December 26, 2007

Another fresh year is here...2008!!

Another fresh year is here..
Another year to live..
To banish worry, doubt and fear..
To love, laugh and give.

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs! Ahem.. I mean to write more joyful posts..:D

~ Original quote by William Arthur Ward

Light of a New Beginning

As our dear friend, the year 2007 says adieu to us, its time to cherish those wonderful memories I shared with my blog . In my short stint of 4 months, I have had 68 posts, numerous blogger friends around the globe and loads n loads of fun. To be honest with you all, the idea of blogging struck me accidentally and now it became a part and parcel of my life. 'Bloghopping' is my favorite past time now and Thanks to wonderful blogger friends out there for their soulful and yummy posts which make my every single day.

Now, coming to what were those special moments for me, in these few months...
First is undoubtedly my 15 day NaBloPoMo Marathon Blogging, for which I had to come up with a post every single day.. Phew..that was one awesome and satisfying experience.

Here is a quick compilation of all the 15 posts..:)

Day 1: How About a Titanium ToothBrush? – Toothpaste Not Needed
Day 2: Her Vs Him
Day 3: Paneer Achari
Day 4: I am tagged for another Meme
Day 5: Dal Dhokadi
Day 6: Hyderabadi Double Ka Meetha
Day 7: 'Wormi'celli for CLICK
Day 8: Happy Thanksgiving
Day 9: A Happy Thanksgiving Meal
Day 10: Paris Hilton and Aishwarya Rai on David Letterman Show!!
Day 11: Besan ki Sabzi, Tadka Dal, Cabbage Raita
Day 12: Are U still dwelling on it?
Day 13: Ilusion or Magic?
Day 14: The World's Most Expensive Desserts!!
Day 15: 'Powerless Egg Biryani' and I DID IT !!!

Also, I felt very privileged to be a part of Feed A Hungry Child campaign initiated by VKN and Indira, which managed to spread many smiles all around the blogosphere..:)

and now time for my Top 5 recipes which I would love to make anytime of the day!

1. Easy Garden Veggie Frittata

2. Vegetable Pot Pie

3. Mango JellO and Shrikhand

4. Bajji Platter

5. Palak Theplas and Roti Telur

Guess which one is my 'Best of 2007' recipe - Shriya's Chocolate Sformato with Amaretto Whip Cream..:).. Yumm-O!

Whats in store for 2008?
Hmmmm, frankly I donno, but will definitely try to serve many more delicious recipes from my kitchen and will work on my style of writing posts.. I need to refine my vocabulary and be more expressive...:)



Thanks to Nupur's 'Best of 2007 event', which made me browse through all my previous posts and relive those moments which I spent with my blog..:)

Adieu for now folks and Wishing You all a very Happy and Joyous 2008!



~ Siri

December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!



What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.

~ Agnes M. Pharo

Merry Xmas to all of you!

~ Siri and Shriya

December 20, 2007

the real 'me'..




Who am I?

I am Siri, somebody just like you - passionate about food, happiness and life in general.


What is Siri's Corner is all about?

It was the summer of 2007 and those were the times when nothing worthwhile was happenning in my life and 'Food' gave me solace and embraced me...and asked nothing in return..It still gives me bountiful love and joy and this blog is a place where I try to share all that with you all :).

All opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine and are not intended to hurt anybody's sentiments.

Is this is a food-blog only?

Not at all..though it is mostly a food-related blog, one would find all kinds of stuff here - stories that inspirehumour, food art , articles and other non-foodie posts..

Whenever possible, I do host various food-events and for the roundups done uptil  now, click here.


How often do I blog?

I blog when I find a recipe that 'connects' with me and 'talks' to me.. when I dig into that first bite, my heart either skips a beat out of joy.. or atleast brings a smile on to my face...when I know for a fact that dish will be made again and again by me..
... this blog is my online 'diary-of-keepsake-recipes'.  Not every experiment of mine in the kitchen is a success, but as Tom Krause quoted - 'There are no failures - just experiences and your reactions to them.' .

Where do I get the recipes from?

...from everywhere - my own crazy ideas, cookbooks, magazines, websites, fellow bloggers and sources of all kinds...and every time the idea/recipe is 'borrowed' or adapted, it is duly credited to its original author.

Questions and/or Comments?

Click here to leave a message or drop a comment on my blog. I will surely respond to it as soon as possible. Your feedback is always welcome.

Happy browsing and hope to see you back soon!



December 17, 2007

Chocolate Sformato with Amaretto Whip Cream

best of 2007

'Everyday Italian' hosted by lovely Giada De Laurentiis is one such show on Food Network which I absolutely adore to the core. She makes such pretty looking cookies, desserts, cakes and other Italian savories, that are worth drooling for..:D..
I tried her "Chocolate Sformato" this weekend and it tasted just yummy, moist and delicious!
Read on for the recipe...

I made few variations for the original version.



Recipe Summary:
----------------------
Adapted from : here
Difficulty: Easy
Preparation Time: 35 minutes
In active Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk, divided
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 packet gelatin
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 (12-ounce) bag bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 tablespoon almond liqueur (recommended: Amaretto) [ OPTIONAL]

How to make:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of the milk, sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.

3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining 1/2 cup cold milk and let dissolve for 2 minutes. Combine the cold milk and gelatin with the hot milk and sugar. Stir to
dissolve the gelatin, about 5 minutes. (Heat the milk gently if the gelatin is not dissolving easily.)

4. When the gelatin is dissolved combine the eggs with the warm milk, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh trainer
into a large measuring cup or small pitcher.

5. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate over a double boiler. When the chocolate is melted gradually combine the milk and egg mixture with the melted chocolate, stirring between each addition to create a smooth chocolate mixture.

6. Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with the almonds. Place the casserole dish in a larger dish or roasting pan. Add hot water to the outer pan until the water comes halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

7. Bake until the sides are firm and the center is jiggles slightly, about 1 hour.

8. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes.

9. Spoon the Sformato along with some whipped topping!



Tips:

1. I didn't use any liqueur, instead I used regular whipped topping that you get in the frozen section of any grocery stores.

2. If you don't have a Double boiler , you can use 2 vessels, one with a smaller rim than the other. Simmer water gently over low heat in the smaller rim vessel and make sure the other vessel that you put on top will sit on top of the vessel but will not
touch water so that the chocolate/eggs wont get scrambled.

3. If you don't have a 2 Qt Casserole dish, use any ceramic dish that can be used in the oven. Avoid using the metal ones.



'Chocolate', being one of my FAVORITES, off this 'Chocolate Sformato' goes to Bindiya's " These are a few of my Favorite things: Chocolate" event..:D

Also sending this to Cate's weekly ARF: Tuesday event..:)



Off this lovely Chocolate recipe goes to our own JFI: Chocolate hosted by Deepz.
Thanks Bee for letting me know!

Wow, three birds in one shot.. Yupeee!!!


~ Shriya

December 8, 2007

Plantain Curry with a twist of Tamarind


Ingredients:

Plantains - 2
Tamarind Extract - 3/4 tbsp ( can be varied acc to our taste)
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - few
Turmeric - 1/4 tbsp
Chopped Garlic - 1/2 tbsp

For Seasoning:

Oil - 1 tbsp
Black Spilt lentil seeds (Urad Dal) - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1tbsp
Red Chillies - 1 or 2
Asafoetida - a pinch

How to make:

1. Peel off the skin of Plantains and cut into small pieces. Cook them for a while with some water until tender. Once cooled, mash them and keep aside.
2. In a flat skillet, heat oil, and add urad dal, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and red chillies and let them splutter.
3. Then add curry leaves and chopped garlic. Cook until the raw taste of garlic is gone.
4. Now add the mashed plantain pieces, season with salt and turmeric. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes.
5. Finally add the tamarind extract diluted in little water. Mix the contents well and let it cook for couple of minutes.
6. Serve hot with a heap of rice and a dollop of ghee.. Yummy..:D



Off this goes to Charlotte's Great Big Veggie Challenge as this week's vegetable is our 'PLANTAIN'..
P.S: The spice levels can be varied according to one's taste.

Hope Freddie - her 7 year old adorable son loves it!..:)

Adieu for now folks and Have a great weekend!


December 5, 2007

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Origin of Cookies:

"Early English and Dutch immigrants first introduced the cookie to America in the 1600s. While the English primarily referred to cookies as small cakes, seed biscuits, or tea cakes, or by specific names, such as jumbal or macaroon, the Dutch called the koekjes, a diminutive of koek (cake)...Etymologists note that by the early 1700s, koekje had been Anglicized into "cookie" or "cookey," and the word clearly had become part of the American vernacular. Following the American Revolution, people from other parts of the country became familiar with the cookie when visiting New York City, the nation's first capitol, a factor that resulted in widespread use of the term...During the seventeeth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries most cookies were made in home kitchens. They were baked as special treats because the cost of sweeteners and the amount of time and labor required for preparation. The most popular of these early cookies still retain their prize status. Recipes for jumbles, a spiced butter cookie, and for macaroons, based on beaten egg whites and almonds, were common in the earliest American cookbooks...Because it was relatively inexpensive and easy to make, gingergbread was one of the most popular early cookies...As kitchen technology improved in the early 1900s, most notably in the ability to regulate oven temperature, America's repertoire of cookie recipes grew."

---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith editor [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 1 (p. 317-8)



I made these tweeny yet yummy Mexican Wedding Cookies couple of days for 'S' birthday. These cookies are adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.

Serving: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup Pecan halves
2 cups Confectioners sugar
2 cups All purpose flour
1/4 tbsp salt
2 sticks(1 cup)unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 350F w/racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a food processor combine pecans with 1/4 cups sugar. Pulse nuts until they are finely ground. In a bowl, whisk together sugar-nut mixture, flour and salt. Set aside.

Beat the butter and 3/4 cup sugar using an electric mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffly for few minutes, scraping down the sides. Beat in vanilla and almond extracts.

Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until the dought just comes together.
Roll dough into 3/4 inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
Bake, rotating halfway through , until cookies are pale and lightly browned.
Lift with a spatula to check after 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

Place remaining 1 cup sugar and roll cookies to coat the cookie completely.Cookies can be kept in an airtight container and can be eaten for days... Yumm-O!!


These cookies are so soft that they just melt in your mouth!!

I am bringing along these cookies to Peabody's Housewarming Party..:))

Enjoii!!

Also, part of these go to Cate's ARF Tuesday # 100th week.. Congratulations dear!..:)

~ Shriya


[UPDATED on December 15th 2010]: This post was though written by me, the cookies were made by my lovely sister-in-law Shri who blogs now as 'Tasty Touch'. Check out her blog for more such tasty holiday goodies. She is an excellent baker, I must say!

