Sometimes a detox diet is the way to go...after horrendously torturing the little tummy with loads of butter, cheese, fried food, and gallons of tea and coffee, the tummy needs a break :)

I wanted to go on a detox diet for sometime, but couldn't really get to it. I still haven't :) but will get there soon...

But atleast to start with, I've started supplementing my snacks with healthy salads. Rather than munching on digestive biscuits with tea in the evening, I thought of replacing it with a fresh salad which is easy to make and tastes good as well.

IMG_3168 
Ingredients:
1 cucumber,
1 carrot,
1 tomato,
1 onion (optional, I've not used),
1 tsp grated cottage cheese or regular cheese,
1/2 tsp sesame seeds,
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil,
Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:
  1. Wash and peel the vegetables and set aside.
  2. Make very thin slices of cucumber. Leave it in a plate, allowing the water to come off.
  3. With a peeler, make thin ribbons out of the carrot.
  4. Make thin slices of tomato and onions
  5. In a bowl, mix all the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  6. To serve, place the salad in the center of the plate. Sprinkle cottage cheese and sesame seeds and drizzle olive oil all over the salad.

Fresh Cucumber and Carrot Salad

Yummmmmy!

After getting back to blogging last month, I've received numerous emails and messages from my blogging friends saying they are happy to see me back. I feel happy too. And my happiness was enhanced when Anna from Crunchy Creamy Sweet presented the Liebster Blog Award. Wooooowwwwww! I didn't even know that my blog has reached out to so many other bloggers and its overwhelming to know that. Thank you Susan!



A Liebster Blog Award is given to talented  and loved bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

I'm very happy to pass on this award to

  1. Karishma from Effortless Cooking, Easy Baking, she has some amazing desserts in her blog.
  2. Amarendra from Amu's Recipes, he has step by step pictures of all the recipes. 
  3. Create With Mom, she has some really good stuff for the kids.
  4. Vimitha Anand from Culinary Trial Room, she has some excellent veg and non veg recipes.
  5. Vidhya Subramony from Sweet Karam Kapi, she is an amazing events host, wonder how she manages it!

Here are the rules:
  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed.
  5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.
Congratulations to all!!!
As promised, here I come with this delicious recipe of Strawberry Compote. But before we head to the recipe, I would like to give you a little insight into what a compote is.


A compote is any fruit which is cooked in syrup.

Compote is a healthier version of jam because it has very less quantity of sugar and no preservatives. Here you use the natural flavoring and sweetness of the fruit.You can use any fruit to make a fruit compote. Its also a great way of using seasonal fruits. You can mix a few fruits together and make a compote. It can be used in many ways like top it on toasts, pancakes, make tarts or even use it as a cake topping.

Some fruits that are suitable to make compote are strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mango, lithchi, rhubarb, apples, bananas, cherries, and the list is endless. You can have endless possibilities with a compote.
Strawberry Compote

Here I am sharing my Strawberry Compote recipe. The same can be used to for any other compote that you want to make by just replacing the fruit.

Ingredients:
400 gms of fresh strawberries, washed, stem removed,
4-5 tsp of vanilla sugar (see recipe below)

Method:
  1. Chop the strawberries into small chunks.
  2. Place the chopped strawberries in a heavy bottom pan.
  3. Add the sugar and mix well.
  4. Stir occasionally and simmer allowing it to cook gently.
  5. Fruits with high water content release their water on heating, hence there is no need to add additional water. But if it starts to stick at the bottom of the pan, add a tbsp of water.
  6. Once the strawberries have softened, remove from fire and allow it to cool.
  7. Pour it into a bottle and store in the refrigerator. 
Strawberry Compote
Ingredients for Vanilla Sugar:
Sugar, castor or regular,
1-2 pods of vanilla,


Method:
  1. Place the sugar in a bottle. 
  2. Insert the vanilla pods and shake well.
  3. Close the lid tightly and leave it for a few days.
  4. The aroma of the vanilla will be taken up by the sugar granules in a few days.
  5. Use as required, refilling with fresh sugar.
Strawberry Compote

Remember to store homemade compote in refridgerator once it has cooled down. You should use it up within 2-3 days, but I can bet it won't be available for that long :). I have used this compote on pancakes and it tastes great.

