappadu
  4. Alicia at Vegan Epicurean
  5. Shahana Baker at Me N My Apron
  6. Priya at Priyas Recipes
  7. Padhu at Welcome to Padhu's kitchen

The others are not going empty handed, a very special award coming to you soon..... (I'm curious to design my own award I could hand it out to my fellow bloggers. So shd hopefully be here in a day or two.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cranberry Ginger Pilaf

  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup fresh Cranberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger cut into julienne
  • 3 green chillies slit and cut lengthwise
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground red chilli
  • 1 tsp ground cumin-coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 6-7 peppercorns
  • 1 -2 bay leaf
  • 1-2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 black cardamom(badi elaichi)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 cups water

***You could adjust the quantity of ginger depending on your taste. Personally, I feel the flavors of cranberrries and ginger go very well together. Also you could tell, my love for ginger.

Preparation :

  1. Wash and Soak 2 cups of rice in 4 cups of water. You will not need to add anymore water to make the pilaf. Just use this rice with the water. Keep this aside for around 15-20 minutes
  2. Now heat some oil in a pan . Now once the oil has warmed up add Cumin seeds. When they splutter, add peppercorns, bay leaf, Cardamom and cinnamon sticks.
  3. Add the freshly chopped ginger. Fry for about a minute.
  4. Keep the heat on low flame and add the green chillies and the cranberries. The cranberries will begin to pop, so be careful. After about half a minute, add turmeric, salt, red chilli, cumin/coriander powder. Then add the rice with the water which we had kept aside earlier.
  5. Let this cook uncovered on medium flame. Now when you see that most of the water has dried up (like 85-90%) set the stove to the lowest flame and cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes
  6. Its ready to serve. You could Serve this Cranberry Pilaf with Pineapple Raita.(The Tartness of the Cranberries could be reduced by the sweetness of the Pineapple Raita .)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cornmeal Strawberry Pancake

Cornmeal Strawberry pancake
This is my kids favorite breakfast. Since its so easy to make, its become my favorite too. Also you could use any fruits in this recipe. Great way to make our kids eat fruits.

According to our good friend Wikipedia, A pancake is a thin, flat cake prepared from a batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Read more about pancake here.

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 egg , lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries
  • 4-5 Sliced Strawberries for Garnishing
Preparation :
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients(1st 5 ingredients) in a bowl.
  2. Add the beaten egg and butter and mix well, followed by milk. Stir till smooth.
  3. Gently fold in the diced strawberries.
  4. Pour about 1/4 cup pancake batter onto a hot nonstick skillet. Soon when you see bubbles on the top and the edges look cooked, turn the pancake. Let it cook for about a minute or so until its cooked. (Since I have used cornmeal in this recipe. I let it cook a little more so its cooked properly).
  5. Serve with Maple syrup and butter with Sliced Strawberries on the side.
  6. This recipe makes 4-5 pancakes.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Indian Plum Cake - Kerala Plum Cake

Wish you all a happy New Year and happy blogging.

Plum Cake is our favorite cake and so thought it would be an appropriate 1st post of 2010. I don't think Plum cakes need any introduction anyways. Everybody I assume knows of this delectable delight. They are huge during Christmas and New year's Eve in India. We had such great bakeries back home and always bought it and had some friends who baked these sweet nutty delights. After coming to the US when you crave for these Indian Plum cakes I had to bake it at home and since then have fallen in love with the home baked soaked in rum cakes.

This time I have tried a new recipe from my friend Sangeetha's blog. She has a wonderful collection of recipes and her awesome presentation and step by step instructions make it so easy to follow her recipes. You could check out her recipe here. I have used the recipe as is, I did not want to mess it up. NoBody messes with the PLum cake.( I must admit though at times I'm tempted to tweak the recipe a bit). Another reason being, I had promised to get this great cake for the New year's eve party hosted by one our friends and so I baked this cake exactly as per Sangeetha's recipe which was a big hit. They all loved this plum cake and it was their first time they had tasted our Indian Plum cake.

  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 3/4 Butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Tutti Frutti
  • 1/4 cup Raisins
  • 1/4 cup Cashew nuts (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Almonds and Walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Dates (chopped)
  • 1 cup Rum/wine or enough to soak the fruit

To prepare the Caramel syrup:

  • 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water (to soak the sugar for the caramel)
  • 1/2 cup Water ( to prepare the caramel syrup once the sugar has been caramalized)

To prepare the Spice Mixture :

  • 1 tsp Caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Powdered Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Powdered Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp powdered Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp powdered Cloves

Preparation :

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degree C and prepare a 9 inch cake pan by greasing it or line with parchment paper.

2. This step you would do ahead of time ( 2 months to a week) before you bake this cake. Soak the dry fruits in rum/wine and keep it in a bottle at room temperature. Shake the jar once in a while. Now you guessed it right , the longer they are all allowed to soak, the more intense the flavor. (So let them get happy in there... after all they are getting ready to party for New year's eve.. ). See I was enjoying myself so much with the holidays I just had enough time to soak them in rum for a day.

3. Now we will prepare the Caramel Syrup. Heat a heavy bottomed vessel and add sugar with 1 tbsp of water on medium high heat. The sugar will begin to melt and soon you will see it changing its color as well. Its recommended to Not Stir, but you could swirl the vessel, once or twice. Turn off the heat once you get a darker golden brown color. Immediately, pour half a cup of water very carefully into the caramel and stir and mix well. Caution :(Be Very Careful, the liquid will splash when you pour the water into the hot caramel). Let the caramel cool before adding to the cake batter.

4. Sift the flour, baking powder and keep aside.

5. Now we'll Separate egg yolks from the whites. Whisk egg yolks with vanilla.

6. Cream butter and sugar till creamy and combined well.

7. Next add the egg yolk and vanilla mixture little at a time, alternating with a little (about 1 tablespoon) of the sieved flour and combine till smooth.

8. Now add 1/2 cup caramel syrup and spice mixture and beat thoroughly till well combined.

9. Next add the remaining flour, slowly and gently fold in with a wooden spoon.

10. Drain the soaked fruits and add them to the batter and mix well again.

11.Whisk egg whites till it forms peaks and gently fold into the cake batter till well combined.

12. Now pour this batter into the prepared cake pan, filling it till half the pan.

13. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of the caket comes out clean.

14. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and invert them onto wire rack and let it cool completely.

Voila , Your cake is ready to Party...