Saturday, July 25, 2015

Musk Melon & Mango Smoothie

Fruit smoothies are my family favorite, easy to make and better than the bottled drinks available ready in the market. Now, being at Chennai, i m relishing the available mango varieties in the market.  Bala loves mangoes, not only mangoes,  he likes fresh bright colored fruits. Today's smoothie was made to satiate his sudden hunger pang, or the Holiday Hunger pang!! I had half a melon at hand, thought of blending both together and it tasted delicious, with the natural sweetness of the both the fruits. 
Ingredients (Serves 2-3)
1 Fresh juicy Mango (i used Bangapalle vareity)
Flesh of 1/2 Musk melon/cantaloupe
1/2 cup milk
  • Cut the mango, remove the flesh part alone. Don't forget to lick clean the seed. ;)
  • Remove the seeds of the melon, cut the flesh alone. 
  • Makes rough cubes of the fruits and take it in a blender. Blend smooth.
  • Add milk and blend again.  Serve immediately.
Try not to add sugar, but if it is bland to your taste-buds, then add a little to suit your taste.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Whole Wheat & Oats Huajuan/Steamed Scallion Buns for #BreadBakers

Before starting to the airport on July 4th, i literally hugged and kissed my Oven, Cooking range and my refrigerator and told them not to worry for being left unattended or less used for the next 2 months. This is my usual routine before leaving for vacation. For me baking is just like day to day cooking, making sambhar for lunch and baking bread for dinner or breakfast is an usual chore in my house. 
But, when i m in Chennai for my vacation, i miss baking, the touch of yeast and smell of freshly baked bread is something that cannot be described by words. That is the reason i m into so many Bread baking groups. When Rocio of Kids and Chic announced Oatmeal as the theme for this Month's #Bread Bakers, i was literally scratching my head, i didn't want to miss it, but how do bake without oven??? Since bread bakers normally give us a broad theme, i chose to make a steamed bun for this month.
Huajuan or Steamed Scallion Buns, is steamed bun for Mandarin cuisine. I have already tried Banh Boa sometime back, so, i knew the taste and ease of making the same. But this time, i replaced half the flour with oatmeal and made these scallion buns for evening snack. I served them with some peanut and sesame sauce. 

Source : here
1.5 cups Whole wheat flour (Chapathi flour)
1.5 cups Oats flour (i used quick cooking oats)
heaped tsp instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup warm milk + 2 or 3 tbsp extra

4 tbsp finely chopped scallions(green part only)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
1 green chili, finely chopped (optional)

  • Take oats in a mixer and powder it. I measured 1.5 cups quick oats first and then powdered it. 
  • Take both the flours together in a bowl, add yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well. Add warm milk to this and knead to form a  soft dough.
  • Once  you get a dough, knead it for few times to make it more soft. I coated my hands with little oil and kneaded the dough. Once done, let it rest covered for an hour or until it doubles in size. Mix the ingredients given under filling in a bowl and keep aside until use.

  • Once the dough doubles, punch it down and divide it into two portions. Roll a portion of dough, roughly into a rectangle, not too thick nor too thin. Spread a generous portion of the filling on it. Roll it tightly into a log. Divide the log into 1 inch pieces. 
  • Repeat the same with the rest of the dough. Place the cut portions on the steamer plate and let it sit for 20 minutes to rise.
  • Since i used my idly steamer for this, i kept it ready on the stove while the bread was resting, so after 20 minutes, the water was boiling and ready. 
  • Place the steam basket over the boiling water. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the buns are done. 

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to
Oatmeal Bread themed #BreadBakers:

