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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Cucumber - Strawberry Popsicles


Ingredients:

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
4-5 tbsp sugar ( or as required)

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add the chopped cucumber, 1 tbsp lemon juice , enough sugar and 1/2 cup of water and blend well until smooth. 
  2. Fill popsicle moulds halfway with this cucumber juice and freeze it for 1 hour.
  3. Blend the chopped strawberries with 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, enough sugar and 2 tbsp water in a blender until very smooth.
  4. Then pour this strawberry puree evenly over the cucumber layer and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight..
  5. To release the popsicles, run the moulds under warm water for 30 seconds...Serve it immediately...

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Apple and Cinnamon Muffins


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup / 55 gm butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
4 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 cup / 125 ml milk
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 apples

Preparation:
  1. Peel and chop apples into small pieces.
  2. Heat oven to 180 degree celcius. Place  6 paper cases / liners in a muffin tin.
  3. Sift the plain flour, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon together in a mixing bowl.
  4. Mix together the egg, sugar, milk and butter in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add the sifted dry ingredients into this and stir in the apples until just combined.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then place on a wire rack to cool completely...

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Mambazha Unniyappam / Mango Unniyappam


Ingredients:

2 medium ripe mangoes
1 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar ( add more if needed)
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
3 tbsp coconut bits / thengakothu
3 tbsp ghee
oil for frying

Preparation:
  1. Peel and chop mangoes into pieces and make a smooth puree adding sugar and keep it aside.
  2. Add 2 tbsp ghee in a small frying pan and fry the coconut bits till light brown. 
  3. In a bowl, add the wheat flour, fried coconut bits, sesame seeds, 1 tbsp ghee and cardamom powder and mix well.
  4. Pour the mango puree into this mixture along with little water and mix well to a smooth thick batter.
  5. Keep this batter covered for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Heat an unniyappam pan and pour oil till half. When oil becomes hot, reduce the flame and pour a spoonful of batter into each hole. 
  7. Cook the unniyappams on medium flame till it turns golden brown on both sides....Remove it from flame.
  8. Allow them to drain well on paper towels and repeat the same process with the remaining batter... Serve as a snack...
Recipe Source: Magic Oven

Monday, 28 December 2015

Chocolate Cashew Clusters


Ingredients:

250 gm roasted cashew nuts
250 gm milk chocolate

Preparation:
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper / baking paper.
  2. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1- 1 1/2 minutes or until the chocolate is melted and smooth when stirred ( or melt by double boiling method ).
  3. Stir cashew nuts into the melted chocolate.
  4. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes or until firm. 
  5. Store in an airtight container...

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Pumpkin Shake


Ingredients:

250 gm pumpkin
5-6 tbsp sugar ( add to your taste)
2 cups of chilled milk
a pinch of cinnamon powder
3 tbsp condensed milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (optional)
chopped nuts for garnishing

Preparation:
  1. Peel and chop pumpkin into small pieces and cook it covered ( or pressure cook) adding sugar and enough water.
  2. When cooked, remove it from flame and allow to cool completely.
  3. In a blender, add cooked pumpkin, milk and cinnamon powder and blend well until smooth.
  4. Add condensed milk and vanilla essence to this and blend again for a minute.
  5. Pour into serving glasses and garnish with chopped nuts and serve.....

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Chemmeen / Prawns Masala Idiyappam


Ingredients:

2 cups rice flour / idiyappam podi
water as required
1/2 kg prawns / chemmeen
1- 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste or crushed
1/2 tsp garlic paste or crushed
1 sprig curry leaves, chopped
1 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
1/2 cup grated coconut
salt to taste
oil

Preparation:
  1. Clean the prawns and marinate it with chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and keep it aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the marinated prawns and keep it aside.
  3. In the same oil, add the chopped onion, ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves and saute well.
  4. Add grated coconut and little salt to this and stir well for 3-5 minutes on medium flame.
  5. Then add the fried prawns and chopped coriander leaves and mix it well. Switch off the flame and transfer this prawns masala to a bowl.
  6. To prepare idiyappam dough, boil water in a pan adding enough salt.
  7. In a mixing bowl, take the rice flour and add the required amount of boiling water and mix thoroughly by stirring with a wooden spoon.
  8. Then knead it with your hands until the dough becomes soft.
  9. Fill the dough in an idiyappam maker/ press and rotate/press little dough gently into the greased idli plates.
  10. Top it with 1 tbsp of prepared prawns masala and then press another layer of idiyappam over it.
  11. Place the idli plates in a steamer and steam cook for 10-12 minutes or until done...Serve hot...

