Jun 29, 2011

Raagi onion pakodas / fingermillet onion fritters

           Deep fried snacks is a rare thing at my place. I do make puris atleast once in a month or two. But sometimes we do crave for these snacks along with our evening tea especially during the weekends. So I made this sometime ago during one such weekend and we really enjoyed it. I gave a small twist by adding the raagi flour to the normal onion pakodas. Don't know how healthier a deep fried snack can get??!!But it tasted nice and was quite crispy. Even my son who is a picky eater and is very reluctant to try out new things liked this one. So I can say with confidence that it was definitely good!! This can be made as a starter during dinner parties or when you have some unexpected guests. It gets ready in a jiffy.

raagi/fingermillet onion pakodas
Onions- 1 big sliced
Green chillies- 2 chopped fine
Raagi/fingermillet flour- 1 cup
Besan/chickpea flour-1/2 cup
Rice flour-1tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Coriander leaves- a small bunch chopped fine
Cooking soda-a small pinch
Oil for deep frying

   Take the sliced onions,green chillies and coriander leaves in a big bowl. Add the turmeric powder,soda and salt. Now add the flours. Add water slowly mixing the mixture with your fingers. The batter should not be runny. You should comfortably be able to pick it up with your fingers and put it in the oil, so it should be of a slightly thicker consistency. Heat oil in the pan. When it is very hot, slowly put some batter in the hot oil. Fry till it turns brown.
    Serve with some ketchup or even mint chutney.
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Jun 27, 2011

Mango buttermilk pound cake with mango whipped cream frosting

       Its very true when Divya said some recipes are really contagious. For instance the dates cake or the zebra cake which were tried and posted by so many bloggers and being done even today. Same goes with mango buttermilk pound cake too. I knew I had to bake this one the minute I saw it. As I said ,we dont get to have enough Indian mangoes here, I was planning to use the store bought tinned mango pulp for this cake. But then even God wanted me to bake the cake with fresh mangoes because we got to buy really good ones when we visited Mustafa unexpectedly and also got a few mangoes from a friend who recently visited India. So there has been abundance of mangoes and as you know I am the sole eater of mangoes as such at my place, I could really afford to use a couple of them in my baking.
Mango buttermilk pound cake
      And then for the frosting too, I wanted to have a mango flavoured one as I felt any other frosting would conceal the flavour and taste of mango in the cake.So I found a nice recipe here  .
      The texture of the cake was light and spongy and the cake tasted great with the mango frosting. It infact tasted even better the next day.
Mango buttermilk pound cake with mango whipped cream frosting
Recipe courtesy- Easycooking

Cake flour- 1 1/2 cup (You can use plain flour )
Baking powder- 1/2tsp
Baking soda-1/4tsp
Unsalted butter- 1/2cup
Sugar-1 cup
Buttermilk-100ml( I used diluted curd)
Vanills essence- 1tsp
Mango pulp- 1/3cup(5to 6 tbsp)

         Combine the butter and sugar and mix well till creamy.Now add the eggs and beat till the mixture is fluffy. Add the buttermilk and essence and mix.Its okay  if mixture curdles at this point. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add this to the above wet mixture and mix to form a uniform batter. Now fold in the mango pulp.
         Pour the batter in a well greased cake tin. Bake at 170c for 45 minutes or a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
slice of mango cake with mango cream frosting
For the mango whipped cream frosting-
Recipe courtesy- Cupcake project
Mango puree-2/3 cup
Whipping cream- 1cup
Icing sugar- 1/3 cup

    Beat the cream at medium speed for 5 minutes till it form soft peaks. Add the sugar. Mix well. Add the mango puree to the whipped cream. Refrigerate.
      Pour and spread the frosting over the cake. Refrigerate till you cut the cake.
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Jun 25, 2011

Brown rice idlis

       This is another experiment in my kitchen using brown rice. As I am not too comfortable consuming brown rice on its own, I use them in a different form because of its health benefits. If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you may know how I have used them. If you already havent seen, do check them out here.
        The idlis tasted the same as when made made with regular idli rice. They were supersoft and spongy and I was delighted because I have never managed to get this softness even in the regular idlis. *I used brown basmati rice.
supersoft brown rice idlis
Brown rice- 2 cups
Poha/aval-1 cup
Whole udid dal- 3/4 cup
Fenugreek seeds-1tsp
Salt to taste
Sesame oil- 1tsp

