Friday, March 30, 2012

Eggless Chocolate Cornets

          This is my first month with the Eggless Baking Group at Gayathri's Cook Spot, and the challenge was chocolate cornets. At the beginning of the month, she had sent a link to a video on the youtube. The recipe requires specific molds called 'cream horn molds', I thought it would be available easily, so I kept putting it off until last week. Only then did I realize that these molds were not to be found so easily and I had to order online, now I didn't have the time to do that, but I didn't want to miss posting too. So I made the molds (deserves me right for being lazy), of course the video gave instructions for that too. So, finally I did everything yesterday, the result was good, I did six of them and the chocolate custard filling was too good with the coffee flavor. The process is pretty easy if you had your molds ready, I would definitely do this again but only after getting the molds..
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pasta with Kumato Tomatoes

          Ever since I read about these tomatoes in Priya's Now Serving, I had wanted to try them. Couple of weeks back when I saw them, I picked a whole pack of them.These tomatoes are a reddish brown in color and have a unique taste, not too sour and not too sweet. Well, I was thinking of ways to use it, of course not in the regular Indian way but where you can taste the tomatoes in the dish. I couldn't come up with anything, except for eating it raw, so I finally decided to use it in a pasta dish. It turned out to be really.. good, I had also added some roasted eggplants and asparagus to it. If you find these tomatoes at your grocer's, do give it a try, you will love it..
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cauliflower Lima Beans Fry

          Cauliflower is one vegetable I like to always have in the fridge, you can come up with so many curries with it, from simple stir fries, to kurmas and appetizers like pakoras or the most loved manchurian. I simply love this vegetable, my daughter would not agree with me on this, except might be when she gets her pakoras. Today's recipe is a simple fry, I also added some lima beans, which is also something that I always have in the freezer. It blends very well with the cauliflower and also makes the dish more wholesome..
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Parsley Dal (Lentils)

          Few weeks back, when I bought this big bunch of parsley, I didn't have a clue where to use it or how to use it, yet I got it, thanks to food blogging. But now, I think I can do at least a couple of dishes with it like the potato parsley parathas, parsley pilaf and now this dal. I used chana dal or bengal gram dal in this, which is very diabetic friendly because of its low glycemic index and also parsley is a good source of fiber. It tasted great, a nice combination with both rice or rotis..
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Monday, March 26, 2012

Vegan Banana Date Muffins

            Couple of days back, I had tried baking a vegan cake, but it flopped, it slightly stuck to the pan, but I was determined to try again. This time I made these muffins with bananas and dates, not only did I make them vegan but also, I didn't add any sugar and used only whole wheat flour. I was so happy and extremely satisfied with the result and couldn't wait to share it here..
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Vanilla Cake With Apricot Filling

          Vanilla cake with a fruit filling, nothing much exciting about the cake, except that this is the first cake that I have decorated. I had joined a cake decoration class, and in the second class, we had to make our own icing, and decorate a cake. I was able to do only a little bit in the class, came home and completed it and was pretty much satisfied at my first attempt and what better place to share it than on my blog and with all my friends here. And also I can always come back to look and laugh at my first try. I am not a big fan of icing nor anyone in the family, especially knowing the amount of sugar and shortening that goes into it, but at the same time feel that, a decorated cake is always more appealing to the eyes..
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Poondu Kuzhambu ( Garlic Gravy )

         Poondu (garlic) kuzhambu is a very traditional dish in South Indian cooking. To make it perfectly, you need to have the right amount of sourness, spice level and salt or as known in my language 'uppu, puli, kaaram'.  My daughter loves the garlic in this gravy, she would ask me, whether I could add a 100 of them to the dish. It goes very well with plain white rice and a dal and vegetable curry (kootu) and pappads, a nice spicy gravy for those cold winter or rainy days..
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parsley Pilaf