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

White Chocolate and Blackberry Muffins


Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
125 gm white chocolate chips (bits/ buttons)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla essence
100 gm butter, melted
150 gm blackberries

Preparation:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Sift the flour and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add sugar and white chocolate bits to this  and stir well until combined.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together egg , buttermilk, vanilla essence and melted butter.
  5. Add this wet mixture into the flour mixture and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined.
  6. Gently fold in the blackberries.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  8. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.... 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Prawns Fritters / Chemmeen Pori


Ingredients:

250 gm prawns, cleaned
3 tsp ginger, crushed
3 tsp garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp chilli powder
a pinch of turmeric powder
a pinch of pepper powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 cup onion, finely chopped
3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 sprig curry leaves, chopped
1/2 cup gram flour
1 tbsp plain flour/ maida
1/4 tsp baking soda (optional)
salt to taste
oil

Preparation:
  1. In a pan or manchatti, add cleaned prawns with 1 tsp crushed ginger, 1 tsp crushed garlic, 1 tsp chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric powder, a pinch of pepper powder, garam  masala and salt and mix well. 
  2. Then cook it covered on medium flame adding about 1/2 cup of water . When cooked, remove it from pan and keep it aside.
  3. Heat little oil in another pan and add finely chopped onion, 2 tsp crushed ginger, 2 tsp crushed garlic, chopped green chillies , curry leaves and salt and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add cooked prawns to this and mix well for 2 minutes on medium flame. Switch off the flame and let it cool.
  5. Transfer it to a bowl and add plain flour, 1/2 tsp chilli powder and baking soda to this and mix well with a spoon.
  6. Then add gram flour little by little and mix well to form a medium thick batter by adding 1-2 tbsp water ( or as required). Keep it aside for 1 hour.
  7. Heat oil in a pan and drop each prawn with little batter and fry it on medium flame till it turns golden brown. 
  8. Remove it from the oil and drain them on a paper towel....Serve hot with tea ..
Recipe adapted from here

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Strawberry - Pineapple Popsicles


Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 1/2 cup pineapple, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
4-5 tbsp sugar ( or as required)

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add the chopped pineapple, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice , enough sugar and 2-3 tbsp water and blend well until smooth. 
  2. Fill popsicle moulds halfway with this pineapple juice and freeze it for 1 hour.
  3. Blend the chopped strawberries with 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, enough sugar and 1-2 tbsp water in a blender until very smooth.
  4. Then pour this strawberry puree evenly over the pineapple layer and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight..
  5. To release the popsicles, run the moulds under warm water for 30 seconds...Serve it immediately...

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Broccoli Masala Rice


Ingredients:

1 cup basmati rice
2 cups broccoli florets
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp ginger, chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
a pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp cashew nuts
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chana dal
2 dry red chillies, broken
salt to taste
3 tbsp oil

Preparation: 
  1. In a pan, boil water adding little salt. Add broccoli florets to this and boil for 2-3 minutes. Switch off and put the broccoli into the cold water taken in a bowl for 1 minute (blanching). Drain the water and keep it aside.
  2. Wash and soak the rice for 20 minutes. Add 2 cups of water in a pan and bring to a boil adding salt.
  3. Add drained rice to this, mix well and cook covered on medium flame till half done.
  4. Then add blanched broccoli florets and cook until all water is absorbed and rice is cooked.
  5. Heat oil in another large pan and add cumin seeds. Then add dry red chillies,chana dal and cashews.
  6. Add asafoetida to this and mix well. Then add chopped ginger and garlic and saute well till the raw smell disappears.
  7. Add sliced onion and salt and saute until transparent. Add in the chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala and saute for 1-2 minutes on low flame.
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until soft.
  9. Then add the cooked rice with broccoli on top of this masala and cook covered for 5-8 minutes on low flame.
  10. Mix well and remove from flame...Serve warm with raita...
Recipe adapted from here

