December 27, 2013

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

How to make Double Chocolate Chip Cookies


           If you love Chocolate, then you can't afford to miss out on these decadent cookies. Why would you, when you get double (triple, actually) the dose of chocolate in it. There should be a caffeine-alert sign placed near these yummy cookies with all that chocolate going into it. A couple of these cookies are sure to give you a caffeine jolt. Yeah, these mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies are mixed with melted chocolate chips and baked with more chocolate chips with just the right amount of sweetness, it's impossible to stop, after eating one of these deliciously decadent cookies. Chewy in the center, crisp on the edge; easy to make at home and fun for everyone to eat. I just love these when they are warm & just out of the oven. I can't believe how many of these were gone, even before it hit the dining table. Of course, my son & I reminded ourselves that we had to save some for Santa. Boy, am I glad that Santa is not like the Hindu gods & goddesses & doesn't mind having pre-tasted cookies ;o)


How to make Double Chocolate Chip Cookies


Makes about 27 Delicious Cookies

Ingredients:

2 oz Milk Chocolate chips
1/4 cup Butter, Softened
1/4 cup Shortening
3/4 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 oz (60% Cocoa) Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

Special Equipment's required:
An electric mixer





December 20, 2013

Irresistible Hot Cocoa/Chocolate

How to make an Irresistible Hot Cocoa in 3 minutes

                 
         There's something about hot chocolate - A well made hot chocolate can brighten your day & bring a smile on your face, even when the skies are gray with sub zero temperatures and the only flowers are the icicles on the eaves and the beads on each twig. There's nothing better than sipping on a mug of piping hot cocoa with X'mas songs in the background & watching a snow covered territory; all from the comfort of staying warm indoors; at least for me.

         Most of us just use the ready mix to make Hot Cocoa; i did too, until i tried this recipe. Now i don't think I'll ever go back to the store-bought mix again. If you like the convenience of the mix, you can store all the dry ingredients in a jar & just add milk & Vanilla, when you are ready to serve. The store bought mix has a lot besides Sugar & Cocoa - artificial flavors, preservatives, colors & what not. Plus, when you make your own; you can control the sweetness as well as the amount of chocolate (X 2) that goes in it. Plain hot cocoa is something in itself, but with whipped cream & chocolate shavings on top, imagine the smooth & creamy deliciousness in your mouth & you will want one right away :) You can even drop a square of your favorite chocolate into it.



How to make an Irresistible Hot Cocoa in 3 minutes


Ingredients for 1 serving:

2 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tsp Cocoa powder (Go for the best)
Dash of Salt
1 Cup of Milk
1/4 Tsp Vanilla extract
Unsweetened Whipped Cream
Grated Chocolate/Chocolate shavings
Few Marshmallows (optional)






December 15, 2013

Kariveppillai Podi / Spiced Curry leaf Powder

How to make Kariveppillai Podi/Spiced Curry Leaf Powder


          The name itself, takes me back to the days when we would get requests from the kitchen for fresh Curry leaves.  We had a tree in the backyard, that was two stories high, so we would go to the roof of the building to lean over & grab a few tender Curry leaves for cooking. Although  they're an essential component of South Indian cooking; they add a subtle aroma and complexity to simple dishes. Most of the time, the Curry leaves are promptly picked out of the plate & discarded. Is it because, we are not aware of it's nutritional benefits? These dark green leaves are believed to possess anti-diabetic properties amongst numerous others health benefits.

           This recipe is one attempt at preventing the disregard that we have for  the humble Curry Leaf. Ever have lot of curry leaves around & wonder what to do with them? Try this recipe and serve it with hot rice with a drizzle of sesame oil/ghee; it also tastes delicious sprinkled on curd rice. Some even like it with Idli's & Dosa's too. I'm sending this delicious recipe from Meenakshi Ammal's book to this week's CCChallenge.


