CHOCOLATE CHIP BISCUITS






This is a very simple and easy to make biscuit recipe. I came across this recipe at Menu Rani Chellam’s cookery show where she made Hyderabadi or dry fruit biscuits. The original recipe called for tutti frutti or cherries but I replaced it with chocolate chips and cashews. You can either use chocolate chips or chop the regular chocolate into small pieces.

CARROT BELL PEPPER RICE

 
 
 
 
 
This is a perfect lunch box special recipe which is easy to cook and tastes delicious. Bell peppers and carrots add a nice flavour to the dish. 


Serves: 6
Ingredients

4 to 5 tbsp oil
1 cardamom, 1 cinnamon
2 onions
3 tbsp garlic ginger paste
2 tomatoes
2 carrots
2 bell peppers (1 yellow, 1 green)
2 tsp red chilli powder
1 ½ tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp coconut paste
3 cups rice washed and soaked in water for ½ an hour
6 cups water
3 tbsp coriander leaves

Method

First cut the carrots, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions into thin slices and set aside. Then heat oil in a pressure cooker, add onions, cardamom and cinnamon and sauté till onions turn golden. Then add garlic and ginger paste and sauté for a few minutes. Then add tomatoes, red chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well and cook till oil starts separating. Then add carrots and bell peppers. Cook for a minute. Then add coriander leaves and coconut paste. Mix well and add drained rice and stir for a minute. Finally add water, close the lid and pressure cook for 10 minutes or up to 3 whistles. Serve hot.








Sending this to Healthy cooking challenge: healthy lunch event hosted by Kavi and started by Smitha

EGGS IN SPINACH GRAVY






This is a very simple and easy to cook dish. It goes well with chapathi, roti and naan.

Ingredients

4 eggs hard boiled
A big bunch of Spinach leaves cleaned
1 Big onion chopped
1 Big tomato pureed
½ tbsp garlic paste
½ tbsp ginger paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp salt
A pinch of asafoetida
3 tbsp Oil
2 to 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Method

Boil the spinach leaves with sufficient water for 5 minutes. Once cooked, drain the excess water and grind it along with onion into a fine paste. Then heat oil in a pan, add garlic paste and ginger paste and sauté for some time. Then add red chilli powder, salt, asafoetida and the onion- spinach paste. Mix well and cook for a minute. Then add tomato paste. Cook till oil starts separating. Then add ½ cup of water and bring to a boil. Cut the eggs into half and add to the gravy. Stir well and allow it to cook for a few minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.


CAPSICUM DATES CUSTARD




This is my entry for the Master Chef Contest on IndiBlogger. Since the standard of Master Chef is very high, we wanted to create something which is very unique and innovative. So I and my mom zeroed in on capsicum and tried making a sweet dish out of it. Using capsicums in a sweet dish was a challenge, but it came out well and had a distinct flavour and aroma. Since we used capsicums of different colours along with dates and strawberry flavoured custard powder, our dessert looked vibrant and colourful. Making this dish and eating it was an enjoyable experience as it was the first time we made something which we have never heard or seen before.

Serves: 4
Ingredients

2 capsicums cut into very small strips (different colours)
10 dates deseeded and cut into strips
2 ½ cups milk
1 ½ tbsp custard powder
5 to 6 tbsp sugar
1 tsp honey (optional)

Method

Boil the capsicums in 2 to 3 cups of water till they are cooked. Drain the water and set aside in a bowl. Then heat 2 cups of milk in a pan, when it starts boiling, add sugar and cook till the sugar dissolves. Then add capsicums and dates. Stir for a minute. Dissolve custard powder in ½ cup of milk and add to the pan. Check for sugar. When the custard starts thickening, remove from pan and pour into bowls. Allow it to cool and refrigerate. Add honey on top and serve cold.




