Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gobi 65/ Cauliflower 65

Gobi 65 is a perfect snack or can be served as a starter dish. This is available in almost all the restaurants in India. This is an absolute party dish which can be made easily within no time and which tastes yumm.

My daughter is a big cauliflower lover. Cauliflower in any form, she will finish it off as it is made.I make cauliflower dishes twice a week in the form of pakoda, kurma, gobi paratha, manchurian, side dish for rice and so on. After swimming class she would feel hungry and so once I made this gobi 65 which came out well and so from then on I make this quite often.

This is a very addictive snack because of its flavor and taste. This is a very easy and a simple snack which will be loved by all.
For batter:
  1. Cauliflower- 1 large
  2. Corn Flour- 2 tbsp
  3. Maida- 4 tsp
  4. Ginger and Garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  5. Red Chilli powder- 2 tsp
  6. Garam Masala Powder- ½  tsp
  7. Curry Leaves-few
  8. Salt- as required
  9. Oil- for deep frying
For tempering:
  1. Oil- 1 tbsp
  2. Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp
  3. Curry Leaves- few
  4. Ginger- 1 tbsp finely chopped
  5. Garlic- 2 Cloves
  6. Curd- ¼ cup
  7. Red Chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
  8. Salt- as required

  1. Heat water and blanch the cauliflowers for about 20 minutes. Drain completely.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the corn flour, maida, ginger and garlic paste, red chilli powder, garam masala powder,salt and curry leaves with required amount of water. Let this marinate for about 20- 30 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Fry the cauliflower florets till crispy and golden brown in colour. Drain on paper towel.
  4. Heat 1 tbsp of oil, splutter cumin seeds. Add chopped ginger and garlic. Meanwhile in a bowl mix the curd along with red chilli powder.
  5. Mix this curd mixture in the above tempering, saute till the moisture evaporates. Add curry leaves to this, mix well.
  6. Add fried cauliflower and saute for 2- 3 minutes till everything gets blended well.
  7. Serve this as a snack or a starter.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homemade Mac and Cheese

Once in a while we can have a bowl of warm,cheesy, creamy, goodness. My daughter is a big fan of mac and cheese. Whenever we go out to restaurants, she will have her favorite pasta. I thought if she loves it a lot, then why not try make it at home and here it is. A simple but a creamy rich dish.
You can vary the pasta, by adding boiled veggies, corn, prawns, chicken or anything of your choice. But I made it plain as this is the classical mac and cheese recipe. The addition of ground mustard will give an additional kick to the dish.

Kids will love this amazing cheesy flavorful pasta. Whatever the occasion is, this mac n cheese will always spell comfort.
Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator and can be had anytime by reheating in the oven. If you feel the mac n cheese is dry just add some more milk and heat it on stove top.

If you have an extra time, just bake the mac n cheese in a preheated oven by covering it with a lid or a foil in a casserole dish at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle bread crumbs and few drops of butter on top and bake for about 10 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  1. Elbow Pasta- 2- 3 cups
  2. Butter- 2 tbsp
  3. Milk- 2 Cups
  4. Flour- 2 tbsp
  5. Cheddar Cheese- ½ Cups
  6. Parmesan cheese- ¼ cup
  7. Italian Herbs- 1 tbsp
  8. Mustard Powder- ¼ tsp
  9. Chilli flakes- 1 tbsp

  1. Boil the pasta with required amount of water, salt and little oil and when it gets cooked drain and keep it aside.
  2. Heat butter in a pan, add flour on low heat. Whisk thoroughly till the flour gets cooked. Add milk and whisk until there are no lumps.
  3. Heat for about 5- 10 minutes. Add the cheddar cheese and parmesan. Stir well till the cheese gets melted and the sauce becomes creamy.
  4. In the above made cheese sauce add the cooked pasta and mix to coat the pasta evenly with the sauce.
  5. In this add the mustard powder,italian herbs and chilli flakes, mix and enjoy hot and creamy mac and cheese.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jackfruit Chips/ Chakka Upperi

Today is Onam in Kerala. Onam is a harvest festival, which is a major festival celebrated in Kerala. It is one of the rarest festivals, which is celebrated by the entire state of Kerala people. The rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the festival.

We never celebrated onam, as  you all might know by now that I was born in Kerala, but brought up completely in Andhra pradesh because of my dad’s job. We used to go to Kerala during summer vacations and I never got a chance to celebrate onam.

My mom told us what they used to do during onam like the “pookalam”- floral carpet, ona sadhya- special feast lunch served on a banana leaf, games like tug of war, boat race, women’s dance performed in circle around a lamp and many more such things during onam.I used to dream about all of them.
Though we were not in Kerala to enjoy all these, my mom made sure to make sadhya for us. Sadhya includes avial( mixed vegetables in coconut gravy), sambhar, parippu curry, Olan(a curry using ash gourd and black beans), Kaalan ( a gravy of raw banana and yam), Cabbage thoran,  lemon Pickle, Mango pickle, Papad and the dessert parippu payasam, ethakka payasam. I wonder how my mom alone can prepare  these many dishes.
After marriage as my husband is a big foodie, I started learning new dishes for him and so slowly for onam I used to make small sadhya with 2- 3 dishes and for every onam I used to increase my dishes. Once for onam I called my friends and prepared a lavish feast, which I never thought I could make. My daughter loves to make floral carpet and so the floral carpet and a sadhya is a must in my house for onam.

