Monday, May 30, 2011

Eggless date cake with sour cream

I had always wanted to bake this ever since I read about it on Bong Mom's cookbook. Yesterday I got a chance to.. What better day than your parents 45th Anniversary to bake an eggless cake. Though they aren't here with us in Bangalore, we thought it was a good idea to celebrate the day.

I mostly followed the recipe here, except that I used sour cream instead of oil and reduced sugar to 1 tbsp and I felt I could reduce it ever further. I also used whole wheat flour instead of AP and even Yashi got to taste them!


Dates seeds removed- 20
1 cup hot milk

Soak the dates in the milk for about 15-20 mins. 

In the blender, make a smooth mix with-
The dates soaked in milk
1 tbsp sugar (reduce sugar if you like your cakes less sweet)

My mix was a bit coarse, and I loved the taste of chewy dates in between my cake bites.

Sift together 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking soda.
To this add, the blended mix and 1/2 cup sour cream

Optional- add nuts (I skipped this)
Combine all ingredients together. 

Grease a baking dish, pour batter into it and bake at 180 deg for 25-30 mins. Serve as is, Bong Mom suggests serving with icecream. But we had this for breakfast and it tasted good with a cup of warm milk :)

Posting pic soon!

Edit- 30 May 2.54 pm
Pic- One of the many servings of this cake that we had-

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tomato and cheese pasta

1 medium chopped onion
1 tsp garlic paste
5 medium tomatoes chopped / can use tomato puree
Optional- 1/2 cup grated carrots, chopped mushrooms
1 tsp oregano / basil 
1/2 cup mozarella cubed
2 tbsps butter
1/2 cup water
4 cups cooked pasta

In a wok, heat butter and cook the onions, veggies and tomato tilll done. Add basil, water and cook simmered till you get a sauce like consistency. 
Add the cubed mozarella and pasta. Mix well to combine. Let the cheese melt a bit on the stove before you turn off the flame. Serve warm.
You can also serve this sauce on top of your cooked pasta.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cooking pasta in the rice cooker

This is a novel way of using your rice cooker. Cooking pasta in the rice cooker is easy and hassle free.This is how-
In the cooker, fill water to cover your pasta. Add some oil (1 tsp) and salt. Let the water boil. Once it is boiling nicely, dump the pasta and mix well. 
Let it cook for a couple of mins. Stir in between. Let it cook till it's done.

Here is a pic I took when I was midway through boiling mine :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chhole in Malabar Spinach / green gravy


1 cup Chickpeas- washed and soaked overnight, pressure-cooked with 1 cup water for one whistle and simmered for another 10 mins.
2 cups Bachele soppu in Kannada (I don't know the name in Hindi, in English, I think it is known as Malabar Spinach), cleaned and boiled, then blended for 2 mins.
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Oil to cook
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 chopped onion, 1 chopped tomato
1 tsp coriander, turmeric, garam Masala Powder
Salt to Taste
Optional- can add 1 medium sized boiled potato. I did

Heat oil in a wok. Add cumin and let them change color. Now add the onions and ginger garlic paste. Add the chopped tomato and the dry spices, salt. Cover and cook till done. The oil should separate from the masalas.
Add the blended greens and chhole with the water in which you cooked it. Stir, cover and simmer for 10 mins or so, stirring in between.

Serve warm with rice / rotis.

The leaves of this greens I have used here are succulent and mucilaginous after cooking, It makes a good base for soups, stews and curries like these. If you know the Hindi name, let me know. I wish I had clicked a pic of the plant, it used to grow in the house we resided in before. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chana dal aur lauki- sabzi ya dal!

Lauki aur Dal - Bottlegourd in Lentils

1 medium sized Bottle Guard - cubed (I don't peel but just scrape it)
1 cup Chana dal or Bengal Gram- washed and soaked in 1 cup water for an hour or so
1 oinion chopped
1 tomato chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste
Cilantro / dhania for garnish

For tempering-
1 tsp cumin or panch phoran
pinch of heeng / asafoetida
1 tsp oil/ ghee

Mix all the ingredients except the tempering and pressure cook for one whistle, simmer for a couple of mins.
In a tadka pan, heat oil/ ghee, add the seeds, let splutter. Add the heeng and turn off flame immediately. Pour in the dal. Mix well and cover for a couple of mins before serving with rotis or rice. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Panch phoran - five spices

The origin of Panch phoran would be Oriya or Bengali I think. It is increasingly used in Bihar and UP as well. 
Five spices are mixed in equal proportions and this is used for tempering in all dishes and also dry-roasted and powdered on some, like raita / mango chutney.

The five spices that are used are-

Fennel seed / saunf
Fenugreek  / methi
Cumin / jeera
Nigella / kalonji
Mustard / rai (black or brown)
To my Panch phoran I also add white / black or both types of sesame seed / til as well so it becomes a mix of six spices.