How to make Kariveppillai Podi/Spiced Curry Leaf Powder


Ingredients:

Curry Leaves - 2 Cups
4 Dry Red Chillies
1/2 Tbsp Black Peppercorns 
1.5 Tbsp Urad Dal
Marble sized, seedless Tamarind 
A pinch of Asafoetida
1 Tsp Sesame oil
Salt - 1 to 1.5 Tsp as preferred




December 10, 2013

Peerkangai Thuvayal/Ridge Gourd Peel Chutney

How to make Peerkangai Thuvayal/Ridge Gourd Peel Chutney


              When we peel any vegetable/fruit & discard the skin - we are bound to lose some micro nutrients & fiber along with it. Although the skin of the Ridge Gourd looks very tough, almost like an Alligator's back; it gets a little soft on cooking & even better upon grinding. I'm not sure if our grandmother's knew about the micro nutrients or they were trying to efficiently use all parts of a vegetable to feed their families; while cutting back on their grocery bills. The tamarind & other spices added to this Thuvayal adds a punch to this ordinary accompaniment.





Lobia Rassedar / Black Eyed Peas in Aromatic Gravy

How to make Lobia Rassedar


                  I was a stranger to the black eyed peas until my better half introduced these nutritious beans to me.  I wonder why, these tasty beans were never a part of our diet, in my mom's place... Was it because it was not easily available, where we lived? Or was it because, she wasn't exposed to these? Anyways, I'm glad, these beans found me! My better half prepares the black eyed peas a different way, which is also tasty. Sometimes I think about starting a section of 'Bachelor Cooking' on this blog, because there are whole lot of items he can cook; the only problem is, I can never get the measurements right - mostly because, if he's cooking, then he acts as the master chef & treats me like his probie assistant in the kitchen. To top it off, he claims he finished the job in half the time, i take !! I wonder, how that happens ? Jokes apart, there are quite a few of his dishes I'm a fan of, which deserve a space on this blog. I hope he doesn't read this post,  if he does,I'm sure he'll get euphoric & use my words to his advantage someday :)

              For the CCChallenge this week, i decided to take up this recipe from one of  Sanjeev  Kapoor's Simply Vegetarian books. Although I have tweaked the recipe a little bit, to make it more flavorful & creamier - it is a delightful recipe you must try. 


Lobia Rassedar / Black Eyed Peas in Aromatic Gravy



December 6, 2013

Koyya Pazham Puli Kuzhambu / Guava in Tamarind Gravy

How to make Koyya Pazham Puli Kuzhambu


          Guavas are eaten differently in different cultures, but I prefer them just plain, with no dips or sides. They are a little tart & delicious when they are not ripe, which is how I like it. The Mexican Guava beverage (Agua  Fresca)  is refreshing drink, one should try. Guavas have a high level of pectin & are great for making preserves, jams, marmalade's & toffees. Oh... what I wouldn't do for those delicious & chewy guava toffees right now, sigh !!
           
          For this week's post I decided to do one of Chef Jacob's recipe that I had written down in my dairy.  I was so shocked & saddened to the hear the news of his demise at such an early age, last year. He had become a part of so many homes, by being the host of a variety of cookery shows on television. The name of this dish intrigued me, and i made a note to myself  to try this one, the next time i get my hands on some yummy Guavas. I chose, just ripe Apple Guavas (which has a white flesh) so they don't get mushy & disintegrate while cooking. Make sure you remove the seed portion of the fruit, unless you have strong teeth & enjoy eating the seeds as well.


Koyya Pazham Puli Kuzhambu / Guava in Tamarind Gravy


December 1, 2013

Gingery Date Treats

How to make Gingery Date Treats


           These delicious chewy treats were made as a part of the weekend menu for our dear friends, who were visiting us from out of town. I had made Chocolate Cup Cakes with Chocolate Glaze topped with pecans for adults & candies for the kids, which turned to be a hit. I chose this as a second treat because, I wanted something that was egg less for them. I was delighted to find this recipe in a book called 'Incredibly Easy Desserts' just in time for their visit. These treats are a healthy choice for adults & kids as well, with Candied Ginger, Dates & Pecans. If you like Ginger, then you will love the mildly spicy flavor from the candied Ginger combined with the sweetness of the Dates and the crunchiness of the Pecans.


