Monday, January 22, 2018

Manjal & Inji thogayal/ Fresh turmeric and ginger chutney

Fresh turmeric, a vibrant ingredient in southindian cooking. We get loads of fresh turmeric during Pongal/Sankranti, i saw them from December in the market. I love to cook with them, the earthy flavor and the bright unadulterated color of this beautiful rhizome is something which we don't get all the year through.
Last year this time i made Fresh Turmeric dosa and herbs smoothie with it and today i bring you a finger-licking thogayal, south-indian style chutney with lentils using fresh turmeric and fresh ginger. 
This thogayal goes great with rice and ghee, and also with idly/dosa. if using for idly/dosa,then add litle more water and grind, whereas if using as rice accompaniment, grind it thick. 

3 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp Chana dal
a pinch of hing
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
3 no’s red chilies
A small gooseberry sized tamarind 
1/4 cup chopped fresh turmeric, skin scrapped
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger, skin scrapped
2 t so fresh coconut
Salt to taste
  • In a Kadai/pan, dry roast urad dal, Chana dal, coriander and white sesame seeds.I usually add the white sesame and red chilies  just before turning off the stove, so it gets nice and toasty in the residue heat.Remove the roasted ingredients to a flat plate and let this cool.
  • Now in the same pan, add a tsp of oil and sauté the chopped ginger and fresh turmeric for 2-3 minutes. Remove the sautéed ingredients on to a plate, let it cool.
  • Take all the ingredients together along with coconut, tamarind and salt in mixer grinder and grind it to a fine/a little coarse paste by adding 2-4 tbsp of water.
  • Do not add add water in the beginning, first pulse together then add a tbsp if water at a time and grind. 
  • Remove the chutney/thogayal onto a serving bowl and serve it along with steaming hot rice and ghee or along with your idly dosa.You can also use it in wraps/rolls as a base chutney. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Coriander and mint pesto with walnuts

Pesto, a italian chutney made by pouding ingredients together, that is how it got the name pesto - pound/crush. Incidentally that is how our chutney's/thogayals too were made before we got today's Mixie/Food processor. Some still have Ammi Kuzhavi/ammi kallu, a traditional grinding stone, that is reactangular stonet and has a cylindrical pestle to grind the daily spices needed for cooking.
The flavor when you grind in those traditional tools is totally awesome. I have a small stone mortar-pestle in my kitchen even today, but would love to have a ammi kallu some day. 
Today's recipe is a simple dump and grind recipe. The pesto is so flavorsome and gets ready in minutes for you to enjoy your toast/pizza or pasta. I m sure both my kiddos would love with their dosa, oh yes, we are typical south-indians and we love our idly/dosa and a different chutney to pair with it!
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup chopped, fresh coriander  
1 cup walnut
2 fat cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp peppercorns, , i have used mixed peppercorns
salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lime juice
  • Take all the ingredients in a food processor, except olive oil and blend smooth. I like my pesto smooth.
  • Once ground, add olive oil at the end and blend once more.
  • Remove the pesto on to a serving bowl. Enjoy this with crunchy veggies, on your toasts, with your pizza and also with your dosa!!!

Vegan Strawberry Mocha Bundt Cake - #BundtBakers

Strawberry mocha cake, i m making for the second time this month. There is lot of fresh strawberries in the market, i couldn't resist myself buying them. That too every thursday there is a discount sale in the nearby grocery store and these cute berries sell less than their original price.Last time i bought them i made fresh cream cake. 
When i theme for this month's Bundt Bakers was announced as Your Favorite Bundts, i knew i m going to bake strawberry mocha again!! Here it is, a vegan strawberry mocha bundt, with vegan chocolate ganache. 

I have made the strawberried into a compote and then added to the cake. The compote has some sugar, that balances the natural bitterness the mocha has. This recipe makes a great celebration cake. Try making a yumm strawberry cream to top it, it tastes divine.
1.5 cups Whole Wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp instant coffee 
3 tbsp cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup fresh strawberry compote
1 & 1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Strawberry Compote
250 grams fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar

  • Wash and hull the strawberries, chop them roughly. Take them in a sauce pan and keep it on heat. Keep the flame simmer. Add sugar to this and mix well.
  • Let this simmer in slow heat until they turn mushy and loses it shape completely. Once done, take it off the stove, let it cool, using a hand blender puree the compote. Once cool, store it in air-tight container in the fridge. 

