Dec 27, 2007
Dec 24, 2007
After the class party cookies, it was turn to put some goodie bags for Divit's class-mates..What better for a kid than some jammy cookies. So, there I went on another adventure. It was the 4th batch which finally came out okay. Put a few of these in little bags and we put them in each kid's basket. I should have posted these long back, but took me so much time. So, a day before Christmas, here's wishing all of you guys Happy Holidays and a great year ahead :)....
I took a look at Remya's Nankatai and Namratha's Butter and Jam Cookies, before I made these.
All-purpose flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Butter, softened - 7-8 tbl spns, approx.
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Strawberry preserves - 1/4 cup, approx.
- Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and cardamom powder together.
- Keep adding butter little by little and knead to form a soft dough. Keep the dough aside for about half an hour.
- Make small round balls of dough, flatten very slighlty and make a slight indent with your finger and fill in that indent with the jam. Make others similarly with the rest of the dough.
- Place these on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with a good distance between each of them.
- Bake in pre-heated oven at 350F for about 10 mins or till the edges are done.
- Take out from the oven and cool completely before storing.
P.S: Think I flattened them too much. They came out rather flat. Should have done very slightly. Will take care next time.
Dec 23, 2007
This is the first time I am participating in a 'Click' Event...So this is my entry for Click Nuts...Just the name Cashew brought this idea to my mind and thought would go ahead and click it, and here are the results ....
Dec 20, 2007
I don't know what I was thinking when I said yes to Divit's teacher for bringing some goodies for the 'Polar Express' Pajama Party they were having in class. I accepted thinking I could always buy some cookies from the store, just in case. She had requested that they shouldn't have any frosting, icing, some kinds of nuts, or too much of the sugary stuff. I have baked just the simple cookies before, not the christmasy or fancy ones. So I knew it was goin to be a hard task. I had sometime, and thought might as well try something. And what a journey of disasters I had before I finally was able to make these. I wouldn't call them great looking, but were very good taste wise. And as I was concentrating on small cookies with no frosting or nuts, I thought the kids would love these.
So, I took the basic dough recipe after looking at some books and online, and went ahead with this.
1/2 cup sugar (125 ml )
1/2 cup butter, softened ( 125 ml )
1 tsp vanilla essence
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 colors of food color ( red, green , yellow )
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour ( 312 ml )
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
- Combine the sugar, butter , egg and vanilla in a bowl and beat well until light and
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the above mixture.Beat or mix with hand till a soft dough forms.
- Now, divide the dough into 3 portions. Add a different colour ( few drops ) to each portion of the dough and knead till the color is uniform.
- Then, dust the counter top with flour, roll out the first portion of dough. Then, separately, roll the other 2 portions also. Layer the rolled out portions one on top of the other and roll all 3 together to form a cylindrical log.
- Then, cut into thick slices and roll out each slice. You will get a marble effect now, like in pic below.
- Cut out into desired shapes and repeat the process for remaining dough.
- Line the baking sheet with wax paper, put the cut out cookie shapes with enough distance between them.
- Bake in pre-heated oven at 350F for 8 to 10 mins or until set.
- Take out and cool on wire rack completely before storing.
P.S: I sprinkled a teeny-tiny bit of sugar on them after removing from the oven.
A sincere effort towards baking, so sending these over to Susan for the Eat Christmas Cookie Event
Dec 19, 2007
Ummmmmm, the picture itself was tempting enough when I came across the cake in Purnima's blog here, from where I hopped on to Pushpa's blog where the original one was.
This was lingering on my mind for sometime and there was no peace until I made it and to my delight, it was the best cake I've ever tasted. Moist and light. Not something you can avoid for a long time :)....This is something I know, I will making many more times...So thanx to Purnima and Pushpa.
I just took the exact same recipe from Purnima. She however had not added the lime juice she said. I added that also and the result was indeed a delightful one :)
Take a look at Pushpa's recipe here.
All purpose flour-1 cup
Bicarbonate soda - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup, softened
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Mango puree - 3/4 cup ( I used mango pulp )
Milk - 1/2 cup
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Mango essence - 1/4 tsp ( I did not add this )
- Sieve the Baking powder, Bicarbonate Soda, All-purpose flour and salt together. Set aside
- Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Add the egg to it and beat well.
- Stir in the mango pulp, lime juice and the essence.
- Add the flour mixture and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour.