MEXICAN VEGETABLE RICE






Ingredients

4 tbsp oil
2 onions chopped
1 ½ tbsp chopped garlic cloves
1 big capsicum deseeded and cut into thin strips
2 tomatoes chopped
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp green chilli sauce
1 ¼ tsp salt
2 cups rice washed and soaked in water for ½ an hour
4 cups water

Method

Heat oil in a pressure cooker; add onions and sauté for some time. Then add chopped garlic cloves and capsicums and cook for a minute. Now add tomatoes, red chilli powder, green chilli sauce and salt. (You can alternatively, omit the green chilli sauce and increase the quantity of red chilli powder).Mix well and cook till the oil starts separating. Add the drained rice and mix well. Finally add water, stir well, close the lid and cook up to 3 whistles or 10 minutes. Serve hot.

AN EXCELLENT PRODUCT TO SAVE TIME

We live in a world where we are hard pressed for time. In spite of the fact that technology has advanced so much and made our lives comfortable and fast, we still don’t have time in hand. This however was not the case with our ancestors. They did not have access to fast moving vehicles, time saving gadgets and work reducing appliances. They lived in an age when they walked or bicycled to work, did everything manually from grinding masalas to pulling water from well to washing clothes with crude soaps or reetha soaked in water. Every task took hours to finish but they still had time to pot and water plants, enjoy the rains, listen to their grandmother’s stories, visit relatives and chat with friends over a cup of tea.

Our generation is blessed with an easy going and chore free life. But we are missing the small but essential things that our ancestors once enjoyed. Work and household chores fill most of our lives and we don’t find much time for recreation, pursuing our hobbies and spending time with family and friends. With gadgets like mixer grinders, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dish washers, etc the burden of household chores have reduced considerably in several homes but we still need to use a perfect brand or product to get our work done efficiently and in less time. Take clothes for that matter. In spite of having a washing machine, we had to wash the stains before putting it into the washing machine since the detergent was not effective enough to clean it. However this will soon be a thing of the past because with Surf excel matic there is no need to wash clothes beforehand. Just put it in the washing machine and rest assured that your clothes will come out clean. So easy isn’t it? Products like these will surely reduce our work load and make life easy.

Now because of Surf excel if I get 2 extra hours in a day, I would first make a list and note down all the things that I had wanted to do since a long time. Play ludo with my family, go shopping with them, visit relatives, organize a small get together at home, call up my friends with whom I had lost touch, read books, watch movies or cartoons, play video games, etc. The list goes endless. One from the list everyday and I will be more than happy with myself. What a boon it would be to get these 2 hours and use it to tie up the missing threads in my life....


This is my entry to the Surf excel matic contest on Indiblogger.

KHEEMA PARATHA/ CEYLON PARATHA





Kheema paratha or ceylon paratha is a delicious and popular paratha. Here whole wheat rotis and spicy minced meat (kheema) filling is prepared and the kheema is placed between two rotis and sealed with egg mixture. You can prepare the kheema in advance and use it to make the parathas. These parathas serve as a filling meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Alternately you can also prepare Kheema wraps which will be a perfect lunch box recipe.

PENNE PASTA WITH VEGETABLES




This is a simple pasta recipe using very few ingredients. It tastes delicious and can be cooked in just about 20 minutes.

Ingredients

200 gms penne pasta
3 to 4 tbsp oil
1 carrot chopped or sliced
1 capsicum chopped or sliced
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp chilli garlic sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 ½ tsp pepper powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp coriander leaves (optional)

Method

Boil 5 cups of water with 1 ½ tsp salt. Then switch off the gas and add the pasta to the water. Close a lid and set aside for 10 minutes. Then drain the water, pass the pasta through cold water and set aside. Now for preparing the sauce, heat oil in a pan, add onions and saute for a minute. Then add carrots, capsicums and stir fry for some time. (You can add more vegetables if you want.) Then add chilli garlic sauce, tomato sauce, pepper powder and salt. Mix well and cook for a minute. Finally add pasta and coriander leaves. Mix well, transfer to a bowl and serve hot.

