Sunday, 8 December 2013

Oat Crusted Apple filled French toast (Egg free)








Feel like bringing the Christmas aroma into your room? Try making this french toast with a fruit filling for breakfast on your  HOLIDAY 

I am using the Apple with pecans and cranberry filling as a filling. I have posted the recipe for this filling. You can try other filling such as Nutella and banana slices/ Strawberry slices, strawberry jam and cream cheese too.





Dipping the french toast in oatmeal or any sliced nuts just before you toast turns this into a nice crusty  french toast. 
You can use an egg instead of the custard powder.
You can toast these in rice cooker or on a non-stick pan too. 










Things needed to make these french toast-
  • 2 big slices or 4 small slices of thickly sliced bread
  • 150 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp custard pd / bubble tea pd / pudding mix vanilla flavor
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3- 4 tbsp Apple with pecans and cranberry filling (Nutella and banana slices/ Strawberry slices, strawberry jam and cream cheese)
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal / thinly sliced nuts such as almond / beaten rice flakes (Optional)

If you want to make this using egg-
Beat an egg with 2 tbsp milk (at room temperature), 2 tbsp sugar along with 1/4 tsp vanilla extract or cinnamon powder or apple pie spice to make it smell wonderful.




Method-


1. Mix custard pd and sugar with the milk. You can use milk at room temperature. But if you want this mixture slightly thick add warm or hot milk.


2. Dip the bread slices in this milk mixture and turn it to the other side. Bread crumbles easily in thin milk so don't dip it for long time.


3.Top one bread slice with apple filling. Cover with another bread slice.


4. If you want it crusted with oats, place this over oatmeal. Turn this sandwich to coat the other side    too.

5. Apply little butter or ghee on both sides of the grill plate and heat the toaster grill. When it is hot place the bread slices on it and cover it without locking it. When they turn slightly golden you can turn the bread slices 90 degree to get square grill marks on the bread. You can also lock the toaster now and toast it for another 2 mins.







Have a look at these if you need more ideas -

Coconut Crusted Stuffed French Toast and few more at -  willcookforsmiles.com

Strawberry stuffed french toast at -  thegirlwhoateeverything.com








I am sending this to Gayathri's WTML hosted by Poornima


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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Apple dessert & Apple stuffed wheat rolls







If you really fancy apple pies, make this... they taste wonderful! You can make this in the rice cooker or sauce pan. They’re incredibly easy, cheap and it’s likely you’ll have these ingredients anyway. It is  gluten free too. You can treat it as a snack, dessert or make something new using this as a stuffing. This is great for making Apple stuffed wheat rolls too.




Friday, 29 November 2013

Crispy Ivy gourd / Sookhi Tendli


Ivy gourd is also known as tindora, tondekaayi, tendli, tondli, kundru etc in various Indian languages.
It tastes nice if it is stir-fried this way. I had read some years back that Ivy gourd creeper is considered a weed in Hawaii. It is a sturdy creeper so it must have overgrown. In India, however it is cultivated and sold in the markets. Variety of dishes are prepared using this vegetable but this is loved by fussy eaters too.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Beetroot Stir-fry with ginger




Beetroot stir-fry tastes very good with ginger. It is often found in South Indian Thali in Bangalore.
Last week I had posted this stir-fry in few facebook community and many liked it.
Try this out, you may like it too.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Boiling eggs in rice cooker and Egg / Paneer Masala






I am just assuming you don't know how to boil eggs in the rice cooker.  If you already know it I have a delicious egg masala recipe which is very easy to make. Vegetarians can add paneer, tofu or boiled green peas or potato cubes instead of eggs in this gravy to make Paneer Masala, Green peas masala, Mutter paneer or Alu Mutter.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Tropical Fruit and Veggie Sandwich






Few months back I had ordered a sandwich. Somehow it took long time to   arrive.The sandwich was not a grilled one. So, it seemed to be an easy sandwich to assemble and it's a wonder why it took so long. I don't remember the exact name of this sandwich. It tasted different and delicious. I thank the person who created this.

Like most foodies ..after smelling and tasting, I opened the sandwich and took out each item from the filling and tasted it. It was orange colored mayonnaise based sandwich with bits of papaya, cantaloupe, boiled french beans and cabbage. This filling was stuffed in hot dog rolls and cut into two. Though it contained 2 juicy, aromatic fruits it did not over power the taste.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Cucumber pomegranate in yoghurt dressing (Anar aur kheere ka raita)



With few basic vegetables and fruits you can make this cool and colorful yoghurt based salad (raita).
If pomegranate is unavailable replace it with red apple or green grapes or kiwi fruit.
It is an excellent alternative to mayonnaise based coleslaw eaten along with burger and grilled sandwiches.You can top this on cream crackers for a quick snack or just dig in with a spoon for a filling snack.


