Thursday, April 21, 2011

BM # 4 DAY 4 : Moong Dal Vada

The ingredients and procedure of this recipe sound like a regular moong dal pakoda, but is so delicious that no one can eat just one :) The way this vada is made makes the difference, its very crunchy and crispy, makes a very good company with evening tea. Kids will love eating this snack. Also, it absorbs very less oil ...

Ingredients :

1 cup moong dal
5 green chillis or to taste
salt to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds 
1" piece ginger
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
Few curry leaves
oil for deep frying

Directions :

1. Soak moong dal for atleast 4 hrs.
2. In a blender add green chillis, cumin seeds,ginger,cilantro,curry leaves and blend into a coarse paste.
3. After the moong dal is soaked, spread the dal on a paper towel and let it dry for sometime(about 15-20mins).
4. Add the dried moong dal to a blender and blend into a coarse paste without adding water.
5. In a mixing bowl add the moong dal paste and the green chilli paste and mix well. Adjust salt to your taste.
6. Heat oil in a pan on medium high to high.
7. Wet your fingers and take a small portion of the batter and shape into a round ball. Place it on a dry cotton cloth and flatten the batter ball. Make a hole in the flattened batter with the thumb. Making hole in the flattened batter and frying gives evenly fried vada.

8. Drop the prepared vada carefully in the hot oil. Fry on medium heat. After few seconds the vada floats on oil carefully turn them and fry. Drop few more vada's sufficient for the oil taken. Do not over crowd the oil.

9. Fry vada on medium high to high till they are golden brown and crispy.
10. Repeat the procedure for rest of the batter.
11. Serve the vada's hot with ketch up or you can eat them just like that.

Note : 
The cloth you use to make the vada's should be a cotton cloth and should be dry for every vada .

Do not forget to dry the soaked moong dal, otherwise the vada's will not be crispy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BM # 4 DAY 3 : Chandrakanthalu (Moong Dal Sweet)

I got this recipe from my mom. Chandrakanathalu are sweet moong dal diamond cuts, i used to love these as a kid. My sister and me.. we used wait for my mom to make these but this was usually made during festival times. While my mom used to fry these we used to enjoy eating the dough because its sweet and tastes very good and of course kid friendly . Rather than eating them hot or on a same day, i used eat them the next day. They taste great at room temperature.
I was so nostalgic while making these...hmmm .... memories of childhood just rushed through me .... i always ate these made by my mom but today i was making chandrakanthalu all by myself ..... hope you all like it :)

Ingredients :
1 cup moong dal
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
A pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
Measure sugar, water and moong dal with same cup.

Directions :
1. Soak moong dal for atleast 4 -5 hours.
2. After its soaked, blend the moong dal into a paste without adding water. The paste should not be very smooth or very coarse.
3. Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium high, add sugar, water, grated coconut, salt. Mix well and let it come to a boil.
4. Once the sugar dissolves add cardamom powder.
5. Reduce the heat to low and by continuous stirring add the moong dal paste. Mix well.
6. Let it cook on low flame till it reaches halwa texture. You should be able to form a ball with the dough and also it should not be sticking to your fingers. When it reaches this consistency, remove from heat.
7. Soak a cotton cloth or a cotton towel in water and squeeze out all the excess water from it. 
8. Transfer all the moong dal dough on to the wet towel and spread the dough to 1/2 an inch thickness. Its a bit difficult to spread the dough as its hot, so what i do is, i put the batter in one end of the towel and cover it with other end. I wet my hand and spread the dough or you can also use a rolling pin. Let it cool down completely.
9. Once it cools down, cut into desired shapes.
10. Heat oil on medium high heat and fry the pieces till golden brown.
11. You can serve them warm or at room temperature.
Note : Do not over crowd the oil while frying otherwise they will stick to each other.
They taste best when they are a day old. You need not refrigerate them, they have a shelf life of 4 to 5 days without refrigeration.

Check out whats cooking in my fellow bloggers kitchen today ....

