Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Marble Cake

Marble cake is my husband's favourite and I got this recipe from easy cooking and he was totally amazed at how soft this cake was, as he used to think only cake with eggs can be soft. All my friends too loved it and were amazed at how soft this cake has turned out and no one could believe it was eggless! Now I make this cake almost every other week.

  • 1 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3 tbsp Condensed Milk
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 3/4 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp Cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Hot water

   1) In a bowl mix the All purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda.
   2) In another bowl add the butter, condensed milk, vanilla essence, sugar and milk and mix well. Add these to the All purpose flour mixture and mix everything well to form a smooth batter.(No need to worry if there are little amounts of lumps in the batter.)
   3) Take the hot water in a small bowl and add the cocoa powder and mix well so that it becomes a thick paste. Now add 1/4 of the batter to the cocoa paste and mix well.
   4) Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a cake tin or loaf pan with butter and flour or use a parchment paper. Pour the vanilla batter into the greased tin as shown below.

   5) Now pour the cocoa batter along the middle and make marble like designs using a fork. (But don't overdo the designs. It has to be a gentle zig zag like pattern with the fork.)

   6) Now bake the cake at 350F for 35-20 min or till a knife inserted comes out clean.
   7) Allow the cake to completely cool and then slice and serve!

Suggestions/ Notes
  1. The original recipe calls for orange zest but I skipped that as we all like only plain marble cake.
  2. You may replace condensed milk with milk powder as in the original recipe. I didn't have milk powder so I used condensed milk instead and since we all love this texture, I didn't try it with milk powder again.

Sending this to  Bake Fest event guest hosted by Priya @ Now Serving

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sathu Maavu Urundai / Healthy Rounds

This is a very healthy snack that can be prepared within a minute or two. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to make this for me using just the sprouted and roasted Ragi flour. But nowadays you get many health drink mix (Sathu maavu for Kanji) readily available in the stores. The Health mix is basically a powder made from sprouted and roasted multi grains and nuts flavoured with cardamom. I generally use the Manna brand of Health mix which is readily available in powder form, from the Indian stores. Alternately you may also make the Health mix at home for which I shall post the recipe soon. Since most of the kids generally don't like to drink the porridge made with the health mix, this snack is a very nice way to get them to eat it. And not only kids even the grown ups will enjoy them.

  • 4 tbsp  Health Mix
  • 2 tbsp Organic Cane Sugar/ Powdered Jaggery
  • 3-4 tsp Ghee
  1. Take the health mix in a bowl and add the organic sugar/ jaggery.
  2. Add the ghee little by little and mix to form a dough.
  3. Make small balls of the dough and serve the tasty and healthy snack.
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. You may use only sprouted and roasted Ragi flour if you don't have the Health mix readily available.
  2. The measures of the ingredients are only a suggestion. You may add more or less to adjust to your taste.
  3. Use only ghee for this recipe as butter will not taste as good.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Arisi (Rice) Upma

This is my mother's easy recipe for Arisi Upma. It can be served as breakfast but we make it very often for dinner when we are not in a mood to make chappatis and curries. Arisi Upma goes well with just pickle or chutney.

for Upma
  • 1 cup Raw Rice
  • 1/4 cup Toor dal
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Jeera
  • 1 tsp Salt(Adjust to taste)
for seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Oil (Gingelly oil preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp Urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp Channa dal
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 1 spring Curry Leaves
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  1. Grind coarsely all the ingredients for the Upma (except Salt) in a mixer.  
  2. Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard. When it starts spluttering add the channa dal, urad dal, red chilly and asafoetida. When the dals turn a light brown add the curry leaves and switch off the heat.
  3. Take a cooker vessel and add the ground mixture and water in the ratio of 1:2. Then add the Salt and the seasoning to it.
  4. Pressure cook the mixture for 3 - 4 whistles or cook till done.
  5. Rice Upma is ready to be served.
Suggestions/ Notes
  • To make it healthier I like to add moong sprouts to it. You may add them along with the water just before cooking in the pressure cooker (step 3). It is healthy and also very tasty.
  • You may grind and store the toor dal, rice, pepper and jeera mixture (mentioned in step 1), so that you can make the upma instantly whenever you want.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is everybody's favoruite and here we go for the yummy recipe..

  • 500 gm /4 bunches / 7 cups Spinach Leaves(Palak)
  • 2 Tomatoes, cut into halves  (Optional)
  • 500 gm Paneer, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 tbsp Oil (Olive Oil preferably)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp fresh Ginger, grated
  • 2 Green chilies
  • 2 Cardamom
  • 1" piece Cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seed powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chili powder (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves), crushed
  • 1 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  1. Wash the spinach leaves and microwave it along with tomatoes, green chilli, ginger and 1 tbsp water in a microwave safe bowl on high for 8-9 min or till the tomato and spinach are cooked. 
  2. Cool them and remove the skin of the tomatoes and puree the spinach tomato mixture in a blender along with the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and keep aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok and add the cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the cumin seeds turn brown add the blended spinach mixture. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and red chili powders and cook for 5-10 min till the raw smell of the Spinach is gone.
  4. Add the kasuri methi, paneer cubes and salt and cook for 10 more minutes till it attains the desired consistency.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the milk or cream. Serve hot with roti/naan/parata.
Suggestions/ Notes
  • If you don't want to add the Tomatoes along with Spinach you may skip that but adding tomatoes add more flavour in this dish.

Sending this to  Show Me Your HITS series #4 Iron Rich foods event hosted at Erivumpuliyumm.

