Sunday, November 27, 2016

Eggless Chocolate Mocha Mug Cake - Single Serve Cake, Mug Cake, #Cakeforone #Mealforone

The last in the series of cooking for one, is a Dessert. A simple Chocolate Mocha Mug cake. A warm delicious dessert to enjoy on a wintery afternoon. Oh i loved it so much when i had it yesterday with a teeny-weeny scoop of ice-cream on top. The ice-cream melted in the warmth of the mug cake and enhanced the flavor of the cake.
Enough said, let us get to the recipe, a simple recipe, just dump everything in the mug and MW for a minute or even less. I didn't have Cocoa powder, daaaannnng(shocking music at the background), never expected this to happen, thank god for a good stock of chocolates in my freezer. I have used 6 Hershey kisses chocolate for this, add 2 more if you think it is less, but don't reduce the 6!!! Just go make it and enjoy this warm mug of deliciousness and let me know how you liked it!!
Ingredients
3 tbsp all purpose flour
6 nos Hershey kisses, or 1 tbsp cocoa powder 
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp instant coffee granules, i used davidoff
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sunflower or any neutral oil
3 tbsp water

Method

  • In a Mug, first take the chocolates, microwave it high for 1 minutes for it to melt. To this melted chocolate, add flour, baking soda, coffee and sugar, give it a good stir. 
  • If not using cocoa powder, just add it along with the above said ingredients and give it a good stir,
  • To this flour mix, now add oil, vanilla extract and water and mix it well with a fork.
  • Microwave cook for 40 seconds - 1 minute. Mine was done by 1 minute. I first cooked it for 40 seconds, the top was wet when it came out, so i again tucked it in for 20 seconds. 

  • Remove it from the Microwave, add a scoop of ice-cream of your choice and dig in! Enjoy your own mug of cake and ice-cream!! 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#70

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Aloo Palak - Sides for Roti/Poori/Rice - Cooking for one #Mealforone

For day 2 , i m here with a Roti-subzi meal. Aloo palak, a yumm side for rice or roti. Not only yumm, it takes only 10-15 minutes, if you have all the ingredietns ready at hand. Normally when i make roti for my hubby, i make extra and keep it for my lunch or sometimes have it for breakfast too. 
This side was made for my lunch last week. These days, my elder one has stayback in school for some music practice. So, it is only me and lil one at home for lunch. He is a happy with rasam mammu, or even simple jeera rice. It is me who needs variety. The day i made, i paired it with Tindli & carrot pickle, this subzi, some cucumber and carrot slices by the side and a cucumebr minty lassi to wash it all down. 
Ingredients
1 Medium-sized potato, yield 10-12 1 inch cubes
1 bunch of palak, yield 1.5 cups of chopped leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Tempering
1 tbsp gingely oil/or any cooking oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 red chilies, i used long variety
a pinch of  hing
Method

  • Wash, peel, and chop potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Wash and chop the palak leavses. 1 bunch of leaves when chopped yield about 1.5 cups of loosely packed leaves.
  • Heat a pan, add oil given under 'Tempering', when it is hot, crackle cumin and add chilies followed by chopped onion and saute until onions turn translucent.
  • Next add chopped potatoes, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and add 2 tbsp of e water and reduce the flame. Cover and cook until potatoes are done. It will take around 8-10 minutes, depending the size of the potatoes. Take care not to burn them, sprinkle water if you feel the potatoes are getting burnt. 
  • Once the potatoes are done, add the chopped palak leaves, garam masala and salt. Mix well and saute for another 8-10 minutes. 
  • Take it off the stove and serve with roti. I had them with roti and tindli and carrot pickle and cucumber mint lassi.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Spinach Rice - Using Leftover Rice - Meal for one #mealforone

