Friday, September 30, 2016

HOME MADE INSTANT SAMBAR MIX


Many a times when we have sudden visitors when these instant home made mixes and condiments come handy. This is an instant mix for making sambar for such occasions. All you need to do is pick up any vegetables you have in the fridge, boil them with this mix and your sambar is ready in minutes. The spice level can be adjusted according to your preference.
 You can also prepare large quantity and store it in an air tight jar or zip lock bags.
Some times we go on a long vacation and miss home food. You can easily prepare sambar / rasam with this even in the microwave provided in some hotels. It is a handy recipe for bachelors too. We can prepare this for our kids living alone away from home. 


Ingredients:
Toor dal .... 1/2 cup
Rice ........... 1 tbsp
Roasted gram / pottu kadalai / putani ... 2-3 tbsps
Tamarind .... lemon sized or more as per your liking.
Dry red chillies ... 3-4
Coriander seeds ... 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds ........ 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds ... 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder .. 2 tsps
Salt .................... 1 tbsp
Oil ............ 1 tbsp

 For tempering:
Mustard seeds .. 1 tbsp
Asafoetida ..... 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves .... few
Dry red chillies .. 2-3 (broken)
Oil ............ 1 tbsp


Method:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and dry roast toor dal and rice until you get a nice aroma on medium flame.
2. Remove them and in the same pan roast the remaining ingredients mentioned in the first list except salt and turmeric powder. Take care not to roast them too much.
3. Now dry grind these roasted ingredients and mix salt and turmeric powder. 
4. Heat the oil in a small pan and add the tempering ingredients. When they crackle close the gas.
 5.Allow them to cool. Mix them to the sambar mix. Store in an air tight container.


How to Prepare sambar with this mix  
( For one person)
1. Boil 3 cups water and add about half cup diced vegetables that you have.
2. You can also add one tomato.
3. Mix 3 tbsps of the instant sambar mix and stir well. 
4. Simmer for 5-7  minutes until the vegetables get cooked. Check the salt and add if needed.
You can also add coriander leaves. This makes one large bowl of sambar. (sufficient for one)
 You can make as much as you need using this measurement.



Thursday, September 29, 2016

HUEVOS RANCHEROS / MEXICAN BREAKFAST (RANCH EGGS)


This is a classic Mexican breakfast of fried eggs served on tortillas along with accompaniments like cooked tomato salsa, refried beans, Mexican rice, Tortilla chips, Hung curd to replace sour cream and Goan Chorizo.. This is such a lavish spread and can be taken as brunch actually.

 To make Multi-grain Tortillas:
APF / maida .... 1/2 cup
Makai ka ata .... 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour .. 1/2 cup
Baking powder ... 1/8 tsp
Salt ............. to taste
Oil .......... 2 tbsps
Water ... for kneading

Method:
1. mix all the ingredients and knead with sufficient water to make a soft dough.
2. Roll out round tortillas and roast them on a griddle.

Ingredients for the breakfast platter (Huevos Rancheros)
Tortillas .. 1
Eggs ...... 1
Rajma ... handful
Chorizo .. few slices ... I used Goan Chorizo
Green chillies .. 1
Onion .... 1
Capsicum ... 1 small
Tomato puree .. 4 tbsps
Tomatoes ...... 2
Garlic paste .. 1 tsp
Cooked rice ... 1 cup
Red chilli flakes .... 1/2 tsp
Fresh coriander leaves .. handful
Salt .............. to taste
Cumin powder ... 1/2 tsp
Mexican seasoning .... 2 tsps.
Hung curd flavoured with crushed garlic.
Oil .... as needed.


Method:
1. Soak the rajma overnight and boil it adding salt. Mash it.
2. Heat a little oil and saute the garlic. Add the mashed rajma, lemon juice, cumin powder and chilli flakes. Keep the consistency as per your liking.
3. To make the Mexican rice take  a saucepan heat a little oil and add a spoonful of tomato puree.Add the cooked rice, red chilli flakes, salt, 1 tsp Mexican seasoning and cumin powder. Mix well.
4. To make the tomato salsa, heat oil and add a little garlic paste, chopped tomatoes, capsicul pieces and saute. Simmer until cooked. Add salt and chilli flakes and 1 tsp Mexican seasoning.
5. Now take a tortilla and pan-fry it lightly on  both sides using very little oil.
6. Cut the chorizo into pieces and saute it with little oil.
7. Cut a tortilla into triangular pieces and deep fry it until crisp.

