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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

STRAWBERRY BANANA SMOOTHIE

This time when I am typing this post, I am pretty excited, for I got featured on an Indian website for women. They found me on FB, discovered me as a blogger and wanted to interview me for a category on their site, which specifically writes about successful blogger women. Here is the link to the interview. To celebrate , lets go for a smoothie.


I have lost count of  recipe bookmarks from a recently discovered, awesome food site named Sally's baking addiction... I found out that the author also had wonderful collection of smoothies, which was very good enough to serve your breakfasts... This is a very healthy one, with no added sugar in it. After being heard about unhealthy aspects of sugar, I am trying to cut down sugar from my diet. Being a sweet tooth to completely cut down sugar is impossible for me. Anyway, I will try to make my humble effort a success.
What makes this smoothie look beautiful is its bright red and beautiful yellow colors, standing apart to form layers as in a piece of art.













Lets hop over to the recipe,
Ingredients:


  • Strawberry- 6- 8
  • Bananas ripe- 2, sliced and frozen
  • Pineapple slices- 2, Tinned, frozen
  • Orange juice- 1 cup, freshly squeezed
  • honey- 4 tbsp
  • yogurt- 1 cup

Method:
Blend 1 banana, pineapple slices, half amount of honey and half yogurt together. Pour halfway into two glasses.
Next blend Strawberries, 1 banana, orange juice, remaining yogurt and honey and pour over the yellow layer of the two glasses.
Serve immediately. Enjoy.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

GRANOLA

When I first heard the word granola, it sounded completely alien to me. However with further researching on what it is and how it looked and tasted, it started sounding interesting. When majority of them were crunchy, I opted to try this chewy and fudgy ones.
Granolas are make-ahead, healthy, baked breakfast option. To add the crunchiness, nuts, oats and other ingredients are baked until lightly toasted.
My granolas are non-baked ones with coconut oil added to add softness to the bars.The chocolate makes it fudgy and cornflakes added makes it crunchy too.. While I used regular milk chocolate, you can use dark chocolate as it is definitely 'the healthier option'. As coconut oil is liquid at room temperature, be sure to place the bars back in the fridge as soon as you take it out, so that the coconut oil doesn't melt. If you think coconut oil is going to ruin the granolas, please be sure read the benefits of it anywhere from the internet.

When I found this recipe, I was super excited to make it at home as the pictures posted by the author was so drool-worthy. While she promised all the ingredients contained in this will definitely be readily available in your pantry, I was quite unsure about it, as I belong to completely different continent unlike hers.
But taste is everywhere the same and food cravings make us all bound to the same world.
Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients:

  • Cornflakes- 3/4 cup
  • Oats- 1 1/4 cup
  • Chocolate chips / chocolate chopped- 1 cup
  • Coconut oil - 1/3 cup
  • Nuts of your choice- chopped- a handful
  • Peanut butter- 1/2 cup
  • Honey- 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Heat Coconut oil in a pan, put the flame on low, add chocolate chips and peanut butter and mix until smooth. To this add honey , oats, nuts and cornflakes. Off the flame and give it all a stir.
  • To a greased tray, lined with foil, transfer this mixture and spread evenly and smoothly with the back of a spoon. place in the freezer for an hour or in the fridge for 3 hours. 
  • Take the granola out of the fridge and lift them out of the tray with the foil. Peel off the foil and cut into squares using sharp knife dipped in hot water. This makes cutting easy. Keep the bars out of fridge only when required, else it will melt as coconut oil is liquid at room temperature.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

PUMPKIN MOUSSE PARFAITS


Parfaits are my most loved version of desserts. It simply makes the dessert look more inviting and awesome. I always love to make my desserts this way than assembling in a large pudding dish, although the latter is lot easier and time saving, you can have your own share in the form of parfaits untouched and undisturbed.


This is the first time I bothered to take a challenge, unsure of how pumpkin would taste in a dessert. Sometimes to take risks is vital in life and this was something worth doing it.
I attempted to give a slight coffee touch to the mousse and both the tastes managed to mingle well with each other. I can't tell you how wonderful this tasted, especially with crunch of pralines and biscuits, and cream, it tasted heavenly.

For the biscuit layer, I used home-made ones,which tasted so good with this. But you don't have to bother making at home, just get a store-bought one.
Ingredients:
Pumpkin mousse filling:

  • Pumpkin chunks boiled with 2 tbsp sugar and 1/2 cup water- 1 cup
  • Milk- 1 cup +1/2 cup
  • Custard powder- 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
  • Coffee powder (instant)- 1 tbsp.
  • Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder- a pinch
  • Gelatin 2 tsp- soaked in 2 tbsp.

