Category Archives: From my kitchen

The guilt potion

Damn, I did it again…..someone come kill me now..

A strict diet follower since 15 days finally gave up to chocolate, yes the evil chocolate..

And when I was having  that devilish chocolate drink, not a bit did I think of that fat on my tummy that needs to be cut down !!

Not my fault…….the muffins in the fridge were screaming to be used up, and that jar of Nutella was already whispering into my ears to be picked up….see, not my fault at all 😉

My heart melts at chocolates and I eventually gave in to both of them and decided to ditch the diet plan for just 15 min……not mean      ( oh yess !!)

If I am not supposed to eat chocolates, they should stop making them \m/

The chocolate muffins in the fridge were a few days old, and were starting to harden a bit, didn’t have the heart to throw them away, so decided to make up something new from the leftovers……..shhh who said that..?

But before I feed my kids with the new experimented drink, I have to try it myself, and yes that’s compulsory.

I googled a bit to find out new recipes to recycle those muffins…oops

But the deal was, it should be instant, I hate elaborate procedures (wonder how I bake a cake, sometimes !!)

Cake pops and crumb cakes were all around, but I wasn’t that patient to try them out.

Finally had to dig out this guilt potion from the back of my mind.

The rich chocolate devil 🙂

Left over chocolate muffin drink

Ingredients:

Chocolate muffins

Cold milk

Nutella

Procedure:

Blend together a muffin, a cup of milk and a tablespoon of Nutella .

Depending on how chocolatey you want it, you can add or delete the Nutella.

Again, if you want it less thick, add more milk.

Done !!

Just drink it and you don’t know how guilty it makes you feel……specially if you watch those calories while you eat.

I still can’t get over the fact that I had it in the morning, then to make up for it I had to skip my lunch….poor me .

Btw, I am still worried of those 3 kgs I need to shed to reach my goal of 50 kg weight…..keep away those chocolates, chips and cookies 🙂

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Spicy Onion Rice

Yes I am back, and the first post up here after the break is straight out of my kitchen 🙂

As an Indian, I love the diversities in India. All the Indian states showcase their unique traditions, customs, cultures and food.

Since I am happily into an inter-caste marriage, I find myself lucky to be able to explore and experiment with two kinds of cuisines at home.

My better half is from the Western India, a part of India characterised by sweet, savory, spicy food with lots of varieties in tempering (tadkas). They use mustard, cumin, fenugreek and sesame seeds a lot !!

Whilst I am from North India, the land characterised by an overdose of ghee, butter and spicy curries cooked in onion-tomato gravies, not to forget the ginger-garlic paste they use in almost every dish 😛

Ohh yea, and the North Indians use a lot of mustard oil in their food…..yuck !!

So here we are on our way to make a very basic spicy rice, with onion as its core ingredient. The onion used here gives the rice its rich brown colour and flavour.

It is a basic rice dish, easy to make and believe me, your taste buds are gonna love it.

There are lots of variations possible, we shall deal with them at the end. 🙂

Spicy Onion Rice

Ingredients

2 cups white rice, washed and soaked for half an hour.

1 small red onion, chopped lengthwise

1 green chilly, finely chopped

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 cloves, 2 black peppers, a small piece of cinnamon

1 tsp red chilli powder

2 tbsp cooking oil of your choice

Salt to taste

Water ( Its not possible to write down a measurement for water, as it depends on how you cook your rice everyday and what kind of rice you are using)

Microwave Method

1. In a large microwave safe bowl pour in the soaked rice and some water, just enough to cook the rice.

pour in the rice and water into a microwave safe bowl

2. In a small wok heat the oil and add the cumin seeds, cloves, black peppers and cinnamon.

The spluttering of cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and black pepper

3. When its starts spluttering, add the onion and the green chillies. Take care the cumin seeds  don’t burn and turn black.

Add the onion and green chilies to the tempering

4. Keep stirring the mixture till the onion becomes translucent and its edges start to brown.

The onions are browning at the edges

5. While the onion starts browning, immediately add the red chilli powder and 1/2 cup water. Make sure to add the water soon after the chilli powder or it would burn and would give a black colour instead of the red.