No cook Gingery Date Treats

Makes about 4 dozen

Ingredients:

1.5 cups Gingersnap crumbs (about 20 broken cookies)
1 cup finely chopped Pecans
1 cup finely chopped Dates
1/2 cup finely chopped candied Ginger
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 cup powdered Sugar, divided
1/2 cup light corn syrup





November 24, 2013

Thippili Rasam

How to make Thippili Rasam/Long Pepper Soup


         With the holidays coming up, I had other things on my mind this week & had no clue as to what I was going to post for Valli's CCChallenge this weekend. Although, i did have a few posts in draft; I wanted to make something different. Thanks to my MIL for suggesting this Rasam; after hearing my (mild, but annoying) cough. Whether it's just a tasty treat or a homemade cure for digestive problems or the common cold, I think we should value & preserve our family recipes & techniques, before it's too late. Don't get me wrong, I agree that the modern medicine has millions of concoctions for every ailment in the book; but sometimes, the homemade cure is all you need. Note the underlining here :)

          Thippili (Tamil), Pipara/Pipli (Hindi), also known as Long pepper (Piper longum) is a precious fruit known for the welfare of the digestive and the respiratory systems. These pungent, dried pepper fruits are filled with a myriad of medicinal benefits to our body. It's believed to help in digestion, act as an exceptional expectorant, increase memory & immunity, and strengthen the nervous system. Research Scientists at the Broad Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital have found that, special compounds found in  the Long pepper kills cancer cells. You can find more about Thippili on wiki. Contrary to the name, this is not spicy as you might think (on your tongue), but you can feel the mild heat (think of cloves) down your throat. I found this recipe in a Meenakshi Ammal's cook book, that my mom bought for me to save my future hubby, just before my wedding.


How to make Thippili Rasam/Long Pepper Soup - A herbal cure for many ailments.

November 18, 2013

Cashew Wheat Appam

How to make Instant Cashew Wheat Appam

              As soon as Deepavali was over, we (as kids) used to start looking forward to Karthigai Deepam; reason being that we could repeat some of the favorite rituals again; like lighting up the house with dozens of oil lit lamps, eat some goodies & finish up what ever fireworks was left over from Deepavali. Compared to Diwali, the Karthigai Deepam was much conservative; in the sense, it didn't have the novelty or showiness of Diwali; every aspect was low key & in moderation. Yet, the images run through my mind, when I think of this festival - the purchase of new clay lamps every year, rows of oil lit lamps outside every house, every room in my house had to have a oil lit lamp (requiring frequent inspection & refills) & not to forget the time spent in front of the mirror with the lamps in hand :) Everything looks n times beautiful in candle light, you got to agree!!




               I know this post is a little late - since the Karthigai Deepam is an evening affair, I didn't have the time or privacy to do my post yesterday. If my little one sees me working on the laptop, he expresses various degrees of displeasure, until he successfully takes over & gets in control of the machine.

               The Cashews are optional, but they do add a layer of flavor, when you chew on this delicacy. You can either deep fry in oil or use the Kuzhi Paniyaram pan, if you want to cut down on oil. It tastes delicious, with a crispy outer shell & soft chewy center. There are many variations to the Appam - can be made with Rice flour, All purpose flour/Maida; can be made with sugar instead of Jaggery, etc.




Makes approximately 20 Appams

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Wheat flour
2 Tbsp Rice flour
2-4 Tbsp Roasted & powder Cashew nuts
3 Tbsp Fresh grated Coconut
Salt - a pinch
1/8 Tsp Cardamom powder
3/4 Cup powdered/crumbled Jaggery
Oil - 1/2 cup or less
Ghee - 4 Tbsp



November 8, 2013

Spiced Cauliflower Rice

How to make Spiced Cauliflower Rice


                While I was looking to make something, other than the usual Biryani & I stumbled into this recipe  in a collection of  variety rices book, that I had hardly peeked into.So, this is what I'm sending to the 2nd week of  CCChallenge. Although I wasn't sure how this would turn out; I took a guess based on the ingredients & decided to go ahead, putting the whole family's lunch at stake!

