Friday, January 25, 2013

Vanilla Choco chip cake ~ Tried and tasted!

I have always loved the aroma when cakes are baked. The little boy too has taken a fascination for the oven. Whenever he sees the oven light on he comes running and looks in to the glass and says CAKE! He is not into sweets (He has not got my sweet tooth!) but will willingly try a bite or two of it.
I had lost touch of baking ever since we returned from Shanghai. When we first moved in to the apartment here in US, I was so glad seeing the big oven at my disposal. It brought back all the wonderful memories. In the initial days of baking I had faced a lot of problems and then bloggers like Divya, Aparna, Harini had given a lot of helpful advice. When I got back in to blogging world, the first thing I did was look up to these blogs.
Few days back, The baking bug bit me again and I decided to bake something easy and tasty.I decided to look into Divya's blog. I love the step by step pictures that she puts up which makes it easy for anyone to understand. I had choco chips in hand and was thinking of making cookies when I stumbled upon this cake. The cake was perfect and very much appreciated by everyone. Thank you Divya for this wonderful recipe. The pictures don't do justice to the cake but I did not want to wait until I bake this next time.

This is Divya's recipe and I am just copying it here for my reference.

Flour - 1 cup
Cornflour - 4 tbsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup[100 gms]
Powdered sugar - 3/4 cup [ I took a heaped 1/2 cup of sugar and powdered it]
Eggs - 2
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Nuts - 1/4 cup[I used chopped almonds]
Chocolate chips - 1/4 cup

Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease and line a loaf tin.
Sift together flour,cornflour and baking powder,reserve.
Cream together butter and powdered sugar till light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
Mix in the vanilla essence.
Spoon the flour mix about 3 tsp at a time alternately with milk and beat well till you get a smooth batter.
The batter would be thickish,not a flowing one--mix in the nuts and chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Remove the cake to a wire rack and let it cool down.
Cut into slices and serve.

Apart from this, I even made the masala biscuits and Dark fudgy brownies! I wish I had pics of it to share them here. They were delicious and I am going to make them again! Thanks Divya. Please do check her blog for a lot of wonderful baking recipes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Paneer tikka wraps ~ Leftover magic

We had a wonderful party on new year's eve. The menu comprised mainly of konkani delicacies except for the starters. When there is so much wonderful around it is a matter of fact that there would be some leftovers. A friend of mine made some awesome paneer tikka's. They were soft, succulent and lip smacking (I have to get the recipe from here and file it here!). We normally share food that is leftover so that it could be used meaning fully and not wasted. I was more than glad to accept this tikka. The next day we were busy catching up with relatives and shopping and come night time I was worried about fixing dinner, that's when I noticed these delicious tikka's lying in the fridge. I had a brain wave and decided to transform them in to complete dinner than starters. I fished  out bell peppers, onion, tomato from the fridge and in no time these delicious  wraps were ready.

Here is what's needed:

8-10 paneer tikki's (These were mini sized ones skewered on a toothpick)
1 small green bell pepper sliced length wise
1 medium tomato chopped
1 small onion sliced length wise
1/2 tsp red chili powder
a pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp tomato ketchup
1/2 tsp of garam masala powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
6 whole wheat phulkas ( This can be replaced with tortilla's too)
Finely chopped coriander leaves

1) Chop the tikkia's length wise (Don't leave out the peppers, tomato or onions that are skewered on the tikka. They taste delicious).
2) Heat oil and fry the onions until golden. Add in the tomatoes and fry until mushy. Throw in the bell peppers and saute just until done yet crunchy.
3) Add in the spice powders followed by the chopped tikka's. Adjust the salt and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
4) Place the filling in a phulka/tortilla and wrap it up. Cover with aluminium foil until you are ready to serve.

1) You can smear the phulka's with corinader mint chutney and then fill them with the paneer mixture  along with some chopped greens. Tastes delicious.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Batate Pej Upkari

Blogging had taken a backseat last year. I was busy with my course,my little boy and a new place. Hopefully this year I will work on blogging not out of compulsion but because I am proud and much in love with this adorable space of mine. I plan to document a lot of family recipes along with the rugular ones from my kitchen. I wish to get into the world of baking and conquer the yeast monster. I have a packet of yeast that I bought some time ago but I am still not confident of going ahead and using it. This year is going to be different in a lot of terms. I wish to step out of my comfort zone in terms of food and would love to try out a variety of dishes.  Hopefully I will present them here.

