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Easycooking



Some new,some old and some borrowed recipes..



Updated: 2017-12-15T06:41:05.509+05:30

 



Khichdi / Masala Khichdi / Vegetable Khichdi | One pot Rice meals

2017-11-30T18:33:29.174+05:30

Khichdi is something I make at home at least once in a week,sometimes more.It was Arjun's first solid food.Initially I made it without any spices for him but now I just make one batch,for us as well as for him.I couldn't believe such a simple dish created such a furore of being called the National dish by some while some argued it is not.There is no doubt about one thing however,and that is the taste!It packs in flavor as well as nutrition since it is a one pot meal consisting of rice,dals and vegetables.You could completely customize it according to your taste.Don't like rice?Add millets!Don't like vegetables?Make it plain!Or add vegetables of your choice!!Don't like spices?It tastes good with just a tadka of ghee and jeera!Served warm with a dollop of ghee on top,this absolutely tastes divine.You need to eat it to believe it :)Khichdi / Masala Khichdi / Vegetable KhichdiIngredientsRaw rice - 1/2 cupDal - 1/4 cup (I used a mixof Toor dal,Moong dal and Masoor dal)Onion -1 small,choppedTomato - 1/2 medium sized tomato,choppedCapsicum - 1/2 of a small capsicum,choppedCarrot - 1 small,choppedBeans - 4-5,choppedPumpkin - about roughly 1 cup,choppedWater-3 cupsFor the tadkaOil+ghee - 1 tbspMustard seeds - 1/4 tspJeera - 1/4 tspWhole peppercorns - about 5-6Curry leaves- a fewHing - a pinchGinger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp(optional)Haldi - 1/4 tspChilly powder - 1/4 tspCoriander powder - 1/4 tspGaram masala - 1/4 tspSalt to tasteGhee - 1 tbspMethodWash and soak together rice and the dals for about 30-45 minutes.In a pressure cooker add oil/ghee and splutter mustard seeds and jeera.Add in the peppercorns and curry leaves.Now add the hing and chopped onions and saute for a minute.Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute or till the raw smell of the paste disappears.Now add tomato and the vegetables and give a good mix.Time to add the spice powders - haldi,chilly,coriander and garam masala.Give it a good mix.Add the drained rice and dal mix and add salt to taste.Add water and check for seasoning.Close the cooker and cook for 2-3 whistles on high and simmer for another 10 minutes.Switch off the flame and let the pressure settle down.Open and mix well.If you feel it is watery,simmer for a few minutes more and if you feel it is dry add hot water till it reaches the consistency of your choice.Add ghee and close the cooker and let the flavors infuse.Serve warm with some more ghee :)Step by Step PictorialWash and soak together rice and the dals for about 30-45 minutes.Wash and chop the vegetables.In a pressure cooker add oil/ghee and splutter mustard seeds and jeera.Add in the peppercorns and curry leaves.Now add the hing and chopped onions and saute for a minute.Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute or till the raw smell of the paste disappears.Now add tomato and the vegetables and give a good mix.Time to add the spice powders - haldi,chilly,coriander and garam masala.Give it a good mix.Add the drained rice and dal mix and add salt to taste.Add water and check for seasoning.Close the cooker and cook for 2-3 whistles on high and simmer for another 10 minutes.Switch off the flame and let the pressure settle down.Open and mix well.If you feel it is watery,simmer for a few minutes more and if you feel it is dry add hot water till it reaches the consistency of your choice.Add ghee and close the cooker and let the flavors infuse.Serve warm with some more ghee :)Here's a small video :) width="320" height="266" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="https://i.ytimg.com/vi/o9hESLUNEJs/0.jpg" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/o9hESLUNEJs?feature=player_embedded" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>NotesThe spice powders can be added more/less according to your taste palettes.Since I am serving this to Arjun as well,I keep it to the bare minimum.You can add any vegetables of your choice,I sometimes add only carrots and beans or only potatoes or then a medley of vegetables like I've used here.The water quantity is approximate.You may need less or more depending on the amount of[...]



Arjun is THREE!!!

2017-11-05T20:18:40.840+05:30

The li'l fellow turned THREE last month,I mean,can you believe it?Where did the time go?Arjun is ONE!Arjun is TWO!!Lots has happened since my last blog update.Though I've been planning to update the blog more regularly,clearly it isn't happening.Arjun has joined Pre-school and most part of the day goes in getting him ready for school,dropping and picking him up,cooking for the day and it is only when he takes a short nap in the afternoon I get a breather.I just want to cuddle up reading a book then or watch some television or better still lose myself in Instagram where I seem to spend most of my time these days.Do follow me there for regular updates of Arjun,food I cook,cakes I bake and more such fun stuff.So coming back to his Birthday,we celebrated his birthday in our usual fashion.Close friends,cake cutting and dinner.Maybe when he grows up a little and wants his own party with friends I can plan something of that sort :).Unlike Ajay who asks for 'anything you like' or 'chocolate' when asked for a choice in the birthday cake,Arjun is very opinionated and clear about his requirements :) He asked for a Strawberry and Chocolate cake with Gems and the baker/food blogger in me did a very happy dance!I had bookmarked a 3 shaped cake from Pinterest and did a chequerboard cake.Made Eggless Strawberry and Chocolate sponges and sandwiched them using chocolate ganache and covered the cake with good ol' chocolate buttercream and of course,Gems!We also celebrated his star Birthday which was two days before his birthday and his grandmother made a Sheera(Kesari)which he cut like a Birthday Cake :) Made a huge batch of Eggless Chocolate cupcakes too for him to take to school,Oh I've always wanted to do such stuff and it gives me so much happiness to actually plan such things and execute :)Hoping to continue blogging as always.So for some inspiration and motivation,if anyone of you are still coming back to read my blog,please let me know in the comment section.What recipes you'd like to see or what I can do to improve the quality of the blog,or anything actually.Hope to hear from you soon:)[...]



Eggless Marble Banana Cake | Easy & Simple Cake Recipes

2017-07-18T14:11:15.355+05:30

Remember the Zebra Cake I posted some eons back on this blog?My God,that was such a gorgeous cake.Everyone on the blogosphere went crazy baking these amazing Zebra cakes,which required a little precision in pouring the batter and Voila!you get pretty Zebra stripes when you cut the cake.I wonder how I had the courage to try something like that then,I mean,I was just a beginner baker.But I think that's why I did it,had no clue about the nuances and I just went with the flow and followed the recipe to the T.If you're wondering why I'm going all nostalgic,well this Banana-Chocolate cake is a Zebra cake inspired cake.I say inspired because,Radhika who posted this recipe says the stripes were not even and she was calling it a Marble cake instead.Well,so am I.The batter was not as thin as the original Zebra cake recipe and I'm guessing that's the reason the stripes were not even.But hey,no one's complaining!I have not been baking actively these days,primarily due to curb the intake of flour,butter and sugar but mostly because I'm trying to include more fruits and vegetables in my toddlers diet(as well as ours!)as snacks and he's loving it so far and hasn't asked for cake in a long time.But some indulgences once in a while is allowed no :)and this has fruit too,so win-win!Though the cake is delicious as it is,I decided to dress it up with a bit of leftover ganache and believe me,it tasted yum!You could just dust a bit of powdered sugar on top or serve it plain :)Eggless Marble Banana CakeRecipe courtesy - Sugar and spice by RadhikaIngredientsAll Purpose Flour (Maida)- 150 gramsBaking Powder - 1 tspBaking Soda - ½ tspSalt - ½ tspMashed Bananas - 1 cupButter - ¼ cupCaster Sugar - ⅓ cupVanilla Essence - 1 tspMilk - 2-3 tbspCocoa Powder - 2 tbspMethodPreheat oven to160C.Grease and flour a 7' round pan.In a bowl, sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.In another bowl, whisk butter until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes with an electric mixer. Add in the sugar and whisk for another 3-4 minutes. The mixture should turn fluffy and lighter in colour.Add in the mashed bananas and vanilla essence. Mix until properly combined.Mix the flour mix into this little by little,adding milk little by little if you feel the batter is turning dry.Divide the batter into two equal parts. Leave one part as it is, and mix in the cocoa powder to the other.To form the swirls, start by pouring 1-2 tablespoons of the plain banana batter in the centre of the cake tin.Next, pour 1-2 tablespoons of the chocolate batter right on it. Make sure you pour it in the centre.Next, pour the plain banana batter and so on. Repeat until you use up all the batter.Do not try to mix the batters,just keep pouring the batters alternatively.Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake turns golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean.Cool on a wire rack.Step by Step PictorialPreheat oven to160C.Grease and flour a 7' round pan.In a bowl, sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.In another bowl, whisk butter until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes with an electric mixer. Add in the sugar and whisk for another 3-4 minutes. The mixture should turn fluffy and lighter in colour.Add in the mashed bananas and vanilla essence. Mix until properly combined.Mix the flour mix into this little by little,adding milk little by little if you feel the batter is turning dry.Divide the batter into two equal parts. Leave one part as it is, and mix in the cocoa powder to the other.To form the swirls, start by pouring 1-2 tablespoons of the plain banana batter in the centre of the cake tin.Next, pour 1-2 tablespoons of the chocolate batter right on it. Make sure you pour it in the centre.Next, pour the plain banana batter and so on. Repeat until you use up all the batter.Do not try to mix the batters,just keep pouring the batters alternatively.Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake turns golden brown on top and a toothpick [...]



