There are days when you don't have a good vegetable in the refrigerator and you are forced to think "out of the box"....literally. I usually alternate a day of vegetable and a day of legume since dinner is the only meal the whole family has together. I want to make sure its healthy, nutritious, but ofcourse...suits everybody's taste buds :)

I stack up a whole set of legumes in my little pantry and they are real life savers I must say!!! Black-eyed beans or Lobiya as its commonly called in India, is not a very common dish at home. However, I try and include it in some form or the other. I prefer it in my salads..it adds a beautiful crunch apart from the fact that they are low in fat!!!


Black-eyed beans are rich in soluble fiber which helps to eliminate cholestrol from the body. As a high-potassium, low-sodium food they help reduce blood pressure too. When combined with grains, beans supply high quality proteins which provides a healthy alternative to meat and animal protein.

I wanted to serve a curry dish yesterday night with chappatis so I decided to make Lobiya Masala....

Ingredients: Serves 4 portions
1-1/2 cup black-eyed beans, washed, soaked in water for 2-3 hrs,
1 inch cinnamon,
1/2 tsp turmeric powder,
2 tsp red chilli powder,
3 tbsp oil,
Salt as per taste,
Fresh coriander,

To grind:
2 medium sized onions, coarsely chopped,
2 medium sized tomatoes, coarsely chopped,
1 inch ginger,
6 cloves of garlic,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds,
2 dried red chillies,

Method:
1.) Boil the soaked beans until its three-fouth cooked and set aside.
2.) Heat a little oil in a wok, add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, whole red chillies, onions, tomatoes, ginger, & garlic. Saute for 2-3 mins over low heat, stirring continuously until the aromas are released. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3.) When cooled, grind the mixture into a fine paste.
4.) Heat the remaining oil in a wok, add the cinamon, ground paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and little salt. Stir contiously until oil seperates.
5.) Add the boiled beans along with the boiled water and mix evenly. Adjust the seasoning. Cover and cook in sim for 7-8 mins.
6.) Garnish with coriander and serve hot with chapatties,rice, or neer dosa.

Sneek Peek:


I added more water above the boiled water of the beans since I wanted it to be quite liquidy. However, if you do not want a watery gravy, do not add extra water.


This is my second entry for Suganya's My Legume Love Affair, Sixth Helping - Hot & Spicy event.
Matki Chi Usal is a famous Maharashtrian dish. Its usually eaten for breakfast and it tastes wonderful!!! Moth Bean or matki bean or dew gram is high in protein and we make it quite often at home.

A slightly watery version of this can be eaten with chappati and serves as a curry in itself. Wonderful to taste..its smells divine as well..

It was my son's birthday..last week..and for breakfast we made Matki Chi Usal. Most appreciated dish in our house, we enjoyed it thoroughly...:-)


Ingredients: Serves 6 portions
2-1/2 cups Moth bean,soaked, sprouted,
3 large onions,finely chopped,
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped,
8-10 curry leaves,
3 tbsp oil,
2 tsp coriander powder,
2 tsp dry mango powder,
2 tsp garam masala powder,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1 tsp red chilly powder,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
Salt as per taste,
Fresh coriander,


Sprouting the beans:
1.) Soak the bean overnight or atleast for 8 hrs.
2.) Strain the soaked beans and remove over a clean muslin cloth. Tie the cloth around the beans, ensuring no space is available for air to pass through. The humidity of the beans inside the tied cloth allows the beans to sprout.
This is my MILs method of sprouting...
I use a sprout maker which is readily available in the market these days.


Method:
1.) In a deep bottomed pan/wok, heat oil. Add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Add the curry leaves and green chillies. Stir for a minute and add the chopped onions. Stir until the onions turn golden brown.
2.) Add the moth bean sprouts and stir evenly. Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, dry mango powder, and salt. Check for seasoning and adjust as per taste.
3.) Cover with a lid and allow it to cook in sim for 7-8 mins.
4.) Remove the lid and add the garam masala powder.
5.) Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with sev and khara boondi.

