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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Pumpkin raita.

This is an extremely simple dish with lovely flavours. My mom has taught me this dish.This can be replicated with carrots too. Only the seasoning will be devoid of fenugreek seeds in case of carrot raita.

Ingredients : 150-200 gm red pumpkin washed & roughly chopped ( I keep the skin on if it is clean ) , 1 green chilli ( optional ) , 1/ 2 cup yoghurt, 1red byadgi mirchi broken into bits, 4-6 fenugreek seeds ( methi dana ),  10-15 curry leaves, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp hing, 1/4 tsp haldi, 2 tsp oil, salt to taste.

Method :Pressure cook the chopped pumpkin pieces with green chilli in pressure cooker.Keep aplate which covers the rice vessel in pressure cooker. Keep the washed & chopped pumpkin pieces in the plate along with the washed green chilli. Pressure cook rice.

After the cooking is over, put off gas. Let the cooker cool.Open the cooker. Pumpkin & green chilli would be cooked.

In a bowl, take the pumpkin & green chilli. Mash with hands or with  spoon or ladle.Add salt.Mix with the mashed pumpkin & green chilli. Keep aside.

Beat the yogurt to form a smooth paste in another bowl.Keep aside.

Prepare the seasoning. Heat oil in a kadhai.Add methi seeds followed by cumin seeds. Add curry leaves & byadgi mirchi pieces. Put off gas.Add hing & haldi to the kadhai.Keep aside

Mix the beaten yoghurt with the mashed pumpkin- green chilli mix. Pour the seasoning over the pumpkin yoghurt mix. Mix seasoning nicely with pumpkin dahi mix .Serve with rotis, rice or pulao or khichdi !

The raita looks so much like a dip ,perhaps like a thick gravy .This dip can work with dal wadas or even crackers.I love the simple flavours of this dip.I am sure you will love it too !

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Vegetable rich tahiri

I am an avid follower of Sangeeta Khanna on facebook. She posts her recipes & useful tips & tidbits on facebook under the caption Healthy Living with Sangeeta KhannaHer tips, recipes & information have opened the world of food to so many like never before.....

I read about Tahiri pulao on Sangeeta Khanna's  blog. Tahiri is a mixed vegetable pulao from Uttar Pradesh. And I have been wanting to try it. She has a variety of Tahiri recipes on her banaras ka khana blog. And some days back , she had shared a mixed vegetable tahiri recipe .This is on her other food & recipe blog called healthfood desivideshi.  I tried it with some variations .Needless to add, I loved it !

Ingredients :3/4 cup rice (  used basmati tukda ) , 5-6 Cauliflower florets,1/4 cup  cauliflower stems cubed or cut into medium slices, 1/4 cup broccoli stems cut into medium slices, 1 tbsp peas,1/4 cup potato peeled & cubed ( optional ), 1/4 cup carrots cubed, 1/4 cup beans roughly chopped ( into half an inch a piece ) , 1 tbsp ghee, 1 tsp jeera,8 peppercorns , 2 cloves , 2-3 green chillies finely chopped, 1 inch ginger cleaned & grated, 1 tsp haldi, salt to taste.

Method : Heat ghee  a pressure pan on low flame..Add jeera.As soon as jeera turns aromatic, add the crushed pepper corns & cloves ( I crushed them in my small grinder jatr ...it can be done with pestle as well ).They will soon get fragnant. Add green chillies & ginger. Fry all nicely for aminute. Add all the vegetables except the cauliflower florets.Mix all nicely so that all spices & veggies get together. Add haldi .Mix all ingredients in pressure pan again.Add salt.Give the ingredients a stir so that salt gets mixed with all veggies.Add rice.Mix all the ingredients in pressure pan .Fry all for 2-3 minutes. Add cauliflower florets.Give the ingredients a  stir. Add water ( Added 1.5 cups water as rice was 3/4 cup ) .Stir everything for the final time. Close the pressure pan with lid.Cook for 2-3 whistles. Put off gas. After it cools. remove the whistle.After 10-15 minutes, open the lid & look at the Tahiri pulao ! It looks delicious. Serve with dahi , raita, papad, or vegetable salad or eat it just like that !

