Monday, September 26, 2011

Exotic ice-cream (2 ingredients)

Its so delightfully easy, unbelievably quick and amazingly tasty that I was congratulating myself when it was done. It seemed quicker than my quickie ice cream !! And what could be more exotic than a ripe Avocado ? It certainly is not a very common fruit in India ; though abundant in Lagos. It’s a fruit which has loads of fat (the good type)and a buttery texture. I guess that's good when you want to make ice-creams.

My hubby dug into this one before i could take a decent pic..just one more reason for trying it out...;)

You need
Ripe Avocado- 1; peeled and pitted
Sweetened condensed milk- 160 gm 

  1. Slice the avocado in few pieces.
  2. Keep it in the refrigerator for a few hours.
  3. Blend the avocado pieces and the condensed milk in a food processor.
  4. Serve immediately or keep in the freezer for later use.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Shakkarkand ki kheer -Vrat special (Sweet Potato 'n' Milk pudding)

Indians have a lot of festivals and prayer ceremonies throughout the year. Fasting or vrat or upwaas are an intricate part of it. Special sweet and savory items are made on that day. This pudding is a common dish prepared on the day of fasting. Though mostly made on religious days, it easily serves as a normal dessert at lunch or dinner.


1. Sweet Potato/ Shakkarkand- 3 medium sized
2. Milk (low fat)- 350 ml + more (to thin it to liking)
3. Sugar- 3 spoons or as per taste
4. Cardamom (elaichi)- powdered, 1/2 tsp
5. Saffron (Kesar)-1-2 strands
6. Almonds-3-4 & Pistachios-4-5
(All dry fruits are optional, you can also add raisins and/or cashews in the pudding)


1. Pre-heat the oven at 210°C.

2. Keep the sweet potatoes in the oven for 20-25 min. keep turning every 10 min. Alternately, you can just boil them in the pressure cooker, but it'll differ a little in flavor. 

3. When its done, remove from oven and keep outside to cool a bit.

4. Remove skin and cut into small pieces.

5. Heat milk in a pan and add the roasted sweet potato in it.

6. Stir and let it cook at medium heat.

7. Mash the potato pieces with the back of the spoon.

8. Add  the saffron strands.

9. Cook for about 10-12 min.

10. Pound the almonds and pistachios coarsely.

11. Add elaichi/cardamom and mix.

12. Add milk if the pudding becomes too thick for your liking.

13. Garnish with coarse mix of almonds and pistachios and serve hot.

Note: You can chill it in the refrigerator and serve cold also. It'll be equally delightful; especially in summers.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dal baati choorma (Rajasthani special)

Today I bring to you the special preparation of Rajasthan (dharti dhoraan ree or Land of the sand dunes). This large state in the west of the Indian subcontinent has a unique cuisine of its own. Its capital happens to be my hometown and thus this dish of dal- bati brings back the memories of the scant rainy season or the cool season of September to mid October (just preceding the teeth chattering winters) when it was best enjoyed. It also brings warmth and joyous laughter back with the whole family seated together enjoying the hearty meal.

Rajasthani's do not skimp on their favorite ghee/clarified butter especially while serving to guests. I've tried using less, but there is really no limit to how much you can add on the top of a bati or dal.


For Dal
Urad dal-100 gm
Moong dhuli dal-50 gm
Chana dal- 50 gm
Ghee (clarified butter) - 2 tbsp
Heeng (asafoetida)- 1-2 pinch
Jeera (cumin seeds)- 1 tsp
Haldi (turmeric powder) - 1/2 tsp
Lal mirch (Red chilli powder)- 1/2 tsp
Garam masaala- 1/2 tsp
Dhaniya powder (coriander seeds powder)- 1 & 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes- 3
Green chili-2, chopped
Ginger- 1" piece

1. Wash thoroughly and soak all the dals together for 1-2 hours. You can soak it for longer also.
2. Grind tomatoes, green chillies and ginger togehter
3. Take dal in a pressure cooker, add salt, haldi and twice the water. Put on high flame to cook.
4.After 1-2 whistles, lower the heat and continue to cook till done.
5.The cooked dal should not be total mush, it should hold some shape and should be easily pressed by fingertips.
6.Heat ghee in a khadhai/wok, add cumin seeds and heeng. When they sizzle then add dhaniya powder and pour the tomato mixture in it. Add lal mirch and cook until the ghee is left on the sides. Now add garam masaala and stir.
7. Pour the boiled dal on this mixture. Stir and check the salt. Add more if required.
8. Serve hot with batis

For Bati

Wheat flour- 400 gm
Semolina/rava/suji- 100 gm
Melted Ghee (clarified butter) - 100 gm
Jeera (cumin seeds)- 1 tsp
Ajwain (carom seeds)-1 tsp
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Add a little lukewarm water and make hard dough (like that of poori). Don't make it very hard.
3. Cover and keep for 1/2 hour.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degree centigrade.
5. Make round medium sized dough balls.Keep them on a baking tray.
6. Place tray on the medium rack for 25-30 min. Turn baati every 5-7 min.
7. Take out from the oven and pour some more melted ghee (optional) before serving.