Note:
If you want to make a curry, add about a cup of water at step 3.

Sneek Peek:




I'm sending a helping of this hot and spicy Moth Bean Stir Fry to My Legume Love Affair: Sixth Helping - Hot & Spicy hosted by Suganya of Tasty Palettes, started by Susan and to Winter Treats hosted by Trupti.
For breakfast today I decided to make Corn Croquettes. Corn is high on proteins and carbohydrates which makes it an ideal ingredient for kids. They are a good source of Vitamin C and yellow corn has a small percentage of Vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Corn is also rich in fiber so its a great way to start your day..it keeps your stomach full for a long time.

Ingredients: Makes 16 medium sized croquettes approx
2 cups fresh corn kernels, cleaned, par boiled,
2 medium sized onions, very finely chopped,
1 cup boiled potatoes, grated,
2 tbsp, green coriander, finely chopped,
2 tbsp, cornflour,
1 green chilly, very finely chopped,
1 tsp lemon juice,
2 tbsp oil,
Salt as per taste,

Method:

1.) Boil the corn kernels (par boil) and potatoes and set aside. This can be done well in advance which saves a lot of cooking time.
2.) Coarsely grind the corn kernels in the mixer. Grate the potatoes. Chop the onions, green chilly, and coriander finely.
3.) In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Add salt, cornflour, and lemon juice. Adjust seasoning.
4.) Take 2 tbsps of the mixture and place it on your palm. Slightly flatten it and give it a round shape.
5.) Heat a non-stick girdle with a tsp of oil.
6.) Place the croquettes one beside the other allowing enough space to turn them. Shallow fry until golden brown on both sides.
7.) Serve hot with tomato sauce or mint chutney.

Sneek Peek:


You could also add grated carrots and par boiled peas to give it more color. Ofcourse its very healthy and a great way to make kids eat a lot of vegetables together.


The croquettes came out very well. It was well appreciated by my son..the taste was perfect..with a touch of sweetness from the corn, to the spice of green chilly, to the tang of lemon..its was a thumbs up from my son!!!



I'm sending this entry to Sharmi's Cooking for Kids - Event

Sharmi has chosen Corn as the ingredient for the month of December.
I'm a big muffin fan..and I love them completely..They are so easy to make..and can be made within minutes. I've baked Banana muffins before..but this time I wanted to add something more.. I didn't have walnuts..which is the ideal combination..so I thought of trying out with raisins.

As I started off with the preparation, a bunch of friends pleasantly surprised me by turning up for lunch!!! I wasn't prepared for this..and obviously there wasn't much I could offer them. So we decided to cook some rice and rasam at home. Everybody lend a helping hand. We all chatted..giggled..and ofcourse discussed lots of ideas in the kitchen..Kitchen conversations are great bonding agents :-). It was an absolutely ideal time for some hot muffins..and what a coincidence..the muffins were in the oven already!!!

Here's how I made them...

Ingredients: Makes 16 big muffins approx
150 gms flour,
150 gms unsalted butter, softened,
150 gms or 2 ripe bananas, mashed,
100 gms sugar, powdered,
3 eggs,
1 tsp baking powder,
1/2 tsp vanilla essense,
3 tbsp golden raisins,

Method:
1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees for 10 mins.
2.) Sift the flour and baking powder together and set aside.
3.) In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter together for few mins. Add vanilla essence and mix well.
4.) Add the eggs one at a time, continuously beating the mixture.
5.) Mash the ripe bananas and fold it into the mixture along with the raisins.
6.) Fill 3/4 of the paper cupcake moulds with the batter.
7.) Bake the muffins at 180 degrees for approx 10-15 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve hot.

