Friday, February 25, 2011
It was about his lunch time, and if I am not stern enough, walnuts will be his lunch. He seemed to be taking it well. Ate what I gave him, pulled up a chair, and stationed next to me. Peering curiously onto the cutting board, while I chopped the walnuts, he asked:
LM: "Amme, What is this?" (Pointing at the walnuts)
Aaah! All sweetness! My mommy guard was up. I knew where this question was going. I did not answer that question directly for obvious reasons.
Me: LM, it's your lunch time. I'll soon give you rice, so you cannot have any more walnuts!
He seemed unaffected and continued to stare at the cutting board.
LM: Ooook! (With his dragging ‘o,’ the accent he picked up from his sister.)
Me: Don’t stand so close to the board kunje (endearment), what if the knife hurts you?
LM: Amme, what is this? (Now, pointing out to dates I was chopping)
Me: These are chopped dates. I am going to try and make some yummy muffins with walnuts and dates.
LM: Oh, Muffan! (No accent anymore it comes out with a rounded ‘an’ at the end and resonant. It’s quite cute the way he says it, if I may say so myself!)
LM: Amme, can I have more walnuts?
Me: I already told you. That's it! (Mildly amused and exasperated, thinking how tenacious children can be, I handed him one more) “This is the "last-last" one.
He coined last-last, which essentially means my "last" is not his "last") You figure!
LM: Ooook! (Dragging himself off the chair.)
Having reached an agreement with my son, I continued chopping the rest of the walnuts. Mostly in a hurry, thinking about getting his lunch ready.
I turned around to check on him and he was out of sight. Being a mother, looking instinctively at unlikely places for my children is second nature to me. Within seconds my eyes caught his shirt behind the counter. I bent down to see what he was up to. LM looked back with eyes filled with guilt. I searched him with my eyes:
LM: Here we go! Pushed his hand in front of me, opened his palms and counted out a couple of walnuts into my hands.
Children! I have no idea how he nicked those from under my nose.
His middle name is the synonym for Krishna. If Lord Krishna stole butter from his mother my LM steals walnuts and every thing else that is forbidden. The proverbial joy of eating the forbidden fruit!
As for the muffins, they are far from forbidden. Make a whole batch and enjoy them to your heart’s content.
Whole Wheat Flour- 3/4 cup
All purpose flour- 3/4 cup
Brown sugar- 1/3 cup
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Nutmeg powder- 1/8 tsp
Cloves powdered- 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon powdered- 1 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Milk- 1/2 cup
Unsulphured Molasses- 1/3 cup
Olive oil- 6Tbsp
Eggs- 2 large
Walnuts chopped- 1 1/4 cup
Dates pitted and chopped- 1 cup
1.Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line muffin pan with paper liners and grease them.
2.Whisk together the flours,salt,spice powders and baking soda.
3.In another bowl mix molasses, milk,sugar,oil and eggs.
4.Mix the wet mixture into the dry mixture along with the chopped walnuts and dates, only until combined.Do not over mix.
5.Spoon into the muffin pan , till it is 3/4th full and bake for 15-16 minutes or until done.
1.As the original recipe suggests you could use pumpkin pie spice mix instead of all the spices.
2.I got 18 medium sized muffins.
Recipe adapted from :here
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Success in the kitchen always puts me in a good mood. But there are more reasons why I am jaunty. ‘Life of Pi’ by Yann Martel. The book has been around for a while. It won the Booker Prize in 2002 to be precise. Since I am the kind who takes books from the library, I read most of them after everyone else has. At the risk of sounding outdated, let me just say the book is quite inspiring and I am enjoying every word in it Just like we pick every morsel from a plate of deliciousness, I am lapping up every word in this book. What fun it is when you can have a cup of coffee and have a good book to keep you company. Oh, yes and let's not forget the cookies. Yum!
Plenty of orange juice for me today having cut open the oranges in the name of photography.
Almond – 1 cup
All purpose flour – 1 cup
Unsalted Butter – ½ cup
Orange zest – of one navel orange
Egg – 1 whole and 1 white
Sugar – ¾ cup
Baking Soda – ½ tspn
Salt – ½ tspn
1. Boil about 2 or 3 cups of water and add the almond in and cook for 1 to 2 minutes
2. Strain the water and cool the almonds off under tap water
3. Peel the skin of almonds and dry off on a tissue paper
4. Microwave the almonds for a minute on high
5. Set aside about 28 whole almonds and grind the remaining to make almond meal. Neither too fine nor coarse
6. Use your hand blender to beat sugar and butter (at room temperature) until fluffy
7. Continue beating after adding 1 whole egg and the orange zest
8. Mix all purpose flour, salt and baking soda and gradually add it to the above mixture continuing to beat to form the dough
9. Once that comes together, which will only take about 2 to 3 minutes, mix in the almond meal. Do not beat the almond in but only mix
10. Preheat the oven to 350 D F
11. Form small balls of dough, as much as will fit a tablespoon, and set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
12. Press the whole almonds in the center
13. Beat the egg white and brush it over the cookies and bake at 350D F for 12 to 15 minutes
1. You can keep the egg yolk for the extra egg you will break open and once you are finished with egg white there will be enough remaining to mix them up and make an omelet.
2. Nothing to do with the recipe: I can write 'omelet' and still be right because I am in the US. It's a blessing some of these spellings have been simplified! If you are in Britain or India, please correct the spelling to 'omelette.'
Courtesy: Martha Stewart
Contributed by: Sunitha
Friday, February 18, 2011
I have tried several bread recipes, some of them are posted on this site. But I have never tried baking white bread, so far. We (my family and I) do not like the usual store-brought white bread. Then again, when you bake them, it is a different story. This is why I started searching for a white bread recipe, and yet not the usual, but something different, something special! Bingo! I found it in the recipe I am sharing with you today. The butter, buttermilk and egg that goes into this recipe gives the bread a die-for-it flavor nobody can resist. I saw this recipe was recommended by many other sites when I decided to give it a go myself. I would not talk about the recipe to you unless everyone in my family loved it. Great recipe!
I made buns using half the dough and they came out great as well !
Serve it with your favorite spread or with soup
Bread flour- 4 cups +1/4 cup if necessary
Salt- 1 1/2 tsp
Sugar- 3 Tbsp
Active dry yeast- 2 tsp (approx 1 packet)
Butter- 1/4 cup at room temperature
Buttermilk- 1 1/2 cup
Egg,slightly beaten,optional,for brushing on top- 1
1.Stir together the 4 cups of flour,salt,sugar and yeast using a spatula or your mixer.(yes,you don't have to dissolve the yeast in anything)
2.Add the softened butter,buttermilk and lightly beaten egg and mix well, till the dough comes together.
3.Knead well for 6-7 minutes using your kitchenaid.
4.If you are using hands, then transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead well for at least 10 minutes.(the dough is a little bit on harder side )
5.Spray or coat with oil and cover the dough. Keep in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
6.Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and divide the dough into 2 equal parts, if you are making bread and cover with a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.(I divided one part into 6 and made some buns too)
7.Divide the dough into 12 equal parts if you are making buns .
8.Shape them and cover with a towel and let rise for about 90 minutes or until doubled.
9.Meanwhile preheat the oven at 350 degree F, if you are making bread,400 for rolls and 450 for buns.
10.Give an egg wash, using an egg beaten lightly with some water or use some milk, just like me, to brush on the top.
11.You could use sesame or poppy seeds to sprinkle on the top.
12.Bake the bread loaves for about 35-40 minutes or until the top turns golden brown.Bake the buns for about 15 minutes
13.Cool on a wire rack.Serve with the spread of your choice
Sending this for Yeastspotting at Wild Yeast
and Foodpaltette series Brown at Torview
Recipe Courtesy:Mainly from here.But basically it's from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart.
It’s rare for me to look at weekends so happily in advance. Most often, I feel the weekend only by Saturday afternoon. And then I am whining“OMG! Weekend is over!" Once the words are out, that's it! It get’s all melancholy! The remaining 1 ½ days are wasted.
Does this happen to you? You have something in hand; don’t realize its worth until it is too late. Of course! Everybody knows such things, it’s a cliché. But then remember what I told you earlier, take this weekend head on and enjoy. Don’t listen to me whatever age we are, we can still swing to the beats of Lady Ga Ga or Justin Timberlake. Let’s get this thing rolling!
