Thursday, January 31, 2013

Potato Dal - Side-dish for Roti & Poori, using Pressure Cooker

Kuttu loves dal as sides for his morning breakfast. He loves Crispy Butter-toasted bread without any sides, but for rest he needs side-dish. Dosa - Sambar, Poori/Roti with Dal. Whenever, i keep him Roti/Poori for breakfast, He will ask me what have you kept as side-dish, paruppu sambhar or thakkali sambhar???? which means dal or tomato chutney??? For him specifically, i started mixing n matching dal and veggies in pressure cooker. These recipes are real life-savers. just pressure cook and do tadka/tempering, tadahhh a delicious side-dish ready in minutes.

2 Large Potatoes
1 Cup Moong Dal
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
2 Cloves of garlic, Finely Chopped (optional)
1 tsp of Shredded Ginger 
a handful of Coriander leves
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Groundnut Oil/Peanut oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
2-3 Red Chilies, I used Long Variety
hing a pinch
2 sprigs of curry leaves

  • Wash and Soak Moong Dal for 5 minutes in plain water. Wash, Peel, and Chop Potatoes into Big Cubes. 
  • Take Moong dal in a Pressure Pan, add the Chopped potatoes, Garlic . Add 2 Cups of Water, turmeric and Salt. When it starts boiling, add red chili powder and coriander powder. Close the lid and Pressure Cook for 4 Whistles. 
  • When the Pressure releases, remove the lid and roughly mash the Mixture.  
  • In a pan, heat oil given under tempering, Splutter mustard seeds, add hing, chilies, curry leaves and pour the Sizzling tempering over the Potato-Dal and Mix well.
  • Garnish with shredded ginger and coriander leaves and Serve Hot with Poori's/Roti's. 
Sending this to Bon Vivant #11 - Healthy Appetite, happening @Sumee's place

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chutney & Cheese Pull Apart Bread and Pizza Pull Apart Bread - We Knead to Bake #1

Baking Bread is an Art & Science, which can be mastered only through practice. When i saw Lataji's Post on Herb and Cheese pull apart bread, i came to know about this group "We Knead to bake" Brainchild of Aparna of My Diverese Kitchen. I immediately searched FB for the Group Page and Sent her a Join request. From Now on wards, me to going to bake a bread Every Month. This Month we need to bake Herb & Cheese Pull Apart bread. The Members were a bit creative with filling, so i have also experimented with the filling here. I baked 2 loaves, one with Tomato-Onion Chutney and another a Simple and Sizzling Pizza Stuffing. Enjoy it warm, I promise, you will be baking it again!!!!
For the Dough
2 &3/4 - 3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp Butter,  soft at room temperature
3/4 cup milk (a couple of tbsp to brush over the bread)

To Grind
3 Green chilies
2 Cloves of garlic
handful of coriander leaves

For the Filling
Onion Tomato Chutney
2 Large Tomatoes, chopped 
2 medium Onions, Chopped
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
Salt to taste(a Little less than the normal salt)
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
hing & turmeric, each a pinch
1/2 Cup grated Cheddar Cheese 
2 tbsp Melted Butter

Pizza Bread Filling
2 tbsp melted butter1/2 tsp Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
1/4 tsp Rosemary (i used dried herb)
1/4 tsp Oregano (i used dried herb)
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese


  • In a small bowl, dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the 1/2 cup of warm milk. Keep aside for about 5 minutes till the yeast mixture bubbles up. Milk should be Warm, not too hot or Cold. 
  • Hot/Cold Milk will Kill the yeast.
  • Grind the ingredients under "To Grind" to a paste.
  • Put 2 3/4 cup of flour, salt, softened butter, and ground paste in a large bowl and mix well. Then add the yeast mixture and the 3/4 cup of milk and knead till you have a soft, smooth and elastic/ pliable dough which is not sticky. Add a little extra flour if your dough is sticking, but only just as much as is necessary.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl, turning the dough to coat it completely with oil. Cover and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until almost double in volume. I left the dough in the refrigerator overnight and worked my bread the next day. Incase of doing so, leave the dough out for sometime to come to room temperature and then do the filling.

