Feb 26, 2008

Nutri cookies


This is one of our favorite cookies. My son rohan loves it and that solves the problem of his snack time. This Cookies are nutitious so couple of cookies munched with a glass of milk is enough to keep him rocking. I make it very often and especially when we am traveling. It is a healthy snack with goodness of oats, almonds and some M&M for the little ones.

My son and I were shopping when he bumped into a pack of chocochips cookies and urged me to buy. I was very reluctant and some how convinced him to pick up bread sticks instead. I promised him that we go home and make this cookie together. He was not very convinced with me till I picked up a packet of M&M baking bites. He is very eager to help me when it comes to baking or at cooking especially pealing garlics. Rohan was so thrilled to see the baked cookies since he was longing to have it and above all I kept my promise.
The original recipe is from

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chocolate_chip_cookie.html. I have made it several times and it turns out to be very delicious and moist cookies. I made a small variation by substituting half cup of almond meal with whole wheat flour.



Ingredients
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup almond meal
3/4 cup oat meal
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
½ cup canola oil / butter
1 egg
1teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon baking cocoa
1/2 cup M&M

Method.

- Shift flours, oat meal, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a bowl whisk egg and add sugar.
- Add oil, vanilla extract and whisk it until light and fluffy.
- Gradually add flour mix and blend it till well incorporated.
- Preheat the oven 180 'C and line the baking tray with a butter paper.
- Drop a spoon full of cookie mix with a gap a inch and sprinkle M&M.
-Bake it for 12 mins. Remove and and transfer them to a racks.

when cool, store them in an airtight container. Stays fresh for 2 weeks.


Note- An alternative to M&M would be adding 1 cup of chocochips.





It is great to involve kids in cooking especially while baking. They enjoy mixing the flours and beating butter and eggs. Honestly it is lot of afterwork since the kitchen table turns out to be messy but I really enjoy when he is helping me.



This is my contribution to JFI - whole grains hosted by Suganya of Tasty palettes

Weekend Trip to Qingdao


My husband was in Qingdao on a business trip .I decided to visit him on last weakened and enjoy the beach .It is just 50 mins flight from Beijing. Although it was very cold and temperature was below freezing point, but the bright sunshine made it look gorgeous. It is a beautiful seaview city located in Shandong province of China. It was occupied by the Germans so it still had strong German influence on its architecture. It is not flatland as in Beiing and the landscape is undualating with steep roads. Qingdao is also official host of the sailing events of the 2008 Summer Olympics. So the city is gearing up to hold the sports event of International fame. Qingdao is very famous for the Tsingtao brewery bulit by the Germans ,so every year in August it hosts the International beer festival . My husband had booked a nice hotel which had splendid views of the yellow sea. It was around 45 mins drive from the airport.











The downtown had nice malls and some good resturants. We had lunch in a very nice cosy Italian restaurant named Napoli. The chef was from Italy and he was the owner of the resturant so the food was very authentic. We also dinned in a very famous seafood restaurant of Qingdao. They had so many varieties of dishes to offer with plenty of fresh seafood to choose from.


Although I am not a fan of seafood except for shrimps but the clams and the cuttlefish cooked in the spicy Sichuan sauce was enough to tickle my taste buds. The weekened was blessed with lots of sunshine but there was heavy snowfall on Monday morning so my flight to Beijing was delayed. Luckily I had packed some left over pizza slices which was really boon as I had to spent long hours in the airport lounge.
Although it was very short and crisp trip but I really enjoyed strolling on beach with my husband while Rohan was building sand castles.

Feb 21, 2008

Garlicky potato sev


Farshans are famous munchies in India. Although I am not a fan of these munchies but I love to make these since my husband is an ardent fan of these nibbles. Generally the common variety of sev available is made of Besan (Chickpea flour). Another yummy variety available is made of mashed potatoes. My friend Veena who is an excellent cook shared this particular recipe of making sev from mashed potatoes. She had an interesting method of making the Potato sev using steamed plain flour. I made the recipe exactly the way she had instructed and it was very yummy and quite close to what is available in the shops. I still cannot figure out the need of steaming the plain flour in the pressure cooker but results were great so I always follow the same method.

