Monday, October 24, 2016

Rava and sesame seeds Laddoo

Rava and sesame seeds laddoo is a quick dessert which can be prepared within no time. Usually, we will be preparing either only Rava laddoo or on sesame laddoo, but a combination of these two is something to try out. A perfect combination, which will be liked by all.

Here I have added ghee to bind the laddoos as I want to store them. You can add little ghee and little milk to bind, but if milk is added it should be consumed within a day. You can increase or decrease the amount of ghee or sugar as you like. It all depends on upon your tastes and preferences.

This is one of the easiest sweets which can be within less time. This can be stored in airtight containers and in refrigerators it will stay fresh for a long time.
  1. Rava/ Semolina- 2 Cups
  2. Sesame seeds- ½ Cup
  3. Powdered Sugar- ¾ Cup
  4. Cardamom powder- 1 tsp
  5. Ghee/ Clarified Butter-½  Cup
  6. Nuts- few

  1. Roast the semolina till light brown and keep this aside to cool.
  2. In the same pan roast the sesame seeds till it gets crispy and keep this aside.
  3. Melt clarified butter and keep this aside.
  4. Fry nuts in 1 tbsp of ghee.
  5. Grind the cooled semolina to a fine powder and drop this in a bowl. Grind the roasted sesame seeds to fine powder and drop this into the same bowl along with powdered semolina.
  6. Add the powdered sugar, fried nuts, cardamom powder and required amount of ghee in the bowl and mix well with hands.
  7. Pour the ghee little by little and mix . Take small portions and roll them into balls. Store these in airtight jars and enjoy when needed.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Gulab Jamun Using milk powder

In India, festival season is in full swing and everyone are busy making sweets or snacks. Kids will be enjoying the delicious sweets/ savories made by their moms. Bakeries are filled with mouthwatering, scrumptious ghee sweets. Those who want to try their hands at making these sweets from scratch will be searching the internet or from recipe books.
In my house as my kids love sweets/ desserts the most, I thought of making these gulab jamuns, which are my childhood favorite sweet.

As a kid, when my dad prepared these gulab jamuns, I used to finish them one by one without my brothers noticing me. You heard it right, my dad used to prepare all the sweets at home as he loved making them and to give my mom some rest from cooking, he used to prepare most of the sweets and we (my brothers and myself) used to assist him in the cooking. Those were the days we used to enjoy the food made at home. Nowadays it's a very busy life and everything will be readymade/ store bought.

Gulab jamun got its name because the sugar syrup is rose scented and the deep fried balls are the size of jamun berries. Traditionally these gulab jamuns are made in pure ghee for the richness and for taste, but mostly these are deep fried in oil. The process of making these jamuns look tedious but once you get the right consistency of the sugar syrup and the not so dry dough, then all the remaining steps are very easy.
Before I used to make these using gulab jamun mix. I never thought that I would make gulab jamuns from scratch, but I tried it for my little one’s birthday and they came out perfect. Just make sure, the dough balls must be smooth without any cracks.

Try these and let me know….
  1. Milk Powder- 1 Cup
  2. Maida- 2 tbsp
  3. Yogurt- 2 tbsp
  4. Salt- a pinch
  5. Bakin Soda- a pinch
  6. Oil/ Ghee- 1 tbsp
  7. Sugar-1 Cup
  8. Water- 2 cups
  9. Lemon Juice- 1 tbsp
  10. Cardamom Powder- 1 tsp
  11. Rose essence- 1 tsp (optional)
  12. Pistachios(powdered)- for garnish
For the sugar syrup:
  1. Mix the sugar along with water and cardamom powder in a bowl. On a medium flame stir, the mixture till the sugar dissolves completely. Add lemon juice to prevent syrup from crystallizing. After some time this will form a syrupy/ sticky consistency, stirring occasionally. When it is ready, switch off the flame.
For the Jamuns:

  1. Mix the milk powder, maida and soda in a bowl using a spoon.
  2. Add ghee/ oil rub well with fingers. Add yogurt 1 spoon at a time and mix. Keep on adding yogurt and mix gently until the dough is soft and sticky. Don’t add too much of yogurt or else it will absorb more oil while frying.
  3. Do not over mix the mixture or else the jamuns will become dense and will not absorb sugar syrup.
  4. Grease your palms with oil or ghee and make round, crack- free ball from it. Make small balls out of the dough.
  5. Heat oil for deep frying and when it becomes hot, drop the balls one by one. On a medium to low flame, let the jamun balls fry till it becomes golden brown color.
  6. Transfer them to a kitchen towel. Drop these fried, drained jamun balls into the prepared sugar syrup.
  7. Let them soak for about 1- 2 hours. Serve them hot or cold by garnishing them with powdered pistachios.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Healthy Homemade Tomato soup

The weather is getting colder and colder and so a warm, filling and flavor full soups are the perfect antidote to chilly winter weathers.This healthy soup can be prepared within 15- 20 minutes and everybody will enjoy this delicious soup.

This is an ultimate comfort soup, which is very filling than regular food. You just need some tomatoes, onions and garlic for an incredible bowl of soup. Here the tomatoes are blanched, chopped, cooked, blended and served. Garnish with some crunchy, delicious croutons and enjoy a hot steaming bowl of soup.
The steps for preparing this soup looks tedious, but once you gather all the ingredients, this can be prepared in no time.