Til / sesame has several health benefits, it is a rich source of copper, magnesium and calcium.

Mix them all in equal proportions and store. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bihari Khichdi

Khichdi has become a staple at our home ever since Yashi started eating! After that, it has always been daliya khichdi, poha or khichdi for lunch.

This is ho we make it (recipe follows). However simple and boring it may sound, once the Khichdi is served with all its accompaniments, it make a complete and wholesome meal, and not to forget, tasty too! In Bihar they say,
Khichdi ke chaar yaar
Ghee, Papad, dahi achaar

(wah, wah!)

Our recipe-

1/2 cup mixed dal (tur, moong)
3/4 to 1 cup rice
 (usually the proportion is 1/2 cup dal and 1/2 cup rice but you can vary this as per your liking)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric
(Can add optionally- chopped onion, tomato, carrot, peas, potato)

for tempering-
1 tsp oil
1 tsp zeera / cumin or 1 tsp panch phoran
a pinch of hing or asafoetida

Clean and wash dals and the rice. Mix them together, add enough water (usually more than double), salt, turmeric and pressure cook till done (one whistle, and simmer for a couple of mins)
Once the pressure is cooled, check for consistency. Add some water if needed.
Prepare the tempering. Heat the tadka pan, add oil, the seeds and let them splutter. Turn off flame, add hing and add to the cooked khichdi. Serve with "chaar yaar"

Papads can be roasted in the microwave in a couple of mins. Ghee should be heated a bit and served. And dahi / curd should be served with the second serving :)

Aloo palak paneer / potatoes and paneer in spinach gravy

I have started blogging after a long break. As much as I check my Gmail, I check the events and roundups blog too! And I saw it updated with a lot of new events. What bored me is that most events are based on making summer coolers! How many of these do you need! Amongst them, I also saw the Spinach based event - Veggie or fruit of the month- Spinach being hosted by Reshmi of rasoi. Also check  Priya's Event Page.

I am sending this to the event, and I am sure that this will be one of the most common entries too :) But there is a twist in my recipe, and I am hoping that this is not there in the other submissions. Not many people would use cream / milk in a palak curry, would they?

My recipe-

3 cups spinach cleaned and chopped
1 large potato, boiled, peeled and chopped
200 gms paneer
1 tomato chopped
1 onion chopped
1 tsp ginger garic paste
1 cup milk / 1/2 a cup of cream
1 tsp each of turmeric, coriander and garam masala
1 tsp cumin
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste

Boil the spinach in the pressure cooker for one whistle with a bit of water or alternately cook in the micro with a bit of water. Blend coarsely with the water.

In a kadhai / wok, heat oil, add 1 tsp cumin and let it splutter. Add onions and ginger garlic paste, fry till it lightly browns. Add tomatoes and cook till done. If you want, you can puree it in the blender too.
Add the dry spices and mix well. Add potato, paneer and continue to cook for a couple of mins till it browns a bit. Add spinach puree, cook for another couple of mins. Now add the milk or cream and let simmer for a bit. Turn off flame. Serve with rotis / as you wish.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Khatta meetha aam ka achaar / Mango pickle

This is called Gudamma in Bihari cuisine. It is aam (mango) preserved in Gud syrup (Jaggery)
We have recently moved to a ground floor apartment in Koramangala 3 Block. There is a mango tree in the neighbouring house, and whenever it gets windy, some mangoes fall in our area too. (It is a different thing that whenever they fall on the tin shed in the neighbouring house, you feel as if someone has bombed them! (Another of India / US most wanted terrorists is our neighbour, with 5 wives or what!)

I never bothered about the mangoes, until one day, Selvi, Yashi's nanny brought them from outside and said I could use them up. Then I decided to try the gudamma thing.

I have tried to make a healthy and less time-taking version of the gudamma. My recipe-

3 raw mangoes
1/2 cup water

I did not peel the mangoes. Their peels have antioxidant properties and also adds to dietary fiber. Read here
Remove the stone, cut them up into small pieces. Add the water and cook them in a microsafe dish for 6-8 mins on full power.

