Onion n Carrot Flower

Carrot flower learnt from Abhiruchi, ETV and onion carving by seeing some pics in blogs.To take part in the Create and Carve~Fruit n Veg Event I'm trying my hand at basic carving techniques. 

Take a 3 inch piece of carrot and make 3/4 cut circle and carefully peel the strip and cut a circle piece.make sure everything should be a single piece and repeat the same process till u have 7-9 pieces.

Screw the sliced carrot petals on to a tooth peek in the ascending order and serve them with a small carrot piece or chilli.
Onion Flower:I think the pic speaks better than my text.So sharing the pic of the procedure.

Wishing U All A Very Happy New Year.This would be my last post for 2010.Thanks to all my fellow bloggers and friends for inspiring me :)

Chip Dip

Chip Dip,heard it from my sis Navya and tasted it at her house,My sister's Husband Ganesh made it for us.I couldn't could munching.Even though its my 1st visit to their place I didn't feel shy to enjoy Chip Dip.Hmmmmm Yummy...Recently I fell in love with it...Thank U Ganesh for the chip Dip U made :) Got the recipe from him.

Ingredients:

Refried Beans:1 can
Sour Cream: 1 can(16 oz)
Guacamole: 1 packet(I used store bought pack)
Salsa: 1 can (I used HOT variety)
Cheese:1/2 cup
Salt: 1/2 spn
Taco Seasoning: To Taste

Procedure:
1.In a microwave safe bowl put the refried beans,add alt and taco seasoning,mix well so that the seasonings are well incorporated into the beans.Microwave for 1 min,pull out,mix well and spread it to a even layer.
2.Now layer the sour cream and then the salsa,guacamole,cheese on over the other as layers and micro wave it for 1-1.5 mins.If u want u can repeated the layers,but finally top it up with cheese.
3.Serve with tortilla chips.

Oats Idly

Idly is a most popular South Indian breakfast.Idly itself is a healthy dish,definitely Idly with oats is also a healthy version.Got to know this recipe from many blogs and frens but never gave a try,these days I wanted to try different varieties using oats which makes my Hubby very Happy.I was wondering how it would taste,the taste was very similar to Semiya Idly .


Ingredients:

Oats: 1 cup
Sooji: 1/2 cup
Curd: 3.5 cups
Salt:To Taste
ENO Fruit Salt:1 spn

For Tempering:

Chenna Dal:2 spns
Jeera:1 spn
Mustard Seeds:1/2 spn
Green Chillies:4-5(finely chopped)
Dry Red Chillies:2-3(cut)
Curry Leaves:10 (chopped)
Chopped Cilantro:2-3 spns
Broken Cashews:2 spns
Grated Ginger:1 spn
Hinge:1/2 spn
Oil:2 spns

Procedure:


1.Dry roast the oats till golden color and blend it to a coarse powder,in the same pan dry roast the sooji and combine both oats and sooji in a bowl,let them cool,add salt to taste and beaten curd,mix well and set aside
2.In a pan add oil,when hot add cumin seeds and mustard seeds,let them splatter and now add the chenna dal and fry till it turns golden color,add the green chillies,dry red chillies,broken cashews,hinge,curry leaves and fry till done.
3.Add the tempering to the oats and curd mixture mix well and finally add the chopped cilantro and once again a quick stir.Add water to the oats mixture to get the normal Idly batter consistency.Let the mixture sit for 15 mins.Now add the ENO salt,mix and put the batter in thegreased  idly plates or moulds and steam them on medium flame for 12-14 mins.
4.Serve hot with any chutney or sambar.

I served it with Karapodi and Cabbage Karivepaku Chutney.

Cucumber & Tomato Flower

Cucumber Flower and a Tomato Flower.Sending this carving to Simply.food Saw this in a TV show and learnt.Arranged them in a flower vase and placed cilantro stems and leaves.
Wishing U All A Happy New Year :)

Oats Pongal

One more oats dish as an offering for Lord Sai Baba.Oats Pongal,the procedure is very much similar to the regular pongal which we make with rice.Here goes the recipe....