Filling: Onion-Tomato Chutney

  • Heat  Oil in a non-stick pan, spluter mustard seeds, followed by hing and turmeric. Add the chopped onions and saute till translucent. Next add Chopped Tomatoes, Dry powders, Salt and half cup of Water, Mix well. Cover and Cook till the tomatoes are Soft and dry. Keep it aside for Cooling.
  • For the Pizza Bread, Mix together Pepper, Chili Flakes, Rosemary and Oregano. Keep aside until use.

To Assemble & Bake Bread 
  •  Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Since i used two fillings, i divided the dough into to equal parts. Deflate the dough, shape it into a square and roll the dough out into a larger square that is about 12’ by 12”.
  • Brush the surface of the square with the melted butter. Spread the Onion-Tomato Chutney evenly on the surface of the bread and top it with Grated Cheese.In-case doing Pizza bread, Spread the butter evenly on the  surface, top with filling mixture and grated cheese. 
  • Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough from top to bottom into 6 long and even strips – they do not have to be perfect. Lay each strip on top of the next, with the topping facing upwards, until you have a stack of the strips
  • You can put the 2 strips cut from the sides in the middle of the stack so it looks neater. Using a pastry scraper or a sharp knife, cut straight down through the stack dividing it into 6 equal pieces (6 square stacks).
  • Butter and lightly flour a 5 x 3 loaf pan. Layer the square slices, cut sides down into the loaf tin. Cover the loaf tin dough with a towel and allow the dough to rise for an hour. Lightly brush some milk over the top of the loaf 
  • Bake the dough at 180C for about 30 minutes or until it is done and the top is golden brown. 
Bread has stayed good for me for the past 2 days, I kept it wrapped in Alu-Foil in the fridge. I had the Pizza Bread for Breakfast today and shared a slice with my Maid too, Hubby dear has warned me to keep him a slice when he returns home in the evening. 
While Serving, re-heat in a Microwave for 20 seconds and Serve Warm. You will Love it!!! 
 If you liked my version and want to know what other's have tried, just check Aparna's space.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mulai Keerai Vathakal/Amarnath leaves Saute/Stir Fry

Green Leaves are regular part of our diet. I try to make them at-least twice a week. Though the little fella will complain on the menu that day, but he will have it when served hot with lot of ghee!!! This recipe is very simple and easy to make. I already have a Methi leaves Sambhar and Purslane leaves with Sabut Masoor Dal on the menu, but then this recipe is the most i make, since it is quick n easy.
1 Big Bunch of Amarnath Leaves/Mulai Keerai
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1 small tomato chopped fine or 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 tsp of shredded ginger
Salt to taste

1 tbsp Gingely Oil/Groundnut Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds

3 Red Chilies (i used long variety), broken into 2 pieces
2 sprigs of curry leaves
hing and turmeric a pinch
  • Wash and Chop the Amarnath leaves/Mulai Keerai finely. I normally cut a little at the end, where the stem is a bit thick and hard and Chop the rest finely.
  • Heat oil in a pan, Splutter mustard seeds, add chilies, curry leaves, hing and turmeric. 
  • Add Chopped Onions and Saute until translucent. Next add Chopped tomatoes or Tomato Puree and add 1/4 Cup of water and let the Tomato Cook and oil separates for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add Chopped Amarnath leaves/Mulai Keerai and Mix well. Add another 1/2 Cup of Water and Salt and Mix well.
  • Cover and Cook for 10-12 minutes. Once the Leaves are cooked and the liquid is bit saucy. Take it off the stove and Serve Warm with Rice.
Sending this to Bon Vivant#11 - Healthy Appetite, happening @ Sumee's Culinary Bites.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Apple Pie (Eggless)