   Soak the udid dal and rice and fenugreek seeds seperately for 6-8 hours. Soak the poha 15 to 20 minutes before you start the grinding in the wet grinder. Grind the udid dal till it is very smooth. This will take around 20 minutes. Remove the ground udid dal paste in a big vessel. Next grind the rice, poha and fenugreek seeds and grind till it becomes a smooth paste(fine semolina like). Combine the udid dal and rice batter. Add salt and mix well. Allow this to ferment at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. The batter should be thick but of a pouring consistency.(thicker than dosa batter)
    Grease the idli moulds with sesame oil. Pour the batter  in each mould. Steam them for about 15 minutes. Remove from moulds and serve warm with sambar and chutney.
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Jun 23, 2011

Red bean buns - sweet buns

        I have seen that red beans buns are quite popular in Singapore.We usually have bread or oats for breakfast. Usually its the whole meal bead, but sometimes we do buy stuffed buns for a change. We have  tried the red beans buns,kaya or sweetened coconut stuffed buns and many other interesting flavours. My hubby is fond of them and he finds it quite filling too. Though I eat them , but  don't find it very tempting.Making your own bread for breakfast is fun , but I only manage to do it sometime. Last week, I had soaked red beans to make a side dish for chapati. I then thought of making buns and hence reserved half cup of the soaked beans to make this buns. The buns were very good. The red bean paste tasted quite similar to what we buy from the stores.But the store bought buns are very soft and fluffy compared to these because of the use of bread flour and more leavening agents. I have used whole wheat flour because its more healthy , but the bread is bit denser yet soft. But we loved the taste and making at home gave me immense satisfaction.
red beans buns
For the dough-
Whole wheat flour/atta- 3 cups(more for dusting)
Maida/All purpose flour- 1 cup
Warm water- 3/4 cup
Yogurt- 1/2 cup
Honey- 1/4 cup

For the red bean paste-
Red beans- 1/2 cup
Sugar- 4-5tbsp
red beans buns
For the dough-
 Mix the yeast in warm water and allow it to froth for 10 minutes. Then add the sugar and salt followed by the all purpose flour and 2 cups of atta. use a whisk to mix everything together. Then add the yogurt and honey. Mix well. Now use your palms to knead the dough. Use rest of the wheat flour to form a smooth, loose and non sticky pliable dough. Add oil in the end and ensure the dough is coated with oil. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel. Allow it to rice for 2-3 hours till the volume is almost doubled.

For the red beans paste-
  Soak the red beans in water for 6-8 hours. Cook in a pressure cooker till it turns soft. Drain all the water and puree it in a blender. Now add the puree in a saucepan. Add the sugar. Now the mixture will be a little runny. Keep stirring till it becomes a thick paste. Ensure that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

How to assemble-
  After the dough has doubled, punch the dough and knead it by folding it 4-5 times on a surface containing flour. Pinch a lemon sized portion of the dough. Roll it to a circle by flattening it with your palms. Place a tablespoon of  the red beans paste in the center. Seal the open ends.Form  a ball and flatten it. Place it on the baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Repeat the same with rest of the dough. Allow it to rise for another 30-40 minutes. Brush the outer surface with melted butter mixed with same quantity of milk. Place this in a preheated oven and bake at 180c for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven. Brush with the remaining butter and milk mixture when its hot. Allow it cool and serve. You can store this in a refrigerator. Microwave for 20 seconds before serving.

   Use 4 cups all bread and avoid wheat flour if you want very fluffy buns.
  You can also use readymade red beans paste.
   You can use egg wash for brushing the buns before baking them for softer surface.
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Jun 21, 2011

Lemony blueberry muffins- easy cupcake recipe

       Blueberries is considered as a wonder fruit. Its not only because of the high level of antioxidant nutrients in it, but also because of several other health benefits. We never used to get this fruits so easily in India, But I do try to make the full  advantage of  such useful things and will continue to explore for newer things till I live here. But then  I would surely recommend having atleast the dried blueberries if fresh ones are not available.The dried ones are also higher in antioxidants and have several other health benefits.
lemony blueberry muffins
         The lemon cake which I made along with my son few days back was a huge hit at home. And then their were repeated requests demands to make that one again. However I try to bake different cakes each time atleast with a minor changes in the same recipe or with a addition of one or two ingredients. I always get a punnet of blueberries whenever they are available at the supermarket. By now, I have come to know  my family love for tangy lemony cakes and  back of my mind I  knew for sure that cakes with lemons and blueberries definitely existed. I browsed for the recipe and found it here. The muffins looked very good , was moist and tasted great. The texture was nice and spongy too.

