Thursday, April 28, 2011

Spring mix-Berry,Mango n Avocado Salad

I love Spring time,not only for the lovely weather,birds and flowers it brings but also for the abundance of spring vegetables,fruits and salads that are available which taste so fresh and crisp just like the Spring air.I haven't posted a recipe in a while because was busy  mulching and  planting my flower,veggie and herb kitchen garden.Will post the pics as soon  as the veggies start to grow.Have planted Basil,Oregano,Sage ,Thyme,Tarragon,Lavender,Tomatoes,Eggplant,Zucchini,Watermelon,Okra ,Bell Peppers and another long list of flowers some of which have to be planted yet .So please excuse me for not blogging regularly.Here's a delicious Spring salad .Goes well with BBQ chicken or baked fish or even on it's own.I love the combination of early Spring salad mix with delicious strawberries and ripe mango and creamy avocados.


Mix in a salad bowl
6 cups of organic Baby Spring salad mix or mix
a bunch each of baby Romaine,baby Spinach,Endives,Radicchio
1 ripe mango diced
10- 12 strawberries halved
2 ripe avocados sliced
4 Persian or 1 English cucumber chopped
1 Gala Apple thinly sliced
2 carrots julienned ( use a veggie peeler)
Dressing of your choice
I have used JapaneseTonton Ginger dressing 
(Winner of 2006 NASFT’s Outstanding Oil, Vinegar and Salad Dressing Category)


Sunday, March 6, 2011

9 Grain Artisan Bread with sunflower and flax seeds

Yippeee !!! baked my first loaf of artisan bread today !! There's nothing more satisfying than the whole process of the ingredients mixing together and rising into this wonderful ,wholesome and fresh loaf of loveliness...My kitchen smells like a Parisian boulangerie .
Flaxseeds also known as 'Alsi 'in India contain an agent that soothes and protects the lining of the intestine.
Sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, some amino acids ,Vitamin E, B Vitamins and minerals such as copper, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, selenium, calcium and zinc.
Ingredients :
3 cups of warm water
2 packets of yeast
2 tsp sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp salt
2 cups of 9 grain bread flour
2 cups of whole wheat flour(more if reqd)
2 tbsp Flax seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp black sesame seeds

Directions : In a bowl combine the warm water (not hot ),sugar and yeast .Add the 9 grain bread flour and stir .Let bubble and rise for 30 mins. Now add the whole wheat flour,salt and melted butter and mix  to form a dough.Add the sunflower and flax seeds and mix well.
Transfer the dough on a floured surface and knead well.Add more flour if sticky.Keep working on it for 5-6 mins.Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place.It will double in size. Punch down and divide into 2-3 loaves. Shape the loaves .Press black sesame seeds on top.
Transfer to loaf pans or baking sheets and let it rise one final time for 30 mins till it is an inch above the rim of the pan.Bake at 350 F for 30 mins . Do not overbake.Brush with melted butter.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate's in the air -Sweet treats- Happy Valentine's Day !!

Edible bouquet

Chocolate covered strawberries,Oreo cookies and marshmallows

If it's Valentine's Day there has to be chocolate  in the celebration.These chocolate covered strawberries,marshmallows and Oreo cookies are a breeze to make and super to taste.
Tip: Use the highest-quality chocolate you can buy. Good chocolate has a glossy sheen and a smooth taste.

Ingredients: 1 cup Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp heavy cream
8-10 strawberries
8-10 Oreo cookies
8-10 large marshmallows
bamboo skewers

Directions: Melt the chocolate and the heavy cream in a double boiler ( Fill a pot with 3 inches of water.Bring it to a boil.Place a thick glass bowl on top of the  pot .Add the chocolate  and heavy cream in the bowl and keep whisking with a fork till it melts and forms a smooth glossy velvety liquid.The  chocolate should only melt with the steam from the water i.e the water should not touch the bowl.Turn off the heat and let cool for 2 mins. Dip the strawberries last or they'll get cooked  in the hot chocolate.. Skewer the fruits and marshmallows .Dip in the chocolate and allow to dry on a wax paper. Cut a cantaloupe in half and use it as the base of your edible bouquet to arrange the skewered strawberries and marshmallows. You can use any other fruits of your choice. Get the kids to pitch in .They'll love it. Enjoy your creation.!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quick and Easy Chili Chicken

Chili Chicken

A very quick ,simple and delicious recipe for Chili chicken
Replace chicken with paneer,tofu or mushrooms for a veggie version

3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb boneless chicken cubed
1 small red onion sliced
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 green bell pepper
2-3 whole green chillies
4 stalks of scallion(green onion)
1 packet Knorr Chinese hot and sour soup .