By the way, don’t cook this recipe by yourself. Print it out on a nice card and gift it to your friend. Remember what I said, it tastes best when another makes it for you. Have fun!
Pork shoulders - 2 lb
Coriander Powder - 5 Tbspn
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tspn
Chili Powder - 2 Tbspn
Garam Masala - 1/2 tspn
Onions - 3 medium size
Ginger paste - 1 Tbspn
Garlic - 1 Tbspn
Coconut milk- 1 Tbspn
Green chilies - 5 nos
1. Chop pork shoulders into small cubes and set aside
2. Take coriander, turmeric, chili and garam masala in a small wok or skillet and heat it stirring to make sure it does not get burned but until the mixture give off its aroma. Switch off stove transfer the mixture instantly onto any dish to avoid further cooking of the powder.
3. Chop onions and saute followed with slit green chilies
4. Follow up with ginger, garlic, curry leaves and once this express the cooked aroma add the toasted powder. Once oil expresses add the coconut milk which will help to soothe the pungent masala and then add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft.
5. Take your time with the above step, it's best when the masala is slowly cooked and oil clears the pan.
6. Slide in the pork and stir to coat the masala. Cook on a low heat, the pork will cook in it's own water but if you find it difficult add some water about 1/2 cup and cook on low heat until pork is soft.
7. After about 15 minutes make sure you stir the mixture well to avoid burning the masala.
8. Garnish with Curry leaves and serve.
1. The dish is pungent and have a concentrated flavor of coriander powder. It pairs well with idiyappams, sannas, appam etc which have a sweet flavor.
2. This recipe is also my friend Jaya's. Thank you!
Recipe Courtesy: Jaya
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I am crossing my fingers and hoping you won’t mind another episode with my little guy. My boy has learned some numbers and mama is very proud. It is thanks to the cartoons that he watches religiously. And now, he loves to use this new found wisdom quite often. So much so, that my daughter prophecy’s that the whole family will forget to say numbers in the correct order in the near future. Yes, my son knows his numbers but for now, they are in random order, not in sequence. Can you see what little knowledge can do?
I know this too will pass, but not before he had his dad tearing out his hair. He and his dad have started taking the Parent-tot swimming class. This program is to familiarize children with the water, pool and swimming subsequently. One of the suggested ways, to make this program work, is for the children to jump from the bleachers, while a parent waits below in the pool to catch them. It’s great fun! His father is making up for time spent away during the week from his dear son. But this does not come easily when numbers are swimming in my son’s head. The stage is set - his Dad is in the water, my son on the bleacher and then the inevitable….
My son starts counting, “one, three, eight, and five...and then jumps! You should have seen his Dad’s concentration; he looks like the batsman waiting for the curve ball. While my husband is paying the price for the entire googly (a spin ball, term used in Cricket) he threw his own Dad, I cannot help but wonder what lies ahead.
Stories apart, this noodle soup is a very comforting meal that my family loves.'s. By the way, these are wheat noodles and very healthy too. It's very easy to concoct, believe me! What is even better is that you can make it all vegetarian; if you don't eat meat. Therefore, here we are, easy and versatile noodle soup recipe only for you. :)
Wheat Noodles- 250gm
Chicken breast/Tofu- 1 lb
Salt- To taste
Chicken/Veg stock- 1 packet(4 cups)
Sesame oil- 1 Tbsp
Ginger grated- 1 tsp
Garlic grated- 1 1/2 tsp
Soy sauce- 1 tbsp
Chilli sauce- 2 tsp
Black pepper powder- 1 tsp
White vinegar- 1 tsp
Carrot julienne- 1/4 cup
Broccoli pieces- 1/4 cup
Bell pepper julienne- 1/4 cup
Cabbage julienne- 1/4 cup
Spring onions- white part chopped from 1 bunch
1.Marinate the chicken cubes with salt.
2Heat the sesame oil in a pan. Add the grated ginger and garlic and saute till the raw smell leaves..
3.Pour and boil the stock and add the chicken and other seasonings.
3.After 5 minutes add the vegetables and cook until done.
6.Cook the noodles in boiling water with salt for 5-6 minutes or until done.