Friday, 18 December 2015

Mango Cream Pudding


Ingredients:

2 ripe mangoes
1/2 tin condensed milk
1 cup milk
2 tsp gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup whipped cream

Preparation:
  1. Peel and chop mangoes into small pieces and keep it aside.
  2. Soak gelatin in 1/4 cup water for 5-10 minutes and then melt it by double boiling method (ie, melting gelatin by placing it over the pan of boiling water).
  3. In a blender, add the chopped mangoes, milk, condensed milk and melted gelatin and blend well.
  4. Transfer this to a bowl and add the whipped cream and mix well/ fold in the cream gently.
  5. Pour this into a serving tray and garnish with almonds/ cashew nuts..Keep it in the refrigerator till set and serve chilled...
Recipe Source: Asianet Cookery

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Oats Puttu


Ingredients:

2 cups oats
1/2 cup grated coconut
salt to taste
water as required

Preparation:
  1. In a nonstick pan, dry roast the oats on medium flame for about 3-4 minutes. Allow it to cool and then powder it using a blender.
  2. In a bowl, add this powdered oats and 2-3 tbsp grated coconut and mix well. Add little salt to water and sprinkle this water little by little to the oats and mix well with fingers till the mixture is wet. Don't add too much water...
  3. Then transfer this oats flour/ mixture to a blender and pulse for two three times.
  4. Take a puttu maker and layer it with 1 tbsp grated coconut first, then the oats flour and then a layer of grated coconut. Repeat the process till the puttu maker is filled.
  5. Fill pressure cooker/ puttu kudam with 3-4 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  6. Place the puttu maker on top of it and steam cook for 5-7 minutes or until the steam starts coming out from the top of puttu maker.
  7. Remove it to a plate and serve hot with kadala curry / banana or any curry of your choice.... 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Button Cookies / Shortbread Buttons


Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup/ 225 gm butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners/ icing sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
food colors ( I used red, blue and green)

Preparation:
  1. In a bowl, whisk the plain flour with corn flour and salt and keep it aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla essence and beat until smooth and creamy for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the flour mixture and beat just until the dough starts to come together.
  4. Divide the dough in half.( Here I divided the dough into three equal portion).
  5. Add food colour as needed in each portion and knead the dough well.Then wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for about 1 hour until firm.
  6. Once the dough is firm, remove one color dough at a time and place it between two sheets of parchment paper and roll the dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. 
  7. Then place the dough along with the parchment paper on a baking sheet and keep in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes or until firm, Repeat the same process with other color doughs.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180 degree celcius. Line the baking sheet with baking paper/ parchment paper.
  9. Remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator and using a 2 inch (5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds.

       10. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheet and using a 1 3/4 inch (4 cm) cookie cutter, lightly press the top of each cookie making a slight indentation.


      11. Then with a straw or 3 mm pastry tip , cut out 2 or 4 "button" holes in the centre of each cookie. Repeat the same process with the other sheets of dough.

      12.  Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes. Cool the cookies on the tray for 3-4 minutes and then gently transfer to a wire rack.
      13. Store the cooled cookies in an air tight containers..

Recipe Source: Joy of Baking

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Cabbage - Dried Prawns / Unakka Chemmeen Thoran


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried prawns, cleaned
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 green chillies, chopped
small piece ginger, finely chopped
3/4 cup grated coconut
a pinch of cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
curry leaves
salt to taste
oil

Preparation:
  1. In a pan, add cleaned dried prawns and dry roast it for few minutes and keep it aside.
  2. Grind grated coconut and cumin seeds together to a coarse mixture. Keep it aside.
  3. In a bowl, add chopped cabbage, crushed coconut mixture, chopped onion, green chillies, ginger, turmeric powder and salt and mix well with your hand.
  4. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves.
  5. Add cabbage mixture to this and mix well. Sprinkle little water and cook covered on low flame, stirring occasionally.
  6. When half cooked, add dried prawns and mix well. Cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes on low flame till done.
  7. Then remove the lid and stir well for 1-2 minutes till all the water dries up...Remove from flame and serve with rice...

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Blueberry - Banana Bread


Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4-1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1- 1 1/3 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius. Grease / spray a loaf pan with baking spray.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the plain flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, vegetable oil, egg, vanilla extract and mashed bananas until smooth.
  4. Add in the flour mixture and stir until just combined into a thick batter.
  5. Fold in the blueberries with a spatula and then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 50-60 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely... Then slice the bread and serve... 

