Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Grape Porcupine

BM # 43  Week 3  Day 3

Today is the third and final day and I have to post one more post under healthy desserts for kids. Fruits if presented to kids in a special way they would never say no. So I decided to make this porcupine with pear and grapes. It looks great and is healthy too. Kids would love to pick up these grapes from sticks without any mess. This porcupine was created by my DIL and we all had fun picking the sticks just like kids.

What you need
Two cloves
Some tooth picks

How to go about
Choose a shape which is a perfect pear , else you need to shape it a bit.
Rub it with lemon juice, to avoid discoloration.
Thread the grapes and arrange them on the pear.
Make sure the pointed side of the tooth pick is up.
Fix the eyes with cloves.

Enjoy !!

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mango Custard

BM # 43  Week 3  Day 1

Kids are very fond of desserts or sweets and moms are always in quest of giving them some healthy desserts.So For this week I have chosen healthy desserts for kids. For today it is Mango custard. Mangoes are full of iron and incorporating fruit with milk is even more nutritious. I topped the custard with bananas, which are full of calcium.A wee bit of chocolate adds a special attraction and kids would happily finish the bowl.
I had no kids to serve this dessert but my hubby happily enjoyed it.

1tbsp corn flour
250 ml milk
250 ml mango purée
Sugar ( optional )

Chocolate sauce

Boil the milk.
 Add sugar if you want to.
Dissolve the cornflour in 2 tb sp cold milk.
Slowly add it to the boiling milk, let this become thick.
Remove from fire.
Let cool.
Add the mango puree.
Mix well and pour into serving cups.
Just before serving add chopped bananas and drizzle some chocolate sauce.

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Oats Kheer

BM # 43  Week 3  Day 2

Kheers are so versatile and they give proper nutrition too to the kids. Some kids just do not like to drink milk , and one has to find  ways and means to incorporate milk in their diet .Kheer is one of the best ways to do that. Today I have made Oats kheer, which is my second days post under the theme healthy desserts for kids.

We always have some Indian sweets at home,so I have to use these somehow. I use these for kulfis and kheers. The Gulab Jamun Kulfi is a hit in the family. One can omit sugar when adding the Mithai to the kheer, but of course if one does not have mithai you can always use sugar.

Oats kheer
1/4 cup oats
1 lt milk
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 pieces kaju Katli
Sugar as required
Few strands saffron
Dry roast the oats.
First add 1/2 cup milk and let the oats cook.
If these do not cook then add more milk and cook further.
Add all the milk and let simmer.
Add cardamom, saffron and the kaju Katli.
This will make the kheer thick.
You could add sugar instead of the mithai also.
Remove from fire when it reaches the desired consistency.
Garnish with pistachios.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Bhakharwadi - Maharashtra Special for Indian Cooking Challenge

Bhakharwadi is a Maharashtrian snack which is very popular. Normally this is relished with tea or carried along on long journeys. I have always been fond of this, but never thought of making it myself. With Valli giving this snack for Our cooking challenge, I was happy that I had a chance to try. Life forever seems to be busy and one has the habit of postponing things for the last minute. This is what happened with me too. Well actually I cant say last minute, because I tried the snack three days before the challenge. Unfortunately the Bhakharwadis were a big flop. They got glued to the steamer and in my attempt to remove they were disintegrated. The stuffing was delicious, I fried a few very carefully and they got over within minutes.

I was quite dejected and kept thinking what went wrong..
The next morning I decided to re do. This time I added some sugar and lemon juice and a few extra spices. Everytime I have had this snack it has always had the sweet and tangy taste.I made sure to press the rolls while rolling so that all the stuffing would stick.I did not steam , and just cut up the roll into 1/2'' pieces. and prayed they would not fall apart.

When I removed the first Bhakharwadi I could not wait, I just popped it in my mouth. It was hot and i loved it. It looked so beautiful. A lovely spiral with the specs of poppy seeds, which looked like some designer treat.

I placed these spirals on the breakfast table and was amazed , everyone loved them. I could only smile, wondering did I need to get dejected,No not at all. We cant be perfect always, and one does learn from mistakes right?

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup gram flour
3 tsp red chilli powder
¾ tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Mix the ingredients under dough and make a semi soft dough with water.
Keep aside.

2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp dry desiccated coconut
½ tbsp coriander powder
½ tbsp cumin powder
½ tbsp garam masala
2 green chillies, finely chopped
½ tsp ginger, finely chopped
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 tbsp sugar, powdered
Juice of 1 lemon
Pinch salt
Dry roast all the ingredients under stuffing, except sugar and lemon.
Place them in a spice grinder and give it a quick pulse.
Add sugar and lemon juice.
Check for spices at this stage, it should be spicy, salty, sweet as well as tangy.

