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


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


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


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

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