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Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Eggless Fruit Custard with Cream

It's Blog Hop Wednesday. And this time, I find myself hopping to Santosh's Kitchen. The enormous database of recipes is intimidating! And I manage to wade through all those delicious recipes and land at something humble & to my capability - her Custard with Cream. A few tweaks here and there & you have my version of Eggless Fruit Custard -

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

2 in 1: Tofu Open Sandwich & Tofu Bread Rolls

When do you realize that an interest has become a passion?
The answer is when you start creating recipes in your head when you are in a lecture with the professor teaching something really important for the exam! :-D Okay, I'm not so proud of not paying attention in class, but I'm totally proud of what I've managed to create today. :P And rest assured, today will be the last time I day-dream about food. I've got an exam to clear!

Microwave Easy Cooking - Event Announcement

This month is going to be special and hectic. I am hosting two events. So the first one- I'm guest hosting Microwave Easy Cooking for Srivalli. When Srivalli agreed to let me guest host the event, I did a little fishing around & was surprised to trace back the history of this event to August 2007! Which means the event was started when I was in the 10th grade! :-D As shocking as it is to find that she has patiently been hosting it for the past 4 years, it makes one thing clear - there is NO SHORTAGE of dishes to be made in the Microwave. And the best thing about it is - it is quick, less messy & not many dishes to clean up afterwards! The perfect solution for lazy-bums like me! :-P

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Zumba - the Ultimate Dance Workout

Just in case you have been missing me, you will have to excuse my absence from the blogging world for another few days. :-) I've been so caught up with work & studies for the past one week that I didn't have time for cooking or blogging! Unlike many of you who have the responsibility of not just cooking for your blog, but also for your family and that too not just once, but 3-4 times a day; I enjoy the privilege of 'trying' dishes at my will. And if I don't cook for a day, a week, or a year, hell won't break lose! :D In fact, my mom begs me to stay out of the kitchen & into my books! :P And my dad says that I'm a just a kid & I shouldn't be straining myself in the kitchen! :D

Anyway, daddy's little princess couldn't cook anything for the past one week so she thought she could write about one of the workouts she has come to love.. ;) (okay, I'm not so gooey, generally! I swear! :D) This is not a review about any specific Zumba Workout DVD- just a general post on the dance form.

ZUMBA is the largest dance fitness program in the world. A simple search on YouTube yields 1000s of Zumba videos. My very first Zumba video was this - 

Install Java to play. You absolutely MUST play the video! :D

I was searching for dance fitness videos & found this. And Boy! What fun I had dancing to Shakira's tunes! :D The best thing about Zumba is that ANYBODY of ANY AGE can do it! You have the basic steps, of course. But you can do your own movements... The idea is to incorporate dance & aerobic movements into a workout to give you a fun experience.
You will find various styles of Zumba : Hip Hop, Salsa, Mambo, Reggaeton, Samba, Bollywood & Belly dancing... My personal favorites are Hip Hop & Reggaeton. You can try various styles & choose the one you love the most!
Zumba workouts include fast music to give you the cardio burst as well as slow music to give you a rest-period without actually having to stop. You also have some essential exercises like squats, lunges all set to the rhythm to give you the required muscle toning. Its the whole package: Fun & Fitness!

Will you lose weight? Probably. I don't carry soooooo much weight around that I could try every workout & tell you how much weight I lose per workout! :P But, the Zumba-Gurus claim that you will definitely lose weight... *IF* you combine it with a healthy diet program. (that is the case with every workout you try) But the difference being, you never realize its a workout! Its just half hour or one hour of pure fun. You wanna have fun? Then, Zumba is your answer! :D

I'll be posting about specific Zumba DVDs I've tried too.. Stay Tuned ;)

Monday, 21 November 2011

Eggless Chocolate Pudding - Type 1

This is basically the boiled & then chilled version; texturally a custard set with starch. This is commonly eaten in US, Canada, Asia etc. There is another steamed/baked type of pudding texturally similar to a cake that is popular in Australia, New Zealand, UK etc. I'll be making that when I own an oven! ;-)

