Thursday, October 6, 2011

Eggless Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Its been toooo long! I know...I won't give any excuses this time. I have become a lazy bum! Infact this pumpkin bread was made a week ago, I just never transferred the pics from the camera. I think I was in one of those phases where you do some things regularly, aggressively, passionately and then suddenly you don't want to do it for a while.......get recharged and then get back to it. Hopefully I am back into writing and won't be as lazy as I was past month :) 


I have missed all your delicious recipes which I will go through one by one in the coming days. For now, here is the delicious Eggless Pumpkin Bread with walnuts that I baked last week. I was just sitting and I suddenly started missing baking, I got up, scanned my pantry and saw this pumkin puree can I had bought a couple of weeks ago. I love pumpkin bread and that's what I decided to bake. Loaded with aromatic spices and walnuts- this bread was a delicious treat. 




This bread was an amazingly easy to make. All the ingredients needed to be stirred together and baked to perfection. That's it. Your house will smell heavenly when you bake this delicious bread. So what are you waiting for? Get those aprons over your head, stir up the ingredients and bake this yummy bread and have a wonderful snack or how about you pack some for tomorrow morning's breakfast? :) 

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


Ingredients:

3 tbs ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
1 ¾ cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
15 oz pumpkin puree can
3 cups all purpose flour ( or you can use half whole wheat and half all purpose)
1 tsp each cinnamon, fresh nutmeg, and ground ginger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together the flaxseed and water until thickened.
3. Combine flax mixture in a large bowl with sugar, oil, and pumpkin.
4. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, spices, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
5. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet.  Fold in the walnuts.  
6. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan or 2 small pans.  
7. Bake the large loaf for about 55 minutes and the smaller loaves for about 40 minutes.  
8. Let sit for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

Let the bread cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!!



Friday, August 26, 2011

Hawaiian Pineapple Salsa & Veggie Tacos

Aloha People! Yes, you guessed it right....I am back from 8 days of vacation in Hawaii. We went to Maui and it was amazing! Time just flew by, we so wanted to stay longer :). I did get myself some treats including best in the world Hawaiian Pineapple. They have the sweetest pineapples in the whole world. We couldn't get enough.

I decided to use some of the pineapple and make salsa with it along with veggie tacos. Both salsa and tacos turned out super-delicious. They are quick and easy to prepare and makes a fabulous lunch.


This salsa is perfectly seasoned with spices, lemon juice, pineapple's sweetness and hint of cumin. So get in to your Hawaiian mood and prepare this colorful, delicious salsa and enjoy it with chips, tacos, burritos or any of your favorite entree.


Here is the recipe for you all (Click here for printable version)

Ingredients & Method:

For Hawaiian Pineapple Salsa
1/2 cup chopped & seeded tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 jalapeno pepper chopped
1 serrano pepper chopped
1 tsp cumin powder (cumin roasted & grounded)
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1-1.5 tsp lemon juice
salt- to taste
red chilli powder (optional)- to taste (we like our salsa little hot )

Method:
1. In a bowl, just add all the ingredients mentioned above and give it a mix. Check the seasoning and adjust.

Didn't I say, its super-easy? :)

For Veggie Tacos
Tacos- (whichever u like, corn/flour/whole grain)
1/2 cup sliced long onions
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup kidney beans (pressure cooked until soft)
chopped lettuce leaves ( depends on how much you like)
sour cream (about 1 tbsp per taco)
guacamole (about 1 tbsp per taco- Please see the recipe HERE)
1/2 mexican four cheese shredded
1 tbsp + 1 tsp oil
Salsa [ which we made today :) ]

Method:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and stir fry onions and bell pepper lightly. Keep aside.
2. Remove kidney beans from the water it was boiled in and lightly season them with salt and black pepper.

Let's assemble the tacos now:
1. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and warm each taco lightly from both sides by holding each with a tong.
2. Add kidney beans on the center of the taco, sprinkle some cheese, add lettuce, onions & bell pepper, sour cream, guacamole. [don't stuff it too much, or else you won't be able to eat without getting that sour cream on your face :)]
3. Top it off with the delicious pineapple salsa we just made and dig in.




Sunday, July 17, 2011

Spiced & Nutty Applesauce Cake

A big hello to all my blogger friends and readers. I am back to blogging today after a month and it feels so good to be back. Last month was lot of fun with my in-laws. We took them to Niagara Falls and Finger Lakes in NY. It was a fun vacation.

