Baking day

We are leaving for my sister’s place tomorrow, there is also my niece’s birthday party. We went shopping last weekend to a new mall and bought some formals for Ims and a pretty frock for Eru, there were good 40-60% off discounts at CK, Gap, BR etc.

Anyway, I baked some goodies today to take on the trip and everything came delicious. Enjoy the pics. 🙂

I’m loving the garlic flavor, after seeing many diverse recipes using it at the Garlic festival we visited last year.

The Magic of Yeast

The Magic of Yeast

Cheesy garlic spinach rolls - The best of the lot

Cheesy garlic spinach rolls – The best of the lot

Cinnamon Rolls - My favorite

Cinnamon Rolls – My favorite

Choco Vanilla Muffins

Choco Vanilla Muffins

Look at this funny muffin. :-D

Look at this funny muffin. 😀

Have a happy long weekend !! 😉

Advertisements

BlogAdda – Healthy & Tasty Recipe Contest with Fortune Rice Bran Health!

It has been a long time I blogged about food.

I consider myself a new cook mostly dishing out tried and tested recipes which also sometime go wrong. But Ims loves to experiment and below is his signature recipe, which he concocted and was a hit.

Recipe:

Lime juice
Ginger garlic paste
Coconut paste
Coriander powder
Turmeric powder
Pepper powder
Red chilli powder
Salt

Coat required Salmon fillets with the above ingredients and pan fry in the Fortune Rice Bran Healthy oil.

Cook orange juice, coconut paste and honey together to prepare a thick sauce.

Boil some kidney beans well and mix them with salt and pepper. Garnish with tomato slices and coriander leaves.

Simple, filling and healthy !

Pan-fried Salmon with Orange sauce

Pan-fried Salmon with Orange sauce

This post is a part of Healthy & Tasty Recipe Contest with Fortune Rice Bran Health Oil & BlogAdda.com

fortune-rice-bran-health-contest-blogadda-1

P.S. This is also my 100th post, been blogging for more than 2 years and it is just 100 now, time to get regular.

Merry Christmas

It was raining and also with no car and bus transport, we stayed home and had a foodie Christmas. And I think I found the almost perfect recipe for a simple cake which I can trust anytime. It was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, not too sweet and every bite had those yummy dry fruits, just like I wanted. Here is the recipe, do try and let me know how it goes. And I’m loving these pictures with the SLR, I think they look gorgeous. 🙂

Ingredients:
Melted butter or Oil – 1/2 cup
Sugar – 3/4 cup
Eggs – 2
Milk – 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract – 1 Tsp
Maida (All-purpose flour) – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1/2 Tsp
Baking soda – 1/4 Tsp
Salt – a pinch
Orange juice – 2-3 Tbsp
Chopped dry fruits (I used cashews, almonds, raisins, dates, walnuts) – 1/4 cup

Recipe:
Soak the chopped dry fruits in orange juice.

Add baking powder, baking soda and salt to maida and keep aside.

Beat the butter and sugar well. Add eggs, milk, vanilla extract and mix well.

Now add the maida mixture little by little and keep mixing well.

Beat the batter well so there are no lumps. Now add the dry fruits mixture and stir.

Pre-heat oven on 350 F for 10 minutes.

Take an oven safe vessel, grease it with oil and pour in the cake batter.

Bake it for 30-40 minutes on the same temp. Insert a toothpick and check if it comes out clean, else bake for 5 more minutes. (It took me 45 minutes)

And most importantly, let the cake cool down and then cut the slices.

IMG_1760

IMG_1783

Leftover Biryani

is probably the best start to any morning. There is no thinking of what to cook, and it feels like I’m all set for the day. Anyway, it was Ox’s birthday yesterday and I was so excited being with him on his birthday. I gifted him an amazon gift card I earned by completing surveys online in my free time which he loved. Then I attempted to make a full cake for him which tired the hell out of me, and I requested Ox to wake me up by 12 for the cake cutting session and dozed off. 😀

I don’t know why I had this great vision of something similar to a bakery cake, all soft and fluffy, but the outcome was fine (not bad). I next targeted Chicken burritos and salad to pack for his lunch as he loves Mexican food. It was good, but I could not assemble all of it, just randomly stuffed them. 😛

cake 1

cake 2

Ended the day with an Indian dinner which is my forte, and I was finally glad. I made the tried and tested Mutton Biryani, Dalcha, Raitha, Bread Halwa and round Samosas. Yumm !! And I had no patience left to click good pics, so you will have to settle with this one. 🙂

photo

In other news, we went for grocery shopping and I took time to dress well with makeup and all after a long time. Ox was surprised and asked me if I knew where we were going. lol. Today has been a cold lazy day. I can’t wait for Christmas and New year shopping.

