March 31, 2009

Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies for T & T

When Curry Leaf announced Tasty Palettes for Zlamushka's T &T, I knew what to make, since her vegan lemon poppy seed cookies is in my bookmarked recipes for a long time. As soon as I saw the event announcement, I immediately noted the recipe and baked it.

Here is the recipe

All purpose flour - 1 cup

Poppy seeds - 1 1/2 tblspn

Arrow root powder - 1 1/2 tblspn

Nutmeg powder - A big pinch

Salt - a big pinch

Butter - 5 tblspn

Sugar - 1/3 cup

Lemon 1 tblspn

Lemon Zest - 1 tspn

Vanilla essence - 1 tspn

Water - 3 tblspn

I have used white poppy seeds and arrow root powder in place of cornflour. Suganya had made it vegan by using margarine and I used butter.


Mix flour, poppy seeds, arrow root powder, nutmeg and salt.Cream together, butter, sugar, lemon juice, zest and vanilla essence. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Add water little by little to form the dough. Don't add 3 tblspn of water at one go.Pinch off a tablespoon of dough and shape in to a ball and slightly flatten it.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 25 minutes or till the sides starts browning. The original
recipe said 18-20 minutes, mine took extra 5 minutes. The timings may vary according to your
oven settings. Suganya's has got a nice brown color. Mine remained mostly yellow except the sides which were slightly brown. Don't know if it has anything to do with the use of butter in place of margarine. It was definitely tasty.

The cookies were melt in the mouth kind with a tangy flavor. It gives a nice feeling to bite into the poppy seeds. Thanks Suganya, for a keeper recipe.

Whole Wheat Quick Bread

I was searching for some quick bread recipe and the quick brown bread at Alanna's Kitchen Parade caught my attention. There wasn't much of preparation work. Just mixing the ingredients and it was egg less too. She has already given a healthy version. So there wasn't any substitution needed from my part, which I often try to do.

Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking soda - 2 tspn
Salt - 1 tspn
Brown Sugar -1/3 cup
Honey- 1/4 cup
Buttermilk - 2 cup
Tutty fruity- 1/2 cup

Mix dry ingredients - whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda,brown sugar and salt.
Stir in rest of the ingredients. Mix until just combined. The batter is of not pouring consistency. Its more like a loos chapati dough. Transfer the batter to a greased loaf pan. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon.Bake in a preheated oven at 190 C for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

This slightly denser, mildly sweet, honey flavored, quick bread is good for breakfast with butter or jam.

This goes to
1) BBD#18-Quick Breads, guest hosted by Manasi, an event started by Zorra.
2) JFI-Wheat, hosted by Roma

March 26, 2009

Cornflakes Mixture and Roasted Chickpeas - Snacks in MW

Cornflakes Mixture

Cornflakes mixture is my attempt to make a low fat version of the popular South Indian snack, Mixture. Mixure predominantly contains the omapodi and boondi, apart from poha, fried gram dal, peanuts. There isn't much of a recipe here. Just throw in what ever you have and as the name suggests you get a mixture.

Cornflakes - 2 cups
Beaten rice(avil/poha) - 1 cup
Puffed rice(murmura/mottapori) - 2 cups
Split roasted gram dal (dalia/porikadala)- 1/2 cup
Roasted peanut - 1/2 cup
Raisins - hand ful
Curry leaves
Fennel seeds/saunf- 1 teaspoon
Hing - few shakes
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tspn
Kitchen king masala powder -1/2 tspn
Turmeric - a pinch
Oil- 2 table spoon

Heat oil in a MW safe bowl for 30 secs. Add saunf,curry leaves and raisins. MW for 30 seconds or untill the raisins puff up. Add hing, salt, red chilli powder,masala powder and mw for another 30 seconds. Add cornflakes and beaten rice and mw for 2 minutes. Since these takes more time to get roasted compared with the other ingredients. So we add that first. Both would have roasted well by now. Care to be taken that it doesn't get burnt. Adjust the timings according to your oven. Add rest of the ingredients and toss well that the masala gets coated uniformly. MW for 3 minutes. Toss them once in between. Leave one minute standing time. It will turn crisp. Store in airtight container and enjoy with your tea/coffee.

