Thursday, June 30, 2011

Choco strawberry cake- B'day special

Yesterday was my birthday. It was the first birthday after my marriage. So to make it special I decided to bake a homemade cake (hey! that rhymes). Thanks to Anushruti of divinetaste, my eggless cakes come out very nicely. This recipe is adapted from her recipe.

1. 160 gm strawberries
2. 2 cups maida/ white flour/all purpose flour
3. 1 & 1/2 cups brown sugar
4. 1 Tbsp coco powder (i used Cadbury's)
5. 1tsp cinnamon powder
6. 2 tsp baking powder
7. 1 tsp baking soda
8. 1/2 cup olive oil
9. 1/2 cup yogurt
10. 1 tsp vanilla essence/extract
11. 1 cup milk

1. Sift the white flour, baking powder, baking soda and coco powder together
2. In another deep bowl mix brown sugar, yogurt, oil and milk.
3. Pour half of dry ingredients in the wet ingredients and blend with a hand blender, Combine the rest of the half and again blend it. Alternatively keep sprinkling dry ingredients and mixing it with a long spoon.
4. Now stir in the vanilla extract, the chopped strawberries & the cinnamon powder.
5. Pre heat the oven at 150 degrees centigrade.
6. Pour the cake mix in previously prepared(greased and floured) pan.
7. Keep the pan in the oven and keep for about 50 min. or till a skewer comes out clean.

I also used her chocolate butter frosting recipe to decorate the cake.

1. 1/3 cup cocoa powder
2. 1/3 cup butter, softened
3. 2 cups icing sugar
4. 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
5. 1 to 2 tbsp hot water

With the help of a hand mixer or a wire whisk, mix the cocoa and butter. Stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla and hot water. Beat until you get a smooth frosting which can be spread easily.

My frosting was a bit runny, I might have accidently put more water. I used up only half of the running chocolatey liquid. So, if you dont want to store anything, I suggest halving all the measures for the frosting.

Just to give a more berry-like touch, I decided to put in raspberry jam.
When the cake was cooled then I cut it into half and smeared the jam inside. After placing the top portion and pouring the frosting, the rough edges got covered. Not to mention that it tasted totally delicious!!

Tasty tip- Chill the cake after frosting and enjoy after a few hours.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Leek & broccoli soup

I was on the soup making spree. Most of my soups were already known see that I do a lot of blog reading. This was one of the my own experimental soups which turned out to be decently edible..:P

1. Leek- chopped 2 katori
2. Spring onions- chopped, 3/4 cup
3. Garlic cloves- 2 big, chopped
4. Olive oil - 1 tbsp
5. Parmesan cheese- grated, 1 tbsp
6. Potatoes- 1 katori
7. Broccoli - 6 big florets, separated and cut into small pieces
8. Salt to taste
9. Black pepper- 1 tsp
10. Cream - 50 gm
11. Water or vegetable stock

1. Heat oil in a tick bottomed pan/wok.
2. Sauté garlic and leek in it. Add potatoes and cook for a few minutes. The flame should be medium high.
3. Add broccoli and water or vegetable stock. Add salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper
4. Cover and cook till broccoli is tender and potatoes are cooked.
5. Remove from flame. Blend it.
6. Pour the blended ingredients into a pot and keep it on the gas stove at a medium- low flame.
7. Add cream and half of the spring onions.
8. Add cheese and stir till its mixed well.
9. Cover and cook for a few minutes. Add 1/2tsp black pepper.
10. Garnish with the rest of the spring onions and serve hot or warm.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dal daliya with vegetables

As I've mentioned before , daliya (wheat bulgur) can be made in many varieties. This one is comforting, not to mention that it is an ideal vegetarian protein combination of both cereal & lentils . Here is one of the variety which is based on my father in law's recipe.

(Serves 2 in a meal)
1. Split green gram dal- 1/2 katori , washed thoroughly
2. Daliya- 1 & 1/4 katori
3. Tomatoes - 1 katori chopped
4. Carrots - 1 cup
5. Marrow- 1 small, peeled and chopped
6. Ghee- 2 tsp + 1tsp used while garnishing
7. Water for cooking (about 3 katoris/cups)
8. Salt- 1 tsp or as per taste
9. Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

1. Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Roast daliya in it, till it cooks well.
2. Add water, all the vegetables and dal in it.
3. Add all the spices and close the cooker.
4.Cook for 10 min at high flame, at least 2 whistles should come.
5. Reduce the flame to low and cook for another 5-6 min. At least one whistle should come.
6. Cook for longer if required. Switch off the gas, let the cooker cool.
7. Serve hot with curd and onions.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Peas poha

Poha or rice flakes is one of the favorite breakfast options in northern India. It is usually made in a very simple manner and is called "kanda (onion) poha". I love to create varieties and give a twist to the original.

