My son was asking the last day, ‘ Have you stopped blogging?’ I replied ‘ No… why?’ His answer was ‘ Well , you are not making any new dishes these days’ Yes.. I am back after a long hiatus.. and the reason – a nagging back pain, which turned worse.. a rush to the hospital followed by treatment and bed rest .Now slowly getting back to the normal routine – which includes cooking and blogging..
One good thing that came out of my ill health was the bed rest.. though initially bit depressed as I couldn’t move round, the treatment period gave me sort of ‘chill out time’ .. a break from the daily routine.. after a few days, I was enjoying it – the rain, the greenery and the long conversations with my little sister… Infact my friends and cousins were bit envious seeing my long rest period..
And this post is for all my loving friends and family who rushed in to help and offer support when I was in distress due to the back pain .. and to my dear hubby who had to take over the household duties and look after me too..
Thanks to all my fb page fans.. We have crossed 200 likes !!! Do keep supporting me.. Your positive feedback instills a sense of pride in me.. 🙂 and gives me the motivation to keep going.. To celebrate let’s have something sweet.. this recipe was given to me by my friend Roshan who knows about my love for puddings.. 🙂
1. Marie biscuit – 150 gm
2. Butter – 3 tbsp
3. Nutella chocolate spread – 1 cup
Fresh cream – 1 cup
4. Chinagrass -10 gm
5. Milk – 2cups
Custard Powder – 3tbsp
Condensed milk – 1 tin
6. Fresh cream – 2 cups
Vanilla essence – 1tsp
Sugar – 6 tbsp
Layer 1 — Biscuit Layer
- Powder the biscuits finely.
- Add the butter to the biscuit powder and mix to form breadcrumb like texture
- Spread this as a layer on the serving bowl or in individual glasses and keep in fridge for about half an hour to set.
Layer 2 – Nutella layer
- Beat the 3rd ingredients .
- Spread half the nutella cream mixture over the biscuit layer and refrigerate again.
Layer 3 – Chinagrass layer
- Soak chinagrass, cut into strips, in 1 cup of water for an hour .
- Heat the chinagrass with water till it is completely dissolved
- In another pan, heat 5th ingredients
- When the mixture thickens add the melted chinagrass and stir continuously.
- Remove from fire after a minute.
- Beat 6th ingredients in a bowl
- Add this cream mixture to the chinagrass mixture.
- Let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour the chinagrass mixture over the nutella layer and refrigerate to set for about 3 hours.
Layer 4 – Nutella layer
- Spread the remaining nutella mixture over the chinagrass layer
- Refrigerate and serve.
My cousin had asked me to post the recipe for Chana Masala a few days (ahem, months ) back… Though this dish is a regular at home, I was skeptical of posting this – mainly because this is my own version …
Friends often ask me if the recipes posted in this blog are my own recipes or not.. Nope, almost all the recipes posted till date are from magazines, or cookery shows or given to me by friends and relatives. I am too bad in inventing new dishes – I know people who create dishes on the spur of the moment, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that.. But I need a clear recipe beforehand and most of the time follow the measurement to a tee..
So that was my confusion – whether my recipe is worth posting 🙂 … Last day, after having Chana Masala for dinner , my son declared that it tastes like restaurant version… and that was my green signal to go ahead..
I think, the authentic recipe calls for amchoor powder (dried mango powder) and crushed pomegranate seeds.. But I use the shortcut version – Chana Masala powder …
So let’s get to the recipe..
- Chickpeas, soaked overnight – 2 cups
- Onions, sliced – 2
- Ginger paste – 1 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
- Green chilly , slit – 2
- Tomato, chopped – 1
- Kashmiri chilly powder – 3/4 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 3 tsp
- Garam Masala – 1 tsp
- Chana Masala powder – 2 tsp
- Cardamom – 3
- Cloves – 2
- Cinnamon – 1/4 ” piece
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Oil – 3 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Sugar – a pinch
- Coriander leaves – a few sprigs
- Mix the chilly, turmeric , coriander and garam masala powders with a little water to form a smooth paste. Keep this aside.
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add cardamom, cloves , cinnamon and cumin seeds.
