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Paneer- Mawa-Pistachio Ladoos - Indian Sweet Recipe

An easy to make ladoo  with the popular advertising label "NO BUTTER or NO GHEE " ;) lol...and O ya its protein rich ;)....jokes apart its yet another Indian sweet recipe ;).The best part is it does n't invlove much time and can be done easily, when the paneer is storebought :)

I noted a recipe from Vikatan(a tamil magazine) long back, did some changes to the original recipe, measurement  wise and also with the ingredients to suit my tastebuds


Ingredients
2 1/2 cup grated Paneer(Used the storebought paneer block)
1 1/4 cup Mawa powder
1/4 cup dry coconut powdered
3/4 cup powdered sugar
4 green cardamom powdered
1 tsp rose water
3 tbsp pistachios finely powdered + 2 tbsp pistachios coarsely powdered + couple of pistachios for garnishing

Method
1.Grate the Paneer using a grater(Grating the paneer will help to knead easily). Knead it well to form a dough.(This step alone will take somewhere around 7 to 10 minutes - I have a severe shoulder pain, so you might be able to finish off even early).
2.Add the mawa and mix until well combined, followed by rest of the ingredients.
3.Pinch out a key lime sized dough and make ladoos.
4.Garnish with sliced pistachios .Store in an airtight container and keep it refrigerated.

With the name of Lord Ganesha,here I start my first video post here....I made a video post on Kozhukattais but I did n't could n't make it properly- A great attempt failure trying to shoot a video with two kids playing around :( .Considering  this as my first attempt,do not backbite about this simple video for rolling the ladoo ;)
I used my Kozhukattai maker to make a modak shaped ladoo :) and this where you have to watch my video ;)


:)
Read the entire recipe here

Sweet Kozhukattai / Sweet Modak recipe

Every year just before Vinayakar chathurthi I give a call to my mom asking for the recipe ;).This has happened all these years and never have I noted down the exact measurement.This year, I got the recipe two days before the chathurthi ;).Thanks to my blogging sincerity :).

Wish you all a very Happy Vinayakar Chathurthi!!!


Sweet Kozhukattai / Sweet Modak Recipe
For the outer cover
Ingredients
1 cup Rice flour
2 cups water
1/4 tsp or more salt
1 tbsp coconut oil/gingelly oil
Method
1.Heat a non-stick pan with water.Add the coconut oil to it.Once it comes to a boil , add the rice flour at low flame,making sure it doesn't have any lumps,adding the flour in one hand,and stirring it continuously with the other hand will avoid the lumps.
2.Stir continuously until a dough is formed and moves to the center.

For the filling
Ingredients
1 cup jaggery
2 cups shredded coconut
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp crushed sesame seed
Method
1. In a pan, add the crushed jaggery or brown sugar(I used light brown sugar),and just enough water to dissolve the jaggery. Add the cardamom to it..
2. Bring it a boil until it thickens. No need to check for the string consistency. It should be thick.
3. Add the shredded coconut to it and stir continously until it forms a lump.
4. Finally add the crushed sesame seeds to it.(Adding the sesame seeds gives a very good flavor to the filling)

To make the Kozhukattai
1. Grease both the palm and fingers with coconut oil. Place a ziplock bag over a plate or any hard surface.
2. Pinch a small size(or any size you wish) of dough and make a ball.Place it over the ziplock bag.
3. Flatten it,making the edges thick (This will help to work on the dough easily and to make proper shape of kozhukattai). Place a small ball of filling inside. Now, seal all the sides and now the thick sharpen edge will be on the top.
4. Place the kozhukattai on the plate lined with ziplock bag. Rotate the dough as you give shape to sides, by moving the additional dough to the top.Now, the top will be thicker.Pinch out the extra dough on the top and continue doing the same until the desired thickness and shape is achieved in the sides and top. Do not over work and make the filling come outside.
5. Place the kozhukattais in the idli plate or any steamer( I used bamboo steamer) for 5 to 8 minutes at medium flame and steam until cooked.
Notes

  • While working on the dough make sure its covered to avoid drying of the flour.