  • Agave Oatmeal Sour Dough Bread from My Catholic Kitchen
  • Applesauce Oatmeal Bread from Hostess at Heart
  • Banana Oatmeal Loaf from Basic N Delicious
  • Blueberry Currant Oatmeal Bread from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
  • Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories 
  • Honey Oatmeal Bread from Recipes, Food and Cooking
  • Honey Oatmeal Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Honey-Oatmeal Muffins from A Baker's House
  • Honey Oats Bread Loaf from Gayathri's Cook Spot
  • Honey Nut Oatmeal Waffles from Magnolia Days
  • Honey Wheat Oat Bread from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
  • Irish Oat and Whole Wheat Bread from Cali's Cuisine
  • Lemon Blueberry Oat Bread from Kids & Chic
  • Multigrain Twist Bread from What Smells So Good?
  • Oat Breadsticks from Passion Kneaded
  • Oatmeal and Whole Wheat Rolls from Sneha's Recipe
  • Oatmeal Buttermilk Bread from Ruchik Randhap
  • Oatmeal Porridge Sandwich Loaf from  Bakers and Best
  • Oatmeal Stout Loaf from Food Lust People Love
  • Oat & Honey Bread from La Cocina de Aisha
  • Oats and Millet Idli from Spice Roots
  • Oats Garlic Kulcha from SimplyVeggies
  • Rolled Oat Sourdough Boule from A Shaggy Dough Story
  • Savory Oats Scones from Sara's Tasty Buds
  • Triple Seeded Oat Bread from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
  • Whole Wheat Honey Oatmeal Bread from Spill the Spices
  • Sunday, July 12, 2015

    Kambu Neeraagaram/Kambu More Kanji/Bajra Smoothie/Pearl Millet Breakfast smoothie

    When i posted Kambu choru, i decided to post this more kanji using leftover cooked kambhu/bajra. Certain households like mine, they make 2 or 3 breakfast, suiting the needs of the rest of the family. At my place, it is 3 different types one for my hubby, one for me and one for my kiddo's. For me, i always try to make up with whatever i have at hand. Usually when i cook millets, i make little extra so i keep it for next day also. So, with this leftover bajra/kambu i made this filling and healthy more kanji/porridge or to put it more stylish smoothie!!! This is again a simple recipe which is made using leftover rice, an age-old practice across various cuisines, Panta bhath/Neeraagaram/Pazhaya kanji/Pakhal bhat. The same recipe is followed with millet here. 
    This is the best smoothie one can ever have for this hot hot weather. It is a perfect body coolant and keeps you full for a longer time. 

    1 cup cooked bajra/kambhu/pearl millet
    1 no green chili
    2 sprigs of curry leaves
    4 nos small onions/shallots
    handful of chopped coriander leaves
    a small piece of ginger
    1 cup curd/yogurt
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 tsp salt  or to taste

    • Soak the cooked millet in 1/2 cup of water and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Since it is very hot these days, and there is a chance of food spoilage,  i  chose to leave it in the fridge. If the climate is normal, you can leave it on the kitchen counter.
    • Next day morning, take the soaked bajra along with the water, in a mixer, add green chili, curry leaves, coriander leaves, shallots, ginger. 
    • Grind fine or to a coarse mixture. Add curd to this and pulse it once. Transfer it to another bowl, check the consistency, if it is too thick, add 1/2 cup more water or thin buttermilk. Adjust the salt. 
    • The smoothie should be of pourable consistency, not too thick nor too thin.  Serve it glass along with small shallots and green chili for an extra spice!!
    • The best breakfast smoothie for this hot weather, this not only keeps you feel, but also cools your body well. But for some, with sinus or other cold trouble, this smoothie might not suit. So, know your health and enjoy this!!

    Friday, July 10, 2015

    Kambhu Choru/Kambu Saadam/Bajra Rice/Pearl Millet Rice

    Staying at Mom's place, comes with its own advantages. Apart from not doing any work, i also get to enjoy my favorite food without sweat. Amma knows that i eat millets for my lunch. So, she cooks a different variety everyday.I loved this kambhu choru/saadham in that variety.  It is pretty simple to make, but has loads of health benefits and makes you feel full for a longer time.
    Bajra/Pearl millet/Kambhu is known to possess phyto-chemicals that lowers cholesterol. It also contains folate, magnesium, copper, zinc, and vitamins E and B- complex.  It is also rich in calcium and unsaturated fats which are good for the body and also has an high energy content compared to other flours/millets. 
    It being one of the high energy food, might be the reason why our farmers who grow our food, used to have it for their breakfast as porridge  before heading out to the fields or for lunch as mentioned in this recipe. My amma, grew up in a pucca village, near vellore called Setharampattu, where they had their own farm land, big house with a granary. She is used to eating fresh food, be it rice or vegetables or lentils straight from the farm land to their plates. Little did she know, such a life would be considered a blessing these days, where there is plastic even in the rice we eat, leave alone the rest. 
    Ok, enough lamenting, let us check the recipe for today.  Easy to make kambhu choru, only thing you need to do is to soak it ahead of time. Amma usually soaks it as the first thing in the morning, so by the time she prepares lunch it will be soaking for  atleast 4-5 hours, and cooks very easily in the pressure cooker. 

