Friday, December 31, 2010

Event - Healing Foods - Eggplant

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. May your year be filled of Joy & Prosperity !!!!

Healing Foods is a Brain Child of Siri. Cooking With Siri is a lovely domain featuring some amazing healthy recipes.

Heartiest Congratulations Siri on making your own domain.

Now about the event. In Siri's words (literally), You are, what you eat'.. Food that we take everyday has the power to protect & heal us and they are our first line of defense to fight off our illness. Surprising as it may sound, following a simple diet & skin regime - just by making sure you have 'certain foods' in your daily diet-in-take can make a lot of difference and they become key contributors for a very healthy well-being.

The theme for this month is Eggplant. Eggplant has lot of healing properties. I am mentioning few of them below :

1) Diuretic: It has lots of water and fewer calories. Its an antioxidant and it is highly advisable to use in a low-calorie diet.

2) Lowers cholesterol and helps circulatory problems.

3) Mashed eggplant relieves burns.

4) Eggplant oil is excellent for rheumatism. It is prepared by removing the skin and frying them in oil for 2 hours at a low speed. Then strain it. Store it in an airtight container.

5) Eggplant substances, called glyco-alkaloids are made into a topical cream
medication and have been used to treat skin cancers.





Here are some basic rules of participation -

1. Create a veg / non-veg (no pork or beef) dish, based on Eggplant and post the same in your blog. Non-Bloggers can send their recipes with the details mentioned below to the same email address.

2. Please link this announcement and Siri's Healing Food announcement page in your posts. Usage of the logo is appreciated.

3. Multiple entries are more than welcome - more the merrier !!!!

4. Send your details - Name, Recipe URL and Photo to spoonfuls.of.love@gmail.com till 31st Jan 2011.

4. You can send previously blogged entries, provided they are re-posted!

5. A randomly selected winner will be chosen from the participants for a $25 Amazon gift card. The winner will be selected by Siri.

6. A Rs.1500 voucher from Rang De will also be given as a giveaway. The winner for this will be randomly selected by me. Further details on this are available in my post New Giveaway

Non-bloggers can also send your yummy recipes to me at spoonfuls.of.love@gmail.com.

So lets have a healthy start to this New Year 2011 !!!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Coffee Cake With Chocolate Ganache Icing - Merry Xmas

I have been trying for last few months to bake a good cake, but in vain. I have been altogether scared of baking. Sometimes my cake would burn and sometimes it just wouldn't get cooked and be all wet. It was dampening my confidence too. However, after the recent success of Orange Muffins and Braided Bread, I decided to give the cake another shot. I wanted to start with a very easy and basic recipe considering my past record. So after lot of courage and prayers, I finally started to make a cake. I cant tell you how happy I felt when the knife came out all clear from the cake. I actually did a bit of the JIG. My daughter also joined in. Her happiness was more concentrated on eating the cake thou.

So here it goes.

Ingredients For Cake :
All Purpose Flour : 1 1/2 Cup
Egg : 1
Melted Butter : 1/2 Cup
Sugar : 1/2 Cup
Baking Powder : 1 1/2 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Milk : 1/4 Cup
Coffee : 4 tsp
Vanilla Extract : 1 tsp

Ingredients For the Ganache :
Cream : 200 grams
Dark Chocolate : 100 grams
Sugar : 1 tsp
Vanilla Extract : 1 tsp
Party Sprinkles : For Decor
Glitter Writing Icing : For Decor

Recipe For Cake :
Preheat oven to 170C for 15 minutes.

Take a large bowl. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in it. Sift from a height to give it an airing.

Take another bowl. Beat the egg in it lightly.

Take a cup and add the coffee powder. Add just 1 tsp of milk in it. Beat the coffee till no granules are left. Add the remaining milk and mix it well. Add this to the egg. Beat for another 10-15 seconds.

Add melted and cooled butter and the egg milk mix to the flour. Fold in the flour and cover from the edges as well. Cover all the flour and make a smooth mix.

Grease a cake tin or a cake dish mildly. Pour the batter in that dish.

Place it in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Pork a knife or fork in the centre of cake and it should come out clean. If it doesn't, cook for another 5-10 minutes. But keep checking it often. The cake should be an even brown colour on top.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool it completely.



Recipe for Ganache :
Break the chocolate into pieces and place it in a heat resistant bowl. Add vanilla extract to it. Heat half the cream (100 ml) along with sugar till it just starts to boil. Don't boil it. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Stir it well till all the chocolate dissolves. Cool this ganache and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.