Baking Partner's Challenge for this New Year were Pie's!!!! We had 4 recipes to choose from. I choose to bake everyone's Favorite, and the recipe recommended by Gayathri The Apple Pie. I have used half the recipe, since it is only we two here who will enjoy this warm, juicy and delicious Goodness!!! The Crust was awesome, like a Shortbread!!! Why not, it is a Butter Crust, utterly Buttery Delicious Crust!!! So, Shun all that Calorie-Counting mind once in a while, and Enjoy this!!!!
Recipe source :
For Crust
3/4 Cup + 2 tbsp All Purpose Flour
75gms of Chilled Butter (3/4 of a Stick)
1/2 tbsp Sugar
1/8 tsp of Salt
2 tbsp Ice cold water

For Filling
2 Red Apples (I used the Crunchy Variety, Royal Gala)
1/2 tbsp Orange Juice (i didn't have Lemons in hand, so i used Orange juice)
3 tbsp of Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Powdered Cinnamon
a pinch of Ginger, Clove and Nutmeg Powder
1/2 tbsp Butter
1/2 tbsp of All Purpose Flour
Salt a Pinch
  • In a bowl mix all purpose flour, salt, sugar. To this cut and add chilled butter, using a pastry blender or your hands(works better for me) incorporate the butter well into the flour mixture. Once done, it will have the texture of Bread Crumb's
  • To this gradually add ice cold water little by little and bring everything to form dough.Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and Wrap it with plastic wrap and chill the dough for about 1 hour.
  • While the dough is chilling make the filling, peel, core and cut the apple into small pieces. To this add orange juice, spices, salt, sugar, Flour and mix everything well and set aside for 1 hour.  
  • After one hour of resting at room temperature you will see that apple will release the juices. Collect the juices in separate bowl and add butter and microwave for high at 2 minutes or heat it on the Stove-top to reduce the volume of juices. Once juice volume is reduced add it back to apple pieces and mix well.
  • Once the dough is Chilled for the required time, Take it out and roll it on a parchment paper. If rolling on a table top or rolling board, dust the top with flour generously and work. I would definitely suggest using parchment since it helps to get the rolled dough out very neatly.
  • Roll one portion of the dough into 1/8th inch thick and Spread it on to the baking dish you are using. Here i used a heart-shaped Silicone mold. Spread 3-4 tbsp of Filling into it. roll the other portion of the dough as same as the first and cover the filling. Press to seal edges. I used a fork to make impressions @ the corner. Remove the remaining extra dough hanging around the mold. Using a sharp knife make some 2 or 3 slashes on top of the pie. 
  • Since i had more dough left, i rolled it again to fill a small tart tin and used lattice to cover the top. To make lattice, Roll the dough to 1/2-inch thick circle and cut it into thin stripes using a sharp knife. Using these stripes form a criss-cross pattern on top of the filling and press to seal the edges. Let this chill in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 190C. Bake for about 45 minutes or until top is browned and juices starts bubbling. Make sure to line the Oven using a baking sheet to prevent the dripping juice in the oven.
  • Allow the Pie to  cool for an hour and then  remove it from the mold to serving plate while it is warm. We enjoyed it warm as such. 
  • If serving the next day, reheat it for 20 seconds in a Microwave and Serve warm with a Scoop of Vanilla Ice-Cream. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rangoon Puttu/Semolina Fudge using Jaggery

