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Monday, January 31, 2011

Pineapple and Mango Raita

Our East coast has been transformed into a winter wonderland. Last week we got about 20" snow. They are calling for some more snow tomorrow. Kids are having a blast with No school days..and parents are praying for no MORE SNOW !!!. But you take what nature gives you right ..so we made the most of all the snow by making a Snowman, making snow balls, made snow angels. If you have any more suggestions, please let me know as we have more snow coming...

This raita is just a diversion from the winter blues and the likes. This refreshing Raita will surely help you look forward to Spring and maybe even Summer!!! Its a flavorful, delicious and healthy accompaniment to any meal. 

  • 1 cup pineapple diced
  • 1 cup ripe mango diced
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 small red onion finely chopped
  • 1" piece ginger finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup yohurt whisked
  • salt to taste
  • white pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chaat Masala (optional)
Preparation : Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix it gently. Adjust the salt. Your Pineapple and Mango Raita is ready to be served. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ragi and Vegetable Paratha - Millet and vegetable flatbread

This is a fun and healthy combination. I know as mothers we are constantly trying to incorporate more veggies in our kids diets. This paratha has Ragi (Finger Millet) in it too which has tons of health benefits. Like being a rich source of Iron, Calcium and proteins. This paratha has become a hit with my kids as they get to choose the vegetables in it. You can make them with boiled potatoes, fenugreek leaves(methi), Collard greens and so on. Today I have used some carrots and spinach.

  • 1/2 cup Ragi Flour/Finger Millet Flour 
  • 1 cup wheat flour 
  • 1/4 cup besan /Chickpea flour 
  • 1 cup grated carrots 
  • 1 cup chopped spinach 
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder 
  • 1/2 tsp amchoor powder/dry mango powder 
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder 
  • 1 tsp ajwain seeds/Carom 
  • 2 tsp oil 
  • salt to taste 
  • 1/4 cup water
Preparation :
  • Mix all the ingredients mentioned above and make the paratha dough. 
  • Now divide the dough into 10 equal parts/balls which will make 10 parathas. 
  • Roll each ball into a disc or a triangle or any desired shape (believe me I have made so many differnet shapes to make my kids eat) using some wheat flour. 
  • Cook the paratha on a hot griddle/Tava using oil. Cook on both sides applying some oil. 
  • Your Ragi and Vegetable parathas are ready to be served. Serve it with Raita or pickle or just plain yoghurt. They taste delicious anyway you serve.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Phirni - Rice Pudding

Phirni is a North Indian dessert prepared by using just rice, milk and sugar. It has a creamy texture almost like custard. For a dessert with such minimum ingredients and easy preparation, the taste is just awesome. 

For me it is special as I grew up eating Phirni. It reminds me of my childhood and brings back beautiful memories. Even now when I visit my parents(India), my dad always will remember to get some Phirni for me. Its mostly served in earthern bowls/clay pots and that imparts a beautiful earthy flavor to this Phirni.

I just needed some comforting and a little pampering for myself. So had to really make this dessert. I can say this, if you have never tried this dessert, you taste it just once and I'm sure you will be hooked forever...

  • 4 cups/1 quart/1 litre whole milk
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 10 almonds slivered
  • 10-12 pistachios chopped
Preparation :
  • Soak rice in about 2 cups of water for about 1 hour. Now drain the rice and grind it with as little water almost to a grainy texture.
  • Take a thick bottomed pan and add milk and sugar. Mix it well and bring to a boil. Now add the freshly ground rice slowly stirring continuously as you do not want any lumps to form.
  • Keeping it on medium flame stir until it starts to thicken. Almost takes 15-20 minutes.
  • Now add the cardamom powder , slivered almonds and pistachios and mix well.
  • Get it off the flame and pour it into the serving bowls.
  • Garnish with almonds and pistachios. Chill it for a while and serve. (When you chill it, Phirni will thicken a bit more). Enjoy !!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Divinely Decadent Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Wishing all my readers a wonderful and fun filled 2011. Wishes for new beginnings, new dreams , new possibilities, new hopes, new desires and new recipes for you all to try... I'm pretty excited about this new year as well..At the onset of new year I always feel like we are each presented with a clean slate to start all over again.. I can't wait to get started.

I thought hard about the 1st recipe/post of 2011..and this divinely decadent Pineapple upside down cake came to my mind and I just baked it last night..and here is the recipe for you all to try and share the joy with your dear ones. I'm sure you are ready for a sweet start.. (I'm always ready as I do have a sweet tooth...)
Ingredients :
For the topping
  • 1 can sliced pineapple
  • Maraschino cherries
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
For the cake batter

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Preparation :

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Take a 9" X 2" round pan and melt 1/4 cup butter in it. ( I just place it in the oven for few minutes until the butter is melted). Now tilt the pan sideways so that the sides are well coated with butter as well. Sprinkle 3/4 cup light brown sugar over the melted butter. Now is the time to arrange the pineapple slices starting with the center and then place 6 slices around it. Then arrange the Maraschino cherries in the middle of each pineapple slice as well as the space between the slices. Its got a WOW effect when its baked and presented.

Now in the mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with 1/4 tsp cream of tartar until its light and fluffy and holds a firm peak using an electric mixer or hand mixer. Keep this aside in a different bowl. (As we'll need this mixing bowl to prepare our cake batter, in case of the electric mixer).
In a bowl , sieve together flour and baking powder and keep aside. Now in the bowl of the electric mixer cream butter and sugar until light. Beat Vanilla essence into it. Add the egg yolks one at a time and beat well after each addition. Add the flour mixture alternately with milk. Now gently fold in the beaten egg whites into the cake batter. Pour into the prepared cake pan and smoothen the top using a spatula.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45-55 minutes until the top of the cake is nice and brown as in the picture and the toothpick test comes out clean.
Let it cool for 10 minutes and then invert the pan onto a serving plate. Be Prepared to be wowed...Enjoy this delightful cake. It not only looks beautiful but tastes just heavenly as well.

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking.