Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Healthy Tasty Cucumber Papaya Salad


Recently my husband was reading a classic book written by Harvey Diamond "Fit for Life Not Fat For Life" which advocates the importance of living food. The secret formula Harvey Diamond advocates is 50% Living Food 50% Cooked Food.The middle path proposed by harvey diamond is the best path and so does our ancient indian tradition of ayurveda. 

I have found this salad so delightfull that I have begun to have it first thing in the morning at breakfast and a great source of energy to begin the day. This light refreshing salad is the perfect combination that will delight your family and can be served to your family whenever they feel like snacking.

Papaya is highly recognized for its antioxidant properties, its fiber content, natural laxative abilities, and the enzymes that help with balancing stomach acid for healthy digestion. Cucumber contains 95% water and eating them is a great way to keep yourself hydrated.And with tomatoes rich in vitamin C, Collagen, the skins support system, is reliant on vitamin C as an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution and smoke, smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture...

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped papaya
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro / coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


Procedure

Mix all the above ingredients nicely in a big bowl and refridgerate for 1/2 hr

Serve chilled

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Exotic Mixed Vegetable Butter Masala Curry


It is very familiar to have paneer butter masala but it can be made healthier with the addition of vegetables that provides it a distinct flavor and crunch. I used a little butter for this preparation but it can be avoided completely if you feel you are going to add some extra pounds.

This dish is very ideal for parties or get togethers so do try it out and surprise your guests.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups mixed vegetables (cauliflower,beans,carrots,brussel sprouts,baby corn,paneer,capsicum,green peas)
  • 1.5 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 4-5 garlic
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cummin powder
  • 6-7 cashewnuts
  • 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp dhania/coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 cardamoms/elachi
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi
  • 1 tbsp cream (optional)
  • salt to taste

Procedure

Heat 4-5 cups water in a deep bottom pan, once water starts boiling add all the vegetables except paneer and blanch them for 2-3 minutes. Drain all the water. 

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add all the above blanched vegetables till light golden brown. Keep aside.

In a pressure cooker add all the ingredients with 1 tbsp butter except vegetables, kasuri methi and cream and fry for 2-3 minutes, add 1/2 cup water, pressure cook for 3 whistles. Once it cools transfer to a mixie/blender and make a smooth paste.

Again heat 1 tbsp butter, add the above prepared paste and fry nicely till oil begins to saturate out of the mixture.Now add the fried vegetables along with paneer and mix it till all the gravy blend with the vegetables. Now add 1/2 cup water, let it boil for 4-5 minutes, add the kasuri methi and let it cook for 2 more minutes. All the cooking should be done in low flame.

Add 1 tbsp cream and switch off the flame. Serve hot with chappatis or rotis

Note: You can any vegetable of your choice for this preparation

Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Little Delectable Chocochip Brownie


Life gives us small surprises or we need to create them !! A brownie is the perfect american dessert. The most popular story about the origin of the brownie is about a housewife in Bangor, Maine. It says that the house wife forgot to add baking powder to a chocolate cake she was making. The cake did not rise but it was still delicious

They are either fudgy or cakey, depending on their density, and this version uses chocochips

Ingredients
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 115 gm butter
  • 115 gm chocolate bar
  • 100 gm chocochip
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
Procedure
Preheat the oven to 180 C,line a butter paper in a square pan.


Heat the chocolate with butter on double boiler,once chocolate melts fully keep it aside.

Beat the egg and sugar together with fork till it blends properly then add the melted chocolate and vanilla,salt and mix smoothly,now add the flour slowly and mix till all the flour blends with the mixture fully.Don't over mix this mixture.Now add the chocochips to this batter.

Shift the mixture to the prepared baking pan and bake it in pre heated oven for 30-40 min till its done.

Note:

1.Don't over bake the brownie otherwise it will end up with crumble n chewy

2.Don't over beat the batter as if you beat more then more air will get incorporated brownie texture will become like cake and not be dense and become fluffy instead

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Sumptuous Paal Pongal and Anumulu Sambar


Some comfort foods are best prepared traditionally. This combination of paal pongal and anumulu sambar is a suprising combination that will delight you with its lipsmacking taste. Anumulu is a seasonal bean so it is best now to buy it fresh to prepare this recipe.

Paal Pongal
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup raw rice
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste
Procedure:
Wash rice properly and soak it with 2 cups water for 30min.After 30 min discard the water fully and keep aside.
In a thick bottom pan boil 2 cups milk and 2 cups water once it starts boiling add the soaked rice and cook in a medium to low flame till rice becomes soft. During the whole process stir the rice nicely for every 3 mins interval so that it will not stick to the bottom.Once rice become soft, switch of the flame and add the salt and stir properly. Your paal pongal is ready

 
Note:
1.By soaking the rice the cooking process will be faster.
2.Add more water while cooking the rice if required.