I forgot to click the pics of the ganache. As I mentioned above, I was busy doing the Jig.

Icing the Cake :
Whip the remaining cream(100 ml) with a whisk or fork. You have to whip it till its light and fluffy. Don't over whip.



Cut the cake horizontally. Now you have 2 cakes.



Place the plain cream on lower half of the cake. Spread it evenly all over the top of the half.




Keep the top half back on the creamed lower half.



Now take the ganache and spread it on the whole cake. Start with the top. Smooth it with a spatula. Now spread it over the sides and smooth that also with a spatula. Always smooth in in 1 direction only. Cover the whole cake with the ganache.

Decorate it with the sprinkles and glitter as per your choice.





Sending this as my entry to following events :

1) Chocolate Extravaganza by Ria from the Monthly Mingle by Meeta.

2) Cookies & Cakes for Xmas by Dr. Sameena



Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pasta Salad

An easy to make salad. Serves as starter or evening snack. I like to use varied shapes of pasta. However, you can make it with 1 particular shape also. Tastes juz yummyyyy ....

Ingredients :
Fusilli Pasta : 1 cup
Conchiglie Pasta : 1 cup
Red Onions : 1 Thinly Sliced
Capsicum : 1/4 Sliced
Corn : 3/4 Cup Boiled
Salt : To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper : 2 tsp
Sugar : 2 tsp
Vinegar : 2 tsp
Mayonnaise : 1 Cup



Recipe :
Take a bowl. Add the mayo. Add the vinegar and beat the mayo till its smooth. Add the
salt, black pepper and sugar. Mix it up well. Add the onions, capsicum and corn. Mix it up and keep in refrigerator.

Boil a pan full of water. Add salt. When the water starts boiling, add the pasta. Boil the pasta till its cooked. It should take approx 15-20 minutes. You can check with a fork or knife. Drain the pasta on a strainer. Add a tbsp spoon of oil an stir it up. Cool it completely.

Add the pasta into the mayo. Mix it well. Serve Chilled.

Sending it to Akheela's "Food Palette White"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stuffed Green Chilli Pickle

I have a spicy tooth and in love with pickles. No meal is complete without pickle / chutney for me. This is an instant and easy to make pickle.

Ingredients :
Green Chilli : 10
Fennel Powder : 1 tsp
Kalonji (Onion Powder) : 1 tsp
Coriander Powder : 1tsp
Salt : To Taste
Aamchur (Dry Mango Powder) : 1 tsp
Oil



Recipe :
Take fennel powder, kalonji, coriander powder, salt and aamchur in a bowl. Add just enough oil to make a thick paste.




Keep the stem on of the chilli. Slit the green Chillies in the centre. Be careful that the chillies don't break. Now fill the paste in the chillies with a knife. Fill just enough to fit the sockets in the chilli. It shouldn't over flow.



Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a wide pan. Shallow fry the chillies. Each chilli should be kept separately in the pan. It shouldn't overlap. Fry till its golden brown. Turn sides and fry again till golden brown. Drain the chilli in a strainer and keep on a kitchen tissue to remove extra oil.

Cool the chillies. Keep preferably in a glass container and store in refrigerator. You can keep it for some days.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crispy Ajwain Okra (Bhindi)

Sending this to my event "CWS - Ajwain" started by Priya of "Priya's Easy & Tasty Recipes". Priya has a lovely blog with yummy recipes. Do have a look.

Ingredients :
Okra : 500 grams
Gram flour (Besan) : 1/2 Cup
Ajwain : 1 tsp
Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala : 3-4 tsp
Salt : To Taste
Lime : 1
Oil For Frying



Recipe :
Slit the okra lengthwise. I had to use frozen okra and it was chopped. I fried it in a pan with 1 tbsp oil for 4-5 minutes till the okra became soft and wasn't frozen any more. If you are using fresh, then just continue on next step.

Put the okra in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle gram flour, turmeric, red chilli powder and chaat masala on it. Season with salt just before frying or else the okra will release water and become soggy.

Heat the cooking oil on a medium flame. Do not heat the oil too much as okra burns quickly when deep fried.

Deep fry the okra a little at a time, until crisp and drain on paper towels.