December 3, 2007

Andhra Style Tamarind Rice

Tamarind is one such spice which almost everybody loves. and its an integral part of Indian cuisine. Ask any andhraite, about whats your favorite dish with Tamrind in it - I am sure the answer would be 'Tamarind Rice'. Man, I love the tangy taste of it and used to just drool over whenever my mom makes it...:D




Before I share my mom's classic recipe with you, here is a story from Ramayana, about why the Tamarind leaves are of saw-tooth shape...:)

"...During Rama’s exile, Laxmana built the hut they were to live in. He made the roof and the walls with Tamarind leaves that were large and thick. In fact, they were so big and tough that not even a drop of rain or a streak of sunlight could come in.
Sita was delighted with the hut but Rama looked unhappy. Finally he asked Laxmana to remove the tamarind leaves.

"But why?" asked Laxman in surprise, "They are perfect for protecting the hut".

"That is precisely why,” answered Rama. “Living in the forest means facing the elements and not sheltering from them. That is what Vanavaas (exile in forests) really means. We are too secure, too comfortably protected."

Laxmana smiled and said - "There is no need to remove the leaves." He shot at the leaves with his arrows until all of them were shredded and the sunlight streaked in....
"

Since then the tamarind leaves have remained feathery and serrated, so goes the legend.

and remember where does own 'Bethal' of famous Vikram and Bethal stories live.. Yes, U are right, on a Tamarind Tree!

Now, enough of Tamarind talk, lets get to business a.k.a Tamarind Rice recipe!

Ingredients:

2 cups Cooked White Rice
3 tbsp of Tamarind pulp extract
few Curry leaves
Salt - to taste
few Green Chillies
2 tbsp of Oil
1/4 tbsp Turmeric

For Seasoning:

1 tbsp Urad Dal
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Chana dal
1 tbsp Mustard seeds
a pinch of Asafoetida

How to make:

1. Heat oil in a skillet, add all the ingredients listed under Seasoning. Let them splutter for a minute or so.
2. Then add chopped green chillies, curry leaves. Mix well.
3. Now add the Tamarind pulp with 3-4 tbsp of water. Cook it on medium heat for couple of minutes. Add salt and turmeric.
4. Finally add cooked rice to the tamarind mixture. Mix well and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Note: The Rice tastes even more yummier when served the next day.

That's the magic of TAMARIND!

****************************************************************

Poll: I am a big fan of famous 'Akbar and Birbal' stories and am sure even you like them.
How about sharing some of their stories here at Siri's Corner. Will U be interested? Do let me know!..:D

****************************************************************

Take care folks and Have a great week ahead!

November 30, 2007

'Powerless Egg Biryani' and I DID IT !!!

Scene: 'S' comes home from work and smells the aroma of some yummy peas pulao right from the door.

S: Whats cooking dear? I can smell something awesome.
Me: Nothing special da! Just some peas pulao and raita.
S: Wow, sounds interesting.
Me: (frowning..) Ya, it OK!
S: Why, what happened ?
Me: I am so bored of my cooking that I am craving for something.... hmmm.. something spicy like a vegetable or egg biryani and some awesome creamy palak paneer! Chalo lets get it from Biryani House. Please Please...:)
S: Oh dear, I am so tired today, can't move my leg. I was so busy at work, U can't even imagine.
Me: Sad face :((((
S: (in a consoling and patafying tone..) U are such an awesome cook, u even maintain a food blog, why don't you blog-hop for a while dear. I am sure you would get something yummy and we can prepare here at home.
Me: (even more sadder face...) .. Hmmmm...I am craving for that egg biryani where they just mix such spicy boiled egg masala with white rice. I want that ! I want that! ..:(
S: Oh, thats so simple to make, just make some masala , put some boiled eggs and then mix left over rice... What say! I think that would be delicious...:))
Me: ( Tadah! idea... ) I know how to make a simple egg biryani for myself.. and I am sure it would be yummy.. ( runs towards kitchen!)
S: A Happy soul becoz he is not dragged out to drive to a restaurant in this cold chilly weather...!

This is what happened two days, when I made to super simple Egg biryani, which I always crave for. I had this for the first time in Palace Heights, a five star hotel back in Hyderabad. and it was so yummy that I still remember the taste, the table I sat and even the color of the plate in which it was served. Phew! I guess, its becoz I enjoied it sooo much...:) hehehe..
and the best part is - my version of Egg biryani needs no grinding and can be made with just 5 to 6 everyday used ingredients.

So, sending this off to EasyCrafts's 'Powerless Event'...:))



Ingredients:

2 cups Cooked rice
3 boiled Eggs
1 medium Onion ( chopped into fine strips)
2 bay leaves
3 tbsp grated Coconut
1/4 tbsp Turmeric
1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
1/2 Ginger Garlic paste
Salt - to taste
1 tbsp Biryani Pulao Masala
1/2 tbsp Red Chilli powder
1 tbsp Butter or Oil

How to make:

1. Heat the butter or oil with bay leaves in a flat skillet and add cumin seeds till they splutter.
2. Then add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Cook for few minutes.
3. Season with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and biryani pulao masala. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes on Med-Low heat.
4. Then finally add grated coconut, don't cook for more than 3 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat and add cut boiled egg pieces. Mix gently.
6. Add hot rice to this spicy egg mixture. Don't mix completely to give that restaurant style look and taste to the biryani!!

I enjoied this simple biryani so much that I made it again today and ate with yesterday's leftover Baingan-Ka-Bhartha!
Yumm-O..:))

Also, sending this yummy Egg Biryani to Cate's ARF Tuesday event.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This post marks the end of my 15 day NaBloPoMo challenge. Yuppeee. I did it, I did it.!!! ( drum roll please...........)
It was so much fun thinking what to post every single day which actually made me search for interesting articles on leading newspapers suitable to my blog. Last but not the least, thanks to all my dear blogger friends who appreciated every post and expressed their opinions on each and every single post!!