Spiced Chapathi with Coconut Onion Chutney AND a GIVEAWAY!!!

2017-07-03T15:39:47.052+05:30

I still remember the first time Ajay's amma made Chapathi for breakfast when I was a newlywed.Myself being an ardent Chapathi lover,I just couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it and it was smelling awesome.Btw,do you like the smell of chapathi getting done on a tawa?The smell of cooked atta and the ghee put on top of it just make me crave for it more and more.The chapathis were soft and flaky plus sweet and spicy.I was too busy eating them and never asked her the recipe for it.But these are the only chapathis I make at home now.These are delicious on their own and can be had even without any accompaniment.Amma calls it 'Mammama's chapathi' because that's how her amma used to make it.Usually Dal or Bhaji is paired with this chapathi but amma always made a coconut onion chutney and believe me,the pairing is awesome.Never thought a coconut chutney would taste so good with chapathi,talk of North-South fusion!Spiced Chapathi with Coconut Onion ChutneyIngredientsWhole wheat flour/Atta - 2 cupsBanana - 1,smallGreen chilly - 2Whole peppercorns - 8-10Sugar - 2 tbspSalt to tasteWater as requiredOil - 1 tspGhee as requiredGhee+Oil - for making the chapathiMethodIn a mixer jar add banana,green chilly,pepper,sugar and salt and grind to a smooth paste.Add this paste to the flour and add required water to make a soft and smooth non-sticky dough.Coat the dough with oil and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.Divide the dough into equal sized balls.Roll the dough into small sized chapathis and smear little ghee on top.Fold the chapathi once into a semicircle and then fold again to form a triangle.Roll the chapathi not to thick or thin.If you roll it too thick,it wouldn't cook well and if you roll it too thin,it wouldn't be flaky.Cook on a hot tawa till done.One tip which amma gives is that,do not keep flipping the chapathi on the tawa.Once one side is cooked,flip and cook the other,that's it.Apply ghee+oil on top and serve.Step by step TutorialIn a mixer jar add banana,green chilly,pepper,sugar and salt and grind to a smooth paste.Add this paste to the flour and add required water to make a soft and smooth non-sticky dough.Coat the dough with oil and let the dough rest for 20 minutes.Divide the dough into equal sized balls.Roll the dough into small sized chapathis and smear little ghee on top.Fold the chapathi once into a semicircle and then fold again to form a triangle.Roll the chapathi not to thick or thin.If you roll it too thick,it wouldn't cook well and if you roll it too thin,it wouldn't be flaky.Cook on a hot tawa till done.One tip which amma gives is that,do not keep flipping the chapathi on the tawa.Once one side is cooked,flip and cook the other,that's it.Apply ghee+oil on top and serve.Coconut Onion ChutneyIngredientsGrated coconut - 1 cupGreen chilly - 2-3Ginger - 1/2 ' pieceTamarind - a small pieceCoriander leaves - 2-3 stalksSalt to tasteChopped onion - 1/2 cupCoconut oil - 1 tspMethodIn a small mixer jar add green chilly,ginger,tamarind,coriander leaves,coconut and salt to taste.Grind to a smooth paste adding just about 2-3 tsp water.Mix in the chopped onions and pulse for 3-5 seconds.Add coconut oil on top.Step by step TutorialIn a small mixer jar add green chilly,ginger,tamarind,coriander leaves,coconut and salt to taste.Grind to a smooth paste adding just about 2-3 tsp water.Mix in the chopped onions and pulse for 3-5 seconds.Add coconut oil on top.--------------------Giveaway alert---------Folks from Perfico.com were kind enough to send me personalized wine glasses of my choice and have offered to giveaway one set of the same to one lucky reader!!As we are approaching the fag end of Mango season,I decided to make a Mango-Banana Smoothie and serve in these Wine glasses.All you have to do is comment what you would like to serve in these glasses and you could win one set which could be personalized to your choice![...]



Paneer Biryani | Pressure Cooker Paneer Biryani

2017-06-26T10:12:07.613+05:30

Every time I sit down to compile a Biryani post(there are many here!)I remember what my friend always used to tell me-There's only ONE Biryani and that is Mutton Biryani,the rest are all Pulaos.However,as a staunch vegetarian,I beg to differ.That may be true partially but the vegetarian counterparts are a class of their own.Of course you are welcome to disagree but hey,I'm entitled to my opinion :)The whole process of making a Biryani intrigues me.I've watched endless videos of how the Biryani is layered and then sealed and cooked on Dum.Earlier days,making Biryani was such a task but now with several innovative recipes like this,you can make it in just a few minutes if you keep the ingredients ready.A while back,I had posted a recipe for Vegetable Dum Biryani made in a Pressure cooker using the OPOS method.This is a very similar recipe with few changes.I had bookmarked this recipe long back from Dassana's blog and waited for a special occasion to make it but as always that special occasion did not come and the Biryani took a long time to appear in my kitchen and then on the blog :)With few ingredients,one pressure cooker and a passion for cooking,you could make this Paneer Biryani in a jiffy and surprise your loved ones.I made this for a potluck and needless to say,this one was loved by one and all.I was bombarded on whatsapp for the recipe and without any further delay,here it is.Paneer Biryani | Pressure Cooker Paneer BiryaniIngredientsFor marinating PaneerPaneer/Cottage cheese - 200 gmsCurd - 1/2 cupGinger garlic paste - 2 tspGreen chillies - 2,choppedCoriander leaves - 2 tbsp,choppedMint leaves - 1 tbsp,choppedHaldi - 1/4 tspKashmiri Chilli powder - 1/2 tspBiryani Masala OR Garam masala - 1/2 tspCoriander powder - 1 tspFor the riceBasmati Rice - 1 cupGhee - 1/2 tbspSalt - 1/2 tspGhee - 3 tbspOnion - 1 large,thinly slicedTej patta - 1Cinnamon - 1' pieceCloves - 2-3Green cardamom - 2-3Saffron - a pinch,soaked in 1 tbsp warm milkCoriander leaves - 1 tbsp,choppedWater - 1 cup to 1.25 cups*For garnishSome grated paneerFried onionsChopped corianderMethodFor marinating paneer - In a bowl take the curd and whisk till smooth.Add the spice powders,herbs and salt.Mix well.Gently mix in the paneer cubes without breaking them.Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes to marinate.If you are planning to keep it longer,then refrigerate it.For preparing the rice- Rinse the basmati rice in running water till the water is clear of starch.Soak in enough water for 30 minutes.After 30 minutes drain all the water from the rice.Add ghee and salt to the rice and mix well so that the ghee coats the rice grains evenly.In a 3 ltr pressure cooker heat the ghee.Add the spices - tej patta,cloves,cardamom and cinnamon.Stir well and add in the sliced onions.Saute the onions on a low-medium flame till the onions turn golden brown.This procedure takes a while,you could add a pinch of salt to speed up the process.Once the onions turn golden brown,switch off the cooker and remove from the counter top.Remove half of the fried onions on a plate.For layering the Biryani - With a spoon layer the rest of the onions and spices in the cooker well.Now layer whole of the marinated Paneer.On top of the Paneer marinade evenly layer all of the rice.Now layer the fried onions on top(keep a tbsp aside for garnish).Sprinkle the soaked saffron milk and chopped coriander leaves on top.Now pour 1 to 1.25 cups of water around the rice(do not pour in the center).*For a soft textured Biryani add 1.25 cups water.I added 1 cup but I would add more the next time as I like the rice grains to be a bit softer.Cover the cooker with the lid with whistle attached.Cook the Paneer Biryani on low flame for 20-25 minutes.It is ok if the cooker whistles in between.I cooked for 25 minutes.Open the cooker once the pressure settles down and garnish with some grated paneer,fried onions and chopped coriander leaves.Step by Step PictorialFor marinating paneer - In a bowl take the [...]