Ingredients:


Oats:1 cup (dry roast till golden color and ground them to coarse powder)
Moong Dal:1/2 cup(washed and boiled)
Ghee:2 spns
Broken Cashews:2 spns
Cumin Seeds:2 spns
Pepper Cons:1 spn(lightly crushed)
Green Chilli:2 optional (finely chopped)
Grated Ginger 1 spn
Hinge: 3/4 spn
Curry Leaves: 1 sprig
Turmeric:A Pinch(optional)
Water:2.5-3 cups
Salt:To Taste

Procedure:

1.Heat a pan,add ghee,when ghee melts add add cashew nuts and fry till golden color,now cumin seeds anf let them splatter,when done add grated ginger,crushed pepper cons,green chillies,curry leaves and fry for 2 mins and now add hinge,fry for 1 more min.
2.Add water to the prepared tempering and bring it to boil,now add the boiled and mashed moong dal,stir well and add salt to taste finally add the ground coarse oats,stir well to avoid the lumps forming.Cover and cook till the oats are well done.It may take nearly5-6 mins to cook on medium flame.
3.Serve hot with any pickle,raitha,sambar or chutney of ur choice.U can add add little ghee while serving.

THE DARING BAKERS’ CHALLENGE DECEMBER '10: STOLLEN

Christmas stollen is choosen as the challenge for December 2010,The Daring Bakers by Penny.I made little variations in the recipe and could finally complete it.



Equipments Needed:
• Mixer with dough hook or strong arms and hands
• Mixing bowl
• Bowl to soak raisins
• Small saucepan
• Sheet of plastic or plastic wrap to cover when proofing
• Bench or pastry scraper (very handy for cutting dough and also cleaning work surface)
• Rolling pin
• Dough whisk can be handy but not necessary
• Pastry Brush
• A scale is really important to have when making bread so I strongly advise you to get one. You do not have to have one though. (would make a good Christmas gift!)
• Sheet Pan or round Pizza pan
• Parchment Paper

Stollen Wreath

Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people

Ingredients

¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first - then sift- plus extra for dusting)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath
Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.

Directions:

Soak the raisins for minimum of 2 hrs and a max of overnight.
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.

To make the dough
Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.
In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.
In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.
Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!
Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn't enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.
Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath
1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.
Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.
This was before I pinched it together
Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.
Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.
Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh - especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!
When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days and it toasts superbly…. so delicious with butter and a cup of tea.

StorageThe more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.
The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar
1. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months
2. The baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and
3. One month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap.

Ginger Bread Cookies-Gift Box

Chirstmas is the time for making Ginger Bread and also its the season for gifts,so I thought of making the edible ginger bread cookie box filled with candies.Last year I made these ginger bread cookies for the 1st time,I found a book in our local library which have very good ginger bread ideas I bought this book again this year also and adopted this
idea.



Ginger Bread Cookie Gift Box:

Ingredients:
Ginger Bread Mix:1 pack
Egg:1
Butter:1 stick(1/2 cup)
Water:1 Tablespoon

Ingredients for Royal Icing (To glue the box) Wiltons Recipe:
Meringue Powder:3 level tablespoons
Confectioners Sugar:1 lb
Luke Warm Water:5-6 tablespoons

Procedure to make icing:
Place sugar,meringue powder in a bowl and mix at low speed until blended.Add luke warm water and mix for 7-10 mins at low-medium speed until icing loses its sheen.To prevent drying,be sure to cover the bowl with a damp cloth,while working with icing.


Procedure To make cookies:
1.Take a mixing bowl,cream butter egg and water,now add the ginger bread mix and beat on medium speed to make it to smooth dough,scrap the dough on to plastic wrap and cover completely and chilli in fridge for min of 2hrs n a max of overnight.
2.Take the chilled dough on to a floured surface and using a rolling pi
n roll the cookie dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut rectangle shapes
out of it...I made 3 pieces of 18X10 cm rectangles and 2 pieces of 10X10 cm rectangles.
3.Transfer the cut cookie rectangles on to a baking sheet and bake for 11-12 mins at 350 F,when done take them out of oven and let them cool for 2 min n then transfer them to a cooling rack and wait for 15-20 mins.I made a small decorative glass effect either sides of the box,I first the cookies for 6 mins,removed them from oven and then used a small heart shaped cookie cutter and cut the sheets n then filled the gaps with candy(I used mango mood n Pan pasand) and put them in the oven and bake for another 6 mins.


