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Showing posts from 2012

No Cook Salsa

Tomatoes - 2 medium
Red Onion - 1 small
Garlic Cloves - 2-3
Jalapeno Pepper - 1
Cilantro - half cup,chopped
Lime Juice - 2 tbsp or more
Salt - to taste

Method: Chop tomatoes, onions, jalapeno peppers, garlic and cilantro. You can finely chop it or use a food processor. Do not puree in the food processor.  Add lime juice and salt as per your taste.Refrigerate for at least 1 hr for flavors to absorb and serve cold with tortillas or use it with taco shells. 

Merry Christmas

WishingMerryChristmasto all my readers.

Here are few pictures from my neighborhood. We had great time driving in our pjs, sipping hot chocolate and stopping by to capture these wonderful decorations.

Urad Daal and Oats Dosa ( White Gram Oats Crepe)

Urad daal (white, without skin) - 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8  tsp
Rice - handful
Rolled steel cut oats - 3 cups
Salt to taste

Method: Soak urad daal, fenugreek seeds and rice together overnight. Next day grind into thick pasteSoak oats for 30 minutes and grind it separately Now mix the batters and grind again to make smooth paste with a pancake like consistencyAdd salt to taste Heat dosa pan (any flat griddle), drizzle oil and pour a ladle full of dosa batter. Spread the batter in circular manner and cook the both sides till they are crisp.Enjoy with sambhar or chutney

Panchmel daal (Five Lentil Soup)

Panchmel daal comes from the state of Rajasthan in India. It is made by combining five lentils in different ratios. The mixed flavor and texture of the lentils offer unique taste and feel to the daal. 

Toor daal (arhar daal) - 1 cup
Yellow moong daal - 1/2 cup
Spilt green moong daal - 1/2 cup
Dhooli urad daal (white) - 2 tbsp
Chana daal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Seasoning: Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida (heeng)- a dash
Whole cloves - 2-3
Black pepper - 4-5 seeds, coarsely grounded
Dry whole red chili - 1 (optional)
Ginger - 1 tsp, grated (optional)
Garlic - 1 tsp , grated (optional)
Tomato - 1/2 cup, chopped
Onion - 1/2 cup, chopped
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cilantro springs - 3-4

Method: Soak all the daals together for 30-60 minutes.Pressure cook daal with turmeric and salt for 2 whistles. Turn off the heat and let the cooker release pressure on its own.Meanwhile, heat ghee, add cumin and mustard seeds one after the another till it crackles.A…

Apple Sauce in Slow Cooker

I just got a new slow cooker and thought of trying this very first recipe. I must say, using slow cooker is so easy. Just throw in stuff, turn on the heat and just forget about it.

Ingredients: Apples - 8-10, medium
Cinnamon sticks - 2-3
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Cloves - 3-4
Maple syrup - 4 tbsp
Lemon Juice - 1 -2 tbsp
Salt - a pinch
Water - 1/8 cup

Method: Peel and core the apples. Cut into medium sized pieces.
Mix all the ingredients and put in slow cooker set at high for 4 h or set at low for 6-7 h.
Turn off the heat. For chunky apple sauce, mash with potato mixer. For a smooth texture, blend the contents in a blender.
 Eat it with some yogurt, cereal milk, pancakes or bake a low fat cake.

Murmura Laddu (Puffed Rice Sweet Balls)

This is dish reminds me of my old childhood days at my grandparents home. This was a great hit among the kids.

Puffed Rice (Murmura, laiya, lai) - 2-3 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Dry ginger powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)

Boil jaggery and water mixture at meadium heat. Check the consistency by measuring the temperature using candy thermometer. The temperature should reach about 234 F to achieve soft ball stage OR you can check the consistency of the jaggery syrup by adding few drops into a bowl containing water. The syrup should form a ball and retain its shape.
Once the jaggeryu syrup is made, turn offt he heat. Add ginger powder (optional) and murmura and mix to coat with the jaggery syrup. Cool for 1-2 minutes and start making balls by taking handful of mixture and start pressing into ball shape. Hands can get sticky. You can grease your hand with ghee (butter oil) or water.
Once the laddus are cooled, store them in an air-tight container.

