Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Flour Chocolate Souffle

As the days are getting colder and colder here in Chicago, we are on the lookout for hot and warm things to eat. Today we thought of making a chocolate souffle and when I was going through the recipes to make one, I found a no flour chocolate souffle recipe in Nick Malgieri's book 'Chocolate'. The recipe was very simple and we had to try it. The souffle rose well, was baked through with a soft liquid center and we enjoyed it a lottt.
Ingredients:(Makes 4 servings)
Semi sweet Chocolate - 7 tbsp 
Strong brewed coffee - 2 tbsp
Butter - 2 tbsp, softened
Egg yolks - 2
Egg whites - 4
Salt - a pinch
Sugar - 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 400F and butter and dust the ramekins with sugar and place them on a baking sheet
2. Add the chocolate and coffee to a heat proof bowl and place it over a pan of hot water. Mix often and allow the chocolate to melt. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in the butter and let the mixture cool down. Stir in the egg yolks.
4. Add egg whites and salt to a bowl and using an electric mixer beat them until they hold light peaks. Add the sugar gradually and continue to beat till the egg whites form soft peaks.
5. Take a quarter of the egg whites mixture and stir it into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the rest of the egg whites mixture using a rubber spatula.
6. Pour the batter into the buttered and sugared ramekins. Fill them to the top. Bake for around 12 to 15 minutes or until the souffles are well risen and baked through, except for the center which should remain soft and liquid.(You can use a spoon to lift the top off on one side and check, the top will fall right back into place)
7. Serve the hot no flour chocolate souffles immediately.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

My dearest hubby had a Halloween party in his office this week and wanted me to make him something for that. I baked chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for him and they turned out pretty good. The preparation was pretty easy and I added a few raisins to the cookie dough as well. The bake time for each batch was around 10-12 minutes.
Ingredients:(Makes about 25-30 cookies)
All purpose flour - 3/4 cup
Butter - 1 stick/8 tbsp, softened
Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup
Rolled Oats - 11/2 cups
Chocolate Chips - 1 cup
Egg - 1
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon Powder - 1/2 tsp
Raisins - 1/2 cup(Optional)
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line the baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl add butter and sugar and beat them till creamy.
2. Add the vanilla extract and egg and beat till a smooth mixture is formed. Stir in the flour, cinnamon powder, baking soda and salt.
3. Add the oatmeal and chocolate chips and raisins, if using to the mixture and mix well. Drop the cookie dough using a tablespoon onto the baking sheets. Flatten the cookies slightly using the back of a fork or a spatula.
4. If you prefer chewy cookies, then bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and still moist else bake for 12 minutes.
5. Cool the cookies and store them in air tight container. Enjoy the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies with your friends and family.

Sending this to Champa's 'Bake-off' event and Akila's 'DNSW:C'

Friday, October 29, 2010

Raw Plantain Curry

I made this curry accidentally one day and we loved it so much that we have been making this very often. I was planning to make a raw plantain fry by parboiling them and accidentally over boiled them. So, I made this curry instead of the original stir fry and was more than happy that the accident happened :).

Raw Plantain - 1, peeled, diced into small pieces
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - small lemon size, soaked in warm water
Jaggery - small piece(optional)
Water - 3 cups

Dry Roast and Grind to Powder:
Fenugreek seeds - 5 or 6
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 1/2 tsp

For Tempering:
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Dry Red Chillies - 2
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split Bengal gram - 1/4 tsp
Garlic pods - 3, roughly crushed

Method of Preparation:
1. Boil water in a vessel and add the diced plantain pieces, salt and turmeric powder to the boiling water. Cook covered. After the plantain pieces become soft, add the tamarind extract to it. 
2. Slightly mash the plantain pieces with a masher or using the back of a strong ladle.
3. Add the ground powder, chilli powder, jaggery and mix well. If the mixture becomes too thick, add little water to get to the desired consistency.
4. Heat oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds, let them splutter, then add cumin seeds, split Bengal gram, broken dry red chillies and crushed garlic pods.
5. Fry till the garlic pods turn golden brown. Add this mixture to the boiling curry, adjust the salt and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
6. Enjoy the hot raw plantain curry with hot steamed rice.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bourbon Biscuits

Bourbon biscuits are loved by many and my hubby is one of those. He likes munching on these biscuits and enjoys them with his cup of coffee. Few days back I was going through a book on chocolate and found a very easy recipe for making the bourbon cookies. Finally today, I took time out to try the recipe and make the bourbon biscuits. The biscuits came out very well, the only thing missing was the sugar granules on top, next time I bake them, I will add the sugar granules on top before baking the biscuits. The original recipe did not have vanilla essence, however I feel that addition of a little vanilla extract will make them taste even better.
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Cocoa Powder - 3 tbsp
Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
Unsalted Butter - 4 tbsp, softened
Granulated Sugar - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
Vanilla Extract - 1/4 tsp