Diabetes Diet/Management: KamalikaSmithaSuma  

Kid Friendly Recipes: AnushaCool Lassi(e)
Seven Days of Soup: Priya Suresh
Seven Days of Indian Bread: JayasreePavani
Seven Days of Cakes:  Priya Vasu  
Seven Days of PreservesGayathri KumarVaishali 
30 Minutes Meals: Priya MahadevanSrivalli  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BM # 4 DAY 2 : Baked Chicken Strips

I never had these as a kid but the first time i ever ate chicken strips was in KFC in India a couple of years ago. But i have seen my friends kids drooling over chicken tenders. I din't want to fry them because its going to take a lot of oil which i am not going to reuse. So i baked them and they tasted yummy !!!!

Ingredients :

1 cup Panko Bread Crumbs, or plain bread crumbs
2 egg whites, beaten until frothy
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp.pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 cup flour
1/2 pound chicken breasts, or chicken tenders (thawed,if frozen)

Directions :
1. Place bread crumbs, oregano leaves, Italian seasoning, a pinch of salt in a bowl and mix. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy. In a plate, add flour, salt, paprika, mix and keep aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line a baking sheet will foil and spray it with cooking oil or brush it with oil. This makes clean up easier.
3. If using chicken breasts, cut them diagonally into about 3-4 slices. Dry the chicken with paper towels.
4. Dip each chicken strip into flour mixture and then shake to get rid of excess. Then dip into egg whites, and then into the seasoned bread crumbs. Press crumbs into the chicken.
5. Lay each strip onto the greased baking sheet.
6. Before placing in the oven, spary chicken lightly with cooking oil, or drizzle with about 1 teaspoon oil. 

7. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes.

8. Flip them over and increase the temperature to 500 degree F. Bake for 10 more minutes.
9. Let them rest for 3-5 mins and there you have some really crunchy and delicious chicken strips! Or, you can cut them into nugget size, if desired. 
10. Serve hot with any dipping sauce of your choice or just ketch up.

Note : You can mix regular bread crumbs with the Panko, about half and half, and still get tasty chicken.

And, if you have the time, soaking the strips or tenders in buttermilk for an hour or two before cooking, really makes for moist chicken. Just be sure to dry them off well before dredging in the flour! You can also use additional spices, if desired. Try these on your family some evening. They are perfect for week night meals. I like to serve them with oven roasted vegetables for a truly healthy meal.

Check out whats cooking in my fellow bloggers kitchen today ....

Diabetes Diet/Management: KamalikaSmithaSuma  
Kid Friendly Recipes: AnushaCool Lassi(e)
Seven Days of Soup: Priya Suresh
Seven Days of Indian Bread: JayasreePavani
Seven Days of Cakes:  Priya Vasu  
Seven Days of PreservesGayathri KumarVaishali 
30 Minutes Meals: Priya MahadevanSrivalli  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

BM # 4 DAY 1 : Chola Tikki

Kids love to snack on street food!!! as a kid .. i did :) . When i was a kid, my mom always always stopped me eating street food, instead made some lip smacking yummy dishes at home. I do not have kids, but will try to post the recipes i relished as a kid. What could be better than having delicious homemade street food !!!!!!

Ingredients :
1 cup of boiled chickpeas (kabuli chana/garbanzo beans)
2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 tablespoon shredded ginger(optional)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 chopped green chillis (deseeded)
1 medium onion finely chopped
Few curry leaves
1 teaspoon red chilli powder or to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder
1/2 teaspoon chat masala
1/2 teaspoon amchur powder
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Oil to shallow fry

Directions :
1. Drain the water out of the boiled chickpeas and dry the chickpeas using paper towel making sure there is no access water.
2. Mash the chickpeas coarsely. 
3. To a large mixing bowl, add the mashed chickpeas and potatoes. To this add shredded ginger, chopped cilantro, chopped green chillis, chopped onion, chopped curry leaves, red chilli powder, chat masala, amchur powder and lemon juice. 
4. Mix all the ingredients together, adjust salt and pepper to your taste.
5. With oiled hands, divide the mixture into 8 to 10 equal portions or according to desired size.
6. Make them into the shape of patties keeping them about a half inch thick.
7. Heat oil in a flat bottom saucepan on medium high heat (oil should cover the surface of the pan generously). To check if the oil is hot enough, place a little piece of tikki in the oil, this should make the oil sizzle.
8. Place the tikkis in the pan and shallow fry them on both sides until both sides are golden brown. If the Tikki is very dry use more oil as needed without making them too greasy.
9. You may have to adjust the heat while cooking as needed.
10. Serve Tikki hot with yogurt, tamarind chutney and hari chutney(mint/cilantro chutney) over the Tikki, or simply with ketch up.
Note :
You can increase or decrease the amount of green chillis and red chilli powder according to your taste.

