Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kesar Nankhatai

For the Last day of the BM, i tried Kesar Nankhatai from US Masala. This Recipe has been in my To-do List for a very long time.  I followed the Recipe to the word!!!! Loved the end result, The Flavor of Kesar/Saffron was lingering in the entire house. Half-a-Dozen Cookies vanished the moment it was ready. My Hubby Loves the flavor of Saffron/Kesar, he was so delighted to taste them and asked me bake a batch for his Office!!!! 
Ingredients
1 and 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup + 3 tbsp Powdered Sugar
3/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Salt a pinch
7 tbsp Melted Ghee/Clarified butter
 2-3 tbsp of Milk
1/2 tsp Saffron, powdered 
Chopped nuts for topping


Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together into a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients except the ghee.
  • Add ghee, a little at a time, while mixing and kneading the dough until you have it the consistency of smooth pliable dough. You should be able to make a smooth ball without cracks. 
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
  • Divide the dough and Shape them into round balls and flatten them a little between your palms. Garnish the top with chopped nuts/
  • Arrange them on the baking sheet 1'' apart, nut side up. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 15 -18 minutes or until they turn light golden color. The cookies expand while baking so do keep it 1" apart.
  • Take them out of the oven and let them cool to room temperature. 
Sending them to Kids Delight -Eggless Bakes/Vegan Bakes hosted by Priya, Event by Srivalli and Sweet Luv, Happening Zesty Palette and Bake Fest, hosted by Kalyani, Event by Vardhini 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monkey Bread/Pull Apart Bread


For Day 6 of Blogging Marathon, I tried baking Monkey Bread/Pull apart bread from Madhuram's Eggless Baking.  I m a Big fan of Cinnamon, this recipe in particular has a generous use of it, so i m totally in love with this Pull apart bread. 

Ingredients
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Sugar ( i had powdered sugar in hand, so used it)
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
5 tablespoons cut into 5 pieces Cold Butter
2/3 Cup Semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup Milk

For Brushing on Top
1/4 cup Sugar
1.5 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
3 tablespoons melted Butter

Method
  •  Preheat the oven to 180C for 15 minutes. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  • In a mixing bowl sift and combine Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Sugar.
  • Using a pastry blender ,cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  • Stir in the Choco  Chips and Milk and combine to form a dough.The final dough will be very sticky.
  • Turn the dough to a well-floured surface and Shape them into balls. I shaped them into log on a parchment paper and Divided them.
  • Place them the prepared baking pan. 
  • Drizzle the balls with the melted butter.
  • Combine the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle them with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes, until light brown. Cool in the pan set on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#13

Monday, February 27, 2012

Whole Wheat Almond Cookies

For Day 5 of Blogging Marathon, I m posting one of the Sweet Punch recipe. i couldn't bake and post when i had to, so tried it for BM.  After tasting shortbread, My people weren't ready to accept the texture and taste of these cookies. I liked them, loved the flavor of Cardamom in every bite, and bits and pieces of Almonds here and there, was awesome. 

Ingredients 
1 Cup Whole wheat flour
1/2 Cup Sugar(i Powdered it along with cardamom)
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Almond meal(coarsely powdered toasted almonds)
4-5 Green cardamom, Powdered
1/2 Cup Crisco Vegetable Shortening + 1 tbsp Water 
2 tbsp Milk - 2 tbsp (or less)

Method
  •  Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a Baking tray with parchment paper.
  • In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt, almond meal and cardamom powder well.
  • Next add shortening and milk to the flour mixture to make dough. Dough should be very soft.
  • Divide the dough and shape them into balls.Press them in-between your palms and shape the cookie 
  • Place the dough balls on the prepared tray. Bake the cookies for about 18 minutes or until cookies are lightly gold brown. Let it sit in the Oven for 2-3 minutes and Cool them on a Wire Rack.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#13

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Walnut Shortbread


For Day 4, I tried baking Shortbread from Joy of Baking Website. Fool-Proof Recipe i must say!!! i was so happy to see the Deep Dark Brown Shortbread Hot out of the Oven and was @ Cloud 9, when it melted in mouth, just the way it should!!!! The Ultimate joy came when My Kiddo tasted it and said "Marvellous Amma"!!!!! He has asked me to pack some for his friends tomorrow!!! I cannot ask for more!!!!

