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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Misal Pav - A street food from Maharashtra

Today's recipe is Misal Pav. It is a street food from Maharashtra.  Misal means mixture. It is actually the usal topped with farsan, chopped onions, lemon and served with pav buns. 
I tried my attempt in making home made pav buns, but they didn't turn out as expected,  but the Misal was so easy to make and delicious, it almost covered the flaws in the buns. I tried these for the South vs North Challenge started by Divya Pramil.There are two teams- South and North. A representative from South chooses a challenging recipe for the north team while the representative from North chooses for South team. This month Meena Bhatia of Random Ramblings selected Misal Pav for the South Team while Sherin Deepu from Kuk's Kitchen selected Medhu Vada for the North Team. If you want to know more about this challenge or want to be a part of this, please contact Divya Pramil here.

What are the ingredients needed?

White Peas, 1 cup 

To make paste
Red onions (Medium size), 2 nos.
Tomatoes,  2 nos.
Green chillies, 2 nos.
Ginger garlic paste, 2 teaspoon
Grated Coconut, 1/4 cup

Other ingredients needed
Oil, 2- 3 Tablespoons
Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli Powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander Powder, 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala, 1 teaspoon
Amchoor Powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, as needed
Water, as needed
Cilantro, to garnish

For Assembly
Farsan, as needed
Pav buns, 12 nos.
Sliced lemon (optional)
Finely chopped red onions, as needed

How it is made?
  1. Soak the white peas over night or at least for 6-8 hours, then pressure cook it, but take care not to make it mushy.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet, add onions and green chillies and fry them till onions turn translucent. Then add the tomatoes and ginger garlic paste and cook till they turn soft and mushy.  Finally add the grated coconut and cook for 3 minutes and turn off the heat. Let it cool and then grind it to fine paste.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add cumin seeds and when they crack, add the ground paste, then all the powders one by one (coriander, chilli, turmeric, garam masala and amchoor) and cook till the raw smell disappears.
  4. Then add the pressure cooked peas, add the required salt and add water to get the required consistency of gravy.
  5. Let it simmer for 5-6 minutes. 
  6. Then turn off the heat. The Usal gravy is ready.
To serve:
Top the usal gravy with farsan, chopped red onions, cilantro  and also some lemon slices and serve with pav buns. Misal Pav is ready.

  • Instead of white peas, moth beans or even mixed sprouts can be used.
  • The spices can be adjusted to personal taste. 
  • Farsan refers to a mixture of fried ingredients like boondhi, omapodi, cornflakes, peanuts, rice flakes etc., So I just used a South Indian Mixture which I got from local Indian store.
  • Top the farsan only right before serving, otherwise it becomes soggy. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vanilla Mug Cake Recipe | Egg-less Vanilla Mug Cake | 2 Minutes Microwave Mug Cake

Today I am posting here Vanilla Mug Cake Recipe. This Vanilla Mug Cake is made in microwave and it requires only 2 minutes. This mug cake does not require egg too.  I have already posted 2 different egg-less mug cakes - 2 Minutes Chocolate Mug Cake and Eggless Mocha Mug Cake ready in 2 minutes. This Vanilla cake is so soft and moist, I like to have it as it is, "Appadiyae Saapiduvaen.. " ;) 

Vanilla mug cake in Microwave

vanilla Mug Cake 
What are the ingredients needed?
All purpose flour, 1/4 cup
Salt, a pinch
Sugar, 2 tablespoons
Baking soda, a pinch
Baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Milk, 2 tablespoons
Yogurt, 2 tablespoons
Oil, 1 tablespoon
Vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon

How it is made?
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe mug and microwave for 2 minutes.
  2. Then take it out and let it cool completely and enjoy the cake. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today's recipe is Chocolate Chip cookies. Both Thaara and the little one really loves these cookies . So I bake them often, but never got to blog about it. Couple of days back, my school friend Brinda had called me almost after 13 years, (Thanks to Facebook to get in touch with her) as we were talking, she asked if I have  Chocolate chip cookie recipe in my blog. I assured to share the recipe with her soon. I think now is the right time. It is just 2 days before Christmas and we need cookies for Santa too. So baked these cookies today. As I am typing, I can really smell the chocolate from the cookies. Just took them out of the oven and they are cooling in the rack. 