:)
Read the entire recipe here

Tomato Biriyani / Thakkali Biriyani - Pressure Cooker Method


The recipe for today is very simple,but perfect for lunchbox. I made a somewhat similar rice recipe, before I got married.It is more than 6 years now and I don't even remember the ingredients properly, except the tomato and coconut.The recipe also included ghee.It was a recipe website where users post loads of South Indian Recipes, I don't think the website is still running :). I prepared this recipe according to my own usual cooking method (Why do I use 1/4 cup of coconut always?- This is what I think whenever I write down a recipe ;) ). This one pot dish is mild, yet flavorful.Again, as my family loved it, here is the recipe

Tomato Biriyani / Thakkali Biriyani - One pot Meal
Serves 3
Ingredients
1 1/2 cup Sona Masoori rice
1 big onion finely chopped
2 medium size tomato
4 to 5 tbsp fresh mint chopped
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
1 fistful of fresh/frozen Indian green peas
2 bay leaves
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt(as per taste)
3 to 4 tbsp Oil
To grind into a fine paste
1/4 cup shredded coconut(fresh/frozen)
1/2 tsp poppy seed
2 garlic peeled
a small piece of ginger chopped
1 inch cinammon
2 green cardamom
2 cloves

Method
1.Wash and soak rice in water for about 10 - 15 minutes. Make puree out of the tomatoes.
2.In a pressure cooker, add oil. Once it is hot, add the bayleaves followed by the onion, mint, green chillies, turmeric powder. Saute until the onion turns translucent.
3.Now add the ground paste, saute until the moisture evaporates a bit and is well combined with the onion mixture. Now add the tomato puree. Saute for 2 more minutes at low medium flame.
4.Add 2 3/4 cup of water followed by the rice, chilli powder, green peas and enough salt. Put the lid and the weight on and cook for three sounds.
5.Once done, allow the pressure to release by itself. Stir once gently.
6.Serve it hot with raitha or any mild curry of your preference.

Notes

  • Depending on the rice,the water needed may differ and also the pressure cooker sounds.Always I need 3 sounds for the rice I use to get cooked.We do not want the rice to be mushy, the grains must be separated.
  • Basmathi Rice also be used, but the Rice : Water ratio will differ
  • Soy Chunks can also be used in this recipe, along with the peas.

:)

Read the entire recipe here

Homemade Waffles Recipe

Weekly once the breakfast menu includes pancakes or waffles, as both my kids enjoy having them .It is me ,who can never have cereal or these kind of breakfast  ;). Today is National Waffle day and obviously a reason for sharing this recipe ;).

Adpated from Taste of Home Magazine
Makes 4 Waffles
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs separated
1 cup Milk(full fat/reduced fat)
1/4 cup butter,melted
3 to 4 tbsp sugar
Method
1.In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and stir well.
2.Whisk egg yolks,add milk and butter to the egg yolks and whisk again.Stir into flour mixture until well combined.
3.In a small bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peak forms.Gently fold into the batter.
4.Bake in a preheated waffle iron(I used a belgian waffle iron) according to manufacturers instruction until golden brown.
5.Serve it with pure maple syrup and fresh fruits(berries preferred-had nothing in the refrigerator,thats why you could see only bananas).

Note

  • If the batter is thick, add even more milk to the batter.
  • I prepare the batter, the before night and refrigerate it for the next day mornings breakfast. Just, have to bring it to room temperature before making the waffles.

ENJOY!!!
Read the entire recipe here

The Perfect Butter Cake - Basic Cake Recipes

It has become quite hard to manage my second son nowadays, as he has started to miss his brother during daytime. And, that is the reason I couldn't concentrate much on the blog(blah...blah ...blah ;))-Good excuse ;)

Many of my friends have been asking me to post basic cake recipes. I thought I 'll start off with this cake, which is easy to make and a delicious cake to taste.I like the brown sugar glaze on this cake which makes this cake even more tastier.