4.When the cookies are completely cooled u can decorate the cookies right away or store them in a air tight container.
5.Lay a 18X10 cm rectangle on a flat surface and pipe the royal icing on 1 18 cm sides of the cookie and then place another 18X10 cm cookie and let it dry for 20-30 mins.Support the cookies with a glass or a can so that the cookie is in place.
6.Repeat the same process with all the sides using the cookies.Carefully glue the edges together with royal icing to hold them in place.

I even made small cube in 10X10 cm size and glued it using blue colored royal icing and filled it with snowman pops which I bought 4m dollar store .

I filled the big cookie gift box with candies from See's candies.

Wishing U All a Merry Christmas and A Very Happy New Year.

Oats & Apple Halwa

Oats,it has been my hubby's daily breakfast from last 2.5 yrs and he too want me to eat oats,but I didn't like it.Till date he always ask me to start with small quantity,add some pickle or curry to make it taste better,but I never gave a try,Recently I saw this recipe in a TV show and then made it last Thursday and offered it as a prasadam to Lord Sai Baba and took it as a baba's prasadam.I liked the taste then.May be thats because of using dry fruits and ghee :P but will try to make different varieties using oats once in a week.


Ingredients:

Apple:1 (cut into small pieces)
Old Fashioned Oats:1 cup(dry roast oats till they turn golden color and blend it to coarse powder,don't use water while blending)
Sugar:1/2 cup or adjust to Taste
Milk:3 cups
Dry Fruits:2 spns(I used raisins,almonds,cashew)
Ghee:2 spns
Cardamom Powder:1/2 spn

Procedure:

1.In a sauce pan,add milk and bring it to boil,now add the coarse oats powder and cover to cook till the oats become soft,add sugar,cardamom powder and mix well.
2.Take other pan,add ghee and fry the dry fruits till golden color,when done add them to the oats and milk mixture,finally add the apple pieces and cook for another 4-5 min on low flame till the mixture becomes thick and turn off the flame.

Variations:

U can add honey instead of Sugar.I made a coarse powder of oats,but u can skip this step and add the roasted oats directly.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo--Indian Cooking Challenge

Kashmiri Dum Aloo is the recipe choosen by Srivalli for November '10 Indian Cooking Challenge ,and the recipe is from Indian food.


Ingredients:
Baby potatoes:1/2 lb
Cumin seeds, - 1 tsp(roasted and powdered)
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Kashmiri red chillies - 3-4 no(roasted and powdered)
Curd - 2 1/2 cups(use fresh curd)
Ginger powder - 1 tsp
Fennel Powder - 1 tbsp
Cardamom - 1/2 tspMustard oil - 4 tbsps
Cloves-6 no( roasted and powdered)
Hinge:A Pinch
Oil:For Deep Frying Potatoes
Salt: To Taste
A cup of firm dough made from flour and water

Procedure:
Wash the potatoes well and poke all over with a fork,add a tspn of salt and soak the potatoes for 20 mins.
Heat oil in pan for deep frying the potatoes,fry the potatoes till they turn golden color,take them on to a kitchen towel,to drain the excess oil.
Add chili powder, ginger, cardamom and fennel powders to the beaten curd,to this mixture add potatoes,mix well and put aside.
Heat the mustard oil in another pan, add the clove powder,hinge and mix well,add 1/2 cup of hot water,salt to taste and bring it to a boil,add in the potato-yoghurt mix to the boiling water and mix well.
Seal the edges of the pan with the dough to ensure no steam can escape to cook on dum ,cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes.
Turn off the flame, remove the cover,add the cumin and garam masala powders,cover again quickly. Leave for 5 minutes.
Serve hot with Chapati/Naan.

Thank U Srivalli for choosing n sharing this recipe.We liked the dish.

Tom Yam Soup

Healthy and yummy soups always have their importance in our menu during winter,I saw this recipe in ETV Telugu channel's Abhiruchi,chefs are showing very yummy and simple recipes,they are even showing cute vegetable carvings.Both the soup and vegetable carving I posted in this post are from that program.Thanks to those chefs who make cooking easy.