There is anything more comforting  than being in the kitchen experiencing the simmer smells of this simple homemade tomato soup. Just try this out and let me know….
  1. Tomatoes- 4 nos
  2. Onions- 2 nos
  3. Garlic Chopped- 2 tbsp
  4. Bay leaf- 1
  5. Olive oil- 1 tbsp
  6. Water- 1 Cup
  7. Salt- as required
  8. Pepper powder- 1 tsp
  9. Sugar- 1 tbsp
  10. Bread Slices- 3
  11. Corn Flour- 1 tsp
  12. Water- 3 tbsp
  1. Cut the edges of the bread slices and toast them on a hot tawa till it turns brown and crisp or preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and toast the bread to nice crisp and brown. Cut into square pieces and keep this aside.
  2. Boil enough water to immerse the tomatoes. When the water gets the rolling boil, switch off the flame and immerse the tomatoes completely in the water and close with a lid.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan, add the bay leaf. Saute the chopped onions and chopped garlic with required amount of salt.
  4. In a small bowl mix cornflour and water into a semi-paste and keep this aside.
  5. Drain the water in which the tomatoes are immersed. Peel the skin of the tomatoes and slice them into cubes.
  6. Add these tomato cubes to the onion mixture, mix well. Pour 1 cup of water, add salt and pepper.
  7. Stir on a medium flame. Add sugar, stir well and switch off the flame. When it gets cooled, pour the contents into a high-speed blender and process till desired consistency.
  8. Transfer the contents in the blender to the pan on a medium heat, let it simmer. When the soup comes to a gentle boil, pour the cornflour paste, stir till the soup thickens slightly.
  9. Remove from heat. Serve these in soup bowls along with the prepared bread croutons and parsley and enjoy steaming hot soup.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Thirattupaal/ Thickened Milk Sweet

When we were in india, saw a cookery show in which they prepared this milk based dessert which is a very popular sweet in Tamil Nadu. When we went to Chennai, I wanted to try this popular sweet from the shop which they showed in the cookery show. But couldn’t make it and we returned back.  

I never thought that this would be so easy to make till I stumbled upon Kannamma’s Blog which is full of traditional Tamil Nadu recipes and thought of giving it a try. Only time consuming part is of continuously stirring the milk till it thickens. Using two ingredients we can prepare a mouthwatering dessert that would be loved by all. Make sure that the jaggery is added only when the milk thickens or else it will curdle.

This is usually sold wrapped in tiny packets. In some Tamil marriages, this is distributed among the guests. A very luscious and scrumptious dessert, but can be had little at a time as it is very filling.
Adapted from Kannamma Cooks:
  1. Whole Milk- 2 ½ Cups
  2. Jaggery- ¼ Cup

  1. Pour milk in a deep bottomed pan and on a medium flame stir using a wooden spoon continuously. Reduce the flame, if the milk starts foaming. Keep scraping the sides while stirring.
  2. After about 20-25 minutes, the milk gets reduced and thickens. When it resembles a creamy texture, add the powdered jaggery.
  3. Lower the flame and stir well for about 5 minutes and thickens. Switch off the flame and mix well. It will resemble a sandy texture. Grease a steel plate with ghee and spread the above made mixture evenly using a spoon. Cut into desired shape and serve when cooled.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Oats and honey Granola Bars

I am not a big fan of energy or granola bars. But these changed my thinking completely. I tasted these once when my daughter after her swimming class bought these granola bars from the vending machine.It was so crisp and not much sweet, I loved it. I thought of giving it a try at home as homemade is always the best.

I googled and got this recipe. It’s fun and easy to make the bars. This is a basic recipe. You can add different nuts, different cereals, different grains of your choice. This is so easy to make that before it gets over I will be ready with the next batch. Now this has become our family favorite. The specialty of these granola bars are you can make these as you wish, just that you should know the base. Try this out and let me know.

Adapted from Bettycrocker:
  1. Old fashioned oats- 2 ½ cups
  2. Honey- ¼ Cup
  3. Sugar- ¼ Cup
  4. Organic Coconut oil- ¼ Cup
  5. Vanilla Essence- ½ Cup
  6. Raisins- ¼ Cup
  7. Baking Powder- ½ tsp

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a bowl mix the coconut oil, honey, sugar along with vanilla extract.
  3. Meanwhile grind ½ Cup oats in a blender till fine. Mix the regular oats along with powdered oats to the above made honey mixture.
  4. Stir well so that all the ingredients blend well.
  5. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spread the granola mixture evenly in the pan. Press firmly and evenly.
  6. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes. When done, cut into desired shapes while still warm or else they will firm and crisp as they cool. Break into pieces and enjoy.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Alton Brown’s Gooey Chocolate Brownies

Once in awhile my husband brings brownies from his office, which were heavenly delicious. The brownies which I make at home doesn’t taste like those at all. I wondered how they made these scrumptious brownies and tried making different versions from different blogs and from youtube, but they never tasted like the ones which he bought.

One day as usual when I was watching Alton Brown’s “Good Eats, I saw him making brownies which is one of his all time favorites and noted down the ingredients. Thought to give it a try and made them one day. When I tasted, I realised that these were the brownies which I was trying to prepare.These tasted exactly like the ones which my husband bought from office.

These are the best brownies I have ever tasted. Adding more cocoa powder than the flour was the secret to these brownies. A slight bitter taste of the cocoa powder gives a deep chocolate flavor to the baked brownies. If you want you can sprinkle some cocoa powder on top. Enjoy the tiny square of brownie along with warm milk.

  1. Flour- ¼  Cup
  2. Sugar- 1 Cup
  3. Eggs- 2 no
  4. Butter- ½ Cup
  5. Cocoa Powder- ¾ Cup
  6. Salt- a pinch
  7. Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp

  1. Cream the eggs along with vanilla extract, till creamy and fluffy.
  2. Add the butter and sugar. Beat well till everything gets mixed well.
  3. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and salt and add this to the wet ingredients and fold slowly till everything gets blended well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. grease a baking pan with butter and flour.
  5. Pour the above made brownie mixture to the pan and bake for about 35- 40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy the delicious brownies.

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