1 tsp oil
1 tsp panch phoran
1-2 split red chillies
1 tsp haldi / turmeric
1/4 cup jaggery or sugar (increase quantity to taste)

In a wok, add 1 tsp oil, add split red chillies (I skipped this), add the panch phoran, add the turmeric and the cooked mango mix along with jaggery. Cook on sim for a few mins till the mixture thickens. Store in a container. Serve with parathas / rice dal / anything you like. Will stay in the fridge for a couple of days.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Raw mango in Lentils / Kairi dal


1 Raw mango, cut into 1" long pieces along with the peel (and if you like, the stone too!)
1/2 cup mixed dal / any dal (I used chana dal and soaked it for 15-20 mins before cooking)
1 cup water
1 tsp oil / ghee
1 tsp panch phoran
1 onion chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric
a pinch of asafoetida

Pressure cook the dal with the water, raw mango, chopped onion, turmeric and salt. 
In a tadka pan, heat oil / ghee, add the tempering and let the seeds splutter. Add the heeng, turn off flame and pour into cooked dal. Serve hot!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Khoya methi matar


Fenugreek leaves (methi) 2 cups cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup Green peas (I used the frozen ones)
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
oil to cook
1 tsp each of turmeric, coriander and garam masala powder
Salt to taste
1/4 cup crumbled khoya
1/4 cup milk (can sub khoya and milk with cream as well)
Cook the chopped methi leaves in a micro safe dish with a bit of water for 3-4 mins on 100 % power in the micro. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok, add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste, cook till it lightly browns. Add tomatoes and cook till done. Add the methi leaves and saute.Add the dry spices and the peas. Cook for a few mins till the peas appear cooked. Add the crumbled khoya and mix well. Cook for couple of mins till it mixes well. Add milk to thin out the gravy, reduce if you want it thicker. (I skipped the milk and added water) If using cream, add cream after the peas and cook for a couple of mins. Turn off flame. 

The sweetness of the khoya goes well with the mild bitterness of the methi. Another time that I make this, I will blend the methi leaves and see how this turns out.

Friday, May 6, 2011

gwar (gavar) ki phalli ki sabzi / cluster beans veggie

Did you ever think there could be a veggie called Gavar? I thought it would only be people!!
Some days back I went on a back with Silvi, Yashi's nanny and Yashi. We saw this veggie being sold and I have never made this myself. I asked Silvi if she knew and she said she would tell me how to do it. I bought 200 gms of this veggie.

Silvi cleaned it - tops and tails removed and broken into 1" pieces. I nuked it for a couple of mins before cooking on stove.

While searching on the net for Gorekai, that is what Gavar is called in Kannada, I found this and this.
Looks like these beans are rich in protein, soluble fibre and also helps in reducing cholestrol levels.


200 gms gwar ki phali/cluster beans (tops, tails removed, cooked in micro with a bit of water for 4-5 mins)
2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp panch phoran
1 heaped tbsp besan or gram flour
1 tsp each of turmeric and coriander powder
1 onion, 1 tomato chopped
salt to taste
1 tsp lemon juice


Heat oil in a pan. Add panch phoran, add onion and fry till translucent. Now add besan and fry till it turns color. Add tomato, salt, and the dry spices. Cook for a couple of mins. Now add beans along with the water and cover and cook. When the beans are done, add lemon juice, turn off flame, stir and keep covered for a couple of mins.

Serve warm with rotis.

The beans are slightly bitter in taste so I think adding a bit of coconut also would add to the flavor.

I am sending this to MLLA 35 hosted by Kannada cuisine with renewed gusto and energy!
Also check Susan's hostlineup.

Kaarasaaram: Healing Foods - Mango : Roundup and Winners

Kaarasaaram: Healing Foods - Mango : Roundup and Winners

This is the roundup. My entry to this event was Mango Shrikhand esp made for Yashi!

And this is my award-

Thanks Reva!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

mango custard with semiyan

The Fun N Sun event has been announced by Tickling palettes for her Blog's 3rd birthday! Check out her blog here. Look at the lovely logo for the event Fun N Sun!
I am sending my entry Mango with Semiyan (Now writing that reminds me of Delhi!! haha)

1 bowl custard semiyan
As posted earlier here- Custard Sewiyan
I have made it with vanilla flavored custard.

Pulp of one mango either blended or crushed with a potato masher

Cool the custard, keep it refrigerated till serving. After you have blended the mango, store it till serving in the fridge too.
Mix them well before serving. Adjust sugar if mango is not too sweet. Serve chilled as dessert or morning breakfast with muesli or evening snack too!

Cool Aam Panna

Raw mango is abundantly available in this season and a good way to enjoy the benefits of raw mango is Aam panna. Raw mango has several health benefits- it is a source of vitamin C and prevents summer indigestions. Raw mango is a rich source of pectin, which reduces after formation of stone. Aam panna is a remedy for heat exhaustion and heat stroke (Loo lag jaana).
Info compiled from Wikipedia :)

blended raw mango
2 medium-sized green mangoes
Sugar/jaggery  – As per taste
Black Salt (Kala Namak) – 1 ½ tbsp
Freshly roasted and ground Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
pepper - 1 tsp
Mint leaves for garnishing (optional- I didn't have this)

Peel the mangoes. Cut into 3, with flesh in 2 slices and the stone in one slice. Pressure cook for one whistle with half a cup of water. Let the pressure come off, allow to cool.
Squeeze pulp from the stones and discard them, Blend the pulp coarsely.
Pour in a vessel, add sugar / jaggery, cumin and pepper powder, salt. You can puree the mint leaves too, or use them as garnish. Store this in a clean bottle / jar. It will stay good for a couple of days in the fridge.