The last week for the month and for next 3 days, i will be posting recipes under the theme: Meal for one. Oh yes,one of the most hardest thing in the world is to cook for yourself, just yourself! Many of us here, are great cooks, can whip up storm for 20-25 people just like that, but when it comes to cook for just one self, we all go blank, i know many who, just rummage through the fridge for any leftovers or just have a fizzy drink and chips and satiate their hunger.
Cooking for one or two is an art, and that too with no leftovers, is definitely more than art. I had an aunt who cooks a complete south-indian meal just for herself. I used to wonder,  looking at her small vessels. For me, i always have atleast a cup of rice as leftover in my everyday cooking, though it doesn't go waste at home, but to have no leftovers, cooking enough for the family , comes with age and experience. 
So, when i saw this theme for BM, i immediately picked it up to showcase some easy meals that can be made for one, usually these are the meals i cook for myself during the week. Simple, hassle-free, complete meals for just one. Do try and let me know how you liked it.

Ingredients
1 cup cooked rice, i used leftover rice
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 medium sized tomato, finely chopped
1 cup, loosely packed baby spinach
1 tsp homemade sambar powder or 1/2 tsp red chili powder & 1/2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
Tempering
1 tbsp gingely oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
a generous pinch of hing and turmeric powder
1 green chili, slit lengthwise
2-3 curry leaves (i forgot to use it)

Method
  • I normally store the leftover rice in the fridge, first remove the rice and keep it out for 10 minutes. I reheated the rice in the MW the rice for 2 minutes.
  • Chop the onions and tomatoes, finely. Wash the spinach leaves and keep it ready.  In a pan, heat oil given under tempering, splutter mustard seeds, crackle cumin, add chili and curry leaves followed by hing and turmeric.
  • Now add chopped onions and saute until translucent. Add chopped tomatoes, followed by sambhar powder or red chili and coriander powder.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and let it simmer until tomatoes are cooked soft. Now add the baby spinach leaves and saute. You don't have to cook too long after adding spinach, just wait for leaves to wilt, add salt and mix well.
  • There won't be any liquid in the mixture by now, add the cooked rice, and mix well. Let it sit on the stove for another 2 minutes for the flavors to mingle. Take it off the stove and serve  warm with crisps or appalam or any raita of your choice.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Capisicum Masala & Paneer Burger/Bell Peppers & Paneer Burger

For the last day of Burgers, i m here with a simple bell pepper masala & paneer burger. I was hoping to do another tikki today, but then why it should always be a patty, yeah i know a burgers have a fat patty and cheese, why not a indianized burger with curry and cheese. That is how, i made this masala & paneer burger.
The bell pepper masala is finger-licking good, kids would lick it as such. To this i added some volume with pan-roasted paneer, sprinkled with chat masala and fresh, succulent baby spinach leaves. It was one filling meal. For the sauce, i have used the Cream cheese sauce, i made for sweet potato burger. Everything together added a great flavor. 


Ingredients  (Makes 3-4 fillings)
For the Capsicum masala
1/2 of each colored capsicums , Red, green, yellow and orange
1 medium sized onion
1 large tomato
1 green chili
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste

For the Burger
100 grams paneer, cut into thick slabs
1/2 cup of baby spinach
1/2 cup of cream cheese sauce
Burger buns as required
Little salt and chat masala to sprinkle on the paneer (optional)

Method
  • Wash the peppers and cut them into thin slices. Chop the onion and tomatoes fine. Heat a wide pan, add a tbsp of oil, once hot, add 1/2 tsp cumin.  Once the cumin crackles, add chopped onion and green chili and saute until onions turn translucent.
  • Next add chopped tomatoes, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add 1/4 cup of water and let it cook, until tomatoes turn mushy. To this add sliced bell peppers and saute. Let this cook for 6-8 minutes, until the peppers absorb the masala. Add garam masala powder and mix well. Remove it from stove. Let it cool, until used in the burger.