Optional

To add more taste to the pasta, you can beat an egg, season with pepper and salt and make an omelette. Cut this into thin 1" slices and add this to the pasta sauce after you have added the tomato and chilli sauce.

CHILLI GOBI/ SPICY CAULIFLOWER GRAVY





I came across the Chilli Gobi recipe at World of tastes and tried it recently. I made small changes to her recipe to suit our taste. The gravy turned out delicious and all credit goes to Roshna for explaining it so well. The gravy can be served with fried rice, noodles or even with roti and naan.

Ingredients

1 cauliflower cut into florets
Oil for frying

For the marinade
4 to 5 tbsp maida
3 tbsp corn flour
½ tsp Garlic paste
½ tsp ginger paste
1 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp tomato sauce
1 tsp chilli sauce or red chilli powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1/3 tsp salt

For the gravy
2 tbsp oil
2 medium sized onions sliced
2 to 3 tbsp chopped spring onions
½ a capsicum sliced
8 big pods of garlic chopped finely
1” piece of ginger chopped finely
2 green chillies
1 ½ tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp chilli sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce
½ tsp vinegar
1 tsp pepper powder
1/3 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp corn flour dissolved in ¼ cup of water

Method

First heat water in a pan; when it starts boiling, add the cauliflower florets, switch off the gas and let it remain in hot water for 5 to 7 minutes. Then drain the water and take the florets in a bowl. Add all the ingredients of the marinade and mix well. It should completely cover the florets. If necessary add more all purpose flour, chilli or salt. Close a lid and set aside. You can allow it to marinate for 3 to 4 hours but this is optional. Then heat oil in a pan and deep fry the florets till golden brown in colour. Set aside. This is delicious and can be served as a starter too.

Now for preparing the gravy heat oil in a pan, add chopped garlic and ginger and sauté for some time. Then add chopped onions and spring onions, whole green chillies and capsicums and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add all the 3 sauces along with vinegar, pepper powder, salt and sugar. Mix all the ingredients well. Bring to a boil. Now add corn flour dissolved in water and mix. Cook till boils appear. Finally add the florets, stir well and cook in low flame for about 5 minutes. Garnish with spring onion greens and serve hot.




Sending this to bookmarked recipes event.




GARLIC CHICKEN




Ingredients

200 gms boneless chicken cut into small pieces
1 ½ tbsp corn flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp oil

For the gravy

2 tbsp oil
1 capsicum chopped
1 onion chopped
10 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp tomato sauce
1/3 tsp salt
½ tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp pepper powder
2 cups chicken stock
¼ cup spring onions chopped

Method

First boil the chicken pieces with 2 ½ cups water and ¼ tsp salt in a pressure cooker for 5 minutes or 1 whistle. Allow it to cool, set aside the chicken stock for later use and take the chicken pieces in a bowl. Add corn flour and 1 to 2 tbsp water and coat the chicken completely with the paste. Heat a pan and stir fry this in 2 tbsp oil for 1 to 2 minutes and set aside. Then add 2 tbsp oil to the same pan, add garlic and stir fry for a minute. Then add onions and sauté till golden. Now add capsicum and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add soya sauce, tomato sauce, red chilli powder, pepper powder, and salt. Mix well. Then add spring onions and corn flour dissolved in chicken stock to the gravy. Cook till boils appear. Finally add chicken pieces, mix well and cook for a few seconds in low flame. Serve hot with fried rice, roti or even plain rice.


FINGER MILLET FLATBREAD/ RAGI KI ROTI - WITH STEP BY STEP PHOTOS





Finger millets or ragi are rich sources of fiber and help in reducing cholesterol level and cooling the body. They are also recommended for people suffering from diabetes. I had already done a post on this but this is a more detailed version with relevant pictures.