Sneek Peek:


They turned out well..but the texture could have been better..I didnt sift the flour and baking powder together..i guess thats why..my mistake :-(. As the saying goes.."there are no shortcuts to success and baking".


The flavor of the banana made quite a strong presence...the raisins along with the banana was a beautiful blend!!!


My friends quite enjoyed it..and we had a blast together!!!
Strawberries are all over in the market now. My son loves them. He loves the taste and especially the milkshake. He's quite hungry once he's back from school, and a good glass full of this milkshake just does the trick. Its an instant energizer and at the same time fills up the stomach.


How to find that perfect strawberry? Well here are some things that I follow..A good strawberry must be bright red in color, particularly on the shoulder and at the cap of leaflets around the stem. The cap should be green (indicates its been plucked a couple of days ago), and the berry should have a distinct strawberry aroma. The flesh should be firm but not mushy, with an even sprinkling of seeds. Large and showy strawberries are beautiful to look at, while smaller strawberries are always more flavorful. Look for a strawberry with evenly spaced seeds along the bottom tip. Most importantly, no dark spots.


While buying a container/box of strawberries, discard any that are seeping strawberry juice, or contain strawberries with obvious dark spots or brown spots. Often prepackaged strawberries would have the poor quality strawberries in the bottom, so always check the bottom of the container before buying. I've been fooled a couple of times...experience speaks you see :) Strawberries will stay fresh and flavorful in the fridge for four days. Its highly perishable by nature, they are best if eaten within a couple of days of purchasing.

Ingredients: Makes 1 glass
7-8 fresh strawberries,
1-2 tbsp powdered sugar or as per taste,
50 ml fresh cream (I use Amul low-fat tetra pack),
25 ml cold milk,

Method:
Whip all the ingredients in the mixer. Serve chilled.

Sneek Peek:

Its a perfect drink for those milk-fussy kids, like mine :)

Cheers!!!
I'm am honoured and very happy to recieve my first blog award from AK Mom who is an excellent baker herself.

AK Mom from What's Baking has awarded me the I Love Your Blog Award.



Thank you so much AK Mom for this award..I'm quite excited about this for sure :)

Ok, so as per the rule, I need to link this post back to the person who gave me this award. Done!!!

Next, I need to pass this one to 7 of my favourite blogs. Hmmmm...Thats a difficult one, since there are a lot many of my favorite blogs and to pick out just 7 is extremely difficult..Nevertheless..here's my list in alphabetical order..

eCurry
Escapades
Food-n-more
Passionate About Baking
Sunita's World
Veg Inspirations
Vegetable Platter

I'm new to the blogging world and I cherish and draw inspirations from each one of your blogs..Thank you all for making the whole blogging experience so special...:)
My little baby turns 4 today..My world, my darling..suddenly looks so grown up to me..Just sometime back he entered our world..and today he stands tall, talks like a mature man, knows what he wants, and does exactly what he wants to do..

He's brought us so much of joy, a reason to smile, a reason to look forward to the new tomorrow. Everyday, in the last 4 years, has been a learning curve, for him as well as for us, as parents. His world is full of fun, love, toys, bikes, cars, chocolates, going out, parks, slides, computer games, masti, lots and lots of questions, and lots of naughtiness..He's brought out the child in us and given us a reason to have fun.

We intend to celebrate this day with as much fun as possible. Recipes will follow in a couple of days.

We wish Aryan a very Happy Birthday with lots of blessings and good wishes for a bright and prosperous future!!!

Lots of Love..Mummy & Daddy & All family members...
I've been looking for a good chocochip cookie recipe for quite some time. Last time I followed a recipe from a magazine..and needless to say..was an outright disaster!!! They turned out quite dark in color on top and almost burnt at the bottom. The only feel good factor at that time was I had halved all the ingredients..so the damage was minimized and we managed to finish the cookies fast.

I recently read the post on Chocolate Chip Cookies by Deesha. I wanted to give it a shot...though was quite skeptical, courtesy the previous disaster.

