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Moist Banana Muffins

This muffin is special as my 2.5 year  helped me from mixing the flour, eggs and pouring it in the baking tin. The kitchen was in mess but the satisfaction on his face was great !!! he is loving this muffin as he BAKED it :))





Ingredient:
All purpose flour - 1.5 cups
Baking soda - 1.5 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Ground Cinnamon - 1/8 tsp
Sugar - 3/4 cup (add 1 cup sugar if bananas aren't very sweet)
Ripe banana - 3 medium size
Butter or vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
Vanilla essence- 1/2 tsp
Chocolate chip - optional
Walnuts - optional

Method:

Pre-heat oven at 350 F and grease the muffin traySift together first four ingredients and keep it asideBlend sugar, banana, oil [butter], milk, egg, vanilla essenceMix into dry ingredients and  stir gently to combineFold in chocolate chip or walnut Pour the batter into the baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes Bake until the muffins get golden color and the tooth pick inserted comes out clean Cool them and enjoy !!

Egg Paratha [Flat Bread Stuffed with Egg]

Ingredients:
Eggs - 2, large
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Vegetable oil for cooking
Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup, chopped
Chopped tomatoes - half, small, chopped
Chopped green chillies
Chaat masala - 1/2 tsp or more
Salt - to taste
Grated cheese - optional

Method:
First prepare semi soft dough from wheat flour with some water. Keep the dough covered.Beat eggs, add all chopped ingredient, salt and spicesPinch a tennis ball size dough, roll it into a small disc shape. Smear some oil and sprinkle flour and fold it into half. Again smear some oil followed by sprinkling some flour. Fold it again to form small triangle. Roll it again to larger size of the triangle [remember to roll it gently at this point as you will need to separate the layers for filling]Heat tawa [griddle], brush some oil and place the rolled triangular paratha for 20 sec. Flip it to other side and wait till it starts to puff. Now with the help of butterknife carefully open up the top layer of paratha to form pocket. Pour in …

Sprouted Moong Bean Pulao (Sprouted Moong and Rice Stir Fry)

This recipe makes good use of sprouted moong beans. I am not a big fan of sprouted beans, and feel bad about it as its great source of nutrients.While surfing for some interesting recipes, I found it this recipe here and couldn't wait to try my hands. Must tell you, this is a nutrilicious (nutritious + delicious) recipe !

Ingredients
Green sprout beans - 1 cup
White rice - 1.5 cups
Red onions - 1 medium, sliced
Spring onions - 1bunch
Bell peppers - 1medium
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 2 cloves 
Green chillies - optional
Salt to taste
Cilantro leaves for garnishing
Vegetable oil - 2-3 tbsp
Dry Spices
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Corriander powder - 1tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Method
Cook white fluffy rice as indicated in this post Heat oil, add cumin seeds and when it starts to splatter add fennel seeds. Add red onions, spring onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies and bell peppers. Now add green beans sprout and saute for 3-5 minutes, add all the dry spices, salt and 1/2 cup w…

Sabudana Khichdi [Spicy Tapioca]

Sabudana [Sago seeds, Tapioca] is one of the most popular ingredients for preparing food for fasts and special festivals.




Ingredients
Sabudana (Sago) - 1 cup
Peanuts - 1/2 cup, roasted
Boiled potato - 1/2 cup, diced
Green chillies - 1, chopped (optional)
Ginger - 1/2 inch, grated
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Sendha namak (Rock Salt) or regular salt if not fasting - to taste
Ghee or  Vegetable oil - 1-2 tbsp
Sugar - optional

Method Soak sago seeds for 3-4 hours in water, completely drain the water (you can leave sago seeds on the strainer for another hour to ensure there is no water)Add coarsely ground peanuts, salt and sugar to sago seeds Heat ghee/oil, add cumin seeds, add green chillies, grated ginger followed by potato and saute till potatoes turn golden color.  Now add sago seeds and mix gently. Turn off the heat when sago seeds turn translucent. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice and serve it hotNote It is very important to drain excess water from sago, else cooked sago will turn stickyI read …

Singhare Ka Halwa [Water Chestnut Fudge]

Singhare ka atta [water chestnut flour] is usually eaten during some fasts like Janamashtami, Navratra and many more festive occasions.Also it is good for people who have gluten allergy. It can be obtained from any Indian store