Recipe courtesy- For the love of cooking ( with few minor changes)
lemony blueberry muffins
All purpose flour- 1 cup
Whole wheat flour/atta-3/4 cup
Granulated sugar-3/4 cup+2tbsp
Baking powder-2tsp
Blueberries- 1 cup
Eggs-2 large
Milk- 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil- 1/4 cup
Lemon zest- of 1 large lemon
Lemon juice- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed
Brown sugar- 1tbsp(optional)(can use raw sugar according to the original recipe.)
lemony blueberry muffins
    Beat the eggs and then add sugar and beat till the mixture is frothy. Now add the milk and oil and combine well.Add the lemon juice. Combine the flours ,lemon zest and baking powder in a bowl. Fold in the dry mixture  to the wet mixture and mix well till well combined. Fold in the blueberries. Reserve some blueberries. Spoon in the batter in the muffin tray lined with muffin cases. Put some blueberries on the top. Sprinkle some brown sugar on the top. Bake this in a preheated oven at 180c for 20 minutes or till a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow it to cool and serve.
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Jun 20, 2011

Stuffed mushrooms /bharwan khumb- easy starter recipe

           There was a time some decades ago when I actually detested the thought of eating mushrooms. The only time I saw these mini umbrellas were during the rainy seasons when I was a little girl and used to play around the bushes along with the other kids.We were always told that they were poisonous species and hence unedible. It was only later when I came to know about the edible mushrooms and it was only a couple of years later I actually got to taste a mushroom dish. It was when a few friends and me had visited a restaurant. All of us got a very small portion of the mushroom gravy, but we really enjoyed it to the core. Then it was only after coming to Singapore, I was amazed to see so many different kinds of mushrooms in all so many shapes and sizes at the supermarkets.I was reluctant to buy them initially and however did not know which one to buy. Then a friend told me that white button mushrooms are widely used and I would like it. It has been a regular thing at my place since then and I have used in so many different ways. I love eating it and my hubby is okay with it too.
 The stuffed mushrooms I made last week was something different from what I have ever tried with mushrooms. It was really good. I took the basic idea of the recipe from tongue ticklers. Thanks Harini.
            This is a yummy dish and you can make this as a starter during dinner parties. You can serve this along with some dip.
stuffed mushrooms/bharwah khumb
White button mushrooms- 10-12 numbers
Grated ginger- 1"
Grated garlic- 1 clove
Grated corn- 2= 1/2 cup
Kasuri methi- 1tsp
Garam masala- 1/2tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Oil-1tsp+ 1tsp
Grated cheese-1/2 cup

    Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and clean out the lower portion with the help of a knife.
Reserve 2 mushrooms to be adding to stuffing and chop them fine.Keep the rest aside until you prepare the stuffing.
      Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan. Add the grated ginger and garlic followed by the grated corn. Add the turmeric powder, kasuri methi ,garam masala and salt. Then add the chopped mushrooms.Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Saute the mixture. Switch off the flame.
      Rub oil on the prepare mushrooms. Fill the cavities with the stuffing. Put some grated cheese on the top. Place them on a baking tray and keep in the pre heated oven and bake for 10 minutes or till the cheese melts.
    Serve warm.
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Jun 18, 2011

Raagi and sweet potato pooris

       School holidays are going on. We have taken a break from the the usual routine of waking up early  and the same usual food of rice and dal for lunch and paratas for dinner etc. Its bit difficult to keep the kids engaged during the holidays, but I do find myself having some time left even after the usual chores. So you can find me posting more often nowadays.I have been doing a bit of baking too and also whipping up some yummy food for my kiddo. One more week left and the school reopens and I do have more plans for the next week.Okay, so one of these days I made this pooris with ragi and also thought of incorporating some sweet potatoes in it. My son loves pooris and this was something much more healthy than the usual pooris. It was quite filling and a hit at home.
raagi and sweet potato pooris
Wheat flour-3/4 cup
Ragi-1/2 cup
Sweet potato -1
Turmeric powder-1tsp
Red chilly powder-1tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying.

