School vacations are coming to an end. It was super fun and we have had some great time. Last week we went on a cruise and had some gala time. It was a wonderful experience and very relaxing. Finally I got a much needed break from all the usual activities. We ate a lot as Indian vegetarian food was available amply. We got to try some beautiful and a different varieties of eggless bakes,jellies and puddings. I enjoyed the desserts the most.You must have seen the mouth watering pictures if you follow me on instagram.
Talking about instagram, I had also shared the picture of the lunch thali below a couple of days ago. I share my lunch thali on instagram on most of the days. Do follow me if you are not already. Banana stem was not a very popular thing at my place when I was a child though I have eaten a few times, when our friends shared the stem with us whenever they removed the banana tree from their garden. But it was such a rare thing that I hardly remember how it tasted.
But for the last couple of years , I have eaten this many times. Also partly because I became aware of how healthy it is. It prevents kidney stones and also aids in weight loss. Juice made with it is very nutritious. I have usually had it as a kootu or south Indian style stir fry. I have loved it always. I like the banana stem more than the flower or even the raw bananas.
My sister had once suggested to try a stir fry with it using onions and all. So when I got the stem last month, I decided to make it this way. It was spicy and delicious and it really tasted great with phulkas. We all enjoyed it and am sure I will making this again and again.
Banana stem stir fry - side dish for chapatis
Stir fry with banana stem - A different side dish for chapatis and phulkas.
Remove the outer layers of the banana stem.
Chop the inner center portion of the stem into small pieces.
Place the pieces in diluted buttermilk till use.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add mustard seeds. Allow to crackle.
Add cumin seeds. Add garlic (if adding),green chillies and curry leaves.
Add the chopped onions and saute till it slightly browns.
Add turmeric powder and salt.
Add the chopped banana stem and mix well.
Add curry powder . Mix and sprinkle a little water.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Add coriander leaves.
Add some lemon juice. Mix well together.
Serve with some phulkas.
Its only after coming to Singapore I came to know about zucchini and I used it in a bread for the first time as I had come across in many blogs that time. It was rarely available around 10 years back. But I used to get them whenever available and have generally used them in my bakes. But now its readily available and I usually make a kind of stir fry for phulkas or a south Indian kootu with them. One fine day, I was wondering what to do with a big lone zucchini sitting in my refrigerator and it suddenly struck me that I could make kofta masala for my chapatis. I have used bottlegourd to make koftas , so zucchini would be a good option too. Similar to my lauki kofta recipe, I used shallow fry method in a aebelskiver pan to cook the koftas which otherwise can be deep fried too. So its your choice on how to cook the koftas.And then in the end I have added a little cream to make the gravy slightly richer. But its your choice again and you can use a smooth paste made with cashewnuts and milk which will give a richer taste too. I have been using the nuts paste in my gravies nowadays and really love the rich and creamy texture and a delicious taste and flavour it lends to any gravy.
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it with your rice and rotis. I have been trying my hands on taking videos for a few recipes now. I have posted the video below so that you can take it as a reference. It may not be that great but I believe it will be atleast a little useful to people who are new to this kind of curries.
A few more kofta recipes in this blog
vegetable kofta (baked version)
kacche kele ka kofta
Zucchini kofta curry - easy low fat sidedish for rotis and rice
A delicious low fat side dish with zucchini.
Grate the zucchini.
Squeeze out the excess water. You can either discard the water or reserve it(in order to preserve the nutrition) to add it to the gravy later.
Take the grated zucchini in a bowl.
Add mashed potato to it.
Add turmeric powder,red chilly powder,coriander powder and salt.
Add chick pea flour and knead gently to a dough.
Heat a paniyaaram or abelskiver pan.
Add oil in the cups.
Make small cups or koftas with the zucchini mixture.
Drop it into the pan.
Cook on one side.
Flip and cook on the other side till it browns on both the sides.
Take tomatoes,ginger and garlic in a mixer and grind it to a paste.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add the chopped onions and saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomato paste.
Add the turmeric powder and red chilly powder.
Saute for 5-7 minutes till it thickens slightly.
Add the coriander powder,garam masala and kasuri methi.
Saute for another 8-10 minutes.
Pour a glass of water.
Cook for another 2 minutes.
Add the cream and mix well.
Switch off the flame.
Add the prepared koftas to the gravy 10-15 before serving.