Ingredients Singhare ka atta [water chestnut flour] - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 2-4 tbsp
Water - 2 cups

Method Heat 1 tbsp ghee and roast flour until it gets brown and releases nice aroma. Slowly add water and sugar and mix thoroughly to avoid any lumps [I did get few lumps , didn't affect the taste or texture]. Add remaining ghee and keep cooking on low heat till its forms a big lump. Spread it on a plate and flatten by the back of spatula. Sprinkle some grated coconut powder or nuts[optional] and let it cool. Now cut them into slices and enjoy

Besan Sooji Halwa [Gram flour and Semolina Fudge]

I found this recipe when I was searching for besan laddos on the web. The picture looked so tempting in this blog that I couldn't stop myself from trying it out.This is super easy recipe and a very unique halwa/burfi


Ingredients Gram flour [besan] - 3/4 cup
Semolina [sooji]- 1/4 cup
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 3-4 tbsp
Cardamon powder - 1 tsp
Saffron strands - a pinch
Almond slices - optional

Method: Prepare a 2 thread sugar syrup by boiling water, sugar, cardamon powder and saffron strands and keep it aside Heat ghee 1 tbsp in pan and roast gram flour till it gives nice aroma. Add semolina to same mixture and continue to roast till it changes golden colorAdd milk followed by sugar syrup and stir constantly to avoid and lumpsAdd remaining ghee and keep stirring till the mix becomes dry [NOT completely dry]Spread the mix on grease plate and even the surface by the back of a spatula.Garnish with almonds and let it cool Cut it into diamond or square and enjoy !!…

Eggless Frosting for Cakes

I have been baking cakes for pretty long time now, however never dared to frost them until I took Wilton cake decoration class. I only took first course and feel its enough for me to frost day to day cakes. The class teaches to make 3D roses, borders, writing, 3D clown, and lot more. 
The only thing I did not like was the frosting. Wilton uses buttercream frosting in three different consistencies; thin for covering the cake, medium for shells, sweet pea designs and stiff for 3D figures. For some reason, my family didn't like the texture and taste of the frosting. We found it too sugary and gritty. I could never eat this frosting in my life.
I was little disappointed after the class as I thought I would not be able to decorate cakes for my dear ones on their special days...I started looking for other options and found the recipe below. Love this frosting. The texture and flavor is just from heaven :)) The only problem I see is,  it needs to be refrigerated at all times and not sur…

Vegetable Hakka Noodles (Chowmein)

I have to share this with my readers, my little 2 year old is a big time picky eater. He wouldn't try anything new and have to really trick him to eat something special. I had my OMG moment when I saw him running after his father to try these Hakka noodles !!!  he actually ate not one, not two or three but many spoons.To my surprise he didn't find the noodles hot ..well, whatever, I am happy he tried something new, thats a good sign :))




Ingredients: Chings Hakka Noodles - 1 packet
Organic extra firm tofu - 2 cups [cubed]
Chings Chili sauce - 2-3 tbsp
Chings dark soy sauce - 3-4 tbsp
White vinegar - 2-3 tbsp
Spring onions - 1 bunch
Cabbage - 2.5 cups [shredded]
Bell pepper - 1 medium [sliced]
Carrot - 2-3 medium [sliced]
Broccoli - 1 cup [chopped]
Garlic - 2 pods [minced]
Salt to taste
Black pepper
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp

Method: Marinate tofu in 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp chili sauce and some salt for 1 hourSaute' or broil tofu in very little oilBoil noodles per you packet instruction…

Lauki Kofta in Onion Gravy [Opo squash dumplings in onion gravy]

Lauki [Opo Squash] is also known as doodhi in North India. This is a very typical side dish from Uttar Pradesh prepared on festive occasions. My mother makes a special onion gravy with little [preferably none] tomatoes....the curry has unique taste and I love this uniqueness... try it out yourself !