    1 cup Kambhu/Kambu/Bajra/Pearl millet
    1/2 tsp salt
    4 cups of water
    • Soak Kambhu/bajra for a minimum of 3-4 hours for easy cooking. You can even quick soak in hot water for an 2 hours prior to cooking.
    • Wash the soaked bajra well for 3 or 4 times. In a pressure cooker, take 4 cups of water, let it come to a rolling boil, add salt and the washed bajra to it. Let the water begin to boil again, now close the pressure cooker, put the whistle on and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles. 
    • The bajra must have well cooked and soft  with all the water absorbed. Serve it warm with your regular sambhar/rasam and curd. 
    • I had it with keerai sambhar and curd for today's lunch. Not to forget the pickle!!! :)

    Wednesday, July 08, 2015

    Orange & Cinnamon Swirl Bread

    I m pretty much in my vacation. yes, reached Chennai on Saturday and i m just lazing around in my mom's place. Life if ok, but then my LO keeps me reminding that, it is not fully my vacation with his occasional tantrums. Chennai is pretty much hot than i expected. Last 2 days, i couldn't step out of my house and a causal run in the auto to the nearby market, turned quiet itchy for my LO with heat boils all over. hmm, Me and my siblings along with our cousins used to go around pretty much everywhere when we were kids, we never bothered hot,cold or rain, but with our kids in tow, we literally become weather man, before stepping out. 
    Coming to today's post, it is from the drafts. I baked this bread in June and didn't find time to sit and do the post. Here it is a mildly sweet, flavorsome bread we baked for Aparna's We Kead to Bake#27. Every bite of it bursts with zesty orange and coupled with  sweet, tangy apricot preserve and cinnamon. Though i baked it with a doubt that my people won't like the combination, but i was wrong, it was a super hit and both daddo and the kiddo loved it. Though both the kiddo's preferred the bread part sans the filling, daddo enjoyed the filling too. When served warm, it is the best bread to go along with your evening cup or morning breaky!!!

    (Reproduced from 500 Breads by Carol Beckerman, with permission)
    2/3 cup warm water
    2 tsp instant yeast
    2 cups All purpose flour
    1.5  cups Whole Wheat flour (not chapathi atta)
    2 tsp salt
    3 tbsp sugar
    3 tsp egg replacer powder (EnerG) mixed with 1/4 cup of water or 2 eggs
    The juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange
    Oil for greasing

    For the filling
    5 tbsp apricot preserves (i used homemade preserve)
    1 tbsp cinnamon
    1/4 cup brown sugar (i used powdered jaggery)

    • Method
    • Grease two 8”x 4” loaf tin with a little oil. I used one big 10 x 5 inch loaf pan. 
    • I used my food processor for making the dough, it can also be kneaded by hand. In the food processor bowl/large bowl, mix together the flour, yeast salt and the 3 tbsp sugar. Add the EnerG mixed with water, the juice and the zest of orange and start kneading the dough.
    • Slowly add the warm water and make a firm dough. Knead the dough for another 5-6 minutes in the processor to get a smooth and elastic dough. if kneading by hand knead for around 10 minutes to get a soft dough.
    • The dough should be soft and firm. A loose dough might give you a soft bread, but rolling it with a filling inside will be pretty messy. So try to use the correct liquid to get a firm dough. 
    • Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, and turn so it is coated all over.Let it sit in a warm place for about  1 1 /2 hours, until doubled in size.
    • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Knead for a few minutes until the dough feels firm. Roll into to 6 x 13-inch rectangles. 
    • Since i made it as a single loaf, i just rolled it slightly bigger rectangle. Take care not to roll it very thin, as there is a chance of loaf tearing up while baking. 
    • Spread each rectangle with apricot preserves and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up each rectangle like a jelly roll and place it seam-side down in the loaf tin. 
    • Try to roll it a bit tight, that makes the swirl nicely seen without any big gaps. i forgot to do this, and you can see my swirls pretty loose. But nevertheless the taste was spot on!!!
    • Let the prepared rolls, sit for about 30 minutes for the rolls to plump up. Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F) and bake the loaves for about 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaves make a hollow sound when tapped. Cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve it along with your evening cuppa or serve it warm for morning breakfast.
    Sending this to Kids Delight-Fruits in any form, happening @ Harini's space, event by +Srivalli Jetti 

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