          I turned to check on my 2 year old, just to make sure he is not eating anything toxic, but there he was like a beautiful angel, reading a picture book. He was pointing to the pictures & saying the name of the object & what we do with it. He said Sofa - Sit, Cereal - Eat, Milk - Drink & Bed - Jump!! According to him, the bed is for jumping, but you could sleep on it as well, if you like; which reminded me of the song "5 little monkeys jumping on the bed" & i hope this mama does not need to call the doctor.

           My gamble with the lunch, paid off big time and the result was a mildly spiced, aromatic & flavorful rice with lots of veggies to nurture your family. You can serve it with a Raitha, if you like. I made Beetroot Raitha to go with it (will post that recipe shortly).


Spiced Cauliflower Rice/Pulav



November 3, 2013

Chettinaad Kathirikai Vathakal (Sauteed Brinjal)

How to make Kathirikai Vathakal/Sauteed Brinjal


                      Brinjals are one of the versatile vegetables, don't you think? Anyway you cook it, they adapt to your ingredients & method. Those are some of the reasons, why I use them a lot in my kitchen. This recipe requires no Onions or Tomatoes, so I ended up making this when I ran out of most of the groceries & had just the ingredients needed for this recipe; which i found in a book that Mom had given me. Just in time for the CCChallenge, I had signed up for! This was so good to eat by itself  that half of, what i made, got over even before our meal time. That made me think it could even be served on tooth picks :) A recipe so simple shouldn't be left out, without trying!


Chettinaad Kathirikai Vathakal (Sauteed Brinjal)


November 1, 2013

Coconut Burfi / Candied Coconut bars

How to make Coconut Burfi (with step by step pictures)


           Have you ever tried eating freshly grated Coconut with a sprinkle of Sugar on it? It is so succulent & sweet; no wonder it's used to enhance a variety of dishes like Idiyappam & Puttu etc. Now that we know it's a fail proof combo, how can we doubt the taste of the traditional Thengai Burfi made with just a few simple ingredients at home? My Grandma is known for making this burfi so often, that we started expecting it from her every time we met her; no wonder it's my Dad's favorite sweet from childhood. I made a larger batch, so I can share the joy with my friends for the festival of lights. What are you sharing with your dear ones, for this Diwali?


Coconut Burfi / Candied Coconut bars - A delicacy during festive seaso


October 25, 2013

Sweet Somasi (Karjikai)

How to make Sweet Somasi (with step by step pictures) 


             Weeks before Diwali, Mom & Grandma would start the preparations for Diwali. They would take out the largest containers in the house, to store the sweets & snacks; which would then be distributed to all neighbors, friends & family. Diwali was a mega celebration in my home - I used to look forward to it, even more than my birthday :) 

            The Somasi was only made for Diwali in our house. The filling by itself can be a snack; i had some left over luckily! The outer shell is crispy & not sweet; the inside is coated with the sweet filling & satisfies your sweet tooth. If you have the Somasi mould, it might save you some time; but if you don't, you can still make it successfully, like I did. 


Sweet Somasi (Karjikai) with a easy filling.