My come-back post had to be with a "sweet" recipe. I had some applesauce sitting in my refrigerator from God knows when. I finally decided that I should empty some space in my fridge and use this applesauce. I went online and read some different recipes from many different sites. I finally decided to bake a spiced applesauce cake. I used the pumpkin spice ( the one we use in pumpkin pie), added some cinnamon, walnuts and raisins. Cake turned out moist and super delicious.




I couldn't help but eat a warm slice with ice-cream even before I was finished taking the pictures. I was taking the pics and I just couldn't help myself. Kept the camera aside, ate a huge slice and then resumed my picture taking session.


This cake was super easy to make. Just dumped all the ingredients together, mix and bake. Seriously!!

Here, let me share the recipe with you. (Click here for printable version)

Ingredients: 
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
2 cups (16oz) of applesauce
1 cup walnuts
3/4 cup raisins
1 tsp pumpkin spice OR all ground spice (whichever you prefer)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda

Method:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degree F and keep a 9" inch square pan ready by greasing and dusting some flour on it.
2. Take all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
3. Make a well in the center of the dry and add applesauce,melted butter, walnuts and raisins. Mix well, making a smooth batter.
4. Pour the batter into the greased baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes before inverting it on the cooling rack.

Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar and enjoy the warm cake with ice-cream or as is with your favorite coffee or tea. A perfect evening snack cake.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

I have always loved Gnocchi and often wondered if it can be easily made at home or not. I once tried the store-bought gnocchi and didn't like it at all. So for the sake of my taste buds, I decided to give gnocchi a try at home. I don't have the gnocchi roller so I used the fork to roll the gnocchi and mark the impressions. I was amazed and very happy with the first try of making this lovely pasta at home. It came out perfectly light and delicious. I served the gnocchi with the basil pesto sauce and we all enjoyed having a hearty and delicious meal.


It may take a little while to get hang of rolling gnocchi, but once you roll a few, you will be an expert in no time. I will take you through the process of making gnocchi with pictures of each step. 


Ingredients:
1 lb potatoes ( I used gold skinned potatoes)
1 and 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
1 large egg
1 pinch salt 

Method:
1. In a large pan, boil the potatoes until they are soft and tender all the way. While still warm, peel the skin off the potatoes and mash using fork or potato masher.
2. Make a well in center of potatoes and sprinkle all over with 1 cup of flour. Place egg and salt as well in the center and mix using a fork. Once egg is mixed in, bring dough together, kneading gently. Use extra flour as needed. The ball should be soft but dry to touch.


3. Divide the dough into 8 balls and roll each 1/8th of the ball into the snake shaped log and cut every 3/4th inch using a knife. Dust with a bit more flour.


4. Using the back side of the fork, roll the gnocchi in and down the length of the fork. The gnocchi should curl slightly into a "C" shape and their backs will capture the impression of the tines. This process can take a little while to get hang of so don't get discouraged and keep rolling.


5. Repeat step 4 until you have rolled all the dough. 

6. Boil the prepared gnocchi for 2-3 minutes in little salted water. As soon as gnocchi starts floating on top of the water, take it out with a slotted spoon. 

Toss it with your favorite sauce and seasonings & serve! 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cabbage Peas Stir-Fry

One of the easiest and super tasty stir-fry. Cabbage and peas goes so well with each other. You can even add potatoes if you want. But I like it more just with peas. Takes about 15-20 min only and your dinner is set. We love to have this dry stir-fry with homemade roti (Indian bread) along with yogurt on the side.


Here is the recipe (Click here for printable version)

Ingredients:
1 cabbage head (outer leaf removed and rest shredded thinly)
1 cup green peas
2 green chillies (chopped)
1 tbsp chopped ginger
3 tbsp vegetable oil
a pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp coriander powder
salt and red chilli powder- to taste

Method
1. Wash the shredded cabbage thoroughly and let the water drain.
1. Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a wok/deep pan. Add asafoetida and cumin seeds. As cumin seeds change color a bit, add the ginger and green chillies.
2. Add all the dry spices to the oil and let it simmer for 1 minute.
3. Add the cabbage and peas and mix nicely.
4. Bring the gas flame to medium low, cover the pan partially and let the cabbage and peas cook until tender, well cooked and dry. There shouldn't be any water in the stir-fry. This should not take more than 15-20 minutes. Keep stirring in between.

