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Jan 29, 2009

Eggless chocolate cookies and some appreciations!!!

eggless chocolate cookies Now, I am quite comfortable baking cookies, although , initially I had some problems and the cookies did not turn good. I realised my mistakes and now after correcting them the cookies do turn out almost close to perfect. I learn something new each time I bake them and the cookies are getting even better. So, I try to keep the snack containers full with such healthy cookies. For this one,I took some tips from Sailu's christmas cookies.

Ingredients-
All purpose flour- 1cup
Oats - 1 cup(grinded to flour)
Granulated Sugar- 3/4 cup
Canola oil- 1 cup
Cocoa powder- 2tbsp
Baking powder- 1/2tsp
Baking soda- a small pinch.
Tutty fruity or M&M's - a few

Method-
Combine sugar and oil and mix them well. Add rest of the ingredients and make a dough. Add few drops of milk, if you find it too crumbly. Now make small balls with dough and flatten it a little. Place tutty fruity on the top.
Place the balls on a baking paper on a cookie tray. Bake in a preheated oven at 180c for 15 minutes. Cool on a metal rack.
eggless chocolate cookies
Some Appreciations!!
Shama Nagarajan ,Vidhas,Ramya ,vij,Priti, Ann , Sunanda have passed me the lemonade award Varsha has passed me the wonderful butterfly award(See picture in Awards section).
Thanks a lot to all the wonderful bloggers.

Jan 26, 2009

Vegetable kofta- bake version

baked vegetable kofta After posting almost a series of sweets in my previous posts, Today I decided that it was time to post some nice, spicy, mouth watering recipe.
I made this vegetable kofta 3 weeks ago, but some ocassion or the other kept me from posting this one though I was very excited about this particular one as I used my oven for something else other than my cakes(as I had planned when I made this).
I had planned to use the paniyaaram pan to shallow fry the koftas , but later baked them. Yes I do look for low calorie and fat free recipes nowadays.And when you always have alternate way to substitute the fats ,there is no need to resist the temptations to such exotic dishes. There was no difference in the taste and that I could have them without any guilt.

Ingredients-
Koftas
Potatoes-2(peeled)
Carrots- 1(peeled)
Paneer-1 cup crumbled
Peas- 1cup
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Red chilly powder- 1tsp
Salt- to taste
Gram flour-1 Tbsp(optional)
Oil- 2tsp
Gravy
Onion- 1 chopped
Tomato- 1 chopped
Garlic- 2 cloves chopped
Ginger- 1' chopped
Coriander powder- 2tsp
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Red chilly powder- 1tsp or more
Garam masala- 1tsp
Cumin seed powder- 1tsp
Kasuri methi- 1tsp
Cashew paste-1tsp
Oil-2tsp
Curd/cream- 1tbsp
Method-
Pressure cook the potatoes,carrots and peas till soft.Drain water completely. Mash them well. Add the paneer, turmeric powder and salt.Mix well and roll them into small balls.Roll them on gram flour if its not dry and a bit mushy.Rub oil on all the balls. Place them on a oven plate and bake at 180c for 20 minutes till they appear brown on the top.
baked vegetable kofta
Baked Koftas
For the gravy, grind the onions,tomatoes,ginger and garlic to a paste. Heat oil in a pan. Add the ground paste. Saute for sometime. Then add rest of the spices,kasuri methi and cashew paste. Add half a cup of water and cook for around 20 minutes till the raw smell of the onions and tomatoes disappear and the consistency is a bit thick(should not be runny).Add the curd/cream.Mix well.
Add the koftas in the gravy just few minutes before serving.(Don't add them before serving, otherwise the koftas will become soggy.It is supposed to be slightly crispy)

Jan 23, 2009

Orange basundi!!