Check out whats cooking in my fellow bloggers kitchen today ....

Diabetes Diet/Management: Kamalika, Smitha, Suma  
Kid Friendly Recipes: Anusha, Cool Lassi(e)
Seven Days of Soup: Priya Suresh
Seven Days of Indian Bread: Jayasree, Pavani
Seven Days of Cakes:  Priya Vasu  
Seven Days of Preserves: Gayathri Kumar, Vaishali 
30 Minutes Meals: Priya Mahadevan, Srivalli  

Tomato Dal

Ingredients :
1 cup of toor dal
2 medium tomatoes(do not cut them)
5 green chillis slit lengthwise
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
A pinch of turmeric powder
2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon urad dal
4 dry red chillis
A few curry leaves
chilli powder to taste
Salt to taste
A pinch of Asafoetida
1 teaspoon oil
Few sprigs of cilantro 

Directions :
1. Wash toor dal and keep aside.
2. In a pressure cooker, add the toor dal, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, green chillis, garlic cloves and turmeric powder. Place the 2 tomatoes on top. Add water till it covers half of the tomato.
3. Cook on high heat till you get one whistle. Then lower the heat to medium and cook for 20mins ( or 3 more whistles). Remove from heat and keep aside to cool.
4. After the pressure cooker cools down, we have to season the dal.
5. Heat a pan on medium and add oil. Once the oil is hot, add urad dal, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chillis and curry leaves. 
6. Once they are fried, add asafoetida. Now remove pressure cooker cap and with the help of a spoon remove the tomatoes and add it to the seasoning. Increase the heat and cook the tomatoes till water evaporates.
7. Add the cooked dal to the seasoning. Mix well and if required add some water to get the right consistency.
8. Add salt and red chilli powder. Bring dal to boil and add some finely chopped cilantro.
9. Transfer dal to serving bowl and server plain rice or roti.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beerakaya Pesarapappu (Ridge Gourd or Torai with moong dal)

Ingredients :
2 nos. Beerakaya or ridge gourd 
1 1/2 cup moong dal
7 green chillis, slit lengthwise
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon oil
A few curry leaves
A pinch of turmeric powder
Salt according to taste

Directions :
1. Heat a pan on medium heat and dry roast the moong dal. Keep stirring the moong dal continuously and do not increase the heat. Fry till you get nice aroma from moong dal and also it gets a nice color. Transfer to a bowl and add water. Let it soak for 1hr.
2. Peel the skin of ridge gourd, wash and cut it into medium chunks.
3. Heat a pan on medium high and add oil. Once the oil is hot add cumin seeds. Fry for 30secs and add curry leaves, green chillis and onions. Fry till onions are nicely caramelized.
4. Add the ridge gourd pieces. Add little salt and mix well. Cover and cook for 5- 8 mins.
5. Now, add the moong dal without water. Add turmeric and mix well. Cover and cook till moong dal is cooked.
6. Keep stirring time to time and add water if required.
7. Checked for salt and add more of required. Serve with hot rice.
Note : Before cutting the ridge gourd, eat a little piece of it and check for bitterness. If the ridge gourd is bitter then do not use it.
You can add or reduce the amount of green chillis used.

Monday, April 11, 2011

BM # 4 DAY 7 : Plum Cake ( Classic Christmas Cake)

Ingredients :
1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/3 cup butter
2/3 cup caramel
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 cup mixed dry fruits and nuts(raisins, cashew, dates, tutty fruity, apricot, dry cherry) or can use any dry fruits or even dried welch' dry fruits 
3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds or shahi jeera,powdered (optional)
1/4 tsp each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves powder,ginger powder(at least two items)
1/2 cup of Rum(Substitute with juice, keep the cake refrigerated)
1/2 cup red sweet wine
To make Caramel :
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup hot water

