Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Fiesta............Chocolate Brownies!!

Who doesn't like gooey chocolaty, chewy warm brownies? There is nothing better than a delicious homemade brownie with a glass of cold milk or topped with your favorite ice-cream for your sweet tooth craving. 
Here is a super easy recipe that yields 12 medium size brownies... 

1/4th cup butter
1 Cup Sugar
1/4th Tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1.In a microwavable bowl, melt the butter completely. Then add in the cocoa powder and stir well. 
2. Add in the sugar, salt, eggs and flour one by one while stirring. 
3. Mix in the vanilla essence and the baking powder. 
4. This is going to be the consistency of the brownie batter--


5. Preheat oven to 325 Degrees.
6. Grease and flour a 8 x 8 baking dish. Pour the prepared batter to the dish.
7. Bake the brownies in the pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clear.
8. Let it cool for sometime and then cut into squares.

Now enjoy your homemade delicious warm brownies topped with ice-cream. ( I am enjoying it with my homemade- Mango Ice-Cream- [click for recipe])

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nimbu ka Khatta Achaar ( Lemon Pickle)-- Mom's Recipe

I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while but somehow forgot about it. Today when we took out pickle to eat with Daal and Rice; I immediately grabbed my camera and took some pictures.
Every time I would go to India or my mom comes here, I would have her make some homemade pickles. Last time I went to India was in December 2008 for my own wedding and ofcourse couldn't even think of taking the risk of getting oiled pickles along with my all new clothes.

A couple of months ago we went to Houston to see our cousin and also went to a Gurudwara (Temple). When we came out of there, I saw this tree outside in the yard full of huge sized lemons. I couldn't control myself. I love picking fruits and vegetables from the trees. So I grabbed some 4-5 lemons. These lemons were as big as grapefruit.

I called my mom and asked her the recipe to make Lemon Pickle. To my surprise, it was an easy job with a surety of delicious outcome :)

Here I am sharing my mom's secret recipe with all the pickle lovers out there:

1 Kg Lemon
50 gm Ajwain
50 gm Garam Masala
100 gm Regular Salt 
100 gm Black Salt (Kala Namak)
250 gm Sugar

1. Cut all the lemons leaving 2 lemons aside for later use. You can cut them to any size you want
2. Take a mixing bowl and put all the cut lemons into that.
3. Now add all the masala into the lemons and mix well using a laddle.
4. Take a dry jar (preferably glass jar) and put all the masala mixed lemons into the jar using a laddle.
5. Now squeeze the juice of 2 lemons that we kept aside into the jar and mix well.
6. Keep the jar out in the sun during daytime everyday for 6-8 days. Also make sure you give a mix to the pickle everyday by shaking the jar.
7. Once lemons starts getting tender; you can start eating the pickle.

PS: - Always make sure Jar in which you want to put the pickle is clean and dry.
- Never insert a wet spoon or laddle into the pickle. It makes pickle go bad.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Black Eyed Beans----- Rajma's Little Sister :)

"Rajma's Little Sister" ...Yes that is what I used to call these black eyed beans/peas when I was a kid. :). Who bothered at that time about the proper names of the legumes or peas or vegetables. Kids make up their own names of the things they like. Also, I used to call "Chane ki daal" as "ghode wali daal" I had seen horses eating those....LOL

Anyways, coming back  to Black Eyed Beans. Black Eyed Bean/pea also called Lobia/Raungi/ChawaLie are an excellent source of calcium, folate and vitaminA.
We usually eat them with Rice and Roti (bread). You don't need to soak them overnight before cooking and they don't take much time to get cooked and they are delicious to eat.

Here is my simple recipe for the same.