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Crunchy Indian Cucumber salad (Koshambir)







Traditionally this salad is served as a condiment along with pickles while relishing plain steamed rice and lentils (dal). It's also terrific with toasted pita wedges, taco shells and spread on sliced bread.

Sprinkle the peanut masala powder and with just 2 ingredients you have found out a great way to eat cucumbers.

Choose crisp cucumbers and if the skin is light green colour, you will have to peel it as it is thick and bitter. Dark green ones need no peeling. Press the cucumber with your finger nail and if it immediately gets pricked then you know it is fresh.

You can add pomegranate, mangoes,green or black grapes or pineapple to these. If you haven't added dry mango powder to the peanut masala then you can squeeze in a bit of lime.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Indian Mashed potato -Tariwale alu tamatar and Alu shorba




Mashed potatoes with spices are popular breakfast accompaniment in every corner of India.
Some are dry like the western mashed potatoes and some have gravy.
Each version is equally delicious. Gravies are tomato based or yoghurt (curd) based. Most commonly they are thickened with roasted chickpea flour (gramflour, besan). I am going to show you Tomato based mashed potato with gravy called Tariwale alu tamatar. Gravy is called rassa, rasa, rosu or tari in various Indian languages. Though usually eaten with puris (deep fried puffed and unleavened- wheat bread), it is served with semolina idli (spicy steamed cakes) and layered rotis (Parotta) in South India.

You can eat it with Kitchdee/savoury porridge, Bread slices, Steamed rice, Cumin flavored rice (jeera rice) .
You can thin down it's consistency by adding water  and blending it into a puree to make a mildly spiced Soup- Alu Shorba. This soup can be had with Toasted Bread slices.
Tariwale alu tamatar

Ingredients-

  • 150 ml Instant mashed potatoes (you can boil potatoes too, and mash or cut them into cubes  to put into the gravy)
  • 2 large nice juicy red tomatoes (chopped into cubes or grated or finely sliced with a slicer) OR 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 450 ml warm water (mashed potatoes thickens the gravy but if you prefer to add potato cubes you will require only 300 ml water)
  • 2 tbsp Chickpea masala powder for stir-fry (you can use Instant Kadhi Masala too)
  • 1 bayleaf (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (adding this makes the gravy tasty as sometimes the tomatoes are sour and sometimes even slightly bitter)
  • 2 tsp oil or butter
















Before you start cooking keep these 3 things ready-


1.Add 75 ml water (half the measure of potato) to mashed potatoes. Stir till it becomes dry mashed potato.
2. Make a thick paste of chickpea masala powder by adding 75 ml water.
3. Warm about 500 ml water and keep it aside.

Let's start preparing the Spicy Mashed potato-



Put 2 tsp oil in the electric cooker and close it with the lid. Next press the 'COOK'  button.


When the oil is hot (after 90 secs) add tomatoes.



Fry the tomatoes till they are soft. If you are adding tomato puree or paste fry it for only 2 mins. As the tomato has fair amount of water the cooker will stay in the 'Cook' mode for the entire cooking time. 


Pour the warm water into the pan and cover and cook till it starts boiling.


 Stir in the chickpea masala paste. Cover and cook for 5 mins.

Add mashed potatoes or boiled potato cubes. Cover and cook again for 5-7 mins.
Mix in little sugar and also 1/4 -1/2 tsp salt (if needed).
Take the pan from the ricecooker.



Some time saving and taste enhancing ideas-
  • You can make this 3-4 hrs ahead and reheat it when required. You can refrigerate it too.
  • If you don't want tomato pieces floating in it, you can blend it / puree this with a hand-held blender. It is very tasty and soup like.
  • You can add green peas while boiling potatoes or add hard boiled eggs (peeled and cubed) into the gravy.





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Thursday, 31 October 2013

Chickpea flour masala powder for stir-fry






Almost every regional cuisine of India uses protein rich chickpea flour to make stir fry, snacks and sweets. This Chickpea flour masala can be used to make tasty spicy instant stir-fry of many root vegetables, gourds, leafy vegetables. It gives taste to bland boiled roots and gives life to stir-fried gourds and leafy greens which otherwise becomes soggy.