Thank You Dearies!!

~ Siri



November 29, 2007

Bengali Tomato Chutney for MEC

With so many events happening in the blogosphere right now, it so difficult to catch up with them. Sometimes, I decide upon a XYZ recipe for PQR event, and then I totally forget about the deadline...Phew!!
But, I make sure to submit atleast one entry to Sri's MEC event, as its so much fun to play around with what can be made with our own everyday Microwave. and ever since she started her MEC event, I am making an optimum use of my MW (unlike just reheating stuff..;) ). Thanks to her !!

What if, one fine day we are out of gas, and we have only MW to save our day!!

I made this tamatar chutney couple of hours ago with just 3 tomatoes as a pilot recipe, curious to know how does it taste with panchporan.
Guess what, 'S' and I liked it so much that we are planning to make a potful of this chutney with a big batch of big, ripe tomatoes this weekend! ..:))

We just loved the twist of panchporan powder...:)

So, here is the simple recipe of my 'Bengali Tomato Chutney' as my entry to Sri's MEC: Sidedish event!


Ingredients:

3 chopped tomatoes
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Panchporan powder
1/2 tbsp Turmeric
1/2 tbsp Red Chilly powder
2 tbsp Oil
2 Red Chillies
1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp Mustard seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
few Coriander leaves



How to make:

1. In a MW safe bowl, take some oil, garlic, Cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red chillies and asafoetida. MW for about 2 to 3 mins.
2. Then add chopped tomatoes. MW for about 7 mins untill tender.
3. Mash the cooked tomatoes with an eggbeater and season with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and panchporan powder. Mix the contents well. MW it for about 5 to 6 mins.
4. Garnish with coriander leaves. I ate this chutney with hot rice and ghee. Amazing taste I must say!



Enjoii!!

~ Siri


November 27, 2007

Illusion or Magic?

Optical illusion:

....sounds pejorative, as if exposing a malfunction of the visual system. Rather, I view these phenomena as bringing out particular good adaptations of our visual system to standard viewing situations. These adaptations are »hard-wired« in our brains, and thus under some artificial manipulations can cause inappropriate interpretations of the visual scene. As Purkinje put it: "Illusions of the senses tell us the truth about perception."

--cited by Teuber, 1960.




Watch the '+' in the middle very closely. You will see the purple dots disappear then move your head slightly off center, the dots will reappear.
Again, if you try to concentrate more on the '+', after few seconds, you see only a single green color dot moving around the '+'.

This illusion was designed by Jeremy L Hinton of Bristol, UK, and this illusion - with a lot more explanation and many other illusions as well - can be found at the web site of Michael Bach.

Note: Don’t distress yourself if you don’t see the effect described, even if trying carefully. For many illusions, there is a small percentage of people with perfectly normal vision who just don’t see it, for reasons currently unknown!

Related Links:

Ambiguous Perception
Illusions and Paradoxes - Seeing is Believing?


November 25, 2007

Besan ki Sabzi, Tadka Dal, Cabbage Raita for RCI: Bihar

....Rich in its historical traditions and ancient splendor, the culturally rich Bihar has derived its name from “Vihar”. It was called the land of “Viharas” for its having a good number of recreational sites where people enjoyed activities in serene surroundings by the side of ponds and lakes. Endowed with a rich cultural and religious heritage, Bihar was a seat of power of the vast and powerful Magadh Empire, whose might had checked further onslaught of Alexander the Great. Bihar was cradle of civilization and nerve centre of religious activities of Hindu, Boudh, Jain, Sikh and Islam....

Bihari cuisine is predominantly vegetarian with bhaats, dals, subzis, chokhas and tarkaris. So, for Sangeeta's RCI: Bihar event, I managed to whip up couple of recipes from a typical Bihari Cuisine - Besan (Gatte) ki Sabzi, Tadka Dal and Cabbage Raita. This was my second attempt to make Gattes - which I am happy to say came out delish and yummy! Phew!!

All these three recipes were made at different times, So here is a virtual Bihari Thali for all of u ...:))



Besan (Gatte) ki Sabzi
-----------------------------------

Adapted from: here

Ingredients:

For gattes:

1 cup Besan (Chickpea flour)
Salt
1 tbsp Red Chilli powder
2 Green Chillies
1 tbsp Coriander powder

For Gravy:

1 chopped Tomato
1 medium Onion chopped
Salt - to taste
1 tbsp RedChilli powder
3 tbsp Yogurt
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Mustard seeds
2 Red Chillies
1/2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
a pinch of Asafoetida
few Curry leaves
Water


Preparation:

1. Mix besan, chopped green chillies, salt, red chili powder, oil with some water.
2. Make kabab shaped gattes out of the besan dough.
3. Put them into boiling water and boil for 10 minutes.
4. Take them out the water and cut the besan rounds into small pieces. Keep aside.
5. Now, to prepare the gravy, heat oil in a skillet and then add cumin, mustard seeds with a pinch of Asafoetida. Then add ginger garlic paste with onions, tomatoes, salt, turmeric, curry leaves, red chilli powder and garam masala. Add water if needed. Cook for couple of minutes.
6. Add yogurt and stir the contents well.
7. Finally, put the gattes to the gravy. Slow cook for about 10 minutes.
8. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Tadka Daal
---------------

To make Tadka Daal:

Cook 1 cup of Toor dal. In a skillet, heat some oil, add urad dal, mustard, cumin seeds, hing with few red chillies. Add garlic and curry leaves. Finally add the cooked toor dal and season with salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. This simple dal is such an awesome comfort food in these long, chilly nights. Isn't it!