Roast the Paneer
  • I used store-bought paneer block. I cut them into thick slabs, got around 7 thick squares of about 1 or 1.5 inches.
  • In a wide pan, add 2-3 tbsp of oil, when it is hot, reduce the flame and place the paneer slabs 2 or 3 at a time. Cook until the bottom browns, takes about 2 minutes in medium flame, flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove from the pan, and keep it on a kitchen towel, to remove the excess oil. Sprinkle little salt and chat masala over it for little extra zing.

Assembling the burgers
  • Cut open the burger buns, apply a generous tbsp of cream cheese sauce, place 2-3 tbsp of bell pepper masala on it.

  • Add a bunch of baby spinach leaves on top, top it with 2 or 3 slabs of paneer, squeeze a blob of fiery tomato sauce, close it with the top slice. Enjoy!!!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sweet potato tikki burger- Vegan tikki served with cream cheese sauce - no onion, no garlic recipe

We love sweet potatoes at home. They make it,  into our grocery basket every week. Hubby loves the curry and my elder one loves Vethakuzhambu (tamarind gravy) with it. 
We used to eat boiled sweet potato as snack, when we were kids, it was our aunt, who made it as a habit, it was our sunday evening snack, sometimes we even have it for our night snack. When planning for this week theme, i wanted to do a sweet potato tikki, similar to our potato tikki, but with change of spices. Normally i use red chili powder for my aloo tikki, but here today i used fresh green chilies along with mint and coriander. The only masala powder added is the garam masala for the kick. The fresh herbs added so much difference to the tikki. The sweetness of the potato along with the fresh herbs was a lovely combo.

I have coated the tikki, with crushed poha on the outside for the crisp. We loved that coating. The tikki along with other condiments, made this burger so delicious. The cream cheese sauce is the highlight, i have made it a bit on the spicier side, it adds so much zing to the burger. 
Ingredients
1 medium sized sweet potato, when mashed gives 1 & 1/4 cup
3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
3 nos green chilies
An inch piece of ginger
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tbsp cornmeal
3 tbsp poha, crushed
Oil for pan-frying

For Burger
Burger Buns as required
1 onion, cut into roundels
1 tomato, cut into roundels
half a cucumber, peeled and cut into roundels

For the batter
3 tbsp cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup of water to make a thin batter

For the cream cheese sauce
5 tbsp cream cheese
4 nos green chilies
2tbsp mint and coriander leaves each.
Method for sauce
Take all the ingredients in a food processor, blend until smooth. Remove it to a serving bowl, refrigerate until use.

Method
  • Peel and chop the sweet potato into 1 inch cubes and microwave cook with water for 8 minutes in a microwave-safe bowl. Drain and mash the potatoes.
  • In a food processor jar, take mint, coriander,green chilies and ginger, mince fine. Add this to the mashed sweet potatoes, add cornmeal, garam masala and salt to this and make a soft and stiff dough.
  • Mix together cornflour and water and make a batter for dipping the patties.  In another flat plate keep the crushed poha ready.
  • Now divide the sweet potato dough inton 5 portion and shape it into a thick disc. Dip each disc into cornflour mixture first and coat it with crushed poha and set aside. Repeat the same with all the patties.
  • To cook the patties, heat a flat pan, add 3-4 tbsp of oil,  cook 2 or 3 patties at a time.  Cook one side until Brown, flip and cook the other side until brown. Remove the pattie onto a kitchen towel. Cook all the pattie the same way.
Assembling the Burger
  • Cut open the burger bun, spread s generous amount of cream cheese sauce on one side, place the tikki, top it with onion, tomatoes and cucumber slices. Squeeze a generous amount of sauce, add a blob of cream cheese sauce onto the other slice of burger and close it. Enjoy your mouthful!!! 😋


Thursday, November 17, 2016

3-Lentil Tikki Burger - Vegan Lentil Tikki with labneh and minty yogurt sauce - Oven Baked Tikki