Avil Milk/Milk Aval | Summer Special Drinks

2017-05-31T16:04:36.479+05:30

Come summer and all day you feel like gulping down something cold and refreshing.I love Milk based drinks as it fills you up along with quenching your thirst,cool right?So while browsing through some recipes on a website,I read about this popular juice joint in Calicut which served Milk based drinks,all through the year.We had a similar joint in Ernakulam from where we got our regular dose of Sharjah Shake and the likes.It is from that shop I learnt the trick of freezing the milk for milkshakes which makes it creamier and thicker.Avil Milk/Milk Aval is a very easy recipe which uses only a handful of ingredients,most of which is easily found in your kitchen.There are different ways to make this drink but I followed a recipe from my memory of drinking it in the juice shop in Ekm.The drink is quite filling because of the addition of Avil/Flattened rice flakes,banana and nuts.You could also take it up a notch by adding a scoop of ice-cream.Avil Milk/Milk AvalIngredientsAvil/Aval/Flattened rice flakes - 1/2 cupCashewnuts - 10-12,choppedBanana - 1 smallSugar - 1/4 cupBoost - 1 tbsp (you could also use Horlicks or any Malt drink powder)Cold milk - 2 cups1 candied cherry for garnishMethodIn a non stick pan,add the avil and dry roast for 5-10 minutes or until the avil turns crisp.This is a mandatory step because if added fresh,the avil would turn soggy.In the same pan toast the cashewnuts till light golden brown in colour.In a mixer/blender add the banana,sugar,boost and milk and blend together till smooth.For assembling the drink - add roasted avil to a tall glass and top with the toasted cashew.Add the milkshake on top.You could also alternate layers of milk and avil but I just added one layer.Top with some more avil and nuts.Sprinkle some Boost on top and garnish with a cherry.Step by step PictorialIn a non stick pan,add the avil and dry roast for 5-10 minutes or until the avil turns crisp.This is a mandatory step because if added fresh,the avil would turn soggy.In the same pan toast the cashewnuts till light golden brown in colour.In a mixer/blender add the banana,sugar,boost and milk and blend together till smooth.For assembling the drink - add roasted avil to a tall glass and top with the toasted cashew.Add the milkshake on top.You could also alternate layers of milk and avil but I just added one layer.Top with some more avil and nuts.Sprinkle some Boost on top and garnish with a cherry.[...]



Tadka Pav | Simple Bread Recipes

2017-05-25T17:40:38.239+05:30

When someone casually mentions about changing seasons and how they look forward to one particular season etc,I just smile gently.I live in Chennai where there are only 3 seasons-hot,hotter,hottest!Right now it's the third season and boy,we are literally getting roasted here.Though this time I hear it's pretty much the same in every city,sigh!However there are a few silver linings for summer season.Curds set so well and the dosa batter ferments beautifully.I could gulp down gallons of juices milkshakes without any guilt and eat mangoes as meal by itself.One more advantage is the super quick rising of bread dough.Though I have to admit,I've never had a problem with that even otherwise,but in summers it is pretty quick.So one afternoon,when it was 42C outside I had an urge to bake bread.I had bookmarked this recipe a while back and it was calling out to me.Immediately after my lunch,I set about making the dough and letting the dough rise.Even before tea time,I had fresh,warm Pav rolls on my dining table and I patted myself on my back.Not for making the bread but for choosing the hottest day of the month for doing it :)Making Pav buns is on my to-do list and this one is it's close cousin.Tadka Pav or Pav rolls with a delicious Tadka added on top of the rolls immediately after they are out of the oven makes it an amazing roll which tastes delicious on its own.Goes perfectly well with a hot cup of Masala chai :)Tadka PavRecipe courtesy - Rajshri FoodIngredientsMaida/All purpose flour - 250 gmsKasoori Methi - 1/2 tspChat masala - 1/2 tspPepper powder - 1/4 tspRed chilly powder - 1/4 tspHaldi/Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspSugar - 1 tbspYeast - 1 tspWater - 1/2 cup to 3/4 cupRefined oil - 15 mlSalt - 1 tspMilk for brushing on top of the rollsFor the TadkaButter - 2 tbspKasoori Methi - 1/2 tspChilli flakes - 1 tspChat masala - 1/2 tspMethodAdd yeast and sugar into a small bowl.Mix in 1/2 cup of warm water and mix well.Let it rest for 5-10 minutes or till the yeast bubbles and froths up.Meanwhile in another bowl mix together maida,kasoori methi,chat masala,pepper,red chilly powder and haldi.Add the risen yeast mixture into the flour and knead well.Add more water if required to knead the dough into a soft but non sticky dough.Mix together oil and salt and incorporate it into the kneaded dough.Smear some oil into a bowl and place the dough inside and cover with a cling wrap or a damp towel.Let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes or until it doubles in volume.Once the dough is risen,punch the dough and knead it briefly.Make 12 equal portions out of it.Shape into smooth round balls and place into a baking tray.Cover with a damp towel and let it rise for another 30 minutes.Once risen,brush the rolls softly with milk.Preheat the oven to 230C for 10 minutes and bake the rolls for 12 - 15 minutes or until the rolls turn golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.Heat butter in a pan and mix in kasoori methi,chilli flakes and chat masala.Brush this tadka generously on top of the warm rolls.Serve warm with some masala chai. Step by step PictorialAdd yeast and sugar into a small bowl.Mix in 1/2 cup of warm water and mix well.Let it rest for 5-10 minutes or till the yeast bubbles and froths up.Meanwhile in another bowl mix together maida,kasoori methi,chat masala,pepper,red chilly powder and haldi.Add the risen yeast mixture into the flour and knead well.Add more water if required to knead the dough into a soft but non sticky dough.Mix together oil and salt and incorporate it into the kneaded dough.Smear some oil into a bowl and place the dough inside and cover with a cling wrap or a damp towel.Let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes or until it doubles in volume.Once the dough is risen,punch the dough and knead it briefly.Make 12 equal portions out of it.Shape into smooth round balls and place into a baking tray.Cover with a damp towel and let it rise for another 30 minutes.Once risen,bru[...]



Rose Milk with Sabja seeds | Summer Drinks Recipe

2017-05-19T16:08:18.429+05:30

Rose milk evokes quite a few nostalgic memories for me.Though we loved drinking milk as kids,the flavored,cool milk drinks which we were treated to every once in a while held a very special place in our hearts.So many flavors to choose from and each were as good as the other,but almost always my choice remained the pink,sweet milk which was fondly named as Rose milk.I am not amazed that it still holds a special place in my heart even now.I mean,what's not to love.Come summer and I always have a chilled jug of milk inside my fridge with which I could churn out a glass of rose milk any time of the day.I keep trying different concentrates/powders and feel that you have to experiment with the right brand to choose your favorite.I loved this famous Kalathi kadai concentrate but right now,my favorite is this brand(Guruji Rose Sharbat)While you can have the rose milk as it is,how about the addition of Sabja seeds which make it even more delicious and refreshing?Sabja seeds,also known as Tukmaria seeds or Falooda seeds are the seeds of Sweet basil.The seeds expand as much as 30 times their size when soaked in water and are full of fiber and packed with nutrition.It also has cooling effects on the stomach and helps in healing acidity and heart burns.Rose milk with Sabja seedsIngredientsMilk - 2 cups,chilledRose syrup/sharbat - 2 tbspSabja seeds - 1 tspIce cubesMethodSoak sabja seeds in about 3/4 cup water for 10-15 minutes.In a jug add rose syrup and mix in the milk-the concentrate I use has sugar hence I did not add any extra sugar.Add a tbsp(or more) of soaked sabja seeds and mix well.To serve,add few ice cubes into a glass and top with the rose milk.Add some more sabja seeds on top if you like.Step by Step PictorialSoak sabja seeds in about 3/4 cup water for 10-15 minutes.In a jug add rose syrup and mix in the milk-the concentrate I use has sugar hence I did not add any extra sugar.Add a tbsp(or more) of soaked sabja seeds and mix well.To serve,add few ice cubes into a glass and top with the rose milk.Add some more sabja seeds on top if you like.[...]



