Friday, April 29, 2011

Topless Tart- It's lemony too!

I read about the monthly mingle events while blog hopping and chanced upon this event hosted by Cooksister.
I always wanted to make lemon tarts and then I read about this, and saw some lemons getting stale in the fridge. (Lemons are becoming increasingly expensive, now they are priced at Rs 5 each!! And Guavas at Rs 15!! )
And presenting before you is my topless lemon tart :o)



For the crust-
1/2 pack of digestive biscuits crushed
1/2 cup butter at room temp

Mix the crushed biscuits and the butter well, press into a dish which is atleast 2 cms deep. Keep in the fridge.

Now let's make the filling-
1 egg
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest (I used orange zest)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

Mix all these together in a saucepan. Put on stove on medium heat and keep stirring all the time till the mixture begins to thicken. At this stage, take it off and strain it, press what remains in the sieve on the crust and then pour the sieved liquid on top. (I didn't do this cos I didn't have the patience to :)) ) Keep in the fridge to set for an hour or so. Cut before serving.

This is going to the Topless Tarts event at Cooksister's, also check the official Monthly Mingle page.

My lemon tart looked like this. I couldn't get around to clicking a pic before it was eaten!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mango Shrikhand for Yashi

Yashi did not like curd too much when it was first introduced to her. Then one day I set curd using cow's milk (this is the one she drinks). She really liked it! Mangoes have started coming in, the first ones in Bangalore are usually Raspuri and Badami. I got a couple of mangoes and used them to make mango shrikhand for her. This she doubly enjoyed :)

My recipe-

1 large bowl set curd (can use full cream milk)
1/4 Cup mango pulp (I used crushed fresh pulp, you can blend it too, I didn't)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder  (I skipped this, I don't like cardamom)

Take a muslin cloth and hang for an hour or so. Transfer the curd into a bowl. Add sugar and mix, leave for some time. Add mango pulp (and cardamom powder). Chill before serving or enjoy JLT!

This is my entry for Healing Foods-Mango. (Just on time to post it!) Also check Siri's announcement page .

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Learning-to-cook: Round up: Dish Name Starts With G

Learning-to-cook: Round up: Dish Name Starts With G

This is the roundup posted by Akila for dish name starts with G.
My post was Recipe name: Green Chilli Pepper Veggie.

And here is my award! Thanks Akila :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Beetroot cake with chocolate frosting

The benefits of beets are many! Beetroot has a lot of antioxidants which prevent heart problems and cancers. It has very high levels of betaine, which has anti-cancer properties. It is high in fibre, reduce cholestrol levels and has iron, which helps in blood creation and folic acid too. Same goes for cocoa, which has anticarcinogenic properties. And what better than beetroot cake with chocolate frosting to enjoy these benefits :))

I always wanted to make beets cake but never got around to doing it. I baked it some days back with very good results. I sent some over to my office as well, and colleagues loved it too!

Recipe for beets cake-

2 cups flour (I use WW flour)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp soda bicarb
1 tsp baking powder
2 medium red beetroots -pressure cooked with a bit of water for one whistle and coarsely blended with the same water)
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1 cup thick curd
Sift together flour, baking powder, soda bicarb. Keep aside.
Beat together- egg, oil, sugar and add curd after sometime. Whisk some more until airy.
To this add the flour mix and beets and combine. Combine. Combine :)
Pour batter in a greased dish and bake at 180 deg for 25 mins or so till springy to touch. Let it cool.

For the chocolate frosting - I used this recipe-
I skipped the milk and added butter. It was really chocolate-y :))

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Steamed pithe

I have read so many Bong blogs, and most of all I love Bong Mom's cookbook, the way Sandeepa writes and presents is a joy for any reader.

The flavors of Bengal is being hosted by Priya, and ever since Holi, I have been wishing to make Pithe- steamed or fried. I just couldn't find the time to, with Yashi demanding attention every time she wakes up and with so much of housework. As Parkinson's Law states,Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion!

I somehow managed to make it one day, and Niket who doesn't even like coconut, couldn't resist it after a couple of bites. 