Ingredients
1 Cup Walnuts toasted and coarsely chopped
2  Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4tsp salt
1 Cup Crisco vegetable Shortening + 2 tbsp Water (Substitute for 1 Cup Butter)
 2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract or 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a Baking tray with parchment paper.
  • In a medium sized bowl place the flour and salt and whisk to combine.
  • In a bowl, using your electric mixer, beat the Crisco and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Beat in the Cinnamon Powder. 
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then add the flour mixture, mixing only until incorporated.  Stir in the chopped Walnuts.
  • Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour). 
  • Remove one half of the dough from the refrigerator and, Pinch Small balls out of it and shape them in-between your palms. 
  • Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets and refrigerate for 10 minutes to firm up the cookie dough. Repeat the same with rest of the dough and refrigerate until use.
  • Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until the shortbread's are a deep brown color. This ensures a crunchy and crumbly cookie. If you only bake the shortbread until they are light brown the shortbread will be softer in texture.
  • Remove cookies from oven and cool on a wire rack.  
Note:
  • Baking time differes form Oven to Oven. So Bake Accordingly
  • The Original Recipe, said the dough can be rolled on to a floured surface and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutter, but i couldn't roll the dough ever after refrigerating for the required time. I m not sure why that happened, may be because of the shortening!!! i m not definite about that,so incase if you know the reason, do let me know
  • Also the recipe said the baking time to be 13-15 minutes but that time, my cookies were light brown. so i baked another 7 minutes extra to get the deep dark brown. So adjust the bake time according to your Oven Power.



Saturday, February 25, 2012

Whole Wheat Choco-chip Pumpkin Bread

For the Day 3, of Blogging Marathon, I tried the Bookmarked recipe WholeWheat Choco-chip Pumpkin Bread from Kalyani's. It on my bake-list for a long time. This is the first time i m trying a bake using Pumpkin puree and i m sure to make it quite often. my kiddo loved this bread. He finished the nuts on top first and then gobbled the bread later!!!! 
Sending this to Kids Delight - Eggless bakes, hosted by Priya, Event by Srivalli

Ingredients
1 Cup Wholewheat flour
a handful of Choco-chip
1 tbsp of All Purpose flour
1 Cup Fresh Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tbsp freshly grated Coconut
3 tbsp Yoghurt
2 tbsp Canola Oil
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 ts[ Baking Soda
a Pinch of Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder
1/4 Cup Almonds & Walnuts mixed

Method

To make Pumpkin Puree
  • Peel the Pumpkin and remove all the seeds.
  • Cube them and Take them in a Pan and Cook it in a low flame with 1/4 Cup Water for 10-15 minutes.
  • Take it off the flame and keep it covered for 10 minutes.
  • Drain well and Puree the cubes in a blender.
 
To make the bread
  • Preheat the Oven to 190C and Line a Loaf tin with parchment paper.Sift all dry ingredients thrice.
  • Powder the sugar in a mixie and add to the oil. Cream it well. 
  • In Same Blender in which you pureed  Pumpkin, add yoghurt and blend again till its creamy and add to the sugar-oil mixture. Mix well.  
  • Pour the sieved flour mixture to the wet ingredients and give it a nice stir. Do not overbeat. Now add the grated coconut, add nuts and half of the Choco Chips
  • Pour the batter to the prepared tin and sprinkle the rest of the choco-chips and nuts on top.
  • Bake for 30-45 minutes till its done and a tooth pick comes out clean. 
  • Cool on a wire rack for 10 - 15 mins. Cut and serve 

Note
Baking time differs from Oven to Oven, So bake accordingly


Friday, February 24, 2012

Mini Bread Cups/Pizza Cups

For the Day 2, I tried a bookmarked recipe from Raks Kitchen Bread cups/Pizza Cups. I have Indianized the filling though. These Pizza Cups have become a frequent snack @ home now. Even My MIL who has never tasted a pizza, like them a lot and keep asking me to make it more often. 