After doing a mega marathon, i sort of go into cocoon, no blogging shell! Yes, i m noticing it for the past 2 mega BM's. It sort of becomes so overwhelming, with so many posts and not to mention the laziness that crawls inbetween, and also the excitement, where you either cook 4-5 dishes in a day or just shut the kitchen for the day! 
This happened, after September BM too, i didnt blog in October at all. May be a post here and there, but no continuous blogging. Then again, it takes a jolt to come back to the spirit of regular BM. This month, i decided to do 2 weeks of our regular marathon. In this genre, the theme for this week, is Burgers! Yup, i will be posting 3 days of different burgers. 
First on the list is this lentil burger. Lentils are great source of vegetarian protein, not a day passes without a dal in our house. This 3-lentil tikki burger, i made it as a after-school snack for my kiddos, and the tikki's were our dinner that day. The burger was relished by my elder one, whereas the lil one enjoyed the tikki's with sauce. It can be both pan-fried and oven-baked, pan-fried obviously will be more crisp, succulent, whereas the oven-baked where a bit a parched on top, but nevertheless the taste was spot-on with both the methods, do try and let me know how you liked it!


Ingredients (makes 10 large tikki's)
For the Tikki
1/2 cup masoor dal
1/2 cup moong dal
1/2 cup chana dal
3 cloves of garlic
an inch piece of ginger
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
3 nos green chilies
handful of fresh coriander leaves
handful of fresh mint leaves
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
3 tbsp cornmeal/bread crumbs/sooji (i used corn meal)
3 tbsp corn flour
1 large potato
salt to taste
For the Burger
Burger buns, as required
Cucumber slices
Tomato ketchup

Method
For making the Tikki
  • Wash and soak all the 3 lentils in water for 30 minutes. After the said time, drain well. Let is sit in the colander for 10 minutes. 
  • While the lentils are soaking, wash, peel and cube the  potates and cook it until soft. I cooked it in microwave, take the potatoes in a microwave safe bowl, add water to immerse, microwave high for 6-8 minutes. Once done, drain well, mash it well and set aside.
  • Take the lentils in a food processor, to this add garlic cloves, chilies, ginger, coriander seeds, green chilies, coriander and mint leaves. Pulse and grind into a coarse mixture.
  • Remove the coarsely ground lentil mixture to a wide bowl, add the mashed potatoes to it, followed by garam masala, salt, corn meal and corn flour.
  • Now using your clean hands, combine the mixture together. Divide the mixture into 10 big patties. I made 5 large patties (of the size of a burger patty) and 8 smaller ones. 

Cooking the patties
  • The patties can be oven-baked or cooked on a flat tava. I did both. I cooked the smaller patties on the stove.  The regular ones i baked.
  • To cook them on pan, heat a wide pan, add 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil/gingely oil, place the patties 2 or 3 at a time and cook in a medium flame, until the bottom browns, flip and cook the other side until golden brown.
  • To Bake, preheat the oven to 200C. Line a round baking tray with parchment paper, place the patties with some space in between. They are not going to fluff up, while baking so don't worry too much about them touching each other.
  • Brush the tops well with oil, i used coconut oil. Bake them for 45 minutes, flipping them once in middle.  Remove from the oven. you can serve it as such with sauce and minty yogurt and assemble it into a burger as i did.


Assembling the burger
  • Cut open the burger bun, spread labneh on both slices, place some cucumber slices, place the baked lentil tikki, top it  with minty yogurt sauce,  squeeze some spicy tomato ketchup, and close with other slice of the burger. Enjoy it warm. 
  • I served it for my elder one as after school snack and he went ga-ga over it! The lil one enjoyed the tikki's as such with sauce.