Biscuit layer:

  • Biscuits crushed- 1 cup
  • Butter (melted)- 2-3 tbsp
  • Strong coffee- 1/2 cup

Cream layer:

  • Whipping cream- 1 cup (cold)
  • Icing sugar/ powdered sugar- 4 tbsp
  • vanilla essence- 1 tsp
  • Caramelized nuts/ pralines- 3 tbsp


Method:
For the filling:

  • Puree the pumpkin. 
  • Heat 1 cup milk with sugar. 
  • Mix custard powder in the remaining milk.. 
  • When the milk comes to boil add the custard mixture, Pumpkin puree and reduce the flame.
  • When the custard starts thickening, off the flame. Add coffee powder, cinnamon powder and cardamom powder and set aside to cool.
  • Mix gelatin in cold water to soften and microwave on low or by double boiling method to dissolve.
  • Mix vanilla essence into the custard.
Prepare the biscuit base:
  • Powder or crush the biscuit coarsely. Add melted butter to it and mix well.
Cream layer:
  • Whip up your whipping cream in a previously frozen bowl. This makes the whipping easier and peaks form easily.
  • Add Icing sugar and vanilla essence and whip for few more seconds.


Assembling:
In individual cups, layer the bottom with biscuit- butter mix. On top of it add caramelised nuts, and add some coffee so that the crushed biscuit gets soaked. On top of it add the whipped up cream.
Again layer with crushed biscuits and repeat the same, finishing with whipped cream. Garnish with some more pralines and coffee powder and syrup.
Chill until served.

Friday, 5 September 2014

UNDAPPUTT- RICEBALLS STUFFED WITH PRAWNS FILLING

 Undapputt is one of the hundreds of delectable Malabar dishes. Its juicy filling mainly with prawns, makes the inside juicy and steamed rice dough makes it healthy. This is one of the options we go  for during Ramadhan fasts, when we feel we are over loaded with oily stuffs. This can be eaten as a snack as well as a dinner meal... You can say its Pathiri and prawns curry evolved. Doesnt it look like the bite size version of Pathiri and chemmeen curry? So true...
Malabar being part of Kerala, the land of coconut trees, this Malabari dish has coconut scraping in its inside and outside coating to enhance its taste. However, I omitted adding coconut scrapings to the filling, but did not fail to coat outside, fearing that, avoiding the coconut coating, may transform this dish from Undapputt to, not an Undapputt at all. And this was how I was always taught by my family and did not want to go against my family traditions.

Do you think curry leaves was more apt in the above image than those mint leaves? Well, It all stuck me now when this post is finally making way to the blog... But anyway those greens add more life to the whites.
Recipe here...
Ingredients -
For the filling:

  • Prawns - 250 gms (de-shelled and de-veined)
  • Chilli powder- 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp
  • Onion - 3 medium
  • Ginger- Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Green chilly- 3
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- a sprig
  • Oil - 3 tbsp or more if you want
  • Coconut scrapings - 1 tsp, to add to the filling
  • Coconut scrapings- to coat outside


For the dough:

  • Parboiled rice- 1 cup
  • Rice powder- to add to the ground rice
  • salt


Method:

  • Boil water in a vessel. When it comes to rolling boil add the rice and off the flame. Depending on the rice, I boil in for few more seconds if the rice takes longer to cook. Or if it cooks easily, I off the flame immediately after adding the rice.
  • After 2 hours when the rice gets fat, grind to a smooth paste. Add salt and and rice powder to form a smooth yet non sticky dough. Keep aside.
  • Or you can simply make the dough with rice powder and water alone without including rice paste.. This way its lot easier only thing being rice powder gets finished soon and its less of flavor.
For the filling:
  • Boil the prawns along with Chilli powder, salt and Turmeric powder in some water until its cooked and 3/4 th of the water dries up
  • In a pan, saute onion along with curry leaves until soft and brown color.
  • Add Ginger- Garlic paste, green chillies and saute for a while.
  • Add turmeric powder and Garam masala powder and salt.
  • Add the prawns with remaining water and add coconut scrapings  and cook until water dries off. But keep the filling still slightly wet. This will make the filling juicy.
  • Now pinch off a small rice dough to the size of a small ball.
  • Make a ball and press into your palms making room for the filling in the centre of the ball.
  • Put a small quantity of filling, and close the ball, sealing the filling inside. 
  • Roll the ball in the coconut scrapings.
  • Repeat the same with remaining dough and filling. 
  • Prepare some water in a steamer.
  • And steam these balls with lid closed until the rice dough gets cooked.
  • This will take about 15- 20 minutes.
  • Off the flame and slightly keep open the lid for the steam to escape.
  • Serve hot.