Cabbage Raita
-------------------

Cabbage Raita is one of our favorites, especially when we are bored of having plain yogurt. One can substitute Snake Gourd instead of cabbage.

To make this simple raita: Microwave 2 cups cut cabbage with little water for about 7 minutes until its not completely mushy. Add 1 cup yougurt and a normal tadka (oil + mustard seeds + urad + cumin + curry leaves + green chillies ) to it. Mix the contents well. Thats it, a simple yet yummy cabbage raita is ready to serve.



Hope you all enjoied these recipes. Take care and Have a great weekend!

November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Meal: Baked Broccoli Rice Supreme, and Stuffed Bell Peppers

Be thankful for what you have,
You'll end up having more,
If you concentrate on what you don't have,
You will never, ever have enough!

~ Anonymous


Though we don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I managed to make a hearty meal for 'S' and me - with 'Thanksgiving' as my pretext. I had this yummy 'BAKED BROCCOLI RICE SUPREME' adapted from this interesting article , on my to-do list from a very long time. Also, I made some yummy 'Stuffed Bell Peppers' as a side dish. It was an awesome combo and we loved it !! Yumm-O !



Off these go to Meeta's 'Monthly Mingle: Traditional Feasts' and Kelli's 'Giving Thanks' Events.

Baked Broccoli Rice Supreme
-------------------------------------

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked Brown rice ( You can use White rice too! )
4 cups chopped Broccoli
1 tbsp Oil
2 or 3 Garlic cloves
2 or 3 Green chilies
1 tbsp Basil
1 tbsp Sage
1 tbsp fresh Oregano
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Salt & Pepper



Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic cloves and chopped green chilies.
2. Add broccoli with basil, oregano and sage. Season with salt & pepper. After a quick stir-fry remove it from heat.
3. In baking pan layer one cup rice with two cups of stir fry broccoli and ½ cup cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cover it with foil and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

My version has Sage, being a classic Thanksgiving herb!

Stuffed Bell Peppers
----------------------------

Ingredients:

2 big Bell Peppers
PAM spray or 2 tbsp oil

for the filling:

2 medium Potatoes ( boiled and mashed)
1 chopped Onion
1 chopped Tomato
2 or 3 cloves of garlic ( chopped)
1 tbsp Red Paprika ( or Red chilli powder)
Salt - to taste
1/2 tbsp Turmeric
1 tbsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
Parmesan Cheese

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven at 375 C
2. Cut the top of the bell pepper and scrape out the inside carefully.
3. Apply a drop of oil on the cut peppers and keep aside.
4. For the filling, saute onions, garlic, tomatoes in oil for few minutes and then add potatoes with rest of the ingredients. Mix the contents well and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
5. Fill this stuffing into the Bell Peppers and bake them in the oven for about 45 minutes until the Peppers become tender.
6. Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese and let it bake for few more minutes.
7. Serve Hot !!

I take this opportunity to Thank everybody in my blogging fraternity who always encouraged me, appreciated all my recipes with lots of love and inspired to experiment more in my kitchen! Thank You dearies!




Off this also goes to Cate's ARF:Tuesday Event...:)

Check out these Thanksgiving goodies too!

Ashaji's Gobble Gobble! Happy Thanksgiving Folks!
Mansi's Traditional Pecan Pie
Anna's Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie
Nupur's Mashes Sweet Potatoes
Meeta's Sweet Potato Flan

Goodbye Thanksgiving 2007!! .... cya next year..:DD

November 19, 2007

Hyderabadi Double ka Meetha ( Bread Pudding with Nuts and Raisins)


[Updated] Click here for an updated version of this delectable Hyderabadi favorite. 

'S' is a true "Connoisseur of Desserts". When I asked him, whats your favorite dessert? He immediately said 'Double Ka Meetha'. Indeed, this is a Hyderabadi classic dessert and our personal favorite too !! Off this goes to Hima's WYF - Dessert event.


Hyderabad is known for its strong Moghalai influence to hot n spicy coastal Andhra dishes. and not to forget the well known ubiquitous Irani Hotels of Old Hyderabad, serving thousands of cups of tea everyday.
Talking of Hyderabadi desserts, one first gets reminded of our well-known Double-ka-Meetha (a bread and raisin pudding), Qubani-ka-meetha (stewed apricot dessert), Ande-ka-Piyosi (made with eggs, mild, almonds and purified butter), Badam-ki-jhab and Dil-e-Firdaus ( a rich, milk-based sweet) just to mention a few! Wow, the utter mention of these names take me back to my childhood days...:)
So, to relive those moments, I decided to make Double-ka-Meetha last weekend, which came out.. yummy and soft...:D


Ingredients:

White bread - 6 slices
Milk -1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Water -1/4cup (for sugar syrup)
Heavy Cream - 1/2 cup
Butter/Ghee - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 2 tbsp
Peacons - 2 tbsp
Cardamom -1/4 tsp

Preparation:

1. Roast the bread slices (edges cut off if desired) in butter until they turn brown on both sides. Arrange them in a baking pan or any flat pan.
2. Mix sugar and water in a sauce pan. Heat and make sugar syrup out of it.
3. Boil milk with cardamom powder for few minutes. Keep aside.
4. Now, roast the raisins and peacons in butter and sprinkle over the bread slices.
5. Then pour sugar syrup, heavy cream and milk evenly over bread slices.
6. Serve it chilled or hot... Its just irresistible until the last morsel...:))



Dal Dhokadi : JFI - Toordal

When Linda of Out of the Garden announced her JFI: Toor Dal event, I thought of making something which I never made before.
Toor Dal, being a staple food in our household is used mainly in various dals, sambhar or rasam. But, I never made a gravy-type-curry out of Toor dal. 