Eggless Whole wheat Chocolate Muffins

2017-05-16T11:27:21.098+05:30

While I was composing this post and contemplating on what to name this muffin,I was confused.I mean,it is a chocolate muffin,made with whole wheat flour and made eggless too but that is not the only thing which describes the muffin.For me,it is a complete revelation.To be honest,I never thought baked stuff with whole wheat would taste as good as its Flour counterpart.I mean,I have tried baking with atta/wheat flour but I never believed it was on par with flour and could ever take its place completely in baking.There are times when I swap one ingredient for another while I am baking.It maybe due to lack of ingredients or trying to include some healthy alternatives or likewise.But this is one recipe where I decided I would go all 'healthy' and replace all the main ingredients with their healthier counterparts.I wasn't expecting a miracle.In fact,I made it using a small quantity so that I wouldn't feel guilty if it turned out inedible and I had to trash it.I'll be honest here,it turned out good.I wouldn't say great because I felt there was something which could be improved(I would add it in notes).But yes,a tasty and healthy muffin which I could gorge on and let my toddler gorge on without feeling guilty.Eggless Whole wheat Chocolate MuffinsIngredientsWhole wheat flour/Atta - 1 cupCocoa powder - 2 tbspBaking powder - 1/2 tspBaking soda - 1/4 tspOrganic Jaggery powder - 1/2 cupMilk - 1/2 cupVinegar - 1/2 tspVanilla - 1/2 tspCoconut oil- 1/4 cupChocolate chips - 1/4 cupMethodPreheat oven to 170C.Line a muffin tray with paper liners.Mix together milk,vinegar and vanilla.Keep aside.In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients -atta,cocoa powder,baking powder,baking soda and jaggery powder.Make a small well in the middle and add in the milk mixture and oil and mix well till you get a lump free batter.Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tray and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.Cool on a wire rack.Step by step PictorialPreheat oven to 170C.Line a muffin tray with paper liners.Mix together milk,vinegar and vanilla.Keep aside.In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients -atta,cocoa powder,baking powder,baking soda and jaggery powder.Make a small well in the middle and add in the oil and milk and mix well till you get a lump free batter.Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tray and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.Cool on a wire rack.NotesThe coconut oil I used was normal oil which I use for my cooking,so it had a teeny tiny after taste.I was told by friends who regularly bake with coconut oil that if you use  Extra virgin coconut oil,there wouldn't be this problem.I used unrefined,organic jaggery powder and it was a very good alternative to regular white sugar.You could use brown sugar instead if you can't find jaggery powder.The muffins were slightly dry the next day,so next time I'm planning to increase the liquid content a bit.Add a bit more milk and oil or mash one banana and add that along with other ingredients.[...]



Dates and Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Frosting

2017-04-13T16:30:31.071+05:30

I bookmark quite a few recipes on a daily basis.But then there are those recipes which capture my attention straightaway.This,my friends,is one such recipe.I saw this recipe in one of my favorite magazines (for recipes) Vanitha.Somehow I couldn't bake it the first time I saw the recipe and as always after a while I forgot it completely.I have this yearly tradition of collecting all the recipe pages from Vanitha and getting it bound by hardcover.My collection is getting huge by the year and those books occupy a prime position,on my bedside table.So as I was browsing through it few nights back,I saw this recipe and believe me when I say this,I had the urge to bake it right away.Better sense and lack of ingredients prevailed and I slept on it.Next day,I purchased all the required ingredients and waited for the li'l one to nap so that I could start baking it.By the time the cake was inside the oven and I was getting ingredients for the icing ready,he got up.It is a joy,however,to have him as company while I bake.He is fascinated by all the mixing and folding and waiting in anticipation for the goodie from the oven!Coming back to the cake,it is a simple cake batter with the addition of Dates topped with a chocolate-chip streusel and a chocolate butter icing.It does seem like too much going on but that itself was what made me try it.Worry not,the cake serves a crowd so you do not have to feel guilty about all the calories in it.Perfect for a potluck or during family get-togethers.Dates and Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate FrostingIngredientsDates - 1 cup,finely choppedBaking soda - 1/2 tspBoiling water - 1 1/4 cupMaida/Flour - 1 3/4 cupSugar - 1/2 cupBrown sugar - 1/2 cupBaking soda - 1 tspSalt - 1/2 tspSunflower oil - 1/3 cupEggs -2Vanilla extract - 1 tspFor the Streusel toppingChocolate chips - 1/2 cupBrown sugar - 1/4 cupFlour- 1/4 cupButter - 2 tbspFor the Chocolate FrostingButter - 75 gms / 1/3 cupMilk chocolate - 100 gms,meltedIcing sugar - 2 cupsVanilla extract - 1 tspMilk - 2 tbspMethodPreheat oven to 175C.Butter and flour a 11/9 inch rectangular cake pan.Mix together Dates,baking soda and boiling water in a pan and let it rest while you gather other ingredients(about 5 minutes).In another bowl,mix together flour,sugars,baking soda,salt,oil,eggs and vanilla.Mix it well-it would be crumbly.Add the softened dates mixture into the bowl and mix well till you get a smooth,lump-free batter.Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin.Mix ingredients for the streusel topping and sprinkle it evenly on top of the cake batter.Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.While the cake is baking,prepare the frosting.Mix together softened butter,melted chocolate and icing sugar mixing in the milk and vanilla.Once the cake is just warm to the touch apply the frosting evenly on top of the cake.Let the frosting set for a while.You could refrigerate the cake for about 30 minutes and then cut to get neat,even slices.Step by Step PictorialPreheat oven to 175C.Butter and flour a 11/9 inch rectangular cake pan.Mix together Dates,baking soda and boiling water in a pan and let it rest while you gather other ingredients(about 5 minutes).In another bowl,mix together flour,sugars,baking soda,salt,oil,eggs and vanilla.Mix it well-it would be crumbly.Add the softened dates mixture into the bowl and mix well till you get a smooth,lump-free batter.Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin.Mix ingredients for the streusel topping and sprinkle it evenly on top of the cake batter.Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.While the cake is baking,prepare the frosting.Mix together softened butter,melted chocolate and icing sugar mixing in the milk and vanilla.Once the cake is just wa[...]



Sambar Sadam | South Indian Sambar Rice

2017-04-04T15:22:09.997+05:30

When I first heard about Sambar Sadam,I thought it was just rice mixed with sambar.How wrong I was! It is anything but that.Having got introduced to the dish after coming to Chennai,I did not actually taste it myself for a long long time for the same reason.I mean,just sambar mixed with rice,why were people raving about it is what I felt like.During our train trips,Ajay used to get Curd rice and Sambar rice from Saravana Bhavan and used to relish it while I stuck to my staple Chapathi.Once when I just couldn't understand what the hoopla was,I decided to try it myself.One spoon and,though I hated to admit it,I was sold.A wonderful mix of flavors combined with the goodness of vegetables,rice and dal this was one wholesome meal in itself.It took a longer time for me to actually try this dish at home.Just like my earlier assumption,I made sambar sadam using my go-to sambar powder and it was not the outcome I was expecting for.Once,during my casual conversation with Selvi,my house help,she offered to make it for me.It was one of the best Sambar sadam I'd tasted,even better than those I'd had at the restaurants.The best part was,it was so easy to make.No complicated ingredients and made in a pressure cooker,how cool was that!Since then,this is my go-to dish whenever I'm feeling too lazy to cook(which is quite often,I may add)Paired with a small bowl of curd rice(a must!)some poriyal(optional)and some chips(again,a must!)this meal looks like you took a lot of effort.Delicious,wholesome and oh-so satisfying.Sambar SadamIngredients(quantity serves 4)Raw rice - 1/2 cupToor dal - 1/4 cupTamarind - small gooseberry sizedSmall onions/shallots - 10-12,halvedTomato - 1,choppedBeans - 6-8,sliced Pumpkin - about half cup,choppedCarrot - 1 big,choppedCapsicum - about half cup,choppedOil - 1 tbspMustard seeds - 1/4 tspCurry leaves - 1 sprigRed chilly powder - 2 tspCoriander powder - 1 tspHaldi powder - 1/4 tspCoriander leaves for garnishGhee - 3 -4 tspMethodWash the rice and dal well and soak in enough water for about half an hour.Soak the tamarind in warm water.In a pressure pan add oil and splutter mustard seeds.Add onions,curry leaves and saute for a minute.Add the tomato and mix well and add the spice powders - red chilly,coriander and haldi.Now add the vegetables and the soaked rice and dal(drain before adding),salt to taste and give a good mix.Squeeze the tamarind and pour in the pulp.Add about 5 times water(1:5 rice to water ratio) check the seasonings and salt by tasting the water.Close the cooker with the lid and cook on high for 1 whistle.Simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.Once the pressure settles down,open the cooker and check whether everything is cooked well.{Do not worry if it is watery,it solidifies on cooling.If you feel it is dry,you can add some hot water and adjust the consistency}Add capsicum,coriander leaves and ghee and let it cook on the smallest flame for about 5 minutes.Switch off the flame and keep it closed for the flavors to infuse.Serve warm.Step by step PictorialWash the rice and dal well and soak in enough water for about half an hour.Soak the tamarind in warm water.In a pressure pan add oil and splutter mustard seeds.Add onions,curry leaves and saute for a minute.Add the tomato and mix well and add the spice powders - red chilly,coriander and haldi.Now add the vegetables and the soaked rice and dal(drain before adding),salt to taste and give a good mix.Squeeze the tamarind and pour in the pulp.Add about 5 times water(1:5 rice to water ratio) check the seasonings and salt by tasting the water.Close the cooker with the lid and cook on high for 1 whistle.Simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.Once the pressure settles down,open the cooker and check whether everything is cooked well.{Do not worry if it is watery,it solidifies on cooling.[...]



