Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Magical Process Of Storing Green Peas

This is the season of green peas and it is time to think like a ant.And we always tend to buy frozen green peas at super markets and they do cost a lot.

A year back I bought 10 kg of green pea pods and freezed them and used for a whole year without any compromise in use for many of my dishes. I want to share this lovely technique of storing green peas with you all.

The credit goes to my SIL who taught me this wonderful process to store green peas with a shelf life of 6-8 months !!

  • 1.5 kg green peas pods
  • 1 medium size ziploc for storage

Split and extract the peas and keep in bowl  
Take a large bowl and fill 3/4 th with water and boil it.

Once it starts boiling reduce the flame and add the green peas.

 It will settle in bottom initially and it will start to float slowly. 
Once all the peas float scoop them and dry them on a cloth.This process will take 1-2 minutes. 

Store in a medium size ziploc and keep in freezer.

1.You can also store them in freezer safe storage container which is very popular in tupperware brand.  

2.Do not overboil the peas as they will get cooked, it should be semi-boiled for reuse.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Fresh Steamed Oyster Mushroom Dim Sum

It is one of the best-tasting Chinese food that you should encounter..while dim sum literally means touch the heart. It was originally not a main meal, only a snack traditionally served with chinese tea.

Recently I dined at the chinese restaurant Cascade and had some lovely dim sum however it was expensive to order again and that challenged me to try it at home. I innovated the filling with some oyster mushrooms and was surprisingly easy to make.So you can all eat at your hearts content.

Ingredients for wrap

  • 1 cup maida/all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • water to mix
Mix the maida and salt and then water slowly and mix and knead it with your hands to make it a firm stiff dough.Let is sit for half hour. In the meantime prepare the stuffing

Ingredients for stuffing
  • 2 cup chopped oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1-2 chopped green chillies
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp oregano(optional)
  • a pinch of ajinomoto ( optional )
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

Heat oil in a non-stick pan ,add garlic and onion and fry till it become translucent then add bell pepper,cabbage and mushrooms and fry for 5 min or till all the water of mushroom evaporate,cook them in high flame quickly as it will ensure that the water evaporate and veggies are still crunchy.

Add the oregano,soya sauce,salt, pepper and ajinomoto and stir quickly and switch it off  and let it cool. 

Divide the dough into small lemon size ball and with a sprinkle of flour , roll them with a rolling pin to approximately 3 inch diameter and as thin as possible and cut with 3 inch diameter cookie cutter to get good round shape.

Now you are ready for assembly

Take one tbsp of filling and put in the middle and close to bring the two edges close to each other . 

Close one corner and then make a small fold on one edge and press move towards the other edge and seal. Continue making these small folds on one side and press to seal with the other edge.Your dim sum wrap with the filling is ready.

Grease a large plate with some oil and place all the dim sums on it and cover with damp cloth , then steam them in a pressure cooker or steamer for 5-6 minutes and the dim sums will have a shiny silvery glow. Immediately shift to a hot pack.

Serve these warm dim sum with sweet chilli sauce to get the authentic experience 

1.If you cannot find oyster mushrooms you can replace with button mushrooms

2.You can experiment with other types of filling however I found this combination with oyster mushrooms very flavorful

3.Do not overstream the dimsums more than 5-6 minutes else they will be soggy.The cloth that covers the dim sum ensures the dimsum do not become soggy.

4.While making the dough make sure it is not too soft nor too stiff.

5.Make the wrap as thin as possible to enjoy the dim sum.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Delectable Cauliflower Stem Chutney / Dip

It is the cauliflower season now and this chutney is prepared as a accompaniment with rice. Normally I used to use only the cauliflower part and discard the stems but today my mother shared this recipe. It was very tasty and simple to prepare too.


  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower stem with leaves
  • 2 tbsp urad dal
  • 4 red chillies
  • 1 tsp jeera/cummin seds
  • pinch of fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • little tamarind
  • 2 tsp oil
  • himalayan salt to taste
For tempering
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 red chilli
  • pinch of hing/asafoetida
  • 1 spring curry leaves

Select and pluck the tender stems of the cauliflower,wash them nicely  and chop them.Keep aside.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, add urad dal, cummin , fenugreek seeds. Once cummin seeds starts to splutter add red chillies and saute if for a min. Transfer it then to a plate.Once it cools grind to a fine powder.

In the same pan add 1 tsp of oil and the chopped caulifower stems  and fry for 1-2 minutes or until it looses its rawness.

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

Transfer it to a serving bowl if you feel it is too thick add a little water.