Ingredients:

Makes about 20 medium Sized Somasi's
For the filling:
1/2 Cup Roasted Gram (Chutney Dal) - Powdered
White Sugar - 3/4 Cup
Dry Grated Coconut flakes - 2 Tbsp (If using fresh grated coconut, dry roast until it's dry)
Khus-Khus - 1 Tbsp (Dry roasted)
Cardamom powder - 1/4 Tsp
Optional
Broken Cashews - 2 Tbsp roasted in 1 Tsp Ghee

For the shell:
All purpose flour/Maida - 1 Cup
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Salt - 1/4 Tsp
Water - Approximately 1/4 Cup (some extra water for sealing the shell)

Oil for deep frying




October 21, 2013

Mullu Murukku

How to make Mullu Murukku (Easy Diwali Snack)

          Deepavali, is a lot like Christmas for Hindu's, although we are not big on the gifts - we exchange treats!! The thought of Deepavali never fails to excite me, till date. During my tween years, I remember the sleepless nights on the eve of Deepavali, eagerly waiting for somebody to wake up; so I can too. The pre-dawn Ganga Snanam (Oil bath); a huge volume of phone calls & guests who visit, to give their Deepavali greetings & pass on some dry fruits, sweets or even fireworks. I used to get all dolled up, to go to almost every house on the street & share the sweets & savories made in our home. Not to mention, the numerous oil lamps every where you see - in every room of the house, on every window sill & even on the roof, if it was accessible. My brothers on the other hand didn't care much for anything else, except munching on the treats & the fireworks; tons & tons of fireworks :o)

        I first learnt, how to make Kai Murukku's (made using your hands; without a Murukku press) from my great Grandma; she was the one, when it came to making gigantic batches of crunchy-munchy snacks for Deepavali. It's been a while since I thought of her; but now I miss her very much :o( I hope her blessings are with me, although she isn't. OK! I think, I've rambled enough, let's get to the recipe now.


How to make Mullu Murukku/Chakli -Easy Diwali Snack



October 18, 2013

Makki Chi Bhaji (Corn in spiced gravy)

How to make Maharashtrian Makki Chi Bhaji (Corn in spiced gravy)


               If you are looking for something different than your usual accompaniments for your Roti or Rice, then look no further. This Maharashtrian (a state located in the western region of India) side dish made with fresh/frozen Corn, is your answer. The aromatic flavors of the Goda Masala, combined with the sweetness of the Corn & the tanginess of the lemon juice makes this a bold & aromatic gravy, to go with your meal. This accompaniment is capable of adding a punch, to your usual menu.


Maharashtrian Makki Chi Bhaji (Corn in spiced gravy)



October 11, 2013

Masala Karasev

How to make Masala Karasev (with step by step pictures)

          What's better than hot Tea or Coffee on a cold rainy day, you ask? The same hot beverage along with   crunchy & spicy, Karasev! The South Indian, Karasev (Spiced Sev) is traditionally made by pressing the dough on a Ladle held over hot oil, which can be cumbersome & tedious. The easy route for Kara Sev is  to make it using the Murrukku/Chakli Press & when it has cooled down, break it into pieces to resemble the Karasev. The Pepper variety is my favorite, but this recipe scores the win with its special ingredients.

      I fondly remember the days when my son tries to sneak into the kitchen & steal the whole jar of Kara Sev out, while I'm busy making the next batch :) This is a must-have for Diwali in our home; but it's actually an anytime snack. When stored in an air-tight container, it stays fresh for weeks together, but I bet, it won't last that long :)

How to make Masala Karasev (with step by step pictures)

Awaiting for the first batch to get done.



October 7, 2013

Capsicum (Green Bell Pepper) Masala Rice

How to make Capsicum (Bell Pepper) Masala Rice


            There are days when I am left wondering what I could make for the lunch-box, with the ingredients on hand. This is an easy variety rice, that will please your family for sure. The freshly ground masala adds a zest to the sweet & aromatic peppers; while the roasted Peanuts & Lentils/Dals add a delightful crunch to this  flavorful rice.
         

Bell Pepper Masala Rice


                

October 4, 2013

Mysore Pak

How to make Mysore Pak (with step by step pictures)

             The popular Mysore Pak, didn't make it to my favorites list, until I tasted the soft Mysore Pak that became widely available in stores. This recipe will result in a neither too soft, nor too hard Mysore Pak; it wouldn't be greasy on your fingers, but would crumble as soon as it touches your pearly whites. This is an excellent sweet to make for festivals like Diwali as it stores well for weeks together. Once you get the hang of it, this is also an easy sweet to make with just a few commonly available ingredients, right at home. This is one dish, that will keep you on your toes, but the results are well worth the effort.