See, 4 easy steps and what we are left with? A delicious, spicy, dry stir-fry. Enjoy with roti, naan or bread.


PS:You can use the left over stir-fry to fill between 2 slices of bread, add some chopped onions, your favorite sauce and a nice filling sandwich is ready.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sweet Saffron Rice

My father-in-law loves these sweet saffron rice and he was asking to make these for such a long time. Somehow whenever I went to Indian store, I forgot to buy the dry coconut which definitely is an important and delicious addition for these rice. This time I made sure I get the dry coconut and make these sweet rice for dad.

These rice are lightly sweetened and full of aromatic spices. Bright yellow color of rice makes them look absolutely stunning. All of us at home enjoyed eating these sweet rice. They are not too much of a work as well. Pretty easy and quick to make.

Oh MY!!My husband's hands are famous :D




Here is the recipe for these delicious Sweet Saffron Rice (Click here for printable version)

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup white rice (washed and soaked for 15-20 min)
3 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dry coconut (chopped into thin slices)
2 tbsp golden raisins (soaked in hot water for 15 minutes)
2 tbsp almonds (soaked, blanched and chopped)
some saffron strands
3-4 green cardamom
3-4 whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon (broken in half)
a pinch of yellow food color
1 tbsp ghee or butter
1/4 tsp cardamom powder

Method:
1. Cook rice in a rice cooker with 3 cups of water until almost cooked. Remove the extra left water.
2. In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of ghee or butter, add cinnamon stick, saffron strands, cloves, green cardamom, almonds, coconut and raisins. Give a quick stir and add sugar.
3. Then add the rice and mix everything with light hands. Add a pinch of food color and mix again so that rice get nicely coated with the food color.
4. Let rice cook with sugar for 5-7 minutes on low heat until almost dry. Keep stirring in between to prevent burning.
5. Switch off the gas and add cardamom powder and mix.

Make sure you serve these warm. Enjoy the gorgeous yellow sweet rice.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spinach Cheese Swirls

I am not giving any excuses for not writing for so long  but I have been seriously busy! Busy having fun with my in-laws :) I just got home after spending all morning and most of the afternoon in downtown and before I spend rest of my Saturday lazing around, watching movies, taking naps....I promised myself to write the blog quickly and share the recipe for this delicious appetizer. I made these super easy Spinach-cheese swirls for tea yesterday evening. These were so delicious that I overate and then couldn't eat dinner last night.


These are not only easy but quick to put together of course except the thawing time that is required for the puff pastry. I didn't even had to wait impatiently for the pastry to get thaw. I was at the nail spa and I called my husband to take the pastry out of the freezer and by the time I got home it was nicely thawed and all I had to do is put stuff together, fill, roll and bake. 

Try out this recipe and you can bake these at your next party and you don't have to tell anyone that how easy these are to make. Make these and flaunt your baking skills :)


Ingredients:
1 puff pastry sheet (thawed per package instructions)
2 cups chopped spinach ( make sure the spinach is well-drained)
1 cups shredded cheese ( I used cheddar jack)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red crushed pepper (or per taste)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3/4 tsp basil flakes
some garlic salt (per taste)
some all purpose flour ( to roll out the puff pastry sheet)

For brushing
1 tbsp milk + 1 tbsp melted butter 

Method:
1.In a bowl, toss together the spinach, shredded cheese, 1/2 tbsp olive olive, Italian seasoning, red pepper, basil flakes and garlic salt. Mix lightly using a spatula.
2. On a clean surface, sprinkle some all purpose flour and roll out the thawed puff pastry sheet. 
3. Brush the inside of the pastry sheet with some olive oil. Spread the spinach cheese mixture evenly on the sheet. 
4. Starting from the shorter side, roll the pastry sheet tightly and carefully like a jelly roll.
5. Using a serrated knife, cut the roll into circles and arrange on a baking sheet, cut side down. 


6. Brush the cut circles with the milk and melted butter mixture and bake in a pre-heated 425 degree F oven for about 18-20 minutes. 