Swedish Cinnamon Buns | Kanelbullar

2017-03-14T16:43:43.463+05:30

There was a time when I was not very friendly with Yeast.I yearned to bake breads,buns and sweet rolls but the fear of yeast made me apprehensive to try anything bread based.Believe me when I tell you,good quality yeast,a simple recipe and loads of confidence is all you need for bread baking.Once I started trusting my instincts I've been quite successful in baking breads.Though I do have quite a few bread/rolls recipes here,I've not been baking anything new.So when I saw these Kanelbullar recipe on Gayathri's place,I knew I had to try it out asap.I am a Cinnamon roll fanatic,if you can call me that.I refrain from making Cinnamon rolls because I fear I'd eat them all!It's been a while since I baked it so this recipe looked like a good enough reason for me to bake it soon.Kanelbullar or Cinnamon buns as they are commonly known are the Swedish version of the American Cinnamon rolls.Though they are similar in many ways,the Swedish version is more about the spices(cardamom and cinnamon)than about the icings or the fillings(dry fruits,raisins).Either ways,these are delicious,rich and perfect with a cup of tea.Swedish Cinnamon Buns | KanelbullarIngredients (makes about 8 regular sized buns)For the doughMaida / All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cupsSugar - 2 tbspCardamom Powder - 1/2 tspInstant Yeast - 1 1/4 tspSalt - 1/4 tspWarm Milk - 1/2 cupButter - 2 tbspFor The FillingButter - 1 1/2 tbspSugar - 1/4 cupCinnamon - 1/2 tbspMethodIn a bowl mix together flour, salt, sugar, cardamom powder and instant yeast.Add the milk and butter and make a soft dough.Transfer to counter and knead for 10 minutes until smooth, soft and elastic.Place inside a well oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside until double in volume.Take it back to the counter and roll the dough into a thin rectangle.Mix together butter, cinnamon and sugar for the filling.Apply it evenly on the rolled out rectangle.Fold it twice as if folding a letter.Roll it again into a thin rectangle.With the help of a cutter, cut it into 8 equal stripes cutting it along the longer side.Twist each stripe and shape it into a roll. Refer video on how to shape.Arrange on a greased baking tray and cover. Set aside for 25 - 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 200°C.Apply a milk wash to the rolls and bake them for 15 - 20 minutes.Remove from oven, allow them to cool.Serve warm or at room temperature.Step by Step PictorialIn a bowl mix together flour, salt, sugar, cardamom powder and instant yeast.Add the milk and butter and make a soft dough.Transfer to counter and knead for 10 minutes until smooth, soft and elastic.Place inside a well oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside until double in volume.Mix together butter, cinnamon and sugar for the filling.Take the risen dough back to the counter and roll it into a thin rectangle.Apply the filling evenly on the rolled out rectangle.Fold it twice as if folding a letter.Roll it again into a thin rectangle.With the help of a cutter, cut it into 8 equal stripes cutting it along the longer side.Twist each stripe and shape it into a roll.Arrange on a greased baking tray and cover. Set aside for 25 - 30 minutes.Preheat oven to 200°C.Apply a milk wash to the rolls and bake them for 15 - 20 minutes.Remove from oven, allow them to cool.Serve warm or at room temperature.[...]



Almond Brownies

2017-01-24T15:35:09.225+05:30

It's almost the end of the month but since this is my first post here this year,let me wish all of you a very happy and prosperous New Year,may this year be full of love and happiness for all of you:)As always,I had made a resolution in my mind to post here at least once in a week,you can see that the resolution has been broken even before I could start trying.No excuses there and I've decided to take it as it comes.So what's a new year post without some sweet,right?These brownies are just the right ones for a wonderful beginning.As regular readers would know,I love brownies.I can say no to anything,even a Chocolate Truffle cake(which is my favorite'est)but not a brownie.A warm slice of brownie with some ice-cream on the side and topped with chocolate sauce,is my idea of Nirvana.I have quite a few brownie recipes here and this one would top the list of being my favorite(at least for the time being;)Rich and nutty and full of flavor,these are just perfect!Eggless Chocolate BrowniesCream Cheese Swirl BrowniesDouble Chocolate BrowniesSalted Fudge BrowniesFudgy Nutella BrowniesDulce de Leche BrowniesAlmond BrowniesRecipe source - Fondbites BakeAlong IngredientsUnsalted butter – 118 gmsDark chocolate – 135 gmsEggs – 2 large / 100 gmsBrown sugar – 95 gmsBrown sugar – 95 gms, powderedDairy cream – 68 gmsAll-purpose flour – 75 gmsAlmond meal – 68 gmsSlivered almonds – 1/2 cup, toastedMethodPre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Butter and flour a non stick brownie pan. If using a regular cake pan, line them with aluminum foil and butter the foil.Add Butter and dark chocolate in a heavy bottomed saucepan.Heat the saucepan on medium flame and keep stirring until the butter and chocolate are melted completely. Set asideAdd eggs, brown sugar and powdered brown sugar in the bowl of your electric beater.Beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes pale and thick. Falls back with ribbon consistency and gets frothy.Pour the butter-chocolate mixture slowly and gently, into the eggs mixture as the beater keeps running on slow speed. Beat for 1 minute until the mixture gets fully incorporated.Add the cream into the bowl and beat again for few seconds on medium speed until the cream gets incorporated.Add all-purpose flour, almond meal and the slivered almonds into the bowl and beat on slow speed just until incorporated. Do not over beat.Pour the batter in the prepared pans. Top them with some of the slivered almonds. Tap gently to release any major air pockets.Bake in pre-heated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until the brownies are springy back to the touch and a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.Try changing the almond meal to any nut meal of choice. You will have some of the best brownies for life.Step by step PictorialPre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Butter and flour a non stick brownie pan. If using a regular cake pan, line them with aluminum foil and butter the foil.Add Butter and dark chocolate in a heavy bottomed saucepan.Heat the saucepan on medium flame and keep stirring until the butter and chocolate are melted completely. Set asideAdd eggs, brown sugar and powdered brown sugar in the bowl of your electric beater.Beat on medium high speed for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes pale and thick. Falls back with ribbon consistency and gets frothy.Pour the butter-chocolate mixture slowly and gently, into the eggs mixture as the beater keeps running on slow speed. Beat for 1 minute until the mixture gets fully incorporated.Add the cream into the bowl and beat again for few seconds on medium speed until the cream gets incorporated.Add all-purpose flour, almond meal and the slivered almonds into the bowl and beat on slow speed just until incorporated. Do not over beat.P[...]



Eggless Tutti Frutti Cookies | Karachi Biscuits

2016-12-30T12:21:24.820+05:30

I had planned to blog this recipe well before Christmas because well,it is festive and quite apt for gifting.Now no excuses as Christmas came and went,but at least I can post this for New Years!!So how's your planning going on for the New Year party?Well,if you ask me,our plan is a good dinner at home,movie and cake cutting at 12.Oh,we are quite boring that way :)So this recipe today,I made it first while we were visiting a new born and I had to whip up something quick for the family.The cookies were a hit and I was asked from where I brought it.If that isn't compliment enough,I don't know what is.It is a very simple recipe but requires a bit of time to chill so that you get perfectly shaped cookies.Moving on to the recipe.Eggless Tutti Frutti Cookies | Karachi BiscuitsRecipe source - DesiTadkaIngredientsAll purpose flour/Maida - 1 1/2 cupsCustard powder - 1/2 cup{I used Vanilla flavored}Baking powder - 1 tspTutti Frutti - 1/2 cupChopped Cashewnuts - 1/4 cupButter - 1/2 cup,softenedPowdered sugar - 1 cupPineapple essence - 1/2 tbspMilk - 3 tbspMethodSift together flour,custard powder and baking powder well.Mix in tutti frutti and chopped cashews and keep aside.Cream together butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.Mix in the essence and milk and give a good stir.Slowly start adding the flour mix till you get a smooth dough.Add a tsp or so of milk if you feel the dough is not coming together.Divide the dough into two.Roll the dough into logs,cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.Preheat oven to 160C and lightly grease your cookie tray.Remove the cling wrap and using a sharp knife cut out about 1/4' slices.Arrange them on the cookie tray and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cookies turn slightly golden on the sides.Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container once it cools down completely.Step by Step PictorialSift together flour,custard powder and baking powder well.Mix in tutti frutti and chopped cashews and keep aside.Cream together butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.Mix in the essence and milk and give a good stir.Slowly start adding the flour mix till you get a smooth dough.Add a tsp or so of milk if you feel the dough is not coming together.Divide the dough into two.Roll the dough into logs,cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.Preheat oven to 160C and lightly grease your cookie tray.Remove the cling wrap and using a sharp knife cut out about 1/4' slices.Arrange them on the cookie tray and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cookies turn slightly golden on the sides.Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container once it cools down completely.Wishing all of you a very Happy New Year!![...]