Prepare the tempering with 1 tsp oil in a pan.Add mustard seeds,hing. Once it splutter add the red chillies and curry leaves and saute it for 1/2 min and immediately pour it over the chutney.

Mix and serve it with rice 

1. Choose only tender cauliflower stems with the leaves as it will taste better.
2. Dont overcook the stems as they will loose the flavor

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pistachio Rosewater Cupcakes With A Pink Frosting

I am celebrating a wonderful moment today as it is my marraige anniversary ... One of the best things in life is seeing a smile on my hubby’s face and this cupcake with its wonderful frosting brought this magic to the moment. The recipe was adopted from here


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp pista powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar or confectionary sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3tbsp butter at room temp
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp rose water
  •  pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 170 Centigrade.

Take a large bowl sieve the all purpose flour, pista powder,sugar, baking power and salt all together.

Then rub the butter with this flour nicely and keep aside.

In another bowl beat the eggs and milk for 3 min with a hand blender with medium speed till it become fluffy.Then add vanilla extract,rose water and again blend till it all mix nicely.  

 To the above egg mixture add the dry ingredients and stir till it blends properly .This can done with hand blender or even with a spatula.

Take 12 muffin cups, spray some oil n pour 1/2 batter each cup.Then place this tray in the microwave and let it bake for 20-25 min.

You cup cakes are ready.

To prepare the frosting
  • 1 cup heavy whipped cream ( I used nilgiris cream)
  • 2 tbsp confectionary sugar
  • 2 tbsp iceing suagar
  • 1/2 tsp rose water
  • 1/4 tspvanilla extract
  • 1-2 drops of food color
Chill a large and medium size bowl with spatula,beater spiral in refrigerator for 15 min

Once the tools are chilled take the large bowl and fill with 1/4 level ice cubes. Place a medium size bowl on top of it.

Empty the cream into it and start beating in a low speed until it becomes fluffy  and the cream forms light peaks..

Add sugar and beat again, then add the icing sugar, rose water, vanilla and beat till it forms thick peaks.

Then add a natural food color of pink shade and blend again. Store it in a bowl and cover with cling wrap and refrigerate and use it after 20 minutes.

 Fill the piping bag with the frost with your choice of nozzle and frost each cupcake, sprinkle some chopped pistachio on each frosted cupcake for the final touch and serve.

1.The fat % should be more than 30 % then it is considered as a heavy cream that can be used as a whipped cream. We can find this in nilgiris. Amul cream is normally 20% which is not suitable for whipping

2.If you cant find heavy then you can use blue bird whipped cream powder for frosting your cupcakes which I have used

3.The temperature may vary from oven to oven, similarly the baking time may vary so please take care.

4.You can reduce the amount of rosewater for making cupcakes but amount I used worked good for me.

5.Before frosting please ensure your cupcakes are totally cooled

6.Dont overbeat your whipped cream else it will loose its soft creamy texture and become more buttery.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jumbo Shell Pasta With Delighful Soupy Flavor

Preparing this pasta has always been a delight. The combination of jumbo pasta shells with a vegetable pasta broth sauce and fresh italian herbs makes it a steamy hot treat for your loved onces. This is the perfect pasta dish with a mild saucy feel and flavors that will burst your taste buds. It tastes wonderful when served warm and fresh.


  •  3 cup jumbo shell pasta
  •  1/2 cup medium chopped onion
  •  1/2 cup medium chopped capsicum
  •  2 florets diced cauliflower
  •  1/2 cup carrot and peas
  •  1/2 cup medium chopped potato
  •  1 tbsp chopped garlic
  •  1/4 tsp black pepper
  •  1/2 pack instant soup mix(I used mix veg soup)
  •  1 green chilli cut length wise
  •  2 tbsp cooking oil
  •  1/2 tsp mixed italian herbs
  •  salt to taste
Cooking procedure:

Take 6 cups water in a deep sauce pan and let it boil . Add a little salt and oil to boiling water to prevent pasta to stick to each other.

Then add pasta shells .Let it cook till tender ,it will take approx 8 min.Preserve 1 cup water and drain the rest water and run the pasta under cold water for a minute and drain again and keep the pasta aside.

Heat  oil in a pan and then add onion,garlic,green chilli and stir till onion become transparent.

Add all the remaining vegetables along with salt ,herbs and pepper and let it cook till the veggies become tender.

In a bowl mix the instant soup powder with 1/2 cup preserved water and blended well , then add this mixture to the above vegetables in the pan and stir well to blend the ingredients nicely for a minute now add the remaining water and let it boil.

Toss the pasta shells in pan and stir it evenly to blend the vegetables with the pasta,it should be little liquidy.