Recipe source: Very Best Baking

What are the ingredients needed?

All purpose flour, 1 1/4 cup
Baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Butter, 1/2 cup (1 stick)
Light Brown Sugar, 3/4 cup
Egg, 1 no.
Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon
Semi sweet chocolate morsels, 1 cup

How it is made?
  1. In a bowl combine flour, salt, and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and vanilla extract until it is creamy. 
  3. Then add one egg and beat well.
  4. To this mixture add flour mixture little by little and mix well.
  5. Finally stir in the morsels.
  6. Pre- heat the oven to 375 F.
  7. Take a non greased cookie sheet, scoop the cookie dough and drop using a table spoon measure. 
  8. Line them  with space in between them to expand.
  9. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes till they turn golden brown.
  10. Let them cool for 2 minutes in baking sheet before removing and letting to cool in wire rack completely.
It yields about 2 dozen cookies.

  • In addition to chocolate chip cookies, you can add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts too for variation
  • As per the original recipe, for the total amount of sugar needed, they have used half white sugar and half brown sugar. 
  • The cookie once taken out will be soft to touch , so wait for 2 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack to let it cool completely.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Masala Pori/Kara Pori/ Spicy Puffed Rice

Today I am sharing with you a simple snack recipe from my childhood. My mom used to make it almost every other weekend and we just love it. Now I make it once in a while and both Hubby and Thaara enjoys this. It is a simple snack that can be made in a jiffy. 

What are the ingredients needed?

Puffed rice, 2 cups
Oil, 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds,1/2 teaspoon
Garlic, 3-4 cloves(crushed)
Red chillies,1- 2 nos.
Curry leaves, a sprig
Pottukadalai/ Roasted gram, 1/4 cup
Peanuts, 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder, 1/4 teaspoon

How it is made?
  1. Heat the oil, add mustard seeds and when they crack, add the crushed garlic, red chillies, curry leaves and fry for a minute or two.
  2. Then add pottukadalai (roasted gram) and peanuts and fry till they change color and are fried.
  3. Then add the turmeric powder, mix well.
  4. Finally add Pori(puffed rice) , mix well such that it is well coated with turmeric powder and turn off the heat.
  5. Let it cool down and then enjoy this snack.
  6. Store it in an airtight container.

  • I remember my mom using coconut oil instead of the normal oil for frying. I love that flavor, but I didn't have it here so used canola oil here.
  • In addition to red chillies, if you prefer more heat, you can add chilli powder. 
  • If you don't prefer red chillies, instead of them, you can add 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder, depending on the level of spice you need. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Carrot Lemon Rice | Easy Variety Rice Recipe

carrot lemon rice, easy carrot rice, variety rice recipes
My today's  recipe is a simple Carrot Rice.It is a quick and easy dish which will be ready in few minutes . Perfect to pack for Lunch. Usually in the mornings I will be multi tasking from cooking lunch, preparing breakfast, getting kids ready to school and so on. There are certain days where I will be hardly left with time to cook anything elaborate, such days I cook something simple like  this Carrot Rice.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Fruit Cake/ Plum Cake- No Alcohol Version

The holiday season is here and in the blog-o-sphere, it is all holiday recipes. So for this month's Baking Partner's Challenge, Swathi chose Christmas Cakes.  Out of the three cakes suggested for this challenge- Brazilian Nut Cake, Neopolitan Cake and Plum Cake, I chose  this fruit cake cake because it is my childhood favorite, even for Hubby and also it doesn't need any frosting. (Hubby is against use of any frosting ;) ) The recipe was suggested by Archana while the other cake is suggested by Suja Manoj. Thanks to Swathi, Suja and Archana for wonderful selection of recipes.

I made some changes to the original recipe like using light brown sugar instead of Sugar, skipping rum and using apple juice etc., Otherwise I pretty much followed the recipe. The tough time I had was making the caramel syrup. First time, I burnt it and second time around got it right. Other than that it is pretty much easy to make but consumes time a lot. 