Anumulu Sambar
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup anumulu/mochai seeds/field beans
  • 1 cup chowchow chunks
  • a lemon size tamarind
  • 2 tbsp channa dal
  • 1 tbsp coriander/cilantro seeds
  • 4 red chillies
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp musterd seeds
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • a few fenugreek seeds
  • a pinch of hing
  • salt to taste

Boil the mochai/anumulu and chowchow with 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles and keep aside.

Soak tamarind in water for 10 min then extract the pulp and keep side.


In a pan heat 1/2 tsp oil then add coriander seeds,channa dal and red chillies and fry in a low flame till dal become light golden brown.Then add curry leaves and fry for a while till become crispy ,shift this to a blender and make a fine powder then add coconut and little water and make a fine paste ,keep aside.
Heat a tsp of oil in a deep bottom pan add mustard seeds,cummin seeds,fenugreek seeds and once mustard seeds start to splutter add hing and curry leaves and stir for a min then add cooked mochai seeds and chowchow without the water and reserve the water . Stir it properly then add the above prepared paste and stir for 1 min . Add the tamarind pulp, reserve water,turmeric,salt and let it boil for 5 min ,check the consistency if required add some water .

Once its boils nicely switch off the flame and garnish with cilantro.Serve warm with paal pongal.


Note:
1.You can make the spice powder of coriander seeds,channa dal n red chilli much before also n can store it in container and use how much you need  but preferable make it fresh when you need .

2.If you add more powder then sambar will become thick so add carefully.

3.Any excess spice powder can be used for stuffing for brinjal

4.Instead of chowchow you can use onions

5.If you do not have fresh anumulu/mochai/field beans then you can soak the dried field beans for 3 hrs and use in this sambar 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Healthy and Tasty Curry Leaf Chutney / Karivepaku Pachadi


While many people are aware to use curry leaves as natural flavouring agent it has enormous health benefits. They contain various antioxidant properties and have the ability to control diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, excessive acid secretion, peptic ulcers, dysentery, diabetes and an unhealthy cholesterol balance. They are also believed to have cancer fighting properties and are known to help protect the liver.

A simple delicious chutney is a great way to start a meal in andhra.This chutney can be had as a accompaniment with rice.

Ingredients

  • 1cup curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds / til
  • 1 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 4 red chillies
  • 1 tsp jeera/cummin seds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of fenugreek seeds
  • 1/8 tsp of turmeric powder 
  • pinch of hing
  • pinch sugar
  • little tamarind
  • 1.5 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
 
Procedure

Wash the curry leaves thoroughly , drain the water and keep aside
 
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, add urad dal, cummin , mustard , hing and fenugreek seeds. Once cummin seeds starts to splutter add red chillies and saute if for a min. Then add sesame seeds and fry for a minute till they become fluffy. Transfer it then to a plate.Once it cools grind to a fine powder.

In the same pan add 1/2 tsp of oil and the curry leaves and fry for 1-2 minutes . Switch off the flame.

Once it cools add the curry leaves to the above grinded powder with turmeric powder, tamarind,salt,sugar and grind to a fine paste.

Transfer it to a serving bowl.
Mix and serve it with rice .

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Flavorful Elephant Yam Cutlet


Wishing all my blog friends a very happy new year. Due to some personal circumstances I havent been able to blog lately. I hope to share more recipes in this new year and delight you all.

For some people cooking is a boring routine and for some it is a piece of art. But for me it is neither both it is love personified. If you cook with love you enter a new dimension where you can create a dish that will fill you and your family with joy.

You can sometimes make mistakes and may not be perfect everytime. But just keep trying and improve on your every attempt. So make this new year resolution not to give up on cooking new dishes.

If you are looking for a authentic dish that can be eaten with steamed rice or a cup of tea this elephant yam cutlet will surprise you. I learnt this cutlet recipe from my MIL. It has a amazing flavor and crispy treat that you would want to have even when it is warm.

 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup grated elephant foot yam
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 3 red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp cummin/jeera powder
  • 3 tbsp rice flour
  • oil for deep fry
Procedure
Peel the yam and grate it immediately
 
Wash the grated yam in running water for 1-2 minutes. Then squeeze it completely to remove the water.

Then in blender add the grated yam, red chillies, salt, chopped onions and jeera powder. And roughly grind it in a coarse paste.
 
Take it out in a plate mix the rice flour to it which will give it some firmness. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Make small balls and pat it and slowly release them in the oil. Fry till crispy and until golden brown on both sides.
 
Note: After peeling the yam do not wash as it will become slippery, wash it only after grating it.

You should wash it until all the slipperiness goes away, which is indicated by clear water as you wash it

Dont touch the cutlet initially when it is deep fried in oil else it will split apart. Once it begins to turn golden brown then you turn it over.

