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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Badam halwa

Today is the last day of the blogging marathon and also this is my 50 th post and so decided to post a dessert. Here is the badam halwa. When looking for recipes, saw a lot of pictures in which the halwa was yellow in color. In most of the recipes they suggested  to add the artificial food color to get that attractive color. But I did not want to add artificial color, so depended on saffron to give color to Halwa. Now color of the day is very much debatable. According to me it is CREAM in color. The original recipe is from RAKS KITCHEN. I followed the same recipe but shaped them into small discs so that it will be attractive to my kids.

What are the ingredients needed?

Almonds, 1/2 cup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Milk, 1/4 cup
Condensed milk, 1/4 cup
Saffron, 1 pinch
Cardamom, 5-6 nos
Ghee, 1/4 cup

How it is made?
  1. Soak a pinch of saffron in luke warm milk and  set aside.
  2. Remove the seeds from the cardamom and powder them with 2 teaspoons of sugar and keep them ready.
  3. Soak the almonds in enough water and microwave for 2 minutes and then let them cool for 10-15 minutes. Then drain the water and peel the skin of the almonds.Grind the almonds with 1/4 of milk adding them little by little till its a smooth paste.
  4. Then in a heavy bottom pan add 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar and simmer it till the sugar dissolves and then add the almond paste. Keep stirring to avoid forming any lumps.
  5. To this add condensed milk, soaked saffron and powdered cardamom and stir well. Continue to cook at medium to low flame for 5 minutes.
  6. Keep stirring and add 1 teaspoon of ghee in regular intervals. When the mixture thickens and starts to leave the pan while stirring then remove from flame and transfer the mixture to a greased pan. 
  7. Let it cool. Then roll into small balls and shape it as a disc and serve.

Here is the quick recap of all the dishes I posted for this marathon under the theme COOKING WITH COLORS

Day Color Recipe
1 Pink Strawberry Banana Smoothie
2 Green Spinach Rice
3 Red Tomato Chutney
4 Orange Orange Iced Tea
5 Brown Dates Cake
6 Purple Blueberry Ice cream
7 Cream Badam Halwa

Sending this to Celebrate- Diamond Jubilee    @ Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey

Homemade Blueberry ice cream (without egg)

It is Blueberry Ice cream. We love ice creams. There will always be ice cream in the freezer. Even in the middle of the night, me and hubby will have a scoop or two. Even being an ice cream lover have never tried making it so far. So this is my first attempt and considering that, the outcome is a huge success. Though blueberries are rich in so many health benefiting nutrients, still I don't like to eat just the fruit. So It will be either pancakes or muffins. So now ice cream too is in the list. 

What are the ingredients needed?

Heavy cream, 1 1/2 cup
Milk, 1/2 cup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
Water, 2 Tbs
Blueberries, 1 cup
Mint leaves, to garnish (optional)

How it is made?
  1. In a saucepan, stir in blueberries, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tbs water and simmer them till the sugar is completely dissolved and blueberries have softened. Then turn off the stove and let it cool.
  2. In another saucepan, combine together heavy cream, milk, rest of the sugar and vanilla extract and simmer it for 4-5 minutes.Remove from the heat and let this mixture cool down.
  3. Once the blueberries mixture have cooled, puree them. And when the milk mixture is cooled mix both the mixtures together. 
  4. Then leave this mixture in freezer for about 20 minutes. Take it out and whisk it well and keep it back in the freezer. Repeat this every 30 minutes till its frozen. It will be in the texture of soft serve ice cream.
  5. Then cover the mixture and freeze it till its firm.(if you plan to store it or prefer it firm)  
  6. Then let it sit in room temperature for 5 minutes, scoop it and serve.
Blueberry Ice cream

Monday, May 28, 2012

Dates Cake (egg-less & Butter less)

 when we decided to go to beach with friends on Saturday on a little picnic and each one had to make something and I  selected this dates cake. The original recipe is from Aayis Recipes. I have made this cake already and this time I made a little change and everyone just loved it. It is a butter less and egg-less cake. 
Dates Cake
Recipe Source: Aayis Recipes

What are the ingredients needed?