'Dal Dhokadi' is basically a vegetarian Gujarati dish made out of toor dal and rotis. Yes, Rotis cut into small pieces and dipped into the gravy of toor dal. Interesting huh!. Here is my version of a tried, tested and tasted Dal Dhokadi.

Ingredients:

150 grams Toor Dal,
100 grams wheat flour,
3 green chilies
1 medium chopped Onion
50 grams Groundnuts
25 grams Cashewnuts
1 tbsp. Turmeric powder
1 tbsp. Mustard seeds
2 chopped Tomatoes
1 tbsp. Tamarind
Salt - to taste
1 tbsp Garam masala,
1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
2 tbsp Butter/Ghee
2 tbsp Red chili powder
a pinch of Asafetida
Water



Preparation:

1. Knead wheat flour, salt, turmeric , red chilli powder and oil into roti like consistency with little water. Make rotis and cut into small pieces.
2. Wash toor dal and pressure cook for 2 whistles with two drops of oil.
3. Heat butter in a skillet and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped onion, curry leaves, green chillies and Asafetida. Cook until onion turn golden brown.
4. Now, add tomatoes, toor dal, tamarind pulp, turmeric, salt, groundnuts, cashewnuts , garam masala with 2 cups of water. Mix the contents well and Cook for few minutes.
5. Finally, add roti pieces and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
6. Serve with hot rice.

This simple curry tasted divine and surprised me with its exceptional flavor.



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November 18, 2007

I am 'tagged' for another Meme !!

Time for a Meme!!

I am tagged for another Meme - '7 Random things about Urself' by Linda . Wondering whats was the first one? It was 'Nightmare in the Kitchen' , tagged by dear Ashaji.


So, here I go with some rules first....

Rules:

1. Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or wierd things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Some weird things about me..:)..

1. I am obsessed about stuff toys especially teddy bears (though I have many others like Pooh, Mickey, Donald - U name it, I have it). and I name each one of them.

2. I love the sound of Flute - very soothing and relaxing.

3. I used to have pen friends from Hawaii, UK ( 5 in total), when I was back in India. They were all girls of my age and we used to share many sweet things about our culture, family traditions, friends etc through our letters.

4. I used to hate 'Roses' until couple of years ago and never felt they were romantic.

5. I love to have spectacles, but failed to get one, though tried very hard when I was a child.

6. I can't bear the presence of a swarm of bees or a group of ants. I feel like they are crawling on me.

7. I don't know how to drive a car!

Now time for tagging....

Ashaji of Foodie'shope
Lathamma of The Yum Blog
Eden of Fussy.org
Lotus of Sarcastic Mom
Dhivi of DK's Culinary Bazaar
Frances of Blogjem
Aimee of Greeblemonkey

November 17, 2007

Paneer Achari ( Indian Cottage Cheese - Spiced Up !)

Ok, enough of non-foodie posts, taking up the NaBloPoMo challenge doesn't mean that, I disrupt my culinary posts. So, here I am with some spiced up Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer Achari) specially for Sunita's Think:Spice - Ginger event.




Today, I was in a mood to have lots and lots of Paneer...:).. At times, it happens rite when we feel like having something desperately.... reason hmmmmm "unknown!"... its one such day..!!
So, as usual, I was blog hoping for one such recipe, when I stumbled upon this "Paneer Achari" recipe and the amazing fact is that I have all the stuff needed in my pantry which is typically not the case with me...:)...Here is the recipe....



Ingredients:

1 cup Paneer cubes (Indian Cottage Cheese)
6-7 tbsp of Yogurt
1/2 medium lemon

For Achari paste:

1 tbsp Coriander powder
1/4 tbsp mustard powder
1/2 tbsp Cumin powder
3-4 pinches of Hing (Asafetida)
1/2 tbsp Ginger paste
Salt - to taste
2 Green Chillies
1/2 tbsp Garam masala
1/2 tbsp Fenugreek powder
1/2 tbsp Turmeric
1/2 tbsp Chilli powder
2 tbsp Olive Oil ( or any vegetable oil)

Its not necessary to take the exact amounts of the spices. eyeballing them would do.

How to make:

1. Grind all the ingredients listed for Achari paste with very little water.
2. Mix the yogurt, lemon juice to achari paste.
3. Now, add the paneer cubes to the paste such that they are coated properly. Marinate them for a while if desired.
4. In a pan, take some oil, add coated paneer cubes and cook for 7 to 8 minutes.
5. Garnish with coriander and Serve hot with rice or rotis.


Note: Any vegetable like cauliflower, eggplant can be used instead of Paneer.

Seriously, its the yummiest Paneer dish I ever had - other than Paneer Butter Masala Ofcourse.

Enjoii..:D

November 16, 2007

Her Vs Him

HER DIARY

I asked him what was wrong - he said, "Nothing."
I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He
said it had nothing to do with me and not to worry.

On the way home, I told him that I loved him, but he
simply smiled and kept driving.

I can't explain his behavior; I don't know why he
didn't say, "I love you too."

When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him, as if
he wanted nothing to do with me anymore.

He just sat there and watched TV; he seemed distant
and absent.