The addition of rice flour is important and should to added until it is a firm dough.

If it is added more then the cutlets will be too hard and it is less the cutlets would split apart when you fry it.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Chocolate Trifle A Taste of Heaven


This eye catching, full of rich chocolate flavor is a dream dessert with six luxurious layers of cream,custard and chocolate cake crumbles. If you want to taste heaven with every scoop this dessert will not fail you. So go ahead and surprise your loved ones..


Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp chocolate cake crumbles
  • 6 tbsp whipped cream
  • 3 medium size glasses
  • 6 tbsp chocolate custard

For chocolate custard
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tbsp sugar
Procedure

To prepate chocolate custard in a bowl mix the cocoa powder, custard powder and little milk.Mix nicely keep aside.


Boil rest of the milk, add sugar and mix nicely. Then add the above mixture to this and stir continously so that it does not stick to the bottom. Once it begins to boil switch it off after one minute and let it cool.


In a serving glass, put 2 tbsp crumbled chocolate cake, 2 tbsp chocolate custard, 2 tbsp whipped cream some nuts then again add 2tbsp of chocolate crumbles , chocolate custard and whipped cream.

Sprinkle some tutty fruttie and refrigerate for 8 hrs

Serve chilled

Note: To prepare whipped cream please refer to the homemade whipped cream frosting I had prepared earlier
 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tasty and Easy Puffed Rice Upma / Maramaralu Upma


Puffed rice can be used innovatively even for breakfast.If you are looking for something quick and light on the stomach then do try this out. Sometimes puffed rice may become slightly soft and cannot be used for bhelpuri then this recipe of using puffed rice will be a delightful evening snack too.

Ingredients: 
  • 3 cups puffed rice ( Maramaralu / Pori )
  • 1.5 cup chopped veggies (cauliflower, carrot, potato)
  • 1/4 tsp jeera / cummin seeds
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • 3 slit green chilies
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
 Cooking Procedure
 
Heat oil in the same pan, add cumin seeds, chilies  then add the chopped veggies and fry till they become tender.
 
Then add tomatoes and cilantro/coriander and cook until it becomes soft. Add salt and tomato ketchup and mix nicely,

Put the puffed rice in water for a seconds then immediately drain the water then add the puffed rice and give a quick stir so that everything can blend ricely. Serve immediately. It tastes great when served hot.
 
Note: Dont soak it too much in water and neither stir too much after adding to the veggies.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

A Tasty and Healthy Avocado Sandwich

Avocado is a healthy fruit also known as butter fruit in the indian market . One of my close friend gave me this recipe to try out. It got some amazing flavor and with its creamy and buttery texture it feels you have added cheese to the sandwich.

You can even eat it as a dip with some garlic bread/sticks/nachos.

Ingredients
  • 12 bread slices
  • 1 avacado medium size
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 1/4 tsp of any pickle or lemon juice
  • 1-2 chopped green chilli
  • 1/4 tsp roasted jeera/cummin powder
  • salt to taste
Procedure
Cut the avacado into half, discard the seed and scoop out the pulp into a bowl. Add rest of the ingredients to it and mash it with a fork to a smooth paste. And your stuffing in ready.



Apply the spread to one slide of bread and close it with another.Heat a tawa and toast the bread with some butter/ghee until light golden brown. Slice in triangle and serve hot.

Note:
Make sure it is ripe when you buy it ... it will be slightly soft without dark spots.

A firm avocado will ripen in a paper bag or in a fruit basket at room temperature within a few days. As the fruit ripens, the skin will turn darker. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week. If you are refrigerating a whole avocado, it is best to keep it whole and not slice it in order to avoid browning that occurs when the flesh is exposed to air.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Rajasthani Special Mathri The Tiny Little Crispy Wonder

Mathris or Mathis are the perfect anywhere, anytime snack. They taste really nice with a hot cup of tea.Mathris are eaten with a spicy mango or lemon pickle and are often served with tea. This savory indian cracker is a signature snack of rajasthan and with dewali just around the corner this can light up your life

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour/maida
  • 1/4 cup semolina/sooji
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp roasted cummin/jeera powder
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • oil to deep fry
Procedure
Mix all the above ingredients nicely except ghee.Then add ghee and mix it nicely to get a crumbled texture. To this add water as required to make it a firm dough

Let it rest for 1/2 hr. Heat oil in a pan for deep fry. Divide the dough in 3-4 ball, spread with roller and cut small circles with a cookie cutter or make tiny puri and prick them with a fork so that they do not puff up.

Fry in medium flame until crispy golden brown , then take them out and spread on tissue paper to remove excess oil. One they are cool completely store in airtight container and enjoy your tiny little crispy wonder.

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