Vegetable Pulao

Hi all, It has been a long time I posted a recipe. I’m glad I record them because I am not good at remembering measurements and recipes, so it works great for me. I refer my own blog recipes sometimes. 🙂 This is a very simple version of vegetable pulao I make on weekends.

Ingredients:
Basmati Rice – 2 cups
Cloves – 5
Cinnamon – 2-3 sticks
Black cardamom – 3
Peppercorns – 10
Bay leaves – 3
Oil/Ghee – 2-3 Tbsp

Sliced onions – 1/2 cup
Ginger garlic paste – 3 Tbsp
Plain Yogurt – 2 Tbsp
Chopped Tomato – 1/2 cup
Green Chillies – 3
Mixed Vegetables (I used cubed potato, peas, carrot, capsicum) – 1 cup

Salt – 2 Tsp
Garam Masala powder – 1 Tbsp

Coriander leaves
Mint leaves
Milk – 1/4 cup (Optional)
Water – 3 cups

Recipe:
Wash and soak the rice. Heat oil in a pan, fry the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns and bay leaves. Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell leaves. Now add the onions and fry well.

Next add the chopped tomatoes, green chillies, coriander and mint leaves, garam masala powder, salt and curd. Cook till the tomatoes are mushy. Now add all the vegetables and let them cook in the gravy till almost done.

Then add the rice, water and check for salt and spice and adjust according to your taste. Cover and cook on medium again till almost done. Now add the milk and cook on simmer till done. 😛

This is really easy, light on oil and masala. You can add some fresh coconut paste and red chilli powder to make it spicier. You can even fry the potatoes till slightly brown first and then add to the pulao, like you do with paneer. Infact you can try adding paneer, mushroom etc too. I’ll do it next time.

Serve it with spicy Jalapeno masala gravy and cucumber raitha, a filling Sunday lunch.

Veg Pulao

Bakrid Special

We were as usual excited of this festival too. I, for the first time after coming here, attended the mass Eid prayers, which was a different experience and went very well. The Friday prayers happen in the mosque but this was at a hotel because of the crowd. It was freezing early morning but the excitement made me wake up early, prepared yummy breakfast and since our driving license has expired till our visa extension, we walked in the cold to catch a bus at 8. There were many afghani people, and their dressing caught my eye, which was really unique and nice, literally like we see and hear on tv or books.

Anyway, we returned by 11, and started making preparations for the Biryani, which came out well, and that too with little help from Ox this time. I think my strength is that I don’t stir much and let it lie, thus not breaking the rice. 😉 And the rest of the day was spent in just hogging food, watching movies and chilling at home.

One bad news is while returning, we ran to catch a bus and in the process, I dropped the new iPhone 5. Fortunately we had bought a cover for it just last week which braved the scratches. Poor Ox got so upset. 😦

We went to a mall for some window shopping the next day and guess what I bought. A beautiful black blazer from Forever 21, finally, which I’m loving right now. And we are eagerly waiting for the thanksgiving shopping fest in the coming months. Hope we get the license by then.

Now for the menu. When we went for meat shopping the previous day, we found fresh goat liver and kidney which I immediately bought because we find it very rarely here. So breakfast was the liver kidney curry, pooris and ofcourse the delicious Sheer Khurma. And lunch and dinner was the traditional mutton biryani, handi chicken, dalcha (a kind of dal mixed with vegetables, tamarind and also some meat, popular at Ox’s place in Andhra, which I love but never get right) and raitha. In all the hurry, I could not click great pics, so here are few which I managed. And I wish we had some guests too. 🙂

Simple snack

Hi people, Bakrid is around the corner and I was busy with the cleaning stuff. Sometimes this bug to prepare lots of snacks at home and store them hits me, because the first thing Ox asks for when he comes home in the evening is something to eat.

I made a simple cake and buns yesterday, thus finishing the last maida at home. Next was rice flour which I had bought long back because I knew it can be used for many varieties. I googled and found this simple recipe of rice crackers which are great for munching.

Ingredients:
Rice flour – 1 cup
Channa dal – 1 1/2 Tbsp
Water – 1 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) – 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Butter – 1 tsp
Few curry leaves
Salt – To taste (about a tsp)
Oil – To fry

Method:
Soak the dal for an hour or overnight.