Well ,this is definitely another post , something like any other post on any other day. But such occasions always allows you to express our gratitude and say a small thank you to all those who have played a role ,big or small ,but influenced in a positive way to lead a productive life.
Yes..finally its a year now. I can't believe that I could stay in this blogging world for an year. So many posts, so many recipes, so many cuisines and so many pictures. In my 100th post I have mentioned how all this started. Thanks to the microwave I bought last year. I started hunting for new dishes in the net and came across a few blogs. And I got so addicted to this bloghopping and finally decided to start a blog of my own. Thanks to my hubby ..who helped me all through this by giving me some tips once in a while,right from deciding the name for the blog. I also like to thank LG who also gave me useful tips by sending me long mails even in her busy schedule..and of course my sis who gave me some nice recipes once in a while..and my baby without whose co operation I could not have even sat before the computer. And in this one year , I could discover the real cook in me.
In my first post I had posted a simple cake and had mentioned that as I was new to baking, and the cake had not come too well. But am going to improve my skills in due course. And I really feel I have definitely learned some good baking in this past 12 months and yes its a long way to go and there is so much to learn yet.....
And the best part is ...I got so many friends through blogging. When we had the blogger's meet in Singapore, I could physically meet so many bloggers and I cherish this friendship for life.
Thankyou Lg,priyanka,priti,Sukanya,Vanisri,Priya,Nupur,Sheetal. And blogging has bought the world closer too. I feel so connected with so many bloggers living in different parts of the world. Thank you one and all for all your sweet encouraging words which has always inspired me to do more , try more and learn more. I hope you all continue to do so.
So for the one year celebration I am presenting an Indian dessert recipe (and not a cake this time!!!) I saw orange basundi recipe in Nupur's blog and loved the idea of adding oranges in basundi. I made this with my own version of basundi and it was fantastic. I thought today would be the best day to post this superb dessert.

Orange Basundi
Ingredients-
Whole milk- 1 liter
Condensed milk- 200gms
Granulated sugar- 2tbspn
Cardamom powder- 1/2tsp
Saffron- few strands
Cashews- 10 no.
Oranges- 2 (peel and remove the segments)

Method-
Grind the cashews with a little water to a paste and keep aside.Boil the milk and then add condensed milk,sugar, cardamom powder,saffron and the cashew paste. Keep stirring till the milk turns thick and reduced to almost half. Then add the orange segments and stir for 2-3 minutes. Remove from flame.
Chill and serve.

A treat for all of you!!!
orange basundi

Jan 21, 2009

Tutty Fruity cake

tutty fruity cake I have always loved cakes and breads containing tutty fruity when I was young. It felt so good nibbling into each of these candied fruits. Now when my baking skills have improved upto some extent and now a serious passion too, I have been looking out for different recipes for cakes, cookies and breads and often spend maximum amount of my time at the baking section of the super market. That is when I found a packet of tutty fruity as its called in India and I bought it immediately. I wanted to try the cakes I had eaten with relish when young. So since then I have been using them in my goodies and made my favourite cake with it.
This cake with tutty fruity was so soft and spongy and tasted just wonderful.

Ingredients-
Self raising flour- 1 cup
Eggs-3
Canola oil- 1cup
Milk- 1cup
Granulated sugar- 1 cup
Tutty fruity- 1/2 cup
Dried apricots- 1/2 cup(cut into small pieces)
Yellow colour- a pinch

Method-
Beat the eggs well. Add the sugar and mix well till a smooth mixture is obtained. Mix in the flour. Add the oil and mix well. Mix the yellow colour in milk. Add it to the mixture. Fold in the tutty fruity and apricots. Mix and pour the batter in a greased cake tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 180c for 35 minutes. Check with a knife or skewer if done.
Cool and slice into pieces.
tutty fruity cake

Jan 17, 2009

Sabudana/Sago kheer

sago/sabudana kheer After making the sabudana wadas, I had some of the soaked sago left. I stored them in the fridge for almost two days not knowing what to do with it. I was in no mood to make the usual khichdi which I had made just a couple of days back. I had seen the kheer recipe in many cookbooks and I found some other pudding recipes in the net. Then I settled on making kheer and it was simply delecious. Maybe I should try some malaysian pudding recipes with sago next time. I found some recipes on the net and it seemed so good.

Ingredients
Sago/sabudana- 1 cup
water- 1cup
Milk- 2 cups
Sagar- 3/4 cup
Ghee- 1tsp
Cashews- few broken to small pieces

Method-
Soak the sabudana for a half an hour. Drain the water and leave it for few more hours. Add this in a pan with a cup of water. Boil for 5 minutes. Then add the milk. Allow it to boil and athen add sugar.Now stir for few more minutes till it gets a little thick.
Roast the cashews in ghee till they turn a golden brown. Add this to the kheer.
Serve it hot or cold.