Serve hot


1.Cold water will help the pasta to cool down quickly and prevent stickiness.

2.I used Knorrs instant veg soup powder which gives a distinct taste to the pasta but you can use any other instant soup mix . 

3.As soup powder contains starch don't add it directly otherwise it will be more sticky and not blend with veggies and pasta.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Lip Smacking Bread Upma in a Jiffy

This month of kartik is a special month and generally cooking with onions and garlic is avoided, it is very difficult to explain this to other people but you can get a clue from chef kurma das a devout vaishnava. And with my mom who has come to visit me it becomes more special to treat her different varieties of food as she restricts her diet during this month without onions and garlic. This morning I prepared bread upma . It is very simple to prepare and can be made in a jiffy. It looks colorful too and  I am sure you would love its taste.

  • 7 slices bread ( I used 5 slices brown bread and 2 white)
  • 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
Dice each slice of bread to 1 cm cubes (12 pieces).Heat a pan and put these cubes into it and dry toast it, and keep it aside.

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, then add the bread cubes and stir it fast because the mixture should be blended with all pieces.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Aromatic and Heavenly Pull-Apart Pesto Rolls

Recently I picked some fresh basil leaves from star bazaar and I got inspired to make these pull-apart pesto rolls, baked bread fresh out of the oven is a heavenly experience and with the addition of pesto has made these rolls so delightful. These pesto rolls have a intense flavour and a fresh fragrant aroma. 

These pesto rolls taste awesome, each time I had these pesto rolls I would mildly warm them in the microwave to add that extra zing to every bite and are the perfect mood lifter.

Ingredients for Pesto

  • 1 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 green chillies
  • 3 garlic pods
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Add all the above ingredients and make a rough paste,your pesto is ready to use .

Ingredients for rolls ( 2 sets )
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese
In a big bowl add yeast,sugar,salt n warm milk let it sit for 10 min. It will become foamy. Then add butter mix nicely. Then add flour slowly 1/2 cup at a time n stir with spatula. Then take it out of the bowl n on a lightly floured surface knead it for 5 min n then make it into a ball. Grease it with oil then put it in a bowl n cover with a damp cloth n let it sit for 1 hr.

The dough size will double after 1 hr, knead it again nicely and divide it into two parts and spread it with a roller like chapatti with 2mm thickness and apply pesto sauce equally and sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly. Then roll it and cut into 1 inch thick swirls. Let is rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven for 180 Celsius. Bake the roll for 30-40 min till golden brown. Remove the baking tray and brush all the rolls quickly with butter ,let it cool. 

1. The temperature of milk should be luke warm to ensure the activation of yeast is perfect. If the yeast does not foam then the yeast is not activated properly, discard the solution and prepare fresh again.

2.If basil leaves are not available you can replace it with spinach or cilantro/coriander.

3.You can use the same pesto sauce for sandwiches or some yummy pasta 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Oats Buttermilk Dosa A Super Tasty Healthy Breakfast

Recently I was watching a tv show where aamir khan was being interviewed and considering his healthy glow he was asked how did he maintain this glow. His answer surprised me as he mentioned he gave first preference to a healthy diet, second to a 8 hr sleep and last to exercise.I think his reply would resonate well with all food bloggers.

Oats is considered as a perfect heart healthy grain but it is also important to enjoy oats the indian way, this oats dosa is the perfect balance of taste and nutrition. I used to prepare buttermilk dosa earlier but with the addition of oats, it pumped up the flavors, I have guests asking for the recipe when they have tasted the dosa and when I mentioned oats was added to it they are so surprised as they did not realize it.

  • 1 cup oats (I used quaker oats)
  • 1 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1 cup curd/plain yogurt
  • pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 4 finely chopped green chilli
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro
  • 1 tsp jeera (cummin seeds)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly crushed black pepper
Dry roast the oats in medium flame for few min until a nice aroma emanates,shift it to mixie and grind to fine powder.
Mix all the above ingredients along with the oats powder and make it lump free smooth paste. Add water to make it have a flowy consistency.

Heat tawa on medium flame,add a tsp oil and pour 1/2 cup batter in a circle starting from the edge of tawa towards the center,add little oil around if needed .

Once the edges start to become golden brown flip it and increase the flame,let it roast for 1 minute or until lite crisp.Flip and fold the dosa .

Serve hot with your choice of podi and chutney .I love to serve this yummy dosa with sesame tomato chutney.

Note:Its an instant dosa ,so try to use the batter as soon as u mix it other wise it will be soggy and you will not get crispy dosa.

You can also add chopped onions to dosa batter,It will add more flavor


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