Ingredients
2/3 cup (7 1/2 oz)unsalted butter(softened)
1/2 cup Caster Sugar
3 large eggs
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tbsp milk
3 to 4 tbsp dark brown sugar

Method
1.Preheat the oven to 325 degree farenheit /170 degree centigrade.Line the base of a 8 x 4 inch loaf tin with wax/parchment paper. I use only wax paper mostly.[And grease with the nonstick cooking spray on the sides and over the wax paper.Use a paper towel after spraying to evenly apply the oil ans remove the excess oil. Dust all purpose flour over the oil. First, apply at the bottom and tap well that it moves to the sides] - Always this is what greasing and dusting a pan means. Keep the tin aside.
2.Sift all purpose flour and baking powder very well.Keep it aside.
2.In a electric hand mixer or electric stand mixer, add 1/2 cup (4 oz) of the butter and all the sugar in a bowl and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
3.Add eggs one at a time, to this mixture until well combined. Now add the all purpose flour-baking powder into the batter and stir well using a silicone spatula.
4.Pour batter into the tin. Tap well to avoid the empty air bubbles. Smooth the top with spatula.Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick instered comes out clean. I always use the thin and long metal skewers to check for doneness.
5.Mix the dark brown sugar and the butter and microwave until its warm and the sugar is melted slightly. Pour this mixture over the hot loaf which is removed from the oven. Let it soak well. Remove after 10 minutes by flipping it carefully over a plate and turn again. Serve it warm / cold.
Notes

  • The caster sugar can be increased to 3/4 th cup if yours is a sweet tooth ;)
  • A 6 x 3 inch round cake pan can be substituted instead of the given loaf pan measurement.

ENJOY!!!
Read the entire recipe here

Kathirikkai Kara Kuzhambu(Eggplant in a Tamarind Based Curry) and Garlic Infused Potato Fry


 I love eggplants and according to me, it is a vegetarian substitute for fish :). Last weekend,I went to the Indian grocers looking for baby eggplants, but I couldn't find any and  couldn't wait any longer to post this recipe ;). So, brought home the eggplants you see in the pictures.

 And the potato fry is my elder ones favorite. His school has re-opened and everyday  he leaves home by 6.40A.M and returns back by 3 P.M.(Too much for a 5 year old :( ). As soon as he returns from the school,his first question is about what I have cooked for him. I always love to stay away from the potatoes and a small bag of potatoes stays in the pantry for nearly 2 months and sometimes use to gets its way into the dumpster ;) . But, nowadays as this guy wants potato as the side-dish, the potatoes have started to mark  its place from the pantry to the stove ;).

Kathiriakkai Kara Kuzhambu
Serves 4 to 5
Ingredients
6 to 7 indian eggplants
1 small size onion finely chopped
extract from a lemon sized tamarind
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
Salt(as per taste)
2 to 2 1/2 tbsp Oil
To roast and grind into powder
1/4 tsp jeera
1 tbsp coriander
6 to 7 dry red chillies
1/4 tsp whole black pepper
3/4 tsp urad dhal
3/4 tsp channa dhal
1/4 cup shredded coconut(fresh/frozen)
To temper
1 tsp vadagam(the one used for curries)
1 tsp oil
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp black mustard
2 dry red chillies
Method
1.Fry all the ingredients asked to powder, without oil and grind it into a fine paste adding some water and little salt.
2.Put a + mark at the back of the eggplants and stuff a small quantity the masala. In a pan, add the oil and once it is hot,  add the onion and turmeric powder.Saute until tender.
3.Add the stuffed eggplants to the onion and saute carfeully, not to break the eggplants.
4.Add the remaining ground masala to this and saute once. Add about a 1 1/2 cup of water,remaining salt needed and reduce to low flame, stirring occassionally. Cook until the eggplants are half cooked.
5.Now,  add the tamarind extract and some water(if needed). Cook covered until the oil floats on the top.
6.In a separate pan, add 1 teaspoon oil, Once it is hot, add the black mustard, vadagam and curry leaves. Allow the mustard to splutter and pour this tempering over the curry.
7.Serve this curry with hot rice.