Roasted Chickpeas
This is inspired by Madhuram's post on oven roasted chickpeas. I like her 'My Notes' section. Took a note of what is mentioned there. But instead of oven, I tried it in MW. I felt with microwave oven, time taken could be less. Though I wasn't sure of the results, decided to go ahead. I got crunchy, fat free snack and took only 12 minutes.
Cooked chickpeas - 1 cup
Olive oil - 1 tspn
Red chilly powder
Fennel seeds
Few shakes of dried oregano and hing
Toss all the ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. MW for 12 minutes. Keep tossing for every 3 minutes or so. Allow 2 minutes of standing time. If you keep for longer time, it tends to go hard. Adjust accordingly. It stays crunchy on storage too.

I am sending these two snacks to MEC-Savoury Snacks hosted by Priya, an event started by Srivalli.
and the roasted chickpeas to MBP-Snacks hosted by Ashwini, which originated at SpiceCafe

March 24, 2009

Beet Treats

Beetroot in my kitchen, is often cooked as a side, for my usual traditional lunch of sambhar, morukootan etc. Sometimes its added along with other veggies prepared for sandwich filling. I came across the beet juice at Tarla Dalal. At the same time, Viji Akka of Vcuisine (private blog) posted the recipe for beet syrup. The syrup recipe interested me and decided to make it. I didn't quite follow Viji Akka's recipe exactly. On searching for the benefits of beets, I found the following info.

Never drink beet juice by itself. Beet juice should always be mixed with other vegetables and/or apple juice. Pure beet juice (from the bulb or greens) can temporarily paralyze your vocal chords, make you break out in hives, increase your heart rate, cause chills or a fever. Consider mixing beets with apples, cucumber, carrots, etc.

Beets are best used in small amounts. Use moderately. Both the roots and greens are powerful cleansers of the body. Beets are said to really cleanse the blood and kidneys and this is why it is suggested you use beets moderately.

Beet roots - 2 big

Medium carrot - 1
Citric acid -1/4 tspn ( can use lime juice instead)
Brown sugar - 1/4 cup (I used damerara sugar)
White sugar -1/4 cup
Water -1/4 cup
Dried ginger powder (Chukku) - 1/2 tspn

Wash, peel and cut beetroot and carrot into cubes. Take juice of beetroot and carrot by adding
water. Strain and keep it aside.
Mix both the sugars with 1/4 cup of water and prepare sugar syrup. Add juice, ginger powder and citric acid. Simmer for 5 minutes. Skim the foam on the top. Bottle it and refrigerate.

Beet Drink

To make beet drink, add 3 parts of cold water to one part of syrup and serve. Makes an excellent summer cooler loaded with vitamins. You can add soda instead of water and you will not for Coke again.

Now some other ways you can make use of the beet syrup.
Carrot cucumber in beet yogurt

Stir in a tablespoon of syrup in a cup of yogurt. Whip well and mix in grated carrot, cucumber and a slit green chilly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh coriander. A yummy salad is ready.

Beet flavoured milk.

Stir in a tablespoon of beet syrup in a glass of cold milk and enjoy. I am not sure if it will curdle when added to warm milk. To this if you add a drop of rose essence, it will make delicious rosemilk.

Beet Lassi

Curds - 1 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Beet syrup - 1 tablespoon
Water - 1/2 cup

Whip all the ingredients with a blender until smooth. Serve Chilled. Adjust water according to how smooth you want your lassi to be. No need to add extra sugar.

All the preparation with beet syrup tasted very delicious. Its very versatile and you can use it according to your creativity. Let me know any other ways, this can be used. I will be glad to try those.

I am sending the three pink treats to FIC: Pink/Rose hosted by Priya, an event started by Sunshinemom.