For the Filling:
Hot water/Strong brewed coffee - 3 tbsp
Melted Semi sweet chocolate - 4 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
2. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Mix them well and sift the mixture using a sieve.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar and then beat in the egg and vanilla essence. Stir in the dry ingredients until the mixture turns into a dough.
4. Knead the dough a little and place it on a floured surface. Sprinkle a little flour on top of the dough and roll it to form a 10 inch square.
5. Cut the dough into strips 21/2 inch in width. Then cut each strip into 1 inch pieces. Approximately you should have 40 1 X 21/2 inch rectangles.
6. Arrange the cookies on the baking sheet and using a fork, pierce each biscuit/cookie about four times. Bake them for around 20 minutes or until they become crisp and dry
7. Cool the biscuits in the baking sheet.
8. For the filling, mix the coffee or water into the melted chocolate and add the sugar. Mix well. Turn half the cookies over so that the bottom side is facing up. Spread a little filling on them. Place a cookies on top of the ones with the filling. Leave the cookies until the filling sets and hardens a little bit.
9. Enjoy the bourbon biscuits/cookies with coffee or tea.

Note: Do not over bake the cookies, else you will end up with hard biscuits.

Sending this recipe to Champa's 'Bake-off' event.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Roasted Garlic Guacamole

Making guacamole is probably the easiest and quickest. All you need is ripe avocados and within minutes you can dish up a yummy guacamole. Today I tried adding roasted garlic to the guacamole and the outcome was so yummy that my better half finished the whole bowl of guacamole with chips.
Ripe Avocados - 2
Garlic - 2 cloves, unpeeled
Tomato - 1 small, finely chopped
Onion - 1/2 small sized, finely chopped
Cilantro - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Paprika/Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Lime Juice - 1 tsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat a small pan, add the garlic cloves with the peel on. Roast them until the garlic turns soft and black spots are developed on the them. Roast them for around 10 to 15 minutes, turning around in between.
2. Let the garlic cool down, remove the peel. Add the roasted garlic to a mortar and grind to a smooth paste.
3. Cut around the avocados, then twist the avocado halves and pull them apart. Remove the seed and scoop out the avocado flesh into a bowl. 
4. Add the roasted garlic paste, chopped cilantro, lime juice, paprika and mix well, coarsely mashing the avocado flesh. Add salt and chopped tomatoes, mix.
5. Wash the chopped onions in water, drain the water and add them to the avocado mixture.
6. Mix well, adjust the salt and enjoy the roasted garlic guacamole with chips.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Banana Peppers Potato Fry

Banana peppers are widely available in most of the grocery stores here in US. Back in India, my mom used to make a simple banana peppers fry by adding roasted chana dal/daliya/poppula podi. Today I made a spice mix and used it to add flavor to the dish. I also added potatoes to it, you can even avoid using potatoes and make this dish using only the banana peppers. The banana peppers i used were a little spicy, so I added a little amount of chilli powder, it is better to taste the peppers while they are being cooked before adding chilli powder to the dish.
Banana Peppers - 5, slit them open, discard seeds, finely chop them
Potatoes - 2, medium sized, finely diced
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp(adjust according to spice levels)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

For the Spice Mix:
Bengal Gram/Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chana Dal - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds - 8
- Dry roast all the ingredients, cool them and grind them

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a non stick pan, add cumin seeds, after they start spluttering, add the chopped potatoes and banana peppers. Mix well, add a little salt and cover the lid.
2. Keep stirring in between, if needed sprinkle a little water.
3. Once the peppers and potatoes are 3/4 th cooked, add the ground spice mix, chilli powder and mix well.
4. Adjust the salt and cook covered till the potatoes and banana peppers are completely cooked through.
5. Serve the banana peppers potato fry with steamed rice or rotis.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Baked Tandoori Chicken Breast

Few months back, I had watched an Indian TV show, in which chef Sanjeev Kapoor of the 'Khana Khazana' fame was talking about his new book based on Tandoor dishes. In the same episode he made tandoori chicken without using a tandoor. Though I did not note down the ingredient quanitites, I registered the ingredients in my mind :). I have been wanting to try that for a long time now. Finally, this weekend, I did try the tandoori chicken recipe. I baked the tandoori chicken breasts and finally finished them under the broiler. The baked tandoori chicken came out very soft and moist. We are definitely going to try this recipe again with a few more variations.