For the batter :
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
2 tbsp cornstrach

Directions : In a bowl beat the egg ,cornstarch ,salt and pepper together to form a smooth paste..Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Dip the chicken in the batter and shallow fry till cooked .Set aside on a papertowel to drain the excess oil.In the same pan add a little extra oil and add the onions and cook till transluscent.Add the minced garlic and brown lightly. Add the green chillies
 and bell pepper and saute for a few minutes. Add 1 cup water and the entire packet of Knorr hot n sour soup.Bring to a boil and let it thicken stirring at regular intervals.If it's too thick add a little more water .Add the cooked chicken and spring onions and garnish with coriander leaves(cilantro).Serve hot with noodles or rice.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Basil Pesto and Pimento Chicken Panini

Ready in minutes .This healthy and delicious dish is great for the days when you are too rushed to make a proper meal.Pair with your favorite soup to make a great lunch.Also a great way to use up Rotisserie chicken.The Pimento cheese and Pepperjack add a nice spice to it.

4 slices of multigrain bread
2 tbsp Pimento cheesespread
2 tbsp basil pesto
1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken( like Rotisserie)
2 slices Pepperjack cheese

Heat Panini press or grill to high. Spray with cooking oil.
Spread the basil pesto on one slice of bread .On the other slice spread the pimento cheese spread,top with chicken and Pepperjack cheese slice .Cover with the basil pesto layered slice of bread. Drizzle with olive oil. Toast on the Panini press till crisp and golden brown.Serve hot with your favorite soup.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Happy Diwali -Pistachio Almond Cookies-(Badaam -Pista Nankhatai)

Wishing all my friends a very HAPPY DIWALI and a PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR !!!

Badaam -Pista Nankhatai

Hope everyone had a fun and safe Diwali !!Made these nankhatai for Diwali .The recipe is very simple and super easy to make once you get  the ingredients measured correctly.These are made in pure ghee the old fashioned way instead of margarine.The difference in taste is  substantial because of the ghee. Thandai powder has fennel,poppyseeds,cardamom,nutmeg etc which gives a very exotic flavor to the cookies.Once you get around making these you'll never go back to store bought ones.You can also  make these plain by just adding cardamom seeds and omitting the saffron,almonds and pistas and Thandai powder.

Ingredients :

1 1/4 th cup unbleached all purpose flour(maida)
2/3 rd cup pure ghee
1/2 cup sugar
1/8th tsp baking powder
1/8th tsp salt
1 tsp Thandai or milk masala pwdr(optional)
pinch of crushed saffron
seeds of 4 green cardamom crushed
Handful of almond and pistachios roughly chopped

Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 F
In a bowl mix together the flour,baking soda,salt,thandai pwdr and set aside.
Melt ghee in a saucepan over low heat.
Add sugar and stir to dissolve 2-3 mins.
Remove from heat and combine with dry ingredients.
Add crushed cardamom seeds ,saffron,chopped almondsl and pistachios and combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon.When the  dough is cool enough to handle mix with your fingers and knead to form a ball. While it is still warm divide dough into 16-20  small walnut size balls .Roll each between your palms ,flatten slightly and place the discs on a cookie tray lined with aluminum foil 1 inch apart.Press a few slivered pieces of almond and pistachios on top of the cookiesBake 15-20 mins or till the bottoms are lightly colored.Cool and store in an airtight container.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween -Autumn Spiced Pumpkin Pecan Pudding Cake

I created this recipe for Halloween.
This deliciously  spiced cake has all the flavors of autumn .The rustic taste of  pumpkin and crystallised ginger are enhanced by hints of warm spices like cinnamon,nutmeg and cloves.Toasty pecans add a nice crunch . Don't get discouraged by the long list of ingredients.Once they are at hand this cake is a breeze to make and worth the effort .Serve hot with coffee or tea with Spiced Gingerbread Butter(Williams Sonoma makes an excellent one ) Click on the pictured for an enlarged view .

dry ingredients

wet ingredients

prepared batter in the cake mould

Dry Ingredients :
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 small packet pumpkin spice or lemon flavor instant pudding mix
1 small packet butterscoth flavor instant pudding mix
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking pwdr
2 tsp cinnamon pwdr
2 tsp nutmeg pwdr
1/4 th tsp clove pwdr
2 tbsp crystallised ginger finely chopped or soft ginger chews
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/2 tsp salt

Wet  ingredients :
2 cups sugar
1 15 oz can organic Pumkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple sauce
4 eggs (room temp )
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions :

Preheat oven to 350 F .Line a 9 inch round pan with parchmant paper.
Mix the flour,salt,baking soda ,baking pwdr,instant pudding powders,cinnamon,nutmeg,clove powder and sift to mix well.Add the chopped crystallised ginger and pecans and toss well. Keep aside.
In a mixing bowl mix the sugar and vegetable oil with a electric mixer ,add the pumpkin puree,apple sauce and 1 egg at a time and beat well till they are mixed together.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well to form a thick batter. Pour in a baking pan or cup cake pan and bake at 350 for 40 mins or till toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Serve with Spiced Gingerbread Butter (optional)