Jan 14, 2009

Chakkarai Pongal/Sweet pongal

"Happy Pongal/Sankranti to all the readers of Creative Saga"
chakkarai pongal
Pongal is a very important festival for all Tamilians and is associated with the harvest time in Tamilnadu. It is celebrated for three days,the second today(i.e is today) being the main day.Sweet pongal is made to mark this festival. The milk in the sweet rice is made to boil over which indicates the prosperity. The act of boiling over is called pongal basically. Lord Surya is worshipped today(i.e to thank the sun and nature responsible for the bounty harvest and prosperity) . There are two kinds of pongal- one the sweet pongal or chakkarai/sakkkarai pongal, the second being venn pongal - the khara or spicy one.
Sweet pongal is made as prasadams for many festivals especially today. This is how I make sweet pongal.

Also see-    Brown rice chakkarai pongal

Ingredients-
Raw rice- 2cups
Mung dal- 1 cup
Jaggery- 2cups
Ghee- 1tbsp
Cashews- few broken to small pieces
Raisins- few
Milk- 2 cups
Cardamom powder- 1tsp

Method-
Wash the rice and dal. Add the milk and one cup of water and cook them in a pressure cooker.
Fry the cashews and raisins in ghee till golden brown and keep aside.
Heat a pan, add 2 cups of water and jaggery. Let the jaggery melt and boil. Add the cardamom powder. Now add the cooked rice and dal. Keep stirring adding ghee little at a time. Mix well and stir till it thickens. Garnish with the roasted cashews and raisins.
chakkarai pongal
I am sending this to priti of Indian khana who is hosting festive food-Makar Sankranti.

Jan 12, 2009

Thiruvathirai Kali and thalaga kozhumbu

Thiruvathirai is a festival celebrated by tamilians in the marghazi month of tamil calender. It is a festival to celeberate the tandava(cosmic dance) performed my lord Shiva (Nataraja). This day is also known to be Lord shiva's birthday star "arudhra",hence also called as arudhra darshanam.
Kali and thalaga kozhumbu are the popular prasadams made to mark this day. Thalaga kozhumbu or thalagam is a spicy vegetable gravy which goes very well with the sweet rice flour dish called Kali.Thalagam is also called "ezhu kari"because seven vegetables are used to make this gravy(ezhu in tamil means seven). However one can use 5 or 7 vegetables for this kozhumbu. Some also call this as "ericha kootu" because this is prepared in a large quantity and everytime is reheated before serving. The taste gets better when stored and consumed. You can store this for around 3 days.
So , I made this prasadams on thiruvathirai day which fell on 10th of january this year.I am late posting this one. However I did not want to miss it.
Kali
Ingredients
Rice - 1 cup
Mung dal(green gram dal)- 1tbsp
Jaggery- 3/4 th cup
Ghee-1tsp
Cashews- few broken to pieces
Method-
Wash the rice. Drain the water and keep it in a sieve for 10 to 15 minutes. Now, place the rice in a pan and roast it till it becomes a light red in colour(kind of pinkish). Roast the mung dal till it becomes a light brown. Grind the rice and dal to a fine flour.
Add the jaggery to 2 cups of water. After it melts, allow it to boil. Then add the ground rice dal mixture to it. Keep stirring till it becomes a thick mass. Switch off the flame.
Heat the ghee and roast the cashews till they turn brown. Add this to the kali. Mix well.
thiruvathirai kali
Thalaga kozhumbu
Ingredients-
5 or 7 Vegetables of your choice- Cut into chunks(Potatoes,carrots,capsicum,pumpkin,brinjal)
Tuvar dal - 1tbsp
Channa dal- 1/2tbsp
Til/Sesame- 1tsp
Dried red chillies- 5
Coconut -1 cup freshly grated
Tamarind- Size of a small lemon
Sesame oil- 1tsp+1tsp
Salt- to taste
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Method-
Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of warm water for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the juice. Filter the tamarind water.
Heat little oil in a pan. Add the dried red chillies, til,tuvar dal and channa dal. Saute till they turn a light brown. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
Cut the vegetables to chunks. Pour the tamarind water over it. Add salt and turmeric powder. Cook the vegetables till it turns tender. Then add the ground paste. Mix well and cook till the consistency is thick.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Then add the grated coconut. Toast the coconut till they turn brown. Add this to the kozhumbu and mix well.
thalagam/ezhu kari kootuServe the kali with thalaga kozhumbu.