Ingredients
4 Burger Buns
1 Large Potato, peeled and cubed
1 Large Capsicum, cubed
1 Large Carrot, cubed
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder (Will be mild, increase/decrease the amount to suit your taste)
1/4 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
Turmeric a pinch
Salt to taste
4-5 tbsp Tomato Sauce Ketchup
1 tbsp Pepper powder
3-4 tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese

Method
  • In a Non-stick pan, Heat oil, add Cumin seeds, once they change color, add Onions and Saute till translucent.
  • Next add cubed potatoes, capsicum and Carrot. Saute for 2 minutes in a low flame. 
  • Add Red Chilli powder, coriander powder and  turmeric and mix well.
  • Cook in a low flame for 10 minutes. If you feel the veggies are burning, then sprinkle little water and cook. Take it off the stove when the are veggies are cooked. (takes about 10-15 minutes, from the adding to oil)

Assembling the Pizza Cups
  •  Preheat the oven to 200C
  • Cut the burger buns into two using Serrated Knife.
  • Squeeze a blob of Tomato Ketchup and spread it well.
  • Spread a pinch or two Pepper powder on top.
  • Place a tbsp or 2 of the Vegetable filling and top it up with Shredded mozzarella cheese.
  • Bake in the Preheated Oven for 7 Minutes or until the cheese melts.
  • Serve Warm and See them Vanishing Fast!!!!
Sending these Cute Cups to Kids Delight - Eggless Bakes/Vegan Bakes Hosted by Priya Suresh, an Event by Srivalli And also to Show me your HITS - Happening @ Spicy Treats

Note:
  • Baking Time differs from Oven to Oven. So Bake accordingly
  • The Pizza Cups base will be crisp outside and will be soft inside, incase you want it to be crispier, try blind baking the Bread/bun for 2 minutes and then bake with Veggie Filling again.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Eggless Apple Cake

Today is the First Day of Blogging Marathon #13, Group 2, I will be blogging on the theme : Eggless Bakes for the 7 days.  The reason for taking this topic, i have bookmarked so many many baking recipes to try and haven't tried anything yet!!! hope this BM would make me get up from my comfort zone of Rice and Dal and Keep me Baking!!
Eggless Apple Cake, bookmarked from Priya Suresh Blog!!! I have made small changes to the recipe, please follow the link for the Original Recipe
Ingredients
1 Cup All Purpose Flour/Maida
1 Cup Whole Wheat flour
1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk(400gms)
1/2 Cup Butter
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1/2 Cup Milk
2 nos Red Apples, Shredded/Finely chopped(i shredded it, because my kiddo doesn't like anything chunky in his cake)

Method
  • Preheat the oven to 180C and Line a Baking tray with parchment paper. i used normal round cake pan.
  • Beat Sugar and Condensed milk until creamy.
  • Sift Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda together.
  • Add Dry ingredients to the Wet and Mix well.
  • Add shredded apple and essence to the flour mixture, Mix gently
  • Add Milk gradually and mix well with a spatula.
  • Pour the batter in to cake pan and Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note:
Baking Time differ from Oven to Oven. so Bake Accordingly

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Vennai Puttu - Indian Cooking Challenge, Feburary 2012

Vennai Puttu, a traditional recipe from Tamilnadu was chosen by Srivalli as this month's Indian Cooking Challenge. The Recipe is Shared by Priya Suresh, who surely doesnt need any introduction. They have also referred to Nirmala's Post on Vennai Puttu. The recipe was so much like making Kozhukattai Maavu, only difference being adding jaggery and fried nuts. I thoroughly enjoyed making it and more than me my people loved hogging it. The Sweet was mild and cooked chana dal and coconut pieces added a nice texture to the Puttu.

Ingredients 
1 Cup Raw rice
1/2cup Grated jaggery
1/2tsp Cardamom powder
2tbsp Shredded or sliced fresh coconut pieces ( i used shredded coconut)
2 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar ( i added it @ the end, since i felt the sweet wasn't enough)
1/4cup Cooked channadal
1-2 tbsp ghee
Few roasted Cashew/Almonds for Garnishing
Method
  • Soak the raw Rice and Chana Dal for three hours. Cook Chana dal in 1/2 Cup water, the dal should not be mushy. 
  • Grind Rice as a fine paste  with half cup of water, meanwhile make a jaggery syrup with jaggery and quarter cup of water, strain the syrup and keep aside. Keep a Greased plate ready.
  • Boil 2 cups of water in a heavy bottomed vessel. when it starts boiling, reduce the flame and add the grounded rice paste. Keep Stirring and cook in medium flame until the rice paste is Cooked.Keep a Close watch and keep stirring or you will end up with a burnt puttu!!!
  • When the rice paste is cooked add the jaggery syrup,cooked channadal,cardamom powder, give a stir and cook until it turns as mass and gets off from the vessel,now add the coconut pieces,give a stir and put off the stove. At this point, i added Brown Sugar to make it little more sweet and a tbsp of ghee to make the Rice Mass come out smooth.
  • Finally pour this thick mass of rice-jaggery paste to a greased plate, arrange the fried nuts over the prepared vennai puttu.
  • Let it Cool for few minutes and Enjoy while it is warm. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tomato Korma - Magic Mingle #2, February 2012