Add red chilli powder
Adding water immediately after the red chilli powder gives it a rich red color

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as you add the water, the mixture gets a rich red colour and gives out awesome aroma of the onion 🙂

6. Add this tempered mixture into the bowl with rice.

Add tempering to the rice bowl

7. Add salt to taste.

8. Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 10 min. When its done, check again, add a cup of water more and microhigh for 10 more  min.

So my rice took 20 min to cook in the microwave.

Pressure cooker method

1. Pour in the soaked rice and water into the pressure cooker.

2. Prepare the tempering following steps 2 to 5 of the microwave method.

3. Add the tempered mixture to the cooker with rice. Add the salt. Three whistles and the rice is done !!

Check out the pic of the bowl right out of the microwave. All the tempering has moved into the centre 🙂

Smells heavenly
Ta da….my tasty, spicy onion rice is ready !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slowly mix in with a spatula and distribute the spices all over the rice. Its ready to be gulped down, with or without a side dish.

A bonus point, it is super easy to cook for those bachelors who hate cooking but crave for tasty food. 😛

Variations

1. Throw in some diced carrots and a handful of peas to get that tasty veggie rice.

2. You can also add 1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste to the tempering to make the rice more pungent. I didnt do that coz I like the onion flavour to dominate 🙂

3. If you like your rice to be a bit sweet- savoury, add in a tbsp of sugar to the tempering. The sugar would caramalise and add a wee bit of sweetness to the rice.

4. If you like it more spicy, increase the amount of green chillies or the red chilly powder.

Give this simple rice dish a try whenever you are feeling too lazy to cook an elaborate meal, or when you are craving for a spicy dish or simply just coz you loved the pictures I have put up……………just lemme know how it went 🙂

Till then ciao..

Instagram + Strawberry cake

I know I am a bit late for Instagramming, but that is how I am !! Too dumb at using gadgets, leave alone the applications 🙂

It took quite a bit of time for me to get into Instagram, but I am glad I did it !!

I would speculate, when my friends posted pics through Instagram on FB, but the picture quality, had me at it. The pictures look more sleek and glossy after using those filters.

Finally, I got the application and plunged in 🙂

Lately, I have been freaking out with all the packing scene going on in the house since a few days, added to it was a demand to bake a strawberry cake (which I never wished to).

I had been putting off the kids since 3 days, on the cake thingy, but then Mr. Hubby was bothered a lot of them !!

He got me the Pillsbury instant cake mix, and voila, I baked it in just 5 min. The cake was super moist, tasty and the pink strawberry colour was awesome 🙂

So here is the Strawberry cake + the Instragamming ………

Pillsbury Strawberry Cake mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You just need to add water, oil and eggs, the instructions are very clear
The yummy cake mix after whisking in the ingredients
Ta da…..the cake is ready in just 5 min
the super moist strawberry goodness !!
and I love this little Pillsbury chef, so cute 🙂          

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I was whisking the mix, I ate a lot of spoonfuls and really had a second thought on baking it as a cake 😛

The baking time was just 3 min in the Microwave, and it let out heavenly aroma while baking.

Finally the kids had a yummy cake, that too in a good quantity lasting for at least few days……..thank God, Pillsbury cake mix was handy !!

Have you ever gone through these kinda baking blues? Try the instant cake mix then !!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate – coffee pots

I believe, I am an adult, never grown out of the choco – mania 🙂

Strangely, whenever I decide to bake, I end up baking a chocolate cake, with few variations though. There are two basic reasons to this :

#1 I am a terrible chocoholic

#2 I got a girl who is equally growing fond of chocolates 😛

So possibly, I am never gonna bake a cake of any other flavour !!

( I like to experiment though )

This weekend, since I could not find  other ingredients at hand, I had to bake this cake, called the chocolate pot, with some coffee, added for extra flavour.

Hope you all like it……..

