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Monday, July 30, 2012

Easy Strawberry Ice cream Recipe | Easy icecream recipe without ice cream maker

After posting the blueberry ice cream, I was looking for another simple and easy method of making ice creams which does not require the use of ice cream maker.
Last week, it was strawberry week at home and I made strawberry muffins, strawberry pancakes, strawberry Popsicle, this strawberry ice cream and with the left over made some smoothies.
Coming to the recipe, it requires only three ingredients and 4 hours to make this ice cream. Very easy and no cooking required to make this.

What are the ingredients needed?

Strawberry (Pureed) , 1 cup
Condensed milk, 1/2 cup
Whipped topping, 1/2 cup

How it is made?
  1. In a bowl, combine the pureed strawberries, condensed milk, whipped topping gently.
  2. Transfer them to a freezer safe container and freeze for 3-4 hours.
  3. Once they are set, serve and enjoy.

  • You can substitute the strawberry puree with other fruit of your choice too.
  • Take care not to over mix while mixing, as it may break the air in the whipped topping and ice cream will become flat, not creamy.
  • For some variations you can add some chopped fruits and nuts to the ice cream too.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Soya chunks mixed vegetable dry curry

I really had no idea how much soya chunks will attract my kids. I made this dry curry with soya chunks and mixed vegetable, to go with chappathis for dinner. As soon as I cooked them, transferred them to a bowl and was taking some pictures of them to post along with the recipe, both kids couldn't resist, they started eating right from the bowl. So making them eat today's dinner was easy. 

What are the ingredients needed?

Soya chunks, 1 cup
Onion, 1 no.
Bell pepper, 1 no.
Mixed vegetable- chopped (carrot, beans, peas, corn), 1 1/2 cup
Shredded cabbage, 1 cup
Ginger garlic paste
Chilli powder, 1 tsp
Coriander powder, 2 tsp
Oil, 2- 3 tsp
Fennel seeds, 1 tsp
Kasoori methi leaves, 1 tbs
Salt to taste

How it is made?
  1. Cook soya chunks as per the package instructions and squeeze out the excess water and set it aside.
  2. Chop the onions and bell pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the fennel seeds and fry for a minute or two, then add the chopped onions, bell pepper and saute for 2- 3 minutes.
  4. Then add the ginger garlic paste, chilli power, coriander powder , mix well.
  5. Then add the shredded cabbage, mixed vegetables, soya chunks and add salt to taste, mix well.
  6. In a low flame, cover and cook till its done.
  7. Then add the kasoori methi leaves, mix them and then let it sit for sometime and then serve.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beans Poriyal | Green Beans Stir fry

Today's recipe is Beans Poriyal, a simple stir fried green beans. Though at home, we all love beans, I don't make it very often. The reason is I really don't have very good knife skills (partly lazy to cut too), so have to rely completely on hubby to chop this. But recently when we went to grocery store, these beans were really fresh  and couldn't resist the urge to buy it.    It was sitting in the fridge for about a week, Hubby is so busy these days, so had to chop myself and make it. Chopping is the most complicated part in this recipe, rest is super easy. :)
Once my grandma visited us when we were in India and I made her this poriyal. She really loved it. She is a good cook and loves good food. Even now whenever I talk to her, she will definitely mention about the poriyal. It is like , "Vasishtar vaayaal bramhma rishi". Though I am still a novice cook, I am proud and glad that she loved it and still she remembers it. It means a lot to me.

Coming to the recipe,

What are the ingredients needed?
Beans, 1 lb
Onion, half
Green chillies, 2- 3 nos.
Oil, 1 tbs
Mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp
Channa dhal/ kadala paruppu, 2 tsp
Grated coconut, 1/4 cup
Curry leaves, 1 sprig

How it is made?
  1. Chop the beans and chop half onion and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet, add mustard seeds and when they crack, add channa dhal, onions  and curry leaves and saute till onions turn translucent.
  3. Then add the beans, salt to taste then sprinkle some water and in a low flame cover and cook till its done.
  4. Finally, add the grated coconut , mix well and serve.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Broccoli Stir Fry

Broccoli is one of Thaara's favorite vegetable. So at least once in a week, this veggie will be on the menu. Today's recipe is Broccoli stir fry. It is a simple stir fry goes well with rice and sambhar. 