Garnish with the lime juice and serve with plain boiled rice and your favorite Daal.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stuffed Braided Bread

I came across this recipe on Pari's blog Foodilicious. She had done a wonderful job of explaining the process in great detail. Also the bread looked just wonderful and terribly tempting. I had bookmarked it that very moment. I have practically no experience in baking. Very recently I had started with cakes and the initial few were a disaster. So I was putting off baking this bread. However last week, I managed to make a successful batch of muffins and it enhanced my confidence. I knew that time only that the next thing I would bake would be this bread. So I gave it a shot and it turned out just well. The big thanks for the success goes to Pari for giving such detailed instructions on the dough making and braiding. I have modified the filling a bit to suit my needs.

Ingredients For Dough :
Maida (All Purpose Flour) : 2 cups
Butter : 3 tbsp Melted & Cooled
Dry Active Yeast (Fast Action) : 3/4 tbsp
Salt : 1 tsp
Sugar : 1 tsp
Egg : 1
Warm Water To Knead
Egg White for Egg wash

Ingredients For Filling :
Red Onion: 1 Chopped
Tomato : 1 Chopped
Capsicum : 1/4 Cup
Paneer : 200 grams
Corn : 1/2 Cup
Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce : 3-4 tbsp
Black Pepper Powder : Freshly ground 2 tsp
Salt : To Taste
Grated Cheese

Recipe For Filling :
Heat oil in a wok. Add onions. Saute till translucent. Add the capsicum and paneer. Saute some more till onions and paneer are golden brown. Add the chopped tomatoes and the corn. Stir well. Add the salt, black pepper and sweet chilli sauce. Cook till the corn is cooked and soft. I was using frozen corn and so I had boiled it previously. Remove from flame. Cool this filling.





Recipe For Dough :
I was using fast action dried yeast and the packet said that it didn't need proofing and I could directly use it in the recipe.
Sift flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Take another bowl. Beat the egg. Add the butter. Now add the flour and the yeast. Stir it well. Now add little warm water at a time and knead the dough.

Now sprinkle little flour on the platform and knead the dough again for 8-10 minutes. It has to be kneaded to a consistency where dough is not sticking to hands.




Grease a bowl and the dough mildly. Keep the dough in the bowl and cover it with a cling film. Leave it aside for a hour or so to rise. The dough should double in volume.



To check if the dough the risen to its full capacity, press the dough. If it doesnt rebound, then it is done.



Recipe for Braided Bread :
Take a portion from the dough. Around 1/2 of the dough. Roll it out into a rectangular shape. Mine didn't turn out perfect rectangle.



Put the stuffing in the centre of the rectangle. Leave few centimetres from all sides.



Sprinkle cheese on the stuffing.



Leave an inch from the top. Make slanting cuts on both sides at equal distance.




Cover the top rectangular over the filling. Cross the sides like a braid.



Continue braiding till the last cut.



Keep it aside to rise again. For approx half hour more. Cover with a wet cloth to avoid drying.

Apply egg wash or milk wash. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 15-20 minutes. The crust should be golden brown. Do not over bake as it will become hard.

Remove it and cool.




Cut into slices and serve.

Sending it to :

1) Priya Mitharwal's Event "Bookmarked Tuesdays"



2) Priya Mahadevan's event "Fast Food NOT Fat Food"

Kanji

This is a traditional drink made in my house during winters. Winters are more appropriate cos of easy availability of red carrots and beet. But nowadays, we generally find all vegetables in all seasons, so its your call. But I still associate it with winters. A nice spicy drink for those cold evenings. You can alter the spiciness as per your taste. However, it tastes better when it is a little spicy.

Ingredients :
Red Carrots : 2
Beet : 2
Water : 4 litres
Salt : To Taste
Red Chilli Powder : 2 Heaped tbsp
Mustard Seeds Powder : 1 Heaped tbsp





Recipe :
Slice the carrot and beet. Not in juveniles.

Take glass or clay / ceramic container. Add all the ingredients in it.

Keep it in the sun for 3-4 days. Keep in a cool place in night. Stir it well 3-4 times a day.

After 4 days it is ready to serve. You can refrigerate it after that. It will last for a fortnight atleast.

To serve it, just pour it in a glass of your choice along with the carrot and the beet pieces. Enjoy eating the pieces along the drink.