March 20, 2009

Banana dates muffin

I have baked banana bread twice with two different recipes. I did like them but never wanted to make them again. When I had some bananas, which either had to be used up or will find their way to bin stage, idea of bread did not seem to be interesting. So I decided to look for muffin recipe and finally found banana crumb recipe at Allrecipes. I tweaked it and I was amazed with the results. We both loved the muffins very much. And had some guests the next day I baked. They gave a big thumbs up tasting my muffins. Definitely I will be making this again. I forgot to add the crumb toppings. Seeing the reviews at Allrecipes, decided to add them during the last five minutes of baking. But with a phone call, half the way through the baking, I completely forgot about the topping. I am sure that will make it more delicious. That's reserved for the next bake.
Now to my version of the recipe
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt

1 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped dates

Sift the two flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Whisk together sugar, oil, mashed banana and milk.Fold in the banana mix into the dry ingredients and mix just enough to moist. Stir in the chopped dates. Scoop the batter into the greased muffin pan
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C for 25 minutes or till top is browned. Adjust the timing according to your oven.
Muffin was very soft and moist. It goes very well for breakfast with a glass of milk. It keeps well for for 3 days with out refrigeration. I got 9 medium sized one and 5 mini muffins.
I am sending these breakfast muffins to Lakshmi's SWC-Meals on Wheels
and to Recipes for rest of us:Picnic Eats hosted by Trupti, an event started by Ramki.

March 17, 2009

Godhumai Pradhaman (broken wheat cooked in jaggery and coconut milk)

Pradhaman, where coconut milk is used is very famous in Kerala. Kerala,being the land of coconuts, have variety of pradhamans. I have blogged about pazha pradhaman earlier. Here is the recipe for another popular pradhaman with broken wheat as the base. I have used wheat rava in place of broken wheat.

Broken wheat - 1/3 cup
Jaggery =3/4 cup
Coconut milk - 200 ml (Ii used store bought)
Ghee - 1 tblpspn
Cardamom powder - 1tspn
water to melt jaggery and cook wheat


Roast broken wheat /rava in a tablespoon of ghee till you can smell the aroma of roasted wheat.
Don't roast it to brown. Pressure cook the roasted with enough water. This is the first time I used store bought coconut milk. I reserved around 100 ml for thick milk. I diluted the remaining with water into two parts - thin and slightly thick versions.
Melt jaggery in a pan with 1/4 cup of water. Strain and add cooked wheat with a cup of thin coconut milk.Cook on low flame till the mixture thickens and by then the wheat would have soaked up the jaggery syrup well. Add second extract of coconut milk (slightly thick). Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Add the thick milk and remove from fire. Stir in cardamom powder.

Note: I drained some liquid to show the wheat rava.

This is off to JFI:Wheat hosted by Roma, an event started by Indira

March 11, 2009

Watermelon mint cooler

Watermelon is mainly used as a thirst quencher. Vendors with small carts filled with water melons and few glasses under a tree's shade is a common sight during summer. The vendor would scoop the sweet, juicy melon into a glass. He will add some crushed ice and slightly whisk with a spoon. Sipping a glass of iced melons on a hot summer afternoon is purely heaven.

Watermelon is loaded with vitamins too. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of vitamin A and vitamin B6. In addition, watermelon it contains thiamin, potassium and magnesium.

I have the memories of my hostel days in college associated with watermelon. The summers were unbearable. In the hostel premises, watermelons and tender coconuts were sold. March being the last month of the semester,many of us felt the cash crunch. We would have spent most of our money in arranging farewell for our roommates, buying gifts, developing photos etc. None of our parents gave money for spending lavishly. We all were given just the amount needed for hostel fees and other normal expenses. So we had to save every penny for the farewell parties and gifts. Apart from that, we had to find money for watermelons. Those were the simple pleasures we enjoyed. In my room, we were 8 of us. We took turns in buying watermelon. So everyday one melon will be brought and we will cut in the evening. And it was my duty to cut it and I enjoyed doing it. Those days one watermelon would cost around Rs.8. It will be big enough that all of us would get a fairly big slice. Even now, whenever I cut watermelons, those memories rush back like it was yesterday.

I prefer to eat watermelons as it is. But my husband prefers juice. So I make this. There isn't any fixed recipe for this. Taking the cue, you can make as you like.