As always I halved the ingredients. I did make some changes to the sweetness..since I have a diabetic FIL, who, given a chance would lap up any sweet in top gear :). The results were stunning!!! I must thank Deesha for her tips which indeed were quite helpful.

Ingredients: (Halved and slightly changed from Deesha's recipe)
Makes Approx 15-18
1 cup + 2 tbsps flour,
1/2 cup butter, softened,
1/2 cup granulated sugar,
1/2 cup Demerara sugar,
1 egg,
1/2 tsp vanilla essence,
1/2 tsp salt,
1/2 tsp lemon juice,
1/2 tsp baking soda,
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips,

Method:
1.) Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees for 10 mins.
2.) Sift the flour, baking soda and salt thrice and set aside.
3.) In a bowl, mix granulated sugar, Demerara sugar, butter, vanilla essence, and beat well. Add the eggs and beat well.
4.) Add the flour mixture slowly and mix well. Mix in the chocolate chips.
5.) Drop spoonful of the mixture on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for approximately 9-10 mins.
6.) Allow them to cool before removing from the baking sheets.

Sneek Peek:


They were perfect with a hot cup of coffee. I prefer to have cookies or biscuits dunked in coffee..and it tasted so good :)


The sweetness was just right for us and the little chocolate chips added the right amount of crunch and sweetness. The lemon juice did add the chewy texture as Deesha mentioned and I would not make any changes to that one.


I'm glad I found that perfect Chocochip cookie recipe...and wouldn't stop myself from making big batches from now on!!!

I'm sending this entry to Sharmi for her Cookie Baking Event.
I've been thinking of posting this recipe for sometime now..It was tucked in the "drafts" section. Honestly, it was under analysis. I wanted to be perfectly sure of the taste..and today, I finally decided to complete the post!!!

Just a little story behind the Shahi Garam Masala...I was tired of using Everest Garam Masala, which we've been using for quite some years now. I switched over to Priya, MTR, something something...but it didnt quite appeal. My grandmom used to make garam masala at home when I was a kid. I remember helping her sift the powder after she would powder it in the mixer. The aroma would linger in the house for atleast a day or two..

I took the recipe from grandmom but was not satisfied with the ingredients. They were too less, plus I wanted something exotic to add to the gravies. Mom suggested I look up on the internet or the cover of the Everest Masala packet. Did that..wasn't satisfied. I decided to experiment with the flavours...I know I can really be paranoid sometimes!!!

I wrote down all the khada masalas (whole spices) I knew. A visit to the supermarket, and got all the ingredients home. I bought little quantities for the experiment. Next, opened every packet and smelled each ingredient and made my observation. Based on that I decided, how much of each ingredient should be added. Dry roasted them individually, powdered them in the mixer, and by then I was absolutely impatient to use it :-)


A series of tasting and observation sessions followed, comments from hubby were invited everytime food was served, long conversations with mom about how it should taste, analysing flavors in restaurant foods to rate my masala against there's. And finally, after about a month's hard work and analysis, I present to you..my Shahi Garam Masala

Ingredients: Makes 500 gms approx.

250 gms coriander seeds,
100 gms cumin seeds,
50 gms pepper,
20 gms green cardamom,
20 gms clove,
20 gms cinnamon,
10 gms bay leaves,
10 gms fennel seeds,
10 gms black cardamom,
5 gms star anise,
5 gms mace (javitri),
1 whole nutmeg

Method:

1.) Dry roast each item individually. Roasting heightens the flavors of the spices.
2.) Allow them to cool down completely.
3.) Put all the spices together in the grinder and powder them finely.
4.) Sift the powder to get a superfine texture.
5.) Store in an air tight container to retain the flavors.

Note:
I've invented this version of garam masala as per our tastes and eating patterns. Its always good to try in little quantities to check if it suits your pallets.

