Friday, December 21, 2007

Methi Dal Paratha

I made these methi dal parathas the other day for my two year old daughter who likes to eat food that is easy for her to hold and non sticky.She usually prefers food like dosa,chapati etc and hates pastes.So,I came up with these attractive parathas for her.
I made methi dal.Took about three scoops of dal and added whole wheat flour just enough to make pliable dough for paratha,sprinkling water when needed. Rolled out parathas and used airplane,apple,butterfly and star shaped cookie cutters for these shapes . Heat tava and smear oil if desired , roast the parathas in batches on both sides for 2 Min's each or till brown spots appear on both sides. I think this can be a great menu for kids lunch boxes.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Assorted Eggless Sugar Cookies

I used simple cookie dough last night and made three different varieties - sugar dusted stars,jam thumbprints and caramel glazed flowers (out of them already) . I made simple cookie dough and with three forth batter I rolled out and cut 2 different shapes.The remaining one forth batter I used to make jam thumbprints. For the cookie dough,
2 cups all purpose flour
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp plain yogurt/curd
1 tbsp whipping cream/cool whip
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
To make the dough,In a mixing bowl,blend butter with a fork till fluffy. Add sugar half cup at a time and blend until smooth creamy consistency arrives.Add vanilla ,yogurt,whipping cream and blend again till everything mixes together. In another bowl,sieve together flour,salt,baking powder and baking soda. Add this mixture 1 tbsp at a time into the butter mixture and blend until it forms a soft dough.Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 Min's and not more than 3hrs. After 30 Min's take out the dough and divide into 2 parts.
Preheat oven to 375F.
On a lightly floured surface,roll out one part of dough to half inch thick.
For the sugar dusted stars :
Cut out stars using star shaped cookie cutter. re-roll the left over scrap and cut out stars again.
For the caramel glazed flowers :
Cut out flowers using flower shaped cookie the left over scrap and cut out flowers again.
For the jam thumb prints :
Make small balls out of cookie dough and make a dent in the centre with the thumb finger.Fill the dent with desired jam or preserves.
Bake at 375F for about 7-8 Min's. Take out and dust the stars with icing sugar .
For the caramel ,I used store bought caramel bits.Melt them in microwave for 30 secs and add 1 tsp milk,stir and microwave for another 5 secs .Dip the cookies into this sauce and take them out.Let them dry for some time.
My family liked caramel ones and they are already over.I am sending these cookies as my contribution for Susan's Eat Cristmas Cookies .

Monday, December 17, 2007

Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

I first tasted these deadly,warm addictive tasty nuts in a nuts shop in the mall.Ever since its been routine for me to shop holding a cone of warm nuts every time I visit the place.These nuts are just so heavenly and today I am here trying my own method of these nuts and they came out equally tasty. I don't know the original method and wished I could.But I am glad I could make equally tasty ones.
As it was the first time I was trying I didn't want to go for a large amount.So,I used a fistful of almonds,2 tbsp sugar,1 tsp softened butter,1/2 tsp cinnamon and 2 tsp water.
In a dry pan,toast almonds and keep aside.In the same pan,add sugar and butter and keep stirring on low flame until it forms a caramel glaze. Add cinnamon and stir ,add 2 tsp water.Stir and when this mixture forms bubbles,add toasted almonds.Stir and take onto a plate covered with aluminum foil. If nuts stick together separate them using hands.
This is my entry for click event of Jai and Bee for the month of December.

Also,This will be my second entry for Sunita's " Think Spice - Think Cinnamon "

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cone Cake (or) Cake in an Ice Cream cone

I was always fascinated by those cone cakes we used to get in India in almost every bakery. I was thinking of making these cakes from long time and finally the day has come.
I used store bought cake mix to make cake and made the cake batter as per the package instructions.Then filled empty ice cream cones with cake batter till almost full and leaving about 1"space at the top so that cake fluffs up like ice cream stuffed in a cone and placed these cones in a muffin pan , baked for 40 Min's or until knife inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean. While baking, batter may spill out for some cones.But after cones are fully baked, just take off those extra cake spills .The cone will still be nice and firm.For the icing,I used butter cream icing omitting shortening.If using shortening like Crisco,instead of 1 cup butter use 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening.( I would recommend using shortening)
1 cup unsalted butter softened
4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp milk (to make medium consistency icing)

To prepare icing,Beat butter until fluffy. Add vanilla and beat sugar adding one cup at a time while scrapping the edges of bowl in between.Add 1 tsp milk in between for easier flow.Take 1 cup icing in a bowl and add desired colour with a new tooth pick.Do not use the same tooth pick again in the colour bottle.Use a new tooth pick each and every time for each colour .
To ice the cakes,let them cool completely.
Take a strong zip top bag ,drop desired tip into one edge cut the edge of the bag and pump out the icing after frosting the cakes with desired colour.
Note:Does anybody know if shortening is available in India and what it is called or else can somebody share any other icing recipe which doesn't need shortening.
Home tip from Mom to Moms:If your kids spill cream on carpet gently take off the cream with a spoon or knife first.Then,sprinkle "Windex" on tissue paper and dab on the stain in batches .It worked for me - no stain no blot.