To assemble:
1. Lightly heat the tortilla on both sides.
2. Take a serving platter and spoon a little sauce. Place the tortilla on it.
3. Fry the egg sunny side up.
4. Place it on the tortilla.
5. Spoon the rice and refried beans on the side along with some cooked salsa,garlic flavoured hung curd and tortilla chips.
6. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
This dish is usually served in a skillet or a hot plate.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

NO BAKE SHRIKHAND TARTS


Made these no bake biscuit tarts with kesar elaichi shrikhand filling. This is a perfect dessert for parties as you can make the tarts ready on the previous day and pipe the filling just before serving them. 

For the Tarts:
Ingredients:
Glucose biscuits ... 100 gms  (about 15 biscuits)
Desi Ghee or butter ... 2 tbsps
Honey ....... 1 tbsp


Method:
1. Crush the biscuits in a mixie. 
2. Melt the ghee or butter and mix honey.
3. Add to the crushed biscuit powder and mix well.
4. Grease the tart moulds and spread a portion of this mix pressing well on sides and the base.
5. Refrigerate until you are ready to fill them.


For the Shrikhand:
Ingredients:
Hung curd ... 1 cup
( made from 2-3 cups of yogurt depending on its consistency )
Icing sugar ....... 3-4 tbsps.
(sugar also has to be adjusted as per your preference and also how sour the yogurt is )
Elaichi powder .. 1/4 tsp
Kesar / saffron ... a generous pinch soaked in a little warm milk.
Unsalted and sliced pistachio nuts .. 2-3 for garnishing.


Method:
1. Hang the yogurt in a muslin cloth for minimum 8 hours or over night to make the hung curd.
2. Take the thick hung curd in a bowl and add the cardamom powder and saffron.
3. Whisk it and add sugar little by little while doing this.
4. Refrigerate immediately.

To assemble the tarts:
For garnishing :
Saffron strands
Powdered pistachios
Cherry or any red fruit
Edible rose petals.(fresh or dry)


1. Demould the tarts carefully.
2. Fill the shrikhand in a piping bag and place it in the freezer for 5 minutes before using.
3. Pipe out small flowers using star nozzle.
4. Garnish with powdered pistachios, saffron strands and a piece of cherry or any red coloured fruit.
5. Sprinkle some edible rose petals in the serving platter.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

OATS AND DRY FRUIT CIGARS / ROLLS


How about trying out these fruit and oats cigars .... aren't they cute ?
You can make them in theme parties.


Ingredients:
For the filling:
Apple sauce or grated apple .. 1/2 cup
Brown sugar .. 1-2  tbsp (as per your liking)
Dates .... 8 
Walnut powder .... 5 tbsps
Almond powder ... 3 tbsps
Ghee ...... 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder .. 1/2 tsp

For the Outer Layer:
Powdered oats ... 3/4 cup
Milk powder ...... 2 tbsp
Cashewnut powder .. 1/2 cup 
Icing sugar ........ 1/2 cup   (or as needed)
Water ............ 1/4 cup
Ghee ... 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder .. 1/4 tsp

For garnishing the cigar tips .... Kesari colour and Cocoa powder.
Poppy seeds .. (2 tbsps) for coating

Method:



1.Make apple sauce by cooking a peeled and sliced apple along with a little sugar and water in a pressure cooker.







2. Take a thick bottomed saucepan and add the ghee.Add the dates and cook them until soft. If they are fresh you don't need to sprinkle any water. Do so if needed.




3. Now add the crushed walnuts, cardamom powder and apple sauce Stir well.






4.You can add a spoonful of roasted oats too.






 5. Cook stirring continuously until a lump is formed.







6. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool.






7. Divide into portions and roll them out like cigars. Refrigerate to make them firm.






8. Now to make the roll dry roast the oats and grind them.







9. Take water in a pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the sugar and cook to one string consistency.





10. Add the ground oats, milk powder and stir continuously. Add the cardamom powder for flavouring.





11. Cook it stirring continuously until it thickens up. Let it cool before assembling the cigars.






12. Now you can add some ghee and knead it to get a smooth texture.






13. Divide it into portions. Using a butter paper roll out each one into a small rectangle.






14. Place the dry fruit cigar as a filling and roll it with the help of butter paper carefully.






15.Coat them with roasted poppy seeds.








