Sunday, 20 April 2014

Fruity Sponge Cake

Very Berry Healthy : A Great Day begins with a Healthy yet Tasty breakfast, but is more good when you have a Healthy snack to munch on when you have that in-between hunger cravings! Me and hubby get those a lot! And instead of having the regular buiscuits and chips, we decided to opt for something healthier and Smarteats came right in ! 
They have some really tasty wholesome snacks which you can carry in your tiffin or the packaging comes so neat with a seal-zip bag that you can carry it anywhere just like that ! They have Diet snacks, Cookies, Granola Bars, Tangy mixtures and dried fruits/dry fruits ! The combinations are so interesting that it really doesn't get to that "Boring snack to watch my diet"!!

I decided to order the "Very Berry Strawberry" and the "Fruity Granola Bar", just to try it out! The Granola Bar which was a mixture of Oats, coconut powder, and the sweetness of apples, grapes and dehydrated peaches coated with honey, brown sugar and butter was one simple yet delicious bar! That's not exactly a meal substitute but makes up as a snack or a lunch supplement.
And the chewy dehydrated strawberries were so flavourful that i finished them off in almost 3-4 days! And not only pop them as a snack, i used them in a recipe !!!!

So here i am making a SmartEat recipe with the dried Strawberries :) As Chai-Buiscuit ( Buiscuut, as it is called :)) is a very common household evening favourite snack, our home has the Chai-Cake fever ! So baking a cake every week is mandatory :) You can add any dried fruits of your choice and make this one, the basic ingredients remains the same.

Ingredients :

Maida /All purpose flour - 1 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Butter - 1/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup ( Add 1/4 cup more if you have a sweet tooth )
Egg - 1
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Dried strawberries - a few chopped
Tutty fruity - a few
You can also add nuts if you wish to.
Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp

Recipe :

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius for 10 minutes

Grease and dust a cake tin with butter and flour and keep aside.

Sieve together Maida, Baking powder and Baking soda.

In a bowl, Beat Butter and Powdered sugar together. Now add the egg and beat again. 
Add in the yogurt and mix it all well into a nice creamy mixture. Add vanilla essence and nutmeg powder. 

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix it well with a spatula.

Lastly, add in the dried strawberries, tuttyfruits and nuts.

Put this mixture into the baking tray and bake at 180 degrees celcius for 45-50 minutes.

Remove and set aside to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cake tin.

Now remove from the cake tin and let it cool on a wire rack.

Soft spongy cake is ready, which tastes and smells like heaven :))

Happy Baking :)

Friday, 11 April 2014

Chole Tikki

And here i write my 50th post : Blogging has surely given me lots of learning and knowledge and with all the love and support i am getting from friends,viewers and followers, i hope to continue this a long way! "Miles to go before i sleep" :)

I wanted to cook something special for my 50th post, but i couldn't help posting this one as Election ( and especially Narendra Modi) fever is ON everywhere in India! The newspaper is filled with all ( and only !!) articles about Lok Sabha Elections! Though am glad that people ( especially common man, and youth are voting to see a change in the Government ), i couldn't help but salute the PR agency of Narendra Modi who have left no stone unturned but to make us eat, sleep, dream Narendra Modi. I especially loved the hilarious "Modi Sarkaar" quotes that has been doing the rounds on social media, especially Facebook and whats-app. To quote a few favourite ones,

So, just when i picked up my Thursday morning newspaper ( which was the Voting Day in Delhi ), i saw Narendra Modi on the front page of the newspaper, and couldn't help make a quote myself for the breakfast i had cooked -
"Chole ke bina tikki hai bekaar, ab ki baar Modi Sarkaar" and i laughed out so loud myself, that i thought i had to share it with you all ! So here's bringing Chole Tikki for you...

Chole tikki, Aloo tikki, aloo chaat are the terms i learnt when i shifted to Delhi. In Mumbai, we get Ragda pattice which is made with yellow peas ( white Chana/Vatana) whereas Chole is made with chickpeas.
Now this one is again one of my Leftover Recipes, where i had Chole in the refrigerator from the earlier night ( and for some reason, me and hubby like some dishes like chole, rajma or some gravy dishes more from the earlier nights than when cooked fresh!! ). And yes, i had Boiled potatoes too! I normally boil potatoes and store in fridge. Comes in handy when you want to make a quick snack!
This is normally served with the green chutney ( corriander-mint ) and the brown chutney ( tamarind-dates) , but since i am always in a hurry in the mornings to make the tiffins, i skipped this bit. Despite that, it tasted delicious!