          You might be wondering, another dish with parsley, well, I got a big bunch of curly leaf parsley, have used it in three dishes and still have some left in the fridge, unlike coriander this remains fresh for a long time. This time I made a pilaf with it, a very simple one, I didn't grind any masalas, it gets all its flavor from the parsley, to make it a little more wholesome, I added some sauteed tofu, turned out really good..
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baingan Bharta (Mashed Eggplant)

           When I get these big eggplants or brinjals, I mostly do this or a raitha with it. The dish gets its flavor from roasting the eggplant directly on stove top or by grilling it. I made it a little more nutritious by adding some green chana (chickpeas) to it and also a little richer by adding some cashew paste. Once you are done with roasting the eggplant and removing the charred skin, the next steps are very pretty simple, it tastes great with that smoked flavor..
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Cauliflower And Potato Curry

          Cauliflower and potato curry or most commonly known as aloo gobi,  is a very popular and common dish, found in most of the restaurant menu cards. It can be made in a number of different ways from a simple fry to a nice rich gravy or a kurma, just by changing the spices added, you can end up in many varieties. Well, today's recipe uses the popular Bengali seasoning, 'panch phoran' and adapted from one of Madhur Jaffrey's recipes, I love her cookbooks, it's not just about the recipes but also the stories that go with them..
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Friday, March 16, 2012

Potato And Parsley Paratha

          Most often, I make only plain rotis, parathas are reserved for those relaxed weekend lunches, as they take a little more time to roll out. But if you mix in the filling to the dough instead of stuffing it in the parathas, it saves some time. Adding some boiled potatoes to the roti dough makes it more softer and I had a big bunch of parsley and really didn't know how to use it all up, so just added some to the parathas instead of the regular coriander. The parathas came out really soft and tasted great..
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mixed Bean Soup

          When it comes to soup, I prefer the lighter versions than the creamier ones, even while ordering in restaurants, I go for the light soups, and of course I save up the calories for the dessert. Well, today's soup is a very filling one with lots of protein, if you add some pasta to it, it makes a complete meal, otherwise just have it with some nice bread and a salad. It calls for very few ingredients, gets all the flavor from the Italian seasoning and the chopped fresh basil..
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

        Before coming out of India, there were only two cakes in my world, a vanilla or a chocolate cake, never even imagined that you could add vegetables to cakes. When I tasted this cake the first time, I fell in love with the nutmeg flavor in it, again a first for me. My husband's colleague had made it and she was kind enough to give me the recipe, she had used apples along with carrots in the cake. I made it only with carrots and did a cream cheese icing. This is one cake for which I definitely recommend an icing, it compliments the cake so well. I did an eggless version, using flaxseeds instead, the end result was awesome..
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Potato Curry

          Baby potatoes, who does not like these cuties, whenever I see them, I grab a pack of them. They take the ordinary potato dish to the next level, just by their looks, may take a little time in peeling but at the end, it's all worth it. This time, I got these mini baby ones and initially wanted to do 'dum aloo' but instead settled for this simple fry, flavored with lots of cumin and coriander. It tasted really good and goes equally well with rice or rotis..
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Pakoras (Fritters)

          Brussels sprouts are these cute green veggies which look like baby cabbages, they belong to the same family and both have anticancer properties. I had tried them roasted, they tasted good, but the last couple of times, it didn't smell good and I gave up cooking this. Only later did I come to know, this vegetable gives out a sulphurous odor when it gets overcooked. After a long time, I bought these again, this time I made these pakoras with them, of course not a healthy way of cooking, but I think, once in a while, you can have them. I was not too sure about making these, but they turned out really superb and delicious..
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Friday, March 9, 2012

