Monday, April 30, 2012

Eggless Butter Tarts

          This time, for eggless baking, Gayathri had chosen butter tarts, and she had sent a link to the recipe at Joy Of Baking, one of my favorite stop for baking tips. The recipe and the procedure looked pretty much simple except for the egg replacing part. Since the pastry name itself was butter tarts, I didn't skimp on the butter, just went along with the recipe, replacing only the eggs. The end product turned out to be 'utterly, butterly delicious' (borrowing it from Amul), melt in the mouth goodies. If you like the taste of butter toffees, then this is for you..
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Friday, April 27, 2012

Couscous With Soy Granules

          Couscous is very popular in Moroccan cuisine, usually served with some vegetable or other gravies. I started cooking with couscous only some time back, especially after I found whole wheat couscous at Trader Joe's. Initially I used it to make salads, but lately have started making some Indian dishes with it, using it in the place of rice, and it works out very well, especially in pulaos. This is one such attempt with soy granules, it turned out to be a very tasty and nutritious meal..
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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mango Colada (Mango Drink With Coconut Milk)

          I like Pina Colada, with all the tropical flavors of pineapple and coconut in it, but of course without alcohol. Got to taste it only after marriage and thereafter, one of my favorite mocktails. I had bought this huge box of mangoes and wanted to make something with it apart from eating them plain and I also had some coconut milk ( not the canned ones, it comes in tetra paks at Trader Joe's, without the oily smell), so putting the two together, I made this delicious drink, replacing the pineapples with mangoes. Cheers, to all those mango lovers out there..
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Urad Dal Ladoos (Black Gram Balls)

           Back from a trip to Florida, had a nice time with friends and got to visit  the Harry Potter World at Universal Studios, my daughter and I were very excited, both of us love the series. Returned yesterday night, very tired so I thought I'll post today a simple dish. It requires very few ingredients and can be made in no time. A sweet ladoo with urad dal (whole black gram without the skin) and jaggery, supposed to be very healthy, especially for women..
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Friday, April 20, 2012

Methi Masoor Briyani (Fenugreek Leaves & Split Orange Lentils Rice)

          Briyanis are very popular in India, it is basically rice cooked with very aromatic spices and vegetables and traditionally cooked in a lot of ghee, but I have kept away from the ghee and used just oil. You can make a variety of briyanis by changing the combination of vegetables or by adding different beans or lentils. I have already given a recipe for the Spinach And Kidney Beans Briyani, today it is a very flavorful briyani with masoor dal (split orange lentils) and fresh methi leaves (Fenugreek Leaves). Both of them lend a distinctive flavor to this briyani, again an one pot meal..
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chocolate Cake With Stawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

          For a long time now, I had wanted to do a frosting with strawberries and cream cheese. Everytime I got a box of strawberries, I would want to do this and finally end up doing something else with it. My first thought was to do cupcakes with this frosting, but later changed it and baked a square cake. What would go much better with strawberries than chocolate, so decided to make a chocolate cake with a fruit filling..
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vermicelli Upma (Curled Broken Spaghetti) With Spring Onions

          Upma is one of the easiest breakfast dish that can be prepared when one has very less time. It is usually made with semolina, vermicelli (pasta like broken spaghetti), rice, tapioca pearls, oats, cracked wheat and so on. By just changing the spices and vegetables added you can make so many varieties of upma. I was bored with adding the regular ingredients, so for a change I added some chopped spring onions, this changed the flavor of the upma to a slightly Chinese one and it tasted really good..
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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Whole Moong Dal With Cauliflower And Carrots

          Dals or lentils are the major source of protein in a vegetarian diet. When you cook the dals whole with the skin, they form a good source of fiber too. Sometimes when I cook dal, I add some vegetables to make it a complete meal with rice or rotis. Instead of cooking the vegetables with the dal, I saute them and add it at the end, this way they retain their crunchiness. Today's recipe uses whole moong dal (whole green gram), cauliflower and carrots, a healthy side dish..
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Beetroot Quinoa