Finally, I decided to go to bed. About 10 minutes
later he came to bed.

I decided that I could not take it anymore, so I
decided to confront him with the situation but he had fallen asleep.
I started crying and cried until I fell asleep.
I do not know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with
someone else.

My life is a disaster.












HIS DIARY
















Today India lost the cricket match again. DAMM IT.



Moral of the story is that :

"When everything comes in your way you're in the wrong lane.”

This is what happens with most of the girls and esp with me. I tend to think a lot and over-react most of the times.
So, next time will try to chill and relax , take things at ease .......:)

November 14, 2007

Vegetable Pilau served with Curried Idaho Potatoes

November 14th is observed as 'World Diabetes Day' by International Diabetes Federation (IDF) - to raise awareness about diabetes and its complications around the world. Over 240 million people are suffering from diabetes worldwide and IDF predicts that in 20 years the number will be 380 million. Early education about type 1 and type 2 diabetes helps in reducing the risk of millions of lives. Now, Its time to make a difference !!

...The theme of this year's 'World Diabetes Day' campaign is Diabetes in Children and Adolescents. Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood. It can strike children at any age, including pre-school children and even toddlers. Yet diabetes in children is often diagnosed late, when the child has diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), or it is misdiagnosed completely. In many parts of the world, insulin, the main life-saving medication that children with diabetes need to survive, is not available (or is available but remains inaccessible for reasons of economy, geography or constraints on supply). As a consequence, many children die of diabetes, particularly in low and middle-income countries. Those closest to the child - family, school staff, family doctor - may not be aware of the ominous signs. The World Diabetes Day 2007 and 2008 campaigns set out to challenge this and firmly establish the message that ‘no child should die of diabetes'....
- A message from International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

Now, the question is "What can I eat if I am diagnosed of Diabetes?". The answer according to American Diabetic Association - " Eat anything you like, as long as the blood glucose is under control and you fit in into your daily meal plan with some regular exercise !!". :)
I made few such yummy recipes (with respective nutritional values and diabetic exchanges) which can be included in your everyday meal. and with some careful planning, "All food can fit into yours.."..:)))

Vegetable Pilau served with Curried Idaho Potatoes

Vegetable Pilau
--------------------

Ingredients:

1 cup Long grain rice (uncooked)
1 Onion (finely chopped)
1 Green Bell Pepper ( We can also add Red/Yellow Pepper to make it more colorful)
1 Tomato (finely chopped)
2 Green Chillies
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp Chilli powder
Salt - to taste
1/2 tbsp Biryani Pulao Masala/Garam Masala
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1/4 tbsp Cayenne Pepper
Water - to cook rice


Preparation:

In a large skillet, heat some oil, add onion and. Sauté for few minutes, or until onion is golden brown. Now, add remaining ingredients except rice, Mix well and cook for 5 minute. Then, finally add rice. Cover and simmer until rice is properly cooked. I garnished it with some spring onions. Enjoii !!

Nutritional Values: Per Serving: 200 Cal
2g Fat, 39g Carb
3g Fiber, 284mg Sodium
0mg Cholesterol, 4g Protein

Diabetic Exchanges:

2 Bread
2-1/2 Vegetable
1/2 Fat.

Curry Roasted Idaho Potato Wedges
---------------------------------------------------

Ingredients:

2 Large Idaho Potatoes ( or any baking variety)
1 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Curry powder
Salt & Pepper
1/4 tbsp turmeric


Preparation:

Preheat Oven to 450F. In a bowl, take all the ingredients listed below except potatoes and mix well. Cut the potatoes into wedges (with skin if desired). Marinate them with the mixture of curry powder and keep aside for few minutes. Take a baking tray and spray some PAM (or apply some oil) at the bottom. Arrange these potato wedges and bake for 1 hour or until they turn golden brown and crisp; Switching trays (moving lower tray to upper position) after every 30 minutes. Serve hot.

Nutritional Values:
261 calories, 7 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 122 mg sodium, 4 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 14th is also Chacha Nehru's Birthday which is celebrated as 'Children's Day' back in India as a tribute to his immense love for children.
Wishing All my readers a very Happy Children's Day..:))

Wanna donate some Rice grains to needy people on this day:
Then play a simple vocabulary game and donate 10 grains of rice for every correct word at FreeRice.com. Thanks to Sheela, as I came to know about freerice through her blog.

November 12, 2007

Mixed Veggies dipped in Tomato Sauce

It is one such cold, chilly evening when my tummy wanted to have a big bowl of hot, simmering mixed vegetable curry for dinner, but with a twist of tomato. As you wish my 'aaka' (master) said my heart, and here it is - " Mixed Veggies dipped in Tomato Sauce".


There is something very soothing and comforting about having a big heap of hot rice and a pot of creamy vegetable curry on a cold, chilly and gloomy winter night. Isn't it !!
and today I am in a mood of experimenting with some known flavors like veggies and spaghetti sauce. Wondering where this spaghetti sauce came from... hmmmmm.. thats the secret of the tomato sauce of my version of mixed veggie curry. Read on to find out how...!!
I promised Suganya of 'Tasty Palettes' to make something exclusively for her 'Vegan Ventures' event, November being a Vegan Month. Forwarding this recipe to you dear and will try to make more in coming days..:)


Ingredients:

1. Veggies whatever u can find - I used cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, beans, potato
2. 1 big Tomato (chopped)
3. 1 medium Onion ( finely chopped)
4. 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce ( or tomato puree will do !!)
5. Salt - to taste
6. 1/2 tbsp Chilli powder
7. 1 tbsp Oil
8. 1/2 tbsp Garam Masala ( for that Indian kick !!)
9. Water - if needed

How to make:

1. HEAT oil in a skillet, add finely chopped onion and fry until golden brown.
2. ADD tomatoes, par-boiled veggies and mix well. Cook for few minutes.
3. POUR a good amount of spagetti sauce over the veggies. Add salt, chilli powder, and garam masala one by one.


