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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Buttermilk strawberry cake

I came across a strawberry summer  cake.And wanted to try it out. Yet, strawberries were becoming less visible in the markets,as their season has almost ended.So decided to try this recipe out before the whole lot of strawberries gets exhausted.

I googled for recipes to see which was most suited for lazy person like me.I decided to follow this buttermilk strawberry cake recipe.I did tweak it a little.

Ingredients : 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup maida, 1.5 tsp baking powder, 1/4 cup Amul butter ( salted ) , 1/2 cup Patanjali brand jaggery sugar( dark brown in colour ) , 1/2 cup buttermilk, 3/4 cup fresh strawberries hulled & chopped into halves each , approx 1.5 -2 tbsp white everyday sugar for sprinkling on cake top, 1/8-1/4 cup water if needed.

Method : Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade .

I melted the butter in oven & added dark brown sugar .Mix it up nicely.I still found small bits & pieces of sugar lumps which did not mix.Keep it aside.

Mix whole wheat flour, maida & baking powder nicely many times over with fork or whisk. Keep a side. Now add the sugar butter mix to the flour mix. Mix nicely.Add the buttermilk to this mix drop by drop till a batter is obtained. Batter will be thick.Add 1/8-1/4 cup water to this batter if some lumps of flour sugar butter mix are still dry. Add water drop by drop to get batter.Keep aside.

Line a baking dish with butter paper.Pour the batter into the baking dish lined with  butter paper.Flatten the top of batter with spoon.Arrange halved strawberry pieces on top of the batter.I added so many in the outer row that it formed a complete border without any gap ! Sprinkle white everyday sugar on top of strawberries uniformly.

Bake at 200 degrees centigrade for half an hour or till a toothpick pricked comes out clean after apoke into the baked cake !

After removing from oven , cool outside for 10-15 minutes. Put the baking dish upside down on plate. After another 10-15 minutes, gently remove the butter paper sticking to the bottom of cake & sides. Cut the cake into desired shapes & serve.

Tips: The Patanjali sugar has sugar lumps & they get baked as chunks of sweet brown candies in the cake.If this is suitable. its fine. Alternatively , use, any other sugar, white or brown. Please remember, while everyday sugar is more sweet than brown sugar.So , use less accordingly.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Drumsticks amti

Maharashtrians make a very delicious drumsticks dal called Shevgyanchya shenganchi amti.

Drumsticks are extremely healthy .

A souring fruit called kokum which grows in coastal Maharashtra in Konkan region is used in this dal .Kokum is said to be very effective in treating acidity. In Maharashtra as also in Mumbai, there are vendors selling Kokum sherbet or kokum juice. It is dried with salt.It gets dark in colour almost black when one gets it in markets.

Goda masala is the spice powder used in this dal preparation. I have used Mazedaar Maharshtra masala or goda masala from Madhavi Spices.

After reading more about the nutritional benefits of drumsticks, I try to make this dal once every week. Alternatively, use drumsticks as one of the many veggies in Avial , from Kerala Cuisine.

Ingredients : 1/4 cup toor dal , 2 drumsticks washed &  chopped into 2 inch pieces each, 1-2 green chillies roughly chopped, few curry leaves ,1-2 kokum pieces,  1 tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp mustard seeds,1/4 tsp hing, 1/2 tsp haldi, 1 tsp Mazedaar Maharashtra Masala  , 1 tsp gur or jaggery, salt to taste.

Method : .Add chopped green chillies, hing & 1/4 tsp haldi to dal & then pressure cook the dal. Keep aside.

In a kadhai, add oil.Heat it up.Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves.Then add chopped drumsticks.Fry for some seconds. Add water just enough to drown thr drumstick pieces. Add haldi to the kadhai. Add salt to taste. Let the drumsticks cook in the water.After 8-10 minutes, , the seeds of drumsticks can be seen in the boiling water. This means drumsticks are cooked.Add koum pieces to the kadhai.Mix nicely all contents with a ladle. Let the water continue to boil.Add jaggery .Mix again. After about 10 minutes, add goda masala to kadhai. Mix all contents in kadhai again.

Mash the pressure cooked toor dal with ladle. And add the toor dal to the kdahai. Mix nicely.Let the contents of the kadhai come to aboil.Let it simmer for 2-3 ,minutes.Put off gas.Cover the kadhai. After 5-10 minutes, serve drumsticks amti with rice.Of course, it is so tasty that it can be eaten with rotis as well.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Bhappa doi -steamed yoghurt.

I have been wanting to try baked yoghurt or misthi doi since along time. So much so that just at Deepavali , I had brought in this small tin of Mithai Mate to try out this shortcut recipe for mishthi doi. And then, it never got made until last night.

There are steamed as also baked versions of misthi doi ( Bengali for sweet dahi or  sweet yoghurt )   I picked up the steamed version last nite. There are so many types of recipes...some use milk & caramelizing of sugar or jaggery .Still others use milk, dahi & condensed milk.Some recipes use just two ingredients curd & condensed milk.Since I am  too lazy, I used the two ingredient recipe of AnnaParabrahma.

Ingredients :   200 gm tin of Amul Mithai Mate ( condensed milk tin of AMUL brand ), 300 gm yoghurt or dahi ( I measured this by adding the dahi to the emptied Amul tin of Mithai mate.Then emptied the tin of dahi & filled it up to half again.so 1.5 tin of dahi ) , a few strands of saffron ( optional ), 1 tsp ghee for greasing the dish.

Method : Mix yoghurt & condensed milk together nicely. Whisk it up so that a smooth consistency is obtained. Add saffron strands .Mix again nicely. Keep aside.

In a pressure cooker, add 4-5 inches water at bottom. Keep it on gas & start the gas so that very soon, steam will start coming up.

Meanwhile, grease a dish that fits easily in the pressure cooker which is steaming by now. Pour the youghurt condensed milk  mixture into it.Close the pressure cooker lid. Please do not put whistle on top of cooker.

Steam on slow - medium flame for half an hour. Put off gas.After steaming stops...maybe 5 minutes. Remove lid.  The yoghurt -condensed milk mixture will have set .Let it cool outside the cooker. Then keep it in refrigerator  ( not freezer ) for 5-6 hours ( I kept it overnight as I made it last night ). In the morning, it can be cut & enjoyed.

I removed it after lunch.I was able to cut it.Though, I was unable to remove it smoothly like a cake .I cut it in the vessel itself.And yes, its creamy , cool & deliciously yummy !

I made dahi or yoghurt from low fat version of Amul Milk.And this dish is so awfully simple.....this shortcut version. There are longer versions as well.

And yes, it was quite sweet.So , if you want it to be less sweet, add more dahi...almost double the dahi so that ratio of condensed milk to dahi is 1: 2.Or maybe any other ratio that you prefer.