Notes
  • The measurement given yields a very spicy curry(if the Red chillies are hot), add according to your tastebuds.
  • I didn't add pour oil, more than what I have mentioned ,the coconut and the ground lentils tops out as the oily layer.(You 'll see it when you make it :) )
  • 1 medium size tomato can be added to the curry which is optional.
  • Baby eggplants work great for this recipe.
  • If vadagam if not used for the tempering,just add a teaspoon of urad dhal to the tempering.

Garlic infused Potato Fry

Serves 1 
Ingredients
1 large size Potato(when cooked and chopped into small cubes,yields about a cup)
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp Oil
2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 to 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
salt(as per taste)
Method
1.Pressure cook the potatoes for 1 sound or in the microwave.The potatoes I use here cook in 1 sound.The secret is it should be firm but cooked.
2.Leave it under room temperature and then refrigerate it for few hours.I cook and put in the refrigerator.It stays good for a week.That way I need not cook a single potato for my son every day.
3.Remove the skin of the potato,cut into small cubes.
4.Heat a pan with oil.Once it is hot, add the potatoes and fry at medium flame.fry until the color on either of the sides turn slightly brown.It is the time to add the salt,red chilli powder.Add these powders and continue to fry at low flame.
5.Fry until the they are crisp and golden brown.Finally add the garlic powder and stir.
6.Serve immediately.
Notes
  • I  add the garlic powder(a lot actually) for my son,  as he loves the flavor of garlic in all kinds of breads and in potato fries :).
  • As I mention always, I love to cook in stainless steel or cast iron and stay away from nonstick pans.The one I have used here is a nonstick pan . It said it is made eco- safe . So, I threw my old non-stick pan away, which I was using very rarely.I didn't study further about the latest pan I have, but comparatively a good one than the plastic based nonstick pans :) .And the reason for mentioning here about the pan ;) is because you need a strong base nonstick pan for this potato fry :), that way less oil and perfectly cooked potatoes.

ENJOY!!!
Read the entire recipe here

Paneer-Vegetable kurma

 I came across this recipe in a cookbook. It got my attention, as it was different from the way I normally prepare kurmas .It paired up well with the rotis, for our dinner that day.
 The pepper on the top of the rotis are from my neighbours backyard.They are an old couple, who are Indian origins from Jamaica.As I was cooking this kurma,I got these pepper from them and I put those pepper on the top of rotis for a beautiful click ;).

Ingredients
1/3 cup cashews
a big pinch of saffron threads soaked in 4 tbsp hot milk
2 1/2 cups of mixed vegetables(I used cauliflower,beans and carrots)
1 large size onion finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies cut lengthwise
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp heavy cream
6 tbsp warm water
2 tsp ghee
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 tbsp oil
salt(as per taste)
Method
1.Soak the cashews and saffron threads.Blanch the vegetables in a saucepan of boiling water,the drain and immediately plunge in cold water.Reserve the stock.The cauliflower and green beans need more time,whereas carrots gets blanched quickly.In another pan boil water and add the paneer cubes to it.Close the lid for about a minute.Open the lid,drain the water and keep the paneer cubes covered .
2.Heat the oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat,add the onion,ginger garlic paste, and chilies and cook,stirig frequently,for 5-6 minutes,until the onion is softened.Add the coriander and turmeric and cook,stirring for a minute.Add 3 tbsp warm water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.Repeat this process(with the remaining 3 tbsp water),then cook stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes,or until the oil separates from the spice paste.
3.Add the stock(as needed),saffron and milk mixture and salt,and bring to a boil.Drain the vegetables,add to the saucepan and return to a boil.Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.Add the paneer cubes to curry and stir.Meanwhile grind the cashews into a fine paste.Add the paste to the kurma and stir in the cream at low flame.
4.Melt the ghee in a small saucepan over low heat.Add the red chilli powder and garam masala and nutmeg and sizzle gently for few seconds.Fold it to the kurma.Remove from the heat and serve.