- Pour the mix into a greased pan or lined with wax paper.
- Bake at 345F for about 30 mins or till a toothpick or skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Take out from oven, cool for about 10 mins in the pan and then cool completely on wire-rack.
- Cut into pieces and serve. Store in airtight container ( if any is left to store ;), that is)....
I was not in mood to spend too much time cooking today. My thinking brought me to the fast, easy and nevertheless tasty methi-carrot rice. And not to forget the nutrition value with methi and carrots in it..
Methi leaves- 2 cups
Carrots, grated - 2 cups ( approx 3 carrots )
Tomato - 1 small, chopped ( it is optional)
Basmati rice - 2 cups, washed and soaked in water for 30 mins.
Khus Khus/Poppy seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp. Increase according to your spice level.
Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Cilantro - little for garnish
Salt - to taste
Ghee/Oil - to fry
- In rice cooker, put ghee/oil and put jeera and khus khus. Then add the grated carrots, saute a little and add the methi leaves and fry for sometime. If adding tomato, add at this time and fry.
- Then, add the rice, fry for 2 mins.
- Add haldi, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, and salt and mix well.
- Add water in the ratio 1(rice) : 1 1/2(water), sprinkle the cilantro on top, and close and cook till done.
- Serve hot with raita or papad/pickle.
Dec 17, 2007
This is the first time in my stay in the US , that I gathered the courage to actually go and buy crabs and cook them. Being from the coastal line and being brought up most of my life along the coastal belt also, sea-food for us is almost like a necessity ;)....Crabs is big favourite, both for my husband and me. I remember the times, when back home, any crab dish meant an hour long lunch, since you need a lot of time to bite into them and get the meat from every nook and corner, and enjoy every bit of it :)...
Kurle Sukke is a relatively dry item with a coconut masala. Also, I had noticed that the Sukke that my mom makes always had a few shrimp also alongwith the crabs. So I asked her, and she said it gives a very good flavour and told me to add too. So this is how to make it..
Blue crabs - 2
Shrimp - 6-8, the small variety.
Fresh/Frozen grated coconut - 1 1/2 cup
Red onion - 1 big, finely chopped
Red Chillies - 10
Coriander seeds - 2 tsps
Tamarind - 2 pieces
Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
- Clean the crabs and keep aside. I cut them into 2 pieces for a good size.
- Grind the coconut, red chillies, tamarind, coriander seeds and haldi with very little water to make a coarse masala paste.
- In a kadhai, take little oil, put in the methi seeds, when they change colour, add the onions and saute for 2 minutes.
- Then, add the crab pieces and the shrimp to it, add little water and cook. The crab will turn orangish-red in color when cooked.
- Then, add the ground masala paste to it, add salt, mix well and cook till the water content goes away and it becomes of a dry consistency.
- Serve hot with rice.
Dec 16, 2007
When it comes to shrimp, its hard for me decide which dish I like the best, coz I just love shrimp. But the sungta kholu as per mom's recipe is an all time favourite and a hit among all our relatives also. We normally use the small shrimp which are very tasty compared to the bigger ones. Ofcourse, cleaning them is really time consuming and end up very little also. But its all worth it, what say ?? But, luckily, this time I found the tiny shrimp and they were cleaned also. So, didn't miss an opportunity and went ahead and bought them and made the spiiiiiiicy Kholu. Yes, its a must try for those who love spice and shrimp.
So here it is...
Small shrimp - 1/2 pound, cleaned.
Red Onion - 1 big, finely chopped
Garlic - about 6-7 cloves (since the cloves are big here). Else with indian garlic its about 12 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch, thinly chopped
Red chilli powder - 2 tsps or more, if you can handle the heat.
Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind pulp - 2 tsps. I have used tamarind water. See note below.
Curry leaves - 4
Oil - 2 tblspns
Salt - as per taste
- Wash the shrimp and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the finely chopped onions,curry leaves, ginger and garlic and fry well.
- Add the prawns to the kadhai, fry till color changes and the shrimp are boiled.
- Then add the haldi powder, red chilli powder, tamarind pulp, and salt and mix well and cook till done.
- Serve hot with rice and dal.
- This should not be very watery. So add only little water if required to adjust the consistency.
- For the tamarind water, I soaked abt 50 gms tamarind in water and then extracted the pulp from it. Apart from this, I have not added any more water.