Cheesy Chutney Pull-apart Rolls

2016-12-07T15:21:05.868+05:30

Pull-apart rolls took the blogosphere by storm a while ago.I remember,Suhaina posted it and soon after so many bloggers,including me,tried it with a roaring success.Those rolls are so popular in my home that I've tried it with so many different variations(fillings mainly).Whenever I chance upon a pull-apart bread recipe,I immediately take note and this one was one such recipe.Though I've tried many a bread recipes by now,baking bread still makes me nervous and anxious which ends in happiness when I smell the bread baking in the oven.The dough is an enriched one,with the addition of milk and butter and the resultant rolls are super soft and melt in the mouth.The original recipe called for a spiced cheese spread and since the one I had was plain I had this idea of adding my Mint chutney to it and hence the name cheesy chutney pull-apart rolls.This tasted almost like my mint chutney sandwiches but these were definitely tastier.Also check outNutella Pull-apart rollsGarlic Pull-apart rollsSpiral Mint rollsWhole-wheat Garlic Pull-apart rollsCinnamon RollsHerb and Cheese Pull-apart BreadCheesy Chutney Pull-apart RollsRecipe courtesy - GayathriIngredientsAll Purpose flour/Maida - 2 1/2 cupsSalt - 1 tspInstant Yeast - 1 1/4 tspSugar - 1/4 cupMilk- 1 cupButter - 1/3 cupCheese spread - 1/4 cupMint chutney - 1/4 cupMethodHeat milk and butter until butter melts.Set it aside until it comes to luke warm.In a bowl mix together flour, salt, sugar and yeast.Add the luke warm milk and mix to form a sticky dough.Transfer to the counter and knead for 10 minutes until it becomes soft,smooth and less sticky.Use a bench scraper to handle the dough,do not add too much flour.Once done, place it in a well oiled bowl and cover with cling film and set it aside.Once it is double the size, transfer it back to counter, punch out the air.Shape it into a rectangle.Mix together the cheese spread and chutney and spread it out evenly.Roll it into a log.Slice into 14 – 15 equal pieces.Arrange them in a greased 10″ tin or a baking tray.I used two 7' round tins.Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.By the time, preheat oven to 200°C.Bake the rolls for 15 – 20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned.Remove from oven, brush the top of the rolls with butter and sprinkle some coriander leaves.Serve them hot or warm.Step by Step RecipeHeat milk and butter until butter melts.Set it aside until it comes to luke warm.In a bowl mix together flour, salt, sugar and yeast.Add the luke warm milk and mix to form a sticky dough.Transfer to the counter and knead for 10 minutes until it becomes soft,smooth and less sticky.Use a bench scraper to handle the dough,do not add too much flour.Once done, place it in a well oiled bowl and cover with cling film and set it aside.Once it is double the size, transfer it back to counter, punch out the air.Shape it into a rectangle.Mix together the cheese spread and chutney and spread it out evenly.Roll it into a log.Slice into 14 – 15 equal pieces.Arrange them in a greased 10″ tin or a baking tray.I used two 7' round tins.Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.By the time, preheat oven to 200°C.Bake the rolls for 15 – 20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned.Remove from oven, brush the top of the rolls with butter and sprinkle some coriander leaves.Serve them hot or warm.P.S- As I was writing the post,I realized that I had missed to add one main ingredient ie Sugar,was wondering how I missed it.But the rolls were delicious and the texture was also spot on :) so no complaints![...]



Cinnamon Sugared Almonds

2016-11-24T14:55:10.714+05:30

If you are a regular here,you'd know my fascination for Cinnamon.I love Cinnamon and do not skip a chance to add it in a recipe.Of course the top favorite being these delectable Cinnamon rolls.I love the flavor and the earthiness of this spice and can go on and on singing praises for the same.It was no wonder then when I came across this idea of pairing Cinnamon with nuts,I fell for it.A while back,during a party a friend brought along a bunch of candied nuts.I am not so much a nuts person,so believe me when I tell you,those nuts were damn addictive.Especially the almonds.I wanted to recreate it and searched for a recipe.These sugared almonds are indeed a breeze to make and takes just under 20 minutes from start to finish.How cool is that?As a kid,I used to relish sugared cashews which were made by making a sugar syrup first with strings and then nuts added to it which created a lovely sugar coating all around the cashews.This one is pretty similar,with less work and an added flavor of cinnamon.I hope you do try it out for your next party!Cinnamon Sugared AlmondsRecipe source - AllRecipesIngredientsAlmonds - 1 cupSugar - 1/2 cupWater - 1/4 cupCinnamon - 1 tspMethodIn a non stick kadai,mix together sugar,water and cinnamon and let it come to a boil.Mix in the almonds.Stir and cook the mixture till the sugar syrup thickens and coats the nuts evenly.Grease a plate and pour the nuts into it.Separate almonds using forks and let it cool down for about 15 minutes.These Sugared Almonds taste delicious warm and in room temperature as well.Store in an airtight container once completely cool.Planning to try a mixed version,like I tasted,next time :)Other Cinnamon Favorites on the blogCinnamon CookiesApple Cinnamon Braided BreadOrange Marmalade Cranberry Pull apart LoafApple Cinnamon Bundt CakeApple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins[...]



Eggless Vanilla Choco-chip Bundt Cake

2016-11-16T14:53:05.195+05:30

There was a time when eggless baking gave me jitters.Maybe because I started baking with eggs and struggled a bit to perfect my baking that anything less than a super hit success recipe makes me gasp a little.Initially I had a problem with using condensed milk too{call me crazy}.I could finish a whole can all by myself if I had my way,but using it all in a cake made me apprehensive.Of course,some recipes stick with you and I do have my go-to eggless cake recipe which gives me foolproof results every single time.However,the baker in me gets all excited when a new recipe comes up and I just cannot sit still until I try it out.Last time when I was in Ernakulam and wanted to bake for family,I came across this recipe.I had all ingredients ready{even if one ingredient was missing,I could just hop off to Staines,right opposite my home and get it!}.The cake was a super hit and got polished off in no time.I tried it again after coming back to Chennai with the addition of chocolate chips.Arjun,who gets excited the moment I take out my bowls,measuring cups and whisk loved it and gobbled down a couple of pieces with his glass of milk.So next time you are looking for an eggless recipe with simple ingredients I recommend you try this one.Eggless Vanilla Choco-chip Bundt CakeRecipe source - YummyTummyIngredientsMaida/All purpose flour - 1 3/4 cup / 210 gmsSugar - 3/4 cup / 150 gmsMilk powder - 3/4 cup / 100 gmsVanilla essence - 1 tspUnsalted butter - 1/2 cup /100 gmsBaking powder - 2 tspBaking soda - 1 tspThick curd/yogurt - 1/2 cup / 120 mlMilk - 1/2 cup / 120 mlWater - 1/2 cup / 120 mlChocolate chips - 1/2 cupMethodPreheat oven to 160 degree C. Grease a 6 cup bundt pan and sprinkle with flour and coat all sides. Tap off the excess flour and set aside.Mix together milk, water, curd in a jug,keep aside.Sift together flour, milk powder, baking soda, baking powder and set aside.Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl till creamy.Add in half of the flour mix, all the milk mix and fold gently. Add the remaining flour and fold gently.Mix in the chocolate chips.Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.Cool in the tin for about 15 minutes and then invert to a wire rack and finish cooling.Cut into slices and serve.The cake keeps well in room temperature for 2-3 days if kept in an airtight container.[...]



Arjun is TWO!

2016-10-19T15:48:28.792+05:30

It really feels surreal to post this birthday update of Arjun as I'm still reeling over the fact that he did,indeed turn two years old!I mean,how is that even possible?Time is flying at an alarming rate as I'm struggling to soak it all up.The cuddles,bear hugs and kisses with which I begin my day to the non-stop activity throughout the day and some more cuddles and kisses with which the day ends,I couldn't ask for more!We decided to have a low-key birthday party this year,with just a very few close friends.A cake cutting,a beach outing and a dinner at our favorite restaurant.The cake was a simple one too.Being home alone with a playful and hyper active toddler,I couldn't dare to think something out of the box.He's fascinated with Elephants these days and the design I took is from his favorite pillow.His reaction after seeing the cake was priceless,a big elephant roar :)Cake flavor - Eggless Marble and Chocolate cake filled with Dark chocolate ganache and frosted with whipped buttercream.[...]