7.Serve the noodles topped with the chicken soup.Garnish with chopped green onions.
1.As I've already mentioned, if you are a vegetarian,you could replace chicken with tofu and add vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
2.The choice of vegetables is also up to you.
3.When you add chicken, you don't have to add a lot of veggies, if you want to get more flavor from chicken. My family prefers with all the veggies in it :-)
Monday, February 14, 2011
For me these are a key to a treasure trove of memories. My college, as you might already have read before was in Mangalore, and we were fed on a good many of these both in the hostel and otherwise. Never thought much of it then, but have always missed since. Recently, my friend served this for dinner and it had that delicious, spongy taste which brought a smile to my face with an avalanche of memories. The recipe is my friend Jaya’s and I think it is great to write something borrowed today, especially from a dear, dear friend.
Ps- Even if you have no idea of Mangalore, or have no idea where it is (in the state of Karnataka, India), this rice cake will surely bring a smile to your face.
Spongy, melt-in-your mouth sanna's.
Sanna's served with smoking good pork, recipe for which will come soon.
Eat one and you will keep asking for more!
Basmati Rice - 5 cups
Cooked Rice - 1 cup
Coconut Milk - 1 Can
Yeast - 3 tspn
Sugar - 1 tspn
Water - 1/2 cup
1. Grind basmati rice and cooked rice with 1 can coconut milk to a fine paste.
2. With as little water as possible clean the grinder of all the ground rice and keep the ground mixture aside
3. Take the 3 tsp yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 1/2 cup luke warm water and mix well and set aside until the yeast froth, showing it's active.
4. Add the the yeast, sugar, water mixture into the ground batter and salt to taste and let it rest to ferment. The dough will rise in about 2 to 3 hours.
5. Ladle the frothy dough without mixing but only scooping from the top into greased idli makers and steam till done.
1. This quantity will feed upto 8 people.
2. The dough is traditionally fermented with toddy but since it's not easily available yeast is becoming more popular.
3. If you add more sugar and add some ground cardamom this can be had a sweet snack with tea.
Friday, February 11, 2011
As for me, I treat the day as any other. If that sounds cynical, blame it on my husband who does not give a hoot about Valentine’s Day. Another festival lost to capitalism and conjured up by Hallmark is what he will say. Oh Well! That sure doesn't mean I can't eat this cake, right?
But I have some good memories of this day. More like quirky, fun-filled ones. We had some strange happenings in our college around Feb 14th. Some guys came up with a club called ALFA! It was a big deal those days, and this club only gave entry to young men. As for us girls, (I don’t write young ladies by choice) we were happy giggling and gossiping. Questions that reigned supreme in our conversations were “Who will be given Valentine’s day cards, who will get flowers, and who the hell will be proposed to. Oh! We discussed it endlessly and sought great entertainment from it. I know I sound antiquated but hey, it’s my life.
In the mean time, the men folk, especially ALFA seemed to be in a flutter on the 15th. You ask why after the big day?
Well, ALFA stands for Aloysius Love Failure Association. The club just grew out of proportion enough to break at its seams on this day. We girls were too prim and proper (at least to the public eye), and gave those boys a run. We were playing hard to get!
Those were the days!
(Remember the old Will Filter Cigarette ad? The slogan read “‘made for each other, filter and tobacco perfectly matched – Taste that truly satisfies time after time.”)
Disclaimer: I do not like smoking and neither my husband nor I smoke. This is just metaphorical, I like the ad slogan.
Should I tell you anything about the cake? Take my word for it; it’s the best cake for the day! Red velvet and Valentine’s Day – Made for each other.
Okay! Don’t throw things at me now. I am done talking!
For the cake:
Flour- 2 1/2 cups
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Sugar- 1 3/4 cups
Oil- 1 1/2 cup
Buttermilk- 1 cup
Milk- 3 Tbsp
Cocoa powder- 2 Tbsp
White vinegar- 1 Tbsp
Pure Vanilla Extract-1 tsp
Red food color- 2 oz
Cream Cheese frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar
1.Preheat the oven at 350 degree F. Grease and flour two 9 inch pans.
2.Lightly beat the eggs.