Directions :
1. Before making the cake,  we have to soak the dry fruit for several hours, overnight or few days ahead, the more number of days, the better. I soaked for 4 days. 
Soak the dry fruits in 2-3 tbsp of rum and 1/2 cup of red wine. Keep this at room temperature. (If you do not want to use alcohol, then read the notes below)
2. Preparing Caramel : 
Spread 1/2 cup of sugar in a thick bottomed pan and heat it. Keep about 1/2 cup of hot water ready on the side. Control the heat when the sugar starts burning. Shake the pan a couple of times, do not stir.
When the sugar starts to turn brown , pour slowly the warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep ur face away! (caution: it will splitter so be cautious!). Do not burn the caramel or it will make the cake bitter.
The syrup will thicken when it cools down, add water to lighten it. For the cake use the caramel only after cooling down.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.Grease an 8" round or a square pan. Keep aside.
4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and all the spices. Keep aside.
5. In a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugar. Beat until creamy and fluffy.
6. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
7. Pour in the caramel syrup and mix well.
8. Add the flour spice mixture and mix until the flour is completely incorporated with the wet ingredients.
9. Strain the dried fruits and mix with 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour.
10. Add this to the batter. Also add the nuts at this point. Mix well.
11. Spoon the batter into prepared pan and bake for 40 to 50 minutes(my cake took 1 hr to bake including the extra time) or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of he cake comes out clean plus about 5 minutes. The cake might look burnt because of the extra time but its not.
12. Once cake is cooled, make small pores on cake with tooth pick and pour 1to 2 tbs Rum and  let it soak.(This step is optional)
13. Cover the cake with wax paper and keep it 4 to 5 days or more for a better taste and texture. (This step is optional)
14. Slice the cake only after it cools down completely, else it will crumble.
I did not slice the cake, as i am going to brush the cake with rum and leave it covered for 5 days.
1. You can use orange juice instead of alcohol. Warm the orange juice in microwave and mix the dry fruits and you can also add rum extract(optional) and keep in a air tight container for several hours, overnight or days. If it is soaked for days, try to stir time to time.
2. Since the cake is moistened with rum or juice, bake the cake for 5-8 minutes longer than usual, until the top is dark brown. We prefer to use Captain Morgan spiced rum, any rum should do though.
3. Make sure to use wax paper on the sides and bottom of the pan, caramel make this cakes sticky.
4. Cake will look hard after baking, but wait for couple of days, and wow! it will be much softer and a yummy flavor.
5. The alcohol is evaporated while baking so we can safely feed the kids. Rum is the key flavor , it gives the flavor of the original plum cake we get from the bakery. You can always skip the rum and soak in fruit juice but the flavor is different.

Check out whats cooking in my fellow bloggers kitchen today : 
Diabetes Diet/Management: SrivalliChampaHariniPJ
Kid Friendly Recipes: KalyaniShylajaVeena
Seven Days of Soup:UshaSowmya  
30 Minutes Meals: Priya Suresh  
Seven days of Cakes:  Anusha

BM # 4 DAY 7: Eggless Plum Cake

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mixed dried fruit (dried apricots, figs, cranberries, black and golden raisins, currants, walnuts and cashews)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter(2 sticks)
1 tablespoon golden syrup or maple syrup or date syrup
Finely grated zest from one orange
1 cup water
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoon yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves powder,ginger powder
1 cup smoothly mashed potato

Directions :
1.Grease the base and sides of a deep 8” round cake tin and line the base with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda,and all the spices, mix well and sift once to make the mixture uniform.
3. In a medium sized saucepan, combine the dried fruit, sugar, butter, syrup and water and heat slowly on low heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and allow the mixture to come to a boil, reduce the heat and then simmer for 20 minutes on low heat. Remove the sauce pan from the heat, mix in the  1 tsp baking soda and allow to cool.
4. Once the mixture has reached room temperature, stir in the yogurt, vanilla extract, and mashed potato and  beat well with a whisk, until the mixture is smooth. Put in the nuts, and carefully fold in the flour mixture, mixing until well combined.
5. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared tin and smooth the top with the help of a spatula. Cover the cake with aluminium foil and bake at 180 degree centigrade/ 350 degrees F for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes clean.
6. Once the cake is done, allow the cake to cool completely in the tin. When the cake has cooled, place the serving plate over it and turn it upside down. Carefully remove the paper, turn it over again with the help of a plate and serve.
7. If possible, allow the cake to mature over night or atleast for 4 to 5 hours before slicing it up.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