Sneek Peek:

I feel proud for the heroic deed of experimenting with spicies..I'm happy that it came out as I wanted...


I love the beautiful blend of all the spices..Each ingredient has its importance and flavor...its exotic!!!
I never imagined I could ever prepare Dhoklas at home..As a kid, we've always had it from snack shops. They would have a huge tray on the counter, cut into with big square shaped pieces. Often served with green chutney and fried green chillies, it tastes delicious. I still believe, street food is the best food!!! Ofcourse discount the hygiene factor..:-)

Ingredients:
2 cups gram flour,
1 cup sour curds,
2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste,
1/4 tsp powdered asafoetida,
2 tsp sugar,
1 tbsp oil,
1 tsp fruit salt,
1 tsp lemon juice,
1/2 cup warm water,
Salt as per taste

For tempering:
2 tbsp oil,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1 tsp sesame seeds,
A pinch of asafoetida,

Method:

1.)Combine the gram flour, sour curd, and 1/2 cup of warm water in a bowl and mix till smooth. Set aside for 45 mins.
2.) Add the ginger-green chilli past, asafoetida, sugar, oil and salt and mix well.
3.) Grease a 7 inch diameter thali and set aside.
4.) Just before steaming add the fruit salt and lemon juice. Fold the batter once bubbles form, very gently.
5.) Pour the batter immediately into the greased thali and spread the batter evenly.
6.) Steam for 15 to 20 mins or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
7.) For the tempering, heat the remaining oil. Add the mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Once the seeds crackle add asafoetida and 2 tbsp of water. Pour the tempering over the prepared dhoklas.
8.) Cool slightly and cut into equal pieces. Garnish with coriander and green chilli and serve hot.

Tips:
Add the fruit salt to the batter just before you are ready to steam the dhoklas, or they will not rise.
The water in the steamer/cooker should be boiling before you put in the uncooked batter, so that the dhoklas will cook faster and rise well.

Sneek Peek:


It turned out quite soft and fluffy. The slight tang of the lemon, and the subtle sweetness of the sugar did reflect very well.


The green chilles give that heat element to the dhokla. To fry chillies, heat a little oil in a kadhai, add the green chillies and saute for a few mins. Turn off the heat and sprinkle some salt. Its delicious!!!


Quite filling in itself, we enjoyed this delicious dish for breakfast today!!!
Thank you God for the world so sweet,
Thank you God for the food we eat,
Thank you God for the birds that sing,
Thank you God for everything.

I feel so blessed that I can have an elaborate meal everyday. I feel blessed that I can prepare different dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner keeping in mind everybody's choices and preferences at home. I feel priviledged that I have the luxury to experiment with food and if it flops, I can take the liberty to dump it in the bin.

Have you ever thought what must be cooking in an underpriviledged mom's kitchen? Does she have a kitchen at all? What must she be thinking while she is planning for the next day's meal..maybe she's wondering will she have enough food to feed all her children?

Most of us, which includes me, never spend even 10 mins thinking about the underpriviledged...to me the thought itself is quite scary. I happened to spot this post in Soma's blog about Breadline Africa.

Breadline Africa is an internationally registered charity that seeks out partnerships of hope and growth in Africa. It seeks to connect people who are struggling to achieve the most basic living conditions with others who are more fortunate and in a position to make a difference.

Breadline Africa is running a year long campaign called "The Worldwide Blogger Bake Off" to raise 1 million USD. Anybody can join this campaign and I was thrilled when I read more about it.

All you need to do is bake bread and donate it!!!

There are various ways to do this:
1.) Join our campaign. Or
2.) Submit your bread baking recipe. Or
3.) Make a donation to Breadline Africa. Or
4.) Vote for your favourite recipe. Or
5.) Bake a loaf of bread and blog about it. Or
6.) Bake many loaves of bread and host a bake sale.

Fellow bloggers who want to bake for this cause may tag 5 other bloggers and speard the cause.