This rice was not at all spicy.So if you like it more pungent & spicy,please feel free to add more of spices ( cloves, peppercorns ) or green chillies & ginger or a combination of all as per your taste. Sangeeta Khanna has added quite a bit of spices, if you read her recipe.I use very little spices as I am used to  less spicy food.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Vegan Banana carrot cake

My relatives had come.I wanted to showcase my baking skills.And I had a  few ripe bananas as also carrots. So I thought of using bananas as also carrots to bake a cake. And I decided to use flax seed meal to make it vegan.

Ingredients : 1 3/4  cup whole wheat flour,1/4 cup maida, 1 cup fruit puree ( 3 medium ripe bananas mashed & pureed with two small carrots ) , 1 cup jaggery powder ( Patanjali brand ) ,1 tbsp flaxseed powder soaked in 4 tbsp water ( soaked  for 15 minutes ) , 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda,some chopped walnuts ( optional ) , 1/4 cup oil,1/2 tsp elaichi or cardamom powder ( optional ).

Method : Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade .

Mix all dry ingredients that is mix whole wheat flour, maida, baking powder & baking soda with a spoon or whisk many timers over .This is dry ingredient mix.Keep it aside.

Take the banAna carrot mix puree.Add jaggery powder .This will increase volume of the puree .Add oil & soaked flaxseed meal along with the soaked water.Mix all things nicely. This is the wet mix.

Make a well in the dry mix & pour the wet mix into the well.Mix the dry & wet mix. Add water. I had to add almost half a cup of water to the mix to make it into a cake batter. Mix some chopped walnuts into the cake batter.

Line a baking vessel with butter paper. Pour the cake batter into the baking vessel.Tap the vessel to get rid of air bubbles. Garnish with walnut pieces on top of cake batter. Bake in convection mode at 180 degrees centigrade for 45-50 minutes or till a toothpik inserted in cake comes out clean.

During last 10-15 minutes of baking in convection mode,put off oven.Cover top of cake with aluminium foil & then bake in convection mode for remaining 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade .This is to prevent cake top from getting burnt.

After the 50 minutes baking, I bake in microwave mode for 5 minutes.

Cool the cake for 30-45 minutes. Put it upside down on a plate.Gently remove the butter paper from the cake bottom & the sides. Straighten the cake on the plate. Cut into desired shapes & serve.

I forgot to mix in the elaichi powder in batter.So I sprinkled on top of cake batter & it got burnt.This cake turned out great. Banana was recognisable .Carrots couldn't be detected.It was soft as well.And had a gorgeous crust as well !!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Goda saaru

Goda saaru is a simple soup recipe from Karnataka.It is in fact a rasam with a twist. It does not contain any dal or lentil. It can be a good accompaniment to moong dal khicdi or rice with ghee. This is so especially, when we would like to have alight dinner & even when ware suffering from a bad throat.

The sourness in this rasam or saaru as it is called in Kannada comes from tamarind paste .I have used kokum in this recipe as kokum is a good replacement for tamarind except that it is less sour than tamarind.

Ingredients : 6-7 kokum pieces, 2-3 cups water, 1/2 tsp black pepper powder, 1 tbsp  tsp ghee, 1-2 byadgi mirchi broken into pieces, 2-3 sprigs of curry leaves, 1/2  tsp mustard,  1/2  tsp jeera, 1/4 tsp haldi, 1/4 tsp hing, 1 tbsp gur or jaggery, salt to taste.

Method : Take a pan .Heat it. Add ghee. After it melts, add mustard.After they pop up, add jeera. followed by  byadgi mirchi & curry leaves.Add pepper powder.Add hing & haldi & mix all nicely. Add 2-3 cups water.Add kokum pieces.Add jaggery ( grate jaggery if jaggery is very hard or add by breaking jaggery into smaller pieces ).Let all come to a boil.Let it boil for 5 minutes. Add salt. Mix nicely.Let it come to one more boil so that salt has mixed nicely. Put off gas. Serve goda saaru with monng dal khicdi or plain rice with ghee. Goda saaru can be drunk just like that to give relief top sore throat.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tomato Gojju

One of the food blogs that I  follow is Saffron Trail by Nandita Iyer.She is  a doctor by profession. The other day, she had posted tomato gojju recipe.I was tempted top make it as shes stated that this recipe is from Karnataka.I did make the recipe after asking my mom for the recipe.