        Peel and boil the sweet potato and mash it well maybe in a blender so that there will be no lumps. Now combine the flours and spices along with salt and the pureed sweet potato and knead it to firm and smooth dough. You may need to add some water while kneading but take care the dough does not become too loose. Use some oil in the end so the dough is non sticky.
         Now make small balls with the dough. Roll each ball into a small thin circle. Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is really hot, gently put the rolled circle in the hot oil. Allow it to cook on both sides. Remove from oil and place it on tissue paper so that the excess oil in absorbed.
         Serve hot with chole and pickle.
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Jun 16, 2011

Eggless cookies using custard powder(baking for beginners)

        When I had bought my microwave cum convection oven a couple of years ago, I set my first step towards baking. I used to browse for simple and easy baking recipes.I was totally excited about baking my own cookies and cakes. Thats when I had seen sailu's cookies she had posted during the christmas. The recipe sounded quite okay for a beginner like me. I set out baking this cookies and was so thrilled with the result.They were awesome. I baked a few more batches after that and everyone at home just loved it. I remember sending them to my family back in India too. They had also liked this cookies. So these cookies were my very first baking escapade. Ever since I have never stopped baking. And every time I bake is quite an adventure for me, though I am more confident and less nervous about it now.
eggless custard powder cookies
       Well, this recipe is keeper and I am sure you will never go wrong with this one. They make  an excellent snack for your tea time.The texture and taste is just perfect.And you know what, whenever I bake cookies, I think I should make them more often. But somehow never find time for it. I do have quite a few cookie recipes in my mind and do want to make them soon. So do try and do give me your feedback which will inspire me to bake more and post more of them soon.

Recipe courtesy- Sailu's Kitchen

eggless custard powder cookies
Wheat flour(atta)- 1 cup
Maida/APF- 1 cup
Custard powder-1/2 cup
Baking powder- 3/4tsp
Baking soda- 1/2tsp
Granulated sugar- 1 cup
Oil-1 cup

Notes- Use 2 cups maida/APF and avoid using wheat flour totally according to original recipe.

   Combine the wheat flour, maida,custard powder , baking powder and baking soda and keep aside. Next combine the sugar and oil and keep stirring till it forms a smooth paste. Now add the dry mixture to this paste and mix it well. Now pinch small portion of your dough. Shape it into a smooth ball and flatten it. Place it on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat the same with rest of the dough. Place each cookie at a slight distance away from each other though this does not expands much on baking. Bake it for 10 minutes at 180c. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. The cookies are very soft when hot, but they will slightly harden on cooking. If you bake for more time, the cookies are crunchy.
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Jun 15, 2011

Macaroni hot pot

           I really love the Tarla dalal's cookbook about lentils and pulses. The recipes are so simple , so doable and interesting too. Like the masoor dal biryani I have tried before which was quite a nice and a unique recipe. There are many other nice recipes too where you can make beautiful delicacies with lentils not restricting yourselves to just simple side dish of lentils for your rice or rotis.
           So this was another recipe about using pulses in your pasta where the small, dry,white,oval shaped beans often used in baking is used here. Its also known as boston beans, navy beans or haricot beans. Its commonly known as baked beans and is available in supermarkets where the cooked beans are covered in tomato sauce.
           I had one large can of these beans for a very long time and wanted to try this pasta recipe  but somehow kept postponing it. Sometimes you have to try a recipe  to understand the complexity of the recipe. This recipe is not complicated  at all. Thats what I learned when I made this one. I have followed the recipe without making any changes. We just loved it and can be made when you have guests for dinner. The pasta combined with onions and capsicums, tossed in tomato sauce and topped with cheese is sure to be a hit with your guests.

Recipe Courtesy- Tarla Dalal's dal and pulses.

baked beans pasta

Onion rings-3/4 cup
Capsicum rings- 11/2 cups
Garlic(crushed or grated)- 1tbsp
Tomatoes-2-3 big ones(blanched and chopped
Macaroni/pasta- 4 cups cooked(use any variety available with you)
Baked beans- 1 large can
Tomato ketchup- 1/4 cup
Chilli powder-2tsp
Sugar- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Cooking cheese- 1 cup for topping(use cheddar or mixture of cheeses)

      Heat the butter in a deep pan, add the onions and saute on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes , while stirring continuously.
Add the capsicum, mix gently and saute on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring continuously.
Add the garlic, tomatoes and chilli powder and mix well and cook on a medium flame for 5 minutes , while stirring continuously.
Add the pasta , beans, tomato ketchup, sugar and salt , toss gently and cover and cook on a slow flame for another 2- 3 minutes.
Remove from the flame , sprinkle the cheese evenly over it .
Cover and bake in a preheated oven at 200c for 20 minutes or till the cheese melts. Serve hot.
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Jun 13, 2011