This time I could not find any aluminum vessel to put inside the pressure cooker so I made a variation of putting flour in the aluminum foil and then steaming it.

Ingredients

3 big potatoes
1/4 cup plain flour
2 tbsp cumin powder
2 tbsp chili powder
pinch of Hing (asfotieda)
2 tbslp dry Garlic powder
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

Method

Boil potatoes and mash them properly so that there is no lumps. Place the flour in aluminum foil and steam it for 12 - 15 minutes .

Add dry masalas to the mashed potatoes. Remove the flour from the foil. It will have a soggy texture. Add the soggy flour to Potato mix and mix it well using hands.
Heat oil to a medium heat in deep frying pan. Pour the mix in the sev mould with fine holes and and press them directly into the oil in a circular manner.

Fry them and turn them over once.

Drain on a absorbent paper. When cool gently crumble it and store in an airtight container.


Variation. - The sev can be made using dried fenugreek or dried mint.

Feb 20, 2008

Easy Jam drop cookies


I love to bake biscuits just before my son comes from the school.As soon as he dumps the school bag he enters the kitchen to find some thing interesting to munch and quickly fill his hunger pang. The moment he peeps into the freshly baked cookies on the racks and some still inside the oven. He jumps and yells mama please bikist!!!!!!!.
It is greatest pleasure for a mom since her heart is filled with joy and ecstasy .He munches whole bunch .
Once a pediatric had told me that biscuits and cookies sold out are stomach filler with not much nutritive value. So I always ensure that the homemade cookies are loaded with nutrition .These cookies basically known as nankatai in India. My mom use to bake them often .Although I have used her version of the recipe I have modified slightly using adding almond meal with flour .Kids are always of fond of food that are beautifully presented . I have added a dash of Raspberry jam in the middle to fascinate the young buddies.


Ingredients

All purpose flour – ½ cup
Almond meal – ½ cup( Grind 20 almonds approx)
Sugar( powdered)- ½ cup
Butter-1/2 cup
Baking powder-1/4 tsp
Cardammon-1/4 tsp( optional)
Rash berry conserve as required

Method

Start with mixing the flour, almond meal and baking powder. In a separate bowl cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy .Gently add flour to make a soft dough. If you feel the dough is too soft just pop into the refrigerator for 10 min.

Preheat the oven at 175’c . Roll out a baking sheet ( I used a aluminum foil) into the baking try, make small balland arrange with a gap of an inch. Make a dent on the ball and press it gently. Scoop ¼ tsp of Jam and carefully drop on each cookie. Bake for 12 – 15 mins.



When cool store it in a airtight container

Feb 15, 2008

Raspberry and orange cake drizzled with warm raspberry sauce



My husband was waiting for an announcement in his office that would change his career dimension. It was actually long awaited so finally this morning I got the news that he would be posted to a different place and I will still continue to stay in our present location till Rohan finishes his session. That was indeed such a great piece of news but the thought of staying away from my husband made me feel sad. I really don’t want to make him feel unhappy so I have decided to put up a happy face.

My husband loves home made cakes. I frequently bake muffins that always revolve around my son’s taste. So today I decided to bake a orange cake with raspberry. I was certain that my son wouldn’t like that tangy taste so I had to whip cream to satisfy him. It was so tempting that I couldn’t wait for my husband to bite the first slice.

Ingredients

1 cup plain flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1tbslp Baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ cup Sugar
2 eggs
½ cup oil ( approx 6 tblsp Butter)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1tblsp orange rind
1cup fresh raspberry

Method

Preheat the oven 180.c. Grease the baking tray.
Shift the flours, baking powder and Salt
Cream butter and sugar until sugar is well incorporated
Add eggs and beat till light and creamy
Pour orange juice and rinds and mix well.
Fold flour into the batter
Add raspberry and gently mix it.
Bake 45 min or until golden brown


½ cup whipped cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence

Whip the cream and gradually add sugar and essence until it is light and fluffy. Keep it in the fridge 15mins

Raspberry sauce

½ cup raspberry
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water

Combine sugar and water on a sauce pan and boil it till sugar melts. Add raspberry and cook it for 5 mins till the sauce thickens.