          Quinoa has become a part of our regular diet nowadays, I have started replacing rice with it in many of our dishes. Even if I am not preparing a special dish with it, we mix it (instead of rice) with dal or sambar. I made this simple but yummy combination of quinoa with beetroot, if you like beetroot rice or curry, then you should definitely give this a try..
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Friday, April 13, 2012

Mango Payasam (Pudding)

          Payasam or kheer is a sweet recipe prepared with rice, vermicelli, sago, nuts, fruits or vegetables, or a combination of the above along with milk. It's usually sweetened with sugar or jaggery and sometimes coconut milk is used instead of regular milk. I have mentioned it as a pudding, just to give an idea about the dish to my Non-Indian friends, but it is a totally different taste. Any Indian festival, marriage or function, there is always a kheer in the menu. Today being the Tamil New Year Day and mangoes in season, thought I'll share this simple but tasty recipe..
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bisi Bele Bhath (Rice With Lentils And Vegetables)

          Bisi Bele Bhath is a popular dish from the state of Karnataka in India. Though there are so many other variety of dishes from here, this is the one that pops up immediately, especially for people from the other states. It's a one pot meal, well balanced with carbohydrates, protein and vegetables, a perfect meal and it tastes great too. It gets its flavor from the freshly ground masala, everybody has their own version, this is mine..
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blueberry Scones

          Scones can be best described as half bread and half cake like in texture, they have a crusty look but are softer inside. They are not too sweet or buttery, an excellent breakfast. I have used whole wheat flour for making them, added some fresh blueberries and did a lemon glazing, it was perfect for these blueberry scones..
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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Zucchini With Besan (Chickpea) Flour

          Zucchini, I got introduced to this vegetable only after coming here. Initially, I never used to buy this, only after I tasted a raitha with it at a friend's place, I started cooking with it. It blends nicely in curries and dals and you can make a variety of dishes with it. Today's dish is one of my favorites, a simple curry with gram (chickpea) flour, flavored with ajwain, a perfect side to rotis or rice..
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Stuffed Mushrooms

          It was spring break for my daughter, so we went to New York, though we had been there many times before, this was the first time we stayed there for a couple of days. Had a wonderful time and also had a chance to taste some very good food, had dinner at Eataly and  Vatan and tasted some delicious cupcakes from the famous Magnolia Bakery. I was amazed at the wide variety of food available here and also at the number of restaurants, both small and big, had a great time. Coming to today's recipe, I had wanted to make stuffed mushrooms for a long time, got the mushrooms, was thinking about different fillings and finally settled on this, an onion and tomato one, it tasted great..
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Kovakkai (Gherkins) Curry

          I haven't had this vegetable that much before marriage, and afterwards also, didn't cook it much. Only after coming here, and when the choice of Indian vegetables became less, I started buying these mini cucumbers ( yep, that's how they describe them, but definitely I can't eat them raw). Even now, I make only a couple of dishes with these gherkins ( they are also known as tindora), this fry being one of them..
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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Decorated Cupcakes

          For the third session in the cake decorating course we had to take cupcakes and were taught some techniques to decorate them. I took some plain vanilla cupcakes with strawberry filling. As usual, I didn't have time to finish them in class, I completed only at home. My cupcakes were very big, so with the decoration they looked even bigger but I thought that they were decent enough to share here..
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stuffed Eggplants

          Eggplants or brinjals or aubergines (some of the names that I know), there are so many varieties of them, the huge ones, the chinese eggplants, the Italian eggplants, the small, smaller and smallest brinjals, and also of different colors, white, purple and green. For today's stuffed eggplants we use the small purple brinjals, not too puny, but smaller ones, we have to slit and stuff the brinjals. And again, there are so many stuffings, each one tastes equally good, today's is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's book. It calls for sesame seeds and coconut along with other spices to stuff the brinjals, the dish goes very well both with rice and rotis..
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Spinach And Kidney Beans (Rajma) Briyani

          Since I got my first taste of rajma (kidney beans) I am a big fan of it. Rajma with some plain rice and curd, that's comfort food to me, I simply love these beans. For today's dish I made a briyani (rice preparation) with these super healthy beans and spinach. It turned out to be a hearty, wholesome meal, a very healthy one pot dish, a good lunch box recipe..
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