Wishing All My Readers a Very Happy and a Prosperous Harvest Festival!!!! 
Ragoon Puttu is same as Rava/Sooji/Semolina Kesari, except for its made using Jaggery. I saw this recipe in a TV Program , have tried it twice. A Very Easy, Tasty and a Healthy Recipe.
1/4 Cup Sooji/Semolina/Rava
1/4 Cup Powdered Jaggery
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Water
2 tbsp Cashewnuts
2-3 Cardamom Pods, Crushed
1 tbsp Raisins
2 tbsp Ghee/Clarified Butter
  • Dissolve Jaggery in Water, Strain impurities and Keep it aside.
  • In a Non-Stick pan, add a tsp of Ghee, Add cashewnuts and raisin, roast them, then add the Sooji/Semolina/Rava and roast it until golden brown. Take it off the Stove. 
  • Keep the flame Low and roast. Even though you are using roasted rawa/Sooji/Semolina, i would recommend roasting it again.
  • Heat Milk in the Same pan,When it starts boiling add the roasted nuts, Crushed Cardamom Pods and Sooji/Semolina. Do not reduce the flame while adding Sooji/Semolina. The Sooji/Semolina will not form any lumps. It will form lumps only when you reduce the flame and add Sooji.
  • Reduce the Flame after, and allow it cook for 5-10 minutes. Stir frequently. By this time, Sooji/Semolina would have cooked. Now Add the strained jaggery water. Allow the liquid to be absorbed. 
  • Add Ghee little by litte and Stir. When the Mixture comes together without sticking to the pan. Take it off the Stove.Serve Warm.
Sending this to Kids Delight - Desserts, happening @ Veg Junction, Hot Beverages and Desserts within 45 minutes, happening @ Just Cooking n Baking,Winter Foods  within 30 minutes, happening @ Sizzling Tastebuds


  1. The Ratio of Rava/Sooji/Semolina to the Cooking Liquid is 1:3. For 1 Cup Sooji it is 3 Cups of Cooking liquid. 
  2. If using 1 Cup Sooji, then it is 2 Cups of Milk and 1 Cup of Jaggery Water. Use the Same Cup for all the Measurements.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Potato Okra Curry/Dry Subzi- Side for Rice and Roti

A Lonnnnggg Overdue Post. These Pictures were Clicked, Last year October!!!! Poor picture!!! Potato Okra and Delicious Combination and a Perfect Combo for Rice or if you don't mind Dry Curries for your Roti, this would be a great choice. Another Advantage of this Curry is the Veggies!!! yeah, chopping/cutting/cleaning of both the veggies are very easy and less time-consuming. I prefer less-job veggies these days. Infact, my dear hubby gets a good stare if he gets any two of these French Beans/Broad Beans/Yardlong beans  together!!! Hope i will get over this block in another couple of months, when Bala starts something more attractive than me!!! :)

250gms Bhindi/Okra/Vendaikaai
2 large Potatoes
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder 
Salt to taste

2 tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Chana dal (optional, i never use)
1/4 tsp Urad dal (Optional, i never use)
few sprigs of Curry leaves
hing a pinch

  • Wash, Peel the Potatoes, Cut them into cubes and Keep aside, until use.
  • Wash the Bhindi/Okra/Vendaikaai. Drain well in a Colander and let it sit for 5 minutes for all the water to drain. Spread them on a Kitchen towel and Pat them dry.
  • Remove the Crown and tip of Okra/Bhindi/Vendaikaai  and chop them into 1 inch pieces.
  • Heat Oil in  a Non-stick Pan, Splutter mustard seeds, add hing, curry leaves and the dals if adding. Let the dal brown.
  • Add the Chopped Okra/Bhindi/Vendaikaai and Saute. Add the dry Powders and mix well. Sprinkle little water and Let it cook it Simmer flame. Toss frequently to avoid burning of Okra/Bhindi.

  • After 10-12 minutes, the Okra/Bhindi would be half-cooked. Now add the Potatoes and Salt Mix well. 
  • Sprinkle little water, Cover and Cook for 10 minutes in a Simmer flame, tossing intermittently.
  • After 10 minutes. Take the lid off and Cook for another 4-5 minutes.  This is to dry the water vapor drops in the curry that happens while covering and cooking. 
  • The Potatoes would have turned to a golden brown by this time. Take care not to burn them. Take it off the Stove and Serve with Rice or Roti's.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Eggless Cauldron Cakes