3.Add the other wet ingredients and mix well.
4.Whisk together the dry ingredients.
5.Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients by beating everything together for a couple of minutes.
6.Divide equally among the pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
7.Cool completely on a wire rack.
8.Meanwhile make the frosting by mixing everything together. Start with the cream cheese and butter at room temperature.
9.Frost one cake on the top and keep the other one on top.Frost on the top and the sides too.
10.Refrigerate any left overs.
Recipe adapted from : Bakerella and here
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Valentine's Day is around the corner, and what is more apt to share than something that visually resonates with such a romantic day! There is nothing much to write about a smoothie, other than it is both visually and gastronomically satisfying. It's not a drink, it's not an ice-cream, and yet it is all those things wrapped into one. Don't forget it can be nutritious for you too! Wonderful! Yep! That's what it is!
I absolutely love this pink color! Okay, it may not be so appealing on a wintry day, but somewhere on the other side of the globe this is still welcomed, I am sure. It is definitely reminiscent of a hot, sultry Sunday afternoon, when you can lounge on you chair, in the veranda, sipping your smoothie which will fan you cool. Melting ice-creamy moments!
But in winter, when you want to try this, and have a toddler in the premise, you have to sneak it! If he gets hold of it, then proceed days of sore throat, and we-cannot-talk-about-it kind of issues to deal with. But, if you are a raspberry lover like me, I can give you all kinds of ways to sneak around the kids and enjoy it. Drop me an email, I will be glad to enlighten you ;) I know this sounds like marketing but hey, sometimes what else is Valentine’s Day too? For raspberry lovers, it's not about seasons - these drinks can be so addictive they will be a way of life. Like for people in love, it does not matter if Valentines Day maybe a commercial gimmick, it’s a celebration of love!
We also wish to say Happy Birthday to Sybil, who has diligently read through our posts and pointed out glaring mistakes. Continue to blame Namitha and Sunitha for grammar and syntax mistakes, because they are only when we have not headed her advice :) Thank you Sybil, Collaborative Curry wishes you a very Happy Birthday and fantastic year ahead!
Fresh Raspberries- 1 cup
Milk- 1 cup
Yogurt preferably Berry - 1/2 cup
Sugar- to taste
1.Mix everything together in a blender and serve.
Monday, February 7, 2011
It's back to cooking, photographing, writing and sharing. Without further ado about the recipe of the day, souffle. I made souffle after listening to my friend rant and rave about the souffle from Panera Bread. Now, hold your horses this recipe is nothing like the one from 'Panera Bread but it's good in it's own right. Another day I shall crack the Panera Bread recipe, I told you I am feeling good!
Making a souffle always seemed daunting, and I never tried. It could be because when my brother was taking classes in catering, a zillion years ago, I distinctly remember him trying it at home. It was a disaster in short. In fact, the darn thing would not set when baked, and the ensuing cursing, from my brother, still rings in my ears. I never knew I remembered that incident so well until I just wrote it now, and that must be the reason I trod with trepidation when it came to souffles. However, may not any of these anecdotes deter you. They are not as hard to make as it's cracked up to be, this one worked just fine. Have it as a side dish with meat and it's great!
Butter - 5 Tbspn
Parmesan Cheese - 3 Tbspn grated
Spinach - 1 lb baby spinach chopped
All-purpose flour - 2 Tbspn
All-purpose flour - 2 Tbspn
Salt - ½ tspn
Whole milk - 1 cup
Ground Black Pepper - 1/8 tspn
Garlic Powder - 1/8 tspn
Eggs - 3 separated
1. Butter 6 ramekins with butter and sprinkle cheese and set aside.
2. Heat ½ tspn of butter and sauté the spinach until the juices run clear and set aside.
3. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining butter at low heat and stir in the flour and salt. Cook the flour, whisking constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the milk gradually, stir constantly to avoid clumps and cook this mixture until it thickens about 5 minutes.
4. Add the spinach and continue cooking for 1 minute. Season with black pepper and nutmeg.
5. Set aside to cool the mixture and once cool add beaten egg yolk and stir well to incorporate
6. Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into the above mixture.
7. Pour into ramekins and bake in 375 D preheated oven for 18 minutes .
Adapted from about.com