Kaju kathli / Cashewnut fudge/Kaju burfi recipe

          This has been in my to do list for a very long time.  This is one sweet which is enjoyed by one and all and even by people who are not that fond of sweets. Its very popular in India especially during festivals and any celebrations. I am really amazed by the varieties of cashew sweets available in the sweet marts in India nowadays.They are available in different shapes and sizes due to its properties very similar to a fondant. Cashew rolls are also quite popular and some are even stuffed with other nuts like pistachios and almonds. They are even shaped into strawberries or apples and sweetened betel leaves with appropriate flavour and colour making it even more attractive.
kaju katli/burfi/cashewnut fudge
      I am quite tempted to try different varieties of this ever popular cashew sweets in the future. And I decided to give it a start with the most  simple and basic kaju kathli or diamond shaped cashew sweet. I have seen a number of recipes people follow to make this one. Whichever recipe you follow, I am sure you won't go wrong and this is one sweet which can be enjoyed anyway. Just roll them into balls if your not able to slice them into  a proper shape.
kaju katli/burfi/cashewnut fudge
Cashewnuts/kaju- 1 cup
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder- 1/2tsp (optional)
Saffron/kesar- few strands (optional)
kaju katli/burfi/cashewnut fudge
       Keep the cashews in the fridge for sometime. Then grind the chilled cashews in a blender in small batches to a very fine powder. Run the blender at short intervals at high speed. By this process, the oil in the cashews will not ooze out and will give  a dry powder.(tip from a cook book Swaad sugandh)
        Now heat a pan and add 1/4 cup of water along with the sugar.Allow the sugar to dissolve and allow it to boil for sometime till you get a one string consistency.Add the cardamom powder and saffron strands. Gradually add the cashewnut powder. Keep stirring and ensure that there are no lumps. Allow the mixture to thicken. You can check if it is done by taking a small drop of this mixture and see if your able to roll it into a ball without it sticking to your fingers.Remove from flame and allow the mixture to cool for sometime. Then knead the mixture to a smooth dough. Place the smooth dough on a tin lined with baking paper/waxed paper or parchment paper. Press with your palms and fingers  to form a thick circle or you can use a rolling pin to roll it into a circle. Now cut them to diamond shaped pieces using a sharp knife.
       You can use the silver warq on the top of the fudge before slicing them if your prefer. I did not use it.
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Jun 11, 2011

Vegetable paratha

           This is a great food for kids and kids really enjoy having this hot maybe along with some tomato ketchup. You can add your choice of vegetables to the paratas taking care how you process it before you stuff into the paratas. You can use shredded cabbage or grated cauliflower along with cooked and mashed peas and paneer. I sometimes cook most of the vegetables in the cooker, and add the appropriate spices before stuffing them into the paratas. Just ensure that the stuffing is dry so that you don't end up with messy paratas!!Paratas do make a very filling and delicious meal.
stuffed vegetable paratha
Wheat flour- 1 cup
Potatoes- 1 big
Carrots- 1 big(grated or cut into very tiny pieces)
Capsicum- 1 (cut into very tiny pieces)
Ginger garlic green chilli paste -1/2tsp
Salt-1tsp or to taste
Garam masala- 1tsp
Ghee to brush on parathas
stuffed vegetable paratha
        Knead a soft and smooth dough with the wheat flour adding water. Use little oil the end while kneading to make the dough non sticky. Make lemon sized balls with the dough.
       Cook the potatoes till soft in a pressure cooker. Heat little oil in a pan. Add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a few seconds before adding the very tinily chopped carrot and capsicum into it. Cook for 5 minutes till they are soft yet crisp. Add the cooked and mashed potato in it followed by salt and garam masala. Combine everything together. You can also make the stuffing in a microwave. Make small balls of the stuffing.
        Roll the dough to a thick circle. Place little stuffing in the center of the ball. Seal the ball completely and properly. Now again roll them into a big but thick circle.
        Heat a tava or a girdle. Place the rolled circle on this and cook on both sides till you see brown spots appear on them. Brush some ghee on both sides while cooking.
       Serve hot with some curds or pickle. 
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Jun 9, 2011