1. Black Eyed Peas- 1 Cup
2. Onion- 1 Small (finely chopped)
3. Tomatoes- 2 Medium (finely chopped)
4. Ginger Chopped/Paste- 1 Tsp
5. Green Chillies- 2
6. Turmeric Powder- 1 Tsp
7. Garam Masala- 1/2 Tsp
8. Coriander Powder- 1 Tsp
9. Mango Powder (Amchur)- 1 Tsp
10. Salt and Red Chilli Powder- To Taste
11. Water- 3 Cups
12. Vegetable Oil- 2 Tbsp
13. Cumin Seeds- 1 Tsp

1. Wash black eyes beans in running water well.
2. In a pressure cooker, add the 3 cups of water with black eyed beans. Add Salt and Turmeric Powder to it and close the lid and let it pressure cook for 15-20 minutes.
3. Let us prepare the Tadka meanwhile. Heat the oil in a pan and add Cumin Seeds to it.
4. Once Cumin seeds turn little brown, add the green chillies and ginger. Stir it for a few seconds and add onions. Fry till golden brown.
5. Add the tomatoes and fry till tomatoes are tender. Add all the spices now and mix it well.
6. Let the masala cook till the oil separates from the masala/mixture from the sides.
7. Turn off the gas now and add this prepared masala to the boiled beans and mix well.
8. Turn on the gas under the cooker again and let it cook on medium low flame for 10 minutes. ( You don't need to close the lid. Let is cook without the lid)
9. Serve Hot with Rice or Roti.

Adding this to MLLA-19th Helping Event by Susan.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A delicious Cake made of cookies and cereals.....Indulge without guilt

Here I am again with another cake recipe. Well, this cake is different and more healthy.
I had some sour cream (fat free) at home which was going to expire soon and wanted to use it somewhere and not waste it. So thought might as well use it in baking.

A few days ago I had seen some muffins recipe made out of Parle-G biscuits/cookies at Sushma Mallya's blog which I really liked. It reminded me that I have some unused petite shortbread cookies at home which we bought long time ago at a Girl's Scout booth outside Ihop and haven't really eaten much of them. So, I decided to use those along with some Parle-G which I had at home. Also since I wanted to make this more healthy, I added some Cereals (Honey bunch of Oats with almonds) to it. The outcome was a really soft, spongy and delicious cake.

So here is my version of the recipe.. Indulge without guilt :)

1. 15-18 Parle G Biscuits
2. 10-12 Shortbread cookies (you can either use all of Parle-G or all Shortbread )
3. 1/2 cup cereal (any type)
4. 3/4th cup Sour Cream (Fat free)
5. 1/4 th cup and 2 Tablespoon Milk
6. 1/2 cup oil
7. 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
8. 1 tsp Cinnamon Powder
9. 1/2 cup Sugar
10. 1 Tsp Baking Powder
11. 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Finely Grind all the biscuits and cereal in a mixer.
3. In a bowl, along with the biscuit-cereal mixture add the baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder and Mix well.
4. In a spearate bowl, cream the sugar with oil and add rest of the ingredient. Beat well.
5. Add the dry mixture to the wet one and beat it well ( as we do for the cake). Make sure there are no lumps.
6. Pour the batter into a greased baking dish ( I used a round cake pan).
7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 min or until a toothpick inserted come out clean. (mine took about 28 min)
8. Let the cake cool completely.

Enjoy it with or without icing. It taste awesome both ways.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mathi/Mathiyan/Mathri......All time favorite!

This is the wedding time in India and 3 of my cousins/friends are getting married. Weddings are all about fun, family get-together, dance and lots of food and goodies. Among the goodies comes “bhaaji” ..Yeah that's what we Punjabi call a box full of “Plain Mathi/Mathri, Toshe (Shakkar Paare) and Gud Paare. In Punjabi’s a box full of these goodies are offered to relatives along with the wedding card and during the wedding too.

They are just so yummy that you can’t stop eating them. We went to Florida in December for a cousin’s reception and my Aunty (Maamiji) gifted us some mathia and Gud Paare (Indian Style). We loved and relished those and now when they were over, we were craving for more. So, I decided to make some Toshe (Shakkar Paare) and Mathia.

I have to admit Shakkar Paare were a huge disaster. I could make them like we get in grocery stores here but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted typical Indian Style. I spent close to 3 hours in the kitchen, tried different ways but all in vain. Ended up hurting my shoulder real bad and now instead of Toshe I am eating muscle relaxers and pain killers..LOL
 But hey, I did call my dad in India and sent him to a halwai and he got me the recipe for Toshe. I am going to try them soon again...