Dec 15, 2007
Ever since I saw it in Suganya's blog here, I was tempted to eat kulfi. Then, when a friend made the kesar kulfi at a potluck, I so wanted to try it at home for the flavour just caught on to me....She passed on a recipe also to all of us. So it was time to make my own now.
I looked at both the recipes, and then with tips from another friend to add whipping cream, I finally made the Mango Kulfi. Yes, a lot of inputs here :) ...And the taste was all worth it ...
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 can
Kesar Mango pulp - 3/4 of the tin ( the one from Indian store )
Heavy Whipping cream - 1 pint
Coarsely crushed Pistachios - 1/2 cup
Powdered Elaichi - 1/2 tsp
Safrron strands - Few
The friends recipe also called for 1 can of evaporated milk, but I din't add that and also the Saffron as I dint have it at home.
- Mix the condensed milk, the mango pulp and the whipping cream together well.
- Add the elaichi, saffron and the pistachios also. Pour into kulfi moulds or any containers you like and freeze till done.
- If adding the evaporated milk, add in the first step when you add all other ingredients.
- I din't have the moulds, so put it in a big container and then cut into pieces.
This is another spicy-sweet side we make in Konkani cuisine. And since it is made with Kaaraate/Karela and Aambli/green mango, it is the bitter-spicy-sweet-tangy version...Yes, all in one...You have got to try it to know what I'm talking about here..
Kaaraate/Karela - 4 medium
Aambli/Green Mango - 1
Udad dal - 1/2 tsp
Methi / Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 8
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - 3-4 tbl spns
Red chilli powder - 2 tsps , Increase it if you can take more spice.
Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
- Cut the karela and mango to equal sized pieces.
- Apply salt to the karela pieces and keep aside for about 1 hour.
- After an hour's time, take about 1 tblspn oil in a pan, put the udad dal, methi seeds and mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start cracking, add hing and the curry leaves.
- Then squeeze the karela to remove any extra water from it, n put in the pan. Add little water, cover the pan and boil till the karela changes colour and is tender.
- Then, add the red chilli powder, haldi powder, jaggery and mix well.
- Add the green mango pieces, mix well and boil till all are cooked and the water content reduces completely from the mixture.
- Serve hot as a side with rice and a dal/curry.
Dec 14, 2007
I had some friends over for lunch at home today. Thinking of the menu is always a hard task for me, as my friends are all very good cooks, and I have the knack of messing up the dishes when it is most un-needed. The Kaande Paatti Vade was something I have never made for anyone before or ever tasted anywhere around here. So thought this would be a nice side item , as its always been my favourite. So I made these and they were liked by all :)....
Please note that I made about 25 vadas with the following quantities of ingredients. You can adjust the quanitities depending on how many you need.
Spring Onions - 5 bunches, finely chopped
Tamarind pulp - 2 tsps
Grated Coconut - 3/4 cup
Red Chillie powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Besan - 2 tsp
Fine sooji rava - 3 tsp
Oil - to shallow fry
We make this vada two different ways. The first way is the one I followed by grinding the ingredients. It is like this...
- Grind the coconut, red chilli powder, tamarind, haldi, coriander seeds in the mixie without any water, to a coarse mixture.
- Then add the chopped onions, besan, rava and salt and bind the mixture well and shape into vadas with the palm of your hand.
- Put on the tava and shallow fry till well fried and done on all sides.
In the other method, instead of grinding the ingredients, we just mix all the ingredients together with hand, by slightly squishing with your fingers.
Here, instead of coriander seeds, we use coriander powder. Rest all ingredients and procedure is the same.
Mix the onions in when you are ready to make the vadas and fry them. Mixing well in advance will make it leave water and will be difficult to make the vadas.
Also, add more besan and rava if you feel it gets too soggy.
Dec 12, 2007
Enter a number in either field, then click outside the text box or press the tab key.
I will be adding tips here as and when I remember them or get to know of new ones.
1. To heat the leftover idlis, wet a paper towel, wrap abt 3 idlis in the towel at a time and heat in microwave for about 20 secs. They will become like freshly steamed ones.
2. For perfect and easily scooped out ice-cream, keep a bowl of very hot water on the counter, dip the metal scoop in the water, take it off and quickly scoop out the ice-cream. Again, for the next scoop, follow the same procedure.