You can mix this with equal quantity of peanut masala pd  and use them as stuffing while preparing stuffed okra (lady finger), bellpepper (capsicum), aubergine or eggplant (brinjal), ridge gourd (turai/ heerekaayi) etc.

In Maharastra people love to prepare chick pea flour based spicy sauce called Pitla which goes well with steaming hot rice and Indian rotis. You can make this using this masala.

You can also make a stiff hard dough out of this masala and divide it into tiny rounds called Muthia in Gujarati and add to vegetable stir fry or boil them in yoghurt based soup to make Pakodi Kadhi.

This masala can be used to coat eggplant (brinjal), potato slices before frying them.

There are immense possibilities as wide as your imagination.

I will keep posting recipes using this masala and you can try out your own too.


Chickpea flour masala powder for stir-fry


Ingredients-
  • 200ml- Chickpea flour (besan / chane ka atta/ kadale hittu
  • 3 tbsp- Oil
  • 1 tbsp- Mustard
  • 2 tbsp- Cumin seeds/ Jeera
  • 2 tbsp- Aniseed (saunf) or 2 tsp Thymol seeds (ajwain)
  • 1-1.5 tsp- Asafoetida/ hing
  • 2 tsp- Turmeric / haldi
  • 3-4 tsp- Chilli pd
  • 1 tbsp- Dried mango powdered/ amchur (optional) OR you can add tomato or lemon juice when preparing the stir-fry later.
  • 3 tbsp- Coriander seeds (roast till warm and powder when it cools down)
  • 2 tsp- garam masala pd



Method-
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan or a non-stick pan. 
  • Put oil in it and when the oil is hot add mustard and cumin seeds.
  • When they start jumping add aniseed and stir for a second.
  • Add all the spices kept ready in the bowl. Stir for a few seconds.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Next add chickpea flour and stir thoroughly, with the help of a flat wooden spoon keep smashing any lumps formed.

  • Add salt. Mix again well so that all spices are well blended.
  • Put the pan back over the stove and roast this masala for 5 mins over gentle heat. Keep stirring frequently so that the masala does not burn. Burnt masala will completely spoil your stir-fry as it is becomes bitter.
  • Cool the masala in the pan.

  • Store in an airtight container.






Here are some recipes I have posted using this masala-


1.Indian Mashed potato -Tariwale alu tamatar and Alu shorba/soup


2. French beans stir-fry




3. Egg / Paneer Masala, Green peas masala, Alu Mutter, Paneer Mutter, sandwich filling



4. Okra with instant stir-fry masala / Bharli Bhindi  This uses both chickpea pd and peanut masala to create a new taste.




5.French beans and green pea stir-fry with bishop's weed



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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Get to know about your microwave





Cooking in a microwave oven is quick and amazingly easy.
Microwave cooking has many advantages. Of course, like all cooking methods there are a few guidelines we should follow.
You can cook, steam, bake cakes and pie cases, defrost, dry herbs, remove skins of nuts by (roasting or blanching) etc in a simple microwave. 
If you buy a microwave with convection and grill there are more possibilities but a simple one is also no less.

Food that can be cooked well
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Fish and poultry
  • Sauces and custards (that means thickening pastes of many types of flour to make various Indian snacks). 
  • Baking pie shells for making apple pie, taco shells,cakes and other quick breads etc.




 Foods to be avoided
  • Don’t hard boil eggs or cook shellfish. They explode from their shells when the steam builds up.
  • Pancakes become soggy.
  • Do not cook large pieces of anything as they cook unevenly. 
  • Do not deep fry as you will not be able to control the oil temperature.




Microwave is very useful if you use it correctly-
  • Never turn it on when it is empty. At least keep a bowl of water when you want switch it on to check something.
  • Never use it to dry papers or clothes or anything other than food.
  • Do not allow small children to open the microwave door when it is placed on a high table, undue strain on the lower side of the door damages the door.
  • If your oven starts sparking, switch it off immediately, this might be due to any metal like spoon or foil or metal engravings on the utensil you have put inside.
  • Don’t cook store brought food in its packaging, they might have foil and the microwaves cannot pass through it.