The traditional choorma recipe calls for more ingredients like almonds, raisins, pistachios etc. and more ghee too. It involves both roasting and frying the dough. I however have restrained from making it too 'fatty'. Fortunately, I got a result similar to the original (I thank my mom for the improvisation tip). Also, since I did not have Gur/ jaggary or Bhura/ a variety of ground sugar, I used brown sugar I had.

For Choorma

Wheat flour- 400 gm
Semolina/rava/suji- 100 gm
Melted Ghee (clarified butter) - 200 gm
Elaichi (cardamom)- ground, 1 tsp
Brown Sugar - 400 gm (one can adjust for taste)


1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Add a little lukewarm water and make soft dough.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degree centigrade.
4. Make medium sized flattened dough balls.Keep them on a baking tray.
5. Place tray on the medium rack for 25 min. Turn flat pieces every 5-7 min.
6. When they are roasted well. They should not be too dry.
7. Let then cool a bit, till you are able to handle them with your hands.
8. Break them into small pieces, alternatively grind in a food processor till powdered.
9. Add Sugar & ground elaichi and mix well.
10. Sieve though a mesh for same granule size and better texture.
11. Serve on side with dal bati.

Note: I make the dough for both bati and choorma and keep them in seperate baking trays in the oven, since I bake them at the same temperature.

Sometimes we like to mash batis in the dal, top it up with ghee and relish it by eating with hands (yeah, no spoons!) and it is fingerlicking tasty..:)


Monday, September 12, 2011

Fruit chutney- sweet & spicy

I was looking for something fun to cook (meaning- little effort and great taste) when I stumbled upon this one in my archive. This one is for the keeps, trust me. The lovely blend of berry's tartness, date's sweetness and chili's spiciness with the hint of ginger makes you go yumm…..

Since I did not have all the ingredients of the original recipe,so I modified it a little, but essentials are the same.

1. 1 large Tomato, Chopped
2. 2 Cups of Chopped Strawberry (Fresh or Frozen)
3. 1 katori(200 ml) Pitted Dates- chopped
4. 1 Red Apple chopped into small pieces
5. 1 teaspoon of Mustard Seeds
6. 1 Red Dry Chilli
7. 1″  Cinnamon Sticks
8. 1 Hot Green Chilli Pepper, chopped
9. 1″ Ginger Peeled & grated
10. 1 Cup Sugar
11. 1 Tablespoon Vinegar
12. 1 Cup Orange Juice


1. Heat a pot.
2. Add the mustard seeds, Red Dry Chilli & the Cinnamon sticks.
3. When the mustard seeds start to pop, add all the other ingredients and simmer at low heat, till the Fruits are soft & mushy & the consistency gets thick enough to coat a spoon. I just kept it on fire and got busy in preparing dinner with occasional checking in between. It took about 40 minutes to be done.
4. Pour the Chutney mixture into sterilized jar whilst still hot. Cover with an airtight, plastic lid. A metal lid will be corroded due to action of spices and vinegar, so it is not advisable to use it.
5. Keep it in the refrigerator after the jar cools down to room temperature

Serving suggestions

You can make a sandwich, or serve it with rolls, croissant, buns etc.
I enjoyed it with the Indian chapatti too! as an accompaniment , since I'm not much of a pickle eater.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Veg stew with coconut milk/ Nariyal doodh ki curry

This stew is just right for the time you don’t really want to eat much, but you still want to have a tasteful meal. It balances the heavy and light both, in taste and fulfillment of the appetite. One of the best thing is that you can improvise easily, choose your favorite veggies and cook them in the stew.

(modified from this recipe)
1. 3 small carrots- peeled and diced
2. 1/2 bell pepper /capsicum/shimla mirch(large one)
3. 1 medium potato-peeled and diced
4. Cottage cheese (Paneer)50gm - diced or cubed (original recipe uses tofu)
5. Squash/pumpkin- 1/4 cup
6. Olive oil (to drizzle)
7. Butter -2 tsp (about 10 gm)
8. Ginger - minced 1" piece
9. Onion- diced , 1 medium sized
10. Dry red chili- 1
11. Bay leaf-1
12. Turmeric (haldi)-1/2 tsp
13. Red chili powder (lal mirch)- 1/2 tsp
14. Salt to taste
15. Coconut milk-1/4 cup
16. Low fat milk-2 tbsp
17. Fresh Curry leaves - 5-6
18. 1 tablespoons Chana Dal (Split brown Chickpeas without the seedcoat)
19. 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds (rai)
20. Salt
21. Fresh Black Pepper (optional)
22. water if required


a) In a baking tray place the carrots, potatoes, pumpkin & the capsicum. Drizzle with some oil (Preferably Olive Oil) & roast them at 375⁰F /190⁰C for about 15 -20 minutes. They needn't be wholly cooked as they will be cooked further on the stovetop. Roasting imparts a different flavor.