Dec 10, 2007
This being the holiday season, its all sugar and yummy delights all around. I too wanted to get a feel of it, but was thinking of trying to make it with some less used ingredients as well those which we can eat a little guilt-free. So, I tried these Oatmeal delights and added an unusual ingredient ( atleast I think its unusual ). That ingredient is Dried Bananas. Its called Sukkeli in Konkani (Sukke- Dry and Keli - Bananas). As far as I know, it is only available in Sirsi and Siddapur in North Kanara. It is eaten just by itself like a snack ( same as peanuts or other dry-fruits ) and is very nutritious. Since I had these sitting for sometime now, I thought of combining a few things and trying out some treat. And I was very happy with the outcome :).....So here goes...
Rolled oats - 1/2 cup, soaked in about 3/4 to 1 cup water for 20 mins
All-purpsoe flour - 1 1/2 cups
Wheat flour - 1/4 cup
Dried Banana - 12-15 pieces, soaked in little water for 5 mins.
Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Softened unsalted Butter - 3 tblspns.
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
- Finely chop the soaked dried banana pieces and keep aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar nicely little creamy and fluffy.
- Sieve the all-purpose flour together with the baking powder. Add it to the sugar and butter mix.
- Drain out any extra water if any, from the oatmeal and add to the above mix. Also add the wheat flour. Mix all well.
- Then add the chopped banana pieces and the vanilla essence and fold in well.
- Grease a baking sheet and with a spoon, scoop out little mounds of the mix on the sheet with enough spacing.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400F for about 15 mins, or till u see the top lighlty browned.
- Take off the sheet from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 mins, before you bite into them :)...
Oatmeal, wheat flour and the dried banana make it very healthy and the dried banana pieces add a very chewy and caramel kind of taste to it.
These are the Dried Banana Pieces ( Sukkeli )
I am sending this across to the Eat Christmas Cookies Event hosted by Susan.
This is also an item we eat as a side when it is a Shivraak Javan, i.e a pure vegetarian meal. In my native Kumta and along the coastal line, we get cucumbers which are very light or pale green in colour. When available, we use them in this dish as they very tasty. Mostly, on the way to Goa, when we used to visit our Kuldevata temples, there would be always be so many people, standing by the road-side and selling these along with other home-grown vegetables. My parents would always buy these and take them back home.
So, this is how to make the Huler.
Cucumber - 1 medium, peeled and finely chopped
Fresh/Frozen grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Green Chillies - 2
Tamarind - 1 small piece
Curry leaves - 4-5
Salt - to taste
- To the finely chopped cucumber, add salt and keep aside.
- Grind the coconut, green chillies, curry leaves and the tamarind with little water to make a chutney.
- Add the chutney to the cucumber, mix well and adjust salt accordingly.Serve.
- Goes great as a side with a rice and curry ( or with Puliyogare ), accompanied by papad and pickle.
P.S - The chutney for this is made just mild and not very spicy.
-This is also an item which is made and served without a big time lag, coz otherwise the cucumber leaves a lot of water and the whole thing becomes watery.
- Keep the above point in mind while making the chutney and DON'T make it of too thin a consistency.
This was our dinner today..Puliyogare, Tavashe Huler, Haapal (papad), and Lonche ( pickle). A simple and satisfying meal :)
Dec 9, 2007
We make this as a side with rice and curry. We call this Haapla( papad) chutney. It doesn't involve any grinding or anything. Just very simple, but very crunchy and appetising to the tongue and hardly takes any time to make. I like it a lot :)....
Papads, roasted - 4
Fresh grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Onion, finely chopped - 1 small
Green chillies, chopped - 1 ..This is optional
Salt - to taste
- Mix the grated coconut, onion, chilli and salt and keep aside.
- Roast the Papads, and crush them with your hands into the above and toss to mix well.
- Ready to eat.
Some points to note here
- Use roasted papads only for this, not the deep fried ones.
- Can use any variety of papads, like the ones with green chilli, red chilli or any other.
- Crush the papads in the coconut mix only when you are ready to start eating. If you mix early and keep, it becomes very soft and doesn't taste good.
- You can omit the grenn chillies from this, if u don't need so much spice.
- Add salt keeping in mind that the papad already has salt in it.
Dec 8, 2007
I was not aware that making bread is contagious. Am seriuos. And that too when you see some amazing work in the blogworld, it was really hard for me to stay back. Was kind of nervous, since I bake very rarely and have never ever tried any kind of bread.