Glazed Lemon cake Recipe- easy cake baking recipes

          I did not actually want to write a recipe for a cake in this post after already posting one in my previous post. But this one was so good and delicious  that I could not resist myself from posting this one soon.Yes, believe me,this one was one of the best cakes I have baked till date. And the best part is
it is so easy and does not involve any complicated steps that even your kid can handle it. I swear, I allowed my 4 year old to help me. He has his school holidays now. Few days back, I saw champa's post on vanilla cake. She said that this was the easiest cake ever and how her friend's children helped her bake the cake. That sounded so cute and I decided to involve my son in making this one. He was so excited about it.I kept adding  the ingredients in  a big bowl which I placed on his small table in the kitchen while he kept stirring it with a whisk and thoroughly enjoyed the process. He actually remembered all the ingredients added to the cake when I asked him after the whole process was over. Later in the evening, he told his dad that he baked the cake today while his mummy helped him a little.
       Okay, now for the cake. I took the basic recipe from Champa's easiest vanillla cake which I converted to lemon cake by adding the rind and juice of the lemon followed by a lemon glaze. As a result the cake was sweet and tangy. It was thoroughly enjoyed my everyone. The flavour and taste was just amazing. Infact, my hubby asked me to bake this one again.

All purpose flour- 3 cups
Sugar- 1 1/2 cup
Baking soda-1tsp
Baking powder- 1/2tsp
Buttermilk- 1 1/2 cup(diluted curd)
Oil- 3/4 cup
Lemon rind- of 1 lemon
Lemon juice- 3tbsp

Lemon glaze-
Lemon juice- 2tbsp
Powdered sugar- 1/2 cup
( you can also add vanilla essence if you want)
   Beat the eggs  well in  a bowl.
Mix in the sugar.
Add the buttermilk and oil and thoroughly mix the liquid ingredients.
Combine the flour, salt,baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and then add this in the wet mixture gradually stirring to form a uniform mixture.
Fold in the lemon rind and juice.
Pour the batter in a well greased and floured bundt cake pan. Bake this at 180c for 35 minutes till a skewer inserted in it comes out clean. Cool the cake well in the pan. Turn it on a plate.
      Mix the sugar and lemon juice till it becomes a smooth and spreadable. Poke small holes over the cake. Pour the glaze over it. Leave the cake for about an hour. Slice and serve.
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Jun 7, 2011

Eggless chocolate cake [using vinegar]

        While I hate adding butter to my cakes, I really don't mind eggs in the cake. So most of the cake recipes [except a few]that has been published here does not require butter.But when I saw the eggless version of chocolate cake  few years back here and later on in several different blogs, I was really interested in trying that one. I quite liked the texture when I saw the pictures of it and it looked quite moist too. I wanted to experiment on some egg substitutes and see the difference. Also some readers like their cake to be eggless.So I decided on trying this one when I wanted to bake a cake especially to use up the left over frosting after making my heart shaped anniversary cake. The cake turned out to be really delicious and the texture was simply great which I least expected with an eggless one. We love chocolate cakes like most people do and this one is so easy to put together.This  can be baked in a jiffy during the days when you crave for something chocolatey. As I had quite a lot of time that day, I also tried my hands on doing some patterns with pink icing I had. And I have done quite a fairly decent job. Don't you think so??

eggless chocolate cake using vinegar
Recipe courtesy-  Priya's kitchen
eggless chocolate cake using vinegar
All purpose flour- 3 cups
Cocoa powder- 6tbsp
Baking soda- 2tsp

Water-2 cups
Vanilla- 1tsp
Oil-1/2 cup
eggless chocolate cake using vinegar
    Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and keep aside. Then combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients mixture into the wet mixture. Mix thoroughly till you get the uniform batter.
[You can also mix the baking soda and vinegar seperately and add it to the batter]
  Pour the batter in a well greased and floured cake tin. Bake at 180c for 35 minutes.
eggless chocolate cake using vinegar
Cool the cake in the pan and then turn it over a serving plate. Slice when it is completely cool.
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Jun 5, 2011

Semiya payasam - richer and tastier...

