Monday, March 28, 2011

Eggless Banana Almond Muffins

What did I do with over ripe bananas before I started this blog ? I threw them away...
What do I do after I started this blog ? I make banana muffins !!

I make butter at home now and almost always make muffins when I have butter on hand, I use the butter milk (from churning out the butter) to make scones.
Starting this blog has helped me discover the use of a whole lot of new ingredients and made me appreciate what I can make with what I have on hand...

eggless muffins

My son loves muffins and every time he sees bananas going black, he asks me if we are making muffins !
I have this icing set that I got a while back, but havent really used it...He calls it the injection for cakes and has been pestering me to use it...thats the next project on hand !

These are fairly simple ones that I have made something similar earlier, with oats. This time, I used only maida / AP flour. Add chopped almonds for the crunch and a little powdered cardamom for flavour...
Used this recipe from Nithya's beautiful blog, with a few changes...

What you need -

4 ripe bananas
1.5 cups maida / AP flour
8-10 almonds chopped
a pinch of powdered cardamom
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup white butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

What you do with it -

Mash the bananas
Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl till they combine well
Add the vanilla extract and mashed bananas to the butter
Combine the baking powder, baking soda and powdered cardamom with the flour
Pre-heat the oven to 190 deg C
Gently fold in the wet ingredients with the dry ones
Add chopped almonds and mix once more
Grease the muffins pans or use the paper liners
Fill in the batter upto 3/4th level in the moulds or liners
Bake for about 20-25 mins
Enjoy with some hot tea

Friday, March 18, 2011

Instant Dosa

TH loves dosas, I prefer idlis, he loves chutney, I prefer sambhar, but over the many years that we have been married now, I have started enjoying dosas and he likes idlis !!

Initially, making dosas seemed like the the most cumbersome task...soak, grind, ferment, was really too much of advance preparation for a simple breakfast...
Instant dosas were a saviour...You can have the dosa in less than 10 mins from the time you decided on eating one !

instant dosa

This recipe is from my friend Lal, who had brought them to office once...
Its my emergency dosa recipe - gets done in a jiffy...

What you need -

1 cup maida / AP flour
1 cup rice flour
1 cup rava / sooji / semolina
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp grated fresh coconut
2 tsp chopped coriander leaves
4-5 cups water
1/2 tsp salt

What you do with it -

Mix the maida, rice flour and rava in a large bowl
Add water to make it into a smooth paste
4-5 cups is an approximation here - I really dont measure the water - the consistency should be thinner that the regular dosa batter
Add cumin seeds, chopped coriander leaves, coconut and salt
Heat the tava and add a few drops of oil
This dosa cannot be spread out like the usual rice-urad dal dosa batter
Take the batter in a big ladle and start from the sides, then bring it to the centre. What I do is move the tava to make the batter fill in the gaps, if any
Cover and let it cook for a minute or two
Then flip over and fry for another minute
Serve with a freshly ground chutney or a chutney podi, like this one

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vermicelli / Seviyan Upma

Upma is a fairly standard breakfast option in most South Indian homes...Seviyan upma is made from vermicelli and was a big challenge for me to get it right most times...
The last few times, however, I managed to nail it...

seviya upma

Its very very important that you follow the instructions to cook it, as given on the pack. There is the rice vermicelli, wheat vermicelli, roasted wheat vermicelli (which I used here, and is most fool-proof)

Simple recipe for a simple breakfast...
You can add vegetables of your choice to add to the colour, flavour and health quotient of this dish !

What you need -

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
2 green chillies
a few curry leaves
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped
1 cup roasted wheat vermicelli
2 cups water (please check the instructions mentioned on the pack)
2 tsp grated coconut
salt to taste
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp oil

What you do with it -

Heat oil in a deep bottom pan and add the urad dal and mustard seeds
Once they splutter, add the curry leaves and green chillies
Add the chopped onions and fry for 2-3 mins
Add the tomato pieces, salt and water
Once the water comes to a boil, add the vermicelli and cook on a low flame till done
Take it off the heat and garnish with grated coconut and coriander leaves

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lilva Bataka nu Shaak - Gujarati style spiced vegetables

This is a halfway Undhiyu - a famous Gujarati winter dish..
The spices used here are pretty much the same, but the undhiyu has a lot more vegetables added to it - kand (purple yam), sweet potatoes, bananas and of course, muthias...