Serve warm with indian breads or basmati rice.
School holidays are going on in Singapore and we are having an amazing time here. My sister and her kid visited us last week and we had real fun with them showing them around and cooking and eating delicious stuff both at home and outside.My sister whips up delicious things and loves cooking. So it was fun to make different things in the kitchen last week. You should follow me on my instagram to know what we cooked and ate. I do share a few things in insta stories too and will be sharing more when we will travelling next week.We did try a few new things and also shared a few tips with each other and I am sure to use those tips in my cooking. I also wanted to bake a cake, but somehow never managed to do it last week due to lack of time. Remember the hot chocolate mix I had made sometime ago. I was thinking of using it in various ways apart from drinking it as a hot beverage and thought of using it in my baking from a long time. I was just contemplating how to use it whether in a brownie or a muffin or a mug cake. I finally decided to bake brownies as my kids are very fond of it. It turned out to be quite delicious and my kids really enjoyed them. They were soft and chewy with a beautiful crust. See the recipe for hot chocolate mix. It basically has a maximum percentage of milk powder,some sugar and cocoa powder and some crushed chocolate chips. I added some flour and a few wet ingredients to the mix to make this brownies. So this brownies has very little flour and I did not add any extra sugar. The hot chocolate mix was similar to a readymade brownie mix which you generally find in the stores. You can even make this mix and keep in the refrigerator and use it as needed.
Hot chocolate drink mix brownies
Delicious chewy brownies with hot chocolate mix.
Preheat the oven at 180c.
Grease a cake pan and sprinkle some cocoa powder on it and tap to spread it throughout the pan.
Combine the hot chocolate mix,flour and Baking powder in a mixing bowl.
Pour the milk and oil in it and mix.
Beat the egg slightly and add it to the mixture.
Add the vanilla essence.
Mix throroughly and pour the batter in the prepared pan.
Sprinkle the chocolate chips all over the batter generously.
Bake at 180c for 35 minutes.
Insert a skewer or a knife in the center of the cake to check if it is clean.
Allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
Slice and serve.
Though I have lived in Delhi for a short while several years ago, I have never come across purple carrots or have known this drink at all.Though I remember having a spicy drink made with normal red carrots popularly known as delhi carrots which is used for making halwa as it imparts a beautiful colour compared to the other plump orangish yellow carrots we get in Singapore or even Southern India. I have actually never enjoyed the taste of that spicy carrot drink though several years after I have craved for this drink, but never got to try. It was made with carrots and lots of coriander leaves. Perhaps I will try recreating it one of these days. Meanwhile I had come across this drink recipe in a blog called mad tea party some 7-8 years ago. I was surprised to see this purple carrots. Thats when I learnt that there were something called purple carrots and they were available in Delhi. Anyway,I just let it go knowing that I am not going to get this carrots anywhere. But life is full of surprises and I found a packet of purple carrots at the supermarket here. To be precise (especially for Singapore readers), I found them in fairprice Finest. I immediately brought them and searched for the recipe in the internet and made it finally. For the benefit of my readers who have never come across this drink and are interested in trying it out, I would like to describe about this drink. This is a spicy fermented non alcoholic drink made with purple carrots. The taste is absolutely different from any other drink you have had to date. It has a pungent odour and tastes sour. My family did not like it much though my hubby had a few glasses after it was chilled. But I did share with a few friends who absolutely enjoyed it to the core. The smell is something similar to a pickle where mustard seeds are used. I liked the drink as I expected it to be that way. I am sure if its new for you , you will acquire the taste gradually. Let me tell you that it is delicious!! Morever it is a superfood. Any bright coloured food is very healthy and full of antioxidants. This drink basically helps in digestion,infact a good probiotic and improves the abundance of good bacteria in your stomach. So do try it just because it is healthy and you will start enjoying it!
Recipe courtesy – Maayeka
Purple carrot juice- Gajar ki kanji
A spicy non alcoholic drink with purple carrots.
Peel the skin from the purple carrots. Wash them well and cut them into tiny pieces.
Add this pieces along with the beetroot pieces in the water.
Grind the mustard seeds to a powder.
Mix the mustard seeds powder with black salt,red chilly powder,hing and salt.
Add this to the water.
Mix everything well together.
Cover this with a muslin cloth.
Keep this for 3-4 days in a cool dry place.