Notes

  • The curry was actually with potatoes instead of paneer.As my kids love paneer in rich curries,I substituted using them
  • In the pictorial,I missed taking the picture for the last step in the recipe,which is adding chilli powder and garam masala to the ghee.


ENJOY!!!
Read the entire recipe here

Penne with Cilantro-Almond Pesto and Roasted Jalapenos

 When it comes to pasta,I have lots of limitations.I cannot stand with cheese or say my tongue looks for only indian influenced recipes most of the time ;) .This is one of the recipes that has found its way in our kitchen and I can have this anytime  :).
 Yesterday ,it was my second son's second birthday and as he wants Curious George(Georgie) in everything,I chose to make his  favorite HAPPY GEORGIE cake.It is a two 9  inch chocolate cake,soaked in sugar syrup and  frosted with chocolate fudge buttercream icing and some fondant(Homemade Microwave Marshmallow Fondant) accents(The georgie face,circles,bananas,yellow hat and the tag(written using a edible pen))..making it 100% edible.I am a beginner and I don't follow any proper method and experiment with things to make my cakes look better.I wanted to post this picture yesterday itself,with the birthday wishes for my little one in the blog,but the day ran so fast, that we didn't even have time to breathe :) .

And here is the picture for todays recipe :)

Ingredients
4 cups of cooked pasta
1 big bunch cilantro(about 3 to 3 1/4 cup) along with the stalk chopped
1/4 cup blanched almonds
2 Jalapenos
2 garlic pods(peeled)
1 to 1 1/2 tbsp fresh parmesan cheese shredded
1 tsp juice of lime or lemon
Salt(as per taste)
1/4 cup extra virigin olive oil
Method
1.For the pesto:Roast the jalapenos on direct flame or under the broiler.
2.Transfer the jalapenos to plastic bags and seal.let it sit for about 15 minutes.Unwrap,peel,deseed and chop them roughly
3.Put the almonds in hot water.Drain and remove the skin after 5 minutes.
4.In a food processor,blender(using the pulse mode)or mortar and pestle, first add the almonds and grind coarsely,once they are half way done,add the garlic,jalapenos and the cilantro in an order,when grinding,add the required olive oil little by little.
5.Finally stir in lemon/lime juice and salt.This can be stored in the refrigerator for couple of days.
6.Cooking the pasta-Boil water ,with some salt in a stock pot .While it is boiling,add the pasta,close the lid and cook to aldente perfection.(See the back of the pasta box for the manufacturers instruction.While cooking the pasta add a 1/4 tsp olive oil or nonstick olive oil spray into the pasta boiling water.Once the pasta is cooked.Drain the pasta using a strainer,reserving some water separately in a bowl.Wash the pasta in running cold water,while they are still in the strainer to removing the extra starch.
7.To combine pesto and pasta:Now bring  the pasta in a wider bowl,Add the pesto(as needed) on the top of pasta,using two forks,toss the pasta over the pesto until well mixed.Add the reserved Pasta water if needed.With each and every bite,you will feel the essence of cilantro,with the fragrance of garlic and olive oil with a tangy and spicy touch of lime and jalapenos and crunchy tiny bits of almonds in the pasta.Looking for a good pasta recipe to try?You will love it :) .Serve it hot.
Notes

  • I used Mini Penne(Barillas Picollini mini penne), as these miniature pastas are bite sized ,which is loved by kids and cooks faster which I love :).
  • The jalapenos can be reduced to one,if you prefer less spicy version.
  • I used the stove top method to broil the jalapenos and used the mini food processor/food chopper for preparing the pesto.
  • I actually forgot to measure the pasta before cooking.Have given the approximate amount of cooked pasta in the ingredients.

ENJOY!!!



Read the entire recipe here
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