Ingredients: Lauki [Opo squash] - 1 medium
Onion - 2 medium [finely chopped]
Tomato - 1/2 medium [finely chopped]
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Gram flour [Besan] -  1/2 - 3/4 cup
Grated ginger - optional

Dry Spices Turmeric - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1.5tsp
Coriander powder - 1tsp
Chilli powder - optional
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt

For seasoning Bay leaf - 1
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Cooking oil

Method: Gravy Grate lauki, sprinkle some salt and keep it asideHeat oil [2 tbsp], add cumin seeds and when they start to crackle add 1 bay leaf and immediately add the chopped onions. Saute onions till golden brown in color (You can add some salt to hasten the process). Add ginger garlic paste and cook till done No…

Moong Bean Sprouts

Read it somewhere Moong beans [mung beans, green daal] are most consumed sprout on earth ! These are good way of getting proteins in a vegetarians diet.

A cup of moong sprouts offers:
CaloriesProteins(gm)*Fiber*Vitamin C*Iron*Folate262.542349* Percent daily value
source here



Method
Soak moong beans in water for 6-8 hours or overnightDrain water and place the seeds in wet cheese cloth and tie it around Keep the cheese cloth with beans and little water in a closed box and keep it in a warm place for 10 hoursVoila !! you will see looong sprouts  Rinse the sprouts carefully and its ready to eat as a salad with some lime juice or prepare soup [daal], fried rice, dosa [crepe](use sprout beans instead of split moong beans) etc etc
And I just found that there are actually bean sprouters in the market, check them out, BTW you would not need it if you follow the method above -:)



Event Participation: MLLA#25 hosted Siri and event started by Susan
Lets Sprout hosted by Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty …

Make Fluffy Rice in Open Pot

Here is an easy way to make fluffy basmati rice in an open pot.


Wash rice and soak in water for 10 minutesDrain water and transfer the rice in the cooking pot and cover it with water till its just one joint above your fingerPut the heat on high and wait till it starts to boilNow reduce the heat to minimum and cover the pot with lidCook on low heat for 10 minutes [DO NOT OPEN the lid]Now check if the rice is done, if not then cook for another 2 minutesTurn off the stove and let the pot sit for another 10 minutes Now open the pot and fluff the rice and its ready to serve

Sweet Potato Smoothie

Never thought of making this smoothie until I saw it on Sailaja's Kitchen. I try to incorporate sweet potatoes in our diet as it is one of the 7 superfoods. Till now I been serving baked/steamed version to my family, now its this Smoothie...
Read more about Sweet Potatoes and enrich your diet !



Ingredients Steamed sweet potatoes
Milk
Honey [or sugar]
Cinnamon powder

Method Add de-skinned & diced sweet potatoes, milk, honey and cinnamon powder to a blender. Adjust consistency by adding more or less milk/sweet potatoes and serve chilled !!

Quinoa, Chana Dal and Brown Rice Dosa [Tri-grain Crepe]

Lately I have been looking for Quinoa based recipes for my little one. He is a picky eater and I have to struggle to bring him variety and yet healthy food. While surfing on net, I found this recipe here. The recipe is so easy and does not take lot of preparation. My ds loved it and so did we :)



Ingredients: Quinoa - 1/4 cup
Brown rice - 1/4 cup
Chana Daal [Gram Lentils]-1/4 cup
Fresh mint leaves - 1/4cup , finely chopped
Chopped onions - 1/4 cup
Green chillies - optional
Salt
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp optional
Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp optional

Method: Soak the three grains in water for 4 hours. Rinse,strain and grind to get a smooth paste. Adjust the consistency to pancake like batter by adding more water. Add all the spices including salt flowed by  mint leaves and chopped onions.
Heat non-stick griddle and drizzle some vegetable oil. Pour the batter and spread it like a pancake. Cook on both sides and serve it ketchup [did it for my DS] or spicy tangy sambhar

You may also like Quin…

Quick and Easy Pasta

Last week I ran out of store bought pasta sauce and neither had any fresh tomatoes to make marinara sauce. All I had was a can of organic tomato sauce from Trader Joes . I made this quick pasta sauce and came out totally awesome ! It saved lot of my energy cooking authentic marinara sauce, especially when I am looking for quick dinner.