Stir it 3-4 time in a day.
After 3 days, it starts turning sour and the red colour becomes quite intense.
This is the right time to start having the juice.
You can store the rest in the refrigerator after 5 days.
Pasta is a regular thing at my place . I make it so often and you can see recipes with pasta coming every now and then. I try to make different kind of sauces each time though pasta with white sauce continues to be a favourite with kids. Hubby prefers the masala pasta. I love the white sauce too, but the cheese in it is overwhelming. Being health conscious, you can see my recently posted pasta recipes with less of cheese and more of healthy ingredients. I am relieved that even the pasta shells available nowadays are quite healthy. We get them with whole wheat or buck wheat. This time, I found one made with quinoa which is quite healthy. I am going to use this kind regularly now as my family are pasta lovers and I want to try to make it as healthy as possible.
I made the sauce with cashews and coriander this time. I have been wanting to use nuts for a long time. Cashews almost gave a cheesy taste and coriander a nice flavour. On the whole, the pasta was quite delicious and we all loved it.
I tried making a video this time too. This attempt is much better than the previous one. I am learning with each attempt and enjoying my new experience too.
Pasta(penne)in cashew coriander sauce
Pasta with a sauce or pesto made with cashewnuts and coriander.
Soak the cashewnuts in hot water for 30 minutes.
Heat a pan.
Add the pasta shells and french beans.
Pour water and some salt.
Cook till aldente.
In a mixer jar, add the cashewnuts, coriander and garlic.
Do not drain the water from cashewnuts. Add more water if necessary and grind it to a smooth paste.
Add this paste to the cooked pasta .
Mix well. Keep stirring in between.
Add tomato ketchup.
Mix well and cook for 5 to 7 minutes till the sauce thickens.
I did not drain the water after cooking the pasta as it is normally done.
Around 10 years ago, I started this blog as a creative hobby. As I had decided to be a stay-at-home mom that time, I decided to blog about food as trying out new recipes, picturing them and sharing them with others gave me a lot of happiness.It also kept me occupied and I was also learning something new every now and then, rather than spending my time monotonously with the usual housework. You can read more about it here. After my second baby, life became even busier and blogging became a rare thing for the last five years though I did not completely stop doing it. But then , this year I decided to take it up again and spend a few hours everyday doing and learning something new about this hobby. So I took the next step and decided to do a video for the very first time. Its nowhere close to the awesome bloggers who do it so professionally and so perfect. Mine is very amateurish with a lot of flaws. I was even a bit embarrased to post it here. But then one cannot be perfect the first time itself,isn’t it? Its a learning process and I have a long way to go. But it definitely gives you an idea if you are going to try this recipe. So it will be nice if you encourage me with your comments. I will surely do a better job!!! Apart from technical learning, I am learning a lot of things in the aspects of cooking and baking too. I am exploring newer and healthy ingredients and trying to create new healthy recipes. I have used ragi in baking before. This time I used a combination of ragi and bananas. Chocolate is something which I use by default.Until there is chocolate in the cake, my kids eat them without bickering about the healthy things which go into it. I have not used any processed sugar in this. Its just sugarcane syrup which a friend had given me and I had also used them in my pancakes, remember? This recipe is really easy to follow and is surely going to be a hit.Its a very forgiving recipe even if you make any substitutions in the recipe. So do try it and eat it too without any guilt. Share it with everyone especially your kids as you are feeding them healthy which is going to give you so much satisfaction.
Banana ragi chocolate muffins - healthy baking recipes
Healthy guilt free muffin recipe with fingermillet flour.
Line your muffin pan with muffin cases or you can use muffin cups.
Preheat the oven at 180c.
In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas.
Pour the sugarcane syrup.
Add the vanilla essence.
Now add rest of the wet ingredients - egg,oil and milk.
Add the dry ingredients - atta, ragi ,cocoa powder and baking soda.
Mix well to form a thick batter. Add the chocolate chips.
Scoop out the mixture into muffin cups.
Sprinkle more chocolate chips if you wish.
Place them in the preheated oven and bake at 180c for 25-30 minutes.
Check if the cake is done by inserting a skewer in the center.
Remove from oven. Allow it to cool for 10-15 minutes and serve.
Tastes even better the next day.