The recipe became possible as there were quite a few small ( lemon sized ) tomatoes in the refrigerator.

Ingredients : 5/6 tomatoes  chopped  roughly, 1 tbsp chickpea flour or besan 1 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds,1/ 4 tsp fenugreek or methi seeds,   1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp hing, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1-2 byadgi mirchi broken into 2-3 pieces each, 1-2  green chillies chopped,  a few curry leaves, 1 tsp jaggery, optional : 1 tsp or less of sambar or rasam powder or any everyday curry powder ( being used for making daily vegetable ) , salt to taste.

Method : Heat oil in a kdahai.Add mustard seeds.After they splutter add methi seeds.After they pop up , add jeera.Next add curry leaves & byadgi mirchi followed by turmeric & hing.Add tomatoes & mix all ingredients in kadhai.Keep cooking on slow gas flame. After 10-15 minutes, tomatoes will become mushy.Take care that the tomatoes do not stick to kadhai bottom.Add salt  to taste.This will make tomatoes all the more mushy. Add jaggery. Mix nicely.After five minutes, add the curry powder or sambar or rasam powder or combination of all three powders . Mix. Take 1tbsp besan & mix it with little water & make apste with no lumps in it.Add it to tomato spice mix in the kadhai constantly mixing with the spoon as it is being added to the kadhai. Keep stirring the spoon in the kadhai till the besan paste has become one with the tomato spice mix.Add more water if consistency is too thick. Bring the mix to a boil Put off gas. Serve with rotis and or rice.

This is  very tangy dish.And very easy & quick dish to make.Besan is added to make it thick.In other versions, soaked chana dal- tur dal mix is ground with coconut to make the gojju thick in place of besan.

I added more curry leaves as I had many of them in stock. One can add more chillies and even more curry powder as per  taste.Or it can be without curry powder .Or it can be with curry powder & no green chillies. Instead red chilli powder can be used.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Date oats energy bars or cake ? !

I wanted to use date paste which has been in my freezer.I thought, why not try some energy bars. I googled & liked this recipe of banana oats bars.And yet,I felt, that it became a cake .Rather, I would love to, hear, what you, my readers, think about this recipe ? Is it a cake or an energy bar  ?  You decide & comment.

Ingredients : 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup atta or whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup jaggery sugar, 1/4 cup maida, 1/2 cup date paste ( 1/3  cup tightly dates which have been soaked in water can be pureed & 1/2 cup of this paste can be used),  1/4 cup apple sauce, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, a pinch of salt,1tbsp unpolished white seasame seeds or til,  1/4 cup toasted walnuts ( toasted them in microwave by breaking them into smaller bits & warming them on high power for 1 minutes...repeated this  5-6 times ), 2 tbsp oil , water to adjust batter consistency.

Method : Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade for 10 minutes.

Mix all dry ingredients ...that is mix atta, oats, maida, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon Mix all these with afork or whisk many times over so that al;l become one. Keep aside.

Mix all wet ingredients  that is date paste, oil & apple sauce.I had to sue mixer to mix all these as date paste is very thick & does not blend easily by spoon or whisk etc.Add jaggery sugar.Jaggery sugar is added to wet mix as it is quite moist & it will make fruit paste like applesauce exude water. All this helps in making batter easily.

Make well in dry mix & put in the wet mix. Mix nicely. Since the wet mix was insufficient to get a batter, I added water ( nearly 1/2 cup ) .Mix all nicely to get a batter.Add the roasted walnut bits into the batter mix nicely.Add 1/2 tbsp seasame seeds.

Take baking vessel & line it on the inside with butter paper. Pour the cake batter into the baking vessel on the butter paper. Sprinkle top of the batter thus et in the baking vessel with the remaining 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds. Bake in oven at 180 degrees for half an hour .Insert atoothpick to check if cake ids done. Otherwise bake for 5-10 minutes more.