Chicken Breast - 2
Mustard Oil - 2 tbsp
Yogurt - 5 tbsp
Ginger Paste - 1 tbsp
Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 2 tsp(renders red color)
Chilli Powder/Paprika - 1/2 tsp(Adjust as per spice levels)
Lime Juice - 11/2 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Butter - 1 tsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Make incissions on the chicken breasts using a sharp knife. Sprinkle a little salt, 1/2 tbsp lime juice and a teaspoon of kashmiri chilli powder on both sides of the chicken breasts and rub them into the chicken.
2. In a bowl add the yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, remaining kashmiri chilli powder, chilli powder, remaining lime juice, salt, garam masala and the mustard oil. Mix well.
3. Add the chicken breasts to the marinade, mix well using your hands so that the marinade gets coated evenly on the chicken breasts. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line the baking sheet with a foil and spray a little cooking spray on it.
5. Place the marinated chicken breasts on the baking sheet, keep aside the left over marinade, we can use it to baste the chicken later.
6. Bake the chicken breasts for 25 minutes, take them out and apply the remaining marinade on the either sides of the breasts and put them back in the oven for 15 minutes.
7. Take out the chicken breasts and apply a little butter on either sides. Bake them for 10 minutes.
8. Once the chicken is cooked through, put the baked chicken under the broiler for 3-5 minutes or until it is charred a little bit.
9. Slice the baked tandoori chicken breasts and enjoy with onion rings.

Sending this recipe to 'Anyone Can Cook- Series 5' being hosted by Ayeesha and Girlichef's 'Hearth n Soul'

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beetroot Chutney

I usually make beetroot stir fry or curry, few days back, I came up with my own version of the beetroot chutney and the chutney came out wonderfully delicious.
Beetroot - 1/2 cup, chopped
Green Chillies - 3, chopped
Roasted Peanuts - 2 tbsp
Lime juice - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Cilantro/Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt - As per taste

For the Tempering:
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal/Bengal Gram - 1/4 tsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped beetroot, green chillies and a little salt.
2. Fry for 5 minutes and let them cool down.
3. Add the fried beetroot, green chillies, roasted peanuts, lime juice, salt, coriander leaves to a blender along with a little water and grind to a fine paste.
4. Heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and urad dal. Once the seeds start spluttering, switch off the heat and add it to the ground beetroot chutney.
5. Adjust the salt and serve the beetroot chutney with steamed rice, roti, idli or dosas.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillos are great for making salsa. Earlier I had posted a tomotillo salsa recips, where I had boiled the tomatillos and used them to make the salsa. In today's recipe,I have pan roasted the ingredients for the salsa and then blended them coarsely, so that the salsa is a bit chunkier.
Tomatillos - 3, medium sized, washed thoroughly and wiped dry
Garlic - 3 large pods, do not peel them, else they will get burnt
Onion - 1/2, medium sized
Dry Red Chillies/Arbor Chillies - 3
Cilantro/Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the whole tomatillos, garlic pods with the outer skin on, half onion, whole dry red chillies and let them roast slowly on medium heat.
2. Using tongs, keep turning the ingredients so that they slowly get charred evenly.
3. Once the tomatillos are roasted evenly, turn off the heat and let them cool down.
4. Add the roasted tomatillos, chillies, onion, salt to a blender. Peel the roasted garlic and add them to the blender.
5. Grind them coarsely if you prefer a chunky salsa or to a smooth puree.
6. Add the chopped cilantro to the roasted tomatillo salsa and enjoy with corn chips.

Optional: You can even add finely chopped onions to the salsa.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Chayote/Bangalore Vankaya Fry

Today I made a very simple chayote fry and it turned out to be an instant hit. The addition of peanut powder accentuates the taste of chayote.
Chayote - 2, medium sized, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped
Onion - 1, small sized, finely chopped
Garlic - 3 large pods, finely chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Green Chillies - 4, finely chopped
Coriander/Cilantro - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Roasted Peanut Powder - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, once they splutter add the chopped onions and garlic. Fry till the onions become translucent.
2. Add the chopped chayote, turmeric powder and salt, mix well and cook covered. Stir in between.
3. Once the chayote is half cooked add the chopped chillies and cilantro, mix well and cook covered.
4. Once the chayote is cooked through, add the peanut powder, mix well and adjust the salt.
5. Serve the Chayote/Bangalore vankaya curry with steamed rice or rotis.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Coconut Macaroons