So Chole-tikki adorned Hubby's breakfast tiffin and no doubt, he relished it :))

Ingredients :

Potatoes : 3 medium
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp ( you can also use cumin seeds or even ajwain to add a different taste)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Amchur powder - 1 tsp (This made up for the tamarind-date chutney that i didn't make)
Besan/Cornflour - 1 n half tbsp ( I used besan )
Rock salt ( sendha namak ) - to taste
Oil - for frying

Other :
Cooked Chole - 1 cup
Chopped onions - 1/4 cup
Chopped tomatoes - 1/4 cup
Sev - As required
Lemon juice/ Chaat masala / Red chilli powder ( Optional ) - As required for garnishing
Corriander leaves - For garnish.

Recipe :

Boil, Peel and mash the potatoes well.
Mix in all the spice powders.
Add Salt.
Now add the Besan.
Mix everything well and make medium sized ( or as desirable ) patties of the potato mixture.
Heat oil in a pan. 
Shallow fry the Patties till crisp and golden brown.

Now add the Chole on top.

Add chopped onions and tomatoes.

Add the chutneys if you have or add sev (Baarik sev as we call it , tastes great with this )

Add Chaat masala, red chilli power and/or lemon juice if you want.

Garnish with Corriander leaves.

Relish it for breakfast with green tea, and yes, Don't forget to say , "Ab Saas-bahu khaayenge Chole-tikki aur achaar, Ab ki Baar Modi Sarkaar ) !!! ( From one of my friend Aniket Badame ).

Alternatively, you can also make these tikkis as a snack, and serve it along with chutney. Or sandwich them between breads with a layer of ketchup. Be as creative as you can ! 

Happy Cooking :)

Friday, 4 April 2014

Bhindi Sambar

Cooking is an art : As much as i appreciate when my friends call me a good cook, there are times when things go wrong ! Guess this is an everybody's kitchen story that something got burnt, something didn't turn right and some leftovers always occupy the fridge space! As much as a foodie i am, i hate to waste food and always want to find some news ways of utilising the leftovers or do some modifications and get the recipe right! 

One such day was when i was trying to make homemade ghee ( which now, am an expert at :)), and the butter refused to pop up ( from which ghee is made, we call this "LONI" in Marathi language ) from the buttermilk, despite trying all the combinations. So now i was left with tons of sweet buttermilk. Yes, it does taste good in it's natural form, but i decided to make something out of it. And my exploration led me to discover a terrific recipe of Sambar made with ButterMilk. Hubby is not much of a fan of coconut based gravies but i truly cherished it with Steamed Rice.

So Grab on your prettiest apron and wear those funky pajamas, and we are all set to enter the kitchen to make the dish of the day :)

Ingredients :

Buttermilk - 2 cups
Bhindi( Lady's finger ) - 1/4 cup (You can also add brinjals or cucumber instead of bhindi ) Chopped into small pieces
Kala Chana - 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp ( you can also use coconut oil to add extra flavour and aroma, if you are okay with the smell of it )
Red chillies - 3
Green chillies - 2 ( i didn't have these, so my kadhi is looking a little reddish as i added 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder )
Ginger - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Corriander seeds - 2 tsp
Hing ( Asafoetida ) a pinch
Coconut flakes - 2 tsp 
Curry leaves - a few ( Sigh! I didn't have these too...)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste

Recipe :

Soak the kala chana in 1/2 cup of water.

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the bhindi ( they shouldn't be too crisp, fry it just till they start browning).

Add turmeric and salt to the buttermilk. ( In case you don't have buttermilk, use yogurt )

In a grinder, add the soaked chana, ginger, coconut flakes, green chillies, red chillies and corriander seeds and grind it to a smooth mixture. Add a little water if necessary.

Heat oil in a pan, add Asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When they crackle, add this ground mixture to it and saute for a minute.

Now add the yogurt mixture and let it come to a boil.

Now add the fried bhindis and let it simmer on low flame till it thickens.

You can garnish it with corriander leaves. 
Serve with Steamed rice and Papad !

Happy Cooking :)