I'm tagging
Arundati @ Escapades
Lubna @ Kitchen Flavours
AK Mom @ What's Baking
Vidya @ Veg Inspirations
Purva @ Purva's Dawat


Here's my contribution..I know its not enough..but atleast I've made a start....


Ingredients:
450 gms whole wheat flour, (can be substitute with wholemeal flour as well),plus 3 tbsp for dusting,
225 gms white flour,
1 tsp salt,
15 gms instant yeast,
3 tbsp olive oil or almond oil,
450 ml, warm water,
115 gms almonds, coarsely chopped,
100 gms raisins

Method:

1.) In a mixing bowl, mix together the flours, salt and yeast. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and all the warm water and stir well to form a soft dough.
2.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead well for 5-7 mins. Add the nuts and raisins and mix well.
3.) Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for 2 hrs to rise.
4.) When the dough has doubled in size, return to the floured board and knead for another minute.
5.) Divide the dough into 20-24 even pieces and shape into good rounds. Grease the baking sheets well with the remaining oil. Place the rolls on the sheets, leaving enough space between them to allow for rising.
6.) Cover again with the kitchen towel and leave to rise again for about 30 mins, until the rolls are risen and have doubled in size.
7.) Preheat the oven to 200 degree centrigrade. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 mins. The buns should be golden brown and the bases should sound hollow when tapped.
8.) Serve with soup or cheese fondue.

Sneek Peek:


I was quite pleased with the results since I was baking this for the first time.. The color turned out just as I had expected. The outer layer was crusty and it was very soft from inside.


The almonds and raisins gave a touch of fruity sweetness to the rolls which makes it an ideal accompaniment to strong and sharp soups or fondues.


I hope you enjoy baking them as much as I did!!!

I'm sending this entry to BBD #14 - Coloured Breads hosted by Boaz of Grain Power and also to Susan's YeastSpotting.

You can also join me in the campaign by voting for my recipe here.
Yesterday was hubby dear's birthday. I had kept this Brownie recipe aside from a long time..which I decided to make on his birthday. Well the day began with my son complaining of severe ear pain and fever. Everybody was terribly upset. Nothing would could make my son stop crying... It was hurting him so badly..that we all got really worried.

We frantically tried to reach a pediatrician but in no vain..yesterday being Sunday!!! Finally we took him to Manipal Hospital where the doctor detected it as an ear infection. A dose of medicine in the hospital and within minutes my son sprung back to his original self. We were all relieved and that's when we realized we should wish "Daddy" Happy Birthday!!!

We reached home at around 4 pm and I was in no mood to bake the brownie. But I thought since half a day was already lost, lets make the other half as delightful as possible.

I got into action..and out came from the oven beautiful chocolate brownie...:)


Recipe source: Femina

Ingredients:
80 gms cooking butter,
150 gms dark cooking chocolate, broken into pieces,
3 eggs,
120 gms castor sugar,
1 tsp vanilla essence,
80 gms flour,
20 gms cocoa powder,
1/2 tsp baking powder,

Method:
1.) Preheat the oven to 175 degrees, for 10 mins.
2.) Grease a baking tin ( 9 x 9 inch) with butter and line with butter paper.
3.) Stir the butter and chocolate in a saucepan over a bowl of boiling water till melted. Set aside to cool a little.
4.) Beat the eggs together with the sugar. Add the vanilla essence and continue to beat until fluffy.
5.) Sieve the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
6.) Mix the melted chocolate mixture with the beaten eggs and sugar till evenly blended.
7.) Fold in the flour mixture slowly.
8.) Pour into the greased and lined baking tin and bake till the knife comes out clean.
9.) Cool and cut into squares.

Tips:
In case the cake starts to burn, cover it with an aluminum foil.