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Ajwain, Tulsi & Pudina Thogayal/Chutney - Condiment Recipe

Its been almost a month, since i tended my balcony garden.  My hubby is the one who is watering the plants daily. I didnt even clean the balcony. Wait, it is not laziness, there is a nest in my balcony, and it is been there for the past 6-8 months. It is always busy with egg, mommy and daddy bird guarding the egg and after 3 weeks they hatch and another 3 weeks the baby birds leave the nest and again they start the cycle!!! 
I was a bit hesitant to go clean that area and disturb the small bird family. So, it was dusty and bird poopy in a corner of my balcony. Now its been a week, since the last set of birds flew away, i m not seeing another bird building its family there. So, i cleaned, but left the nest as such, what if the momma bird comes back to start again!!
So, while cleaning, i trimmed all my herbs, which i didnt do for a long time now. I normally make rasam with tulsi and ajwain leaves. Add tulsi to our evening tea. But with this set, i tried thogayal/chutney. As a south-indian, i cannot live without thogayal, i need it atleast 3 times in a week. I loved the zestiness of ajwain leaves in this thogayal, it stays in your mouth even after the meal. 
Best use of herbs in your food this winter season, with flu in air, it definitely builds your immunity. Try it and let me know how you liked it

Ingredients
2 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp coriander seeds
5 nos red chilies (increase to 8, if you want more spice)
a small gooseberry sized tamarind
1/4 cup of freshly grated coconut
handful of ajwain leaves (if measured loosely,  gives 3/4 cup)
handful of tulsi leaves
handful of pudina leaves
Salt to taste
Method
  • Dry roast urad dal and coriander seeds separately. Take care while roasting the dal, it should turn golden brown. To the hot pan, add red chilies and remove. 
  • Wash the herbs well with water. I took fresh leaves from my balcony, i kept them immersed in water for 10 minutes to remove the dust on them, and washed again under running water once.
  • Heat the same pan, in which you roasted the dal. Add the washed leaves to it, let it sizzle and wilt a little. Do not saute if for long, the leaves have just wilt. 
  • Remove it to another plate, let the ingredients cool well. Take them in a mixer-grinder, along with coconut, tamarind, salt and hing. Grind it to paste. Do not add more water, add a tbsp of water whenever the mixer get stuck, i added about 3-4 tbsp of water totally.  
  • Remove the thogayal/chutney to a serving bowl. Serve it along hot rice, topped with ghee/gingely oil.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tindora & Carrot Pickle - Instant Pickle - Condiment Recipe

When i received a mail from Archana's kitchen, asking whether i can be part of recipe creation for the month of October, i was elated and i immediately said yes, and selected a pickle recipe. Now, there happened the comedy, they originally wanted me to do a Garlic and Tindli pickle, and i don't know what world i was, i somehow retained it as Carrot and tindli pickle!!! Now, please don't laugh! i have my justification, i was on anti-biotics, and tending to a family full of sick people, so naturally i brain switched itself off, when i was going through the mail. 
I happily made the pickle last week and we are enjoying it for the past 2-3 days. Now, just before hitting publish button for this post, i wanted to check the mail again, (light bulb moment, you may call) Dannnnggggg, there i got the recipe wrong!!!
But, i should thank my anti-biotic lull, i tried something new. I cannot taste pucca pickles, which are marinated in salt and spice, because of my health. So, i always prefer these instant varieites, i usually make Amla in brine, and Instant mango pickle1 & Onam sadya mango pickle, to this list i m now adding this carrot and tindli pickle too!!! 
Ingredients
12-15 nos tindora/ivy gourd/tindli
1 large carrot
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup of gingely oil
1 tsp salt

Tempering
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 nos green chilies, slited lengthwise
4-5 curry leaves
1/4 tsp hing