As has become my habit, I bake in microwave mode for 10 minutes after the convection baking time is over for any cake or bread recipe. Put off oven.Let it cool./Cool cake outside for more than half an hour. Put it upside down on a plate. Remove the butter paper sticking to the bottom of cake .Cut into desired pieces & distribute to  your loved ones !

The cake or energy bars were delicious. All loved them. I used Quaker brand oats as it is.I did not powder them even a bit.The dater paste remained in lumps n it showed up when slices of the cake or energy bar was cut .That gave it a lovely shaded  texture as well !

Friday, October 28, 2016


Khandvi , a popular dish from Gujarat is something that just melts in the mouth. It can simply be gulped down. Its that tasty !

I made this today, under my mother's supervision & control.I had made it earlier sans her supervision.

Ingredients : 3/4 cup besan , 3 cups chaas ( yoghurt diluted with water ) , 2 tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp haldi, 1/4 tsp  hing,1/4 cup ( loosely packed ) cleaned &  chopped fresh coriander, 1/4 cup ( loosely packed ) fresh dessicated coconut, 2/3 finely chopped green chillies , 1 tsp grated ginger, a few curry leaves, 1tsp white unpolished til seeds, 1/2 tsp jeera,1/2 tsp mustard ,salt to taste.

Method : Mix the besan & chaas slowly in a vessel so that no lumps remain. .Add oil, grated ginger, chillies,haldi , hing, 1 tbsp oil & salt to taste. Mix all ingredients nicely.

Put this mixture into a kadhai & put it on gas stove. My mom told me ,gas stove must be on high flame. Start stirring with a spoon immediately as soon as the kadhai with the khandvi mix is on the gas. Keep stirring continuously till it starts thickening. Now, lower the faklme & cook on slow flame. Keep stirring till it gets real thick & starts sticking to sides.Cover the kadahai & let it cook for 4-5 minutes on low gas. Put off gas.Immediately , spread the khandvi mix on plates.4-5 plates were needed today to spread the cooked mixture. Spread over the whole plate in a very thin layer. Let all the plates cool. Take a knife & make vertical  strip cuts on the spread khandvi mix on the plates. Take one end of the cut strip & start rolling with hand till the other end of the strip gets rolled. Make similar rolls of the remaining strips from all the plates.

Take a small kadhai or vagar vessel & make vagar. Add oil.Heat it up.Add mustard.After they pop up add jeera.Add til seeds. Then add curry leaves. Put off gas.Pour this vagar mixture over the rolled strips.Mix the freshly chopped dhania & fresh dessicated coconut. Garnish with fresh dessicated coconut & dhania mix.

Serve. And watch it disappear in minutes !

Tip : I use powdered hing always in all dishes unless specified .

The rolls were not evenly spread out. Some rolls were thick strips.With practice, thin strips can be made. And remember, to spread the mix when it is hot on to the plate.That helps in spreading it thinly.

Step by step method can be seen at Veg recipes of India.That recipe is somewhat different though basics remain the same.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jeera rice

I have made jeera rice earlier & it turned out mushy. This time around , I was determined to make a  a better version. I wanted to use the pressure cooker method. I have no patience trying to cook rice in an open pan.I checked a few recipes like Nithya's Nalabagam & Veg recipes of India.

And believe me, my version of jeera rice turned out real good though it can be made better next time.

Ingredients : 3/4 cup rice, 1/2 ts jeera, 2 cloves slightly crushed , 1-2 bay leaves, 1/2-1 inch cinnamon stick, 1tbsp ghee,

Method : In a vessel, heat ghee. Add bay leaves, crushed cloves, cinnamon stick & jeera or cumin. After they all get aromatic, add rice & mix all nicely.Roast for 2-3 minutes. Add salt Add 1 1/4 cup water. Pressure cook upto 2 whistles .Put off gas.After cooker cools, remove lid of pressure cooker. Jeera rice is ready ! This can be served with aloo matar or whole masoor or chhole or rajma or any other side dish of choice.

I think ,i need to add more cumin seeds. Next time around, I must improve on that.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Vegan Banana cake with peanut butter topping .