So as the saying goes..all's well that end's well...a simple brownie..can definitely brighten up your dampened spirits...We all had a piece of brownie and celebrated my hubby's birthday...:)


Happy Birthday Hubby...Wish you loads of happiness and prosperity in the years to come!!!
My MIL is an expert in mutton kheema. Though my husband and I do not prefer to have mutton, this is one mutton dish we cannot resist!!! My in-laws are here for a short stay and I kept on pestering her to make this..

When I returned home yesterday evening...I could smell the aroma, very typical of mutton kheema, right at the doorstep. I was thrilled at the surprise my MIL and FIL gave.. Both my hubby and me hogged and lapped the whole kheema in a matter of minutes.

Now how could it happen that such an eternal recipe does not enter my esteemed blog. So I made my MIL sit with me and dictate the recipe while I'm typing it out right now.. An equally excited FIL has joined us and giving his expert comments...While I try to figure out what they both want to say...you check out the recipe..



Ingredients:

½ kg minced mutton,
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste,
8 medium sized onions, ground to fine paste,
2 large tomatoes, ground to fine paste,
3 tsp red chilli powder,
1 tsp turmeric powder,
2 tsp coriander powder,
2 tsp shahi garam masala powder,
¼ tsp pepper powder,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
2-3 cloves,
2 cinnamon sticks, 1 inch sized,
2-3 bay leaves,
Salt as per taste
1 cup oil,
Fresh coriander for garnish, chopped

Method:

1.) Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add the mustard seeds, and whole spices (cloves, cinnamon, & bay leaves) and stir for a minute.
2.) Add the onion paste fry until it turns golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste and tomato paste. Stir and fry until golden brown.
3.) Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt and stir for some more time.
4.) Add the minced meat and fry for about 5-7 mins.
5.) Transfer into a pressure cooker and cook until 2 whistle blows.
6.) Once cooled, keep on sim until the excess water evaporates. Add garam masala powder and pepper powder.
7.) Garnish with fresh coriander and serve hot with rice or rotis.

Sneek Peek:



And while I blog this recipe...the only thought that comes to my mind is that is there a substitute for that secret ingredient called "mother's love"...however much I try..I can never make it like my MIL...



Thank you Amma and Appa for the wonderful dinner!!!
I’ve been eating Adai’s for almost as old as I am. Its pretty much synonymous to dosa or idli which is a common delicacy in South India. There are many ways to prepare Adai and every recipe is tasty and unique. This dish is a wholesome breakfast dish which is full of proteins. A must need for those early morning rushes!!! I love this for the fact that it can be consumed instantly. All you need to do is to soak the lentils overnight.

Ingredients:

2 cups rice,
1 cup urad dal,
½ cup tuar dal,
¼ cup chana dal,
1 inch size whole asafoetida,
3-4 whole red chillies,
5-6 curry leaves,
Salt as per taste

Method:
1.) Soak the rice and lentils for approximately 7-8 hrs.
2.) In a separate bowl soak the asafoetida and red chillies in half a cup of water.
3.) Grind all the ingredients in a grinder to form a paste. It should be mildly granular in consistency. Add salt to taste.
4.) Chop curry leaves, and add to the paste.
5.) In a non stick tawa, put a ladle full of batter and spread it like pancake.
6.) Serve it hot with jaggery, homemade butter, and spiced tomato chutney.

Sneek Peek:


I've used homemade butter which we made yesterday...Trust me..it just tastes amazing!!!


The spicy tomato chutney is my MIL's speciality. Its very similar to Arundati's recipe and I've made it a couple of times myself..but both me and my hubby agree that she makes it best..Thanks Amma!!!


My mom always has Adai with jaggery and though I could not get a logical answer from her other than.."thats how we've been eating Adai life long" I love the touch of sweetness against the salty-spicy Adai..:)


I'm sending this to Malar and Vani...Please join me in enjoying this mouth-watering delicacy...I hope you enjoy it!!!
I love Indian Spices..Tradionally we have used these spices in various combinations and each of them bring in their own unique flavours..together making every dish unique and exotic.

