Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sheera / Halwa/ Sweet semolina pudding

    There is something about the rainy weather. You feel nostalgic. 

    You want to eat something hot/warm and gooey. 

    The only word i can think of now is  Sheera. It is a thick-yet-flowing sweet goodness.

    I like that....I feel like making it…

    So let's get started.

    Ingredients (1 serving)
  1. Fine Semolina/ Sooji- 2 spoons (3 tsp)
  2. Ghee (clarified butter)- 3tsp (if you want, you can put more)
  3. Milk (full cream)- 50 ml+ additional to thin consistency
  4. Almonds/ badam- 2-4 (make coarse powder by pounding)
  5. Kesar /saffron- 1-2 strands
  6. Green cardamom/elaichi-2, remove seeds and crush them
  7. Sugar- 2 tsp

  8. Method
  9. Take a small thick bottomed kadhai/wok. Heat ghee in it.
  10. Add sooji and cook while continuously stirring. It avoids burning of the semolina.
  11. When the color and smell of sooji changes to a darker shade and a cooked smell then add milk and cook. The semolina will swell. If it gets too thick, add more milk. You can add water also.
  12. Now add sugar and mix well.
  13. Add kesar, badam and elaichi.

  14. Footnotes:
    Sheera is a common Indian sweet and you will find a number of variations to it.
  15. Jaggary /gur also can be used instead of sugar.
  16. Water can replace milk in the above recipe.
  17. Other dry fruits like raisins, pistachios etc. can also be added to this recipe.
  18. Whole wheat flour  can be used instead of semolina.
  19. Some people add a small amount of rosewater to it to add a touch of royalty and beautiful fragrance.
  20. You can soak saffron in warm milk before adding, I skipped the step.

  21. Enjoy the wholesome goodness of this Indian sweet pudding and appreciate life.
    Life is good.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Toasted sandwich with veggie curd filling

    Yes, it looks like we are on a sandwich spree this month.
    Am I complaining? Definitely no.

    The weather here is turning rainy, which is a perfect excuse for making this toasted sandwich.
    The curd filling somehow tastes like creamy mayo. How cool is that! :-)

    So what are we waiting for ? Lets get started.

  1. Bread slice of your choice (I used brown bread)- 4
  2. Thick curd- 1/2 cup
  3. Carrots- 2 small, grated or chopped finely
  4. Capsicum- 1, chopped
  5. Coriander leaves-2 tsp, chopped finely
  6. Red onions- 1/2 chopped
  7. Salt & pepper to taste
  8. Sooji (Semolina) -1tsp (I used this when the curd was too runny)
  9. Butter to toast

  10. Method
  11. Take the curd in a deep bowl and add all the veggies, salt, pepper and sooji (if required). Mix them.
  12. Heat a skillet.
  13. Apply butter to a slice. Put the curd mix on the other side (without the butter). Put this bread slice on the skillet; buttered side down.
  14. Cover the sandwich with the 2nd bread slice and smear with melted butter on the top.
  15. Let it cook on medium flame for a while.
  16. Now comes the tricky step; you have to flip the whole sandwich to toast the other side. 
  17. Alternatively, you can just cook one slice and cover it with pre-toasted slice of bread. Both ways it'll taste the same. Do the same with the remaining slices.
  18. Serve hot with garam garam chai. :-))

  19. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Tasty Sandwich

    A tasty Sandwich

    Here's another staple..though the ingredients are very simple , they result in a very satisfying bite.
    Yumm…..yes, we can say that for a sandwich  :-)

    Ingredients (for 2 sandwiches)
  1. Brown bread/ wheat bread/ multigrain bread- 4 slices
  2. Cucumber- 1, thinly sliced
  3. Tomato- 1 big, thinly sliced
  4. Capsicum- 1, thinly sliced
  5. Red Onion-1, thinly sliced
  6. Mushrooms- 3-4 small, thinly sliced and sautéed in oil/butter
  7. Olives-4, thinly sliced (I used pimento olives)
  8. Lettuce- 4 leaves, washed and torn by hand
  9. Salt-to taste
  10. Pepper-to taste
  11. Cheese spread- to spread on the slices- 4 tsp
  12. Mustard sauce and ketchup (optional)

  13. Method
  14. Spread the cheese on the slice. You can use readymade cheese slices also.
  15. Spread the layer of each vegetable ; onion, cucumber, tomato, capsicum, mushrooms and olives.
  16. Add salt & pepper. Now cover with torn lettuce leaves.
  17. Cover this with another slice of bread ( if you want you can put some ketchup/mustard sauce on this slice).
  18. Serve with hot cocoa or tea.