Macaroons are light baked confections which are often described as meringue like cookies or small cakes depending on the consistency of macaroons. The coconut macaroons that I have prepared are based on the recipe provided by Nigella Lawson in her book 'How to be a domestic goddess'. It is better to use shredded coconut instead of the grated coconut for this recipe. Cream of tartar is easily available in the spice section/baking section at major grocery stores.
Shredded coconut - 1 cup plus 2 tbsp
Large egg whites - 2
Cream of tartar - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Ground Almonds - 2 tbsp
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Add the egg whites to a mixing bowl and beat till they become frothy.
2. Add cream of tartar and carry on beating until soft peaks are formed.
3. Add sugar a teaspoon at a time and whisk until the peaks hold their shape and the mixture becomes shiny.
4. Fold in the ground almonds, salt, vanilla essence and the shredded coconut.
5. At this stage, the mixture will still be sticky, but it should hold its shape when clumped together.
6. Line the baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Form small dome shaped cookies and place them on the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the coconut macaroons just start turning golden.
8. Enjoy the coconut macaroons once they cool down.

Sending this recipe to Champa's 'Bake-off' event, 'DNSW:C' being hosted by Akhila and 'Anyone Can Cook- Series 4' being hosted by Ayeesha

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cauliflower Corn Soup

Most of the cauliflower recipes call for the use of a lot of butter or cream. I made cauliflower corn soup with milk and a little cheddar cheese and added almonds paste to enhance the richness of the soup. The outcome was a hearty, creamy and filling cauliflower corn soup.
Cauliflower florets - 2 cups
Corn kernels - 1/2 cup(Fresh or frozen, thaw, if using frozen)
Potato - 1 small sized, diced
Celery - 1 stick, roughly chopped
Onion - 1/4 of a small onion, roughly chopped
Almonds - 15, soaked in warm water for an hour and remove the skin
Milk - 11/2 cup
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Flakes - a large pinch(optional)
Grated Cheddar Cheese - 2 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. In a vessel add cauliflower florets, diced potatoes, chopped celery and chopped onions. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables. Cook covered on high till the water starts boiling.
2. Once the water starts boiling, switch off the heat and let the vegetables cool down. Keep them covered with a lid.
3. Use a slotted spoon and add the boiled vegetables to a grinder or a food processor and puree them if you do not want any vegetable pieces in your soup. Add the water in which the vegetables are boiled, if necessary to make the puree. Alternatively, you can even use a hand blender to puree the boiled vegetables.
4. Grind the soaked almonds to a smooth paste by adding a little milk.
5. Heat a non stick saucepan and add the cauliflower puree, water used to boil vegetables(if any remaining), milk, almond paste and corn kernels to it. Mix well and adjust the consistency of the soup by adding more milk if the soup is too thick.
6. Let the soup boil and add salt, chilli flakes and pepper to it. Adjust the salt and let the soup thicken a little bit. Mix a tablespoon of cheese into the soup and switch off the heat.
7. Spoon the soup into bowls and top with a little cheese and serve the cauliflower corn soup while it is hot.

Sending this to 'DNSW:C' being hosted by Akhila and 'The Soup event' being hosted by Chaitrali

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roasted Red Bell Pepper Chutney

Red bell pepper is supposed to have higher amount of vitamin C. I made a very simple chutney using roasted bell pepper and the outcome was simply yummy :). I roasted the bell pepper on direct flame, you can also do the same in an oven too.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper - 1, medium sized, roughly chopped(discard the seeds, stem and peel off the blackened skin)
Onion - 1 small, roughly chopped
Dry Red Chillies - 3
Bengal Gram/Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 2 large pods, roughly chopped
Tamarind - a small marble sized, soaked in little warm water
Roasted Peanuts - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - As Per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. In a small pan heat oil and add bengal gram and dry red chillies. Fry till the dal turns golden brown.
2. Add the chopped garlic and onions and fry till the onions turn transparent.
3. Let the above mixture cool down. Add the chopped roasted bell pepper, the fried mixture, peanuts and salt to a grinder and make a coarse powder.
4. Add the soaked tamarind and a little water and grind to a smooth consistency.
5. Adjust the salt and enjoy the roasted red bell pepper chutney with rotis or rice.