Spicy Green Vegetable Pulao | Easy Rice Recipes

2016-08-11T15:11:05.974+05:30

There's something about a mixed rice recipe,be it Pulao,Biryani or BBB,that makes me look forward to meal times anxiously.The whole concept of rice with vegetables served in a single meal is exciting on its own,so imagine the fun with so many different recipes for the same!I make the simple vegetable pulao,with minimal spices almost every week.Ajay loves it and so does Arjun.But I want some spice :) A spicy pulao with cool cucumber raita and papad on the side ticks every box for me.Few days back,my SIL posted a recipe for this pulao on FB and I immediately wrote it down.It sounded very interesting with the green chutney being the main ingredient.I decided to try it and reduce the spicy-ness a bit so as to make it interesting for Ajay and Arjun.I have to admit,the whole process of chopping the vegetables,preparing the masala and the cooking part(along with taking pictures)excites me to no end.The resulting dish was,without doubt delicious and toddler approved as well.I paired it with a cooling cucumber-pomegranate raita,pappad and a tall glass of Mango milkshake.Spicy Green Vegetable PulaoRecipe courtesy - Sarita BhatIngredientsMixed vegetables - about 1 1/2 cups { I used carrots,cauliflower,beans,green peas,paneer and capsicum }Ghee - 3 tbspTej patta - 1Onion - 1,choppedTomato - 1,choppedBasmati Rice - 1 cupWater - 2 cupsSalt to tasteFor the masala pasteMint leaves - 1/4 cupCoriander leaves - 1/4 cupGreen chilly - 2-3 {original recipe uses 5}Ginger garlic paste - 1 tspGrated coconut - 2 tbspCashewnuts - 4 {original recipe uses poppy seeds}Saunf - 1/4 tspCloves - 5Cardamom - 3Cinnamon-1' pieceMethodWash the rice well under running water and soak in enough water for about 15 minutes.Prepare the masala paste by blending the ingredients mentioned to a smooth paste.In a rice cooker,add ghee and tej patta.Mix in the onions and saute till the onions turn golden brown.Add the masala paste and saute until the raw smell leaves and the paste becomes dry.Add in the mixed vegetables along with the tomato and stir well to coat the masala.Add the drained rice and give a good mix.Add water and salt to taste.Close the cooker and cook till done.Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.Serve hot.Step by step procedureWash the rice well under running water and soak in enough water for about 15 minutes.Prepare the masala paste by blending the ingredients mentioned to a smooth paste. In a rice cooker,add ghee and tej patta.Mix in the onions and saute till the onions turn golden brown.Add the masala paste and saute until the raw smell leaves and the paste becomes dry.Add in the mixed vegetables along with the tomato and stir well to coat the masala.Add the drained rice and give a good mix.Add water and salt to taste.Close the cooker and cook till done.Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.Serve hot.You can try the same recipe in a pressure cooker as well.Follow the same method and pressure cook for exactly one whistle.Let the pressure settle down and then open the lid and fluff up the rice.[...]



Banana Walnut Bread

2016-08-05T18:42:49.097+05:30

I have a few Banana bread recipes up here on the blog,but when it comes to such a simple bake,I am always looking for new recipes to try.I love Banana bread,the deep taste of ripe banana,the melt in the mouth texture and the crunch of walnuts,oh I wish I had a slice now while writing this!It tastes great warm and even better if toasted lightly with butter.I usually make a batch and cut into slices and refrigerate in 2-3 ziploc bags.Just microwave the slices for 10 seconds or you can even toast them on a tava.Arjun loves this bread with a mug of milk.I was apprehensive to feed him nuts initially and used to make this bread without nuts.But he loves the crunch and eats it without any problem so now it is always made with walnuts,which I think is a perfect pairing with this.Whenever someone suggests JoB recipes to me,I try it without any fear or doubt.JoB recipes are truly a boon for beginner bakers as well as experts because they just turn classic recipes into recipes which anyone can try.This one is no different.No complicated ingredients or difficult steps involved.Just get all the ingredients ready and bake away!Banana Walnut BreadRecipe source - JoBIngredientsFlour - 1 3/4 cupsSugar - 3/4 cupBaking powder - 1 tspBaking soda - 1/4 tspSalt - 1/4 tspCinnamon powder - 1 tspWalnuts - 1/2 cup,choppedRipe Banana - 2 largeEggs - 2 large,slightly beatenVanilla - 1 tspButter - 1/2 cup,melted and cooledMethodPreheat oven to 180C.Grease and line a loaf tin.In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.In another bowl,mash the bananas well with a fork.Mix in the eggs,vanilla and melted butter.With a rubber spatula slightly fold the dry ingredients into the banana mix until combined and the batter is thick and chunky.DO NOT keep beating till you get a smooth batter-over mixing would yield a rubbery bread.Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 55-60 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.Place on a wire rack to cool and slice when completely cool.Step by step picturesPreheat oven to 180C.Grease and line a loaf tin.In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside.In another bowl,mash the bananas well with a fork.Mix in the eggs,vanilla and melted butter.With a rubber spatula slightly fold the dry ingredients into the banana mix until combined and the batter is thick and chunky.DO NOT keep beating till you get a smooth batter-over mixing would yield a rubbery bread.Scrape the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 55-60 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.Place on a wire rack to cool and slice when completely cool. On another note,Easycooking has been selected as one of the Top 100 Baking blogs on the web by Feedspot.To say I'm elated to be featured among my idols would be an understatement.Thanks once again for all your support,encouragement and appreciation:)[...]



Sweet Corn Salad | Easy Salad Recipes

2016-08-11T15:12:01.224+05:30

I don't exactly remember when I first tasted Sweet corn,but one thing I know it was love at first bite.What's not to like about the tender corn kernels-crunchy,juicy and succulent it makes for a perfect snack and an in between meals food.Just steam it and toss with butter and salt and the hunger pangs disappear quickly!I love it in soups,rice,curries and my latest addition is salads.A crunchy sweet corn salad can make any meal interesting.It goes perfectly well with rice and dal as well as roti-dal.So what are you pairing it up with?It takes a bit of prepping up but gets done in just five minutes or lesser.Also check out-Palak and Corn CutletJhatpat Corn PulaoSweet Corn SaladIngredientsSweet corn - 1 cup {I used steamed corn kernels}Tomato - 1/2 cup,finely choppedOnion - 1/4 cup,finely choppedGrated coconut - 1 tspCumin/jeera - 1/4 tspGreen chilly - 1{ I used half as it was very spicy}Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp,choppedSalt to tasteMethodGrind together coconut,jeera and green chilly to a coarse paste.In a mixing bowl,add the corn kernels,tomato,onion,ground coconut,coriander leaves and salt to taste.Give a good mix.Serve chilled.It tastes great on a toasted Lijjat pappad as well.Step by Step PicturesGrind together coconut,jeera and green chilly to a coarse paste.In a mixing bowl,add the corn kernels,tomato,onion,ground coconut,coriander leaves and salt to taste.Give a good mix.Serve chilled.It tastes great on a toasted Lijjat pappad as well.[...]



Honey Oats Bread

2016-07-18T14:16:21.733+05:30

Baking bread at home is indeed a very satisfying thing to do.Especially now that researches show so many preservatives and additives added to breads to make them softer and last long.We never used to care for all this before but now that we have a toddler at home who demands whatever food we eat to be fed to him as well,I am a little cautious as to what makes its way to the dining table.Though I have to admit,I do not bake breads that often.Making chapathi/parathas from scratch is something which comes so easily to me but making bread somehow seems like a daunting task.I am trying to overcome that mind block so you may see quite a few bread recipes popping up here soon.I always add a handful of oats to my chapathi dough,so when I saw this recipe of Honey Oats Bread,it immediately caught my attention.The bread is quite easy to make with no fancy ingredients,just the regular stuff you'd have in your kitchen.I loved the texture of the bread,soft with a slight sweet taste and perfect to eat as is or toasted.Honey Oats Bread was baked as part of Bake-Along.Though I baked it long back,it appears on the blog only now,well better late than never :)Honey Oats BreadRecipe Source - BakingdomIngredientsAll-purpose flour – 3 cupsOats – 3/4 cupMilk powder – 2 tablespoonsInstant Yeast – 2 1/4 teaspoonSalt – 1 1/2 teaspoonMilk – 1 cupWater – 1/4 cupUnsalted butter – 2 tablespoonsHoney – 1/4 cupHoney – 2 tablespoons, warmedOats -2 tablespoonsMethodPre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Line up a 9 inch by 12 inch  loaf pan with butter paper with extra paper hanging out of the pan.Add all-purpose flour, oats, instant yeast, salt and milk powder in the bowl of your electric beater. Beat the dry ingredients in slow speed to mix them all together.Add milk, water, butter and honey in a saucepan and heat up until it reaches lukewarm. Stir until the butter is completely melted.Check for the temperature of the liquid mixture. Touch the liquid mixture and wait for 5 seconds. If the 5th second is the maximum heat you can bear, then it’s the right temperature. If it’s too hot and unbearable, then the liquid will kill your yeast. If it’s easy to bear, then it wont activate your yeast. So keep a check on the right temperature.Pour the liquid mixture gently as you keep beating the dry ingredients. If using hands to knead, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour the liquid mixture and start to knead.Beat on medium speed until the wet and dry ingredients are combined and the dough starts to come together.Continue to beat on medium high speed for about 10  minutes. If kneading by hand, knead for 15 to 20 minutes until the dough is shiny.Transfer the dough in a bowl coated with oil. Turn the dough once to coat oil all over the dough.Cover with a damp cloth and leave it aside for 1 hour until double in volume.Punch or knock down the dough to release all the air. Transfer dough onto your working counter or a mat.Roll it gently into a rectangle. If sticky dust the counter with all-purpose flour.Roll it into a log shape.Gently transfer the log shaped dough into the loaf pan and cover with damp cloth and set it aside for 20 minutes until double in volume.Use a pastry brush and apply the warm honey on top.Sprinkle oats on top. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 degree c for 25 minutes, until the top of the bread is golden brown and you knock down the bottom of the loaf pan you hear it hollow.Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Pull the butter paper that’s hang[...]