Dates, 18 nos.
Milk, 3/4 cup
Brown Sugar, 1/2 cup
Honey, 1/4 cup
All purpose flour, 1 cup 
Oil, 1/2 cup
Baking soda, 1 teaspoon
Walnuts (chopped), 2 Tbs

Eggless Dates Cake
How it is made?
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F and prepare the cake pan by greasing and flouring it. Set them aside.
  2. Soaked the dates in 3/4 cup of milk for few hours and microwave for 2 minutes and puree them. 
  3. Then blend them well with brown sugar and honey. Mix oil with this mixture. 
  4. Sieve together flour and baking soda. 
  5. Mix this flour mixture to the honey mixture, adding flour little by little till they are incorporated well into a homogeneous mixture.  
  6. Add this mixture to the prepared pan, sprinkle chopped nuts on top and bake them for 30-35 minutes till its done and the knife inserted comes out clean.
  7. Let the cake cool down then slice them and serve. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Orange iced Tea- Summer drink ideas

Today's recipe is Orange Iced Tea. Today the climate was so hot and could not have hot tea, so prepared this iced tea. 

What are the ingredients needed??

Orange juice, 1/2 cup
Water, 3 cups
Tea bags, 3 nos.(prefferably black tea)
Mint leaves, to garnish

For syrup
Water, 1/2 cup
Sugar, 3 Tbs
Mint leaves, 5- 6 nos.

How it is made?
  1. Boil 3 cup water and steep tea bags and set them aside. Let them cool.
  2. To prepare the syrup, in a sauce pan, add water, sugar and mint leaves and bring them to boil and switch them off. Let the syrup cool and strain it. 
  3. Then once both the mixture have cooled down mix them with orange juice. Chill them and serve them cold garnished with mint leaves. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thakkali Chutney/ Tomato Chutney

Today's recipe is this yummy tomato chutney. My mom used to make this at home. When she says for dinner it is chappathi and tomato chutney, thats all, chappathis will disappear very fast. This is the first ever chutney I learnt to make when I started my cooking. Mom was working. So sometimes  when she is so tired after coming back from work, she would ask me to make chutney and the rest she would take care. So always my first choice was this chutney and second preference to coconut chutney.  :) I think this pairs well with  chappathi but hubby prefers it with dosa. For me this combo, is nostalgic.
Thakkali Chutney
What are the ingredients needed?

Large Tomato, 4 nos.
Onion, 1 no.
Green chillies, 2 -3 nos.
Turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves, 1 sprig
Cilantro, to garnish
Oil, 2 tsp
Salt, to taste

How it is made?
  1. Puree the tomatoes in a blender.
  2. In a sauce pan, heat oil add mustard seeds, and when they crack add onions, slit green chillies and curry leaves. Saute them till onions turn translucent.
  3. Then add turmeric powder and pureed tomatoes to this, mix well and add salt to taste and simmer it for 10-12 minutes. The mixture will turn colour from pale red to bright red when it is cooked and ready.
  4. Turn off the stove and serve it with chappathis, dosas or even idli's.

Tomato Chutney

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Indian style Spinach Rice Recipe | Keerai Sadam | Healthy & Vegan rice made with Spinach | Lunch Box Ideas

Today I am sharing here Keerai Sadam Recipe - Indian style spinach rice. I made this keerai sadam for lunch. It is nothing fancy - A simple rice with spinach, flavored with cumin and pepper. This spinach rice is easy to prepare and is healthy & Vegan. Perfect for packing for lunch.

Spinach Rice
What are the ingredients required?