Ingredients
Pasta - 2 cups
Tomato Sauce [Trader Joes] - 2.5 cups
Dried or fresh Basil
Dried or fresh Oregano
Black pepper
Salt
Mild Cheddar cheese sticks - 2, grated
Onion - 1 small
Garlic - 1 clove
Olive oil or any vegetable oil - 2-3 tbsp
Sugar - pinch

Method: Boil pasta per packet instructions. Heat oil, add garlic slices followed by chopped onions. Saute' until pink, pour in tomato sauce and add some water to maintain desired consistency. Cook for 8 minutes on medium heat, sprinkle basil, oregano leaves , black pepper and adjust for salt. Add some sugar if sweet-sour taste is desired.
Fold in boiled pasta and sauce, garnish grated cheese. Take it off the stove…

Tasty Lentil Tacos

This is my first attempt to make Tacos, and I am glad I found this easy-breezy recipe here. The recipe uses chicken broth, which can be easily substituted by vegetable broth for vegetarians. Since I didn't have one in my pantry, therefore used water.
One thing which I liked about this recipe is that it is not too heavy on stomach. You don't feel bloated or gassy after having several of these. Also, this recipe comes handy when you really want to have tacos and there are no canned or soaked beans in your pantry...



Ingredients [makes 8 tacos] Onions, chopped - 2/3 cups
Red lentils, uncooked - 2/3 cups
Garlic clove - 1 nos
Cooking oil - 3/4 tsp
Vegetable broth - 1-2/3 cups
Chili powder - to taste
Ground cumin powder - 1-1/4 tsp
Dried oregano - 3/4 tsp
Salsa - 2/3 cups
Taco shells - 8
Shredded lettuce - 1 cup
Fresh tomato, chopped - 2/3 cup
Low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded - 1 cup
Fat free sour- cream or yogurt - 1/4 cup
Taco Shells

Method: Soak red lentils and keep asideIn a pot heat oil and sa…

Rasogulla [Cheese Balls in Sugar Syrup]

This is one of my mooost favorite sweet dishes from India. I have been trying for very long to get the right texture and somehow got it this time. I made few changes like adding ice to the curdled milk and used a food processor to knead paneer. This time Rasogullas were awesome !! the texture, the taste and the shape were just like the ones we get from the store.




Ingredients
Cows Milk - 1/2 Gallon [8 Cups]
White Vinegar -  almost 1/4 Cup
Water - 5 Cups
Sugar - 2.5 Cups
Rose water - few drops 


Prepare Paneer for Rasogulla

Boil milk and take it off the stove, curdle it by adding white vinegar just enough to allow the solids to separate leaving behind greenish water. Soon pour one tray of ice [to stop the reaction] and strain through cheese cloth. Rinse the curd with cold water and squeeze excess water [this is very important].

Preparation of Rasogullas ! Knead paneer with your hands or a food processor. Proper kneading is very important to develop texture. Lot of people can do a good job u…

Sambhar [Tangy Lentil Soup with Vegetables]

Yippeee...finally I made it .... I have been struggling to get a perfect recipe for Sambhar, while searching for recipe I stumbled upon this recipe on Shakahari Rasoi . I followed the recipe word to word and my sambhar came out quite good.

Peanut Chikki [Peanut Brittle]

March is National Peanut Month, so thought of making Peanut Chikki / Moongphali Chikki to mark this occasion. My mother used to make this for Makar Sankranti. It is a very good source of proteins and a good snack for school going kids.



Ingredients Peanuts, roasted - 1 cup
Jaggery [Indian Brown Sugar] - 1 cup
Ghee/ vegetable oil - 1 tsp
Dried ginger powder - 1 tsp
Water

Method Heat ghee in a pan, add jaggery and add just enough water to melt it and cook till it boils. Test the consistency by dropping few drops in water, the drop should harden and not melt in watter. At this point add dry ginger powder and roasted peanuts. Mix and spread it on a greased plate. Cool and break them into bite size pieces and enjoy !