Tom Yam Soup is a thin soup made with very simple ingredients yet very tasty.After tasting the soup my hubby named it Tom Yum Soup :)

Ingredients:

Tomato:1 medium(diced)
Mushroom:7-8 no(cut into quarters and Blanched)
Onion:1 small(diced)
Cilantro Stems with few leaves:15 no
Vegetable Broth/Water:3 cups
Red Chilli Sauce:2 spns
Tomato Ketchup:1 spn
Vinegar:1 spn
Soya Sauce:3 drops
Pepper:To Taste
Salt:To Taste

Procedure:

Place a sauce pan on flame,throw in onion,tomato,blanched mushroom,cilantro stems and fry for 2-3 mins,now add the water/vegetable broth and bring it to a boil,now
add chilli sauce,vinegar,soya sauce,ketchup,salt and pepper to taste,stir well and let this mixture boil for 5-6 mins on medium flame now turn off the heat and serve hot.

I was trying to click the pic in a different angle to get the perfect view of the humming bird which I made using a green chilli and radish leaves,but I was in a hurry as my hubby is back home for lunch,the result was this and it so cute...Isn't it???

Steps to make the Humming Bird:

Trim the stem of the chilli and make a small slit on either sides of the chilli and insert a radish leaf in both the slits,Using mustard seeds/pepper cons stud the eyes.

Sending this cute carving to simply.food
Eagerly waiting to see more carving and learn them.

Sweet Lassi

Yogurt based drink is Lassi,this may be sweet or salt not only this u can even make it to your by adding flavorings.This Sweet Lassi is what I always make sure to have whenever I visit my Grandma's place,Berhampur,Orissa.I love to have Pani Puri,Chaat in the evening with my cousins and finally end up with a glass of lassi at Murthy Lassi Center.My mom used to make this for us during summers.I'm never satisfied with just one glass.Adding coconut and cashew to the Lassi brings unique flavor.Childhood memories are always chweeeet :)


Ingredients:
To Blend:
Fresh Curd:1 cup
Sugar:3 spns
Ice Cubes:4-5
Water:1/4 cup
Vanilla Extract:1/2 spn

For Garnish:
Dry/Fresh Grated Coconut:1 spn
Broken Cashew: 1 spn

Procedure:
Take all the ingredients listed under to blend into a blender and blend well till all the flavors are combined.Lassi should not be too thick or too thin.When done pour this mixture into a glass and garnish it with coconut n cashew.Serve cool.

Beerakaya Egg Burji

Every person is a student though he/she is done with the studies.Life teaches us a lot from our day to day experiences.Isn't it!!! After many failure attempts for 2.5 yrs I finally learned to make Egg Burji in the last few months.I saw my cutie Chilli(sister) making this burji and learnt few tips from her to get it done perfect.Thank U Dear.

Egg can be cooked in different ways of all Burji and Fried eggs are my favorites.I saw this recipe in a TV channel,a bachelor shared this recipe,when I saw the recipe I wondered how it would taste when cooked with ridge gourd!!this different combination made me to try the dish and from then I'm making this dish very often,so do try this recipe and share me your experiences.


Ingredients:
Ridge Gourd:1 big(peeled n cut into chunks)
Eggs:4
Onion:1 medium(chopped)
Chopped Ginger:1 spn
Green Chillies:3-4(finely chopped)
Curry Leaves:6-7
Cumin Seeds:1 spn
Coriander Powder:1/2 spn
Fresh Coriander Leaves:2 spns
Oil:3 spns
Turmeric Pwd:1/2 spn
Salt:To Taste
Chilli Powder:To Taste

Procedure:
1.Heat Oil in a pan,when hot add cumin seeds,allow them to splatter and then add grated ginger,chopped green chillies,onion,sprinkle little salt and fry till onion turns translucent.At this stage add ridge gourd chunks,mix and cover to cook them soft.
2.Now add coriander pwd,turmeric pwd mix throughly and then break the eggs into the same pan,mix well to break the egg yolks,keep mixing it and fry till the raw flavor is removed from the eggs and the mixture turns little crisp,add salt and chilli pwd to taste.Mix and finally add coriander leaves and turn off the heat.
3.Serve it hot with chapathi/white rice.

Optional:
Sprinkle little garam masala if u like.U can used ginger garlic paste instead of grated ginger.
Peel the skin of ridge gourd completely or partially.I prefer to peel it partially,as the skin is rich in fiber and don't want to let it go waste.