It was my birthday & I wanted to bake a cake. I had some ripe bananas ( 4 medium or maybe small ) & some leftover gulab jamun syrup. I decided to make a banana cake. I thought about using only baking powder & no baking soda .This was the way to keep colour of the cake non brown. I wanted to do some frosting & googled & got this peanut butter frosting idea.I used just peanut butter without any cream or sugar. I like the peanut butter taste .Moreover, I recycled leftover gulab jamun syrup into the cake recipe. Skipped using sugar other than the left over syrup.

Ingredients  : 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup maida, 4-5 small bananas ( not elaichi bananas ) , 1/2 cup gulab jamun syrup, 1 tbsp of assorted  sun dried  fruits like cranberries & blueberries ( optional )   1 tbsp oil,1-2 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp sugar strand sprinkles( optional ) , 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cardamom powder,a pinch of salt.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Method : Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Mix the atta, maida, baking powder, cardamom powder , salt  with a fork or a whisk many times over till all get mixed nicely with one another. This is the dry mix .Keep aside.

Peel & mash the bananas into a pulp.Add oil & the leftover gulab jamun syrup.Mix all nicely. thsi is the wet mix.Keep   aside.

Make a well in the dry mix .Pour the wet mix into the well & start mixing with a whisk.Mix till no lumps remain.Add water drop by drop if the dough is too dry or has lumps in it. The dough must have no lumps. Add in the assorted sun dried berries. Alternatively , chopped walnuts or almonds or raisins can be added as well.

Line the inside of baking vessel with butter paper. Pour the cake dough into the lined baking vessel. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 40-45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. I always bake it in microwave mode for five minutes after this 45 minutes baking just to make sure that no part of cake remains uncooked.

Initially, bake the cake by covering the cake with aluminium foil.Towards the end that is after 29-30 minutes of baking are over, put off oven.Remove the aluminum foil & bake the remaining 15 minutes. This is to prevent burning of cake top .Caketop may get burnt if left uncovered.The last 15 minutes of baking are done by uncovering top to ensure browning of cake .This browning gives a nice crust to the cake.After 45 minutes baking, bake in microwave mode for five minutes to prevent any part of cake from remaining cooked.

Let the cake remain in the oven. After fifteen minutes or more, take out cake & cool it outside for 35 -45 minutes. It must be at room temperature to add the peanut butter topping. Put the cake vessel upside down on to a plate. Remove the butter paper from the bottom. Now put the cake with the bottom side up on the plate.

Start smearing the cake top with peanut butter by a spoon or a butter knife.I spread a thin layer. Then tried to sprinkle some coloured sugar strands in a pattern on the cake. As I tried to sprinkle, the sugar strands , the sugar strands got powdered unevenly.This can be noticed in the snaps of the cake. Satisfied, I cut the cake into desired shapes. This is my first attempt at any topping on cake & I am proud of it !

The cake felt somewhat dry.My neighbour remarked that my cakes were getting better & better at each attempt. That's the best compliment I have received !

To improve, the moistness of cake, it would be advisable to add some more oil maybe half -1 tbsp more.Alternatively, add one more ripe peeled & mashed banana.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Kiwi flavoured rasgullas.

Kiwis are in season. I had got them in my refrigerator too. So , just had an idea. Why not try rasgullas flavored with a kiwi ? And my mom's b'day was approaching too ! I googled for the recipe & drew a blank. I went ahead & made them .Method is similar to strawberry or mango rasgullas which I have posted earlier.

Ingredients : 1/2 litre low fat milk , 1/2 lemon , 1/2 cup sugar, 1 kiwi fruit washed & depeeled.

Method : Puree the kiwi in the mixer .Stain the pulp & keep aside. Please collect the watery liquid as well. Add more water to the pulp & stain it again after mixing pulp & water. Do this two three times.
Keep aside the pulp & the strained liquid separately in two vessels.

Heat  1/2 litre of milk in a vessel on the gas. When the malai starts forming on the milk being heated, add the kiwi pulp.Mix. Put off gas. The milk solids will separate & yet not much. Start squeezing the lemon into the milk .Keep mixing the milk & lemon juice. After a few minutes, all milk solids would have separated giving a clear slightly greenish grey water.Strain the liquid along with the milk solids on to a thin cloth. The water which gets collected can be used for making roti dough. Water can be added to rice while cooking as well.Wash the milk solids which have collected in the cloth 3-4 times to completely remove the smell of lemon .These milk solids form a lump called chenna or soft paneer.Tie the ends of the cloth into tight knot to remove excess water from the chenna. To facilitate this, put some heavy vessel on the cloth knot containing chenna & leave it for half an hour.