Cooked Rice, 4 cups
Spinach, cleaned and chopped, 2 cups
Onion, 1 no
Mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp
Chana dhall, 1 tbs
Peanuts, 1/4 cup
Red Chillies, 2- 3 nos
Ginger garlic paste, 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder, 1 tsp
Pepper powder, 1 tsp
Salt to taste
oil, 2 tsp
Grated coconut, 3- 4 Tbs(optional)

How it is made?
  1. Heat the oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and once they sputter add channa dhal, peanuts, onions and red chillies and saute till the onions turn translucent. 
  2. Then add ginger  garlic paste, cumin powder, pepper powder,  turmeric powder and then add chopped spinach and cook till the spinach is done. Spinach has to be tender and all water from the spinach has to be evaporated. Add the grated coconut to this and mix well.
  3. Then add salt to taste and the cooked rice and mix well. 
  4. Serve it warm.
I loved to eat it with appalam.. Can serve it with raitha too.

Keerai Sadam

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Strawberry banana smoothie

Very happy to take part in another edition of blogging marathon. A whole week of non stop blogging. The theme I have chosen for the week is cooking with colors. Its going to be a colorful week. For the first day, its my daughter's favorite color pink with her favorite fruit - Strawberry banana smoothie. A delicious smoothie perfect to start the day.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
What are the ingredients required?
Washed and hulled Strawberries, 1 cup
Ripe banana, 1 no.
Yogurt, 1/2 cup
Milk, 1/2 cup
Honey, 2 Tbs

Strawberry Banana Smoothie
How it is made?
  1. Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend well till they are smooth.
  2. Pour into the glass and serve it chilled.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Chocolate Shortbread

Today I am posting Chocolate Shortbread. The recipe is from Joy of baking. The shortbread was absolutely delicious with buttery rich taste and the chocolate glaze with nuts sprinkled on top.
You can find the original recipe here.

What are the ingredients required?

For short bread
All purpose flour, 1 cup
Cocoa powder, 1/4 cup
Butter, 1/2 cup (at room temperature)
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Salt, 1/4 tsp
Egg yolk- 1 no.
Vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon

For Chocolate glaze

Semi sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup
Butter, 2 tbs
Coarsely chopped nuts, 1/4 cup

How it is made?

 Short bread.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Prepare the tart pan with removable bottom by applying butter. Set it aside.
  2. In a bowl sift and whisk together all purpose flour, cocoa powder and salt.
  3. In a bowl cream together butter and sugar then beat in egg yolk and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to this mixture and mix till the dough is formed.
  4. Press the dough evenly in the bottom of the prepared tart pan. Bake for 20- 25 minutes until its done. Remove and let it cool.
Chocolate glaze
  1. In a microwave safe bowl mix chocolate chips and butter and microwave in defrost mode for 30 seconds. Stir well and microwave for another 30 seconds. Continue till the chocolate is fully melted.
Final assembly
  1. Prepare this glaze while the shortbread is still baking. Then while it is still hot pour the glaze on top of it  and evenly spread them on the shortbread. Then  sprinkle the chopped nuts on the glaze.
  2. Let the shortbread cool completely. Now remove from the tart pan and slice  and serve them.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kalakand - A quick version with microwave (using ricotta cheese)

Few days back I suddenly had craving for Sweets, especially Indian milk sweet. I am really not crazy about the sweets available here in the Indian store. So I decided to try make one by myself.  I came across this recipe from Show me the curry. It was so simple and easy to make. We all loved it. Its Kalakand made with ricotta cheese and condensed milk using microwave. Sounds, interesting right? Everytime I make this, it quickly disappears and I never really get to click the pictures at all. Somehow this time managed to take some pictures.

What are the Ingredients needed?
Riccotta cheese, 1 lb
Condensed milk, 1 can (14 oz)
Cardamom, 5-6 nos
Sugar, 1 Tbs
Chopped almonds or pistachios,1/2 Tbs
Saffron strands, to garnish