Recipe adapted from here

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Parsley Chicken Balls


Ingredients:

1/2 kg boneless chicken, chopped
1 large  onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp crushed oats
2 tbsp parsley
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1- 1 1/2 tsp pepper powder
2 tbsp bread crumbs
salt to taste
oil for frying

Preparation:
  1. Grind the cleaned boneless chicken pieces and onion together without adding water.
  2. Transfer this to a bowl and add parsley, chopped ginger, garlic, oats, pepper powder and salt and mix well.
  3. Add bread crumbs and mix well. ( Add more bread crumbs if the mixture is not thick)..
  4. Apply little oil on hand and make balls out of this mixture.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and fry it on medium flame till golden brown. Serve hot with sauce....
Recipe Source: Asianet Cookery..

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Lady Fish / Nongal Roast


Ingredients:

4 lady fish / whiting / nongal, cleaned
2 large onions, sliced
1 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
3-4 green chillies, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 sprig curry leaves
1- 1 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder ( adjust to your spice level)
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4-1/2 tsp crushed pepper
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
salt to taste
oil

Preparation:
  1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  2. Add chopped ginger, garlic , green chillies and curry leaves and saute for a minute.
  3. Add sliced onion and salt and mix well.
  4. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder and saute well till onion turns transparent.
  5. Then add chopped tomato , mix well and add 1/4-1/2 cup water and allow to boil.
  6. When the gravy thickens, add 4 whole cleaned lady fish and mix gently. Cover and cook till done and masala is well coated with the fish,
  7. Add crushed pepper and mix well. Remove from the flame and serve hot....

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Saucy Beef With Ribbon Noodles / Pasta


Ingredients:

250 gm ribbon noodles / pasta ( I used fettuccine)
1/2 kg beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp crushed garlic
4 tbsp tomato sauce/ ketchup
1/4 tsp mustard powder/ paste
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp parsely, fresh or dried
salt to taste

Preparation:
  1. Cut and clean beef into small pieces.
  2. Boil water in a deep pan and add noodles and little salt and cook for 8-10 minutes or according to the package instructions.
  3. Switch off the flame and strain in colander, rinse with cold running water and drain thoroughly. Add a tsp of oil and keep it aside.
  4. In another pan, add cleaned beef pieces and saute well till all the water dries up.
  5. Then add 1 tbsp olive oil and finely chopped onion and roast well till the beef turns brown.
  6. Transfer this to a pressure cooker, add crushed garlic, tomato sauce, mustard paste, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chilli powder, salt and mix well.
  7. Add 1/2-3/4 cup water and vinegar and mix well and pressure cook till done.
  8. Mix maida/ plain flour in 1/2 cup of water and add this to the cooked beef  and boil well for 4-5 minutes stirring continuously. Check for salt and switch off the flame.
  9. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add finely chopped garlic and mix well.
  10. Add drained noodles and mix well for 1-2 minutes on medium flame. Add parsley leaves and mix well.
  11. To serve, spread the noodles on a serving plate and pour the saucy beef on top. Garnish with parsley leaves and serve.... 
Recipe Source: Magic Oven

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Soya Rice


Ingredients:

1 cup soya ( I used tiny soya nuggets)
1 cup basmati rice/ jeerakashala rice / kaima rice
1 big onion, sliced
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
2 green chillies, chopped
1 big tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp yoghurt
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
5-6 mint leaves, chopped
1 chicken stock cube, powdered (optional)
2 cardamoms
2 small piece cinnamon
2 cloves
2 cups of  water
salt to taste
2 tbsp ghee
2-3 tbsp oil
fried onions, chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Preparation:
  1. Wash the basmati rice and drain it. Keep it aside.
  2. In a saucepan, boil enough water to soak the soya nuggets. When it starts to boil, switch off the flame and soak the soya in it for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Then drain the water , rinse with cold water and squeeze out the excess water completely and keep it aside in a bowl.
  4. Heat ghee in a large pan and add cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves.
  5. Add 2 cups of water and when it starts to boil, add drained rice and salt and cook covered till done on low flame.
  6. Heat oil in a pan and add sliced onion and saute till light brown.
  7. Add ginger paste and  garlic paste and mix well for 2 minutes.
  8. Add chopped green chillies and tomato and saute well till soft.
  9. Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, yoghurt, little water and salt and mix well for 2 minutes.
  10. Add powdered chicken stock cube and soya  and mix well and cook covered till the soya is done. Remove from flame... 
  11. Then spread this prepared soya masala over the cooked rice , mix well and flatten with back of ladle and cook covered in low flame for 10 minutes.
  12. Garnish with fried onions and coriander leaves and serve hot....