Tip: For roasting the bell peppers in oven, you can refer to this link

Sending this recipe to 'food palette series' being hosted by 'Akheela'

No Yeast Brown Bread

Brown bread is a healthy alternative to the white bread. I came across a very simple recipe for brown bread in a book named 'Cookbook For Women'. The recipe uses flax seeds, rolled oats, whole wheat flour and brown sugar. Flax seed replaces most of the oil or fat used to make regular breads. The best part of this recipe is the preparation time. It takes hardly 5 minutes to prepare the batter for no yeast brown bread.
Whole wheat flour - 11/2 cup
All Purpose flour - 1 cup
Old fashioned rolled oats - 1/2 cup
Ground Flaxseed - 1/3 cup
Brown Sugar - 2/3 cup(packed)
Baking Soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Buttermilk - 12/3 cup

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a loaf pan(8X4 inch) with cooking spray.
2. Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in the buttermilk into the dry ingredients just until mixed.
3. Transfer the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle a teaspoon of oats on the bread batter.
4. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Cool the loaf pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the bread from the loaf pan and place it on the wire rack.
6. Wait until the bread completely cools down(around 2 hours) before slicing.
7. Enjoy the delicious no yeast brown bread with the favorite topping of your choice. This no yeast brown bread tastes even better when it is toasted.

Sending this to  'Bake-Off' event being hosted by 'Champa', 'Tasty Tuesday' being hosted by 'Alicia', 'Slightly Indulgent Tuesday' being hosted by 'Amy', 'Tempt My Tummy Tuesday' being hosted by 'Grace'

Eat Well Live Well, New Monthly event with a giveaway offer from CSN and Any One Can Cook: Series 4 - being hosted by 'Ayeesha'

'Hearth n Soul' being hosted by 'GirliChef'

Friday, October 15, 2010

Baked Black Eyed Peas (Alasandalu/Bobbarlu)

Black eyed peas are referred to as 'alasandalu' or 'bobbarlu', in Telugu. Deep fried black eyed peas are a simple and tasty snack, that one cannot stop munching on. These baked black eyed peas taste almost as the deep fried black eyed peas, without the extra grease. I have kept the recipe fairly simple by just adding very little salt. You can play around with the spices to enhance the flavor.
Dried Black eyed peas - 1 cup
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - as per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Soak the black eyed peas in water overnight. Drain the water and rinse with fresh water.
2. Drain all the water, add oil and salt to it. Mix well(preferably using your hand)
3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line the baking sheet with foil  and spread the black eyed peas evenly on it.
4. Bake the black eyed peas for 10 minutes, take out the tray and turn around the black eyed peas using a spatula.
5. After 15 minutes, switch off the oven, take out the tray and turn around the black eyed peas once again. Place the baking tray back in the oven and let it stand there until the oven cools down.
6. Adjust the salt and enjoy the crispy baked black eyed peas.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

In my quest for healthy snacks, this is the first step. Oatmeal replaces the low fiber refined flour and brown sugar is used as sweetener. The addition of whole wheat flour and low fat milk makes this a healthy yet tasty snack.
Whole wheat flour - 1/4 cup
Old fashioned rolled oats - 3/4 cup
Low fat milk - 1/4 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Sliced Almonds - 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. In a mixing bowl add wheat flour, oats, sugar and mix well.
2. Add little milk at a time and gently mix the ingredients into a dough.
3. Add the oil and gently knead it into the dough.
4. Preheat the oven to 360F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or wax paper.
5. Make lemon sized balls of the dough, press them flat, place few sliced almonds on each cookie and press slightly and place them on the baking tray.
6. Bake the cookies in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown.
7. Place the cookies on a cooling rack and after they cool down, store in air tight container.
8. Enjoy the healthy oatmeal cookies, whenever you crave something sweet.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Orange Flax Seed Granola

Here is another recipe for a tangy, crunchy and healthy orange flax seed granola. With the addition of almonds, raisins and dried cranberries, this is a great breakfast option.
Old fashioned rolled oats - 1 cup
Flax Seeds - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Honey - 1 tbsp
Frozen concentrated Orange Juice - 3 tbsp (any brand 100% pure juice)
Sliced Almonds - 2 tbsp
Dried Cranberries -1 tbsp
Raisins - 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:1. In a bowl add the oats, flax seeds, cinnamon powder, salt and mix well.
2. Add oil, honey and the thawed orange juice concentrate to the oats mixture and mix well using your hand.
3. Preheat oven to 275F, line the baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spread the oatmeal mixture on the baking sheet evenly and bake for 5 minutes.
4. Remove the baking sheet and turn around the oats mixture, add the almonds, cranberries and raisins and place the baking sheet back in the oven for 10 minutes.
5. Take the baking sheet out from the oven and turn around the granola mixture using a spatula and let it cool.
6. Store in an airtight container.
7. Serve the orange flax seed granola with skimmed milk or soy milk.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Oatmeal Mixed Vegetable Soup