This shaak (with some vegetables added or excluded) is a must in all the Gujarati thalis (special meal served in a huge round plate) and I love the taste of it...Described the dish to my friend here, who then gave me this recipe...
It turned out exactly like the one we have in the restaurants and is really yum with some hot rotlis (Gujarati mini phulkas)..Thank you A, for this recipe - it really works !!

What you need -

1 cup Surti lilva(avrekai) or tuvar lilva
1/2 cup papdi / flat beans
12-15 baby potatoes
1/2 tsp ajwain / carom seeds
a pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dhania/ coriander seed powder
1 tsp jeera / cumin powder
1/2 - 1 tsp grated jaggery / sugar
salt to taste
2 tsp oil

To grind -

1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 cup coriander leaves
3-4 garlic pods
3 green chillies

What you do with it -

Grind all the ingredients listed under 'To grind' to a smooth paste
Peel the potatoes and cook along with papdi beans and lilva, with a little salt added
Heat oil in a pan and add the carom seeds and asafoetida
Add turmeric powder and the ground paste
Saute the masala till it changes colour
Add the dhania powder, jeera powder, chilli powder and then add the cooked vegetables
(You can add brinjals too - adds a lot to the taste)
Mix well so that the vegetables are coated with the masala
Add the jaggery and salt and 1/2 cup of water and bring to a slow boil
Serve with hot rotlis and a salad

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pesto and Sun-dried Tomato Bread - Arusuvai Season II

This was the first time I tried braiding bread !! I have braided my hair, myself, almost all thru my school life, but when it came to braiding with these strips of dough, it was surprisingly confusing ! I guess I was so used to doing it with my hands behind my head, that with these in front, it was actually confusing !!

This bread had a lovely flavour, and we had it with some pasta for dinner..

braided bread

Here's a little story behind this...I received a parcel that had some dried active yeast...

The first time I read about Arusuvai,(a friendship chain between food bloggers in India) was on Miri's blog...

This was a really nice concept that was started off by Lathamma, Bharathy and Srivalli.
It was all about sending a 'secret' ingredient to another blogger, who then figured what it was and made something with it, and then in turn, sent some other secret ingredient to other bloggers. It was like a chain that carried on for a while between a lot of food bloggers in India.
Honestly, I felt quite sorry for myself, since I never was part of this chain. I was just about getting active with blogging then..

Thankfully, Sayantani of A Homemaker's Diary has now revived this chain with Arusuvai Season II and I was more than happy about it and signed up rightaway.

I waited (impatiently) for my parcel to arrive. There's something about the words 'secret / surprise', that brought back the child-like eagerness, to wait for the parcel
I got mine from Veena of Kitchen Celebrations, and it was a packet of yeast with a cute little card, a mixing bowl and 2 fruit bowls...I was really happy to see this big box waiting for me...
Thank you Veena, for these lovely gifts..


I have baked bread before, but wanted to try this braiding, and this was a fun experiment ! Sending this to Yeastspotting

Recipe Adapted from the book 'Baking', By Martha Day

What you need -

3.5 cups flour (I used 2.5 cups wheat flour and the rest maida/AP flour)
1.5 tsp yeast
1.5 tsp sugar
1 - 1.5 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 tbsp pesto (I used basil-almond pesto, on the lines of this one)
1 tsp coarse sea-salt

What you do with it -

Take one cup of the warm water and pour into a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast granules over it. Add sugar and mix well. Leave aside for 10-15 mins
Once you see the yeast getting all frothy, you know you are ready to go with the next step
Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper.
Make a well in the centre and add pour in the yeast mixture
Add the chopped sun dried tomatoes and the pesto
Gradually mix in the flour to make a soft dough. Add more warm water if required
Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead well for 5 mins, till is is smooth and elastic
Return to a clean bowl and cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for about 2 hours, till it doubles in volume
Grease a baking sheet and set aside
Once the dough is all risen, transfer to a floured surface and knead again for a few minutes. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll to form 3 sausage shape pieces
Dampen the end of the three pieces, press down at one end and then loosely braid it. Dampen the other ends and press together to complete the braid
Place on the baking sheet and cover with the damp cloth again for about 30 mins, till it has risen well
Preheat the oven to 220 deg C
Sprinkle the braid with coarse sea salt
Bake for 10 mins and then lower the temp to 200 and bake for a further 15-20 mins
Cool on a rack and enjoy with a salad, soup or pasta


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