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Honeydew Granita


Ingredients:

2 cups honeydew, chopped
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Preparation:
  1. Peel and chop honeydew into small pieces and blend well adding sugar, lemon juice and 2 tbsp water until smooth.
  2. Pour this mixture into a baking dish / freezer safe container and freeze it for 2 hours.
  3. Then remove it from freezer and scrape the mixture with a fork to form slushy/ ice crystals.
  4. Return to freezer and freeze it again for 5-6 hours till granita is fully frozen.
  5. To Serve, scrape the granita with spoon/ fork and serve it in individual glasses/ bowls ... Serve immediately....

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Carrot Pickle


Ingredients:

3 carrots
3 green chillies, chopped
6 garlic, chopped
small piece ginger, chopped
4 tbsp gingely oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida
4-5 tbsp vinegar
few curry leaves
salt

Preparation:
  1. Peel and cut carrots into thin slices.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  3. Add chopped garlic, green chillies, ginger and few curry leaves and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add carrot pieces and saute well for 5 minutes on medium flame.
  5. Then reduce the flame and add chilli powder, asafoetida, salt and vinegar and mix well for 3 minutes. Add little water if needed and mix well.
  6. Switch off the flame and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight glass jar....

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Magenta Chicken Fry


Ingredients:

1 large beetroot
250 gm chicken, cut into small pieces
1/4-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp pepper powder
2- 2 1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt to taste
oil
chopped coriander leaves

Preparation:
  1. Clean the chicken and cook it adding turmeric powder and salt and keep it aside.
  2. Peel and chop beetroot into pieces and then grind it to a smooth paste. 
  3. In a bowl, add 1 cup of  beetroot paste, pepper powder, chilli powder, garam masala, lemon juice and salt and mix well.
  4. Add cooked chicken pieces and marinate with this paste. Keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Heat little oil in a pan and shallow fry the marinated chicken pieces on both sides..
  6. Transfer to a plate and garnish with chopped coriander leaves...Serve hot as a starter or as a side dish...
  • Adjust the spice level according to your taste :)

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Traffic Light Pops / Traffic Lights


Ingredients:

100 gm marie biscuits/ arrowroot biscuits, crushed
50 gm unsalted butter
1/2-3/4 cup condensed milk
1-2 tsp sugar ( if needed)
4 tsp cocoa powder
gems/ smarties (red, orange/yellow and green)
lollipop sticks

Preparation:
  1. In a bowl, add the crushed biscuit and softened butter and mix well using hand.
  2. Add cocoa powder to this and mix well. Then add milkmaid and required sugar and mix well to a batter.
  3. Transfer this batter to a pan and cook on low flame stirring continuously till dry for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Switch off the flame and transfer to a plate. Allow it to cool slightly. 
  5. Then apply little oil/butter on your hand and make rectangle shapes / blocks out of this mixture.
  6. Gently insert the lollipop sticks and place the red, orange/yellow and green gems/smarties on it... Traffic Light Pops are ready to serve...

Monday, 30 November 2015

Pineapple Popsicles


Ingredients:

2 cups of pineapple, peeled and chopped
2-3 tbsp sugar ( or add to your taste)
water as required

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add the chopped pineapple and sugar and blend well until smooth adding enough water. Strain the mixture through a strainer..
  2. Pour the strained mixture into popsicle mould and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.
  3. To release the popsicles, run the moulds under warm water for 30 seconds...Serve it immediately...