Wednesday, 3 September 2014

CAULIFLOWER FRY


This is one of the easiest things you can make. Either to make your tea time bit special or to serve with your main meal or as an after school snack, its one of the things you'll definitely want to try.

 Even though I am not so fond of cauliflower , I never fail to have them once in a month, as I promised myself to include  veggies into my diet as much as possible. The second reason being cauliflower is versatile, you can try one of the tastiest veg curries using it.


This recipe requires very few simple steps. All you need to do is boil cauliflower for a while, marinate with a few ingredients and then fry. And there it is, ready to gobble down these golden beauties. And do not forget to have tomato ketchup with it, it would be one of the best things to pair up with these florets.

When served immediately you would love its crunchiness in every bite along with its soft inside.
As cauliflower florets are boiled in the beginning, you will get this softness as mentioned here.

The crispiness is due to eggs and cornflour added, I used only yolk as there was a leftover yolk, but you can use whole egg. Now what are you waiting for, rush to the kitchen and make these.

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower- cut into medium size florets
  • Maida -  1/2 cup
  • Cornflour 2 tbsp
  • egg- 1
  • chilly powder - 1 tsp
  • kasoori methi 1 tsp
  • baking soda 1/4 tsp
  • water
  • salt
  • garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Rinse wash cauliflower well.
  • Cut it into medium sized florets and boil it for about 5-10 minutes.
  • Off the flame and drain the water.
  • In  a bowl, mix all the given ingredients except oil and water just enough to get a thick batter and marinate the florets in it.
  • After 5 minutes , heat oil in a pan and deep fry the florets. And here it is, ready to go.


Monday, 1 September 2014

CHOCOLATE SAUCE


Chocolate madness is getting overpowered in me, either to have it in the form of big chunks, or to simply accompany the boring vanilla Ice creams, or by topping my favorite desserts, I never fail to eat chocolate. Neither do I stop myself from drooling over the chocolaty goodness floating through the internet, and to browse images, even at late nights, no matter in what form the chocolate is, solid, molten or completely transformed into cakes and desserts.
Can you simply resist to drool over this pic, NO? Yes you can't. Vanilla Ice cream never tasted so good and was never such beautiful. Molten chocolate flowing down the pale, white scoops, brings life into it. And after you top it with some nuts of your choice, you'll meet Heaven on Earth.

What motivated me to make this chocolate sauce is that I had tons of Ice creams in my freezer, and to eat it as it is was something not doing just to it. When I browsed over number of recipes, I was happy that most of the recipe suggested to use cocoa powder, which is easily available at one's home any time, especially where my kind of person resides, no matter how much chocolate you buy, pantry always runs in short of it. Biggest chocolate thief ever.
You can make this sauce ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in fridge. I don't know how long exactly it' ll last, but I am sure you don't have to worry about it, coz you'll soon end up in licking the last bit of chocolate sauce in the jar.
Ready to go to the fridge

Sorry for portraying the background mess in this, but I just wanted to show you how thick it is. Its consistency looked just like the molten chocolate, and you get quite a lot from half cup cocoa powder, without making it watery. In fact, it is the flour added with cocoa makes it thick.

Wanna try some chocolate milk shake? Just add 1/4 th cup of chocolate sauce to a few scoops of vanilla ice-cream and some milk, blend it in a blender and you are ready to go. You can add some sugar if you want and also adding some peanut butter really makes it thick and make it taste more like Snickers chocolate bar. Also if you are a peanut butter hater, having it this way, would make you fall in love with it.




Ingredients:

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder- 1/2 cup
  • Sugar- 3/4 cup
  • All purpose flour- 1 and 1/2 tbsp
  • Milk- 1 and 1/4 cup
  • Butter- 2 tbsp
  • Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  • Place unsweetened cocoa, sugar and flour in a bowl and mix everything together.
  • In sauce pan, heat milk and butter to it.
  • When the milk starts to boil, reduce the flame to medium low and add the cocoa mixture in 3 batches, mixing well with a whisk after each addition.
  • Stir continuously for about 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens
  • Off the  flame and add a pinch of salt. This will bring out the real chocolate flavors.
Enjoy it with ice-cream or with any dessert of your choice.
 Up next on blog:
Cauliflower fry: