Friday, April 30, 2010

Zucchini with Zest of Kasturi Methi

Zucchini is a small summer squash. It can be yellow, green or light green and is usually presented as a savory dish or accompaniment. Zucchini is low in calories and contains useful amounts of folate, potassium and vitaminA.

I had thought of growing Zucchini at my home garden this year as it one of the easiest to grow fruit. I don't know why I didn't get the plant of Zucchini when I went to the nursery. Anyways, its not late....I can still plant them. I already have planted Tomatoes, Green Chillies, Mint, Basil, Green Bell Pepper and Watermelon. Also we got Apple Tree planted in our backyard and it already has started bearing fruit. I can see small little apples growing and I am so excited to see them grow to Red Delicious Apples. 

Its so nice to watch you small little plants grow large and bear flowers, fruits and veggies. Fresh home grown organic veggies and fruits always taste better. Last year I had grown Okra, Chillies and Tomatoes and I can't tell you how much of Okra we harvested. Not only we ate, we also made bags and gave to our friends and family as there was plenty of Okra growing every week.

Anyways, Let me move back to the recipe here as I can go on and on about my little garden :)

I made this spicy delicious Semi-Dry Curry of Zucchini with Kasturi Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves) and it turned out awesome.Sending this to Indrani's Summer Food and Drinks Event.

Here is the simple recipe (Click here for printable recipe)

4-5 Medium Sized Zucchinis ( Peeled, Washed and Chopped)

2 Tbsp Kasturi Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves)
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Medium Tomatoes (Chopped)
2 Green Chillies (Chopped)
1/2 Tsp Chopped Ginger
1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 Tsp Garam Masala
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder
Salt- To Taste
Red Chilli Powder- To Taste
2 Tsp- Lemon Juice
3 Tbsp Yogurt

1. In a bowl, add Chopped Zucchini and add Red Chilli Powder (per your taste) and Lemon Juice. Mix well and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
2. Heat Oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it. Once they start to sizzle and change color, add ginger and green chillies. Stir for 15-20 seconds.
3. Add Tomatoes and stir for till they are a little tender. Not mushy.
4. Add in the Zucchini that we kept aside. Add in Salt and all the dry spices and mix well.
5. Let the Zucchini cook on medium heat while stirring in between until its starts to get tender.
6. Then add the Yogurt, mix well and let it cook more until the Zucchini is well done. Not mushy again.
7. Add the Kasturi Methi (Dried Fenugreek Leaves) in the end, mix nicely and cook for 2 more minutes.
 8. Garnish with either Coriander or a Mint Leave (for a change); like I did.  :)


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Aao Sikhaun Tumhe..........ANDE KA FUNDA!!

                         Can you also notice the eyes, mouth and hairs on the left whole egg? :)

Aao Sikhaun Tumhe...Ande ka Funda....Yeh nahi pyaare koi mamuli funda.... LOL.... ( Here is the link of Youtube Video of Song) This is the song that comes to the mind when you look at eggs :) Wonderful expressions by our bollywood Actor Govinda in this song... :)

By the way, this delicious looking Egg Curry is not made by me....Its the courtesy of my Dear Husband. My sister (who is visiting us from India) and Hubby Dear decided to give me some rest and made dinner tonight. Both were in the kitchen cooking Egg Curry, Raita, Roti etc.....It was a delicious dinner.....Not only the dinner, I was given off from cleaning the kitchen too..... :)  That too was taken care of by both of them....God Bless my Dear Hubby and Darling Sister.  :)
Here is the Hubby's recipe for EGG CURRY (Click here for printable recipe)

6 Eggs - (Hard Boiled and Skin peeled off)
1 Medium Onion- Finely Chopped
2 Tomatoes- Finely Chopped
1 Green Chilli- Finely Chopped
1 Tsp- Ginger Paste
1/2 Tsp- Cumin Seeds
1/2 Tsp- Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp- Coriander Powder
1/4 Tsp- Garam Masala
1/2 Tsp- Mango (Amchur) Powder
Salt and Red Chilli Powder- To Taste
Oil- 2 Tbsp
Water- 2 Cups
Coriander leaves to Garnish

1. Heat Oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and once they change color to brown add the chopped green chillies and ginger paste. Stir fry for 15 seconds.
2. Add the Onions and fry until they turn slightly brown. Add in the tomatoes and stir fry until they are tender.
3. Add all the dry spices, mix and let this mixture cook till it starts to leave oil from the sides. Keep stirring occasionally.
4. Add the water to the mixture and mix well. Let the water come to a boil and then turn the flame to medium and add the hard boiled eggs to it. ( You can cut the eggs in half or the put the whole eggs. For Whole eggs, put the slits on all sides of the eggs so that it soaks up all the delicious spices inside).
5. Let the eggs cook in curry on medium flame till the gravy becomes thick.
6. Garnish with Coriander leaves and SERVE HOT with Chapattis or Paranthas...YUMMYYYY!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Healthy Vegetable Poha (Rice Flakes)

 A Quick and delicious recipe for a morning breakfast or evening snack. Lots of fresh veggies makes the Poha healthy and yummy. You can use any type of Poha,I personally prefer Thick Poha as it doesn't become mushy.
Poha with vegetables is a one pot meal which you can enjoy with a hot cup of tea and some ketchup.

This dish directly goes to Indrani's Summer Food and Drinks Spotlight Theme

Let me introduce you to this simple recipe (Click here for printable recipe)

1 Cup Thick Poha
1 Onion (Chopped Long and thin)
1 Cup Mixed Vegetables ( I used Green Peas, Beans, Carrots, Corn )
[You can add Potatoes too. I wanted to make this as healthy as possible and hence avoided potatoes as they are starchy and contains more carbohydrates]
4-5 Whole Dry Red Chillies
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
2 Green Chillies (Chopped)
2 Bay leaves
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1/4 Tsp Garam Masala
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt and Red Chilli Powder - To Taste

1. Heat Oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. As they start to splatter, add the bay leaves, red dry chillies and chopped green chillies. Stir fry for 15-20 seconds.
2. Add in the onions and fry until they become translucent.
3. Add the vegetables and stir fry until they are tender.
4. Stir in the dry spices and mix well.
5. In a strainer add the Poha and wash it in running water for 30 seconds.
6. Add the washed Poha to the vegetables and mix well. Cook for another 2 min and switch off the gas.
7. Add the lemon juice in the end and mix nicely.

SERVE HOT with Tomato Ketchup or Chutney along with Hot Tea.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dry Curry of Potatoes, Carrots and Peas

 Hello Friends......First of all apology for long absence from the blogging world but there were a few things on personal front which needed my full attention and hence you guys didn't see any recipes from me for this long. I still may not be very regular for a little bit but will try my best to post as often as I can.

I also will try to catch up on your delicious recipes as soon as I can. Its 1:10 in the night and before my eyes get heavy and my mind stops working, let me share this simple recipe of dry and healthy curry which you can enjoy with Hot Chapattis and Raita on the side.

Here is the recipe (Click here for printable recipe)

 1 cup Fresh Chopped Carrots
 1 Cup Chopped Potatoes
 3/4 Cup Green Peas
 2 Green Chillies - Finely Chopped
 1 Tsp Chopped Ginger
 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
 1/4  Tsp Garam Masala
 1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder
 Salt and Red Chilli Powder- To Taste
1 Tsp - Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp- Oil
Coriander Leaves- To Garnish

1. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. As Cumin Seeds change their color, add green chillies and ginger. Saute for 15 seconds.
2. Add all the dry spices in the oil, mix and let the spices simmer in the oil for 15-20 seconds.
3. Add in the Potatoes, Carrots and Green Peas. Mix well so that they get well coated with the spices.
4. Cover the pan partially and let the vegetables cook until they are tender and nicely done. (Keep stirring every 3-4 min so that the vegetables don't stick to the pan or get burnt)
5. Garnish with Coriander leaves and Serve Hot with chapattis.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Handpicked Strawberries put to use--- Strawberry Cinnamon Jam

 First of all Thanks to all of you for compliments and beautiful comments on the Black Forest Cake. My nephew loved the cake and enjoyed it a lot. Infact everyone loved the cake. I guess I would have to make it  again soon for my husband.

Saturday was a beautiful day and we all decided to go to the Fruit picking farm and pick some fresh strawberries. It was a huge farm and there were so many people out there picking strawberries. After having our picnic lunch, we went in to the farm to hunt the best strawberries. As all the grown ups were busy picking Berries, my nephew wanted to eat them right away. We were carrying a bottle of water to wash the strawberries so that he could eat and he surely was enjoying them. My niece on the other hand was busy with herself and signing her rhymes and tapping her feets and clapping :) It was so cute watching both of them.

Look at these Fresh Strawberries 

There were so many Strawberries at home and I was tempted to make something out of them. I decided to make some delicious Strawberry Jam and I added Cinnamon to it for that extra something :) . I didn't know that homemade Jam could be this delicious. You would never want to go back to store bought Jam.
I am already excited to make more Jam's using different fruits.

Here is the Strawberry-Cinnamon Jam recipe for you (Click here for printable recipe)

2 Cups (Washed, Hulled and Mashed Strawberries) - I mashed mine in the small chopper. You can use hand blender too. If you like your Jam chunky, just mash using hands.
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Cinnamon Powder

1. In a pan add Mashed Strawberries. Add Lemon Juice and Sugar to it and mix. Leave it aside for 1/2 an hour.
2. Put the pan on the gas and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved.
3. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil.

4. Put the flame to medium low and add Cinnamon to it.Boil stirring often until most of the liquid is absorbed and mixture thickens. It could take approximately 25-30 minutes.
5. Perform a gel test: Place a spoonful of jam on chilled plate, and return to freezer. Wait 1 to 2 minutes; remove plate from freezer, Run your finger through the jam on the plate... if it doesn't try to run back together (if you can make a line through it with your finger); its ready.
6.After jam passes the gel test, remove from heat. Pour warm jam into sterile jars. Give the Jar waterbath for 20 minutes.
7. Seal and refrigerate for upto 3 months.

Enjoy your homemade fresh Jam with bread and buns at breakfast....Yummyyy!!!
                                            Closer look at the Gorgeous Red, flavorful Jam

    2 cups of Strawberries gave 14oz of Jam ...M enjoying it!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ooo Gooey- Eggless Black Forest Cake!!

 My cousins are coming tonight from Houston with my 2 little sweethearts;  a 3 and 1/2 yr old nephew and a  1 and 1/2 yr old niece. My Nephew very cutely asked me on phone "Bua, Can u make me a cake ? " ..And I was like "Awww..Ofcourse darling, which one do you want? The instant reply was Chocolate......No Pineapple :).
 For him cake is something that has chocolate on it. Like all the kids, he too loves cakes, cupcakes, muffins :)
My niece on the other side doesn't like sweet food at all. She makes such a face when you give her something sweet to eat.

I have had made Pure Chocolate cake for my nephew before and I wanted to treat him with something different this time and Black Forest Cake is what came to my mind! I used to eat this so much back in India. I never thought someday I would be making this Black Forest Cake, that too eggless at home...As my little sweetheart is allergic to eggs. But I did it !! YAY!! Thanks to Divya's Awesome Recipe.  She too has found this recipe in a magazine called Vanitha and other bloggers too have used and made cakes using this recipe.

I tweaked the recipe just a little bit and also used a different kind of Frosting.I wanted a lighter Frosting and hence used a recipe that included Cool Whip which is much lighter and easy to spread too.

This is my first attempt of making this particular cake and let me tell you this has turned out awesome. Yes, we couldn't help and already tasted the cake. Rest all is stored in the refrigerator for my little darling nephew who I am sure would be more than happy to indulge himself in this chocolate covered cake. :)

Although Divya has posted the recipe, I am posting it again with little bit of changes that I did. (Click here for printable recipe)

Ingredients for Cake
Sweetend Condensed Milk- 400 grams(1 can)
Butter – 1/2 Cup
Maida/Flour – 2 Cups
Cocoa powder – 4 tbsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp

Pure Vanilla Essence- 1 tsp
Aerated cola – 200ml(I used Coke)

1.Grease and line an 9’ round baking pan.
2. Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
3.Melt butter-Microwave for 1 minute on high.Let it cool.
4.Add milkmaid and beat well.
5.Sift together Maida,Cocoa Powder,Baking Powder and Baking soda in a separate bowl.
Milkmaid-Butter mixture mix to the Maida mixture alternating with cola till Butter-Milkmaid mixture and Cola are finished.
7. Stir in the vanilla essence.
8. Pour into the greased baking tin and bake for 30-40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
9. Let the Cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes and then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Ingredients –For the Sugar syrup
Sugar – ½ cup
Water – ½ cup
In a thick bottom pan,mix the sugar and water and boil till the sugar melts.Keep aside to cool. finished.
Ingredients for Frosting
 3/4 cup milk
 1 (3 1/2 ounce) package instant pudding mix, Vanilla flavor
 1/4 cup Sugar
 8 ounces Cool Whip (Thaw per instructions on the packaging)

1. In a bowl, add milk, sugar and vanilla pudding and mix using wire whisker for 1 minute.
2. Fold in the Thawed Cool Whip. Mix well for another 2 minutes. 