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup    All purpose flour
  • 1 cup     castor sugar
  • 1 tbsp    cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp   baking powder
  • 1 drop    vanilla essence
  • 100 g      melted butter
  • 100 g      baking chocolate
  • 100 ml    any aerated drink (pepsi/coke/thumbs up)
  • some coffee (grounded)
  • some extra chocolate (optional)

Method:

  • Melt the butter and the chocolate together in a microwave.
  • In a bowl, sift together, flour, castor sugar, cocoa powder and the baking powder.
  • To this dry mix, add the melted butter and chocolate and whisk together.
  • Now add, a drop of vanilla essence, coffee and the aerated drink. Whisk together properly.
  • Grease a microwave proof glass bowl with butter and pour in the mixture.
  • Drop the extra chocolate, exactly in the middle of the bowl. Make sure to cover it up with the mixture.
  • Microwave at 100% power for 2 min and then check.
  • Next microwave again at 80% power for 2 min.
  • Then microwave at 50% power for 1 min and check if a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely and its ready to gulp 🙂

You can either turn it upside down, out of the bowl in a plate and eat it with vanilla ice cream. Or, eat it in the bowl itself.

Since I couldn’t resist the killing smell of the chocolate while it was baking, I preferred the second method.

The melted chocolate in the middle of the bowl, satisfies your extreme chocolate cravings…….it is like a choco-lava bursting into your mouth 😉

This is how the pots looked when I put them into the oven
The chocolate bowls are ready to be eaten up
This one was eaten up by me while I clicked these  pics 

Till you go bake yours, I am off to finish my choco-lava-coffee-bowl of goodness !!

Summer time : Mango time – sweet and savoury mango pickle

The only reason why I like summers is the arrival of the king of fruits            *drum roll* The Mango. Clearly, I don’t love the hot sunny days, just the mangoes 🙂

Mango is a tropical fruit, with a unique flavour and fragrance. Exceptionally  tasty, mangoes are a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and potassium.

I love to have it in any form, mango juice, or a chilled mango shake, or just simply sliced as a fruit itself 😀

While there can be a variety of experimentation with mangoes, I serve you today, a very quick and easy, sweet and savoury pickle made of raw mangoes. Enjoy……..

Sweet and Savoury mango pickle :

Ingredients

2 raw mangoes (small or medium sized), peeled and diced.

1 tbsp cooking oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp salt (or according to your taste)

a pinch of asafoetida

2 whole red chillies

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp shredded jaggery

Method

1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the whole chillies, a pinch of asafoetida, and quickly add the diced mangoes. Add the salt and turmeric, mix all, cover and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.

temper the diced raw mangoes and simmer for 3-4 min

2. Raw mangoes cook easily. When you uncover the vessel you find that the mangoes have tendered, as shown in the 2nd pic.

the raw mangoes have tendered

3. Now add the sugar and the jaggery and mix well. Again cover and let it simmer for 2 more minutes.

The reason that we add both is that all the sourness of the mango cannot be balanced by the sweet in the jaggery, hence  some amount of sugar is needed to counter the sour taste. Only sugar, and the pickle would become more watery, hence both….

add sugar and jaggery

4. After 2 min, the sugar and jaggery melt and give the pickle a watery consistency. Just whisk a bit with a spoon and let it cool off completely.

There isn’t a need to evaporate the liquid, because once it cools off, it would be absorbed and turn into a thick dip.

all the sugar and jaggery has melted

5. When the pickle has completely cooled down, add the red chilli powder.

Do  not add the chilli powder when the pickle is still hot, as it may burn and give the pickle an odd brownish colour.

when it cools, add red chilli powder

6. Voila its ready !! Pack it and you can be preserve it, refrigerated for 5-6 days.

You can store it in the fridge for 5 days

This instant tangy mango pickle is used as a dip at our lunch and dinner times. I make it fresh almost every other day during summers 🙂

Its super easy and hardly takes 15 min to make. Give it a try and do let me know how it went………….

Egg-less Orange Cake

Don’t know how I had a feeling to bake this one.

But since the time I had gotten up from the bed, all I could do was smell oranges around………..I  know that’s a bit crazy, but that is how I am!!!

So it was decided, come whatever may, I am to bake this cake today 😉

It was a pain to wait for the cake while baking, whilst my nostrils were filled with the citrus aroma of the oranges.

I love oranges, lemons and all citrus fruits, be it summer or any other season.

The best thing being, kids are excited to relish this tangy cake.

The recipe is customized as per my needs, coz there were various available online, but all using eggs.