What are the ingredients needed?

Broccoli florets(cleaned ), 4 cups
Onion (small) , 1 no
Oil, 1 Tbs
Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
Red chillies, 3-4 nos
Ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp
Salt, taste.

How it is made?
  1. Heat the oil and add cumin seeds and red chillies and then add onions and saute till onions turn translucent. 
  2. Then add the ginger garlic paste and add the broccoli florets, salt to taste. Mix well.
  3. If needed, sprinkle some water and cover and cook in low flame till its done. Take care not to overcook it.
  • I sometimes use frozen broccoli, so let that thaw completely and remove all excess water and then start cooking, also do not add water to cook. Otherwise its going to be very mushy.
  • Cover and cook the broccoli in low flame, it will cook on its own steam. Only if needed, sprinkle some water.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Vegetable Biryani (using Coconut milk)

Recently when I visited my neighbor Geetha's house, she gave me her Vegetable biryani to taste and I immediately got hooked to it. I usually prepare it differently. So when I was thinking about different rice dishes, this thing immediately came to my mind. So called her up and got the recipe and tried it. Though it did not taste like hers, it did taste very good. So am going to stick with this recipe. 
It is a wholesome one pot meal perfect for packing lunch. 

vegetable biryani in pressure cooker, vegetable biryani recipe

What are the ingredients needed?

To grind to a paste
Fennel seeds, 1 tsp
Ginger- 1"- 2'' long
Garlic, 4-5 cloves
Mint leaves, a handful
Coconut, 2 Tbs
Coriander powder, 2 tsp
Cloves, 2-3 nos.
Cinnamon,1 small piece
Red chillies, 2-3 nos.

Other ingredients needed
Basmati rice, 2 cups
Mixed vegetables, 2 cups (carrots, beans, peas or any veggies of your choice)
Oil, 1 Tbs
Ghee, 1 Tbs
Cinnamon, 1 small piece
Cloves, 2- 3 nos
Cardamom, 4-5 nos.
Cashew, 5-6 nos.
Onion, 1 no
Tomato, 1 large
Green chillies, 2 nos.
Coconut milk, 1.5 cups
Water, 1.5 cups
Salt to taste
Cilantro, handful

Vegetable biryani recipe

How it is made?
  1. Soak Basmati for 15- 20 minutes. Drain well and keep it aside.
  2. Grind fennel seeds, ginger, garlic, mint leaves, coconut,fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, red chillies into a paste.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker and add cinnamon, cloves, cashew any fry them for a minute or two then add the onions, green chillies and saute them till onions turn translucent.
  4. Then add the chopped tomatoes and ground paste to this and cook till tomatoes turn mushy. 
  5. Then add the chopped vegetables and add coconut milk and water, bring it to boil then add the soaked basmati rice, salt to taste and add handful of cilantro on top, close the pressure cooker and pressure cook.
  6. When it whistles, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
  7. Let the pressure release, then fluff it up and serve with raitha.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mutton Biryani- Easy method using Pressure Cooker

My Hubby loves Biryani so much. So I make biryani often at home. He prefers Biryani, boiled egg and raitha combo. I  usually make Mutton Biryani, in the pressure cooker, since mutton is little tough to cook.  It may not be the most authentic way to prepare biryani, but it is very easy to make and does taste very good. It is a delicious one pot meal and it is less time consuming.

Mutton Biryani using Pressure Cooker
What are the ingredients needed?

