“Feeding a hungry child is not charity, it is our social responsibility”

unlimited food for education

Children are being fed everyday!
I donated and made a difference!
YOU can do it too.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tamarind paste for tamarind rice

I have learnt to make tamarind paste by reading from various posts on the topic from various recipe blogs. I thought that now I was fine with putting my take on the recipe.I liked this recipe in particular.I did some changes .I have been impressed upon my mom that til or sesame seeds be added to the puliodare paste. And have added them in my recipe.

Ingredients : 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in water & pulped three  to four  times , 1tbsp jaggery,2 tbsp til seeds,2 tbsp chana dal, 2 tsp urad dal, 2 tbsp peanuts, 4 tbsp oil ( preferably til oil ), 1/2 tsp black pepper seeds, 1tsp methi or fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp urad dal,1 heaped tbsp dhani seeds or dhania powder, 10-12 red byadgi mirchis, 1/2 tsp hing, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1-2 green chillies roughly chopped,few curry leaves,salt to taste,

Method : Boil the tamarind pulp for 10-12 minutes.Add jaggery as it boils. Put off gas.Keep aside.

In a kadhai take 1 tbsp til oil.Heat it.Add 6-8  byadgi mirchis & fry them till they get crisp.Remove the mirchis.Next fry 1 tbsp  chana dal till they change colour.Remove the chana dal.Similarly fry 1tsp urad dal,Next fry the dhani till it gets aromatic.Remove the dhania.Now, roast the methi dana till they give out aroma,Remove the methi dana.Now Fry til till it starts popping.Remove the til.Roast few  curry leaves.till they get crisp.Finally roast the black pepper for a minute.Put off gas.After all the fried ingredients attain room temperature, grind all of them to fine powder in a mixture.Keep aside.

Add this spice mixture to the tamarind pulp.Boil the pulp containing spice mix for around 10 minutes.Keep stirring continuously as it has tendency to stick to bottom.

Take a small kadhai.Heat oil .Pop mustard seeds.Next fry peanuts followed by remaining chana dal & urad dalAdd hing & turmeric followed by green chillies, remaining curry leaves & 4-5 byadgi mirchis. Put off gas.Add this vagar to tamarind pulp-spice mix .This is puliodare paste , ready to mix with rice !

Use as much as needed for mixing with cooked rice..Rest can be stored in refrigerator for around two to three weeks.

Number of pepper corns can be decreased or raised as per taste.Even jaggery amount can be adjusted.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Mixed veggies stew : Rishi Panchami chi bhaji

My neighbor had shared with me years back this Rishi chi  bhaji. I simply loved it.And so was wanting to make it .Since Rishi Panchami comes once a year, only on that day ,can that veggies mix be brought conveniently in the city.

Last evening ,I went to market & forgot that the next day is Rishi Panchami ...it is the day after Ganesh Chaturthi.I went to market at around 11.15.One vendor told me to pick & choose.I went ahead. I spotted a Maharashtrian lady.She was selling Rishi Panchami veggies.I was thrilled that she will hand over me the mixed veggies & I just pay & come home & start cooking.Yet,she had just some veggies.Colcasia leaves or taro leaves or alu were missing.So also was lal math missing.The lady sitting next to her was selling green leafy veggies in bunches...alu leaves asa slo lal math.I requested her to give me 1-2 alu leaves & a small bunch of lal math.For a price, of course ! Mission accomplished, I moved to a grocer as the Rishi Panchami vrat needs a particular variety of rice to be cooked.I drew a blank.I decided that since I was making this stew just for my tast buds, I would have to make do with the rice at home.

Ingredients : 1-2 colcasia leaves or taro leaves or alu leaves washed & chopped, a tiny bunch of lal math ( Swiss chard ) washed &  chopped, 1 small piece of red pumpkin peeled & chopped, a small cucumber piece chopped,1-2  pieces of corn cob,4-5 big bhindis chopped, a small doodhi piece deseeded & chopped, 1 tiny karela deseeded & chopped, 1 small piece of shirali ( ridge gourd ) chopped, 1 small piece of goshali chopped  ( smooth gourd )  , some peas, some balck eyed beans from pods, etal ( The veggie vendor gave me a piece of avegetable which looked like a midget or tiny version of suran ...she told me to add it to the bhaji with other veggies .I roughly chopped it & pressure cooked with other veggies ), 1-2 green chillies chopped into 3 /4 pieces,1 teaspoon jaggery, 2 tsp tamarind pulp, 2 tsp ghee, salt to taste.

Method : I was in a hurry as I returned home at 12 noon.So I pressure cooked the veggiesincluding green chillies  for 3 whistles.

Take ghee in a kadhai.Add tamarind pulp .Add jaggery. Add salt to taste. Bring all to a boil.Add pressure cooked veggies.Let all the mixture come to a boil.Put off gas. Enjoy ! I ate this bhaji with rice. It will go well with chapatis as well.

My maid, whom I served this bhaji ,felt that I had simply boiled the veggies ! When I revealed that I had added jaggery , tamarind & ghee, she said it did not taste that it contained all that ! I guess, I added too little of the ingredients to maintain the subtelty of Rishi Panchami.Next time,I promise to add more of the ingredients ! 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mixed veggies cheese toast

I want my daughter to eat more proteins.Since, cheese  & bread is something she loves,I googled & came across this vegetable cheese toast.

Ingredients : 1/2 capsicum finely chopped, 1 small onion finely chopped, 1 small tomato finely chopped, 4 bread slices, 2 cheese cubes , 1/4  tsp pepper.

Method : Microwave the bread slices in microwave oven for 10 seconds. Keep aside.