How to make Mysore Pak (with step by step pictures)


October 1, 2013

Paavakkai Pitlay/Bitter Gourd Gravy

How to make Paavakkai Pitlay/Bitter Gourd Gravy


                  In my childhood days, my Grandma often made this Pitlay & various other dishes with bitter vegetables; exclusively for my Grandpa who loved them. Back then, I never understood how somebody could love something bitter in taste (I still don't). It took years, for me to change from total refusal to reluctantly sampling the bitter vegetables like Paavakkai, Sundakkai and other rare & odd tasting, plant products. I can now, proudly say that the Bitter Gourd is a commonly cooked veggie in my kitchen. Fear not, my friends - Just follow my tricks to eliminate every ounce of bitterness from this gourd & reap all the benefits from it. 


Zero bitterness Paavakkai Pitlay/Bitter Gourd Gravy


September 26, 2013

Potato Masala with Animal Pooris

How to make Potato Masala (for Masala Dosa & Poori's)

             As I remember, the famous 'Poori-Masal' must have been one of the top selling combos in South Indian restaurants, in the 80's. Back then, there were just a few items on the menu and only those limited number of items would be available any where you go - I wonder how foodies like me, survived those periods, with so little to choose from.

       All said & done, the Poori-Masala is a hit in almost every family; but I had to think of a way to make it, a winner in my family, because my son would neither eat Poori's nor the Potato Masala. Thanks to Cookie Cutters! I was so glad, when he declined to share his Poori-Masala with us & ate something new, without making any funny faces.


Potato Masala for Dosa & Poori





September 3, 2013

Savory Kuzhi Paniyaram / Kaara Kuzhi Paniyaram

How to make easy Savory Kuzhi Paniyaram

                     
                Compete with authentic South Indian Restaurants by serving these famous breakfast/tiffin item from Chettinaad!! If you have not tried making these, you will be surprised to know how easy it is, to prepare these with the Idli batter that's commonly available. All you need is the the Kuzhi Paniyaram Pan  & the rest of it is a breeze. It goes with a variety of accompaniments and it's totally up to you. I served these with Onion-Tomato chutney, simple Coconut chutney & Peerkangai (Ridge Gourd) thuvayal here. Although it's pretty simple, I have elaborated the steps with lots of pictures to help, for the novice cook.


Easy Chettinaad kaara Kuzhi Paniyaram


Easy Chettinaad Savory Kuzhi Paniyaram Recipe


August 28, 2013

Boondhi Payasam

How to make Boondhi Payasam/Kheer

               We have all tasted the delectable Laddoos; Boondhi Laddoo, Motichoor Laddoo and the heavenly, Tirupathi Laddoos. No matter which ones you have on hand, you can whip up this Dessert/Prasadham in no time. I decided to make this wonderful Payasam, for Krishna Jayanthi this year after hearing about it from Mami (my MIL). Luckily I had Laddoos, on hand & the rest of it was a breeze.



Boondhi Payasam/Kheer Recipe

August 24, 2013

Fresh Strawberry Granita/Popsicle

How to make Strawberry Granita/Popsicle


        Summer is almost over & if you have strawberries on hand, you should try this crowd pleasing recipe. It's an excellent way to use up over ripe strawberries and indulge in; guilt-free. You can easily turn this into Popsicle's for the kids, if you like. A low calorie, light & healthy summer treat for all age groups.

Fresh Strawberry Popsicle



July 22, 2013

Sabudana Kichidi / Jawarisi Upma

How to make Sabudana (Tapioca pearls) Kichidi


         This is a popular Vrat (religious fast) recipe in MaharashtraIndia-but you don’t have to be fasting to enjoy this chewy, hearty dish. Being rich in Carbs, this can be served for breakfast or an evening snack.