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Rose Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies


Ingredients:

 1 1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp rose milk/ rose syrup
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preparation:
  1. Sift together plain flour, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl and keep it aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg and beat well until combined. Beat in the rose milk/ rose syrup.
  4. Then gradually add the flour mixture and mix gently until just combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Drop a tbsp of cookie batter on to the parchment paper lined baking sheet, two inches apart and refrigerate for about 1 hour until chilled.
  7. Then bake in the preheated oven at 180 degree celcius for 12-15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet.
  9. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely and then serve....

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Masala Chakli / Murukku


Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour
1/2 cup gram flour / kadalapodi
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
1- 1 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida /kaayam
2 1/2 tbsp oil or softened butter
hot water as required
salt to taste
oil for frying

Preparation:
  1. In a mixing bowl, take the rice flour and gram flour and mix well.
  2. Add cumin seeds, ajwain seeds, sesame seeds, chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt and mix well.
  3. Heat 2 1/2 tbsp oil or butter and add this to the flour mixture and mix well with your hand.
  4. Boil water and add this little by little and mix it with a spatula/ spoon and knead to a smooth dough. Cover and keep it aside for 30 minutes.
  5. Take a murukku press/ mould , use the star shaped disc. Grease the murukku press with little oil and fill it with the dough. 
  6. Squeeze it to form spiral shape on a parchment paper or directly to the hot oil. Here I made small/ baby chakli's.
  7. Heat oil in a pan and gently drop the chakli/ murukku to the hot oil.
  8. Fry them on medium flame till they turn crisp and golden on both sides. Drain in paper towel and repeat the same for the remaining dough. 
  9. Cool down to room temperature and then store in an air tight container....Enjoy as a tea time snack...

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Strawberry Lassi


Ingredients:

1 cup strawberry
2 cups chilled yoghurt/ curd
1/2 cup milk
3-4 tbsp sugar or as required

Preparation:
  1. Wash, hull and chop strawberries.
  2. In a blender, add the chopped strawberries and sugar and blend for a minute.
  3. Then add yoghurt, milk and sugar and blend well until smooth and frothy.
  4. Pour into serving glasses and serve immediately...

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Chocolate Espresso Mug Cake


Ingredients:

3 tbsp all purpose flour/ plain flour
1 tsp instant coffee powder
2 1/2-3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp drinking chocolate powder / sweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preparation:
  1. In a mixing bowl, add all purpose flour, coffee powder, sugar, drinking chocolate powder and baking powder and mix well.
  2. Add milk, egg, oil and vanilla extract to this and stir with a fork until just combined.
  3. Pour this batter on a greased large mug and microwave on high for 90 seconds until cooked. Do not overcook.
  4. Dust with powdered sugar and serve....
Recipe adapted from here

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Chicken Bread Pizza


Ingredients:

8 bread slices
pizza sauce as required ( I used store bought pizza sauce)
1/2 cup chicken, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup sliced capsicum
1/4 cup sweet corn
1 small tomato, chopped
mozzarella and cheddar cheese, grated
tomato sauce/ ketchup as required
1/2 tsp pepper powder
salt to taste

Preparation:
  1. Cook chicken with little pepper powder and salt, shred/ chop it into small pieces and keep it aside.
  2. Preheat oven at 170 degree celcius.
  3. Place the bread slices on a baking tray and spread a layer of pizza sauce on each slice.
  4. Sprinkle little cheese on top of the pizza sauce. 
  5. Then add the capsicum, sweet corn, shredded chicken and tomato. Sprinkle a pinch of pepper powder . (You can include additional toppings you like).
  6. Finally, sprinkle some more cheese and little tomato sauce/ ketchup on top.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly golden...Allow to cool slightly and then serve ...

Monday, 23 November 2015

Brinjal / Vazhuthananga Pachadi


Ingredients:

2 medium brinjals / vazhuthananga
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup shallots, sliced
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 cup yoghurt
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tsp sugar
salt to taste
oil

Preparation:
  1. Cut brinjals into thin slices and marinate it with chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Keep it aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Fry the marinated brinjals in oil and keep it aside.
  3. Heat little oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds and add dry red chillies.
  4. Add sliced shallots, green chillies and curry leaves and saute well till light brown. Remove  it from flame.
  5. In a bowl , take the yoghurt and beat well. Add the seasoned mixture ( step 4), fried brinjals, salt and sugar to this and mix well. Serve with rice....