How to make it?
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix riccotta cheese and condensed milk together without any lumps. It will look similar to dosa/pancake batter.
  2. Cook in microwave uncovered for 5 minutes.Then take the bowl out mix well and keep them back in the microwave for 5 more minutes.
  3. Then again take them out mix well and keep them in the microwave covered for 3 minutes. Mix them well again.
  4. Now keep the lid cross covered, so that the splatter is avoided and also there is enough space to vent the steam from the bowl out. I used the splatter screen for that purpose.
  5. From now on keep microwaving with lids cross covered and every 3 minutes take out mix well and repeat it till they are done.It will be solidified with a grainy texture. It takes 6- 8 minutes for this.
  6. Remove the cardamom seeds and powder them with sugar. Add this to the mixture and mix well.
  7. Prepare a tray by applying the butter. Transfer the mixture to this prepared tray and flatten them and press them firm.
  8. Then sprinkle the chopped nuts and lightly press them so that they stick well.
  9. Cover them well and let them set for few hours or refridgerate them for an hour till they are set.
  10. Slice as per the desired shape and enjoy.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Soya chunks Kurma- Soya Chunks Recipes

Here I am with another recipe using soya chunks - Soya Chunks Kurma. It is a flavorful gravy with soya chunks. When I made the soya chunks peas pulao, everyone at home absolutely loved it. Specially, Thaara. Though she recovered from her stomach bug, she does not have apetite at all. She refuses to eat anything. So I made this kurma with soya chunks, she relished it. But you know how she ate? Yogurt rice with this soya chunks from kurma. As long as she eats, any combo is fine with me. I made this for lunch, had with rice and for evening, we had it with paratha too. What I mean to convey is that its so versatile. This gravy has become a hit in my home. Hope it becomes a hit with you guys too.  Try it and let me know.

Soya chunks( un-cooked), 1 cup
Onion ( large), 1 no.
Tomatoes, 2 nos.
Shredded coconut, 1/4 cup
Ginger garlic paste, 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder, 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder, 2 teaspoons
Fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon
Cloves, 4-5 nos.
Cinnamon stick, 1 small stick
Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon
Cilantro, a bunch
Oil, 2 teaspoon
Salt, to taste.

  1. Cook soya chunks as per the package instructions.Squeeze out excess water and set it aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of oil, add fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon sticks and then add sliced onion and cook for 2 minutes or till they start to turn translucent.
  3. Then add tomato to this and ginger garlic paste and cook till the tomato turns soft and mushy.
  4. Then to this add turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder and cook till the raw smell is gone, add the shredded coconut and switch off the stove. Grind this into a fine paste.
  5. In a sauce pan, heat oil, add cumin seeds and when they sputter add the ground paste, prepared soya chunks and add  required water to get the desired consistency and add salt. Let this simmer for 6-7 minutes. 
  6. Garnish with cilantro.
  7. Serve it with rice or roti.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Soya chunks Peas Pulao - Soya Chunks Recipes

Today's recipe is Soya Chunks Peas Pulao. Its a wholesome one pot meal. Soya chunks are textured vegetable protein. Though they are 100% vegetarian they mimic the texture of meat and also has protein equal to meat. My daughter thinks they are chicken, so whenever I cant cook chicken will make this chunks and she loves it.

Recipe Source: Tickling Palates

Basmati Rice (uncooked), 2 cups
Soya chunks, 1 cup
Peas, 2/3 cup
Onion(chopped), 1 cup
Tomato(Chopped), 1 cup
Ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp
Red chilli powder, 1 tsp
Garam masala powder, 1 tsp
Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp
Mint leaves, 1 handful
Cilantro, 1 handful
Fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon, 1 small stick
Cloves, 4-5 nos.
Bay leaf, 1 no.
Salt to taste
Oil, 2 tsp

  1. Soak Basmati rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Cook soya chunks as per the instructions given in its package. Completely drain the water. Squeeze well to remove excess water and set aside.
  3. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves and bay leaf and then add onions and saute till its golden brown.
  4. Then add tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, mint leaves and cilantro and cook for 2-3 minutes till they are cooked and soft.
  5. Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala powder and cook till the raw smell is gone.
  6. To this add the soaked rice, prepared soya chunks and peas, also add 4 cups of water and salt to taste and pressure cook till its done.
  7. Let the pressure release, then fluff it up and serve with raita.