To marinate
Mutton- 1 lb
Yogurt, 2 Tbs
Lemon juice, 2 Tbs
Garam masala, 1 tsp
Turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 tsp

Other ingredients needed
Basmati rice, 2 cups
Oil, 2 Tbs
Fennel seeds,  1 Tsp
Cloves, 3-4 nos
Cinnamon, 1-2" long
Cardamom, 4-5 nos
Bay leaves, 2 nos.
Onion(chopped), 1 no
Green chillies, 2 nos.
Tomato, 1 large no
Red chilli powder, 1 tsp
Coriander powder, 2 tsp
Mint leaves, a handful
Cilantro, a handful
Salt to taste.
Water, 3 cups

Mutton Biryani
How it is made?
  1. Marinate the mutton with yogurt, lime juice, garam masala, ginger garlic paste and salt for 30 minutes.
  2. Wash and Soak Basmati rice in water for 30 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
  3. In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves and fry for 2 minutes then add the slit green chillies and onions and saute till onions turn translucent.
  4. Then add chopped tomato, ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, and coriander powder and cook till tomatoes turn mushy.
  5. Then add mint leaves, cilantro and marinated mutton , 1 cup water and pressure cook upto 3 whistles then wait till the pressure releases and add the soaked basmati rice and add required salt and water and  pressure cook again.
  6. When the cooker whistles, remove from the heat and wait till the pressure releases. 
  7. Gently fluff it up and serve with raitha. I served it with onion raitha.
  • Yogurt and lemon juice acts a natural meat tenderiser. It will tenderise the meat.
  • Lamb meat must be "almost" cooked before adding the rice. In my cooker I pressure cook in medium flame for 6-7 minutes sometimes more i.e., till I get 3 whistles. Cooking time varies with pressure cooker to cooker. 
  • After adding rice, I let the cooker give only one whistle and switch it off. Since the rice is already soaked, I didn't want the rice to turn mushy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Coconut Milk Rice | Coconut Milk Pulao | Thengai Paal Sadam

Coconut Milk Rice, Coconut Milk Pulao
Coconut Milk Rice
My today's recipe is Coconut milk rice. Few years back, we had rented a house in Chengalpet since it was close to Hubby's work. The house owner Aunty was a wonderful person and also a very good cook. I learnt to make biryani and this coconut milk rice from her. We had a really good time there, but for his work when we had to come abroad, we had to vacate.  Still we are in touch with Aunty. Whenever I think about Biryani or something I always think of her. She has a main role in polishing the way I cook. 
Most of the weekends I either make this rice or Biryani. This is a mildly flavored rice with spices and cooked in coconut milk. It pairs well with spicy side dishes. Last week I made this rice with Chicken Fry

Friday, July 13, 2012

Chicken Fry (Andhra Style)

As of now, I don't have much non-vegetarian recipes in my space. So am on a mission to post few non veg recipes . I made some changes to her recipe, the main thing is reduced the chillies to suit our taste and we all love it.It was very easy to make and very delicious. I made Coconut milk Pulao to go with it.Rice, rasam and this will also be a good combination.

Chicken Fry

Recipe Source:  Our Cherished World

What are the ingredients needed?

To marinate
Boneless chicken, 1 lb
Yogurt, 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder, 1 tsp
Salt, to taste.

To grind 
Onion, 1 large
Garlic, 5 cloves
Ginger, 1 " long
Fennel seeds, 1 tsp

Other ingredients required
Oil, 2 Tbs
Cloves, 3-4 nos
Cinnamon, one small piece
Garam masala, 1/2 tsp
Cilantro(chopped), to garnish

Andhra style Chicken Fry

How it is made?
  1. Marinate the chicken for atleast half an hour with yogurt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt.
  2. Grind onion, garlic, ginger and fennel seeds into a paste.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet, add cinnamon and cloves and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the ground paste and cook till the raw smell is gone.
  4. Then add the marinated chicken and cook in medium to low flame till the chicken is done and all the liquid is evaporated and the desired consistency is obtained.
  5. Then add the garam masala, mix well and turn off the heat.
  6. Now garnish with chopped cilantro.
  7. Serve with rice of your choice.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fried masala Peanuts

I am a huge fan of peanuts right from my childhood. Even Thaara is like that, she loves peanut, in any form. For snack, I prepared this fried peanuts. Of course, she was standing by my side and watching. Then I made a paper cone and filled it with the peanuts and gave to her. She finished it all. She absolutely loved the way I served it to her in cone. Happily she posed for the pictures, I clicked for the post. Peanuts in paper cone is nostalgic.Those days they sell them in such paper cones in shops or the person who sells them in the streets. 
This is a great snack for both kids and adults to munch on. Now coming to the recipe..