For the Chocolate Sauce
50 grams lindt dark chocolate, @ room temperature
1/4 cup coconut milk
  • Take chopped chocolate and coconut milk in a microwave safe mug, heat it for 30 seconds. Take it off the microwave, mix the chocolate well with the coconut milk to get a thick sauce. 
  • Make it just before you are going to garnish the cake.

For the bundt
  • Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease a bundt pan with oil. This recipe will make one 8 inch cake or 2 5 inch cakes. I have used one bundt pan and one 5 inch cake pan to bake. I knew my kiddos won't wait for me to decorate and click the bundt, so i baked a proxy for them to hog, so my bundt will be see the light of my camera!😅
  • In a sauce pan, heat water. Add instant coffee powder, cocoa and sugar to the water. Mix it well for the sugar to dissolve. Take it off heat and let it cool compeltely.
  • Once the coffee-cocoa liquid cools completely, add oil and vinegar to it and whisk well. Keep aside until use.
  • In a large bowl, take together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk well to combine. To the flour now add strawberry compote, and the coffee-cocoa liquid to the dry mix. 
  • Using a spatuala, combine the dry and wet ingredients together. Pour the prepared batter into the baking pans and bake the cake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove the cakes from the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes, remove them from the pan and let it cool completely.
  • Just before serving, pour the chocolate sauce on top, garnish with pistachios and serve along with your evening coffee/tea.
#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Updated links for all of our past events and more information about BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.


  • Black Forest Bundt from A Day in the Life on the Farm

  • Bundt Cake de Crema Patelera from Merce's cake

  • Chocolate Malted Bundtlettes from I Love Bundt Cakes

  • Chocolate Pumpkin Bundt Cake from Patty's Cake

  • Coconut Milk Cake With Chocolate Coconut Milk Frosting from Sneha's Recipe
  • Ginger- Peach Jam Cake from Faith, Hope, Love, Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

  • Glazed Cinnamon-Raisin Roll Bundt from All That's Left Are The Crumbs

  • Heath Bits O`Brickel Bundt Cake from The Queen of Scones

  • Kahlua Bundt Cake from Love and Confections

  • Pineapple Bundt Cake from Nunca es demasiado dulce

  • Poppy and Lemon Seed Bundt Cake from Patyco.candybar

  • Strawberry Mocha Bundt Cake from I Camp in my Kitchen
  • Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    Capsicum chutney - Side dish for idly/dosa

    What chutney to make? is a big question in many south-indian households in the mornings. My kids are happy with Tomato chutney and peanut chutney. My elder one will be in bliss with idlypodi, it is me who needs a variety at home. I prefer different chutney everyday, i dont mind making it. So in my name, everyone at home enjoys different chutney atleast once a week.
    I chose Dips and Chutney as this week's BM theme. Dips and chutneys is one of my favorite theme, as i don't have to think too much for it. I bring a simple, flavorsome chutney today, capsicum chutney. It takes hardy 15 minutes to make this, as you steam your idly or stack your dosas, you can make this on the other side in a jiffy. 
    There is no tamarind used in the chutney, the sour taste is take care by the lone tomato and mildly sauteed capsicums add a lovely taste. One can even try to roast the capsicum on open flame and grind it, i opted for the simple sauteing method. A regular chutney in our home, do try and let me know how you liked it.

    2 nos medium onions
    1 large tomatoes
    2 no’s medium sized green capsicums 
    2-3 no’s red chilies. I use the long variety 
    1 tsp coriander seeds
    1 tsp oil
    Salt to taste 
    1/2 tsp oil
    1/4 tsp mustard seeds
    a pinch of hing/asafoetida
    2-3 curry leaves
    1 tsp urad dal

    • Chop onions tomatoes and capsicums roughly. Heat a sauce pan, add oil, when it is hot, add the chopped onions sauté until the onions turn translucent.
    • Next add chopped tomatoes and red chilies. Sauté for a minute then add chopped capsicums, sauté for a minute again.
    • Now add 1/2 cup of water and cover and cook for 5-8 minutes. Take it off the stove. Let it cool. I normally use my hand blender, so i puree it when it is hot, but if you are going use your mixer-grinder/blender, please wait till it cools down.
    • Add salt to this and using a hand blender/blender/mixer blend it smooth by adding another 1/2 cup of water. 
    • Now for tempering, heat oil in a small tadka pan, crackle mustard seeds, add hing, curry leaves and sauté for a minute, then add urad dal to it and sauté until
    • It turns golden brown. Pour this sizzling tadka over the chutney and serve it along Idly/dosa/kuzhipaniyaram. 