Homemade Paneer

Paneer is a homemade Indian cheese. It is very easy to make and is used in a variety of dishes from Appetizers to Desserts. Fresh homemade paneer can also be used instead of cheese in pasta and pizza.

  • 8 cups (half gallon) milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon Juice
  1. Boil the milk in a non stick pan/ heavy bottomed pan.
  2. When the milk comes to a boil, switch off and add the lemon juice gradually till the curd begins to separate from the whey.
  3. Once all the milk fat has separated from the whey the whey becomes almost transparent. If it is not, then add more of the lemon juice till it becomes transparent.
  4. Drain the whey using a strainer lined with cheesecloth, or muslin cloth.
  5. Wrap the curds in a muslin cloth, rinse under cold water, and squeeze well.
  6. Hang the paneer in the cloth for 10-15 min to drain the remaining water.
  7. If your recipe calls for scrambled paneer, use it as it is.
  8. If you want to set the paneer and slice it into cubes, then place the paneer covered in the cloth under a heavy weight for 1-2 hours.
  9. Cut the paneer into cubes and use it in your favourite dish. Store the remaining in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate or freeze it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Raw Banana Stir Fry

Vaizhaikai / Raw banana stir fry is a very tasty side dish that goes well with Sambar / Rasam rice. This recipe serves 3.

  • 1 big Raw Banana
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp Sambar Powder
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  1. Cut the ends of the raw banana and then cut it into 2 halves. Pressure cook the raw banana for 1 whistle or until cooked but firm.
  2. Peel the skin of the Raw banana and slice it into thin rounds.
  3. Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard. When it starts spluttering add the Urad dal. When the dal turns a golden brown add the asafoetida and the sambar powder. Add the cooked raw banana and stir carefully so as to not break or mash the bananas.
  4. Cook on medium flame for 10-15 min stirring only occasionally till it becomes crisp. Sprinkle the Salt and stir well.
  5. Cook for a few more min and serve.

Carrot Kosumalli

Carrot Kosumalli/ Carrot Kosambari is a must have salad in almost all South Indian feasts. It is healthy, tasty and colourful.

  • 1/4 cup yellow moong dal
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup cucumber finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli  grated
Salad Dressing
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Salad Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
  1. Soak the moong dal for 30 min.
  2. Mix the soaked moong dal, grated carrot, cucumber and green chilli in a bowl.
  3. Mix the ingredients for the sald dressing and mix it with the salad.
  4. Heat a little oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the seasoning to the salad.
  5. Garnish with grated coconut and coriander and serve!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Homemade Bread

I bought a bread packet from the store and saw that there were almost some 15-20 ingredients in that while actually the bread would take only 5-6 ingredients. This only means so many preservatives/chemicals/artificial flavourings are added to increase the shelf life and in turn harm our self. So I decided to try making the bread at home and followed the recipe at Breadworld by halving the recipe since I wanted to make only one loaf. Making bread at home is unbelievably easy except you have to have patience to wait while the dough rises. Nothing can beat the taste of freshly made bread and that too when it is homemade it becomes healthy as you know what you are eating. I have decided not to buy any more bread. So be ready for more bread recipes!!

  • 3 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 packet Active Dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 3/4 cup Warm Water (Not very hot! Around 110F)
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1 tbsp Butter
1) Add the Sugar and Yeast into the Warm water and keep aside for 5 min till it foams up.
2) In the meantime, add 2 cups of Flour and Salt and mix.
3) Warm the Milk and add the Butter and add them to the flour. Add the yeast solution too and knead the flour well. Add the remaining flour little by little while kneading. Knead well for 8-10 min.
4) Grease a big bowl with a little butter and place the kneaded dough ball in that and flip it over once so that it is slightly greased on top too. Cover it lightly and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hr.
5) When the dough has almost doubled in size, punch it down and shape it into a rectangle.
6) Grease a loaf pan (8 1/2"  x  4 1/2") and place the dough in it and pat it slightly so that it takes the shape of the loaf pan.
7) Cover it loosely and place it again in a warm place allowing it to rise once again for around 30-45 min. It will look as below once risen.

8) Bake at 400F for around 25-30 min or till done.
9) Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.
10) Once completely cooled, slice the bread with a knife and serve with Butter!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spinach Chips

This is the best and easiest recipe I would say! I don't need to tell you how nutritious Spinach is and also how difficult it is to make kids like it. But this recipe will never fail you. My daughter now asks for this chips everyday!

  • 10 -15 Baby Spinach leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Olive Oil (Replace with any oil of your choice)
  • A pinch of Salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground Pepper (Optional)
  1. Wash the Spinach leaves and pat dry them with a paper towel.
  2. Take a small bowl and add the oil, salt, pepper and mix well.
  3. Put the leaves in the bowl and close it with a lid and shake them well so that the oil is coated lightly on all the leaves.
  4. Arrange the leaves on a microwaveable plate and microwave it for 1 min on High.
  5. Crispy Spinach chips ready to serve!
Suggestions/ Notes
  • If the Spinach is not very crisp heat it for 10-20 secs more but be careful not to burn it.
  • Add chat masala or any other flavouring of your choice and enjoy the healthy snack.
  • You will not be able to stop with 1 batch. I make kind of 5-6 batches for just the 2 of us.

Sending this to Show Me Your HITS series #4 Iron Rich foods event hosted at Erivumpuliyumm.

Curries for Indian Flatbreads

Paneer Butter Masala
Methi Malai Mutter
Channa Masala