Not to forget, whole 3 Hours were not a waste, I made some real good Mathi’s and we are enjoying them everyday with pickle (Aam ka Achar) at tea time. Mathi’s were real easy to make.
Here is the easy recipe of Mathi/Mathri/Mathiyan :)


100g/4 oz plain (all-purpose) flour
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4th cup Margarine or Oil or Ghee
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp Ajwain
5 tbsp lukewarm water
Oil for deep frying


1. Place the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl &add in the margarine/oil/ghee. Add the black pepper powder, ajwain, water and knead to dough. Knead for 5 minutes until satiny and spongy. Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a deep pan at a medium low flame.
3. While the oil is heating, divide the dough into 12-14 equal portions, roll them into balls then press into circles about 2-3inch in diameter. Do not make them very thin, thickness should be like of a cookie.
4. Poke at 6 to 8 places in the circle with a fork.
5. Fry 2-3 mathis at a time in the hot oil until light brown on all sides. (Make sure you keep the flame at medium low. When you put the Mathi in the oil, and it sizzles at the bottom for a few seconds and then come up without changing color, it means your oil is at right temperature)
6. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a cooling tray.

Serve hot or cold with pickle or chutney at tea. They will store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

Monday, January 4, 2010

Pindi Chane (Spicy Chick Peas)

First of all A Very Happy New Year to all who visits my page. Hope this brings everyone lot of happiness, joy, prosperity and good health.
The chickpea (Cicer arietinum) (also garbanzo bean, Indian pea, ceci bean, bengal gram, Kabuli chana, konda kadalai, kadale kaalu, sanaga pappu, shimbra, Kadala) is an edible legume.Chickpeas are a helpful source of zinc, folate and protein. They are also very high in dietery fiber and low in fat.

I love Chick Peas and cook them in a typical Punjabi Style. In Punjab, they are called Pindi Chane and are usually served with Bhatura, Naan or Kulcha. They go equally well with Rice too.

Here is the simple recipe for Spicy Pindi Chane/Chick Peas.

Chick Peas- 2 Cups (Washed and Soaked overnight in water)
Water- 5 Cups (To boil Chick Peas)
Salt- To Taste
Red Chilli Powder- To Taste
Chana Masala - 2 Tbsp
Garam Masala- 1/2 Tsp
Coriander Powder-1 Tsp
Amchur/Mango Powder- 2 Tsp *
Tea Bag- 1
Green Chillies- 6-7 ( Cut in half, long)
Ginger- 8-10 (Thin long slices)
Coriander- Few leaves to Garnish
Vegetable Oil- 3 Tbsp

1. Drain the water in which the Chick Peas were soaked.
2. Add Chick Peas and 5 cups of water in a presurre cooker. Add in some salt and a Teabag and close the lid.
3. Let the chick peas boil for sometime (approx 20 min). [ If you don't have much time, you can skip all the 3 steps above and use the cans of boiled Chick Peas]
4. Open the lid of cooker carefully and using tongs remove the teabag and discard it.
5. Strain the water of Chick Peas in a separate bowl and keep it aside.
6. In the Chick Peas, add all the dry masalas- Red Chilli Powder, Garam Masala, Chana Masala, Coriander Powder, Salt (remember you added a little salt while boiling too, so be careful while adding more), Amchur/Mango Powder and mix well using a spatula.
7. In a separate small pan, heat the oil well. Once heated, add in the green chillies and sliced Ginger. Stir it for 30 Seconds.
8. Add this to the Chick Peas and mix well.
9. Put the Chick Peas on low flame and slowly add in the water that we kept aside earlier.( You can add as little or as much you prefer in the gravy).
10. Let it simmer on low for few minutes while stirring in between.
11. Garnish with Coriander leaves and SERVE HOT WITH NAAN, KULCHA, BHATURA OR RICE.

Sending this to Think Spice- Think Amchur Event by TasteBuds.
And to MLLA-19th Helping Event.
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