Onion Raita

Ingredients :
Yogurt : 250 ml
Red Onion : 1
Green Chilli : 1
Coriander Leaves : 2 tbsp
Roasted Cumin Powder : 1 tsp
Sugar : 1/2 tsp
Salt : To Taste
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
Red Whole Chilli : 1-2
Ghee : 2 tsp



Recipe :
Slice the onions finely. Chop the green chilli and coriander leaves.

Take a serving dish. Add the yogurt, salt, cumin powder and sugar. Beat the curd well. Now add the onion, green chilli and coriander leaves. Mix it well.

In a small pan or wok, heat ghee. Add mustard seeds and red chillies and let them splutter. As the mustard seeds splutter pour them immediately over the yogurt and serve.

I like it with my Dum Biryani.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

An Award & Baked Stuffed Capsicum - Bharvaan Shimla Mirch

A special thanks to Savitha For bestowing me with an Award. It is very motivating and encouraging.



I would like to share this award with my few Blog Pals :

Pari

Priya Mitharwal

Priya Sreeram

Priya Of Easy & Tasty Recipe

Rupali

Akhila Of Learning to Cook

Akheela of Torview Torrent

Sunitha

Satya

Stuffed Capsicum have always been in great demand in my house. My mom used to make them really nice. However, recently she has decreased the frequency of making these delicacies cos of the frying it takes. My dad's health doesn't allow it. So I came up with this healthy recipe so that now my dad should be able to enjoy them too. I decided to give it a try before communicating my ideas to my mom. Well all I can say is that they turned out the same.

Ingredients :
Capsicum : 2
Potato : 2 Medium Boiled
Paneer (Cottage Cheese): 150 grams Grated
Almonds : 10 Sliced
Raisins : 15 Cut into halves
Green Chilli : 2 Finely Chopped
Coriander Leaves : 2-3 tbsp Chopped
Salt : To Taste
Dry Mango Powder(Aamchur): 1 tsp
Coriander Powder : 1 tsp
Kalonji Powder : 2 tsp
Fennel Seeds Powder : 2 tsp
Oil : For Greasing

Recipe :
Preheat oven at 220 C for 15-20 minutes.

Cut the capsicums into half. I prefer to cut them lengthwise. But you can cut them breadthwise too. Remove the seeds. Be careful while removing, so that the capsicum doesn't get cut.

Take a large bowl. Mix all the remaining ingredients and mash them all together.



Take one half of the capsicum. Stuff it with the filing. Press the filing inside so that any pockets or sides are not left empty. Repeat with the remaining Capsicum.



Now lightly grease the capsicum from outside and bake it for 20 minutes. The outside of capsicum should be soft, wrinkled and slightly browned.



Serve hot as a Side Dish.

I am sending this to Satya's Event "Thank You Mom"

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cake Icing Done By My Daughter

I have a 21 month old daughter, Anayata, who has to copy everything I do. I really adore her for that. I take her for various activities, one of them being Craft & Messy Play. Yesterday was the last day of the term session in her Craft Session. As its Xmas Holidays, Ms. Christi(the lady who runs these sessions) decided to distribute cakes as a Xmas gift. However, she was smart enough to include the kids in her endeavour by getting them to make the icing on the cake. She bought the marzipan and the sugar coating dough and some glitters and smarties for the decor.

She gave these kids a piece of the marzipan. Made them roll it in a big round and then cover the cake with it. Same process was repeated with the sugar dough. Then the kids were given the glitter and smarties to decorate their cake. I am very impressed by the effort these ladies put in. And I am also very proud of Anayata for doing this task.
Sharing with you guys some pics of her doing this task.





video

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dum Biryani - Chicken

Dum Biryani is made in different ways in different houses. The taste of cooking it in handi over coal is difficult to get. Over the years, different and easy variations have come up. This is my version of Dum Biryani.



Ingredients :
Chicken : 500 grams
Basmati Rice : 2 Cups
Onions : 2 Sliced
Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp
Bay Leaves : 3-4
Cloves : 10
Cinnamon : 3 inch
Star Anise : 1
Peppercorns : 10
Green Cardamom : 5 Only Seeds
Nutmeg : 1
Mace : 1
Salt : To Taste
Red Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
Coriander Powder : 1 tbsp
Oil : 6-8 tbsp
Coriander Leaves to Garnish
Ghee to garnish
Saffron : Few Strands (optional) Soaked in water / milk

For The Marinate :
Curd : 1 cup
Ginger Paste : 1 tbsp
Garlic Paste : 1 tbsp
Turmeric : 1/2 tsp
Tandoori Masala : 1 tsp



Recipe :
Marinate chicken with all the ingredients of marination for a hour or more. I like to marinate it in the refrigerator.