16. Garnish one cigar tip with kesari powder to have the effect of burning cigar.Tip the coats of few pieces with cocoa powder for the burnt cigarette butts.





Wednesday, September 21, 2016

HEALTHY SUGAR FREE OATS AND FRUIT COOKIES


Here is a recipe of healthy sugar free oats and fruit cookies. I have used mashed banana and honey for sweetening them. You can also use apple pulp instead. Cinnamon powder goes well with banana and apple flavour. I just love the aroma while the cookies are being baked.


Ingredients:
Oats .... 1 cup
Whole wheat flour ... 1/2 cup
Eggs ............ 1
Baking soda ... 1/4 tsp
Salt ............... 1/4 spoon
Mashed banana .. 1/2 cup (2 medium size bananas)
Fresh red currants .. 1/4 cup
Raisins .............. handful
Dessicated coconut .. 2 tbsps
Honey ...... 2 tbsps
Butter ...... 3 tbsps (softened)



Method:
1. Beat the butter and honey until blended.
2. Add the egg and beat it until well mixed.
3. Now add the oats, flour, mashed banana, salt, raisins, baking soda. Stir to mix all the ingredients. Finally add red currants and dessicated coconut and stir carefully. The moisture of mashed banana, honey and egg is sufficient to bind the dough.
4. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C (360 degrees F)
5.Take a small portion and flatten it on your palm. Place them baking sheet and flatten the cookies with a fork.
6. Bake them for about 15 - 20  minutes or until light brown.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

HOME MADE INSTANT KURMA MIX


Here is another handy condiment / mix that we can make and store for use when we are short of time. I used to make it and carry to Brazil when I was living there. Saves a lot of time and makes your cooking easy specially when you are entertaining.


Ingredients:
Cashew nuts ..... 1/2 cup
Dessicated coconut ... 1 cup
Poppy seeds / khuskhus .. 2 tbsps
Sesame seeds .................  3 tbsps
Green cardamoms .......... 8
Cinnamon stick .............. 1-2 pieces.
Bay leaves ................... 2-3
Cloves ........................ 6
Dry green chillies ...... 6 (the ones that are marinated with salt, yogurt and sundried.)
Coriander seeds ......... 1/4 cup
Fennel seeds / saunf .... 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds ............... 1 tbsp


Method:
1. Dry roast the Cashewnuts first along with the whole spices.
2. Now tip in the remaining ingredients. Roast carefully without making them dark in colour.
3. Allow them to cool. Grind and store in an air tight container.
4. You can add dry garlic and ginger powder too if you have. If not add freshly ground paste while cooking.

How to make Kurma using this mix: 
1. Cut any vegetables of your choice into small pieces. (1 cup)
2. In a pan heat 2 tbsps of oil and add the ginger garlic paste and the vegetables.
3. Saute and add 3 cups of water. Add salt and turmeric powder along with 3 tbsps of the home made kurma mix. (the gravy can be adjusted to your liking and add water accordingly)
4. Stir well and simmer until the vegetables are almost done. Now add 1/2 cup thick coconut milk and simmer for a minute.
You can serve this with puris, rotis, dosas, appams, pulaos or even plain rice


Friday, September 16, 2016

FRUIT PIZZA WITH OATS AND WHOLEWHEAT FLOUR / DESSERT PIZZA


Fruit pizza is a very easy dessert to make and looks so decorative too. Usually it is made with cookie dough (APF) and is frosted with cream cheese which makes it a high calorie dessert.This version is wholesome and healthy. I have used oats and wholewheat flour crust which is topped with banana flavoured Greek yogurt and peanut butter blended together.