Baking Egg-less Group, is a group of enthusiastic  bakers experimenting our way and learning to use different Egg Substitutions in a Bake recipe. This Month Archana of Mad Scientist Kitchen, Suggested us to bake these Cute Looking Cauldron Cakes. Frankly speaking, never heard of them till she asked us to bake them. Cute Looking Devil Cupcakes Filled with Filling of your Choice and totally drenched in Chocolate!!! 
I did a little research on What is this Devil Food Cupcake? So, Wiki tells
Devil's food cake is a moist, airy, rich chocolate layer cake. It is considered a counterpart to the white or yellow angel food cake. The traditional Devil's food cake is made with shredded beets much the way a carrot cake is made with carrots.[citation needed] The beets add moisture and sweetness to the cake, helping it to be very rich. The red of the beets slightly colours the cake red and due to the richness of the cake it became known as the Devil's food. The cake is usually paired with a rich chocolate frosting.Devil's food cake is generally more moist and airy than other chocolate cakes, and often uses cocoa as opposed to chocolate for the flavor as well as coffee.[1] The lack of melted chocolate and the addition of coffee is typically what distinguishes a Devil's food cake from a chocolate cake, though some recipes call for all, resulting in an even richer chocolate flavor. The use of hot, or boiling water as the cake's main liquid, rather than milk, is also a common difference.
 i have used my regular Chocolate Cake Recipe, But altered it according to the rules of a Devil Food Cake and got a really Dark and Rich Cake!!! I have used regular Whipping Cream for filling and added a dash of Color to make it look like Love Potion, remember Ron Weasely mummbling after eating those Love potion infused Chocolates from Romilda Vane!!! :) Totally enjoyed baking them and gobbling them!!!
Ingredients : Devil Food Cake
1 and 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Cocoa powder
3 tbsp Beetroot Puree
2 tbsp Instant Coffee Powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tin/400gm sweetened condensed milk
2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
150ml Hot Water
Few Chocolate Chips for the base of the Cauldron

Chocolate Glaze
100gms of Dark Chocolate (i used Lindt 70% Cocoa)
2 tbsp Butter

100ml Whipping Cream
2 tsp Rose Syrup (i used Roofafza)
3 tbsp Powdered Sugar

  • Preheat Oven to 180C and prepare the muffin pans. Mix together Hot Water, Cocoa Powder and Instant coffee Powder, Stir well. Keep Aside
  • One small beetroot(size of a Golf-ball), Peeled, Chopped and Cooked in half cup of water in a slow flame. Let it cool. Puree it in a mixer and set aside.
  • Sift together All Purpose Flour, Baking Powder and Baking soda. Add Condensed milk, Oil, Cocoa-Coffee Mix, Beetroot Puree to the flour mixture. Using a Electric Beater or a Whisk  beat/stir until well combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared Muffin Pan little above 3/4th of their Capacity. 
  • Bake @ 180C for 10 minutes and reduce the temperature to 160C and bake for another 15 minutes or until a tooth-pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let it sit in the Oven for 2 minutes. Take it out and Cool Completely on the Wire Rack.
Chocolate Glaze
  • Melt Chocolate and Butter in a Double boiler until Smooth. I used a Flat pan with 1/2 Cup Water and placed Deep Bowl in the pan, to melt my Chocolate. Water should not touch the Chocolate, to get a smooth n Silky Glazy Melted Chocolate. The Glaze might harden once it is off the heat. If it hardens, take it back to heat to melt.
  • Pipe some glaze in the shape of handles in the shape of  C, on a parchment paper and refrigerate until use. 
Filling (Love Potion)
Using a Electric Mixer, Beat together, Whipping Cream, Rose Syrup and Sugar until Soft peaks form. Refrigerate until use.

Assembling the Cauldron.
  • Invert the CupCakes, Insert a carving knife @ the botttom and make a Cavity for the filling. Stick a knife to the center and and Move it along in a circular direction to make a hole in the center. :)
  • Dip the base in the Chocoate Glaze and put 3 Choco-chips in a Triangle position for legs of the Cauldron
  • Spoon glaze over the edges of the top. Place them back on the tray to dry or stuck in the Refrigerator for a quick dry. I left them on the Counter for 30minutes.
  • Pipe the Love Potion (a) filling into the Cake and refrigerate until serving time. While Serving, Peel the handles from the parchment and place it on the Cauldron and Serve. 
  • The handles will start to melt when kept outside for long. So, If you take it out, gobble it fast!!!! 
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