Soak rice for 20 minutes. Then boil the rice till its 3/4th cooked. Don't overcook. Take 1/3rd rice and add the saffron water and mix well.

Heat oil in a handi or pan. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, peppercorns and star anise. Let them splutter. Now add the onions. Saute till golden brown. Now put the salt, red chilli powder and coriander powder. Add the chicken along with the marinate. Lower the flame. Cook till the water in curd dries up and it leaves oil. By now chicken should be 3/4 cooked. If its not, then add little water and cook till chicken is atleast 3/4th done.




Remove from flame. Empty the chicken in some other vessel.

Now take the same handi / pan. Add few drops of ghee to the bottom. Make a layer of 1/3rd of the rice. Sprinkle few more drops of ghee and little coriander leaves. Make a layer of half of the chicken. Now add the layer of the saffron coloured rice. Again sprinkle few drops of ghee and coriander leaves. Make a layer of chicken. Now put the last layer of rice. Cover with aluminium foil. Cover the edges with dough to seal completely. Keep a lid on top and keep something heavy on it. I like to cover with a steel plate and then keep my rolling board for chapati on it.

Keep it on a very low flame and cook for around 15-20 minutes. Serve hot. I like to serve with Onion Raita.

Sending this to the event "Dish Name Starts With D" by Akhila of Learning To Cook.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Orange Muffins

I had bookmarked this recipe few days back from www.muffinrecipes.net .... But my confidence in baking a cake and alike is very poor. Finally over the weekend I decided to give it a shot. The major reason was my kiddo who suddenly wanted to eat a cake and just wouldn't stop demanding even after I told her that I had no cake or muffins (readymade) at home. So I decided to gather my guts and after a silent prayer, got on the job. Surprisingly, the muffins came out quite good. So, I am happy to present it.

Also, I would like to send it to a few events :

1) Bookmarked Recipes Volume 20 by Priya Mitharwal of Mharo Rajasthan.

2) Cakes & Cookies for Xmas by Dr. Sameena of My Culinary Creations.

3) Bake Off by Champa of Versatile Vegetarian Kitchen.

4) Vegetarian Foodie Fridays by Melodie

Ingredients :
All Purpose flour : 1 1/2 Cup
Sugar : 1/2 Cup
Melted Butter : 1/2 Cup
Egg : 1
Milk : 1/4 Cup
Baking powder : 1 3/4 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg Powder : 1/4 tsp
Oranges : 4



Recipe :
Preheat oven to 175 C for 20 minutes.

Peel the oranges. We will use just the pulp. I cut each slice into half and then peeled it. Keep aside.

Take a large bowl. Sift Flour, salt and baking powder in it. Do it from a bit of height for it to get an airing. Add sugar.

Melt the butter and cool it. Add it to the flour.

Beat the egg slightly. Add milk in ti and stir it well.

Pour this into the flour and mix it well. Add the oranges and mix again.



Fill this mixture in greased muffin tins till 3/4 capacity. I used paper cases for muffins and filled them with this mixture.

Keep the muffin tray in upper shelf of oven.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve as desired.





Lauki Chana Dal - Bottle-gourd in Split Chickpeas

Sending this as my entry for 2 events.

1) My Legume Love Affair 30 hosted by "Priya of Mharo Rajasthan" and Susan of "The Well Seasoned Cook"

2) Complete My Thali by Priya Srinivasan of Enveetu Kitchen and Jagruti of Joy Of Cooking.

Ingredients :
Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas) : 1 cup
Lauki (Bottle-gourd) : 1 medium sized
Onion : 1 Chopped
Tomato : 2 chopped
Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp
Turmeric : 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 1 tsp
Coriander Powder : 1 tbsp
Garam Masala : 1 tsp
Salt : To Taste
Oil : 2 tbsp
Water : As Required



Recipe :
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add the onions. Saute till light brown. Add the ginger garlic paste. Saute till golden brown. Add the tomatoes. Saute till the water evaporates. Add the salt, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Saute some more till oil leaves the sides. Add the chana dal. Close the lid. Cook till 2-3 whistles.

Cut the lauki in big cubes. If the cubes are small they will dissolve in dal. When the pressure cooker opens, add the lauki and cook it for 1 more whistle.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.