Steamed sweet and savory pithe recipe

Rice flour 1 cups
Hot boiling water for kneading the dough

Grated coconut 1 cup
1/2 cup jaggery
1/2 cup khoya

For the dough, use rice flour and boiling water.

For the filling-
Heat a wok, and mix the grated coconut, khoya and the jaggery with continuous stirring till it mixes well. Let the filling cool.
Make a few portions of the dough, roll one portion into a ball, make a bowl shape to put the filling, put the filling into it and close the pithe. (This was toughest for me because the thinner it is, the tastier it is to eat, but i couldn't make it thin). Do this for all portions.

I used my steamer in the rice cooker to steam these. I kept them for about 20 mins in the rice cooker. The outer covering will feel dry to touch, which means it is done. Let it stay on the sieve for about 5-10 mins to let the vapors cool off. Then serve.

I used flaxseed chutney in some to make savory pithe and served it with bottlegourd veggie. Both tasted good.

The sweet pithe is going to Priya's event- Flavors of Bengal. Also check  Nayna's events' page.
What a lovely logo :)

Ripe plantain stirfry

Adapted from

I had got some plantains to make curry but they ripened even before I knew it! (Who knew plantains could ripen even in the fridge??) I googled for some recipes for ripe plantains and found a wonderful recipe! It is Latin and I adapted it to Indian taste.

Here's the recipe-
2 plantains which have turned ripe
2 tsps mustard oil
1 tbsp spring onions
1 tsp cilantro for garnish
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste

Peel and cut plaintains (These will be a bit firmer than the ripe bananas and easy to cut)
Heat oil in a wok. Add spring onions and cilantro (I don't like the taste of raw cilantro). Fry a bit and then add the cut plaintains. Add salt and turmeric. Cook for 10-15 minutes uncovered, turning in between to fry them well. Turn off flame. Serve warm as a sidedish.

This is going to Priya's Fusion Recipes event. Also check Pari's page here.

Tamatar-Khajoor ki chutney{Tomato-Date chutney}

Veggiefoodie: Tamatar-Khajoor ki chutney{Tomato-Date chutney}

Sometime back I got 2 kg tomatoes for 15 rupees! I never make tomato chutney cos I hate to use the food processor. My kitchen is small and I usually keep it on one of the racks. SO taking it out, plugging it, using it, cleaning it ad putting it back is too much effort. But now that I had tomatoes and was running short on green veggies, I felt it was a good time to use them up to make chutney.
Tomato chutney is made frequently when my MIL is here cos Niket loves it (I think he loves whatever ma will make). I have the recipe from her, but this idea of using dates is mainly Soni's :) (Check the link above)

My MIL's recipe-

10 tomatoes
5-7 dates, seeds removed and soaked in water
salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp methi for tempering
1 tbsp jaggery
handful of raisins

Wash tomatoes, remove tops and pressure cook along with dates (and the water included) Be sure to add 1 generous tbsp of water. I forgot this step and my tomatoes and dates had a burnt smell (which both of us loved anyway) and pressure cook for one whistle. Let cool. Put them all in the blender and give then 2-3 whisks. I don't remove the peels. If you blend them well, the peels get blended too, and the chutney gets thicker soon (I am really impatient with standing near the stove and cook stuff for half an hour just to make it thick!)
Heat oil in a kadahi or wok, add methi / fenugreek seeds. Let splutter, add the blended mix and let cook for a couple of mins. Add jaggery (The jaggery gives a lovely color to the chutney, you can use sugar too). Cook for a couple of mins. Add raisins, stir and turn off flame. Transfer contents to a serving bowl. Serve cooled. 

Chutney will stay in the fridge for 4-5 days, if it is left that long :) Makes a good side dish for any meal.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Celebrate sweets-sweets with rice- brown rice pongal reposted

I made this yesterday, cos Yashi completed 7 months. It was our way of celebration!