Ingredients:
(For the Crust)
Oats .... 3/4 cups
Wholewheat flour... 1 and 1/2  cups
Flax seeds (ground) ... 1 tbsp
Walnuts (crushed).... 3 tbsps
Olive oil or vegetable oil .... 1/3 cup
Vanilla essence ... few drops
Baking powder ...1 and 1/2 tsps
Cinnamon powder..... 1/2 tsp
Applesauce .. 1/2 cup
Eggs .... 1
Brown sugar ... 3/4 cup

(For the Frosting)
Greek Yogurt ....  2 cups (plain or flavoured)
Peanut butter... 1/4 cup
Honey .. as needed

(For Topping)
Colourful fruits like Kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, red currants, oranges and bananas (use anything available)


Method:



1. To make the crust, whisk together the eggs, oil and sugar.







2. Add the oats, flour, flaxseeds, walnuts, vanilla essence, applesauce, baking powder, cinnamon powder.






3. Stir with a wooden spoon to mix everything.







4. To make the frosting mix together the greek yogurt, peanut butter and honey for sweetening. Refrigerate it until use.






5. Line a pizza pan with butter paper and grease it. Spoon the prepared batter evenly.






6. Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (360 F) for about 15 minutes until the crust is done.






7. Allow it to cool. Place a plate over it and upturn the crust carefully to remove the butter paper. Place it in a serving platter.






8. Spread the chilled frosting with the help of a spatula.








9. Garnish with colourful fruits of your choice.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

OATS AUR APPLE KE GATTE KI SABZI / OATS AND APPLE DUMPLING CURRY


Gatte ki sabzi is a very popular Rajasthani dish which is made with gram flour, yogurt and spices. This is a variation of the same, that I have made for an event. The theme is oats and fruits. I have used oatmeal and grated apple to make the dumplings with a spoonful of gram flour for binding.
 Here is the recipe...


Ingredients:
(For the Gatte/ Dumplings)
Oatmeal ..... 1 cup
Apple ....... 1 (peeled and grated)
Gram flour .. 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder ... 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder ....... 1/2 tsp
Salt ........ to taste
Kasoori methi ... 1/2 tbsp

(For the Gravy)
Tomatoes .... 2
Onion ....... 1 small
Green chillies .. 1-2
Ginger ............. 1" piece
Garlic ............. 2-3 cloves
Yogurt ............ 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder .. 1/8 tsp
Garam masala powder .. 1/2 tsp
Salt ... to taste
Mustard oil ... 2 tbsps.

(For Tadka / Tempering)
Desi ghee or oil ....... 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds....... 1 tsp
Asafoetida .......... 1/8 tsp
Dry red chillies ... 2-3
Curry leaves ........ few
Red chilli powder .. a pinch


Method:
1. Combine the oatmeal, besan, grated apple, kasoori methi, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix together to make a firm dough. The juice from the grated apple is sufficient for binding. Add a spoonful of water if needed.
2. Divide the dough and roll out 2 logs of about one inch thickness.
3. Heat water in a pan and boil the besan rolls until they are firm (about 7-8 mins) Reserve this water for later use in the gravy.
4. Remove the rolls after they cool down. Slice them into small pieces.
5. Grind the onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
6. Now to make the gravy, heat mustard oil and saute the ground paste until the oil is separated, adding the garam masala, salt and turmeric powder. Take the leftover water from boiling the gaata, blend yogurt in it and whisk it. Add this to the pan and simmer for a minute taking care the yogurt doesn't curdle.
7. Tip in the steamed gattas into the gravy.
8. Heat the ghee for in a small pan and add the tempering ingredients except the red chilli powder.
9. When they crackle, switch off the gas and allow it to cool a little. Now tip in the red chilli powder and immediately pour it on the gravy. This gives a nice colour.
10. Serve hot with plain rice or rotis.

Monday, September 12, 2016

OATS TABBOULLEH


This is a variation of traditional Tabbouleh which is made with bulgur. Here I have used roasted oats instead and added some fresh pomegranate to it.


Ingredients:
Oats .... 1/2 cup
Lemon juice .. 1/4 cup
Roasted and crushed cumin seeds .. 1/2 tsp
Extra virgin olive oil .. 1/4 cup
Fresh parsley ...... 1/2 cup
Fresh coriander ... 1/2 cup
Mint leaves ......... handful
Tomatoes ......... 2 (medium size)
Pomegranate ... 1/2 cup
Olives ..................... few
Salt .. to taste

Method:



1. Roast the oats in a pan until they give out aroma.Do this on medium heat.






2. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, crushed cumin seeds, salt and whisk together..






3. Now add the diced tomatoes, olives, pomegranate seeds, fresh greens and mix lightly.





Note: This salad tastes good when served immediately after mixing or else the oats gets soggy. For crunchiness soak the greens in ice cold water.