I have seen cranberries used by several bloggers especially in the USA. I was quite tempted , but never found them in Singapore. This was around 8-9 years ago. But now, we get most of the American products here and I dont miss them any longer. Infact supermarkets like Fairprice Finest and cold storage stores fresh cranberries , all kinds of berries like raspberries and blackberries and many other exotic fruits which was not easily available in the Asian countries before. So when these fresh cranberries were not available before, I have used the dried cranberries which were not so fun to be used in the recipes, but we just snacked them as it is. They were delicious!! I had even tried making a similar kind of relish with it several years ago. So when I found this fresh cranberries in the supermarket here, I immediately picked it up .It was late november and I knew that I had an trip to India coming up. I did not have much time in hand to use them, but too reluctant to let it go. I tried my best, but could not use them. I just placed them in a ziploc bag and kept them for freezing. So its only this april, I actually got to lay my hands on them. They looked fresh as ever and tempting as always. As I tasted one for the first time, it seemed quite tart. I decided to make thokku or a spicy pickle . Thokku is a popular thing in Tamil nadu and is usually made with raw mangoes or tomato . I have tasted one even made with green chillies.But of course, people make with many other vegetables and fruits. So this one with cranberries turned out really awesome. My family really love it and this relish is in demand always whether it be with chapatis or curd rice. I love with my dal rice too.
Other thokku recipes here –
Dried cranberry thokku
Fresh Cranberry thokku recipe
A spicy relish with fresh cranberries
As I used frozen cranberries, I washed them under tap water. So basically clean the fresh or frozen cranberries.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Allow to splutter. Add the fenugreek seeds,hing and curry leaves. Saute for a minute.
Add the cranberries and mix well.
Add turmeric powder,red chilly powder and salt.
Mix and stir well till the cranberries gets cooked and starts turning to a paste.
Add the tamarind pulp.
Add the jaggery.
Keep stirring till it forms into a thick mass. This should take around 20 -25 minutes.
Allow to cool and store this pickle in a air tight container.
You can use this chapatis or rice.
Indians are very fond of their coffee and tea. Especially for almost every South Indian, their day begins by brewing their coffee decoction in a special metal filter of which the Indian women are proud of. But of course now many possess different kinds of electric filter and expresso machines which makes the coffee decoction in a jiffy. South Indians just love their filter coffee.Many households in India prefer to buy fresh coffee beans,roast and grind it on a daily basis.Its not unusual but I, like many people love to start my day with a cup of coffee too. I rise quite early in the morning, but like to hustle up with the usual chores of whipping up a good breakfast and lunch boxes for hubby and kid. Its only after that I settle myself with a cup of coffee and have it in solitude.Having this exquisitive potion calms my soul and rests my mind. Its just 10 to 15 minutes when I have to resume my other activities for the day. But I do really look forward for those precious ten minutes each day to enjoy my daily dose of caffeine. I am not too particular about having filter coffee though I would love too. I make do with the instant coffee.
I make it a point to try the local coffee of any place or country that I am visiting. Every country I visited have their own distinct flavour and I love to imbibe that aroma and taste of the uniqueness.I love the different taste,flavours and combinations and prefer it with a little sugar and milk. A few days ago, I came across Gourmesso coffee where they offer a couple of coffee flavours suitable for your taste.I would certainly be buying them one of these days as they look quite interesting,unique and the prices are quite reasonable too and for a coffee lover in me would never want to let that go!!
The strong aroma and the flavour of coffee really intrigues me and I dont mind having a dessert with coffee or a cold beverage with the flavour of coffee too. Along with ice-cream, cold coffee has always been a relief during the hot summers. I love adding a little coffee powder in my chocolate cakes as it gives a deep brown colour and also a mild flavour of coffee in it. So one fine afternoon, I decided to skip my usual drink of hot coffee, instead decided to make a quick cake with a coffee flavour.
I added two different coffee flavours and it turned out quite well. So if you are fond of the bittersweet taste in your desserts, go ahead and make this one. It takes only 5 minutes of your total time. Skip your coffee and have this dessert instead!!
Microwave coffee mug cake - for coffee lovers
A quick coffee flavoured cake made in 2 minutes.
Add the flour,baking powder and cocoa powder in a mug.
Add instant coffee granules and sugar and mix with a spoon.
Add the oil.
Add the yogurt and coffee decoction and mix well.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on it.
Microwave for 2 minutes with a interval of 1 minute in between.