Cool the cake and slice it horizantly. Spread the whipped cream on one half and drizzle couple of spoon of raspberry sauce. Place the other slice on the top and drizzle it with sauce and serve.
This is my contribution AFAM Raspberry event host by Dee

Feb 14, 2008

Whole roast chicken stuffed with coriander rice




I vividly remember once my dad had brought whole roast chicken for dinner that was so yummy it lingered on my taste bud for a long time. Over the years I tried to make those recipes but some how could not come close to that particular taste.

One day on my way to home I picked the newspaper which had a recipe flyover from Donna hay ( www.donnahay.com.au). I immediately checked anything worth trying. She had a recipe of whole chicken roast stuffed with bread crumbs. That was really mouth watering and very inspiring. I decided to follow her instructions. I made a variation of stuffing my leftover coriander rice. Amazingly it turned out to be quite delicious... The recipe was so easy I often treated my husband.

ROAST FULL CHICKEN


Ingredients

1) Full Chicken - 1 (size 14)
2) Coriander rice- 1 ½ cup
3) Lemon juice-3tbslp
4) Salt to taste

Method

1) Clean the whole Chicken thoroughly and remove the excess skin (optional). Marinate it with salt and lemon juice for 20 min. Make incision on the chicken with a knife.
2) Preheat the oven at 200'c. Line a baking tray with foil.
3) Prepare the coriander rice (REFER TO MY TRICOLOUR PULAO)
Stuff the chicken and tie the legs with kitchen thread or insert toothpicks and seal.
Baste the chicken with oil and bake it at 200'c for 50 minutes.


PS- Bake as soon as possible after stuffing the raw chicken otherwise the juice of raw chicken will spoil the stuffing,
I have also tried a recipe marinating chicken with Tandoori paste and stuffing with rice. Tastes equally good.

Feb 10, 2008

warm pineapple and coconut syrup cake

I had a look at my fridge & I could get the smell the fresh pineapple that I had picked up last week from the supermarket and thought of immediately heating my oven. I decided to bake a pineapple cake for Rohan. I remembered once my friend Deepali had mentioned about a pineapple cake she had baked. I rang her and noted the ingredients. She had used coconut milk and a pineapple tin. I made a slight variation of using pure milk with coconut essence and fresh pineapple that was indeed very sweet. I also thought making and drizzling warm pineapple syrup to give it a rich taste

Pineapple and coconut syrup cake

Ingredients
1 cup plain flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1tsp Baking powder
1tsp Baking Soda
½ cup milk
2 Eggs
3 tblsp olive oil
1 cup of finely chopped fresh pineapple
¾ cup castor sugar
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
½ tsp coconut essence
½ cup raisins

Pineapple syrup
¼ cup castor sugar
½ cup water
½ cup fresh pineapple puree
¼ tsp yellow colour ( optional)
½ tsp cornflour dissolved 1tbslp of water

Method

1- Preheat at 180 ‘C . Grease the baking tray.
2- Beat eggs and sugar until light and creamy
3- Add olive oil and milk and mix until well incorporated
4- Shift flours and add baking powder and baking soda
5- Fold in the flours until the mixture is smooth.
6- Add chopped pineapple and raisins.
7- Sprinkle half of the shredded coconut on the greased tray
8- Spoon the batter and then sprinkle the left over shredded coconut on the batter
9- Bake for 30 min until golden brown

Pineapple Syrup

Combine water and sugar on sauce pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
1- Add pineapple puree and boil for 3 to 4 mins
2- Finally add corn flour paste and simmer for 1 min, until thickened.
3- Drizzle the warm syrup over the cake and serve


Feb 7, 2008

Soya kebabs

I am a housewife, home maker so I stay need to take care of any household stuffs that arise. Well in that case cooking tops the list of my errands I have go through whole day. I feel energetic when it comes to cooking something new.

I really don’t mind trying any thing that sounds great and seems to be palatable. Now days most of the magazines carry ample of information about health and choosing food consciously. There is good saying that "U ARE WHAT U EAT".