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Giada's Ricotta and Orange Marmalade Pound cake

We all know the secret to making a deliciously moist pound cake is adding sour cream to it.In this recipe sour cream is replaced with Ricotta cheese which is a smooth ,creamy, mild cheese .The results are a deliciously light,moist  and fluffy pound cake. Orange marmalade and zest add a lovely citrus flavor  and lightness to it.This is one of Giada's recipes.The only change I have made is replaced 1/4th cup sugar with 2 tbsp orange marmalade .

cake ingredients

making the batter

prepared cake
Amaretto Italian  liqueur(if you don't have it,replace with 2 tsp Vanilla extract)

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cups cake flour (to make your own cake flour add 2 tbsp cornstarch to 3/4 th cup of sifted all purpose flour)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (room temp)
 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 1/4 cups sugar,
2 tbsp orange marmalade
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons Amaretto (Almond flavored Italian liqueur) I have used Disarono Italian liqueur here
Powdered sugar, for dusting
1/2 cup strawberries quartered.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch round pan with butter. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, ricotta, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla , orange zest ,orange marmalade and Amaretto until combined. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the cake is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 45 to 50 minutes. If the cake is still moist at the center  move it to a lower rack in the oven and bake for an additional 10 mins.Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with strawberries.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Awards and acknowledgements

A big thanks to Jay who writes a wonderful blog  Tasty Appetite for the above award.

A big thanks to Prathima of Prat's Corner,
Nayna of
and Chaitrali of  I'm not a chef  for sharing this award with me which I would like to share with all my blogger friends.Your comments and suggestions are always greatly appreciated.

Monday, October 25, 2010



This delicious and highly nutritious Mexican dip is a breeze to make .You can leave it chunky as I have or run it through a food processor to make a smooth  dip. Serve with tortilla chips or add to tacos.

Ingredients: 2 ripe avocados
1 half red onion
1 ripe tomato
handful of chopped cilantro leaves
1 tbsp or juice of half a lime
5-6 pickled jalapeno rings chopped
3 tbsp sour cream
salt to taste

Directions :
Cut and dice the onion,avocados ,tomato.Add salt,lime juice,jalapeno ,cilantro and sour cream and mix together.Alternately you can run these through a food processor to a smooth finish.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dassera pics n Mohan thal-Gramflour Fudge

Sorry friends haven't posted  any recipes since the last week.Did cook a lot but couldn't blog as had a super  busy week with Navratri,Dassera,pooja,havan at home and if that wasn't enough our town hosted their annual Diwali function last  week and my kids  had participated in a dance for that.So in between school, dance practices,dress rehearsals and temple visits I was also allocated by the choreographer the task  of buying thirty yards of fabric and cutting 16 skirts ,scarves and dupattas out of them which were then stitched into dance costumes by the moms .Believe me I haven't cut so much as  a handkerchief in my life so with this enormous task on hand had a really busy time juggling several things at once..Everything turned out great in the end.The costumes and the kids in them looked oh so cute,the dance went off well,managed to clean and prepare the home before the pooja and havan and could also visit the temple for a couple of nights on Navratri and  the Ram -Leela and Raavan dahan on Dassera.Here are some pics below as well as a recipe for Mohan -thal a fudge made out of gramflour. 

Mohan thal

A delicious ancient recipe made out of gram flour which stays good even without refrigeration.Gram flour when roasted in ghee emits a delicious nutty aroma and taste. 
250 gms gram flour/besan (you can use mohan thal flour which is also gram flour but coarser in texture if you find it or regular gram flour is fine)
200 gms ghee
300 gms  sugar
 2 tbsp ghee 
2 tbsp milk
pinch of saffron
few slivered almonds
1 tsp cardamom pwdr
1/4 tsp nutmeg pwdr

Directions :
Take the gram flour in a dish .Add the 2 tbsp warm milk and 2 tbsp warm ghee to it .Mix  the flour well and leave aside for 5 mins. Seive it through a thin seive .The consistency of the seived flour will be like semolina/rava .
Heat the ghee in a non-stick pan. Add the seived flour to it and roast stirring constantly till the flour changes color to a light brown and emits a lovely nutty aroma.Once it cools adds the cardamom and nutmeg opwders to it.
In another vessel,make the sugar syrup by adding equal quantity of water to the sugar and boiling it together to a one thread consistency.Add a pinch of saffron to it while it boils.One both cool mix them well..grease a steel thali and spread the mixture evenly on it. Decorate with slivered almonds. .Once cool cut into rectangles.

Mohan thal

Dassera pooja and havan at home

38 ft Raavan effigy

Ram Leela- US style
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add warm milk annd ghee to the gram flour  
seive through a fine seive
measure all ingredients
roast in ghee to a light golden brown
remove on a greased plate
making saffron flavored sugar syrup