b) Heat a soup pot/wok/kadhai. Add the cinnamon, cardamom & clove & dry roast at medium heat till aromatic.

c) Add 1 teaspoon of butter, and add the Hot Green Chillies, Bayleaf, Ginger & Onion & stir fry till the onions are translucent.

d) Add all the roasted veggies and stir at medium heat for about 5- 7 minutes.

e) Add salt, black Pepper, turmeric powder, tomatoes, milk, water and paneer.

f) Cover & cook for sometime till the potatoes & carrots are tender and done. Uncover and add the Coconut Milk. Simmer for 5-6 minutes more & switch off the heat.

g) For a thicker stew, mash a few potatoes in the stew with the back of the spoon.

To Temper

Heat 1 Tablespoon of Butter/Oil. Add the Chana dal/Split chickpeas & stir till they are light brown. Add the mustard seeds.
Switch off the heat when they splutter & Immediately add the curry leaves.
Pour this over right away on the cooked stew. Gently stir it in. Cover and keep it for a 15-30 seconds.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Home-made Chocolate granola

I've never been the one to eat much packaged cereals. For me breakfast has been mostly a typical Indian fare of paranthas, pohas, suji upma, vegetable daliya etc. That was until I discovered how easy was it to have variations with the daily cereal. I also came accross this recipe on 'delicious days'(blog by Nicole Stich), which made my cereal bowl even tastier!

Modified slightly from the original recipe
1. Chocolate - 50 gm (I've used 70% cocoa)
2. Brown sugar- 1/2 cup
3. Water - 1/2 cup
4. Oats (Quaker)- 1 & 1/2 cup
5. Extra virgin Olive oil- 30 ml
6. Honey- 60 ml
7. Desiccated coconut- 1 tbsp
8. Almonds- 1 Oz, about 10 in number
9. Coco powder- 1 tbsp
10. Cinnamon- 1/4 tsp
11. Pinch of salt

1) Preheat the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for 10 min.
2) Put water and brown sugar in a pan and bring it to boil , till sugar dissolves.
3) Remove from heat, let it cool for a few minutes.
4) Add oil, honey and lastly chopped chocolate and stir until blended well.
5) In a medium sized bowl put oats, almonds, coconut, coco powder, cinnamon and salt.
6) Pour the chocolate syrup on the oats and mix well.

7) Spread this mixture as chunks evenly on the baking sheet.
8) Adjust the temperature to 165 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes.
9) Check frequently and stir in between.
10) After baking, let it cool completely before storing as it'll develop its crunchiness during cooling.

Serving suggestions
Add a little to your breakfast cereal or yogurt to make it sweet and chocolatey
Can be used as a topping for ice-creams, smoothies etc.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Strawberry fro-yo (frozen yoghurt)

Recently saw frozen strawberries at the supermarket and was happy to buy my fill. Fresh strawberries are a rarity here. Even if they are available, you'll not buy them because of their quality.

Back to the recipe. This is another quick one when you have little time at your hands, but need to have a sweet something ready till dinner time.


Strawberries- 1/2 cup, chopped
Full fat Yogurt- 4 tbsp
Vanilla extract-1 tsp
Sugar- 1/3 cup (adjust according to the tartness of the berries)

Throw everything into a blender and mix well
Keep for freezing in a metal or a plastic container

Add whipped cream to make it more ice- creamy.
Serve with fresh strawberries and a mint sprig.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Quickie ice-cream

This heavenly ice cream is a real dream. Easy to make and absolutely delicious. The only reason I could not put up a pic is because it disappeared too soon!!

Makes 2 small portions or one big one.

Sweetened Condensed milk - 75 gm
Whipping cream- 80 ml approx
Muffin/cake- I had put half of 'Banana nut muffin', but you can put in any amount desired

Add the cake to the condensed milk and mix thoroughly.
Whip the cream and fold in with the cake mix.
Keep in a metal container and freeze.

Serving suggestions
Take a bowl and place a pineapple slice on it.
Scoop the ice cream and place on it.
Decorate with cherries /strawberries/small pieces of pineapple or any other fruit of choice.

Enjoy the treat!!