Divide the dough into three equal balls.
Roll them to a disc.
Apply water on the disc.
Spread the stuffing on this disc.
Now start rolling from front, keep pressing in between so that the spice sticks to the disc.
Seal the edges with lemon juice..Similarly make other rolls.
Cut these into ½’’ pieces.
Deep fry on medium flame till crisp and golden.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Makai na Dhokla / Steamed Corn Cakes

BM # 43 Week 2 Day3

Come monsoon and you start spotting lot of corn every where. This corn is really tempting and I love to cook with it. So for the last day in this Dhokla series I have made Corn Dhoklas. These are very flavorful, a little sweet and a little spicy.These are as good as any instant snack and taste very very Gujju. When I say very Gujju I mean it has an equal balance of sugar and lemon. The Gujjus would say barabar gadapan khattas..perfect balance!!

1 cup maize flour (makai ka atta) 
1/2 cup sour curds 
1 sweet corn , grated
2 tsp ginger- green chilli paste 
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing) 
2 tsp sugar 
1 tsp lemon juice 
1 tsp Eno's fruit salt
2 tsp oil 
Salt to taste

Chopped coriander

For tempering 
1 mustard seeds (rai) 
1 sesame seeds (til)
A pinch asafoetida (hing) 

Combine the maize flour and sour curds with 1/2 cup of warm water in a bowl.
 Mix well to make a smooth batter. Keep aside for at least 30 minutes.
Add the sweet corn, ginger-green chilli paste, asafoetida, sugar, lemon juice, oil and mix well.
Add the fruit salt, mix gently and pour the batter into a greased thali. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes.
Prepare the tempering by heating the oil, adding the mustard seeds, sesame seeds and asafoetida and frying until the seeds crackle.
 Pour the tempering over the prepared dhokla.
Garnish with the chopped coriander. Cut into pieces and serve hot.

Here are some other Dhoklas that I made...

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Monday, August 11, 2014

Chola Methi na Dhokla / Steamed Lentil Cakes

BM # 43  Week 2  Day 2

I wonder how many of you have heard of Chola Daal ?These are split black eye beans, creamy white in color and have a black mark on their inner curve. This is a daal that looks very much like urad daal but slightly bigger. Gujarati homes use this daal for making Dhoklas and Dahi wadas. I remember eating these Dhoklas years back in a jain friends house. Ever since I have been wanting to make them, but some how land up making the Peela Dhoklas, which were my MIL'S speciality.With Valli announcing the Dhokla theme or this BM I got a chance to try these.

These dhoklas are really nutritious as they are full of greens Simple to make these definitely need pre planning. The daal needs to be soaked for 3-4 hours, methi needs to be finely chopped , but all that done it is very simple and the taste is really amazing. 

250 gms Chola daal
100 gms fenugreek, picked , washed and finely chopped
paste of 2-4 green chillies
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 Cup curd
1 sachet ENO
Salt to taste
Wash the daal a couple of times and soak it for 3-4 hours.
Grind to a paste, along with salt and curd.
Mix the chilly ginger paste.
Place a steamer , and once the water starts boiling place a greased plate in it.
Mix in the methi leaves and ENO.
Pour ladle fuls of batter and stem till a skewer comes out clean.
When done remove and cut into pieces.
Heat oil.
Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds.
Temper .

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sooji na Dhokla / Steamed Semolina Cakes

BM # 43   Week 2   Day 1

We are in the second week of this marathon and for this week I have chosen to cook Dhoklas. Dhoklas are very popular in Gujarat and one gets to see a lot of variety. These are low cal and recommended by the dieticians, provided they are made at home. If you buy from stores they are full of oil.For Day1 its Sooji Dhoklas. These are my personal favorite and really vey quick to prepare. Normally I do not add chutney, but these are sandwiched with a spicy chutney. I wish the color of the chutney was deeper, but this was again a new chutney so I wanted to try this.Any way here is how I made them.

Sooji Dhoklas
2 cups semolina
1 tsp green chilly paste
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 cup beaten curd
Salt to taste
1 sachet ENO

Mix curd , ginger, green chilli and salt to semolina.
Add salt.
Adding water bring it to a thicker than dosa consistency.
Heat a steamer.
Add the ENO sachet.
Whisk very well and pour about 2 laddle fuls in the greased thali and place it to steam.
this should be done in 5-7 minutes.
apply a layer of chutney.
Pour another two ladles of this batter.
This should spread on the chutney layer.
cover and steam.
This time you can steam for a little longer.
All the same insert a tooth pick and if it comes out clean it is done.

2-3 green chillies
1/4 cup fafada or some besan farsaan
Few leaves mint
Salt to taste
Lemon juice
Few tsps curd
Blend all in a mixer to a smooth paste.

Mustard seeds
Curry leaves
Heat oil.
Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
 Drizzle over the dhoklas.

If you do not want to make chutney, you could simply steam once using more batter. I sometimes temper these with mustard and finely chopped garlic and add loads of chopped coriander. Since it is monsoon, we do not get very good coriander leaves so I have not used.

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