Allam Chutney

Allam Chutney,got this recipe from my mom,I love this chutney for the unique taste of ginger and chenna dal.Used to have this from childhood with the breakfast items like Idly,Rava dosa,Semiya Upma,Uttapam.I can eat this chutney as it is :D


Ingredients:

Grated Ginger:5 spns
Chenna Dal:3 spns
Urad Dal:2 spns
Coriander Seeds:1 spn
Salt:To Taste
Dry Red Chillies:To Taste
Turmeric Pwd:A Pinch
Sugar:A Pinch
Oil:2 spns

For Tempering:

Oil:1 spn
Cumin Seeds:3/4 spn
Mustard Spn:1/2 spn
Curry Leaves:4-5
Dry Red Chillies:2(cut)

Procedure:

In a pan put oil,when hot put chenna dal,urad dal,coriander seeds and fry till they turn golden color,now add grated ginger,dry red chillies,salt to taste,turmeric pwd and fry well,when done turn off the flame and let it cool down now add a pinch of sugar and blend it to a smooth paste by adding little water.Finally heat oil and fry the ingredients listed under Tempering and add this to the chutney and serve with dosa ,idly.

Grilled Veggie Quesadilla

Mexican Cuisine comes next to Italian in our favorite list,we usually have rice bowl,burrito,crispy tacos or chalupa,rarely we'll have quesadilla rarely as we didn't like the taste at our place,I had this in Chevy's when I visited Chicago last month,I liked the taste and made it today for lunch.I used multi Grain Tortilla and Fat Free Mozzarella cheese just to make it little healthier.
This is the 1st time I used Fajitas seasoning,may be because of this seasoning the quesadilla tasted much better.
Ingredients:

Multi Grain Tortilla:4 no
Grated Mozzarella Cheese:8 0z pack (I used fat free cheese)
Onion:1 medium(cut length wise)
Capsicum:1(cut length wise)
Fajitas Seasoning:To Taste
Salt:To Taste
Oil:1 spn

Procedure:

1.In a pan add oil,when hot add the cut onion and capsicum,fry till they become soft,make sure that the veggies don't turn mushy,veggies should have little crunch in them.Add salt and fajitas seasoning to taste.
2.Now heat a tawa on flame,put the tortilla on the tawa and let it heat a little,now spread cheese and grilled veggies on half of the tortilla and now fold the tortilla into half,press a little and place a kitchen towel on the tortilla and put some heavy weight on the tortilla this helps the cheese to melt and get crisp on the outer side.
3.When done,cut the tortilla into the desired size,serve it hot with guacamole,sour cream,salasa and lettuce.

Variations:
U can use Flour,Corn Tortillas of ur choice and Cheese of ur choice.

Vacation Time and Spinach Raitha

It has been long time I updated my blog,I was on vacation to my sister's place,Chicago as my parents are here from India for 2 weeks,we all had wonderful time together visiting few places in and around Chicago and LA,Though its a short trip we had lots and lots of fun and memories.It was like a family reunion for Thanks Giving :D Our Thanks Giving Fun


Hope u all are enjoying ur holidays.
Here are few pics.

@ Mr.Bean,Chicago Down Town:
@Sin City,Las Vegas:
@Universal City,LA:
@Universal Studios,LA:

Ingredients:
Spinach:1 Bunch(Rinse under cold water and chop the leaves)
Onion:1 medium Optional (finely sliced)
Green Chillies:3-4(chopped)
Salt:To Taste
Garlic:2 cloves(crushed)
Cumin Powder:1/2 spn
Oil:2 spns
Curd:2 cups(beaten)

Procedure:
Heat Oil in a pan,when hot add the sliced onions,fry till onions turn translucent now add the chopped green chillies,crushed garlic and fry till the raw flavor is removed,now add the chopped spinach leaves,sprinkle salt to taste and fry till the spinach becomes soft,add cumin powder,mix and once the spinach becomes dry,turn off the flame and let it cool to room temperature.Finally add this spinach mixture to the beaten curd,mix well and serve with chapathi or rice.