Oatmeal mixed vegetable soup is a healthy and nutritious way of consuming lot of vegetables and oatmeal. I made the vegetable stock at home using onion, garlic, green chillies, carrot, celery, cinnamon and star anise. You can even use the store bought low sodium vegetable broth instead of making from scratch. 
Old fashioned rolled oats - 1/4 cup
Vegetable stock - 2 cups
Celery - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Carrot - 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Onion - 1/4, finely chopped
Corn - 3 tbsp
Green Peas - 3 tbsp
Cabbage - 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Capsicum - 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Tomato - 1/3, finely chopped
Corn Starch - 1 tsp
Vinegar - 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder - a large pinch
Dry Mint Powder - a large pinch
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add all the vegetables except the tomatoes to it.
2. Fry for 2 minutes and add the vegetable stock to it. Add in the chopped tomatoes.
3. Add the oatmeal and let the soup boil.
4. Add the salt, vinegar, chilli powder, mint powder and mix well.
5. Once the soup starts boiling, mix the corns starch with couple of spoons of water and mix it into the soup on medium low heat.
6. Adjust the salt and take the soup off the heat.
7. Enjoy the oatmeal mixed vegetable soup while it is still hot.

Sending this to 

Monday, October 11, 2010

No Bake Choco-Oat Cookies

Do you have old fashioned oats, cocoa powder and 5 minutes at hand? If the answer is yes, then you can easily make these no bake choco-oat cookies.
Old Fashioned Rolled Oats - 1 cup
Brown Sugar - 3 tbsp
Honey - 1 tbsp
Butter - 3 tbsp
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - 3 tbsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Walnuts - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Raisins - 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. In a small vessel add brown sugar, honey, butter, cocoa powder, milk and mix well. Bring the mixture to boil on medium heat, stirring frequently. Boil for 3 minutes or until the mixture thickens a little.
2. Remove the vessel from heat and add the chopped walnuts, raisins and oats to it. Mix well and let the mixture cool a little bit before making small rounds of the mixture and place them on wax paper or aluminium foil.
3. Let the no bake choco-oat cookies cool down completely and become firm before storing them in a tightly covered box.

Sending this recipe to 'Anyone can cook - 3' being hosted by Ayeesha 
No Bake Choco-Oat Cookies on Foodista

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ragi & Oats Rotti

Thanks to my dad's job as an employee in a nationalized bank, we got to stay in different places and taste different cuisines. Finger millet, which is also referred to as ragi in kannada and telugu is considered as a great source of amino acid. Ragi rotti is a karnaraka breakfast dish, which my mom makes. I played with the original recipe a little and added oats to it. Thus making it a super nutritious breakfast.

Ragi Flour - 1 cup
Old fashioned rolled oats - 1 cup
Onion - 1, medium sized, finely chopped
Raw peanuts - 1/3 cup, coarsely ground into powder
Green Chillies - 6, ground to paste
Salt - As per taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. In a large bowl, add ragi flour, oats, raw peanuts powder, salt and mix well.
2. Add the chopped onions and green chilli paste, mix well.
3. Now sprinkle a little amount of water at a time and knead the mixture into a soft dough.
4. Cover the dough with a bowl and rest it for 15 minutes.
5. Apply little oil on a non stick tava and place a large lemon sized portion of the dough in the middle of tava.
6. Wet your fingers with a little water and flatten the dough evenly to form a round shape.
7. Make small holes in the center of the flattened dough using finger tips.
8. Cover the tava with a lid and place on a medium heat. After 2 minutes, take of the lid. turn the ragi oats rotti around and apply a little amount of oil on it. After 2 minutes, apply oil on the other side and turn it around and cook for 2 more minutes before taking it off the tava.
9. Serve the ragi and oats rotti while it is still warm.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Kashayam (A Herbal remedy for Cold & Flu)

As a kid I was so scared of kashayam. My mom used to make kashayam when any of the family members got sick, especially when one had a sore throat or cold. Last year when my husband was down with a severe cold, I made this for the first time. At first, he was apprehensive and didn't want to drink it, but when I insisted, he had the kashayam and to my relief, his symptoms of cold started disappearing. Today when I was wondering what to post, my dearest hubby reminded that since flu is in season, why not a post on kashayam...
With only 5 ingredients and hardly 10 minutes to prepare, one can easily tailor make kashayam as per their taste.