To roast and grind
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp methi seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
15 red chilies, i used long variety (reduce to 12 if you don't want it hot)
Method
  • Wash and trim the edges of the tindora/tindli/ivy gourd. Slit them lengthwise, each into half first and each half into 3 slices. Chose fresh and firm tindora's, not the ripe ones. Wash and peel the carrot, and chop them into 1 inch pieces. 
  • Let the veggies drain well on a strainer and pat dry them in a kitchen towel. I rested them for 15 minutes in a cotton towel and patted them dry. 
  • While the veggies, are drying, dry roast the ingredients given under 'Roast and grind', separately. Take care not to burn them, keep the flame simmer and roast the ingredients.  Let the roasted ingredients cool well. Take them in a mixer-grinder and grind to a fine powder.
  • Now let us make the pickle. Heat a kadai/pan, add gingely oil to the pan, add minced garlic to the hot oil, followed by lengthwise slited green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute. Add hing to this and saute again for a minute.
  • To this now add dried tindli and carrot,along with turmeric powder and saute for a minute. Keep the flame in medium, and let the veggies sizzle for about 10-12 minutes. Keep stirring after every 2 minutes, so it doesn't stick to the pan and brown.
  • The veggies need to cook, but not soft, tindli should retain a mild crunch. It takes about 12 minutes for the skin of it to look little shriveled, now add the ground masala powder to the veggies and salt. Mix well. Let this simmer for another 5 minutes for the masala to mingle well with veggies. 
  • Take it off the stove, let it sit for 2-3 hours for the flavors to settle well. Store it in an air-tight container, the pickle will stay good in the refrigerator for upto a week. 
  • We are enjoying it with rice and roti's, love the crunch of the tindli and the soft carrots, mixed with the masala, gives an awesome flavor all together to the pickle. 

Monday, November 07, 2016

Kambu & Ragi Dosa/Bajra & Ragi Dosa - Breakfast Recipe

A healthy and nutritious dosa recipe,  after Diwali mela. After Diwali season, it is flu season happening at home now. All 4 of us are sick, coughing, fever and tired to bone. To top this, the antibiotics, create such a scene to the body, making me feel that i m growing old.
All i m cooking for the past 1 week is rasam, just rasam, all sorts of. Milagu rasam, araicha rasam, jeera-thuvaram rasam, tomato rasam. Just for change i made some pepper kuzhambu along with rasam the other day. I m yet to reel back to normalcy and make some idly/dosa, till that time, enjoy this millet dosa, which i made some time back and we all loved the crispiness. They make a yumm pack for the lunch box too. Pack with some spicy podi or chutney, dabba will sure come empty.

Ingredients
1 cup whole ragi
1 cup whole bajra/kambu
2 cups idly rice
1 cup urad dal
1/2 cup poha/rice flakes
1 tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
Method
  • Wash Ragi and kambu in water for 2- 3 times. Soak it along with rice for about 5-6 hours. Soak dal and methi seeds separately. Soak poha along with rice, ragi and kambu.
  • After the said time, drain the excess water for dal, grind it in a grinder, until soft and fluffy. It takes a minimum of 30 minutes for the dal to grind well to a fine batter, Well ground urad dal batter, fluffs up so beautifully like a cloud, very light and smooth. It makes that 'kluck, kluck' sound air incorporating into the fluffy batter. Once done, remove the batter to another vessel.
  • Next, add the drained rice, poha, ragi and kambu to the grinder and grind it to a fine batter. Again, this takes a minimum of 30 -45 minutes to get a smooth well ground batter. 
  • Do not add too much water, just enough for the ingredients to grind well. You might need around 1-2 cups of water that is all.
  • At the final stages of grinding, add the urad dal batter to the grinder and let it mix well for 2-3 minutes.  Remove the ground batter to another large vessel, one that has extra room for fermentation process too. 
  • My grinder capacity is 2 ltrs, manages 7 cups at a time, if you have a relatively smaller grinder do not do this, remove both the batters to a bigger vessel and mix it with a ladle or with your hands. 
  • Let the batter sit on the kitchen counter for 8 hours or overnight for fermentation. If living in a colder climate, preheat your oven, switch off and keep the batter inside the oven for better results. 
  • After fermentation, remove the necessary batter to another small vessel and refrigerate the rest. This will prevent the batter from turning sour. 

To Make Dosa
  • Add salt to the batter, mix well. Heat a tava, when it is hot enough, add a ladle of  batter to the center of the tava, spread it in thin, in a circular motion, Dot the edges with gingely oil. Let it cook for 2 minutes, flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove it on to a serving plate, serve along with sambar & chutney.

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