This time for onam I made jackfruit chips to go along with the sadhya. Usually banana chips are served, but I thought of making these jackfruit chips as we got some frozen raw jackfruit from an indian store.
We usually buy the readymade jackfruit chips, but the taste of homemade chips is completely different. Jackfruits are abundant in Kerala. Almost all the houses have this jackfruit tree. These are easy to fry, but the real task goes in cleaning and cutting. My mom always prepares these chips, whenever raw jackfruit is there at home. We also prepare mashed jackfruit in coconut using raw jackfruit. Hope you all will like this.
  1. Raw Jackfruit (Mature Unripe fruit)- 1 no
  2. Salt- as required
  3. Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp
  4. Oil- for deep frying

  1. Cut the jackfruit and remove the carpels. Cut these carpels into thin long strips.
  2. Mix turmeric powder to these thin strips of jackfruit and leave this for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile heat oil for deep frying. Fry the jackfruit strips on low flame. In a small bowl, mix little water and required amount of salt.
  4. Add this salt water to the frying oil, so that the jackfruit strips will absorb salt.Occasionally stir in between, till it becomes crisp.
  5. Once, when they turn crisp remove from oil on to a kitchen towel. When it is completely cool, store in airtight containers and enjoy along with your evening tea…..

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sabudana Kheer/ Sago Kheer/ Tapioca Pearl pudding

Eid Mubarak To all

Bakrid called as Id-Ul-Azha is one of the important festivals celebrated by the muslim community all over the world. Festivals are the time where we cook and share delicious food with family and friends.
After the morning eid prayers, the preparations of appetizing meal starts which is from main course to dessert.

Always for eid in my house, it would be a biryani (as my husband and daughter are huge biryani fans) and some kind of dessert. This time for dessert, I thought of preparing something different and ended up with an easy, simple but a luscious dessert, which can be prepared and served within no time. I prepared this, when my biryani was getting cooked. That means, it is very less time consuming dish to prepare.

This is a creamy smooth kheer which naturally thickens when cooled. This is very easy to digest and will be finished within no time as this tastes heavenly.
Just try this out….
  1. Sabudana/ Tapioca Pearls- ½ Cup
  2. Milk- 1 Cup
  3. Water- ½ Cup
  4. Milkmaid- ½ Cup
  5. Cardamom Powder- 1 tsp
  6. Cashews and almonds- few
  7. Ghee/ Clarified Butter- 1 tbsp

  1. Wash and soak the tapioca pearls in water for about 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Boil the soaked tapioca pearls in water, when they turn soft, add milk and milkmaid.
  3. Stir allowing it to thicken, add the cardamom powder.
  4. Fry cashews and almonds in ghee and when they turn golden brown, drain on a kitchen towel and chop to small pieces.
  5. Add these chopped nuts to the kheer and give it a stir, switch off. Enjoy the warm kheer.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Danish Chocolate Swirled Streusel

After coming to US, I started visiting the library for my little one as there are lots of activities for them. Usually I will be behind him in the library. He enjoys going there as there are other kids of his age and as he is a big hide and seek player, he likes to hide behind the bookshelves.

One such visit, I took a glance on the cooking books and there were huge varieties of cook books. I got really confused as which one to check. Though we get everything from net, but cooking from a cookbook is a different experience for me. While I was checking some books, this book “Coffee Cakes”, caught my attention and I loved different varieties of cakes baked in this book which looked easy and new to me. So I grabbed it.

There are many collections of cake recipes in the book, but I tried to make this “Danish Chocolate streusel” as it looks unique and also it is a bread as well as a cake. The next thing I did was to collect all the ingredients for the streusel and baked this to a perfect bread. The recipe is really fantastic. With the layers of the chocolate, the bread tastes more like a danish pastry. The texture is so soft and the chocolate streusel inside the bread is pure bliss. Just a bite and you will love the buttery chocolaty flavour.

The dough with alternating slices

Try this out and let me know...
  1. All Purpose Flour- 3 Cups
  2. Yeast- 1 ½ tsp
  3. Sugar- 1 tbsp
  4. Salt- as required
  5. Warm water- ¼ Cup
  6. Butter- 1 stick or ½ Cup
  7. Sugar- ¼ Cup
  8. Eggs- 2 nos
  9. Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
  10. Warm Milk- ½ Cup
Chocolate Streusel:
  1. Sugar- ⅓ Cup
  2. Cocoa Powder- 2 tbsp
  3. Cold Butter- 2 tbsp
  4. Ground Cinnamon- 1 tbsp
  5. Egg- 1 no ( egg wash)
  6. Chopped Nuts- 1 tbsp

  1. Sprinkle the yeast in warm water and let it rest for about 5 minutes. In this add the sugar and salt. Stir to dissolve and wait till it becomes foamy.
  2. In a bowl, beat the sugar along with butter. Till light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla extract and 1 Cup of flour. Beat well using electric blender.
  3. Gradually add the milk alternating with flour along with the yeast dissolved water. If the dough is too sticky add some flour to make a soft dough.
  4. Transfer to a floured surface and knead until smooth i.e upto 8 minutes.
  5. Place this in a greased bowl, covered with a cling film until double in size, about 1- 2 hours.
  6. Meanwhile for the chocolate streusel, mix the sugar, flour, butter, cocoa powder and cinnamon together using fingers till crumbly.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. Punch the raised dough and knead lightly until smooth. If you feel the dough is too big, cut it into half.
  9. Roll one half into a even rectangle over a floured surface using a rolling pin. Spread with half of the chocolate streusel and roll up and place the seam side down on a greased baking pan.
  10. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, placing that on a separate baking pan.
  11. Using a knife, snip each loaf at ¾ inch intervals. Starting at one end, pull the alternate cut slice on to the other side.
  12. Brush each loaves with egg wash and sprinkle the powdered nuts on top.
  13. Bake the loaves for about 30 - 35 minutes or until golden brown. When done place the loaves on a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. Cut into ¾ thick slices and serve with coffee or tea.

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