Note: I really rec…

Bharva Baigan / Baigan Kalonjee (Stuffed Eggplant)

Indian Eggplant - 5-6 small, washed
Vegetable oil - 4-5 tbsp
Dry Spices Garam Masala  - 1/2 tsp
Corriander Powder - 2 tbsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp or more
Salt - as per taste
Dry Mango Powder (Khatai / Amchur)- 1 tbsp
Cumin Powder (Jeera) - 2 tbsp
Turmeric -1/4 tsp

Method: Thoroughly wash the eggplants and wipe it with the paper towel Mix all the spices and adjust the quantities to suit your taste. Remember to add little more salt than you usually do, as when stuffing goes in eggplant, amount of salt is normalized.Slit the eggplants into 4 segments from bottom to top, leaving the top intact. Stuff the spice mixture into the eggplant and keep it aside (Optional: you may also want to tie  thread around stuffed eggplants to secure the stuffing from coming out. I don't do that and stuffed eggplants come out great.)Heat the oil. Add all the stuffed eggplants and let it cook covered on low to medium heat.In between, gently stir the stuffed eggplants to change sides from t…

Sweet Boondi (Besan Boondi)

Sweet Boondi, always reminds me of this one Hanuman ji's temple in my hometown, which we often visited as kids. The main attraction for me was the sweet colorful boondi prasaad we got after offering our prayers. I still remember the juicy and delicious taste.

I googled for the recipe and combined many ideas to create this one. Well, to tell you the truth, my boondies were not even close to what I was trying to make, BUT, it was still yummy !!! I guess you can never go wrong when sugar is the main ingredient :) The boondies were not juicy but crispy and delicious. Everyone in family liked it.
Now when I think what might have gone wrong, I feel I over fried the boondies and should reduce the thread consistency of sugar syrup. Readers, please pour in your suggestions.

Boondi Besan (Gram flour) - 1.5 cups
Baking powder - a pinch
Salt - a pinch

Sugar Syrup Sugar - 1 1/4 cup
Water - just enough to cover sugar

Flavoring Cloves - 1-2 pieces
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp 

Method:  Po…

Homemade Diwali Diya From Cornstarch

Here is a quick method to make colorful diyas for diwali. It is made from cornstarch. Prepare diyas as directed and then paint and decorate with mirrors and glitter. If you are very creative, shape it like Ganesha, leaf etc.

Cornstarch - 1 cup
Baking soda - 2 cups
Cold water - 1-1/4 cups
Oil - 1 tbsp
Liquid color - 1 tbsp (optional)

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a pan, mix and stir until smooth.Cook on medium heat stirring. The mixture comes to boil and then starts to thicken. It should hold its shape. Pour on a plate. cover with a damp cloth and let it cool.Now shape it into diya of your style. Air-dry overnight or bake in oven at 350 F. Turn off the heat and leave in the oven until cold. Repeat heating until the diyas are dry.Now color, decorate as you like. Find another idea for making diyas from flour dough here

Pepitas (Roasted Pumpkin or Squash Seeds)

Pumpkin seeds are also known as - Pepitas. They have been valued for Zinc content. For making roasted flavored pumpkin seeds add 1 tablespoon of any vegetable oil, 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of raw seeds. Mix the seeds until the are coated. Sprinkle cayenne pepper or garlic powder or any other seasoning of choice. Place the seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Light roast in oven at 180°F for 15-20 minutes.

Serving Ideas:
Add them to your saladsAdd some ground pepitas to burger pattiesAdd to cols or hot cereal

Stir-fry Cabbage

Eggless Mango cake

Rava (Semolina) - 0.5 cup
Maida (All purpose flour) - 1cup
Mango - 1 large
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Yogurt (curd) - 1/4 cup
Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Salt - pinch
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Raisins - optional
Chocolate chip - optional

Method:  Pre-heat oven at 350 F and grease the baking tray.Prepare mango puree, keep it aside.Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.Blend oil, yoghurt, mango pulp, cardamom powder and sugar.Mix into dry ingredients and stir gently to combine.Fold in raisins, chocolate chip.  Pour the batter into the baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes.Bake until the cake get golden color and the tooth pick inserted comes out clean Cool and slice !!

Is it Jam or Jelly, Presrve or Conserve ?

How often do you find yourself confused in a grocery store when you go to buy jam and find so many fruit products like jelly, preserves, conserves or marmalade. Exactly, this is what happened to me on my recent trip to Bristol Farms.  They all look the same, up to an extent....they all have fruit and sugar, right? The difference is in the way they are prepared, the proportions of different ingredients  and method of cooking.

Jelly is clear and holds its shape when turned out of the jar.
Jam is made from crushed fruits. It is thick and can be spread. It is less firm than jelly.

Preserves are small tender and plump fruit pieces cooked in slightly gelled syrup.
Conserves are like jam and may be made with a combination of fruits and nuts, raisins etc.
Marmalades are like soft jellies containing fruit or peel suspended in the transparent jelly.

Fruit butters are made by cooking fruit pulp with sugar to a thick consistency.
Syrups are made by cooking fruit juice or pulp to the consistency of h…