That's it! Isn't it simple? Enjoy the warm appetizers with tea, coffee or your favorite wine. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Eggless Strawberry Mint Ice-Cream

I feel glad to be back to blogging. I know I was disappeared for so long but I was just so busy enjoying, sightseeing with my in-laws and having fun. We went out of town, and showed them around our area too. Its not that I didn't make any dishes this whole month, I did, but I had already posted all those delicious recipes. So basically, yeah I didn't make anything new. Well....today I did :)

We went strawberry picking too and had awesome time picnicking and picking strawberries off the farm....it's so much fun to pick your own fruits. I made a lot of Strawberry-Cinnamon Jam, ate a lot of them and used the rest of the strawberries to make this delicious Strawberry Mint Ice-Cream.


This creamy delicious ice-cream is eggless, super quick, easy to make and soooooooo delicious. 


Here is the recipe (Click here for printable recipe)

Ingredients:
2 cups heavy whipping cream 
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2  cups powdered sugar
2 cups pureed strawberries (just wash, hull and mash the strawberries in a mixer)
1 cup chopped strawberries (optional; we like to have chunks of strawberries in the ice-cream)
14-15 leaves of fresh mint (you can chop them finely or mash in the mixer with the strawberries)

PS: If you plan to use store bought sweetened strawberry pulp, you may not need to add any sugar.

Method:
1. Chill the bowl and beater of your electric mixer in the freezer for 5-7 minutes. Also keep heavy whipping cream chilled until ready to use.
2. Beat the cream in the chilled bowl until it doubles in volume and forms soft peaks. 
3. Add the condensed milk and sugar and beat for 30 more seconds.
4. Stop the mixer now; add mashed and chopped strawberries, chopped mint and mix well with the help of spatula.
5. Pour into a airtight container and freeze.

Rich, Creamy and absolutely delicious Strawberry Mint ice-cream is ready! 


And you can also make some POPS! :)


Monday, April 4, 2011

Eggless Saffron Pistachio Cookies

Crunchy, aromatic, perfect for tea cookies. I don't know what came to my mind today, I just suddenly got up and scanned my pantry. Then I picked a few ingredients, mixed those up and baked these delicious cookies! You can also call these cookies- Fusion Cookies!! Why? Because apart from the 2 dominant flavors...Saffron and Pistachio; these cookies have orange and vanilla too....And trust me these are going just so perfect together!


These cookies are so easy and breezy to make. Took 10 min to mix up everything and 12 minutes to bake the cookies! 






















Here is the recipe (Click here for printable version)

                                                             
 Ingredients:

1 cup less 2 tbsp- all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp- corn starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp- dried or fresh orange zest
6 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp saffron essence
few strands saffron
few chopped pistachios- for ganish



Method:
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and saffron essence.
3. In a bigger bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix gently making a soft dough.
5. Make small balls and flatten them a bit in-between your palms. Arrange on the baking try keeping some distance in between balls.
6. Now garnish by adding pistachio and saffron strands to the center of each flattened balls.
7. Bake for 12 minutes in the pre-heated oven. Let cookies cool for a 3-4 minutes before removing from the tray and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Is your kitchen filled with aroma already? Mine did....:))


Enjoy!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

And the Winner is........

First of all Thanks to everyone who participated and sent out the beautiful and colorful entries for the "It's Spring" event. I totally enjoyed reading all the entries, staring at beautiful pictures and mouthwatering recipes. I wish I could taste each and every dish.

We had a difficult time picking the winner since each and every dish was lovely and worth it. My in-laws, husband and I sat down together and picked the winner. But before I announce the name....Let's have a roundup of the event and see all the entries...Shall we?

Shylaja of South Indian Home sent this Beautiful Eggless Princess Cake . I felt like a little girl myself wanting to have this beautiful princess cake for my birthday :)


Namitha and Sunitha of Collaborative Curry sent the Lemon Buttermilk Pound Cake and Almond Cookies. Both the entries look so scrumptious and colorful.



Krithi of Krithi's Kitchen sent this bright and pretty Mango Cupcakes. Mango- I say king of all fruits and I say bring it on :)


Divya of Dil se sent these 2 healthy, colorful and lovely entries- Tropical Fruit Salad and Whole Wheat Pasta Salad. I guess these should motivate all of us to eat healthy and stay healthy.