We were in Walmart yesterday, when hubby went to the bread aisle and I was just getting back there after picking up all the ingredients I needed for baking bread myself. Lately, we have started bringing the healthier breads, like the ones with multi-grains, etc. I told him to put those back and conveyed my idea of fresh bread at home. The look on his face was, " do u know what u r saying, its not a joke !! " kind. Ofcourse yes, I ignored that look :) ...
So, coming back to bread, came across Sunita's wonderful creations and just blindly followed her recipe, which she followed from Tanna's recipe. Meanwhile, from the time I had seen the Khara Buns by Shilpa, I was craving for the Potato Buns of Iyengars Bakery in Bangalore. Yes, I remember those times, when after a hard day at work, and while returning home, passing by Iyengars Bakery without stopping there would be a hard task. The aroma of the freshly baked buns would be all in the air.Ummmmm....
So, here goes the bread dough first...
Potatoes( The baking variety )- 3 medium, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Water - 2 cups ( 475 ml )
Dry active yeast - 1 tsp
All- purpose flour - 3 1/4 to 4 1/4 cups ( 500g - 675g)
Unsalted softened butter - 1/2 tsp
Wheat flour - 1/2 cup ( 65 g)
Italian seasoning, Chilli flakes, Few pods of crushed garlic, olive oil.
Making the Dough ( By hand )
- Put the pototo chunks in 2 cups of water in a pan, add 1/2 tsp salt and boil covered till the pototoes are very tender.
- Drain the water from potatoes, save the water and mash the potatoes very well.
- Take 1 1/2 cups( 375 ml )of the saved water ( add extra water if needed so that it makes 1 1/2 cup) in a bowl in which u will be making the dough.
- Add the mashed potatoes to the water. Let it cool till it is just warm and comfortable to put your hand in it.
- In a separate bowl, add 1 tsp yeast to 1 cup of all-purpose flour and whisk. Add to the warm pototo and water and mix well. Let it rest for 5 mins.
- Add the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and the softened butter to the above and mix well. Add 1/2 cup wheat flour to it and mix briefly.
- Add 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix till well incorporated.
- So now, you would have used 2 cups of the all-purpose flour.
At this point, the dough looks like this
- Now, turn on the dough to a generously floured surface and knead well for around 10 mins mixing with enough all-purpose flour to prevent stickiness. The dough will be sticky to start with, but with adding more flour, it will become easy to handle but will be still little sticky.
- Apply oil to a bowl and place this dough in it . Cover with plastic wrap or lid and keep it for about 2 hrs or till it rises to double its volume.
The dough ready to be covered and kept for rising
The dough has risen to double the volume
- After the dough has risen, take out of the bowl onto the floured surface and knead again for about 10 mins. It will still be moist and a little sticky.
- Now, I took half of the dough, and in a square baking tray of 8" lined with foil, spread the dough evenly, dimpled it all over with my fingers. Then, I brushed it with olive oil, evenly distributed the chopped garlic, and sprinkled the italian seasoning and the chillie flakes. Covered the tray with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 mins.
- Then again dimpled the dough a little, and baked at 450F for 10 mins.
- You should let this cool for about 10 mins on a wire rack.
- The other half, I made the much craved for Potato Buns, and a braided roll. These were a hit :).You will also see a small roll which my son pretended to knead and named as his.
For the Potato Buns.-
- Line a baking sheet with foil. Take a small ball of dough, flatten it out on the foil with ur hand, put a generous amount of the potato stuffing, then cover with another flattened ball of dough and seal all the edges. Flatten the whole a little with ur palm.
- After making these, brush them all with a little olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Keep it aside for 20 mins.
- Put in pre-heated oven at 400F for about 10 mins. They should be slightly browned on top.
- Take out from oven, and cool on a wire-rack for 10 mins.
Made the Potato stuffing like this
Red Potatoes - 4 small
Green chilli - 1, cut
Ginger grated - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 4
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
- Boil the potatoes, peel them and mash slightly.
- Take little oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add jeera and green chillies and curry leaves.
- Then add the mashed potatoes, haldi and salt. Mix well.Done.
- I tried a braided roll too, the braided effect dint come out very prominent, but the taste was good.
- I served them with tomato-celery saar/soup, and they were all quickly gone :)...
- This is my son with a little bit of the dough and that is the roll he made (of course, I helped him get the shape )..