      This variety of payasam is my son's favourite and he calls it "noodles payasam". Maybe the word noodles itself is quite tempting for him that he never says no to this one atleast. I do not make payasams often, but when I make it , I spend lot of time making it. I add all kind of nuts and also add some badam powder mix which I have mentioned before to make it more richer in taste. I have always loved it. The method which I have mentioned below does not render the payasam very thick(when it cools). The consistency is just perfect. I made it for a get together last week and everyone loved it a lot. You can try adding condensed milk for a richer taste and flavour.
how to make semiya payasam

Semiya/vermicelli- 1 cup
Milk- 1litre
Sugar- 1 cup
Nuts- cashews,almond,pistachios-1/2 cup
Raisins- 1tbsp
MTR badam feast- 1tbsp(optional)

 Heat ghee in a  pan.
Add the nuts and fry till they are golden brown. Remove them and keep them aside.
Now add the semiya  and fry till golden brown.
 Then add half a glass of  water and allow it to cook.
 Meanwhile bring the milk to boil.
Add the sugar and keep stirring till it dissolves.
Then add the cooked semiya in the milk. Stir well.
Add the fried nuts along with badam feast. Stir till the payasam thickens.
 That should take around 15 minutes.Serve hot or chilled.

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Jun 3, 2011

Wheat adais

         I think the basic tamil cookbook by Meenakshi ammal is very useful for people who are new to tamil cooking. I own one of those books which was given to me by a family friend when I got married. It contains most of the day to day cooking recipes from varieties of sambars, rasams, kootus and curries and then some varieties of dosas and other tiffin recipes. I used to refer this book when I did not know anything about tamil cooking and learned quite a lot from this book though her instructions and ingredient measurements are sometimes a bit difficult to follow. So according to my opinion,one has to modify the instructions and measurements to suit the present day's cooking needs.
         Wheat adais was one of the recipes which I found in her book couple of years ago. She has suggested that the whole wheat be broken to rava like consistency in a mill and used whenever required.But then I thought of using whole wheat flour or atta along with dals to make adais. It was a good idea because the adais turned up quite good and were tasty too. One can even try using broken wheat here. I would suggest to grind the commercially available broken wheat in  a mixer to a rava like consistency in case the grain is too big and be soaked for an hour before mixing it to the lentils.
Wheat flour/atta- 1 cup
Channa dal- 1/2 cup
Mung dal- 1/2 cup
Tuvar dal- 1/2 cup
Curry leaves- few
Salt to taste
Dried red chillies-4-5 numbers
Oil- to pour on sides while cooking.

        Wash and soak the lentils  for 3-4 hours. Grind it along with red chillies to a coarse paste.
Now add the wheat flour followed by salt and mix well.
Pinch in some curry leaves.
Add water to dilute the batter if its very thick. Batter should be of  pourable consistency.
Heat a tava or girdle. Pour a ladleful of batter on it and roll it to a circle with the base of the ladle. It should be a fairly thick circle.
Pour some oil on the sides and allow it to cook.
Now flip and cook on the other side.
They should turn a golden brown which shows that it is cooked.
          Serve immediately with chutney,milagai podi, jaggery, butter or some pickle.
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Jun 1, 2011

Mango kesari/sheera

       I love mangoes and am the only person who loves to have mangoes as it is at my place. My hubby and kid are not really interested in eating mangoes. Its not they don't like it or are allergic to it.My hubby says he has eaten so many mangoes before and has outgrown the mango craze , while my kid who has never tasted mangoes does not want to try something new.Weird, isn't it? But thats all right, I can have their share too!!I know I have raved about my love for mangoes before, can't help it you know, especially with the mango season going on. How can one not have mangoes when the  season lasts only for a few months.Anyway I wanted them to have mangoes and decided to use them in my cooking. So I made this kesari with a mango. They do have a weakness for sweets and won't resist something like this. And yes, I was right. They loved it  and my wish to feed them with mangoes was fulfilled!!
mango kesari,halwa,sheera
Rava/sooji/semolina- 1 cup
Sugar-1/2 cup
Milk- 1 cup
Cardamom powder-1/2tsp
Saffron/kesar- few strands
Raisins- 1tbsp
Ghee- 1tbsp

Cut the mango and puree the pieces in a blender. Keep it aside.
Boil the milk along with a cup of water.
Now heat ghee in a pan. Add the cashews and raisins and fry till golden brown. Remove them and keep aside.
In the same pan, roast the semolina for 5 minutes.
Add the sugar and mix well.
Now add the boiled milk, mango puree, nuts and saffron.
Keep stirring in low heat till the mixture thickens. Add more ghee for a richer taste during this stirring process.
Serve hot.
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