You will need
Watermelon cubes - 4 cup
fresh/dried mint - 1 tspn
honey - 1 tablespoon
lime juice - 1 tspn
Few pieces of watermelon for garnish.

Liquidize the watermelon cubes, mint,honey and lime juice in a mixer grinder or a juicer. Pour into a glass. Garnish with bite sized cubes and sprinkle mint if desired. This yields two glasses of juice.
This is my rose entry to FIC-Pink/Rose hosted by Priya, an event started by Sunshinemom.

March 9, 2009

Pineapple Jam in Microwave

Pineapple puree- 1 cup
white sugar -1/2 cup
brown sugar - 1/2 cup
cloves - 4 nos
citric acid - 1 tspn
water to prepare the puree

For pineapple puree, blend pineapple pieces with little water. Take a microwave safe bowl. Mix the puree with sugar. You can adjust the quantity of sugar according to the sweetness of the fruit. If you are using only white sugar increase the quantity by 1/4 cup. Microwave high for 15 minutes. Give a stir every 5 minutes.
Add the cloves coarsely crushed. If you wish , you can powder it finely. Mix in the crushed cloves and a teaspoon of citric acid. Microwave for 10 minutes. Check the consistency. It should be flaky. After five minutes, keep checking for every two minutes. This can be done on stove top too. But making in microwave doesn't call for constant attention.

Enjoy home made jam bursting with natural flavor of pineapple.

March 2, 2009

MEC:Puddings ~ Round up

When Srivalli called for guest hosting her Microwave Easy Cooking Event, I did not give it a thought at all. But when she personally mailed me asking if I would be interested to host, I did not want to say 'No' and agreed for the first available month. And got my chance to host for Feb. Thanks Srivalli for making me take up and I enjoyed hosting. Now on to the presentation. I am listing the entries in the order I received them. Enjoy these delicious puddings and kheer...

Pudding is always associated with sweetness, at least for me. And Asha of Aromahope kick started the event entries with a savory pudding and she has made it egg less too.

Shoba of Anubhavati-Tastes from my Kitchen brings in a bowl of chilled apple kheer, prepared in 10 minutes.

Ramya of Pennin(g) my cooking has send in Aval paysam. She says its her first attempt in making payasam in microwave and the bowl of creamy payasam tells about the successful attempt.

Next is a bowl of Vermicelli payasam with a deep golden color, using the fine variety vermicelli, sent in by Raks of Rak’s Kitchen. Hop over to her place to catch the step-by-step pics of the preparation.

You have heard of pasta used in soups and salads. How about some in a kheer. Yes, Priya of Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes have come up with a mini shell pasta kheer. Priya didnot stop with one but sent two more delicious fruity kheer for the event

Priya combines mango and rolled oats to make a delicious and healthy Oats mango kheer

Another yummy combo of jackfruit and almonds in a kheer from Priya.

EC of Easy Cooking brings in Rice kheer, made the prepration of pal payasam sound simple by cooking in MW.

KC of Kits Chow comes up with a delcious sticky rice pudding flavored with osmanthus syrup. KC has gone out of the way to participate in the event by cooking in her office MW. Check out her space to find out the other suggested flavors for the pudding.

Cham of Spice-Club comes with a recipe for delicious badam kheer with tips for making blanching almonds easier too. In 10 minutes, you have delicious kheer and she says this is one of the highest cooking time, among the microwave recipes she has done.

Simran of Bombay foodie comes with a chocolate pecan pudding which can be made in flat 4 minutes. A very quick dessert.

Swapna of Cooking with Swapna sends a creamy smooth chocolate pudding. Swapna adds that it is so fast and easy, even a child can make it. A perfect treat for chocoholics.

Next we have a vegan Dalmatian eye-catchy pudding from Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen . And she calls it as Polka dot pudding, which seems apt for the coconut milk pudding.

You have heard of chocolate pudding and rice pudding. How about a combo of them. That’s what comes from Sweatha of Tasty Curry Leaf’s kitchen.

And finally my entry to the event is Chocolate pudding

I hope I have linked all entries correctly. In case of any errors or omissions, please leave a comment and I shall correct it.