Craving for some fresh home made easy biscuits/cookies,then this is the one.Making these Palmier's hardly takes time.To make these Palmier's,I used one packet puff pastry sheet,1.5 cups of sugar and 1 cups of mixed nuts (Almond,Pistachio,Cashew) powdered.

To make Palmier's, thaw puff pastry sheet at room temperature for 20 Min's.Preheat oven to 400F.On a dry hard surface like counter top, generously sprinkle half of powdered nuts and sugar and roll out puff pastry sheet to form a rectangle,and sprinkle remaining powders on rolled out sheet .Now,fold the sheet as shown in the picture below,cut into equal size pieces and gently press each piece with your palm. Bake for 7-8 Min's or until golden brown. turn over and bake again until golden. When still warm sprinkle sugar on these palmier's.

Picture courtesy From here

Monday, December 3, 2007

Italian Doughnuts

This recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis 's show Everyday Italian from Food Network . I like Giada's show . I have tried few of her desserts and they all have come out good.I have few more ones bookmarked in my to try list. One such trial for me is this Italian doughnuts. When I saw this in her show I felt that these are fool proof and are just definitely going to come out good and today after making I am here telling that these doughnuts were really awesome and very tasty and I'll keep making them.All we need to do is cut out pizza dough into doughnut's,deep fry and add your choice of topping.The original recipe can be found here .

My recipe is here:


Prepared pizza dough
To make pizza dough:

1 cup flour
1/2 envelope dry yeast
1 pinch salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup warm water(normal water microwaved for 30 secs)

Mix all the dry ingredients and then with just enough water ,knead the flour to a hard dough.Sprinkle olive oil on top and gently knead again and cover until the batter rises(approximately one hour).
olive oil for frying(or any oil)
1/2 cup sugar
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon

To make Italian doughnuts,
Take half of the dough and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness.
Instead of making the regular donut shapes I preferred to cut out using heart shaped cookie cutter and made doughnut hearts.Gather the dough scraps and re-roll to cut out more doughnuts.
Whisk the sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl to blend. Set the cinnamon-sugar aside.
Giada says using olive oil to fry these doughnuts gives authentic Italian taste.So,even I used olive oil to fry my doughnuts. When the oil is hot, working in batches, fry the doughnuts until they puff but are still pale, about 45 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the doughnuts to paper towels to drain. Cool slightly. While the doughnuts are still warm, add to the bowl with cinnamon-sugar and generously coat each 2 times with the cinnamon-sugar. Serve warm.
I am sending this as my contribution for the event "Think Spice - Think Cinnamon" hosted by Sunita of Sunita's World.

Stuffed Ridge gourd

Ridge gourd is one of my favourite veggies. Ridge gourd chutney is my first preferred choice to me. This stuffed ridge gourd is very easy to make .To make this ,take a ridge gourd , peel and cut into 3 "inches(approximately each piece long enough with fore finger of hand ) .For the stuffing,take a medium sized onion,peel and roughly chop and grind along with salt , 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp red chilly powder into a coarse paste.Stuff this into already slit and cur ridge gourd pieces. In a pan,add a tsp oil and add these stuffed ridge gourd pieces.Cover and cook until veggies are cooked ,tender and dry stirring in between. Serve with rice.

Methi - Tomato Dal

I believe toor dal is an everyday ingredient in many Indian Kitchens like mine too. One classic combo made ou of almost any greens. Today it was methi's turn in my kitchen as fresh methi leaves were stocked up in my fridge. I am sending this as my entry for JFI - Toor Dal hosted by Linda . JFI is the event originated by Indira of Mahanandi.
To make methi - tomato dal,pressure cook toor dal and methi leaves together or separate:
In a pan,do the popu or tadka and then add 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped,salt and turmeric and let cook till tomato is tender and cooked.Now,add cooked dal and methi leaves,stir and let cook. Add 1/4 tsp of red chilly powder,stir and let cook for few more Min's until dal thickens. Take off from heat and serve hot with rice.

Trifle from Namratha's Blog

We just cannot resist to taste or try some foods when they are appealing to our eyes and just can't take off eyes from them until we taste it. One such food for me was this trifle Namratha,one of my blog friends made for Diwali this year.
The original recipe is here,from Namratha's blog.I used store bought cake while making this .
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