Fried Masala Peanuts

What are the ingredients needed?

Raw peanuts, 1 1/2 cups
Besan (gram flour), 1/2 cup
Chilli powder, 2 tsp
Coriander powder, 2 tsp
Cumin powder, 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp
Baking soda, a pinch
Asafoetida, a pinch.
Salt, to taste
Oil, to deep fry

Fried peanuts
How it is made?
  1. In a bowl combine together, besan, chilli, coriander, cumin, turmeric powders, asafoetida, baking soda and salt. Add water and mix well. 
  2. To this add peanuts and mix well such that the peanuts are fully covered with the batter.
  3. Heat oil and deep fry the peanuts in batches in medium flame. When they turn golden brown, remove them, drain the excess oil in paper towel.
  4. Let them cool completely and enjoy the snack. 

Peanut Butter Cookies (egg-less)

 Today's recipe is the peanut butter cookies, I baked with my daughter. Since it is summer vacation here, she is at home all day and I have to do something to keep her engaged all the time.  You all must know how difficult it is. Anyways, Thaara loves to bake along with me.She wanted to bake something, we baked this cookies. The original recipe is from Joy of Baking and I halved the recipe and I avoided egg and used milk instead of it. Result was a delicious cookies with right amount of crunch. For me it reminded me the taste of Kadala mittai. :)

What are the ingredients needed?

Unsalted butter(room temperature), 5 Tbs
Light brown sugar, 1/4 cup
White granulated sugar, 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract, 1 tsp
Peanut butter, 5 Tbs
All purpose flour, 1 cup
Baking soda, 1/4 tsp
Milk, 1 Tbs, as needed

How it is made?
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, light brown sugar and white sugar until they are fluffy. To this add the peanut butter and vanilla and mix them well.
  3. In another bowl, combine together flour and baking soda. To this add the butter mixture and a table spoon of milk and mix well. 
  4. Drop cookies 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten with fork dipped in flour to make crisscross pattern.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned around the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool completely. 
  6. Enjoy with a cup of milk.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Appam (using Paniyaram Pan) | Godhumai Paniyaram | Sweet Wheat Aebleskiver

 When we were kids, my grandma used to make deep fried appams/ Kachayam with wheat flour and ripe bananas. It has been a long time since I had this. Recently I came across this recipe in Priya's Versatile Recipes and tried it. It was similar to my grandma's only that this is not deep fried and made in paniyaram/ aebleskiver pan. Everyone at home loved it, especially my kids. It is great for breakfast or just for snack. Other  points to note about this is , no side dish is required for this and its completely vegan.  It's a true Kids delight. 

What are the ingredients needed?

Wheat flour- 1 cup
Rice flour, 1/4 cup
Large ripe banana, 1 no.
Jaggery (grated), 1/2 cup
Baking soda, 1/2 tsp
Cardamom, 3 nos
Sugar, to powder the cardamom
Salt, a pinch

  1. Mash the banana well.
  2. Powder the sugar and cardamom.
How it is made?
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients like wheat flour, rice flour, baking soda & salt and set them aside.
  2. Heat the jaggery with 1/4 cup water, when the jaggery completely dissolves remove from the stove and filter the syrup to remove the impurities, if any. 
  3. Add this syrup to the flour mixture , add the mashed banana and powdered cardamom and mix well. If needed, add some water to get the desired consistency similar to idly batter/ pancake batter.
  4. Heat the paniyaram/ aebleskiver pan, add oil in each cup and pour the batter and cook in low flame and then turn the other side cook till its done. 
  5. Remove from the pan and serve.
  • If the banana is large, one banana is enough, but if it is small add two. 
  • You can replace jaggery with sugar, if you desire. 
  • Never cook them in high flame, they will turn brown fast but inside the batter will still be uncooked. So cook in low flame. use a toothpick to insert in the middle to see if it's done.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Chettinad style Fish Curry/ Meen Kuzhambu (without Coconut)

It was a long time since I made fish curry, so made this afternoon for lunch. This is chettinad style curry made without coconut. It was absolutely delicious, spicy and tangy.