       You will love the delicate balance of spicy-sweet & tangy flavors in this savory Upma, which is further made interesting, with golden roasted potatoes and crushed crunchy peanuts. This can be eaten by itself, but if you like; you can have some yogurt or pickle on the side & gobble away.



North Indian Vrat Recipe - Sabudana Kichidi- Made with Tapioca pearls/Jawarisi.


July 1, 2013

Instant Mango Lassi

How to make Instant Mango Lassi


                   If you are far away from home; it's not easy to get your hands on the famous Indian Mangoes which are sweet & rich in color with a smooth texture. Mango Lassi is a global favorite. Traditional recipes, call for canned Mango pulp or fresh, ripe mangoes. Since I didn't have the traditional ingredients, readily available, I decided to use the store bought Mango juice/drink to make this Lassi & 'Voila'!! - You don't have to wait for a special occasion to whip up this Lassi, anymore.



Instant Mango Lassi


June 5, 2013

Tricolor Sandwiches

How to make Tricolor Sandwiches 


         Sandwiches are a great option for travel or wrapped up, on the run. The fresh Carrots give it a crunch and the Paneer adds a soft chewy texture to it. The sweet, tangy & spicy flavors of the chutneys make this an interesting sandwich. The colors, create visual interest & is inviting to kids, and adults as well .



Tricolor Sandwiches


June 1, 2013

Pistachio Meringues

How to make Pistachio Meringues


              Have you heard of 'Forgotten Cookies'? These light, airy and sweet confections will satisfy your sweet tooth. Makes a good adult cookie as these are Fat Free & high in Protein. Try them out and take a bite, today.


Pistachio Meringues


Makes 8 to 10

Ingredients 

2 oz (50 g) unsalted, shelled Pistachio nuts
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup of sugar

Special Equipment's required:
An electric mixer




May 30, 2013

Chow-Chow Poriyal/Curry

How to make Chow-Chow Poriyal/Curry

(Chow-Chow is also known as Chayote Squash or Bangalore Brinjal)


            The Chow-Chow is usually used in Sambar or Kootu in South India. This is not a usually prepared in south Indian homes, but is a very tasty recipe. I would say, the ingredients & the way it's used in the recipe, bring out the flavor of this squash, best. The flavor of the chillies and spices hit your taste buds first, and when you bite into it, you find it mildly sweet & juicy. The peel can be saved to make a chutney, if you like; that can be an accompaniment for Idli, Dosa & Upma varieties.


Chow-Chow Poriyal / Curry


May 22, 2013

Easy Mexican Mini Pies

How to make Mexican Mini Pies


      Is it a Cup Cake? Is it a Muffin?  No, it's a Mexican Mini Pie!! These Mexican Mini Pies can be easily made using pancake mix and muffin tins. These delicious cheesy pies are stuffed with savory black beans, onion and corn. These Mexican Mini Pies can be served as a starter and is a great finger food for casual gatherings. I skipped the Sour-Cream and garnishes, so it would be easy for kids to handle.


   
Easy Mexican Mini Pies


May 20, 2013

Strawberry Spinach Salad

How to make Strawberry Spinach Salad


             I like salads, but my better half does not care for it. That's a hurdle I come across every time, I want to order a salad; because he wouldn't share it with me. When I decided to make my own salad, at home. Hubby dear, was interested and lingering around; to see what I was going to whip up, with the Strawberries & Almonds, until; I brought the Spinach out of the refrigerator and then - Poof!! Magically, he had disappeared from the kitchen. 

          Plump, ripe strawberries; fresh, crisp spinach and toasted almonds along with the sweet balsamic vinaigrette makes this a crunchy, sweet and tangy salad.



Strawberry Spinach Salad

     

May 14, 2013

Aaloo Gobhi (Spiced Potatoes & Cauliflower)

How to make Aaloo Gobhi (Spiced Potatoes & Cauliflower)


          This simple combination of Potatoes, Cauliflower & a tasty blend of spices is a traditional North Indian accompaniment. Although this is not a gravy, it is aptly moist to accompany any variety of Roti or Rice. Very little oil is used in the making of this dish, hence making this a healthy option for people of all age groups.