Varo – Indian Praline with Mixed Dry fruits | Diwali Sweets-Indian Cooking Challenge

One more special sweet I made for this diwali was Varo(Dry Fruit Chikki) for Indian cooking Challenge-October by Srivalli
I have chosen the Sindhi Version from Simply Sindhi Recipe


Ingredients:
Mixed Nuts:1 cup (Cashew,Almonds,Pistachio-chopped)
Sliced Dry Coconut -2 Tbsp (optional,I didn't use them)
Poppy Seeds- 2 tbsp
Cardamoms - 4 -5 no(add some sugar and powder the cardamoms)
Sugar - 1 Cup
Ghee - 1 tbsp

Procedure:
1.Take a heavy bottomed pan,add ghee,when it melts add a cup of sugar and let it melt on low flame,stir occasionally,after the sugar melts completely then it will start caramelizing,at this stage add all the chopped mixed nuts,Poppy seeds,cardamom powder,sliced dry coconut and mix them well to coat the nuts evenly with the caramelized sugar.
2.Grease a plate with ghee and pour the done dry fruit mixture into the plate flatten it using a rolling pin/backside of a cup,this has to be done very soon else the mixture starts hardening when removed from flame.
3.Let this mixture sit and set for some time and then break into pieces.
4.Store them in a air tight container.



Grilled Eggplant Pram Lasagna

Italian is our favorite cuisine,we make frequent visits to the Italian Restaurants and I love making that kind of food at home.Yesterday we went to a grocery store,I asked my hubby if he wants to have an eggplant dipping,but he said no I wanted me to make Eggplant Lasagna in the same way which I made for a potluck party few days back. He simply loves eggplant Lasagna,but he could not find it in any any restaurant so I made it for him today,my hubby is very health conscious,he always see the fat contents,sugars n etc on the back of the product before he picks one,so made this dish with fat free mozzarella and fat free Ricotta cheese.But its ur call of choosing the kind of cheese u like.

I saw this recipe on Rachel Ray's show where she just uses grilled eggplant slices in the layers but I made it using both the Lasagna sheets and eggplant slices.Here is my version.
Ingredients:

American Eggplants:2 no(thinly sliced,length wise)
Marinara Sauce:10 oz bottle(I used Ragu Chunky Pasta Sauce)
Ricotta Cheese:15 oz can
Lasagna Pasta:1 box(I used pasta which can be baked directly with out cooking them,no boil pasta)
Eggs:2 no
Salt n Pepper:To Taste
Parmesan Cheese:3/4 cup
Mozzarella Cheese:3/4 cup
Fresh Parsely:2 spn(finely chopped)
Fresh Basil:2 spns(Finely chopped)

Procedure:

1.Heat a grill pan on medium heat,place the sliced eggplants and grill them till soft on both sides,drizzle some oil all over the eggplant to avoid burning.Repeat the same with all the eggplant slices and put aside.
2.In a bowl add ricotta cheese,Parmesan Cheese and Mozzarella Cheese
and mix well,add salt and pepper to taste,now beat 2 eggs into the cheese mixture,beat the eggs so that are evenly incorporated with the cheese,now add the fresh parsely n basil leaves,mix well and put aside.
3.Pre-heat the oven at 375 F.

Assembling Lasagna:

1.Take an oven safe dish or casserole,spread marinara sauce evenly on the dish and layer the Lasagna sheets as the 1st layer,now spread the ricotta cheese mixture on the sheets,this will be the second layer,now layer the grilled eggplant slices as the third layer and the final layer is going to be the marinara sauce,spread evenly and sprinkle little mozzarella cheese,small pinch of salt and repeat the layers and finally finish the layer with lasagna sheet and marinara sauce and sprinkle some more cheese on top along with some fresh parsley and bake it in
the oven for 45 mins.
2.Sprinlkle some more fresh basil on top and serve hot,if u want u can add some more Parmesan cheese just before serving.
See the layers of Eggplant,cheese and Lasagna .Layering pattern is also ur choice but make sure u start and end up with marinara.Hope u like the recipe...

Jalebi-Diwali Special

Wishing U All A Happy n Safe Diwali,as we all know diwali is a festival of lights and sweets.Diwali is one of my favourite festival,but I miss all the fun of diwali after coming here to USA,its all a part of life.We are planning to lit Diyas in the evening and invited friends for dinner.


I made Jalebi,they turned perfect for the 1st time.I saw this recipe in showmethecurry.com and done the same they showed in the video.Thanks To Anuja n Hetal for the helpful video.
Click here to view the recipe.Trust me,follow the recipe and tips shared in the video and the Jalebi will never go wrong.