Magic Mingle#2, a Monthly event, hosted by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds, every month Kalyani will chose 2 different ingredients to be used to together in a Recipe. This Month she gave us Almonds - Ginger.  I tried this Tomato korma, using Badam instead of Cashew nuts. The Gravy tasted so Good and was also Rich. If you are interested in experimenting with taste, do Checkout Sizzling Tastebuds to join this Monthly Magic!!!!

Ingredients
3 Large Tomatoes, chopped
2 Medium Onions,chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1 tsbp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
hing a pinch
To Grind
5 Almonds
2 cloves of Garlic
1 inch ginger
1 green chilli
2 tbsp Freshly grated coconut
1 clove

Method
  • Soak Almonds in a cup of Hot water for 10 minutes and peel the skin.Grind it along with other ingredients under "To Grind" to a fine paste using little water.
  • Heat oil in  pan, splutter mustard seeds, add hing. Add Onions and Saute till Translucent
  • Add Tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Add all the masala powders, Let it cook for 5 minutes for the rawness to escape.
  • Add Ground Masala to this and another 1/2 cup of water. Add Salt and Let it simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Take it off the stove and Garnish with coriander leaves and Serve Warm as an Accompaniment to Idly/dosa or even mix with steaming hot rice and Dig!!!!
 

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Potato and Raw Banana Curry/Mezhkuvaratti - Blog Hop Wednesday

This Month's BHW i m paired with Nisha of Nisha's Kitchen. Loved her Kerala Style Dishes. I chose to make this Mezhkuvaratti/Mezhkkupuratti which is also called as Upperi. It is a Dry Curry and can be made with Any Vegetable. Veggies are just blanched in Hot water with little turmeric and salt and Stir fried with Seasoning.The Curry was easy to make and tasted very good. A Good Combo for Rice Dishes.
Ingredients
1 Large Potato, Peeled and Cut into Cubes
2 Nos. Raw Banana, Peeled and Cut into Cubes, pretty much the same size of Potato
2 Onions, chopped
1 Green Chilli
1 tsp Sambhar Powder
 1 tbsp Oil
2 Sprigs Curry leaves
hing a pinch
turmeric a pinch
Salt to taste

Method
  • Boil potato, banana with turmeric and salt with enough water until done. Take care not to cook them long, or else the curry will turn mushy. Once the Water starts boiling, let it sit for 5 minutes, then switch of the stove and keep it covered with a plate for 10 minutes.Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a Non-stick Pan and splutter mustard seeds, add hing, curry leaves, slited green chilli.
  • Add Onions and saute till translucent.
  • Add Cooked Banana and Potato and Sambhar Powder and Give a quick Toss.
  • Let it sit in a low flame for 10-15 minutes, Tossing it for every 5 minutes. 
  • Once the Rawness of the sambhar powder escapes, take it off the stove and Serve Warm with any Rice Dish.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Raisin Scones - Daring Baker's Challenge, January 2012

Its been a long time since i attempted Daring Baker's Challenge. This New year onwards i m planning to try it every month. This Month in DB we were Challenged by Audax from Audax Artifex to Bake Basic Scones She gave us a whole lot of information on Scones, and a number of choices to bake from. I chose to bake a Raisin Scones with a Combination of Wheat and All Purpose Flour. They Came out so Beautifully, We enjoyed them warm with a blob of Cherry Jam.

Ingredients
1/2 cup All Purpose flour
½ Cup Whole Wheat Flour
¼ Cup Raisins
1 tbsp Sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons frozen grated butter
Approximately ½ cup cold milk
Optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones

Method
  • Preheat oven to very hot 240°C
  • Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Rub the frozen grated butter  into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs
  • Add Raisins and Sugar and Combine well.
  • Add nearly all of the milk at once into the flour mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, lightly flour the top of the dough and knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth
  • Pat or roll out the dough to form squares or wedges as you desire. I rolled it out as a ½ inch thick Circle and cut out 8 wedges using a biscuit cutter.
  • Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden color 
  • Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes until the scones are well risen and are lightly colored on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
  • Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm with Some Jam Preserve.
  
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