Quinoa With Cucumber And An Award

          Quinoa, it's a grain or a pseudograin, high in fiber, protein, manganese, well, the list goes on, but I am not going to bore you, copying everything from wikipedia here. Couple of years back, never heard of it, but now I simply love it. It's so easy to cook and can be had as a salad, can be used instead of couscous in Mediterranean dishes and also tastes great in pulaos, in the place of rice. This dish is very simple, needs very few ingredients, no masalas to grind, it gets it flavor from the sauteed cucumber. I added some black beans and roasted peanuts for the extra crunch and munch..
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tofu Bhurji (Scrambled Tofu)

          Happy Women's Day to all my readers and thought to celebrate it, the healthy way, with some tofu burji. Tofu, now we are hearing a lot about it, it's health benefits, especially to women, and it's use in the place of dairy, in so many products ranging from cakes to ice creams. But, growing up, tofu was like Greek and Latin to me, I had tasted it for the first time, only after marriage, while staying in Singapore, even then I didn't cook it at home. Only later, after coming here, I saw the extra firm organic tofu, and started using it in noodles and fried rice and then tried to replace it in the place of paneer. One dish, which comes out very well is this tofu bhurji, to make up for the taste of paneer, I use cashew paste in milk, try this out..
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Oatmeal Banana Muffins

           For a long time time now, I had been thinking of baking something with oatmeal, and also had a couple of bananas begging to be used and some not so sweet strawberries, so I put everything together and made these muffins with whole wheat flour and oatmeal. Thinking of muffins, I always wonder, what is the big difference between cupcakes and muffins, apart from the icing part, both are made in the same pan and almost made from the same ingredients, to me a lighter and sweeter muffin is almost like a cupcake. Well, coming back to these oatmeal muffins, they turned out to be very moist and not too sweet, a good breakfast or even a teatime snack..
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Brinjal (Eggplant) Rice

          My memories of this rice goes back to my school days, a friend of mine used to bring this for lunch, it was in those eat and forget days ( but I didn't forget, I guess). This dish is very popular in the state of Karnataka and Maharashtra, but at home, we had brinjals only in sambars, curries or as the very popular stuffed eggplants. I had this again, only after marriage and after coming out of India, at a friend's place, she makes a slightly different version but nevertheless a very tasty one, will post that recipe later. Well, everybody has their own version of this rice, a small difference in the masala added, this is my version, I added some mustard seeds and black peppercorns to the masala which gave a slightly different flavor to the rice..
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Sabudana Khichdi

          Sabudana or Javarisi (Tamil) are those white, pearl like balls, also known as tapioca pearls made from the starch extracted from the pith of sago palm stems. Until before marriage, I have had this only in payasam or kheer, had never even heard of this khichdi. I came to know about this from a Marathi friend's mother, who used to have this on those days, that she fasted, even then I didn't fancy this much. Only later, when I made the vadas with this, I liked it so much that I tried the khichdi again, and this time, I loved it. This is such an easy breakfast, if only, you remember to soak it the previous night, it tastes awesome with the potatoes and the roasted peanuts..
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Friday, March 2, 2012

Bitter Gourd Fry

          Like I mentioned earlier, I like bitter gourds very much, but since the other two people at home don't like it much, I hardly cooked them, especially this fry. I grew up, eating this at least once a week, my father being a big fan of this vegetable. I don't know whether I loved it then, but now, when I visit my parents I specifically ask for this. Couple of weeks back, I decided to make this just for me ( of course I made another curry for the rest of the family). This rarely happens or should I say, never happened. Since I have never made this curry, I called my mother for the recipe, and was very happy when it came out well, of course when she makes it, it tastes even better. But now, coming to the surprising part, the husband, who I thought, would never touch this curry, ended up finishing half of it. Do our tastes change as we grow older, well, but now I can make this fry more often..
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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cracked Wheat Tomato Bhath

          At home, everyone likes tomato rice or tomato bhath or briyani. As usual I always try to replace rice wherever possible with cracked wheat or quinoa, at the same time not compromising much on the taste. The tomato bhath with cracked wheat turned out to be a healthy one pot meal and tasted very good. I added some baby lima beans for protein and served it with a raitha..
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