Green Peas Paratha


Recipe Coming Soon

Doughnuts--The Daring Bakers October Challenge

Go Nuts for Doughnuts!!!! :P I have bookmarked this recipe almost 2 years back,never thought of trying them.I love Dounts from Krispy Kreme and also from local store of our place.I love to wake up around 5 in da morning,get ready and drive to the donut shop to enjoy the fresh and soft doughnuts,we usually do this on Sundays.Out of all I like the chocolate glazed doughnuts.
Now I can make them my own.Thank U Lori for choosing this challenge.I've chosen the very 1st recipe.

Ingredients

Milk 1.5 cup / 360 mlVegetable Shortening 1/3 cup / 80 ml / 70 gm / 2.5 oz (can substitute butter, margarine or lard)
Active Dry Yeast 4.5 teaspoon (2 pkgs.) / 22.5 ml / 14 gm / ½ oz
Warm Water 1/3 cup / 80 ml (95°F to 105°F / 35°C to 41°C)

Eggs, Large, beaten 2
White Granulated Sugar ¼ cup / 60 ml / 55 gm / 2 oz
Table Salt 1.5 teaspoon / 7.5 ml / 9 gm / 1/3 oz
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp. / 5 ml / 6 gm / ¼ oz

All Purpose Flour 4 2/3 cup / 1,120 ml / 650 gm / 23 oz + extra for dusting surface

Canola Oil DEPENDS on size of vessel you are frying in – you want THREE (3) inches of oil (can substitute any flavorless oil used for frying)

Directions:

  1. Place the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat just until warm enough to melt the shortening. (Make sure the shortening is melted so that it incorporates well into the batter.)
  2. Place the shortening in a bowl and pour warmed milk over. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let dissolve for 5 minutes. It should get foamy. After 5 minutes, pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl of a stand mixer and add the milk and shortening mixture, first making sure the milk and shortening mixture has cooled to lukewarm.
  4. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and half of the flour. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer (if you have one), combine the ingredients on low speed until flour is incorporated and then turn the speed up to medium and beat until well combined.
  5. Add the remaining flour, combining on low speed at first, and then increase the speed to medium and beat well.
  6. Change to the dough hook attachment of the mixer and beat on medium speed until the dough pulls away from the bowl and becomes smooth, approximately 3 to 4 minutes (for me this only took about two minutes). If you do not have a dough hook/stand mixer – knead until the dough is smooth and not sticky.
  7. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. On a well-floured surface, roll out dough to 3/8-inch (9 mm)thick. (Make sure the surface really is well-floured otherwise your doughnuts will stick to the counter).
  9. Cut out dough using a 2 1/2-inch (65 mm) doughnut cutter or pastry ring or drinking glass and using a 7/8-inch (22 mm) ring for the center whole. Set on floured baking sheet, cover lightly with a tea towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 365 °F/185°C.
  11. Gently place the doughnuts into the oil, 3 to 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute per side or until golden brown (my doughnuts only took about 30 seconds on each side at this temperature).
  12. Transfer to a cooling rack placed in baking pan. Allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes prior to glazing, if desired.I used vegetable oil instead of Canola oil and Made Sugar Glazed,chocolate glazed and few filled with jam and use few sprinkles.Finally the challenge was a big hit.

An Award n My New Hobby Balloon Art

Life is being so routine these days,it just cooking,eating n sleeping nothing more,I really hate myself being like this.Don't know why I'm not even regular in updating my blog as it has to be in the beginning so just thought of making a new hobby other than cooking,I bought a pack of twisty Balloon pack which come with an air pump,tried my hand in making few shapes with them and yeah I did them,made them by watching videos on youtube,they are very well demonstrated.Here are few pics of the Balloon Art I made.
Balloon Parrot:
Balloon Monkey:
Monkey Climibing A Palm Tree:

Balloon Bear:
I'm happy for one more reason,I received an Lovely Blog Award from Akila of Learning-To-Cook.Thank U Akila for passing me on this Award.

Here are the rules of the award:

1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers. Please don't leave it general and just invite all your blogger friends to collect the Award. It's always nice to be nominated so please do the favour and nominate 15 bloggers to share the Award with.
3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they’ve been chosen.

I'm passing on this award to 15 bloggers:
2.Divya: Dil Se
9.Sharmi: Neivedyam
10.Tina:Kaipunyam
11.Namratha: Finger Licking Food
13.Srimathi:Few Minute Wonders
14.Nostalgia: Collabrative Curry

All the blog have a great collection of yummy recipes,visit their blog if u get a chance.Once again Thank U Akila.