Ingredients:(Makes 2 cups)
Powdered Jaggery - 2 tbsp
Peppercorns - 10, roughly crushed
Grated Fresh Ginger - 1 tbsp
Water - 11/2 cups
Milk - 1/2 cup

Method of Preparation:
1. Heat the water in a vessel until it boils and add the powdered jaggery, crushed peppercorns and grated ginger.
2. Boil for around 5 minutes before adding the milk to it.
3. Boil for 3 minutes. Strain the kashayam using a strainer.
4. Serve the kashayam hot.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Iced Mint Apple Green Tea

Green tea contains antioxidants which guard us against few of the diseases. Mint is known to settle nervous stomach. An apple a day keeps doctor away. When you are getting the triple benefits in a single refreshing drink, do you think you need any other reason to make this quick, simple and wonderful drink?
Ingredients:(Serves 2)
Green tea bags - 2(Can also use 1/2 teaspoon loose green tea instead of the tea bags)
Mint/Pudina - 20 leaves(You can use mint flavored green tea bags and avoid the mint leaves)
Apple Juice - 1 cup
Boiling Water - 11/2 cup

Method of Preparation:
1. In a bowl place the tea bags, fresh mint leaves and pour boiling water on them. Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes.
2. Remove the tea bags and let it cool for 20 minutes.
3. Remove the mint leaves, stir in the apple juice.
4. Fill the glasses with ice and pour the mint apple green tea over the ice.
5. Garnish with mint and serve the iced mint apple green tea.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Paratha With Onion Mint Raitha

Hot mixed vegetable parathas served with cool refreshing onion mint raitha is the best dinner combo after a tired day. You can always play around with the vegetables used for the stuffing. Today I have used carrots and peas along with potatoes.
Ingredients For The Dough:
Whole Wheat Flour - 2 cups
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Milk - 1 to 11/2 cups 
Oil - 1 tsp

Ingredients For The Filling:
Potatoes - 3, medium sized, boiled and mashed
Carrots - 1, medium sized, finely grated
Green Peas - 1/4 cup(fresh or frozen)
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Add salt to the wheat flour along with milk and knead into a soft dough. Finally add a tsp of oil and knead the dough once again. Cover the dough using a bowl or a wet towel. Let it rest for a minimum of an hour.
2. Heat oil in a non stick pan and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the grated carrot and the peas to it and fry.
3. Fry for 3-5 minutes, mixing in between.
4. Add the salt, pepper powder and chilli powder and mix well. Fry for a minute and add the mashed potatoes, mix well, fry for a minute or two and turn off the heat.
5. Let this mixture cool down before you make small lemon sized balls out of it.
6. Dust the rolling platform with dry flour and take a lemon sized portion of the dough, roll it into a small round chapathi(approximately 3 to 4 inches in diameter) using a rolling pin
7. Place a ball of the mixed vegetable mixture in the center of the rolled chapathi and seal the edges of the chapathi, by pulling the edges onto the stuffing ball. Shape the stuffed dough into a flattened round.
8. Dust the rolling platform with dry flour and roll out a paratha with a rolling pin. 
9. Heat a non stick pan and transfer the rolled paratha onto it.
10. Wait till small bubbles appear on the paratha, before you turn it around.
11. Turn the paratha around and apply little oil on it. Repeat the step after you turn the paratha again.
12. Once the paratha is nicely cooked through, take it off from the pan. 
13. Serve hot mixed vegetable parathas with onion mint raitha.

Ingredients For Onion Mint Raitha:
Yogurt/Curd - 1 cup
Onion - 1, large sized, finely chopped
Mint/Pudina Leaves - 10, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 2, finely chopped
Lemon Juice - 1 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate it for 15 minutes.
2. Serve the onion mint raitha with parathas or pulav.

Sending this to Chaitrali's 'Combo Meal'

Monday, October 4, 2010

Crunchy Granola

Last time we bought a crunchy granola from store, we ended up with sore jaws!! The granola was very tough to bite into. That was the day we decided not to buy any more granola. Here is a quick and easy way to bake your own granola. All it takes is 20 minutes.
Old Fashioned Oats - 1 cup
Cardamom Powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Maple Syrup/Honey - 2 tbsp
Canola/Vegetable oil - 11/2 tbsp
Brown Sugar - 11/2 tsp
Sesame Seeds - 1 tbsp
Almonds - 6, finely sliced
Dried Apricots - 6, roughly chopped
Raisins - 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 250F. In a bowl add oats, cardamom powder, salt, brown sugar, sesame seeds and mix well.
2. Add the oil, maple syrup/honey to the bowl and combine all ingredients using your hand.
3. If you like to have granola clusters, then fold a little amount of the granola in your fist and press firmly to form small lumps.
4. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the oats mixture on it evenly.
5. Place the baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
6. Take out the baking tray and using a spatula turn the granola mixture around. Add the sliced almonds, chopped apricots, raisins and mix well. Spread the granola evenly on the parchment paper and put the baking tray back in the oven for 10 minutes.
7. Take out the baking tray mix well and spread evenly the granola mixture. Switch off the oven and place the baking tray back in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes or until it cools down.
8. Transfer the crunchy granola to an airtight container and store.
9. Add milk/soya milk/yogurt to your cup of crunchy granola and enjoy.