The recipe I followed is here- brown rice pongal

I am sending this to the event hosted by Priya of easy n tasty recipes

Also check Nivedita's original announcement page

Hara dhania aur ajwain paratha (Fresh coriander and carom seeds paratha)

Hara dhania aur ajwain paratha (Fresh coriander and carom seeds paratha)
Paratha= Indian flat bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup freshly chopped coriander
2 tbsps carom / ajwain
can add salt, i skipped
Oil for cooking

Make a dough with the above ingredients using enough water. Leave it aside for about 5-10 mins. 
To make paratha / flat bread, divide the dough in balls. Roll out each ball into a flat thin disc and put on a heated tava or griddle. Apply a bit of oil on each side and cook till brown spots appear.
Serve hot with any veggie or curd and pickle.

This is going to 
herbs and flowers in my platter- Coriander at Krithi's kitchen

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sem beans veggie

Sem ki phalli, Hyacinth Beans or Indian Broad beans are available in Bangalore all year round, and are one of those veggies which taste really god if you find them fresh. And I thought of making these when I saw the Fava Beans event posted by Heni.

I made a simple curry was very flavorful. We had these with rotis and dal for dinner.

Sem beans in mustard gravy
(Somehow this dish always reminds me of my Aaji (grandma). She used to make this a lot with mustard seeds powder.

2 tbsp oil
1 onion , 1 tomato - chopped
1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and cubed
Salt to taste
1 tsp each Turmeric powder, coriander powder and all spice / garam masala
Sem beans - 250 grams, tops and tails removed, threaded (side strings removed) and chopped into pieces
1 large tbsp mustard seeds powder
1/4 cup water

Heat oil in  a wok. Add cumin for tempering, add onions and stir fry until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, salt,  mix well. Cook till the raw smell disappears and add all spices and cubed potato. Let cook for a min. Add the chopped beans, fry for a couple of mins, cook covered. Add msutard seeds powder and cook covered for another couple of mins, stirring occasionally.Add water, cover and let the beans cook in this water. I let the water dry up cos that's how I like it.

Serve warm.

This is going to-
fava beans food event hosted by Heni. Check her blog for some awesome recipes! I am thankful to her for letting me participate in her event, even though these beans are not fava beans :)

Microwave peas pulav

2 tbsps ghee or butter
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1" cinnamon stick, 1 cardamom
1 onion chopped
1 cup rice
2.5 cups water
1/2 cup or so peas (frozen or fresh, if using fresh, micro in a microsafe dish for 5 mins)
salt to taste 

In a microsafe dish, heat butter / ghee for 30 secs, add ginger garlic paste, cinnamon and cardamom and onions, microwave on 100% power for 2 mins uncovered. Onions will turn transparent. 
Add rice and green peas, salt and water. Mix and micro on full power covered for 6 mins (till the water begins to boil) and then reduce power to 75% for another 10 mins. Keep stirring and checking in between, every 2-3 mins. 
Let stand for about 6-8 mins before serving, this completes the cooking process for rice.
Serve or pack for lunch with pickle and curd. 
    I use my micro safe rice cooker for this purpose, there is a hole to let the steam escape. You should also do this, if cooking covered allow for some room for the steam to escape or your microwave will get really messy!

    This dish is going to - 

    MEC Lunch box menu hosted at Lata's blog. Also check Srivalli's page where it all began.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Potato carrot and coriander thick soup

    Ingredients (will serve 4-5)
    1 large potato peeled and cut into chunks
    1/2 cup chopped carrot
    1 cup chopped coriander
    3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
    1 onion chopped
    1 cup water
    some milk to think out the soup
    cream , pepper, chopped coriander to garnish
    3 tsps olive oil

    Boil the carrots, potato and coriander with water in the pressure cooker for one whistle. Let cool. Blend everything together.
    In a deep pan or kadahi, heat the oil and fry the chopped onions. (If you have some dry coriander, add in. I didn't have so skipped it) Add in the blended boiled soup. Add some milk if you need thinning and also for a creamy taste. Add some salt to taste. Turn off flame.
    Serve warm with toasted bread and / or pasta or JLT! Garnish with cream, fresh coriander and pepper.