BM # 4 DAY 6 : Coffee Cake

Sitting leisurely in the morning with a slice of Coffee Cake and a steaming cup of coffee, is one of life's little pleasures. This is your classic 'crumb' Coffee Cake recipe. It has a rich and buttery flavor and soft, moist texture. But what makes this Coffee Cake unique is its' streusel topping and its vein of streusel that runs through the center of the cake. The streusel, when baked, becomes slightly crunchy with a grainy texture which contrasts so well to the softness of the cake.
Coffee Cakes are the informal cakes, the ones for everyday. Although called a "Coffee" Cake, it does not usually contain coffee. The name more often refers to how the cake is eaten, that is, with a cup of coffee.
Ingredients :
Coffee Cake Topping:
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Coffee Cake:
2 cups sifted cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Directions :
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 8 - 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly browned. Let cool and then coarsely chop. Set aside.
2. Coffee Cake Topping : In a small bowl stir together the sugar, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, ground cinnamon and flour. Set aside.
3. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) a 9-inch round or square pan . Line the bottom of the pan with a parchment paper.
4. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
5. In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute).
6. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).
7. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.
8. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and sour cream (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined.
9. Spoon half of the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle about half of the nut topping on top of the batter. Cover with the remaining batter and then sprinkle with the remaining nut topping.
10. Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
11. Remove from the oven and let rest for about 10 minutes before releasing the sides of the pan.
12. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, April 8, 2011

BM # 4 DAY 5 : Chiffon cake with Vanilla frosting

Ingredients :
For cake :
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For frosting :
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 strawberries, sliced(optional)
chocolate covered strawberries(optional)

Directions :
For Cake :
1. Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Grease a 8" round cake pan. Keep aside.
2. Sift together all purpose flour, baking powder and powdered sugar. Keep aside.
3. Separate egg whites and yolk in two separate bowls.
4. Beat egg whites till you get stiff peaks.
5. Add orange juice, oil  to the yolks and mix well. Do not over beat.
6. To a large mixing bowl, add the yolk mixture. To this gradually add the flour mixture and  mix with a spatula.
7. Now, slowly fold in the egg whites. Do not over beat or the egg whites will go flat.
8. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30mins or until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.
9. Remove from pan and let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.
For frosting :
1. In a mixing bowl, add whipping cream, sugar, vanilla extract. Stir well. Cover and chill the bowl in refrigerator for atleast 30mins.
2. When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.
For frosting the cake :
1. Be sure that the cake(s) are cooled down. If the frosting touches a hot cake, then it may melt. You can either bake 2 cakes and layer them or bake one cake and cut it into two parts.
I baked only one cake so i cut it into two parts. First level the top of the cake with a sharp knife and then cut the cake into 2 equal parts through the center.
2. Carefully remove the cake and place it on a plate. Be sure to dust off any loose crumbs before frosting. If you want a nicer presentation, you may layer wax paper around the edge of the plate before putting the cake on. 
3. Scoop about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of frosting and place it on the center of the cake top.
4. Spread it evenly around the top, rotating the plate as you spread. Use leftover frosting or another scoop to cover the sides. Now spread few sliced strawberries on top and cover them with little frosting again.
5. Place the second layer on top of the bottom layer. Also be sure that there aren't any loose crumbs on this layer.
6. Use 1/2 cup of frosting for spreading on the top.
7. Be sure to cover the sides with any remaining frosting.
8. Dip or wet the knife/spatula in water and shake off any drips.
9. Smooth out the top by spreading the damp utensil across the cake in rows. Dampen it again and go around the sides in a circular motion.
10. Remove the wax paper, if used, or wipe the plate's edge with paper towels to finish.
11. Decorate your cake with sprinkles, icing, and other goodies. I used sprinkles and chocolate covered strawberries.
12. Place the cake in the refrigerator until it's ready to be served.

Note : The cake tastes great even without the frosting.

Check out whats cooking in my fellow bloggers kitchen today : 
Diabetes Diet/Management: SrivalliChampaHariniPJ
Kid Friendly Recipes: KalyaniShylajaVeena
Seven Days of Soup:UshaSowmya  
30 Minutes Meals: Priya Suresh  
Seven days of Cakes:  Anusha