Meanwhile, put the pressure pan or any  wide vessel on the gas .Add one cup water to it. Add sugar .Put on the gas on slow mode. Very soon ,all sugar will have dissolved. Put off gas.Add the kiwi pulp strained water to this  syrup in the vessel or pressure pan.

After half an hour, untie the knots of the cloth & remove the chenna lump. It will be slightly green with black dots ( because kiwi pulp has been added ) .Knead this lump for fifteen to twenty minutes with your hands . This is to make the chenna softer & softer. Grease palms with a little ghee & start making small balls of the chenna.I got 12 small chenna balls. Drop these chenna balls into the kiwi water sugar syrup .Pressure cook these chenna balls in sugar syrup till 1 whistle. After the  whistle blows, lower the gas flame to slow. Keep it on slow flame for 8-10 minutes Then put off gas. After the cooker has cooled off ( generally 15-20 minutes ) , remove the whistle. Take off the lid. The kiwi rasgullas are ready !

The black dots seen in the kiwi rasgullas are the black seasame type seeds found in kiwis. They have a crunch too !

My rasgullas were a little hard. Perhaps, in a hurry, I had kneaded chenna just for ten minutes. Nrext time on , I will knead it for more than fifteen minutes so that the rasgullas turn out softer.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Kiwi top cake

I had a kiwi in the refrigerator.It was ripe & firm as well.So decided to google a recipe for kiwi cake.

I saw this recipe for an eggless kiwi cake.I tweaked it a little & made a vegan kiwi top cake.

Ingredients, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup maida, 1 tbsp flaxseed meal , 1/2 cup applesauce, 1/2 cup jaggery  sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, a kiwi , 3-4 tsps white sugar for sprinkling on kiwi slices .

Method : Pre  heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

.Mix whole wheat flour, maida, baking soda & baking powder nicely many times over .Keep aside.

Make apple sauce by pressure cooking an apple.Peel the apple. Remove the seeds.The apple can be cut into 4 slices or more.  Pressure cook it upto one whistle. Mash the apple pieces by hand or pav bhaji masher or mixer . Keep aside.

Alternatively, simply cut the apple into pieces. Pressure cook to 1 whistle. After it cools, de peel the apple pieces & de seed them.Mash the apples by hand or mixer or pav bhaji masher.

Soak flaxseed meal in 1/ 4 cup warm water for 15 minutes Keep aside.

Mix apple sauce, flaxseed meal soaked in water together. Add brown sugar.Mix all nicely.

Make a well in the dry ingredients mix & pour the wet mix into it. Blend all, such that,
no lumps remain in the cake batter.I had to add 1/4 cup water as the liquid content was less. Even 1 tbsp oil ( optional ) can be added & then some water drop by drop.Batter consistency must be liked idli batter.

Line a baking vessel with butter paper. Pour the cake batter into the baking vessel.Smoothen top of the cake batter with backside of spoon. Arrange kiwi slices on the top of the cake batter.Sprinkle white sugar generously  on the kiwi slices. Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

I bake in microwave mode for 5-10 minutes after the aforesaid convection baking of 45 minutes.

Cools the cake for 45 minutes-( 15 minutes in the oven ) & later outside the oven.Turn the baking vessel upside down on to a plate. Remove the butter paper sticking to the bottom & sides of the cake gently.Then turn the cake up. Cut into desired shapes & serve.

My cake turned out good.The texture was good. Sugar was just apt. Kiwi pieces taste tangy & it gives a nice flavour to the sweetness of the cake.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Dum aloo

I love potatoes.I like the simple aloo fry as a side dish with chapatis.I wanted to try dum aloo.And this weekend, during veggie shopping,I got baby potatoes.I decided that I must try dum aloo .I googled & came across this recipe at Padhu's kitchen.