    Sunday, April 10, 2011

    bhindi/okra in coconut-tamarind gravy

    I have this recipe from my colleague, Lakshmi. This recipe can be used with both bhindi / okra or karela / bittergourd.


    1/2 kg Bhindi/ okra chopped
    Tamarind - lemon size soaked in 1/4 cup lukewarm water, extract juice upto 1 cup
    2 tsps Curry Leaves
    1 tsp Jeera / cumin
    3-4 pods garlic crushed

    1/2 tsp turmeric powder, coriander powder and all spice / garam masala.
    Salt to taste
    oil to cook 2tbsps or so

    2 tsps Methi / fenugreek seeds
    1 tsp Mustard Seeds
    2 tsps fresh coconut
    (Roast methi and mustard, add coconut. Let cool and grind to a paste with little water)

    Heat oil,  add curry leaves, garlic and cumin.Add bhindi / okra, powdered spices, salt and mix till the spices and salt coat the bhindi pieces well. Cook till the bhindi is fried well, around 10-12 mins.
    Now add the tamarind extract

    Add the tamarind extract and coconut paste cook till it comes to a thick gravy consistency.

    This is going to Chettinad special because this is a famous recipe of Tamil Nadu as well.

    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Pineapple Sambar

    1/2 cup toor dal
    1 onion chopped
    1 tsp ginger garlic paste

    1 tsp grated coconut
    1/2 cup chopped pineapple
    1 tsp sambar powder
    1 tsp turmeric
    salt to taste
    1/2 cup water
    (Boil these together)

    1 tsp coriander leaves- chopped

    1/2 cup tamarind water extracted from a smaller than lemon sized ball of tamarind
    mustard seeds and curry leaves for tempering
    1 tsp oil

    Clean and wash dal, add in pressure cooker along with-water, onion, ginger garlic paste, coconut, pineapple, turmeric, sambar powder and salt.
    Pressure cook for one whistle and simmer for 2 mins. Turn off flame and let cool. Add tamarind water and boil , add chopped coriander, simmer. In a tadka pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and pour over simmered sambar. Stir and turn off flame. Cover and let stand for a couple of mins before serving.

    I used mixed dal. I used juice of half a lemon cos Niket is allergic to tamarind. I skipped tempering, cos I was using it for Yashi, my 7mo baby.

    The sweet sour taste of pinepple and lemon was very good :) Should serve with spicy chutney if serving with idlis. It is good as soup as well!

    This is going to Fruit / veggie a month- Pineapple
    guest-hosting-veggiefruit-month-event on Rupali's blog, linking my post to Priya of Mharo Rajasthan

    This is also going to Cooking with whole foods

    Linking to announcement page at Suma's blog and Kiran's announcement page

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    India unites against Corruption!

    As Anna Hazare fasts for India, for our rights, I feel it is unjust to put up any posts for food on my blog. I am with you Anna, as you unite Indians against in your battle against corruption!

    From the Facebook page of the event-

    Shri Anna Hazare has announced an indefinite fast demanding the government to implement Jan LOKPAL bill. IAC Chapters in 100s of cities are organizing fasts in solidarity.

    IAC Bangalore will organize the fast starting April 5th. We invite you to join us. You can join on any one day (between 5th and 10th) at Freedom Park. If you cannot observe fast, do visit the venue and support us. If you are unable to visit us, you can observe fast wherever you are.

    Also visit-

    Indians, wherever you are, let everyone know abt the Jan Lokpal Bill, show your support online and in person. 

    Check the salient features of the Jan Lokpal Bill- from

    Drafted by Justice Santosh Hegde, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal, this Bill has been refined on the basis of feedback received from public on website and after series of public consultations. It has also been vetted by and is supported by Shanti Bhushan, J M Lyngdoh, Kiran Bedi, Anna Hazare etc. It was
    sent to the PM and all CMs on 1st December. However, there is no response.

    1. An institution called LOKPAL at the centre and LOKAYUKTA in each state will be set up

    2. Like Supreme Court and Election Commission, they will be completely independent of the governments. No minister or bureaucrat will be able to influence their investigations.