4. MIX the content well. Cook for 7 to 10 mins until the veggies are nicely dipped into the tomato sauce and soaked with its flavors...:)
5. GARNISH with coriander leaves or a big dollop of cream and ENJOI with hot rice or as it is..:DD

Another Look....


Also sending this to Sra's 'Grindless Gravies' Event..:))

A Big Thank You for all you wonderful fellow bloggers who visited my blog often - as it crossed a 10,000 visitors mark with this post. Thank You dearies..:DD
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November 10, 2007

Can This Recipe Be Saved Contest - 'Thai Rice and Bean Croquettes'

"Can This Recipe Be Saved Contest" is a one-of-kind event initiated by Susan of 'FatFree Vegan Kitchen' where she asked us to use our creativity and save her 'Thai Croquettes' which were originally made by pumpkin...:)

.... and here in my version, I made use of Red Kidney Beans and Rice instead of pumpkin and also made few additions to satiate my tastebuds.
Thanks to Nupur, as I got to know about such an event from her post where she made the some yummy "Thai Eggplant Croquettes."


Thai Style Red Bean and Rice Croquettes
-----------------------------------------------------

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pre-cooked sliced beans
1 cup Red Kidney Beans ( I used canned!!)
1/2 cup (White/Brown) Rice ( I used White..)
3 tbsp Soya Sauce
1 tbsp Thai Red Curry paste
1/2 medium Onion - finely chopped
Salt - to taste
1/4 tbsp BlackPepper
2 tbsp Cornflour
1 tbsp flax seed
1 tbsp Lemon Zest ( I used 1 tbsp of lemon juice..)
1/2 tbsp sugar (optional)
Oil - to shallow fry

Preparation:

1. Place the green beans, Red kidney beans and half the rice into a food processor and pulse to chop coarsely (do not puree!).If you have a small processor, you may have to do this in batches. Pour into a bowl and add all remaining ingredients.
2. Mix the contents well. Add very little water if needed.
3. Make small cylindrical shaped patties (or any shape) and shallow fry both the sides on a hot skillet with little oil. Instead, we can even bake in the oven at 425F.
4. Serve with Susan's yummy Thai Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce.
I served these with my favorite tomato ketchup instead...:)

November is 'Vegan Month of Food' and dear Suganya is organising an one-off event - "Vegan Ventures".
Off these 'Thai Rice and Bean Croquettes' go to Suganya's event too.
Click here to find out who all are participating in 'VeganMoFo' Event.

November 5, 2007

Fit 'n' Fine Meals # 2 - Soya Eggplant Moussaka

'Moussaka' means 'moistened' and 'Vegetable Moussaka' is a traditional Greek dish made with lots of vegetables. I changed few ingredients from the original recipe - soya chunks instead of chickpeas to make it more nutritious and healthy. It is also a nice winter comfort food.


This dish is adapted from "Vegeterian - the best ever recipe collection" by Linda Fraser. It has an awesome collection of vegetarian recipes neatly sub-categorized as soups, salads, main course and side dishes. I got to know about this book when I happen to visit my friend, then I quickly noted down some nice recipes to experiment in my kitchen...:D.



Soya Eggplant Moussaka
--------------------------------

Ingredients:

1 medium Eggplant
2 Tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil or PAM spray
1 cup Spaghetti sauce or tomato puree
1 Onion
1 tbsp chopped green chillies
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 cup toor dal (or any other lentils)
1 tbsp chopped Garlic
1 Bayleaf
200g Soya chuks
3 tbsp of chopped coriander
3 tbsp of low-fat yogurt
1 Egg
3 cups Vegetable stock
1/2 tbsp Garam Masala
1 tbsp Corinader powder
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Step-by-Step Preparation:

1. Sprinkle the eggplant pieces with salt and place in a bowl. Cover and place a weight on top. Let it sit for atleast 30mins, to allow the bitter juices to be extracted.


2. In a pan, boil vegetable stock, lentils and bay leaf, cover and bring to boil and simmer for about 20mins until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain thoroughly and keep aside.



3. Soak the soya chunks in warm water for about 5 minutes or until they become soft.

4. Heat little oil in a skillet, add chopped garlic, boiled lentils, Soya chunks, tomatoes, chopped onions, spaghetti sauce(or tomato puree), coriander powder, garam masala and little water. Boil and cover and simmer for 10min. Stir occasionally and keep aside.

5. Preheat oven for 350F.

6. Rinse the Eggplants slices, drain and pat dry. Heat remaining oil in a pan and lightly fry the slices in batches for 4 mins, turning once so both sides are browned on low heat.

7. Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in the bottom of a shallow, oven proof dish or roasting pan then spoon a layer of soya mixture over the top. Continue layers until all the eggplant slices and lentil mixture is used up.



8. If desired, sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese.

9. Now, beat the low-fat yogurt, egg and salt and pepper together and pour the mixture over the vegetables.



10. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and bubbling.



11. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice for a nice tangy taste and garnish with coriander. Serve immediately. This main course dish usually served with warm fresh bread for a hearty and satisfying meal...:)



Its my pleasure to send this recipe to Cate's ARF/5-A-Day Event.
 
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