Whole red chillies are very common in Indian dishes and are used in majority of the South Indian dishes.

One of the ways its used extensively in South India is by preparing Mulagai Podi which go really well with idli's and dosa's.


Ofcourse idli and dosa is had with chutney and sambar..but this podi is also served in many households to add up to the spice.. Its a regular accompaniment in our house and is a great substitute for those days when you really need to rush up and dont have time for an elaborate spread of sambar and chutney.

There are many ways to prepare Mulagai Podi..however, I follow my grandmom's recipe..

Ingredients:
15 red chillies, cleaned, stem removed,
1 cup urad dal,
1/2 cup chana dal,
1/2 inch piece of whole asafoetida,
1 tbsp of sesame seeds,
1 tsp oil from roasting
Salt as per taste



Method:
1.) Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a non stick pan and fry the asafoetida until if puffs up. Remove and set aside.
2.) In the pan roast the red chillies. Remove and set aside.
3.) Next, roast the urad dal until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
4.) Roast the chana dal until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
5.) Roast the sesame seeds until they start to splutter. Remove and set aside.
6.) Once all the ingredients have cooled down, put them in a mixer and churn. Add salt and powder until its grainy in consistency. Check for salt and spice adjust.
7.) Once cooled, store in a sealed container. This stays fresh for 15-20 days.
8.) While serving, mix with groundnut or sesame oil and serve idli or dosa.

Sneek Peek:



I'm also sending this to Kitchen Flavours, Anudivya, Jaishree, Usha, who were very kind to stop by at my space and encourage me with their feedback. Thank you all..truly appreciate it!!! I hope you enjoy it :)

My SIL and BIL left today after a week long stay with us. We had an awesome time..and most of it was spent in the kitchen..my favorite place. I loved cooking for them..and they enjoyed it too!!! However, amidst all the chaos, I wanted to bake something for them but could not find time.

Today early morning I decided to make something for them as a take-away. I had some tutti fruit’s in the fridge and decided to bake Tutti Fruti Cake..with a twist..

I have baked this cake quite a few times before for guests coming over for tea.. and I love the wonderful contrast of the colorful tutti fruti’s over the pale yellow colored base..its such a wonderful sight!!!

Today I decided to experiment slightly by adding some cocoa powder…just to slightly enhance the base color…

Very skeptical about the taste and color, I was anxious to try out the cake before I could pack it for them..and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised…it was delicious..a beautiful color to the cake and an even beautiful taste…the cocoa simply enhanced the traditional tutti fruit cake…I was delighted!!!

Here’s the recipe..

Ingredients:
150 gms plain white flour,
150 gms cooking butter/margarine, softened,
3 eggs,
115 gms castor sugar,
150 gms of colored tutti fruti’s (here I’ve used red and green)
1 tsp baking powder,
4-5 drops of vanilla essence,
1 tsp cocoa powder,
Cake tin, greased, dusted with flour,

Method:
1.) Pre-heat the oven.
2.) Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa powder and set aside.
3.) Mix sugar and butter in a big bowl and beat until creamy and fluffy.
4.) Add eggs, one by one, beating continuously to avoid curdling. Add the vanilla essence.
5.) Start adding the flour mixture one tablespoon at a time, beating continuously.
6.) Finally, fold in the tutti fruti mix.
7.) Transfer to the greased tin and bake in the centre of the oven at 150 degrees for 40 mins or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
8.) Cool on a wire rack and cut into pieces.
9.) Serve with tea or coffee.

Note:
1.) In case the cake starts turning dark brown in color, cover with an aluminum foil.
2.) Cooking temperatures may vary based on the oven.

Sneek Peek:



I’m packing this cake for Sandy, my SIL…I hope you enjoy it…We had loads of fun together and I can’t wait to see you again…

Thanks for coming over to my Tea Party AK Mom ..I hope you love it :)