  19. Variations to the filling:
    You can add corn instead of mushrooms. You can boil them instead of sautéing them.
    Add dried herbs of your liking eg. sweet basil and mint.
    If red onion is too pungent for you, take white onions.
    To add more color use multicolored capsicum- red, yellow & green. If you have access to colored lettuce or cabbage , use that. Cabbage needs to be washed and blanched before use.
    You can use mayonnaise instead of cheese spread but, I'm not a big fan.

    If you have any more filling ideas for a tasty cold sandwich, I would love to give it a try.
    Ciao ….shabba khair….bbye

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Sandwich with Pita bread

    I realized that my blog is flooded with cake and dessert recipes….not fair, since these are not the everyday cooking experiments which I undertake.

    Let's change that.

    Let's talk about sandwiches…everybody likes them. Easy to make and generally healthy ( no frying etc.).

    Sandwiches are something which we make at least 2 times in a week for breakfast or brunch….or just like that. 
    Regular white bread sandwiches are common and they taste good, but we (yup, my hubby gave the idea!) decided to change it a little and take Pita bread/Lebanese bread for our sandwich..which is like a rolled up, stuffed with veggies sandwich.

      Ingredients (for 4 sandwiches)
    1. Pita bread- 4
    2. Cucumber- 1, chopped
    3. Tomato- 1 big and firm, chopped
    4. Capsicum- 1, chopped
    5. Red Onion-1 small, chopped
    6. Hummus- 4 tbsp
    7. Olive oil- 2 tsp+ some to drizzle on salad
    8. Lettuce- 4 leaves, washed
    9. Salt-to taste
    10. Pepper-to taste
    11. Red chili powder- 1 or 2 pinch

  1. Take all chopped veggies in a bowl, add salt and pepper to it. Drizzle a little olive oil on it.Herbs are optional. You can add mint, basil or thyme or whatever you fancy. I did add a little bit of dried sweet basil.
  2. Take hummus and pour olive oil on it with little red chili powder and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
  3. Take pita bread and spread hummus on it. Sprinkle vegetable salad on the centre, cover with lettuce and now fold the bread from both sides and the edges.
  4. Heat a skillet or tava. Place the sandwiches on it and then lower the flame. Cook until toasted well.
  5. Serve hot…no need for any other sauces unless you are a ketchup freak…:P

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Birthday cake...Again!!!

I know its a cake again...but one can never have enough cake recipes...right!?
Right. That's settled then.

It was my friend's birthday…that means i just had to bake a cake.
Plus women like chocolate , so I made a chocolate cake. (yippee!!)

Orange and chocolate is a winning combination, no second thoughts about it.
So I donned my apron and made this cake for her.

Orange chocolate eggless cake
  1. Flour/maida/whole wheat flour (take any one)- 1 &1/2 cup
  2. Cocoa powder- 1/3 cup
  3. Baking soda- 1 tsp
  4. Brown sugar- 3/4 cup
  5. Salt- 1/2 tsp
  6. Butter- 75 gm (you can use 5 Tbsp olive oil also…I used butter)
  7. Orange marmalade- 1/4 cup
  8. Orange juice- 1 cup
  9. Orange extract- 1 tsp

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 150 degrees Centigrade. Prepare the pan by greasing it with butter and dusting with flour (you can use cocoa powder to dust it too).
  2. Take all the dry ingredients and mix in a bowl.
  3. Mix juice, marmalade and melted butter in another bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 of the dry ingredient mix to the wet ingredients  and mix well. Add the rest of the dry ingredients , mix well.
  5. Add orange extract and mix well.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and keep it in the oven for 40-45 min or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Cool the cake before cutting. You can dust it with icing sugar.