Meen Kuzhambu
What are the ingredients needed?

Fish, 1 lb 
Tamarind, 1 small lemon ball size
Large onion, 1 no
Tomatoes, 2 nos.
Garlic,  7- 8 cloves
Curry leaves, 1 sprig
Oil, 2 Tbs
Mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds
Turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder, 1 tsp
Coriander powder, 2 tsp
Salt to taste

How it is made?
  1. Clean the fish and cut them to the desired size.
  2. Soak tamarind in water and extract the pulp.
  3. Chop onions, tomatoes and garlic and set them aside.
  4. In a sauce pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and when they start cracking add the chopped onions, garlic and curry leaves and cook till the onion turn golden brown.
  5. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, till tomatoes turn mushy, then add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder and cook till the raw smell is gone.
  6. Then add the tamarind extract and required water to get the desired consistency and let it come to a boil.
  7. To this add the cleaned fish and simmer till the oil separates from the gravy.
  8. Serve this gravy with steamed rice.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Yogurt Sponge Cake - Birthday cake for my daughter

Every year for my daughter's birthday I used to bake a cake and everytime she wants strawberry cake. I got " Entenmann's Big Book of Baking" as a gift from my sister in law for my birthday and it was lying untouched. So I thought of trying a cake from the book and decided to do Yogurt sponge cake and to not disappoint Thaara's love for strawberries, I used strawberry frosting ( didn't have time to make my own. just used the store bought frosting). I couldn't prepare the cake ahead of time, was caught up with so many work and finished the cake just few minutes before the cake cutting. Since I did in a hurry the decorations didn't come out as expected. Though it may not be the prettiest of the cakes but sure it did taste very good. It was soft and spongy.Thaara wanted a smiley on the cake too. According to her, I scored in all aspects of the cake, but I felt I could have done a little better with the decoration. But time crunch.. 

Recipe Source: Entenmann's Big Book of Baking

What are the ingredients needed?

Unsalted butter (Room Temperature), 3/4 cup
Sugar, 1 1/2 cup
Eggs, 3 nos.
All purpose flour, 2 cups
Baking powder, 1 tsp
Baking Soda, 1 tsp
Salt, 1/2 tsp
Yogurt, 1 cup
Vanilla extract, 2 tsp

How it is made?
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Prepare the cake pan, by greasing and flouring it. I used a 9 inch round cake pan.
  3. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar until they are fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Slowly sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt and vanilla extract and add this mixture to the flour mixture and mix until they are blended and forms a homogeneous mixture.
  5. Pour this cake batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Let the cake cool. 
  7. If you want to have just the cake, you can slice and enjoy it now.
If you want to decorate the cake, you can proceed with the further steps now.
  1. Once the cake is cooled, tort the cake using the cake leveler. It is slicing the cake into half.
  2. Set a layer of the cake on the cake base, add a layer of frosting and keep the other layer of cake. Now spread the frosting to sides and top of the cake, such that all sides are properly and evenly covered with frosting.
  3. Then fill in the frosting bag with the frosting and add the desired tip and decorate and enjoy the cake. 
(Cake picture taken at night, pardon  the picture quality)
  • The baking temperature and time of the cake varies with the oven. When I was baking the cake I noticed that the top  of the cake started browning (after the cake is in the oven for 30 minutes) and the middle of the cake was not done, what I did is lowered the temperature to 325 and covered the cake pan with silver foil and baked for another 10 minutes and cake was perfectly done. 
  • Before torting the cake, let the cake cool completely otherwise it will form crumbs and the slice wont be even.
  • The consistency of frosting for spreading the cake should be thin, as it aids in easier spreading and the consistency for making decorations must be stiff, to get the clean and sharp effect. (But since I used the store bought one, the decorations were not as expected. Next time preparing my own frosting.).