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Kuttiyappam / Kutti Appam


Ingredients:

1 cup fine rice flour/ appam podi
1 cup semolina/ rava
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 tsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
salt to taste

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add the grated coconut and cooked rice and grind together to a fine paste.
  2. In a bowl, mix this ground paste with rice flour and rava adding enough water. 
  3. Add the instant yeast, sugar and salt to this, mix well and make a batter of idli batter consistency.
  4. Keep this batter aside to ferment for 2-3 hours.
  5. Heat a non stick tawa /pan on medium flame, apply little oil if needed and pour a small ladleful  of batter and make small round/ appam.
  6. Flip over to the other side after a minute and cook until it turns light brown. Remove the appam from the pan and repeat the same with the remaining batter.
  7. Serve warm with any spicy curry of your choice....
Recipe Source: Taste of Kerala

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Strawberry - Blueberry Popsicles


Ingredients:

1 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped
1 cup blueberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
4-5 tbsp sugar ( or as required)

Preparation:
  1. In a blender, add the chopped strawberries, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice , enough sugar and 1-2 tbsp water and blend well until smooth. 
  2. Fill popsicle moulds halfway with this strawberry puree and freeze it for 1 hour.
  3. Puree the blueberries adding 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, enough sugar and 1-2 tbsp water in a blender until very smooth.
  4. Then pour this blueberry puree evenly over the strawberry layer and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight...Remove from moulds, serve and enjoy...
  • Can also prepare without adding lemon juice....

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Dates Idiyappam / Dates Stuffed Idiyappam


Ingredients:

2 cups rice flour / idiyappam podi
water as required
salt to taste
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup grated coconut
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Preparation:
  1. Heat ghee in a pan and add chopped dates, grated coconut, sugar and cardamom powder and saute well. Keep it aside.
  2. To prepare idiyappam dough, boil water in a pan adding enough salt.
  3. In a mixing bowl, take the rice flour and add the required amount of boiling water and mix thoroughly by stirring with a wooden spoon.
  4. Then knead it with your hands until the dough becomes soft.
  5. Fill the dough in an idiyappam maker/ press and rotate/press little dough gently into the greased idli plates.
  6. Top it with 1 tbsp of prepared dates filling and then cover it with another layer of idiyappam dough. Sprinkle little dates filling on the top.
  7. Place the idli plates in a steamer and steam cook for 10-12 minutes or until done...Serve warm...

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Fig and Honey Pudding


Ingredients:

150 gm figs/ athipazham, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2- 2 cup water
1/2 litre milk
1 tin condensed milk
1 cup fresh cream
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp gelatin
1/4  cup cold water

Preparation:
  1. Soak gelatin in 1/4 cup water and keep it aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, add the chopped figs and 1 1/2-2 cups of water and cook for about 10 minutes till soft.
  3. Then allow it to cool and then puree it adding milk and transfer to a bowl.
  4. Melt the gelatin by double boiling method (ie, melting gelatin by placing it over the pan of boiling water) and keep it aside.
  5. Add condensed milk to the fig puree and mix well.  Then add fresh cream and mix well.
  6. Add honey to this and mix well. 
  7. Then add melted gelatin and mix well.
  8. Pour into a pudding tray and keep it in the refrigerator till set..Serve chilled...
Recipe Source: Magic Oven

Monday, 16 November 2015

Paneer - Mushroom Masala


Ingredients:

1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup paneer, cubed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
2 cardamoms
3 cloves
2 small pieces of cinnamon
4 tsp tomato sauce
2 tsp chilli sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
10 cashew nuts
salt to taste
oil

Preparation:
  1. Heat little oil in a pan and fry the cubed paneer till light brown and keep it aside.
  2. Soak cashew nuts in little water and grind it to a paste. Keep it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add cardamoms, cinnamon, cloves, ginger paste and garlic paste and saute well on medium flame.
  4. Add finely chopped onion and saute for 2 minutes.
  5. Then add chopped mushrooms and mix well. Add water if required and cook covered till done.
  6. When cooked, reduce the flame and add tomato sauce, chilli paste, soy sauce and cashew paste, mix well and cook for 2 minutes. 
  7. Add enough salt and fried paneer and mix well for 1-2 minutes. 
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and remove from flame. Serve hot...