To make your aam panna drink-
Add 3-5 tbsps in a glass. Add some cold water. Serve with mint leaves as garnish and some ice cubes. This is also a good appetizer.

This is heading to 2 events-
Only Coolers and Mocktails at Simply sensational food, Check Pari's page here

and to Summer Coolers at Saffron Streaks
I also tried this by replacing sugar / jaggery with 2 tbsp litchi pulp. It tasted good too :)

topless tarts roundup- email from Jeanne

Hello, all you lovely topless tarts!
Thanks so much for participating in this month's Monthly Mingle - I had a ball going through your entries! I have now posted the round-up on CookSister - please do go and take a look and please feel free to link to it from your own sites:
Don't forget - the next edition of the Monthly Mingle is being hosted by Juls of Juls' Kitchen - go and see her announcement post for further details!

Twitter:  @Cooksisterblog

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Veggie/Fruit a Month - Pineapple Round Up

Here's the roundup for a veggie or fruit a month- radish
Check the link here by Sweetartichoke.
My recipe was the filling of sattu roti.

The next announcement is that of A Worldly Epicurean’s Delight, better known as A.W.E.D. and this time it is Swiss cuisine! Any ideas?

Here's the roundup for MEC Lunch Box by Lata

My entry was Peas Pulav :)

Potato sagoo and rava idlis

2-3 medium sized boiled potatoes, peeled and mashed roughly
1 onion chopped
1 large tomato chopped
1 tsp chopped curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 pinch Asafetida
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp all spice / garam masala
1 tsp Gram flour (besan) mixed with 1 tbsp warm water so that no lumps are there
oil for cooking
water for gravy

Heat oil in a wok, add mustard, curry leaves , asafoetida and onion and fry till the onions turn transparent. Add tomato, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder, fry till the oil separates.
Add the mashed potatoes, salt, and water. Boil for about 5-6 mins, add the gram flour mixed with water. (I read this tip on a blog, that it helps to bind)

Serve with hot idlis.

This is heading to Breakfast Mela at Srivalli's. Also wishing her a great Blogiversary :)

Rava Ragi idlis-

2 cups idli rava
2-3 tbsp ragi
1 cup curd
chopped coriander, green chilly, salt ( I skipped this)
1/4 tsp eno salt
Some colourful chopped veggies (carrot, french beans) and curry leaves (optional) ( I skipped this)

Mix all ingredients in the idli rava (if you are in the mood for it, you can roast the rava with mustard seeds in 1 tsp oil till it turns a darker color) Add water if needed and make a thick batter. Keep separate for atleast 10 minutes.
Use a microwave-safe idli stand. Add 1 cup boiled water to the pan, and smear the moulds with a little oil. Add eno salt at the last stage and immediately drop spoonfuls of batter in the moulds. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Soft spongy healthy idli is ready.

The Ragi idlis are going to WWC Ragi for breakfast hosted by Kalyani. Also check Sanjeetha's link here.

ek garam chai ki pyali ho..

Rahul won in the essay writing competition and he bought 2 zoozoo mugs with the Shoppers' stop voucher he got. Mine is here-

Isn't it lovely? :)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spinach and carrot thick soup

I have kept a nurse for my baby since the past 5 days or so. Yashi doesn't like her yet but I am hoping she will get used to her and I will be able to soon come back to work.Office has shifted from Jayanagar to Bommannahalli and I feel as if my second home has shifted!!

The nurse, her name is Silvi, told me a recipe for spinach soup. I altered it a bit and made it some days back. Bangalore is rainy and gets a bit cold in the evening, just the right weather for a bowl of soup! and what could be better than home-made healthy soup?

The recipe- (serves 3)
2 cups spinach cleaned (1 fresh bunch is good)
2 carrots medium sized cleaned
2 tomatoes tops removed and cut in halves

Boil them with half a cup of water in a pressure cooker for one whistle. Let cool. Blend in a mixer for a couple of mins. Use some water if it gets too thick.

Before serving-
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp powdered mustard seeds (can use whole too)
1/2 cup milk

Heat a wok, add ghee and add mustard seeds. Pour the blended mix in and add milk. Bring to a boil. Serve in 3-4 bowls, along with toasted bread or soup-sticks.

Before serving- youc an skip the ghee etc and just add some fresh cream or butter and can serve with poached egg and toast for breakfast too!

I am sending this to Mina's Healthy meals for kids events.

Also check Srivalli’s blog for Kid's Delight post