You will love to cook in a microwave if you follow these-

  • Food should be cut to same size because smaller ones cooks faster.
  • If you want your eggs or cheese to cook slowly place a bowl of water, it will attract microwave energy and slows down the cooking.
  • Thinner parts of food such as carrot should be placed in the centre as food on the outer parts get cooked fast.
  • If your food gets cooked unevenlyplace the food dish on top of a bowl, as raising it helps the waves to reach the bottom of the dish .
  • Some plastic dishes may melt when food rich in sugar or fat is heated in it. Also avoid melamine and polystyrene as they may get overheated and break.
  • Food cooks evenly when kept in a round dish or arranged in a circle.
  • To check whether a dish is microwave proof, place 200 ml of water in it and heat on high for 1 minute. If the dish stays cool and only the water is hot, the dish used is microwave safe.
  • Covering the food like gravy, vegetables and soup while cooking …avoids it getting spattered, also helps the food to cook fast due to production of steam and also the food does not become dry.
  • Standing time is the time when the food is still cooking after coming out of the microwave. This standing time is part of the microwave cooking process.The food in the inner most region part of the dish gets cooked during this time.
  • Line bottom of the dishes with baking paper or parchment paper to prevent the cakes from sticking. Remove the paper after standing time to avoid it sticking to the cake.
  • Pierce food such as potatoes, tomatoes, capsicum, egg yolks any thing that is covered by a membrane, but do not pierce fish …just slash it across the big parts.  Or it will burst due to steam build up.
  • Microwaves penetrate food to about 5 cm or 2 " from outside, so denser food and food in the centre cooks slowly. You should stir it frequently during cooking so that the food from centre gets shifted to edges.
  • Defrost food in containers in which it fits properly, if the container is big the food melts and spreads to far corners and gets cooked fast at the edges.

Microwave can be used for cooking all your meals or used as an assistant you in otherwise difficult or slow cooking process.





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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Cucumber carrot onion semolina pancakes






Cucumber carrot pancakes smell nice and tastes yummy too. It's a cross between roti and dosa. Eat them hot for breakfast or as a snack. These pancakes remain soft even when cold so you can pack them for lunch. 


Servings: Makes 4 pancakes / halve the quantity if you need 2 pancakes.



Cooking time: 6 mins per pancake in rice cooker
                         3 mins per pancake on a griddle


Appliance:
Rice cooker / Stovetop 
Non-stick pan /griddle
Grater

Ingredients: 

Dry ingredients-

  • 1/2 cup- 1 cup (semolina + 2 green chillies cut into small pieces) or ( Instant semolina idli mix) or (Instant upma mix = ?... Don't search for this recipe. I haven't posted it yet) )
  • 1/2 cup (wheat flour+ 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder +1/2 tsp jeera) or (Instant dhokli mix-1)
  • 3/4 tsp salt (If you are adding instant mix, reduce the salt to 1/4 tsp ...the instant mix already has salt)
Wet ingredients- 


  • 1/2 cup cucumber, grated
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped
  • 1/2- 1 cup buttermilk (quantity depends on how much semolina you have added)
  • Butter or oil- 4 tsp

Making the pancakes in the ricecooker-




  • Mix all together to make a thick batter.
  • Divide into 4 parts.
  • Apply little butter or oil to the base of the rice cooker.
  • Place 1 part of the pancake mixture into it and pat it to form a thin pancake.
  • Cover with the lid and press 'cook' button.
  • After 2 mins you will hear sizzling sound.
  • The pan cake will cook for 4 mins. Do not open the lid during this time. If you open the cooker will come back to 'warm' method.
  • Put some oil or butter on it.
  • Flip the pan cake carefully with a wooden spoon. (If you are unable to do it then it means, you will have to cook it for another 2 mins.)
  • After you have finished flipping the pancake to other side, cover the pan with the lid, the cooker will go to 'warm' mode.
  • After 1- 1.5 min  press the 'cook' button.
  • Cook for 2 mins. The cooker might go back to warm mode after 2 mins.
  • These pancakes turn golden brown. Color depends on how much butter you have used to cook it.



Cooking on the stovetop- 
Make these pancakes on non-stick skillet or griddle on a slow heat. 
Burnt pancakes aren't tasty.
You can make small pancakes and fry them in batches of 3 or 4 like shown in the picture below.
If you poke some holes in the pancakes, it cooks faster.
It takes 1.5 min on each side. 
Cover the pan with a lid while cooking the first side. 
After you flip the pancake you need not cover it while cooking.


Notes-
It does not matter whether the Instant semolina cake/ rava idli mix contains baking soda or not.


Eat it plain or with butter/ chutney powder







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