Sending this to Champa's 'Bake Off' event and  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kothimeera Mirchi Vankaya (Cilantro Eggplant)

This is another recipe which is very easy to prepare and absolutely amazing in taste. The credits for this wonderful recipe goto my aunt, Indu :). Kothimeera mirchi vankaya or cilantro eggplant is a 6 ingredient dish that goes well with rice and roti as well.
Brinjal/Eggplants(Preferably Indian eggplant) - 4, medium sized, chopped length wise
Potato - 2, medium sized, diced
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Grind to Paste:
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - a small bunch
Green chillies - 3(Adjust according to spice levels)

Method of Preparation:
1. In a non stick vessel, heat oil and add the diced potatoes. Fry on high heat for 3-4 minutes and add the chopped eggplant/brinjal.
2. Cook covered till the potato and eggplant are 3/4 th cooked. Cook covered, stirring in between.
3. Add the ground cilantro/coriander leaves and green chillies paste and salt. Mix well. Cover the lid and cook on low medium heat till the vegetables are completely cooked through.(Add a little water if required)
4. Serve the kothimeera mirchi vankaya or the cilantro eggplant with hot rice or rotis.

Sending this recipe to 'Anyone can cook - 2' being hosted by Ayeesha and
Hey What's For DinnerMyMeatlessMondays

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ginger Brinjal Aloo(Allam Vankaya)

Thanks to my aunt, Indu, I got this wonderful recipe. When she told me that it needed only 6 ingredients in total, I was thinking whether it would really taste good, but when I made it today, we finished the whole bowl of ginger brinjal aloo(allam vankaya). This recipe works very well with Indian Eggplant/brinjals.
Indian Eggplant/Brinjal - 4, medium sized, sliced length wise
Potato - 2, medium sized, diced
Ginger Green Chilli Paste - 1 tsp (I used a big chunk of ginger and 6 green chillies and ground them to paste)
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - As per taste

Method of Preparation:
1. In a vessel, preferably non stick, heat oil and add the diced potatoes.
2. Mix well and cook on high heat for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the chopped brinjal/eggplant, mix well and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
4. Cover the vessel with a lid and cook till the vegetables are 3/4th done.
5. Add salt, ginger green chilli paste and mix well.
6. Cover the vessel with a lid and cook till the vegetables are completely cooked through. Stir in between. (Add a little water, if needed)
7. Serve the ginger brinjal aloo/allam vankaya with rotis or hot rice.

Sending this recipe to 'Anyone can cook - 2' being hosted by Ayeesha

Friday, October 1, 2010

Dry Fruit Cake

Today is my dearest husband's birthday :) and I baked a cake for him. I followed the cake recipe given by sailu and replaced the tutti frutti with dry fruits. The cake recipe is very simple and tastes yummy. I had a hard time waiting till mid night so that I could lay my hands on the cake. Wishing a very happy birthday to my dearest Praveen, this post is dedicated to him :).

All Purpose Flour/Maida - 2 cups
Eggs - 2(room temeperature)
Butter - 1/2 cup(room temperature)
Granulated Sugar - 11/4 cup
Baking Powder - 2tsps
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Pineapple Essence - 2 tsp
Skimmed Milk - 1/2 cup
Dry Fruits - 1/2 cup(almonds, walnuts, raisins - roughly chopped)

Method of Preparation:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Sieve the dry ingredients(all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder) thrice.
2. In a large mixing bowl add the softened butter and sugar and mix till it becomes creamy.
3. Add an egg at a time and mix well till the mixture becomes creamy. Add the pineapple essence to the mixture and mix well.
4. Divide the dry flour mixture into 3 parts and add one part along with some milk to the egg mixture and mix well. Repeat this step till you finish up the flour and milk.
5. Grease the cake pan with little butter and dust it with a little flour.
6. Fold in the dry fruits gently, do not over mix the batter.
7. Pour the cake batter into the greased cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
8. Take out the cake and let it cook down before removing the cake from the cake pan.
9. Enjoy the yummy dry fruit cake.


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