Mix all the finely chopped veggies that is capsicum, tomatoes & onions with pepper powder. Spread this mix evenly on each of the bread slices.Grate half a cheese cube on the veggies spread on the bread slice. Microwave each veggie cheese covered bread slice till the cheese melts. Repeat with the remaining bread slices.Serve with ketchup or sauce.

I made this for my teen's school tiffin & she loved it. Even her classmates liked this !

Microwave for less than 2 minutes...maybe one or 1.5 minutes microwaving is sufficient to melt the cheese.More microwaving may make the bread hard.

This can also be done on tawa or grill  or even baked in convection oven.Pl check tawa & grill versions here.

I skipped adding salt to the toast as bread has salt as also cheese. I used brown bread & Amul brand cheese cubes.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Eggless coffee pear cake

I had got tired of eating pears.Hence, thought of using pear in a cake.I googled & came across this coffee pear cake using yogurt.I tweaked it a little & my cake turned out beautiful !

Ingredients : 1 cup wholewheat flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup curd or dahi, 1/2  tbsp coffee powder ( used Nestle ) , 1 ripe pear  cut into thin slices ( deseeded )  1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda,a pinch of salt, water as needed, optional :streusel topping .

Method : Mix all dry ingredients that is mix atta, baking powder & soda, sugar ,salt & coffee powder together .I mix with a whisk many times over .This ensures that all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.Keep aside.

Line a baking dish with butter paper. I cut pear at this stage, as if cut earlier,pear slices must be rubbed or sprinkled with lemon juice lest they turn  brown.Keep aside.

Mix dahi & the dry mix of atta , baking powder,soda, sugar ,coffee powder & salt.I found that the dahi was inadequate for the batter.Hence, added water  bit by bit. The batter must be like idli or dhokla batter.No lumps should remain in mix. Pour the cake batter into the baking dish.Line the top of the cake batter with thin cut slices of pear. On the pear slices, sprinkle streusel topping  ( I had ready made struesel topping which was a ready mix part of a ready muffin pack ) .Alternatively ,after cake is removed from oven ,it can be sprinkled with powdered sugar or just a plain cake would look lovely with sliced pears !

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.Bake  the cake at 180 degrees for 4-45 minutes or till knife poked into the cake comes out clean. To be doubly sure, bake in microwave mode for two minutes after the 40-45 convection baking is over. Let it cool. Take out the cake .Put it upside down on a plate.Turn it over.It looks splendid ...mine did...the snap proves that.Cut into desired shapes & serve !

I have replaced the oil with yoghurt in the recipe.Hence, this is guilt free ...oil free cake !

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Atte ka halwa

I have always loved wheat flour halwa.I had tasted it many times over in temples & in homes of friends .Recently ,a close friend staying in the same building as me made it .I was tempted to try it.And so I googled about the most easy way to make it.I came across Rak's kitchen liked the recipe stated there.I am cautious as I want to try a very small amount before I get it right.

Ingredients : 1/ 3 cup whole wheat flour, 2 tbsp ghee, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup water, optional :a pinch cardamom powder.

Method : Roast the wheat flour in ghee in a kadhai till it slightly changes colour. Add water & sugar & mix.Actually ,both sugar & water  will get  absorbed very quickly & the halwa might start sticking to the bottom of kadhai.Hence, keep gas flame on slow from the beginning.

Put off gas.Sprinkle the cardamom powder on top of halwa.Before serving halwa, mix so that cardamom powder mixes nicely with all the halwa.

Dry  fruits like almonds & cashews roasted in ghee can be used a s a garnish on the halwa.Since ,this was my first attempt,I did the most simple version.Next time around,I hope to make this dish more rich .And trust that my snap of the dish will be much better !

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Apple sauce cake

I have been thinking of getting back into baking since long. Yet ,with the Microwave convection oven that I have , I had failed many times.Sometimes, the baking soda & baking powder were not up to the mark.At other times, I had forgotten to pre heat the oven.This time around,I wanted to be careful as I baked the convection way.

I looked at cakes using applesauce, flaxseed & wholewheat flour.I did come across a few recipes using wholewheat flour, applesauce ,flaxseed etal.Yet,they used just one or two ingredients.So ,instead of atta, maida was used,I wanted to avoid it. Hence, used my experience & made my version of cake.

Ingredients : 1 cup wholewheat flour, 1 cup homemade applesauce,1/3 cup brown sugar, 1  tbsp flaxseed powder , 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, ,a pinch of salt, optional :some streusel topping

Method : Cut 2 apples into 4 pieces each.Pressure cook them up to 3 whistles.Let the cooker cool.Take out the apple pieces. Depeel & deseed them.Alternatively , the apples can be de seeded & de peeled before pressure cooking them.Make pureee of the cooked apple pieces in mixer. Keep aside. Soak 1tbsp flaxseed powder in 3 tbsp water for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile mix atta with baking , powder & baking soda nicely with a whisk many times.Add brown sugar & salt.Mix thoroughly again.

Mix flaxseed water mix with applesauce.nicely.Pour this mix into the atta sugar baking powder soda mixture. Mix such that no lumps remain. Line a baking dish with butter paper. Pour this cake mix into the dish over the butter paper. Sprinkle  top of cake mix with  streusel topping .Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Bake  in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes or till a knife poked into cake comes out clean. If ,bottom of cake feels moist, bake in microwave mode for 3-4 minutes.

Cool.Put cake upside down .Cut into desired shapes .

The cake was very moist & dense. Next time around,while using flaxseed meal ,less flour needs to be used. I had streusel topping at home.It was leftover topping of ready made muffin mix. Powdered sugar can be sprinkled as a topping on cake or even shrikhand can be smeared as a topping ! This cake was just aptly sweet.Brown sugar is less sweeter than white sugar.