Ingredients (serves 2)
1. Peas- 1 cup (I've used the frozen ones)
2. Onions- 1 medium sized, sliced
3. Potato - 1 small, chopped
4. Green chilies- 1 chopped
5. Rice flakes/poha- 1 & 1/2 cup
6. Groundnuts- 1 tsp
7. Tomato- 1 chopped
8. Lime juice of 1/2 lemon for one serving (optional)
9. Salt to taste
10. Turmeric Powder- 1/2 tsp approximately
11. Red chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
12. Mustard seeds (rai)- 1/4 tsp
13. Oil- 1 tblsp

1. Wash poha thoroughly. Then drain and keep it aside.
2. Sprinkle the salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder over the drained poha.
3. Heat oil in a kadhai. Add mustard seeds to it.
4. When the seeds starts crackling, add groundnuts and fry them for a few seconds. They skin will crack when they cook.
5. Add onions and green chilly and fry for a few min. Add potatoes. Cook till they are done.
6. Add the poha and toss it in the kadhai.
7. Now add tomatoes and peas and stir till it mixes well. Cover and cook for a minute or so.
8. Add the lime juice after switching off the gas.
9. Serve hot.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vegetable Daliya

Daliya is basically broken wheat or wheat bulgar. Its rich in fibre and also retains the most of the vitamins and minerals since it has not been processed extensively. It is made in several ways, like with milk (doodh daliya) or with jaggary (Laapsi)or maybe served like plain daliya (plain porridge). The varieties are endless.

Vegetable daliya is one of my favorites. I like it cause it's filling but doesn't gives you that heavy feeling in the stomach. Usually I make it for breakfast, but occasionally, as a light dinner, it fits the bill just fine.

1. Daliya- 1 cup
2. Ghee/butter- 1 & 1/2 teaspoon
3. Carrots- 1cup
4. Spring onions-1 cup
5. Capsicum- 1 medium, chopped
6. Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
7. Salt to taste
8. Water- about 1 & 1/2 cup
9. Red chili powder- 1/4 tsp
10. Lemon juice from one small lemon

1. Take a pressure cooker and heat the ghee or butter in it
2. Add daliya and roast it till it darkens a little and gives a cooked aroma
3. Now add all the vegetables and salt, sauté it.
4. Pour water keeping your face away as some droplets might strike back, as the pan will be very hot
5. Close the pressure cooker. Keep it on medium high heat for a few minutes.
6. At the first whistle, turn off the heat. Let the cooker cool.
7. Squeeze the lemon over it.
8. Serve daliya with curd on the side

Serve 2 with full bowls

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Salad of mung sprouts

Today I'm putting up a salad recipe which is not only easy to make, but is very filling too! It makes as a perfect dish for hungry kids when they are back from playground in the evening.

1. Sprouts of whole moong daal - 1 cup
2. Chopped onions-1 small
3. Chopped tomatoes- 1 medium
4. Chopped carrots- 1 small
5. Chopped spring onions- 1
6. Salt- to taste
7. Pepper- to taste
8. Lime juice- 1tsp

Mix all the ingredients together and toss well.
Boiled potatoes can also be added to make a more filling side dish. I pair it up with lemonade and it taste delightful.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Pumpkin soup

Pumpkin or kaddu is not one of my favorite vegetable. But, we saw it in the vegetable market the other day, bought it and brought it.
I started thinking of making this humble vegetable, tempting. Since I wanted to drink something rich and creamy, I decided upon making the Pumpkin soup.

Serves 2 hungry persons

1. Medium pumpkin- cubed and diced
2. Medium sized potato- peeled & diced
3. Medium sized onion/shallots- chopped
4. Spring onions- chopped, about a cup
5. Garlic- 2-3 cloves, chopped
6. Salt to taste
7. Nutmeg powder-1/4 teaspoon (you can add more if you prefer)
8. Cayenne pepper- 1/2 teaspoon
9. Olive oil- 1 Tbsp (tablespoon)

1. Take a pressure cooker. Pour the oil.
2. Heat olive oil and add cayenne pepper.
3. When it pops, add pumpkin, onions and garlic.
4. Fry it for about a minute or so, then add potatoes and spring onions & salt.
5. Add about 2 cups of water/vegetable stock. Cover and cook for atleast 10 minutes or till minimum2 whistles.
6. Cool the cooker. Remove cover
7. Pumpkin should be fork tender and not mushy. Blend all the ingredients in a normal mixer or with a hand blender.
8. Transfer the contents to a thick bottomed pan and put on a medium slow flame. Add more water if the soup looks too thick.
9. Add the nutmeg. Cook for a minute or so.
10. Serve hot with any kind of bread, or none if desired.

Serving suggestion: Put sour cream or thick yogurt & a sprig of parsley for decoration.

I had mine without any of these. It still tasted good.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The 'light' green salad

My husband is really into healthy diet and stuff. We jog in the mornings, he does his push-ups, turn outs and meditation.

But, there is a problem. He has a sweet tooth and I'm learning to make cakes. Oops!

So, like a good wife, I serve salads with the meals which (thankfully!) he loves.

Here's the recipe which I made recently. Its simple to make and tastes good...and yes, you can omit the cheese if you want to.

1. Cucumber- 1, chopped
2. Spring onions- 2, chopped
3. Capsicum- chopped, 1 small
4. Fresh herbs- can use mint, cilantro, basil, parsley- chopped/torn
5. Olive oil- 2 tsp
6. Salt & pepper to taste
7. Crumbled cheese- can use feta or plain old amul cheese cubes- 1 tsp
8. Olives- 2-3, chopped

1. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.
2. Serve chilled or at room temperature.