Allow it to cool.
You can have it with a spoon.
Add chocolate syrup or sweetened cream or even icecream as you prefer.
Gulkhand or rose petal jam as it is called has been a favourite thing since childhood. We remember getting it from Mahabaleshwar(hill station in Maharashtra, India) for the first time. Our mom use to give a teaspoon of it everyday and we relished it with joy. We simply loved it that way. Its also added to the “meeta paan”(betel leaves) which we used to have occasionally when we seldom went to some restaurants those days. Gulkhand enhances the taste of the paan and takes you to another level. There are more such occasions where we have enjoyed Gulkhand to the core.
Gulkhand is also known for its health benefits . You should certainly read about its various benefits which I never knew about. I knew it cools down your body and is very good for people with stomach ailments such as acidity and ulcers. So the last time in december,when I went to India, I made it a point to bring back a couple of bottles of gulkhand back home. I buy it from a relative who makes it in their own factory and some how I an not comfortable buying it anywhere else. I have witnessed the process of them making huge amount of gulkand at this place and we even got to relish it when it was being processed. I have never eaten anything like that before.
Todays recipe is a delicious smoothie made with gulkhand. You can make your own additions and deletions of various ingredients in the smoothie. I try to add icecreams in the smoothies and milkshakes I make because it gives a desired thickness and my kids don’t like it with just milk in it. So just give this a try and you are going to love it!
See more smoothie recipes here-
Sugarless Avacado smoothie
Strawberry oatmeal breakfast smoothie
Mixed fruits smoothie
Gulkhand smoothie recipe - easy drink recipes for hot summers
Delicious smoothie recipe with Gulkhand or rose petal jam ready in a few minutes!
Place all the ingredients in a blender.
Blend it to a smooth liquid.
Add more milk or icecream if necessary depending on the consistency of the smoothie you would like it to be.
Though nowadays I see mangoes stocked up in the supermarket all the year round, I like to buy them only during the proper season. We do buy plenty of mangoes during these three months every year and I go crazy eating them as a whole and I am very tempted to try different recipes with them too. I am not too fond of the store bought mango puree. I prefer adding fresh fruits. Baking a cake using mangoes always prioritizes my list as everyone at home love it. You can check out the mango buttermilk pound cake which I made couple of years ago and I bake it almost every year. This time I decided to go for a different recipe with healthy ingredients.
I found the recipe while browsing the net and decided to go ahead with this one making some changes to the original recipe. This one is eggless and I used flax seeds and buttermilk for the softness. I have used whole wheat flour , but you can use all purpose flour or refined wheat flour. It will be less dense that way. But my family have got used to the denser texture of my cakes as I prefer baking it the healthy way. The cake has a distinct mango flavour and proper sweetness. It feels delicious to bite into the extra sweetness of the mango bits which is added into it.
I had it along with my afternoon coffee and really enjoyed it. I had posted regarding this in my instagram. Do follow me on instagram to get regular updates on what I cook each day. Its fun sharing those pictures and you will enjoy them too!
Meanwhile , have a look at different mango recipes here in Creative Saga!!
Top 10 mango recipes of creative Saga
Mango dessert collection.
Recipe Source – The whinery (with some minor modifications to suit my taste)
Mango Cardamom cake - Mango recipes
Eggless and healthy cake with mangoes with the flavour of cardamom!!
Mix the flax seed in around 3/4 th cup of water. Grind it till its becomes a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
Preheat the oven at 180c.
Grease and flour a cake pan and keep it ready.
In a mixing bowl, mix the oil and sugar.
Add the mango puree and flax seed paste to it and mix well.
Add in the lemon juice,buttermilk and vanilla essence.
Mix it well. (I used vanillin powder, hence in the picture)
In another bowl, combine the flour,baking powder,baking soda, salt and cardamom powder. Fold in the flour mixture to the wet mix slowly stirring and mixing it simultaneously.
Add the mango pieces and mix gently.
Pour the batter in the prepared cake pan.
Bake at 180c for 45 minutes till the top has browned. Insert a knife or skewer in the center to check if the cake is done. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes. Invert on a plate and cut into slices.
Serve immediately or store in a airtight box.
For buttermilk, add 2tbsp vinegar in 3/4th cup of milk. Let it rest for 5 minutes. You can see that it curdles a bit.