Ingredients : 9-10 baby potatoes or small potatoes ( mine were not baby potatoes & yet smaller than normal ones ), 1/4 tsp garam masala powder, 1-2 green roughly chopped, 2 medium onions roughly chopped, 2 medium tomatoes roughly chopped, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp jeera, 1-2 tbsp dahi, 1/4 tsp haldi, 1 tbsp oil, salt to taste.

Method : Pressure cook baby potatoes for 2-3 whistles. Keep aside the cooker till it cools down.After the cooker cools, remove the potatoes & peel their skins carefully so as not to break the small potatoes.Prick the potatoes at 4-5 places all over with fork. Keep aside.

Grind the chopped onions, green chillies & ginger to a coarse paste or a fine paste. Keep aside.

Make a paste of tomatoes & keep aside.

In a kadhai, take oil.Add jeera.After they pop up, add the onion-green chilly ginger paste. Fry the paste in oil till the raw onion smell goes away. Add the bay leaf. Fry it. Now add  tomato paste to the kadhai.Mix nicely.Add haldi.Mix. Add salt .Mix .Fry till raw smell of tomatoes goes away. Add the pricked potatoes into the gravy. Add garam masala powder. Add dahi to gravy in case, the garvy is too spicy. Mix. 1/2 cup water to gravy.Let it come to boil on slow flame.Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. The dum aloo is ready to be served with rotis and or rice !

I felt ,that I should have pressure cooked for 1-2 whistles only.And then shallow fried pricked potatoes that will help in potatoes not breaking. in other words, potatoes will stay in shape ...round & plump !

I added dahi .Even chaas can be added.That will help in giving a tangier Add chaas or dahi in samll amounts so as not to make the gravy very thin.

For those who would like to skip onions, please feel free to do so.Add a pureed & boiled medium sized carrot. More masalas can be added to neutralise sweet taste of carrot.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Vegan ( flaxseed meal ) Carrot cake

Carrot cake is an easy recipe & turns out well.Even Saffron Trail, a food blog that I follow on facebook says so.I had tried an eggless carrot cake when I had started baking .And it was my best cake in those early days of baking. My neighbour had remarked that.

Yet,so many days on, I could never repeat that cake.This time on ,I decided that I must bake with carrots. And I wanted to make it vegan.I googled & came across  some recipes.I decided to try one .And as expected, I had some ingredients & so it turned out to be another  version of vegan carrot cake.

Ingredients : 1 cup atta, 1/4 cup maida, 1 cup grated carrot , 1/4 cup oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar,2 tbsp flaxseed meal soaked in 6 tbsp warm water, 1 + 1/4  tsp baking powder,1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder, few  dried fruits ( assorted blueberries & cranberries ) for topping.

Method : Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Mix atta, maida, baking powder & baking soda.Add cinnamon powder .Mix all many times over.Keep aside .This is the dry ingredient mix.

Add oil to the soaked flaxseed meal.Mix nicely.Add brown sugar .Mix nicely. This is the wet ingredient mix.

Make a well in the dry ingredient mix.Pour the wet ingredient mix into it. Fold all nicely so that no lumps remain. Add the grated carrots.Mix again.Add water if needed. No lumps should remain in cake batter.

Line a baking vessel with butter paper. Pour the cake batter in the vessel.Sprinkle  some dried fruits of choice on the cake batter after it sets down in vessel before beginning to bake.Bake at 180 degrees centigrade for 40-45 minutes till a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean. If it has some batter sticking to toothpick, bake again for 10 minutes.Better option is microwave for four to five minutes. I usually bakes it completely.Put off  oven.Let the cake cool in oven for 10-15 minutes. Then ,take out the baking vessel with cake & let it cool for 30-35 minutes outside the oven. Put it upside down on a plate.Remove the butter paper. Make the cake straighten up as it has been put upside down on the plate. Cut into desired shapes & serve.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Coconut free kootu.

I had come across a kootu recipe with out coconut some time back.I wanted to try that.I googled & came across this quick kootu. Luckily,I had doodhi ( also called ghia or laukai ) at home. I used it to make this kootu.I have made kootu earlier & that recipe uses coconut.