So hence cooking healthy food is sometimes a challenge. It is very important that we take a note of the ingredients we consume. There are variety of healthy food available in the market so selecting them according to ur taste is not at all out of reach . Soy is considered to very nutrituios and is loaded with protein and calcium. I had once picked few packets of Soy granules from the supermarket which I had seldom used.


While planning for the dinner menu, I searched my pantry for any clues. Oh I got it. SOY GRANULES. WOW! what an interesting ingredient. Well I always utilizes them for curries when I ran short of veggies. So curries for tonight!. NO, not really. Suddenly I got this wonderful idea of making Soya Kebabs. I thought of doing the same way I make Shammi kababs.

I soaked some mince soya in hot water and also soaked some Channa daal.




Here is the recipe

INGRIEDENTS

2 cups Soya Granules minced and Soaked
½ cupChanna dal
1small onion chopped finely
1tsp Ginger paste
1 tsp Garlic minced
2 to 3 Green chillies
½ cupCoriander chopped
¼ cup Mint chopped
1tbslp Gram Masala
1tspCumin seeds
Lemon juice to taste

Satay sticks soaked in a water

Method

Pressure cook the channa dal. Drain excess the liquid and grind it. Drain the water from soya mince. Heat oil on a pan . Splutter cumin seeds and fry onions. Add ginger and garlic. Finally add Channa dal paste and soya mince.

Saute for couple of minutes. Tranfer them to a bowl and add rest of the ingredients. Add salt and if u feel it is not binding, add some wheat germ or bread crumbs.

Hold the stick and carefully bind small amount of soya mixture. Line a baking tray with a foil or a baking sheet. Spray oil. Arrange them leaving enough space in between. Brush the kababs with oil.

Place the baking tray on a preheat oven. Bake them at 250 c for 10 mins. Turn those sticks and brush them with oil and then bake further for 10 mins.

Serve them with a hint of chaat masala and Lemon juice .



This is my contribution to Susan of food blogga for Beautiful bones

Feb 2, 2008

Finger licking prawns cooked in mustard gravy

This is one of our best curries from the state of Orissa to showcase. Although seafood has its own distinct flavor and adding to the tangy spicy mustard paste makes it devine. No matter how much I have tried to make it, somehow I don’t get the same flavour which I relish in my own state. So every time I visit I tried to learn it from My MIL who specialize in the regional dishes. This time somehow I got a hang of it. It turned out very close to what she prepares. The two important things which makes it yummy is the mustard paste and ambula (sun dried mangos) . During mango season, the sour mangoes are cut into pieces and dried in the sun .These ambulas are stored in airtight container and used through out the year.

Ingredients for the gravy

½ kg prawns shelled and deviened.
1 medium sized onion chopped
1 large tomato
1tbslp turmeric powder
1 large potatoes cut into cubes.
1tbslp panch putona ( equal amounts of cumins seeds, onion seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds)
3 to 4 ambula chunks
2 green chilies
salt to taste
coriander leaves to garnish
2 tbslp cooking oil( mustard oil is best preffered)

Mustard paste

5 tbslp whole mustard
2tblsp posto( khus khus)
1tsp whole cumin.
4 cloves garlic
3large green chilies

Using a blender , dry grind the mustard seeds , cumin seeds and khus khus finely. Add garlic, green chilies and blend into smooth paste using water.

Method

Heat ½ tbslp oil in pan. Fry the prawn till it changes colour. Take out and keep it aside. Heat rest of the oil , add panch putona and when they crack add chopped onions. Sauté till the onion changes its colour. Add diced potatoes . cover and simmer for 5 mins . Add chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder. Cook until tomatoes are mixed well. Add the mustard paste and sauté for 3 to 4 mins. Now add 2 ½ of cups of water , salt to taste and cover the pan with a lid. Cook on a medium fire for 5 mins . Add cooked prawns and simmer again for 3 mins. Check the potatoes if they are cooked Add more water if the gravy is too thick. Finally add ambula chunks and stir it . Simmer it again for 5 mins and switch off the stove . Garnish it with coriander and slit chilies and serve with steam rice