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 :)

While I went to the local vegetable market on Sunday, I picked up lots of fresh curry leaves..they were absolutely fresh and stunning..I had decided to make either chutney or powder...


While browsing through Vidhya's posts in My Recipes I found the recipe for Curry Leaves Powder..and decided to make that.. As I was assembling the items together..mom called up (her regular afternoon call) checking up on me..I mentioned I'm making curry leaves powder and she was excited as well.. I asked her for her version of it..and she suggested a slight variation to Vidhya's recipe..

Here's mom's version of it..

Ingredients:
4 cups curry leaves, cleaned, removed from stem,
1/2 cup urad dal,
5-6 dried red chillies,
1/2 inch piece of whole asafoetida,
1 tbsp of sesame seeds,
Tamarind, slightly bigger than the size of one lime,
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 sesame seeds until they start to splutter. Remove and set aside.
5.) Add the remaining 1/2 tsp of oil and fry the curry leaves until they lose colour and start to turn crispy. Remove and set aside.
6.) Once all the ingredients have cooled down, put them in a mixer and churn. Add tamarind and salt and powder until its grainy in consistency. Check for salt, spice and tang and adjust.
7.) Serve with hot rice and ghee.

Sneek Peek:


It turned out awesome..

I thank you Vidhya for inspiring me to make this..I'm sending some of the podi for you...I hope you like it..:)

I'm also sending this podi to Arundati of Escapades and K, her husband.. who I'm sure would enjoy it..We miss you guys...:(

Idlis are a favourite in my house and hence it is very rare that they are leftover...but whenever I prepare idli's I usually make some extras...So while I was deciding what to make for breakfast in the morning today, I was thrilled when I remembered there were 5-6 idlis left over from yesterday..and instantly I decided to make a delicious and spicy upma from them. This is such a simple food yet so satisfying..This is great for breakfast or an evening tiffin...thats why I call it Recycled Idlis..:)

Ingredients:

6 left over idlis, crumbled into small pieces
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
5-6 curry leaves
2 tbsp oil
2-3 tsp idli karam podi
Salt as per taste

Method:
1.) Heat oil in a non stick pan. Add urad dal and wait until it turns golden brown. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add the curry leaves.
2.) Add the crumbled idli and mix well. Add salt as per taste.
3.) Sprinkle the idli karam podi on top and mix well.
4.) Serve hot with hot coffee or tea.

Sneek Peek:


Closeup view of the texture

Tips:
Instead of crumbling the idlis, cut into 6 or 8 piecies. Follow the above steps and leave it in the pan until all sides are crisp.
Alternatively, instead of idli karam podi you could use chat masala. It tastes great as well..

Thats Recycled Idlis for you staight from my kitchen!!!