Ingredients : 1 small & thin doodhi peeled & cut into small  size pieces, 1 small tomato cut into small pieces,1/4 cup toor dal, 1/tbsp split mung dal, 1/2 tsp urad dal, 1/4 tsp jeera, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 sambhar powder , 1 green chilli, few curry leaves,1/4 tsp hing, 1/4 tsp haldi,1tsp oil,salt to taste.

Method : Wash toor & split mung dal together. Soak for some time ( maximum half an hour ) Soaking is optional.Add cut doohi, haldi & hing.Pressure cook for two whistles.Then cook on slow flame for 5-10 minutes.This is to cook the toor dal nicely.Put off gas.Let it cool.After it cools, try to mash veggies with the pav bhaji masher.

Make a puree of diced tomato.Keep aside.

In a kadhai,take oil.Heat it up.Add mustard seeds, followed by jeera.Add urad dal.They will turn golden brown.After they pop up, add finely chopped green chilli & kadi pattas. Fry for a few seconds. Add the pureed tomato paste .Fry the paste till raw smell  of tomato goes away.Add sambhar powder. Fry for a few seconds. Add the dal veggie mix now.Add salt. Mix nicely. Bring the mix to a boil.Put off gas.

The kootu is thick & flavourful.You will not miss the coconut. Even my husband asked me if coconut was not added , how was it so thick.I think, the secret is the mashed veggies.

Serve kootu with rotis and rice.It goes well with both.

I ground the green chilli & curry leaves in the dry mixer jar to get a coarsely ground mix which I added to the vagar.This was done to add more pungency to the kootu in place of finely chopped green chilly & curry leaves.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Vegan mango cake

I had already made an eggless  mango cake earlier.This time around,I wanted to try a vegan version of the mango cake. I googled & came across this recipe by chefinyou.I did not have all ingredients listed in the recipe.I used whole wheat flour & that's how I made my version of this vegan cake.

Ingredients : 1 cup atta, 1/2 cup maida , 1.5 cups mango puree ( mango pulp from two kesar mangoes ) , 1 tsp baking powder, 1tsp baking soda, 1-2  tbsp brown sugar ,1/4 cup oil, a pinch of salt & 1/4-1/3 cup water ( optional -if needed ).

Method : Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Mix atta, maida, baking powder, baking soda & salt nicely man times over with whisk or fork.This is dry mix.Keep aside.

 Mix oil ,mango puree & sugar nicely. This is wet mix.

Pour wet mix into dry mix & make a batter.Please  take care that no lumps remain in batter. I had to add some water ( approximately 1/4 cup to make a lump less batter ) .

Line a baking vessel with butter paper. Pour the batter into the vessel on to the butter paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees centigrade till cake is done.This can be tested by piercing a fork into the cake .If it comes out clean , cake is done.Otherwise bake for 5-10 minutes more.

I baked in microwave mode for 5 more minutes as I found that the fork had some batter sticking to it.Then Cool it for 10-15 minutes by switching off oven.Then take out cake & cool it outside oven for half an hour & more. The sides of the cake would have parted ways from sides of baking vessel.Put it upside down on to a plate.Remove the butter paper sticking to the bottom of the cake.Turn the cake upside down Cut into desired shapes & serve.

Please  test with fork .If batter is found sticking ,  bake in microwave mode for 5 minutes. That  settles it generally. That bakes it completely.

I begin baking by covering the top of baking vessel in which batter is going to be baked with aluminium foil .This is to prevent burning of the cake top .Just when last 10-15 minutes of baking is left, put off baking by switching off oven.Remove the aluminum foil & resume baking.This will give a nice crust to the cake top.

I found that this cake was dense.The baker at chefinyou has stated the reasons why cake could have come dense & not light towards the end of the recipe of vegan mango cake. It had risen when it was warm & then it settled down.This happened when I had baked it & even when I baked it again in microwave mode for 5 minutes. I was afraid that my cake had failed. And surprise of surprise, it was moist .I was able to cut with a butter knife.I found sweetness wanting .So I  generously sprayed powdered sugar on it before serving it to my neighbours & maids.One of may maids remarked that there was no need of the sprinkled sugar.My husband also ate it like that, without the sugar !