    Tuesday, January 09, 2018

    Whole wheat pretzel bites #BreadBakers

    Baking bread after a very long time, all of December went for the cakes, oh yes we enjoyed around 10 different cakes for the Bake-a-thon, i even did a strawberry mocha cake last week. Suddenly bread baking took a back seat, though i baked a pizza sometimes last month and tried whole wheat bread, but serious bread baking didn't happen at all.
    I have a lot of bookmarks to try, but somehow lack planning. So, this 2018, instead of giving reasons for not baking bread, i want to bake every month with #Breadbakers so atleast we will get to enjoy a new bread every month. 
    The very first month of 2018 is hosted by Stacy of Food lust people love and she gave us the theme of pretzels. Oh i have tried baking them once, the thin crisp ones and awfully failed, only the last batch out of 4 batches was a success. Rest of it came a bit thick puffy, chubby pretzels! We laughed and ate them all!!
    This time i wanted to try those small nibbles, i had a bookmark from KAF website, and tada here it is, pretzel bites, made of whole wheat flour, the only change i did to the recipe, other than halving it.
    1& 1/4 Cups whole wheat flour /plain flour
    1 & 1/4 tsp instant yeast
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp sugar
    1/2 cup - 3/4th cup of warm Water 
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2-3 tbsp of melted butter for brushing the pretzels
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 cup of water
    • Take flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large  bowl. Whisk the contents well together. In a microwave safe mug heat water, water should be hot to touch but scalding hot.
    • Pour 1/2 cup water into the flour mix and mix it with a wooden spoon. When all the flour is wet, knead it with your hands. If you feel the flour is dry, add 2 tbsp of water again and knead. I was able to form a dough after i added 2 tbsp of water. 
    • Add olive oil to this and knead well for another 4-5 minutes. First the dough will be a bit sticky, as you knead it will become super soft. Once done, dab a little oil on top, keep it covered for about 30-40 minutes.
    • While it is resting, let us prepare the baking soda and water solution. Boil water and add baking soda to it and take it off the stove. Stir until the soda dissolves fully. Let it sit until the dough has rested for atleast 30 minutes.
    • Remove the dough on to a kneading surface, add a little flour to it. Punch down and divide the dough into 3 or 4 equal parts. I weighed the dough pieces they were approximately 150 grams each.
    • Roll each dough ball into long ropes measuring 12-15 inches. Divide each rope into 12-15 pieces. Once divided, drop each dough piece into the baking soda solution and let it sit for a minute. I did this 3 batches. 
    • Remove the dough balls using a slotted spoon onto a parchment laid baking tray. Sprinkle sea salt on top if making salty pretzels or Bake them plain if planning to flavor them Later.
    • Preheat the oven 200c and bake the pretzels for About 18-20 minutes or until done. Remove from the oven,Brush them with butter and enjoy warm.
    #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.
  • Authentic German Pretzels from Sara's Tasty Buds
  • Ballpark Pretzels from Karen's Kitchen Stories
  • Beer Pretzels from Passion Kneaded
  • Buttery Pretzels from Ambrosia
  • Cheddar Garlic Soft Pretzels from Palatable Pastime
  • Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel Bites from Cook's Hideout
  • Cinnamon Sugar Soft Pretzels from Hostess At Heart
  • Double Soda Pretzels from Food Lust People Love
  • German Pretzel Rolls from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
  • Honey Mustard Snack Pretzels from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
  • Pretzel Dogs from Sneha's Recipe
  • Pretzel Sticks from A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Saffron Pretzel Rolls from The Schizo Chef
  • Soft Whole Wheat Pretzels from What Smells So Good?
  • Sourdough Soft Pretzels from Baking Sense
  • Whole Wheat Pretzel Bites from I camp in my kitchen
  • Tuesday, January 02, 2018

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