I was inspired to bake this one when I read about the Lemon drizzle loaf on Hungryhinny. Instead of using the lemons I used Oranges. Her recipes are simple and delicious 🙂

Moreover, I find its tricky to bake in a microwave oven as compared to conventional oven. All the recipes available online are for the conventional method of baking, hence I have to keep on experimenting till I find the right mixture and method.

So here it is :

A bit crumbly but tasty !!

Ingredients 

1 cup        All purpose flour

3/4 cup    Castor Sugar

1 tsp        Baking soda

1 tsp        cooking soda

200 g       melted butter

1 tbsp      whipped curd

1/2 tsp     vanilla or orange essence

grated peel of one orange

fresh orange juice of two oranges

You can add orange colour too, if you wish to 🙂

Method

Sift and mix together, the flour, castor sugar, baking soda and cooking soda in a large bowl.

Slowly add into it, melted butter, curd, orange peel and orange juice, keep whisking not to form lumps.

Finally add the essence and whisk once more.

The mixture should be of a pouring consistency, if not, you can adjust by adding more orange juice.

Pour the mixture into the greased mould and microwave for 5 min at 80 % power.

Check once and once again microwave for next 3 min at 100 % power.

Check, a knife should come out clean through the cake.

Let it stand in the oven for 5 min, and then cool completely.

Its ready…….yay !!!

P.S.1.This was my second trial with the cake, first trial I could not estimate the baking time and had burnt it 😛

2.Do not over bake or you will burn it, keep checking in between, be patient.

3.The orange peel gives the crunch to the cake, it can be skipped if you don’t like it.

4. My cake looks crumbly coz I baked it for 1 min more 🙂

Do let me know how you like it …………adieus till then

Rice dumplings

I know, too many posts from the kitchen this time 🙂

But weird it is, somedays I do feel like cooking and experimenting all the day, and on other days, I hate cooking altogether 🙂

So today is one of those special days, when I am feeling like a Master Chef, hence off to the kitchen I go !!!

( these are the days when I seriously experiment and come out with a new recipe every time 😉 )

I had some left over rice from yesterday’s dinner. I am one of those persons who do not believe in wasting food. I decided to make some lentil soup to go with the rice, for lunch. Unfortunately, I was so busy with the other issues that I didn’t get time to cook the soup at all.

As a quick fix, I made up these rice dumplings instantly, as a side dish for lunch.

rice dumplings or pakoras

The recipe is simple.

Take the rice in a bowl, add 2 tbsp of gram flour, 1 tbsp of corn flour, some salt, red chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric, chopped coriander leaves, and bind it into kinda paste, which can be dropped as dumplings into oil.

Deep fry the dumplings till golden brown, and drain them on a kitchen towel.

You can also add chopped red onion and garlic ginger paste if you wish to. I didn’t have enough time to go through all that grinding procedure, hence…… 🙂

These dumplings are a perfect snack with your evening tea. So enjoy !!!

Do let me know how you like it…

Bake a Brownie :)

Its just few days back, that I gathered the courage to bake finally !!

(I am too scared of electronic gadgets, so a microwave was almost out of question)

With my better half in my tow, and the little devils all excited around me, I tried out a hand at these chocolate brownies.

He says, I would make a terrible scientist, coz I hate failures, especially in the kitchen 🙂

I expected them to turn out exactly as beautiful and tasty as I wanted them to be, at the first shot; and I didn’t disappoint myself !!!

Check out the recipe, its eggless 🙂

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups dark chocolate , chopped

1/2 cup butter , softened
1/4 cup castor sugar
1/4 cup curds, beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup walnuts , chopped

Grease and line with a piece of grease proof paper or flour , microwave safe bowl and keep aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda bi-carb and keep aside.

In a microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate pieces and microwave on high for 1 minute. Remove and stir lightly to get a smooth mixture. Keep aside.

In another bowl, add the butter and castor sugar and stir with a wooden spoon till the mixture is soft and creamy.

Add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture and mix lightly.

Add the curds, vanilla essence, flour mixture and walnuts and mix lightly.

Pour the batter into the greased and lined dish and microwave on high for 3 minutes
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Reduce the temperature to 70% power and microwave for another 1 minute. Remove and keep aside.

Serve it with Vanila Ice cream its just yummmmyyyy 😉

Let me know how you like it !!!