Ingredients
3 cups finger millet flour
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
Oil

Method
Boil water in a pan along with salt. When water starts boiling, reduce the heat and add the flour. Mix well. When water has evaporated, switch off the gas and let the dough cool. When it is slightly warm sprinkle some water and knead the dough. Then make small balls, flatten it and set aside. Now take a plastic board and use this to roll the dough. (We are using this because the ragi dough is quite sticky and usually sticks to the bottom and to the rolling pin). Grease the surface, your hand and rolling pin with oil. Apply a drop of oil on either sides of the dough ball and roll it into a round shape of about 1/8” thickness. Then take a circular lid and place over it such that it cuts the roti into a round shape. Put the extra bits back to the dough. Transfer the roti to a pan and cook on one side. Turnover, add 1 tsp of oil, and cook for some time and again turn to the other side. Cook till the roti slightly puffs up or gets dark brown spots on both sides. In this way cook all the other rotis.






This recipe makes about 12 rotis. It tastes best with groundnut chutney.

Tips:

1. Do not roll the dough very thin as the roti will break when you transfer or turn.
2. Always cover the dough with a lid or cloth. If it becomes dry it will be difficult to roll it into a roti.
3. In case the dough becomes dry, just dab your hand with water and knead again.




WHAT TO MAKE ON EID DAY/ EID SPECIAL RECIPES




Festival celebrations are incomplete without delicious food. The dishes made, the ingredients used and the method of cooking differ from region to region and festival to festival but the spirit of serving good food and celebrating with family and friends is the common thread that binds all together.

On festival days, an assortment of delicacies are made and served for family and friends. I am giving below some of the most delicious dishes that we make on Eid day. You can click on the links to get the recipe. I am sure you will have a wonderful time enjoying these…


BAGAARE BAINGAN/ FRIED BRINJAL GRAVY



Bagaare Baingan is a very popular Brinjal delicacy. It is made in several different ways. This is one method of making it. Another variation of this Khatte baingan is also very popular and is a must have with Biryani.

Ingredients

12 to 14 small Brinjals
3 tbsp oil
1 onion chopped
½ tbsp garlic paste
½ tbsp ginger paste
2 tomatoes deseeded and made into a paste
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp salt
4 tbsp coconut paste
3 tbsp coriander leaves
Oil for frying

Method

First take the Brinjals, remove the stem and cut each into 4 pieces. Wash and pat dry with a towel, and deep fry in oil till they turn soft. Once done, transfer this to a plate and set aside. Then heat oil in a pan, add onions and sauté till they turn golden. Then add garlic paste, ginger paste and sauté till the raw smell goes. Then add tomato paste, red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and cook till oil starts separating. Then add coconut paste dissolved in ½ cup of water, coriander leaves and fried Brinjals. Stir well and bring it to a boil. Then reduce heat, close a lid and cook for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Sending this to  Dish it out event hosted by Sangee and Only curries event hosted by Kamalika started by Pari.

BLACK EYED BEAN BALLS / LOBIA KE KOFTE




This is a new recipe from my mother. Black eyed beans are rich source of proteins and very healthy. Even though we have deep fried it in oil, you can shallow or stir fry.

Ingredients

1 cup Black eyed beans (lobia/ karamani)

3 tbsp all purpose flour (maida)

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

A pinch of asafoetida

½ tsp garam masala

1/3 tsp salt

2 to 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Oil for frying

Method

Wash and soak the black eyed beans for at least 8 hours in about 3 cups of water. Transfer the beans with the water to a pressure cooker, add ¼ tsp salt, close the lid and cook for 10 minutes or 2 whistles. Once done, allow it to cool, remove the excess water and grind it to a fine paste. Take the paste in a bowl; add maida, red chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder, asafoetida, salt and coriander leaves and mix well. Heat oil in a pan, and when oil is hot enough; take small balls from the mixture and deep fry till golden brown. Drain off the excess oil and serve hot. It can be served as an evening snack with tea or as a side dish with rice and curry.

Sending this to winter carnival event hosted by Radhika.



ALOO PARATHA




I had bookmarked this recipe after seeing it at Uma's blog. Her step by step pictures and method were very easy to understand and inspired me to try it. The parathas came out perfect and were a big hit at home. It took just about 45 minutes to make these.


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