Richa of Ambrosia sent this Papaya and Papad Veggie....I say...very unique..a veggie with ripe papaya and papad!


Priya of Now Serving sent a delicious full meal.....Coconut Rice and Kala Chole! Lovely..Isn't it?


Priya of Priya's easy and tasty recipes...(one of the most active blogger in the blogging world) sent these fruity delicious entries....One is Mango Ice-Cream and the other is Sugarfree Mint and Kiwi Juice. Priya....We have the perfect weather here in Austin right now for the ice-cream and Juice...Mind sending?? :)



Sanyukta of Creative Sanyukta sent this beautiful, very creatively done Spring Beans Salad...It looks sooo appetizing and I am so impressed with the decoration!


Sukanya of Saffronstreaks sent these delicious 2 entries....She sent one savory "Hariyali Methi Chaman" and one sweet.."Mango Kheer".....Perfect combo! Right?



Mahimaa of Indian Vegetarian Kitchen sent this very refreshing and perfect for the weather drink- Strawberry Ginger Lemonade! What r u waiting for? Pick up the glass and gulp it down :)


Smita of Tastebuds sent everyone's favorite....very soft, moist and delicious..ladies and gentlemen....have a look (stare if u please :) ) at Pineapple Pastry!!


Mythreyi of Yum Yum Yum sent this yummy yummy tasty tasty Dill flavored spinach aka Green Rice.


Swapna of Swapna's Cuisine 2 entries-- both gorgeous and delicious looking. I would love to try her Tomato Spinach Cheese Swirl Bread ..it looks so yum! I bet Orange and Cocoa Cake taste as good as it looks...



Aren't all the entries are so lovely and delicious! Don't you just wanna get into your kitchen and try these? I do!

And now the time has come for the announcement ....And the winner to receive a $35 CSN gift card is Sanyukta of Creative Sanyukta!! Congratulations Sanyukta! Your Spring bean salad is beautiful. Everyone in my house is bowled by your creativity. Please look for my email in your inbox.

To all other participants: A big applaud for all of you. We loved your recipes. Thanks for participating.

Enjoy!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Dahi Bhalla Chaat

Dahi Bhalla- Deep fried balls of urad dal (black no-skin split gram), spiced, soaked and served in dahi (yogurt). This is one of the most famous street foods of India. These hot deep fried balls are first put in cold water for about 30-40 minutes which makes them super soft and when served in yogurt,spices and chutney, they literally melt in the mouth.


These dahi bhalle were made specially for my father-in-law and I was hoping that they turn out perfect i.e... soft and delicious and they did! Everyone in the family enjoyed these dahi bhalle so very much. I still have some unsoaked one's in the refrigerator, which we can eat whenever we want.


All we gotta do is take them out and soak them in warm water about 30-40 min before adding to the yogurt and they will be ready to serve.
I am sure you can figure out the softness by this pic
These are very easy to make and not much time consuming. Ready for a recipe?

Here it is (Click here for the printable version)

Ingredients:
1 cup urad split no-skin dal 
4 cups yogurt (whisked well)
salt- to taste
red chilli powder- to taste
a pinch asafoetida
15-20 raisins
tamarind chutney (See recipe here)
1/2 tsp of  roasted cumin powder
1 tsp mango powder
fresh coriander leaves (chopped)
fresh mint leaves (chopped)
Oil- to deep fry

Method:
1. Wash and soak the urad dal in 3 cups of water overnight. Drain off the excess water the next day.
2. Grind the dal to a smooth paste. Whisk some salt, pinch of asafoetida and raisins in the batter.
3. Heat sufficient oil in a deep fry pan or kadhai. Keep the flame to medium low. Drop batter in tablespoon-fulls in the oil carefully and fry until light golden.
4. Drain onto absorbent paper. These are called "Bhalla's".
5. Now soak warm bhalla's in cold water for 30-40 min.
6. In a bowl, whisk yogurt well with some salt and cumin powder. Keep serving bowl ready.
7. Squeeze bhalla's to remove excess water out of them and arrange them in the serving bowl. Cover the bhalla completely with salted yogurt.
8. Sprinkle some red chilli powder, mango powder and cumin powder on the top.
9. Then add some tamarind chutney and finish by sprinkling some chopped coriander and mint leaves.

Enjoy the finger-licking Dahi Bhalla Chaat!

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