Jan 7, 2009

Ragi oats cookie- healthy one..

ragi oats cookies I really enjoy baking.Spending time on baking and looking for new recipes gives me so much satisfaction. Though I am not able to devote so much time nowadays for this, the reason being my toddler who doesn't like me sitting before the computer or in the kitchen. And I too want to spend lot of time with him. But I squeeze in some time for blogging and baking once in while.
I made this cookies last week. My son loves biscuits and cakes. So I thought of this healthy option using ragi flour and oats. They tasted great and was over in minutes.

Ingredients-
Ragi flour- 1cup
Instant Oats- 1 cup
Castor Sugar- 1 cup
Butter- 3/4 cup
Baking soda- 1/2tsp
Egg- 1beaten

Method-
Mix in all the ingredients together to form a dough. Add few tablespoons of milk if required.
Make small balls of the dough. Place them on a cookie sheet in a baking tray. Bake this in a preheated oven at 180c for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.Store in a air tight container.

Jan 5, 2009

Sprouts stir fry

sprouts stir fried According to me, sprouts should be an essential inclusion in our diet. It contains vitamins, mineral , proteins etc. As I said in my earlier posts, I have decided to concentrate on healthy,fat free and low calorie recipe as much as possible this year. My first post this year, raspberry streusal cake is a healthy and low fat recipe too. And todays post about sprouts is a healthy recipe and so I have decided to send this to Eat healthy- during pregnancy event hosted by Sangeeth.
Its not safe to eat raw sprouts (as such in salads) especially during pregnancy as it may contain bacteria and may lead to infection. But cooking the sprouts will lead to killing of the bacteria making it safe to eat. And the addition of other ingredients gives a nice taste to the stir fry satisfying your taste buds. So heres the recipe for this stir fry.

Ingredients-
Mung bean sprouts- 1 cup(made at home. see notes below)
White bean sprouts- 1 cup(store brought)
Onions -1 finely chopped
Tomato- 1 chopped
Garlic- 2 cloves crushed
Green chilly- 1 chopped fine
Salt- 1tsp
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Coriander powder- 1tsp
Cream- 1tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Oil- 1tsp

Method-
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds,garlic and green chillies. Then add onion and saute till it turns translucent. Add tomatoes and cook for sometime. Then add turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder. Mix well. Add the sprouts. Sprinkle little water and cook for 5 to 10 minutes till it becomes soft. Add the cream. Mix well and cook for few more seconds.
Serve as a side dish with rotis.

Notes- For mung bean sprouts- Soak green mung in water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain the water and keep it tied in a wet cloth for a day. Don't store for a long time.

Jan 2, 2009

Raspberry Streusal cake

raspberry streusal cake Thought of beginning the new year with a cake recipe. I had made my first cake(it was a simple vanilla cake) at the beginning of 2008 and since then I made lots of cakes this year. I have come a long way in baking cakes and still there is lots to learn. I am trying my hand on different varieties of cakes like the cheese cake ,christmas cake,microwave cakes and this time a streusal cake.
Basically streusal cake is a cake with some kind of crumb topping. You can see more about it here.
I had some raspberries and I wanted to use it in my cake. So after searching , I found this recipe and I followed it with some minor changes. Its a low fat eggless version and now I have decided to concenterate on low fat healthy diets. So do keep visiting Creative saga for recipes with low calories.
This is how I made it.

Ingredients-
Cake
Plain flour- 1 cup
Corn flour- 1/2 cup
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Granulated sugar- 1/3 cup
Applesauce- 1/2 cup(I used home made one, refer below for the recipe)
Raspberries- 1 cup

Streusal topping-
Brown sugar- 1/2 cup
Plain flour- 1tbsp
Instant oats- 1tbsp
Rolled oats- 1tbsp
Juice concenterate- 1tbsp

Apple Sauce
Cooking apples- 3
Water- 1/2 cup
Brown sugar- 1/2 cup
Nutmeg powder- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder- 1/2 tsp
Peel and cut the apple to small pieces. Put it in a pan with rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Cook for 20 minutes till the apple turns tender. Cool and mash the apples well.

Method-
Preheat oven to 180c.Spray a baking pan with nonfat cooking spray. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and mix well. Add applesauce and raspberries to flour mixture and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. I sprinkled a little water as the batter seemed too dry. So do it if requied. Spread this batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, oats and flour. Stir in juice concentrate and mix till it is crumbly. Sprinkle crumb topping over the batter and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and cut into pieces.
raspberry streusal cake
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