This is a simple dish that I first tasted at temple feast. During our annual car festival which lasts 6 days, we have a lot of festivities followed by samaraadhana (naivedyam food served which itself is a feast). This feast starts late in the afternoon and goes on till 7-8 PM.  People sit on floor with a mat/newspaper and the food is served on plantain leaf. hundreds of volunteer gather dressed in traditional attire and serve thousands of devotees. In the mornings before the festivities start pejje jevan where kongee (rice porridge) is served. This is served with simple dishes like this pej upkari or exotic dishes like kadgi chakko( made with unripe green jackfruit) etc on a plantain leaf.  The gathering for the Pejje jevan is less compared to the evening samaraadhana. Thousands of people gather to seek blessings from Lord Venkatramana and partake in the samaraadhana. How I miss those days where you could meet friends and family and have fun! I miss Mangalore ~ a small yet beautiful place.

Coming back to this dish, it has minimum ingredients and yet tastes heavenly. Normally potatoes are not peeled for this dish but I did for the little boy.

Here is whats needed:
2 medium potatoes
a big pinch of hing
2 green chilies slit
salt to taste

1 tbsp oil (Preferably coconut oil)
5 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal

1) Wash and scrub the potatoes. Chop them into bite sized pieces with the peel on. Add water, green chilies and salt and cook till soft and done
2) Prepare seasoning by heating oil and add mustard seeds when they crackle add urad dal, followed by curry leaves and hing. Pour this seasoning over the potato mixture and serve hot with rice and dalithoy!
Simple as it can get and tastes divine. Simple pleasures

Friday, January 4, 2013

Phanna Phovu ~ Seasoned beaten rice

The year 2012 passed in a jiffy and before we could realize 2013 arrived. The year that passed had a lot of ups and downs but with a lot of memories. We welcomed 2013 at a small get together at my friend's place over good food and music. It was an awesome kickstart and we really hope that the days ahead bring in a lot of peace and love to everyone.

I am a breakfast person! I cannot work until I have some breakfast in my system. And when I mean breakfast the traditional Indian breakfast. Both of us are not fans of the packaged cereals. This Poha is one such item that can be made in jiffy. My mom makes this best. Back home my MIL always asks me to make this as this stays soft even in the evenings.

Normally poha at our household is often combined with some dish like Chana upkari or upma. I love Chana upkari but not a big fan of upma. So on the days we had upma mom would make sure to make this poha and I would look forward to mom making upma just for this poha. To get the best taste out of this it is advisable to crush the spices using a mortar and pestle. Since I don't own any here I just put them in the mixer.

Here is what's needed:

(To be ground to coarse paste)
1/2 cup grated coconut ( Fresh tastes best. I did not have any so used frozen)

1 tbsp corainder seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
1 green chilli
1 dry red chilli
1.5 tbsp of grated jaggery
Salt to taste

3/4 Beaten rice thin variety

To season
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 sprig of curry leaf
1 tsp oil (Coconut oil works well)

1) Grind all the ingredients mentioned to be ground using very little oil to coarse paste. by pulsing a few times until they are just crushed.
2) Transfer the paste into a salad bowl and add the poha in parts. Mix well.
3) Prepare seasoning by heating oil and adding in the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the curry leaf and pour the seasoning over the poha. Mix well and serve with some sev/ Chivda/Chana upkari or Upma.
I love to mix plain murmura with the poha and eat. It tastes yummy.

1) Instead of jaggery, sugar can be used. It alters the taste of the final dish.
2) After mixing the poha with ground paste finely chopped onions can be mixed.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year

Wish you a very happy and prosperous new year.
The year 2012 has been a memorable one with a lot of ups and downs. A sincere hope that 2013 will bring more love and peace to everyone. The world and us definitely needs this at the moment. Spread love, smile and cheer!