Heat the water, add chilli powder, salt, hing and bring to boil. Remove from flame and add the rice flour. Mix with a spoon and leave it aside till it cools.

Then add the soaked dal, cumin seeds, butter and bring the dough together to a smooth ball (grease your hands with oil if needed).

Heat oil to fry. Grease a plastic sheet with little oil. Roll out a small ball of dough and flatten it using the fingers. Prepare few and place on the sheet. You can prick them roughly with a fork. Slowly remove and pour carefully in the hot oil. Let it be on high flame till they raise. Then turn to medium flame and fry both sides till golden brown and crisp.

Prepare rest of them similarly. Cool and store. 🙂

Nankhatai (Indian Cookies)

Next in my baking experiments were cookies. These are pretty simple to make unlike the strict measurements for cakes or breads. They were soft once baked but got hardened when they were cooled. It was slightly powdery on the outside due to the ground dry fruits. I’m not too fond of sweets, but Ox just loved them. 🙂

Ingredients:
All Purpose flour – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Ghee – nearly 5 Tbsp
Baking Soda – 1/4 tsp
Salt – a pinch
Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
Cashews – 3-5 (optional)
Almonds – 3-5 (optional)

Recipe:
Grind the cashews and almonds till coarsely powdered or you may even use them as is to decorate the biscuits. Mix all the ingredients except the ghee, keep adding a spoonful of ghee bringing the flour together to form a smooth ball.

Take small amount of dough into the hands, roll it again till smooth and slightly flatten it. Dip one side of it in the powder or press a piece of cashew or almond on it.

Preheat oven to 300 F and bake for 20-25 minutes till they turn slightly brown. The cracks on the surface are just an indication that they are done. Let them cool and serve with tea. They are great to be gifted too.

The last pic is a kind of chocolate cookie. I added a spoon of dark chocolate spread to the dough. They were also good but the original nankhatai were yummiest. 😉

Mushroom Fry

No one at my parent’s place eats mushrooms. I first tasted it when my roommate made it and thought it was ok, not bad. Then I had the mushroom manchurian in a restaurant and felt the same. Next I ate the mushroom curry made by my MIL, and still did not fall in love with it, may be because I saw the hassle in cleaning and cooking it.

And then I saw the clean and fresh mushrooms at the local Farmer’s market here. We bought them immediately and Ox said he would cook it in his style. Trust me, it was heavenly. I had to snatch his recipe and here it is. 🙂

Ingredients:
Oil – 2 Tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Chopped onion – 1/2
Slit green chillies – 2
Chopped tomatoes – 1/2
Curry leaves – few
Mushrooms – 8 to 10 no.
Ginger garlic paste – 1 Tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – To garnish
Salt – To taste

Recipe:
Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and then add the onion, green chilli, and curry leaves once they crack. Now add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes. Now add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and red chilli powder and cook till mushy and oil separates. Add the cut mushrooms and salt and cook till done. Garnish with coriander leaves, and serve hot with rice or roti.

Ox also adds some curd and cashew paste to thicken the gravy and sprinkles pepper on top too. But I made the above as a simple fry, just cooked till dry. And it served well for 2 people.

Butter Pound Cake

So, my new found love for baking is making me read lots and lots of blogs (there are as many baking blogs as there are cooking blogs) to understand it better. I find baking so so vast, there are many things to learn and experiment. I’m yet to try frosting or icing on cakes, but I hope I can do it well by Ox’s birthday this December.

Anyway, I’m currently reading through Veena’s blog, and I tried a simple butter pound cake. If you are a newbie like me, this is perfect to try and I don’t think you can go wrong with this.

Ingredients:
All purpose flour – 3/4 cup
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Butter – 1/2 cup
Eggs – 2
Baking powder – 1/4 tsp
Milk – 1 tbsp
Milk cream – 1 tbsp (optional)
Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
Salt – a pinch

Recipe:
If you could get hold of some cream or malai, mix it with the egg whites (keep the yolks separate) and keep aside. Else skip this step and use the whole eggs in the batter.

Use butter at room temperature, I mean don’t heat it to melt it, we need the soft butter.

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Then add the vanilla extract and the egg yolks mixing all the while. Now add the flour, salt, baking powder, egg white mixture made earlier and milk and whisk well. You may add little extra milk if you find the batter too thick.

Preheat oven to 350 F and pour the mixture into an oven safe vessel. Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool, slice it and store. This recipe calls for more butter which makes it so soft and smells and tastes delicious, a perfect tea time snack. 🙂