    3. Cases against corrupt people will not linger on for years anymore: Investigations in any case will have to be completed in one year. Trial should be completed in next one year so that the corrupt politician, officer or judge is sent to jail within two years.

    4. The loss that a corrupt person caused to the government will be recovered at the time of conviction.

    5. How will it help a common citizen: If any work of any citizen is not done in prescribed time in any government office, Lokpal will impose financial penalty on guilty officers, which will be given as
    compensation to the complainant.

    6. So, you could approach Lokpal if your ration card or passport or voter card is not being made or if police is not registering your case or any other work is not being done in prescribed time. Lokpal will have to get it done in a month’s time. You could also report any case of corruption to Lokpal like ration being siphoned off, poor quality roads been constructed or panchayat funds being siphoned off. Lokpal will have to complete its investigations in a year, trial will be over in next one year and the guilty will go to jail within two years.

    7. But won’t the government appoint corrupt and weak people as Lokpal members? That won’t be possible because its members will be selected by judges, citizens and constitutional authorities and not by politicians, through a completely transparent and participatory process.

    8. What if some officer in Lokpal becomes corrupt? The entire functioning of Lokpal/ Lokayukta will be completely transparent. Any complaint against any officer of Lokpal shall be investigated and the officer dismissed within two months.

    9. What will happen to existing anti-corruption agencies? CVC, departmental vigilance and anticorruption branch of CBI will be merged into Lokpal. Lokpal will have complete powers and machinery to independently investigate and prosecute any officer, judge or politician.

    JAN LOKPAL BILL will act as deterrent and instill fear against corruption

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    toor dal with lauki (lentils with bottlegourd)

    2 cups lauki or Bottle Gourd chopped
    3/4 cup toor dal cleaned and washed
    1 tsp oil or ghee
    pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
    1 tsp Cumin Seeds
    1 tsp Turmeric Powder
    1 onion chopped
    1 tomato chopped
    Coriander Leaves – a small bunch
    salt to taste

    Clean and cook chopped bottle gourd and dal in a pressure cooker along with onion, tomato, turmeric, salt and coriander. Cook for one whistle and simmer for a couple of mins.

    Heat oil in a tadka pan, splutter the cumin seeds. Turn off flame, add hing and pour over dal. Cover for a minute. Mix well. You can make the dal thicker by gently mashing some cooked veggies and leaving the rest.

    Serve with rice or rotis.

    You can also keep the coriander for garnish later, i don't like it raw.

    This is also a part of Design a Menu.

    TipsNDeal: Show and Tell "Holi Aayee Re" roundup by Neetu

    TipsNDeal: Natural and Quick Tips, Cool Deals and Yummy Recipes:

    This is the roundup for Show and Tell "Holi Aayee Re" event by Neetu
    My submission was potato rolls

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Fruit bowl

    A bowl of fruits with cold milk is very refreshing on a hot afternoon, when you are alone and do not feel like making anything for lunch  :)

    1 tbsp honey / sugar
    1/4 cup grapes sliced or whole
    1 banana sliced
    1 musk melon cubed
    1 apple cubed

    Mix all the fruits and honey in a bowl. Add cold milk and mix to combine. Garnish with whatever you like and relish!

      Can use some raisins, walnuts for garnish
      Can add any other seasonal fruits (strawberries, peaches etc)
      Can use some crushed Marie biscuits or muesli 
      You can also use cream / whipped cream

      Seduce Your Tastebuds-Flavors of Maharashtra - Roundup

      Seduce Your Tastebuds....: Flavors of Maharashtra - Roundup

      This is the roundup for Flavors of Maharashtra. My submission was Sabudana Khichdi for breakfast

      The roundup has some amazing dishes.. I esp loved the desserts and I am craving for some modak!!

      Nivedita's Kitchen: 'Only' Original Recipes - Event Round Up

      This is the Roundup for Only Original Recipes. Some very creative ones!