What are the ingredients needed?

To soak
Chopped Cashew, 1/2 cup
Chopped Almonds, 1/2 cup
Dry fruits(Raisins, cranberries,dates), 2 cups
Candied orange peel, 1/4 cup
Apple juice, 1/2 cup

To make caramel syrup
Sugar, 1/2 cup
Water,1/4 cup

Other ingredients needed
Butter, 1 cup(2 sticks)
Light Brown sugar, 1 cup
Eggs, 3 nos.
All purpose Flour, 2 cups
Baking Powder, 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Ginger powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Nutmeg powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Clove Powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon

How it is made?
  1. Take all the dry fruits and nuts, chop them and soak them in apple juice. I soaked it for 12 hours. More soaking time, the better. If you are soaking for a longer time keep it in the refrigerator, also don't forget mix them in equal intervals.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan, melt the sugar with a tablespoon of sugar in medium high heat,. Don't use spoon to mix, just swirl the pan. Wait till it changes color to brown and starts to solidify then turn off the heat and add the water. It will splatter, so take care. Now stir to mix well. Let this syrup cool before adding to the cake batter.
  3. In a bowl, Cream butter and sugar together. Then beat eggs, adding one at a time. 
  4. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and the spices. 
  5. Add this flour mixture little by little to the butter mixture and mix well.
  6. Then add the vanilla extract and caramel syrup and mix well.
  7. Finally drain the soaked fruits and fold them into the batter.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
  9. Grease 9" baking pan and line it will parchment paper.
  10. Pour the prepared batter and bake for 45 minutes.
  11. Then reduce the temperature to 325 F and bake for another 30 minutes.
  12. Check if it is done, by inserting the knife. If it is still undone, then cover the top with silver foil and bake for another 5-10  minutes.
  13. Let it cool completely, before slicing.

  • Since I used apple juice, citrus flavor was lacking in the cake. I think I should have used Orange juice.
  • Since there are lots of dry fruits in the cake and the apple juice I used is sweetened, I have reduced the amount of Sugar. If you want it to be more sweet, increase the sugar. Also if you are using unsweetened juice, increase the quantity of sugar.
  • The baking time was more for my cake. First I baked for 45 minutes, the cake was still in batter form. Then baked for another 30 minutes the top of the cake had baked while it was still gooey on the inside. So I covered it with foil and baked for another 12 minutes. So check your oven timings accordingly. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spiced Carrot cupcakes with Cream cheese frosting- My guest post for Rosh @ Chef Al dente

When Rosh of Chef Al dente asked me to a guest post in her space, I accepted immediately. I have known her ever since I started blogging. It was like there was a bonding with her ever since though we haven't known each other personally. I got my first ever award from her space for the event GIMME GREEN, as most popular dish for the non veg category for my Cilantro Chicken. It was a very motivating thing in those initial days of my blogging, it meant a lot to me. Thanks a lot Rosh for that and also for inviting me to her space for the guest post.

She requested me for a cake/ cup cake recipe.  So I decided to make Spiced carrot cupcakes with Cream cheese frosting. For the recipe click here

Also friends, I have one more happy news to share with you. My blog has crossed over 1 lakh page views. It wouldn't have been possible without your constant support and encouragement. Thank you friends..

Friday, December 7, 2012

Basic Focaccia

Focaccia is one of the famous Italian bread. It is a simple and versatile bread. I was longing to bake this bread for quite sometime. I found the recipe here. It came out delicious that we finished it in one sitting. It had a perfect crispy crust and a soft interior. Hubby and kids ate just the bread while I made sandwich with it. This recipe is easy and perfect for a novice baker like me.

What are the ingredients needed?