Ratna-Cafe Style Sambar | Pressure Cooker Sambar Recipe

2016-06-29T07:53:33.670+05:30

I don't exactly remember when was the first time I had my first taste of Ratna-cafe Sambar,I just remember we heading there every weekend for our dose of Sambar-Idli and dosas.Mostly for the Sambar.It was different from the usual ones.Maybe the masala they used or maybe their secret recipe,it just was irresistible.For eating two idlis,we required at least one big container of Sambar and the best part is,they kept serving it with a smile on their faces!So when I came across this recipe for Ratna-Cafe Style Sambar,I just couldn't let it go from my mind.I decided to try it and see if it matches the taste,especially because the recipe was supposedly handed down from someone who worked at the Cafe.I think the result is almost 90% close to the original one.If my memory(or maybe taste buds?)serve me right,the Sambar had a distinct flavor of coriander,so next time I'd increase the amount of coriander used.Other than that,it is a wonderful recipe.Moreover,it is made in a pressure cooker.You just need to get a few things ready and the final cooking is done in a PC.Ratna-Cafe Style Sambar RecipeRecipe Source - Kannamma CooksIngredientsFor the Sambar MasalaGhee - 1 tspDried Red chillies - 4Coriander seeds - 1 tsp {I'd increase it to 2 tsp next time}Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tspUrad dal - 1/2 tspGrated coconut - 1/4 cupOnion - 1/2 of a medium sized,choppedTomato - 1,choppedGreen chilly - 1,choppedAsafoetida - 1/4 tspTurmeric powder - 1/4 tspChilly powder - 1/4 tspJaggery - 1 tspSalt - 1 tspWater - 1/4 cupFor cooking dal Toor dal - 1/4 cupMoong dal - 1/4 cupWater - 2 cupsVegetablesTomato -2,choppedDrumstick - 1,chopped to 1' piecesPumpkin - 1/2 cup,choppedCurry leaves - 1 sprigWater - 1/2 cupFor the TadkaGhee - 1 tspMustard seeds - 1/4 tspJeera - 1/4 tspMethodPressure cook dal till soft and mushy.Keep aside.Prepare the sambar masala base - In a kadai add ghee and add in the red chilly,coriander,fenugreek and urad dal.Roast till the dal turns golden brown in colour.Mix in the grated coconut and roast till golden.Remove to a plate and let it cool down completely.Into a mixer jar,add the roasted ingredients along with tomato,onion,green chilly,asafoetida,turmeric powder,chilly powder,jaggery salt and water and grind to a smooth paste.Take a pressure cooker{I used a 2ltr SS cooker}and add the tomato,curry leaves and water.Add in the vegetables,cooked dal and on top of it add the ground masala.Do not mix at this stage.Close the cooker with the lid and cook for 2 whistles on high heat.Let the pressure release normally.Open and mix gently.In a tadka pan,add ghee and splutter mustard seeds and jeera.Add the tadka to the cooked sambar.To serve - Into a small bowl,place idli and top it with sambar and a tsp of ghee.We like something crunchy with this so I added a tsp of Mixture/Chivda.This Sambar thickens as it cools down,so feel free to add warm water as required to loosen it to the consistency you like.[...]



Aloo Capsicum Sabzi | Dry Sabzi for Roti

2016-06-20T15:12:46.556+05:30

Roti-Dal-Sabzi can make me a very happy person.I hear my friends complain all the time about the trouble of kneading the dough,rolling the chapathi and cooking it on the tawa in this blistering Chennai heat,but me,anything is bearable when you are rewarded with warm,soft chapathis,even better when paired with delicious side dishes like these.When I was pregnant and perennially hungry,I used to make chapathi in bulk and store in the fridge.Whenever hunger pang struck me,I heated up one chapathi,added any sabzi cooked that day on top,rolled and relished.My amma says that's the reason why Arjun loves chapathi :)Aloo-Capsicum sabzi is a very simple one you can whip up in a jiffy.It is inspired by my friend's cook who made this while we were at her place for dinner one night,along with some Jeera rice and Paneer Makhni.Aloo-Capsicum SabziIngredientsPotato - 2 medium,thinly slicedCapsicum - 1 medium,slicedOil - 1 tbspJeera - 1/4 tspOnion - 1 medium,finely choppedRed Chilly powder - 1/2 tspCoriander powder - 1/2 tspJeera powder - 1/4 tspTurmeric powder - 1/4 tspGaram Masala - 1/4 tspSalt to tasteCoriander leaves - 3 tbsp,finely choppedMethodIn a kadai heat oil and splutter jeera.Add onions and saute till it softens lightly.Add the masala powders and give a quick mix,take care the flame is on low so that the spices do not burn.Mix in the potato and capsicum,add salt to taste.Mix well so that the spices and salt coat the vegetables well.Cover and cook on medium heat till the vegetables are cooked.No need to add any water.Once the vegetables are cooked,open the lid and keep the flame on high so that the vegetables crisp up a bit.Mix in coriander leaves and switch off flame.[...]



Chocolate Chip Muffins | Easy Baking Recipes

2016-06-03T15:33:27.909+05:30

Ever since I started baking,one thing I love to see is people relishing the bakes I make.I would say the joy is even sweeter than eating those bakes myself.I learned baking the hard way,with no one to guide and no prior baking experience whatsoever,so the joy according to me is immeasurable.You can imagine my happiness when my toddler demands 'kekka'(that's how he says cake!)whenever he sees me mixing the batter and putting stuff inside the oven.Be it cake,cookie or a cupcake,he enjoys it all with a big smile on his face.In the beginning I was slightly apprehensive feeding him sugary treats,but who am I kidding? Homemade stuff is any day better than store bought and I am content knowing that only the best of the ingredients have gone into the stuff he eats,so what if it has sugar.These muffins make for a perfect snack treat.I usually make a batch and refrigerate after a day(given the hot climate here,in Chennai).Before feeding Arjun,I keep the muffin outside for an hour or so and it would be perfect with a cup of warm milk.I added a combination of white and milk chocolate chips.You can add dried fruits or nuts to the batter instead of chocolate chips for variety.The cinnamon-sugar topping is the star of the recipe if you ask me :) It gives the muffins a nice crunch and a distinct texture.Chocolate Chip MuffinsRecipe source - JoBIngredients (Makes 12 regular size muffins)Butter - 1/2 cup,unsalted - melted and cooledEggs - 2,largeMilk - 2/3 cupVanilla extract - 1 1/2 tspAll purpose flour - 2 cupsSugar - 2/3 cupsBaking powder - 2 1/2 tspsSalt - 1/4 tspChocolate chips - 1 cup (I used half white and half milk chocolate chips)ToppingSugar - 1 tbspCinnamon - 1/2 tsp,groundMethodPreheat the oven to 190C.Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tin.In a bowl,whisk together eggs,milk and vanilla extract.In another large bowl whisk together the flour,sugar,baking powder and salt.Stir in the chocolate chips.With a spatula fold the wet ingredients along with the melted butter,into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are moistened and combined.(over mixing will result in tough muffins)Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. In a small bowl combine the topping ingredients and then sprinkle a little topping on each muffin. Place in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5-10 minutes before removing from pan.Step By Step ProcedurePreheat the oven to 190C.Grease or line a 12 cup muffin tin.In a bowl,whisk together eggs,milk and vanilla extract.In another large bowl whisk together the flour,sugar,baking powder and salt.Stir in the chocolate chips.With a spatula fold the wet ingredients along with the melted butter,into the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are moistened and combined.(over mixing will result in tough muffins)Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter, using two spoons or an ice cream scoop. In a small bowl combine the topping ingredients and then sprinkle a little topping on each muffin. Place in the oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for about 5-10 minutes before removing from pan.[...]