      Nivedita's Kitchen: 'Only' Original Recipes - Event Round Up

      My submission was Kachhe kele ke parathe

      Chhole Masala

      Chhole Masala / Chana Masala

      2 cups chhole / chickpeas- soaked overnight and pressure cooked with salt , 1/2 tsp soda bicarb and enough water for one whistle, simmered for 10 mins. I like my chhole mushy. You can skip the bicarb for a low sodium and firmer chickpeas.
      1 large onion chopped
      2 tomatoes- chopped / use tomato puree
      2 tsps ginger garlic paste
      Use green chillies to taste
      1 tsp each of turmeric, coriander and garam masala powder
      MDH chhole masala 1 tsp
      2 tbsps oil
      salt, to taste
      can use fresh dhania / cilantro for garnish

      Heat oil in a wok, add onions and fry till brown. Add ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, salt. Cook for a couple of mins till tomatoes are done. Add the dry spices and cook some more- the tomatoes should completely be coated with the spices. Add the chickpeas along with the water, mix and cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 mins or so. This will help it absorb the masalas. Garnish with some cilantro and serve with rotis or rice. 

      To get dark colored chhole, lot of people use tea leaves tied in a cloth. However some may wish to avoid the caffeine and tannin. To do that and still get your chhole black, you need to make your own masala, and get rid of MDH. Dry roast all the masalas you would use and grind them. Add them to your cooked onion and tomato mix. Too much work, I stick to MDH.

      This is going to My Legume Love Affair 34 hosted by Desi Soccer Mom Jaya. Check Susan's page and the hosting line up too.

      Torview:My award and Food palette series pink

      This is my award for Food Palette series Brown. My submission was Orange peel marmalade.

      Check the round up here. Thanks Torview for the award!

      New event-Torview: Food palette series pink
      This new event announcement reminds me of Shu and Aerosmith..

      Monday, April 4, 2011

      Flaxseed chutney- teesi ki chutney


      Teesi / flaxseed chutney and Kadima/ butternut squash veggie
      1/4 cup flaxseed roasted and ground
      1/4 cup roasted and ground Peanuts (Can use unsalted peanut butter also!)
      Salt as per taste
      juice of half a lemon (or more)
      (Can use- Red chilli powder and garlic)
      For tempering-
      split green chillies-2 
      1 tsp mustard seeds
      1 tsp mustard oil

      If you have roasted flaxseed and peanuts, grind them together with salt, chilli powder and garlic. I had them separate, so I mixed them thoroughly. 
      Prepare tempering- Heat a tadka pan, add oil, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Add green chillies, turn off flame and pour over chutney mix. Mix well, Add lemon juice. Serve with plain rice or as an accompaniment to any meal!

      Flaxseed is the highest source of Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. They should always be ground before consuming, else they will just pass through :)
      Also using just the oil is no good. You need to consume flaxseed meal to get the phtochemicals / antioxidants.
      Always remember to have 2 extra glasses of water every time you eat abt 20gms of flaxseeds. 

      And as I am writing this I am reminded of my Aaji (grandma) who would make teesi laddoos in winters for us.. 

      Saturday, April 2, 2011

      Fresh and homemade peanut butter

      1/2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts

      Recipe for smooth peanut butter-
      Put this in your food processor (blender jar where you grind dry masalas / spices)
      Process the mixture until it's very smooth.
      Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use in sandwiches, chutneys and mix with honey to enjoy with parathas!

      Friday, April 1, 2011

      Banana Kheer

      I had this idea in mind after I designed a menu for Design a Menu. Check oats-spinach soup here.
      I had a few overripe bananas cos Yashi didn't like them. And I decided to try my Mum's recipe.

      1 cup overripe bananas mashed finely
      1/2 litre milk
      1 tbsp whole wheat flour
      1 tbsp ghee
      handful of dry fruits of your choice (I used chironji, raisins and cashews)


      Heat ghee. Add flour and dry fruits and fry till they turn brown. Add bananas and fry some more. Heat milk and add this mix to milk. Keep stirring, you will see the mixture thickening. Take off from stove. If it thickens more for your taste, add some milk before serving.

      Serve warm or cold.