Ingredients for filling and Garnishing
Few cherries for garnishing on top. I used bottled Cherries that comes in syrup.
4-5 Tbsp of Cherry Syrup in the filling.
A bar of milk chocolate – Make chocolate shavings out of the bar and keep refrigerated till use. (I used Hershey's milk chocolate)

Assembling the Cake
Cut the cake into 2 layers horizontally[Means Half the cake horizontally).
Keep one layer of the cake on the serving plate.
Sprinkle 5-6 tablespoons of sugar syrup on it. And 4-5 tbsp of Cherry Syrup.
Now spread 5-6 tablespoons of prepared cream frosting on it.
The other layer we have kept aside, spread sugar syrup on the inside layer of it. 
Put that layer back on the first layer making it a full cake. 
Cover the cake completely with cream frosting on all sides and the top.
Level the top and sides with a broad spatula dipped in chilled water.
Decorate the top and sides with chocolate shavings and Halved cherries on top. You can decorate as you like.
Keep chilled in the fridge till use. 

                                                  Look at the layered filling.....Delicious!!

                                         Here is a closer look...Doesn't this look heavenly?

                            Look at this!! My Husband couldn't wait for me to finish clicking the pics!!

I can't wait to see my little nephew enjoy the cake too :)

Sending this to Champa's Bake Off Event.
Also to Nupur's CopyCat Event 

Bottle Gourd Kofta Curry (Lauki/Ghiya Kofta Curry)

 Bottle Gourd (Indian Name Lauki/Ghiya/Doodhi) is a light green squash used in a variety of ways. It is eaten fried, boiled, cooked in curries and also used to make dessert called Halwa.

I have heard that it helps in reducing weight if eaten on a regular basis. I too cook Bottle Gourd in different ways and the best my husband like it is as Kofta. Kofta's made of Bottle Gourd are very soft and moist. They taste delicious when they soak up all the flavors and spices from the curry.

Here is the recipe for you to try ( Click here for printable recipe)


For Kofta:
1 Bottle Gourd (Medium Sized)
8 Tbsp of Besan ( Chick Pea Flour)
1/2 Tsp Ajwain
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 Tbsp Yogurt
Oil- To fry Kofta's

For Curry
1 Onion (Finely Chopped)
2 Tomatoes (Finely Chopped)
2 Green Chillies (Chopped)
1/2 Tsp Finely Chopped or Grated Ginger
1 small pinch of Asafoetida
1/2 Tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 Tsp Garam Masala
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder
Salt and Red Chilli Powder- To Taste
2 Tbsp Oil
2 Cups Water

Making Kofta:
1. Peel, Wash and Grate/Shred the Bottle Gourd in a bowl.
2. Add Besan, Ajwain, Salt and Red Chilli Powder. Mix well. Stir in 1 Tbsp of Yogurt. (Remember, we don't need to add any water to this paste)
3. Heat Oil in a Kadhai (Deep Frying Pan) and using a round spoon, drop balls of mixture slowly in the oil. Fry until golden brown from both sides.
4. Take out on a paper towel to drain excess oil.

Now let's prepare the Curry:
1. Heat Oil in a pan. Add the pinch of Asafoetida and then quickly add cumin seeds. As soon as cumin seeds change color, add the Ginger and Green Chillies and stir for 15 seconds.
2. Add the chopped oniions now and stir fry until slightly brown and tender.
3. Now add the chopped tomatoes and let them until tender while stirring in between.
4. Mix in all the dry spices now and let the mixture cook until the oil starts to separate from the sides.
5. Add 2 cups of water to the mixture, stir and let the water come to a boil.
6. Once its boiled, add in the prepared Koftas and let the curry cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes. Carefully stir in between making sure you don't break Koftas as they are going to be very soft.

Garnish with Coriander leaves and Serve hot with Chapattis or Paranthas.

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