All purpose Flour, 2 cups.
Active dry yeast,  1 packet
Sugar, 1 teaspoon
Warm Water, 1/3 cup
Olive Oil, 4 Tablespoons (approximately)
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Water, to knead
Coarse salt, to sprinkle on top

How it is made?
  1. In a bowl, dissolve sugar, yeast in warm water and set it aside until it is frothy. It takes around 10 minutes.
  2. In another large mixing bowl combine flour and salt. Then add this yeast mixture to it and mix with your hands.
  3. Then add water little by little till the dough comes together as a ball. Then keep kneading till the dough is smooth and pliable. 
  4. Then apply oil to the mixing bowl and to the dough and let it rise till it doubles in size. It will take around 45 minutes.
  5. Deflate the dough and knead it briefly and pat this dough to the baking dish greased with olive oil. With fingers gently push the dough evenly on the dish.
  6. Cover it with kitchen towel and let it rise for another 30-40 minutes.
  7. Make dimples in the dough with finger tips slightly or use a fork to make indentations. Brush oil and sprinkle salt on top of the dough.
  8. Preheat the oven to 475 F.Bake the foccacia for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Let it cool down completely before slicing it.
Serve it fresh. It tastes better when served fresh.

  • For variations, you may add any toppings as per your preference.
  • I used a 7 * 11 baking dish, to form a rectangular focaccia. The shape, size and thickness depends on your preference. I wanted to make sandwich so went for a thicker bread.
  • Depending on the thickness of the bread oven timing varies. Adjust the oven timings accordingly. 
Linking this is to Yeastspotting

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Easiest and the Best Pumpkin Pie

I made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving potluck and it has been sitting in the drafts ever since, couldn't post it till day. For the potluck, friends wanted pumpkin pie and I haven't baked it before. So wanted a simple and easy recipe and browsed for it and got the pie crust recipe here and the pie recipe here. It turned out really good and earned me a lot of appreciation. Only thing I regret is that I don't have good pictures of the pie. It was dark by the time the pie was ready and after the dinner, with the leftover pie took some pictures in the morning. I know the pictures didn't come out well and is not doing justice to this delicious pie. This may not be the authentic pumpkin pie recipe, but if you are looking for a simple, easy to make yet delicious pie, this is the recipe.

For the crust (9 inch)

What are the ingredients needed?

All purpose Flour, 1 1/4 cup + extra for rolling
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar, 1/2 teaspoon
Baking soda, a pinch
Unsalted Butter(cold), 1/2 cup
Ice cold water, 1/4 cup

How it is made?
  1. In a food processor combine flour, salt, sugar and baking soda.
  2. Chop the cold butter and add them into the food processor and pulse till they mix well with the flour.
  3. Sprinkle ice cold water little by little and keep pulsing till the dough sticks together and rolls into a ball.
  4. Keep the dough in refrigerator till it is ready to use for atleast half an hour. If kept in refrigerator for a longer time (say a day before or 6 hours before) keep it at room temperature for at least half an hour before rolling it.
  5. With a floured roll pin, roll the dough at least 2 inches larger than the inverted pie plate.
  6. Then place the rolled dough on the pie plate, press the dough on the sides and bottom of the plate.
  7. Trim the excess dough with kitchen shears and shape the edges.
  8. Let it sit for sometime in the refrigerator till you make ready the filling.

For the pumpkin pie

What are the ingredients needed?

9 inch pie crust
Pumpkin puree, 1 can(15 oz)
Sweetened Condensed milk, 1 can (14 oz)
Eggs, 2 nos.
Ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon
Ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon
Ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon
Salt, 1/2 teaspoon

How it is made?
  1. Pre heat the oven to 425 F
  2. Whisk together pumpkin puree and condensed milk, add the spices, salt and also beat in the eggs and mix well till they form a smooth mixture. 
  3. Pour this mixture into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Now reduce the oven temperature and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes or until the fork inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let them cool. Serve it with dollop of whipped cream or as desired.

Notes :
  • If you don't want to bake the pie crust, you can buy ready made crusts that are available.
  • Instead of the ground spices, you can add two teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
  • While baking, cover the pie with silver foil .
  • The baking time varies with oven to oven. The second cycle took around 35 minutes in my oven. I turned off the oven and let it sit inside for another 5 minutes,  before I took it out and cooled it on a cooling rack.