- Add the chopped onions , slit green chillies and saute them in medium flame, till they turn light brown in colour.
- Add the ginger paste and garlic paste and saute well.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till they turn soft.
- Add the chilly, turmeric , coriander and garam masala powder mixture and saute well.
- Toss in the chickpeas and stir well.
- Add about 1 cup of water and enough salt. Close the pressure cooker and cook the chickpeas. (After 1 whistle, keep the flame low and cook for about 12 minutes).
- Lightly mash the chickpeas in the gravy (this is to get a thicker consistency).
- Add 2 tsp of Chana Masala, chopped coriander leaves and cook on medium flame, with the lid open, for 3-4 minutes . Add a pinch of sugar and turn off the flame.
- Garnish with chopped onions, ginger strips and coriander leaves. Serve hot.
My friend, Zareena called me up yesterday to ask if we would like to join her for the Onam sadhya , at ISC. Eagerly accepted the invitation, no way was I going to miss a sadhya.. And at the back of my mind, I wanted to let the kids see and feel the festive atmosphere. Festive is the word… a really nice sadhya with Onam songs in the background and most of the people wearing traditional Kerala dress…. took me back to the days in Kerala… Onam with pookkalam and sadhya, especially paaysam… Though my eldest son wasn’t quite thrilled to eat from a banana leaf , the younger one was quite happy and even enjoyed the vanchippattu .. Thanks Zareena, for the invitation.
[A modest Sadya that I made for Onam… As it was a last minute decision the number of curries was less, nevertheless managed to make Parippu Paayasam..]
My favourite among the sadhya dishes – Madhura Curry/ Ethakka Pineapple Pachadi – a tasty combo of fruits in ground coconut. Though the name mentions only ethakka and pineapple, this one has mango and grapes added which adds a really nice flavour. I think the curry should be called Fruit Salad Curry, (courtesy my sister in law) . What do you say?
- Here’s the recipe
- Banana (frying variety) , cubed – 1 cup
- Pineapple , cubed – 1 cup
- Mango , cubed – 1 cup
- Black grapes – 5
- Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
- Chilly powder – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 1/2 tbsp
- Coconut, scraped – 6 tbsp
- Coconut oil – 3 tsp
- Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
- Red chillies – 4-5
- Curry leaves – a few
- Keep the grapes in hot water . After 10 minutes remove from hot water and keep them aside.
- Mix the banana, pineapple and mango pieces with the chilli and turmeric powders. Cook the pieces adding about 1/2 cup of water and salt.
- When the pieces are cooked well and all water is absorbed, add the sugar and mix well.
- Grind the coconut into a smooth paste and add to the fruits mixture.
- Add the grapes.
- Heat a pan for tempering. Add oil . When oil gets heated , add the mustard seeds. When it starts to splutter , add curry leaves and red chilies.
- Pour the oil over the curry.
Sending this the events- Food Palette Series- rainbow colours , Life is Green , Kerala Kitchen hosted by Easycooking, and Anyone Can Cook events
An easy one pot meal.. If you are pressed for time, try this really delicious dish which can be prepared in less than half an hour.. All you need is a raita as accompaniment.. I found this recipe on the Vahrevah site, an awesome site by Chef Sanjay with lots of culinary delicacies and explained in a really interesting manner…
There are many variations for Tomato Rice – using tomato puree alone, or a combination of tomato puree and coconut milk.. Another way, which is also shown in the Vahrevah site, is to saute the onions and tomatoes and add the boiled rice. I tried out the first method and the result was immensely gratifying.. So without further ado , here’s the recipe…
- Basmati Rice – 2 cup
- Ghee or oil – 4tbsp
- Cardamom -4
- Cloves – 4
- Cinnamon – ¼ inch piece
- Bayleaf – 3
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Onion sliced – 1
- Green chillies , chopped-2
- Tomato pureed – 2 cups (use abt 4 tomatoes)
- Boiling water – 2 cups
- Cashew nuts – 10
- Coriander ,mint leaves – a handful
- In a heavy bottomed pan,heat 3 tbsp ghee or oil & toss in cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bayleaf , cumin seeds. When they start to splutter add turmeric powder and saute.