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Pomegranate Limeade Popsicles


Ingredients:

1 small pomegranate ( 1/2 of  1 large pomegranate)
2 cups of water
4-5 tbsp lime juice
6-7 tbsp sugar or as required

Preparation:
  1. Seed the pomegranate and keep it aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl or jug, add the water, lime juice and sugar and mix well till all the sugar is dissolved.
  3. In a popsicle mould, evenly distribute pomegranate seeds into the bottom of each popsicle and then fill to the top with prepared limeade.
  4. Freeze it for 6-7 hours or overnight..
  5. To release the popsicles, run the mould under the warm water for 20-30 seconds..Serve it immediately..

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Tomato Pineapple Pachadi


Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup ripe pineapple, peeled and cubed
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2-3/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup grated coconut
1-2 green chillies
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp sugar
2 dry red chillies
few curry leaves
salt to taste
oil

Preparation:
  1. Peel and chop pineapple into small cubes.
  2. In a thick pan, add cubed pineapple, chopped tomato, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and cook adding about 1 1/2 cup of water. Then add sugar and mix well.
  3. Grind grated coconut, green chillies, 1 tsp mustard seeds together to a coarse paste.
  4. Add this ground coconut paste to the cooked pineapple- tomato, mix well and cook for few minutes on medium flame till it thickens. Check for salt and switch off the flame.
  5. Heat oil in another pan, splutter 1/2 tsp mustard seeds. Add red chillies and curry leaves and fry. Pour this over the pachadi. Serve with rice...
Recipe Source: Magic Oven

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Wheat Batura / Bhatura


Ingredients:

2 cups wheat flour / atta
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp yoghurt
1 egg
1 1/2- 2 tbsp ghee
milk as required
oil for frying

Preparation:
  1. In a bowl, add the wheat flour, baking soda and salt and mix well.
  2. Add yoghurt, egg and ghee into it and knead into a smooth dough adding milk.
  3. Keep it aside, covered for 2-3 hours.
  4. Divide the dough into small balls and flatten them to make thick rounds, just like puri.
  5. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry it in the oil on medium flame till both sides are golden brown.
  6. Drain on paper towels and serve with Chana Masala or any other curries of your choice...

Monday, 9 November 2015

Butterfly Surprise Cake / Candy Filled Strawberry Cake

                

               
              My 2nd daughter Sheza had her 5th birthday yesterday. This was a surprise cake for her. A butterfly shaped strawberry cake with heaps of her favourite gems/smarties inside....

Ingredients:

For Strawberry Cake:

2 cups plain flour/ all purpose flour
150 gm butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup strawberry pulp/puree
1- 1 1/4 cup sugar, powdered
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp strawberry essence

For Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3-4 cups icing sugar/ confectioner's sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp milk

Ready to roll fondant
food colours
candies like gems/ smarties / M&M's

Preparation:

For Strawberry Cake:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree celicius. Grease a baking pan with butter and dust it with flour or spray with a cooking spray. Here I used small butterfly shaped mould.
  2. Sift together plain flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and keep it aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar and beat well till light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add sifted flour to this mixture and beat well till combined. If the batter is thick, add the milk as required and mix well.
  6. Add strawberry puree and strawberry essence and mix well. 
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack...
 For Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
  1. In a bowl, add the butter and beat until smooth and creamy at medium speed using electric mixer.
  2. Add 3 cups icing sugar/ confectioner's sugar , little at a time on low speed,until it mixes well with the butter.
  3. Then increase the speed to medium and add vanilla extract and  milk and beat until smooth and creamy...
  • To prepare this butterfly shaped cake, I baked four small cakes with this batter using butterfly shaped mould. Then allow the cakes to cool completely and level the top of each cake with a knife.
  • Cut out centres / inside of two cake layers using knife .
  • To assemble cake, place one uncut cake layer on a serving plate or cake stand and spread or pipe frosting around the edge of the cake.

  • Stack the two cut out cakes on top of the bottom layer with frosting in between each.
  • Fill the centre/ hole with the smarties/ gems /M & M's or other candies.

  • Then top the cake with the other uncut  cake layer with some frosting.
  • Cover the cake with the remaining frosting, smoothing it out well. Then I covered the cake with Ready-to-Roll Icing / fondant and decorated with sugar sprinkles... 

  • When ready to serve, cut the cake and surprise the kids !!!


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