Broccoli Paratha

Ingredients For Stuffing
Broccoli - 2,  medium heads
Onion - 1, small, shopped
Green chillies -1, medium, chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch, chopped
Garam masala - 1tsp
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Salt

For Dough
Whole wheat flour - 3 cups
Water

Method Grate broccoli, sprinkle salt and keep it aside for 30 minutesPrepare dough by kneading flour and water to make a firm dough [add water little by little adjusting the stiffness of the dough]. Keep the dough covered and proceed for the next stepSqueeze excess water from the grated broccoli and mix chopped onions, ginger, chillies and all other spices and salt. Now make parathas by pinching a small ball from the dough, roll a little, put the stuffing on top, seal the edges, and roll it out in the form of a disc.Fry the parathas on hot tawa/griddle by brushing little oil on both sides Serve hot with yogurt, raita,chutney

Khatti Meethi Tamatar ki Chutney [ Aromatic Sweet and Sour Tomato Dip]

Yummm....this is one chutney [dip] I can eat a bowlful :)) I know chutneys are to be relished in small quantities but I am crazy about this one. This recipe comes from my mum's kitchen.... 
Ingredients Ripe tomatoes - 4 medium size, cubed
Ginger - 1 tbsp [chopped]
Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 1 big [chopped]
Salt to taste
Jaggery [gur] or table sugar - 1/4 cup or more
Red chillie powder- [optional]
Roasted cumin powder - 1 tsp
Panchphoran* - 1.5 tsp

*Aromatic spice mix [a.k.a.Panchphoran]:
Fennel seeds [saunf] - 1 tsp
Feenugreek seeds [ methi dana]- 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds [rai] - 1tsp
Cumin seeds [zeera]- 1/2 tsp
Nigella seeds [Kalunji] - 1 tsp


Method
Heat oil in a wok [kadai], once the oil is warm [not too hot] add panchphoran followed by chopped ginger, green chillies and add chopped tomatoes. Give a nice stir, add salt and let it cook on medium heat with lid on the wok.

Keep stirring in between and slightly beat the tomatoes with the back of the laddle to make it mushy. Once the toma…

Eggless Blueberry Muffins [Egg Substitute: Buttermilk ]

Blueberry muffins are perfect for breakfast with a glass of milk.



Ingredients [makes about 10 medium sized muffins] Whole wheat bleached flour - 2 cups
Brown or white sugar - 1 cup
Buttermilk [low fat] - 1 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1 and 1/4 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp

Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Salt - pinch
Blueberry - 1 cup

Method   Pre- heat oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit and grease the muffin pan or line with muffin liners and keep it asideSieve all dry ingredients (including sugar) at least 2 times and keep it aside (mixing sugar with flour prevents the flour from lumping when combined with wet ingredients)In a separate blend all the wet ingredients at medium speedCut and fold liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix gently with a spatula. Fold in the blueberries and spoon the batter in the muffin tray and bake for 20-30 minutes or until  inserted toothpick comes out cleanDid you know blueberry muffin is the state muffin of Minnesota

Event Participation Kids Delight

Kheere Ka Raita [Cucumber in Spicy Yogurt]

Easy and Simple Refreshing Dip!!

Ingredients
Cucumber [Kheera in Hindi] - peel and grate - 2 medium
Yogurt / Dahi - 1.5 cups
Salt
Red chillies powder [optional]
Roasted cumin powder [zeera] - dry roast cumin seeds in a pan and grind to form powder
Black salt [kala namak], you can get here [optional]- it adds a zing

Method Beat yogurt/dahi , add some water to get desired consistency. Add all the spices as per your taste and finally add grated cucumber. Mix well and refrigerate.
It goes well with Indian Breads and  Pudina-Nariyal  Rice [Coconut-Mint Rice]

Eggless Whole Cornflour-Strawberry Muffins

I have been baking eggless cakes using Yogurt/ Dahi [Indian curd] as an egg substitute and been getting good results. This time decided to use apple sauce. I read somewhere that apple sauce not only replaces eggs also fat. Looks like this is true, this time I used just half amount of vegetable oil . My cake was super moist too, do you think its because of apple sauce?
Now coming to the corn flour...I used Bob's Red Mill 100% stone ground whole grain cornflour. I combined with equal parts of unbleached whole wheat flour. I noticed cornflour adds slight gritty texture to the cake. This is my first time baking corn cake, wasn't sure of the cornflour-whole wheat ratio, just decided to try half and half and it worked.




Ingredients: [makes 6 medium sized muffins]
Dry ingredient:
Yellow whole cornflour - 1/2 cup
Bleached whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/ 2 tsp
Salt - pinch
Wet ingredients:
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Table sugar - less than 2/3 cups* [I…