- Add ginger garlic paste,onions,green chillis fry for few minutes.
- Add the rice and stir for 4-5 minutes
- Puree the tomatoes and add to the pan and mix with the rice.
- Pour the boiling water and salt to taste and cook on closed lid on medium flame.
- Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry the cashewnuts till golden brown.
- When the rice is cooked well add the fried cashews.
- Garnish with coriander and mint leaves.
- Serve hot with raita
Linking this to Aipi and Priya’s Bookmarked Events
The first time I made this dish it didn’t come out quite well.. The mistake was that I had made it using coriander ,chilli, turmeric & garam masala powders… Later my sister in law explained to me that this was one dish that you make with minimal ingredients; there is no need for any spice powders. Just blanche the palak , grind it with chillies, and add to sautéd onions.. that’s it.. easy and delicious..
Recipe Source (slightly adapted)
- Spinach – 2 large bunches
- Cottage cheese (paneer) – 100 grams
- Green chillies – 2-3
- Garlic – 5 cloves
- Oil -3 tablespoons
- Cumin seeds -1/2 teaspoon
- Salt -to taste
- Lemon juice -1 tablespoon
- Fresh cream – 4 tablespoons
- Remove stems, wash spinach thoroughly in running water.
- Blanch in salted boiling water for two minutes. Refresh in chilled water. Squeeze out excess water.
- Remove stems, wash and roughly chop green chillies.
- Grind spinach into a fine paste along with green chillies.
- Dice paneer into one inch by one inch by half inch pieces.
- Peel, wash and chop garlic.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to change colour, add chopped garlic and sauté for half a minute.
- Add the spinach puree and stir. Add water if required.
- When the gravy comes to a boil, add the paneer and mix well.
- Stir in lemon juice. Finally add fresh cream. Serve hot.
Sending this to AWED Indian Cuisine Event hosted by Umm Mymoonah of Taste of Pearl City , started by DK of Chef In You
A mild gravy of paneer and green peas cooked in coconut milk. Goes well with Kerala Appams…
- Cloves – 4
- Cardamom – 3
- Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
- Ginger, julienned – 1 tbsp
- Onions big, cubed – 2
- Green chillies, slit – 2 (if the chillies are not spicy you can add upto 4)
- Paneer – 100gm
- Boiled green peas – ½ cup
- Crushed pepper powder – ¼ tsp
- Flour – 1tsp
- Coconut Milk (second extraction) – 1 1/2 cup
- Coconut milk (first extraction) – 3/4 cup
- Curry leaves
- Deep fry paneer and soak them in hot water for 10 minutes, squeeze and keep aside. (If you want to cut down the calories, skip the deep frying part)
- Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan .
- Add the spices and when they start to splutter, saute the ginger.
- Add onions and green chillies , sauté till onions turn light pink. (Do not sauté till onions turn brown) Add salt and curry leaves.
- Add 1tsp flour and sauté well.
- Add the second extraction of coconut milk and when it starts to boil add the paneer cubes and boiled green peas.
- Cook on low flame for 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the first extraction of coconut milk and pepper powder and cook for 5 minutes.
A delicious combo of fruits and vegetables in a rich creamy sauce..
- Onion – 3
- Cashewnuts – 75 gm
- Milk – 2 cups
- Cardamoms – 5
- Ginger garlic paste -1 tsp
- Green chilli paste – 1/2 tsp
- Carrot – 2
- Beans – 10
- Caulifower – 5 florets
- Paneer cubes – 1/2 cup
- Raisins – 1 tbsp
- Apple chopped – 1/2
- Pineapple chopped – 2 slices
- Grapes – 10
- Garam Masala – 2 tsp
- Corainder leaves – to garnish
- Boil onions and cashew in milk.Strain and make a smooth paste.
- Heat pan and add 2 tbsp oil.
- Add the cardamoms, saute ginger garlic paste and the green chilli paste.
- Add the onion cashew paste and saute till oil rises to the top. Add 1/2 cup water and boil. Saute till the gravy thickens.
- Boil the vegetables and add to the gravy.
- Add paneer, raisins and the fruits and finally the garam masala.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.