Aaloo Gobhi (Spiced Potatoes & Cauliflower)


May 12, 2013

Carrot Halwa

How to make Carrot Halwa

            My hubby is the Halwa specialist of the house, or so he likes to call himself. He made this delicacy just in time, for Mother's Day. I like this Halwa, especially because it's main ingredients are carrots & milk, which means that fussy eaters get the nutrients & fiber, without even realizing what's in it. This can be served cold or warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.


Carrot Halwa with simple ingredients


May 8, 2013

Toffee Apple Cake

How to make Toffee Apple Cake


           It's pouring down here, and although it would be ideal to have something spicy and crunchy to munch on, I can settle for this warm & gooey Toffee Apple Cake. Don't get stumped by the length of this recipe; it is explained in detail for your understanding and convenience.

Serves 8-10
Can be frozen for up to 4 weeks.


Toffee Apple Cake


May 5, 2013

Skinny Milk Shake

How to make Skinny Milk Shake 

         
         This is one treat that will not leave you, feeling guilty! If you haven't guessed from the name yet- this is made using skim milk & low fat ice cream sandwiches from Skinny Cow - but, don't let the ingredients fool you - it's so light & refreshing, which translates to SWEET when you are watching your calories!!


Skinny Milk Shake


Ingredients for 1 Serving:

Cookies & Cream variety of  low fat ice cream sandwiches- 2
1 cup of cold skim milk

  • Cut the sandwiches into wedges & save 1 or 2 wedges for garnish.
  • Put the remaining pieces in a blender along with the skim milk & blend.
  • Pour into a tall glass, insert a straw & place a wedge of the ice cream sandwich  on top & serve cold.

Honey Fruit Salad

How to make Honey Fruit Salad


           Fresh oranges, bananas, strawberries, apples and grapes combined with a dressing makes this a cool and refreshing treat on a hot summer day. Don't tell anyone, but I let everyone have their share so I get the bottom of the bowl with the sweet cocktail of all the fruit juices!!


Healthy Honey Fruit Salad



April 30, 2013

Lemon-Lime Rice

How to make Lemon-Lime Rice

         The Lemon Rice as we know it has taken a turn for the better in this Bold & Tangy Lemon-Lime Rice!! I have been making my Lemon rice this way as my family likes its bold flavor. I prefer not to use Basmati rice, as the flavor of Basmati doesn't compliment this dish.

         This is excellent for picnics, travel, lunch boxes and Valaikkappu (Indian Baby Shower). I bet the pregnant ladies would love this tangy rice. It can be served with Potato fry / pickles / chips or pappad.


Lemon Lime rice


April 22, 2013

Oreo Milk Shake

How to make Oreo Milk Shake


            The first time I ever saw Oreo's in this wonderful land of opportunity, I wasn't ready to try it, under the presumption that it was the bitter kind of chocolate. I was so naive; I had no clue as to, what I was missing. I am thankful to my son - for giving me the positive reviews & making me try this amazing cookie. If you need a crowd pleaser for a gathering, you should give this recipe a try. I always get 'Two Thumbs Up' from all the kids for whom, I have whipped up this drink plus, it makes a filling snack as well. I have had kids come up to me & ask for the recipe too :)


Oreo Milk Shake


April 18, 2013

Special Dal with vegetables

How to make Special Dal (with Ridge Gourd)


                I like to add vegetables in my dal, so i can sneak in atleast one more serving of vegetables during dinner/lunch. You can omit the vegetable altogether or substitute the Ridge Gourd (Peerkangai) with any other vegetable of your choice. Vegetables with a high water content works well for this dal, ex: Bottle Gourd (Sorakkai), Chayote Squash (Chow-Chow or Bangalore Brinjal),Spinach or other greens. As a plus, you can also use the peel/skin of the Ridge Gourd to make a yummy Chutney/Thuvayal.


Dal with vegetables



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