This compote goes out to participate in the Berries - Strawberry event hosted by Zesty Palette conceptualized by Anu's Healthy Kitchen


Pancakes are really one of the fastest ways to cook up something delicious instantly. I prefer to make it as an evening snack as its not too heavy and it fills the stomach just enough to have enough room for dinner. Everybody loves it, so its pretty much like one-snack-for-all types.

I decided to make this pancake with banana and sesame this time. Banana has a rich source of anti-oxidants and has good amount of soluble dietary fiber. Sesame seeds are rich in omega-6 fatty acids and dietary fiber.

Banana Pancakes with Sesame and Strawberry Compote

Ingredients:
1 cup plain flour ( maida)
1/4th cup powdered sugar,
1 tsp baking powder,
1 tbsp white sesame seeds,
1 egg, (optional, I have not used it)
2 ripe bananas,
2-3 cups of milk, (may require more),
1/2 tsp vanilla essence,
2-3 tbsp of butter,

Method:
  1. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and sesame seeds together and set aside.
  2. Next, mash the bananas and pour in about 1 cup of milk and mix well. If adding egg, beat the egg into the same mixture. Add the vanilla essence as well.
  3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Gently add the remaining milk slowly being careful of the consistency.
  5. You should get a pouring consistency. Adjust the sweetness depending upon taste.
  6. In a non stick pan, pour a laddle full of batter. Cover the sides with butter, and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  7. Serve hot.
Banana Pancakes with Sesame and Strawberry Compote

I've topped it up with Strawberry Compote. You could drizzle maple syrup or honey. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or freshly grated coconut.

Sending this entry to Cooking with Whole Foods - Sesame seeds hosted by Kaarasaaram conceptualized  by Kiran, Banana recipes hosted by My Culinary Creations, and Berries - Strawberries hosted by Zesty Pallete & conceptualized by Anu's Healthy Kitchen




As the post title suggests, Low Calorie No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake, you must be wondering, if there is chocolate and its a cheesecake, how could it be low calorie - well, its not really low calorie, but it would be definitely lower than an actual "cheesecake" :)

This cheesecake is a fast track recipe which can be thrown in within a few minutes. I don't follow the classic baked cheesecake method. I've tried earlier and failed. But later I came across the no-bake cheesecake recipe and that became the base for all kinds of cheesecakes that I have prepared earlier.

Coming to the ingredients, I don't use cream cheese which is the base for any cheesecake, because, firstly, its very high in calories and secondly its very not easily available here. So see we saved some calories there, with a little price paid on the taste. However, I can bet most people won't be able to make out the difference whether there is cream cheese or something else.

I'm preparing this chocolate cheesecake for the first time. I've been conceptualizing this recipe for sometime in my mind. Actually I've been off baking for sometime now. It actually took me sometime to get this recipe in place unlike earlier where reinventing or putting a new recipe together was a few hours job.
Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients:
For the base:
5-6 dark fantasy biscuits,
2 tbsp butter, melted

For the cake:
400 ml fresh cream (I've used Amul)
250 gms dark chocolate, chopped, melted,
5-6 tbsp powdered sugar,
15 gms 20gms of gelatin, soaked in 15 ml of water,
7" cake tin with a removable base,

For Decoration:
1-2 tbsp powdered sugar,
1-2 tbsp chocolate shavings,

Method:
  1. Crush the biscuits in a mixer. Add the melted butter and mix well.
  2. Layer the crushed biscuit powder on the base of the cake tin and press it hard.
  3. Put it away in the refrigerator to set.
  4. While the base is getting ready, put the chopped chocolate in a microwave proof bowl and heat for less than 1 mins. Remove, mix well and reheat if required. You must have no lumps and should be of a pourable consistency.
  5. Heat the gelatin in the microwave for about 10-15 secs. It should look transparent.
  6. Pour the contents of fresh cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat for less than 1 min. 
  7. Now pour gelatin into the cream and mix well.
  8. Pour the warm chocolate into the warm cream mixture and mix well.
  9. At this stage if you need more sweet, add a few tbsps of powdered sugar.
  10. Pour the contents into the base (which by now should have become quite stiff). Tap the contents a little bit to remove any air bubbles that might have formed.
  11. Put it into the refrigerator and allow it to set overnight.
Chocolate Cheesecake
  1. To remove the cake, run a pallete knife along the sides first. Gently push the tin base upwards and push the cake side tin downwards.
  2. Place it on a serving plate gently.
  3. Take a tea seive and put some powdered sugar onto it. Now gently tap the seive to make a bed of snow like covering on the cake.
  4. Take a piece of chocolate and using a small grater, grate the chocolate on top of the powdered sugar.
  5. Serve a chilled slice immediately.
Chocolate Cheesecake
Important Notes:

  1. Its important to follow the sequence of steps as mentioned above.
  2. For the base, you could also use a thin slice of chocolate cake, cut into the size of the cake tin.
  3. Every microwave is different, so you might have to adjust the timing according to your microwave.
  4. I think a little more gelatin would have done. If you notice the picture, the cake is quite sticky. I was worried it would fall off and not stay stiff. It should be stiff.
  5. This should be kept refrigerated at all times.
I'm sending this cake to all my loved ones for whom I have not baked anything for quite sometime. It also goes out to all my friends who love me and/or hate me, but I'm still a part of their life. This also goes out to all my blogging friends and friends from my workplace who have been an immense support and warmly welcomed me into their lives. Last but not the least, goes out to my son and his bunch of friends, for whom I specially made this!














A few days back, we had some friends over for lunch. Amongst various dishes that I made, I made this Methi Malai Matar dish. This is the first time I was preparing and was'nt sure of how it would turn out. But once it was served, everybody said it tasted fantastic.

This was a high calorie dish but it tasted heavenly. I served it with hot rotis and jeera rice.

Here's my version of Methi Malai Matar.

Methi Malai Matar
Ingredients:

2-3 cups of methi (fenugreek leaves), only leaves, washed, chopped,
3/4th cup green peas,
1/2 cup fresh cream (I used Amul),
2tbsp butter,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
1-2 pinches of kasuri meethi, slightly roasted,
1 tsp sugar,
Salt to taste

Masala - 1
onion, diced,
1 inch ginger,
3-4 garlic pods, (optional)
2 green chillies,


Masala - 2
1 green cardamom,
1 black cardamon,
1-2 small sticks of cinnamon,
1tsp black pepper corns,
5-6 cashews



Method:
1.) Grind the ingredients in Masala 1 and Masala 2 separately and set aside.
2.) Heat butter in a wok and add the cumin seeds. Once they become golden brown, add the ground Masala 1.
3.) Once the masala turns golden brown, add the chopped methi and stir well. Add the sugar and add the salt as per taste. Cover and allow it to cook half way.
4.) Add the green peas and stir well. Cover and simmer until the peas are cooked half way.
5.) Add the ingredients of Masala 2 and mix well. Keep stirring and add a little water to adjust the consistency.
6.) Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Sprinkle the kasuri meethi and serve hot.


Methi Malai Matar

This dish is slightly sweet and creamy. But all in all its delicious! 

This dish is going to participate in New Year, New Dish event hosted by UK Rasoi and also to Spotlight - Winter Vegetables event hosted by Recipe Junction.




Last weekend we had a fest in our apartment. They hold this every year and encourage residents to participate and display their creativity. It gives everybody an opportunity to showcase their talent and also make some quick bucks.

My neighbour and me decided to put up a samosa-kachori stall along with tea and coffee. We just picked up the samosas and kachoris from a local vendor and prepared the tea and coffee at home. The idea of participating was just for sheer experience and fun.

Lets not get into the success of the stall, the less we talk about it the better. We were left with a lot of kachoris is all I can say :) After distributing a lot of them to the security guards and maids, we were left with a handful of them.

I decided to make some kachori chaat the next day for breakfast.  

Kachori Chaat 


Ingredients:
2 hot kachoris,
1 cup fresh curd, beaten well,
1 tomato, finely chopped,
1 onion, finely chopped,
2 tsp coriander leaves, finely chopped,
1/4 tsp red chilli powder,
1/4 tsp chat masala powder,
2 tbsp green chuntey,
2 tbsp sweet imli chutney,
Some boondi or sev,
Salt to taste, if needed

Method:
1.) Place the kachoris in a serving plate. Make a hole in the center of the kachori.
2.) Pour a generous amount of beaten curd all over the kachori.
3.) Put green chutney and sweet imli chutney as per taste.
4.) Now sprinkle chopped tomatoes and onions all over.
5.) Sprinkle chat masala powder and red chilli powder.
6.) Put boondi over this and sprinkle the chopped coriander.

Kachori Chaat

I didn't have time to prepare sweet imli chutney, so I didn't add it. However it adds a lot of flavor.

We all had a good time relishing this classic street food right at home!!!

I'm sending this to Street Foods Event hosted by Tomato Blues.