Saturday, 19 November 2011

McVitie's Digestive Biscuits - Review

I don't usually eat biscuits. I enjoy Chocolate Chip Cookies once in a while. But more often than not, I skip them too. And the reason being - I find that they are equally fattening as our cakes, chips etc with all that butter & refined flour. But since we don't see the 'fat' in biscuits like we do while eating a cake, we tend to over-indulge. 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sopa de Ajo Castellana (Castilian Garlic Soup)

Sopa de Ajo is a Spanish soup typical of the Castilla-Leon Regional Cuisine, where winters are real cold & soups are had on a regular basis. I'm writing down my recipe here. Go to the source if you want to know the actual ingredients used. So lets begin ~~~

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Kathirikkai Gotsu | Eggplant in Tamarind-Tomato Gravy

The entire post belongs to my mother. This is her second entry for my HCC: Healthy Lunch Event started by Smita. Over to Mom ~~
Kathirikkai (Briinjal | Eggplant | Aubergine) Gotsu is a typical South Indian Tamarind based curry. This is not the authentic way of making Gotsu. But I've found the easiest way of preparing this dish in a pressure cooker. I also have had to keep in mind the taste of two fussy kids who wouldn't touch the authentic Gotsu because it 'looked dirty'. :-) Usually, we also use Onions in the curry. But being Amavasya, I skipped it.

Friday, 11 November 2011

How to eat with Chapathis / Indian Tortillas

I realized that for a person who can't even pronounce Chapati, eating with it can be a huge task in itself! So I decided to write a 'How To' post on eating Indian curries with Chapatis. A few weeks ago, I came across  A Curry of Life. It documents the Indian-Food & other experiences of a Gori (Foreigner) married to a Desi (Indian). :-D And that's when I thought, "a post on How to eat with Chapatis will be better if someone who's *learned* to eat with them writes about it". And that's when I contacted Colleen Mahal. She has been generous enough to let me use this post for my blog.
Over to Colleen ~~

Upma Kozhakattai | Indian Steamed Rice Balls

Upma Kozhakattai also known as Pudi Kozhakattai is a very healthy & delicious dish which can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It does take time to make this dish. But nothing too complicated. A very traditional South-Indian dish.

Ingredients - (makes 20)
Raw Rice - 4 cups
Oil - 2 tbsps
Dried Red Chili - 5-6
Mustard Seeds - 2 tsp
Urad Dal / Black Gram - 2 tsp
Curry Leaves - a handful
Salt - to taste - 1 tsp
A big wok & a steamer
Water - 6-7 cups
Method -
I wash the rice, dry it, grind & then roast it. But generally, you can directly grind raw rice to a coarse powder & roast it for a few minutes

Heat oil
Add dried red chili
Add mustard seeds & urad dal
Add curry leaves & fry fr 1/2 a minute
Add salt
Add water & let it come to a boil

Slowly, start adding the ground rice powder with one hand while continuously stirring with the other.
In the beginning stir without leaving so that there are no lumps
Then you can mix occasionally.
Bring it to the consistency you see in the 4th picture below

Let it cool.
Take some of the Upma and press in evenly to form egg-shaped Kozhakattais (balls)
Repeat the same with entire mixture.

Steam them for 5 minutes until they are soft. I used an Idli-pan to place these balls & steam. Any method of steaming would do.
Your healthy Upma Kozhattai is ready. Serve it with Gotsu, Sambar, Chutney etc.
 ---- THE END ---

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Sweet Lime (Mosambi / Sathukudi) Juice

Yello Bloggers & Blog-Readers!
I'm here with a short & sweet recipe (well, not exactly a recipe!).  I usually make it a point to cook 3-4 dishes during the weekend & then blog about it during the weekdays. That way, I'm secure knowing that I have a bank of recipes to post. But last week, I couldn't make anything at all. and the alarm bell in my head started ringing saying *your reserves are being depleted*. And hence, the juice is a product of such last-minute cooking (or.. should I say, squeezing? :-P)

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Low-Fat Aaloo Bonda | Batata Vada | Stuffed Potato Dumpling

Before I proceed, here's some background about what we're making today. Typically, Batata Vada | Aaloo Bonda (read like Rhonda ;-))  involves DEEP-FRYING a potato-filling (& other veggies) dipped in gram flour batter. Here's something you may (or may not) have seen before -
This is called a Kuzhi Paniyaram Achchu (don't even try pronouncing it! Only south Indians will get it right :-D) As you can see, it has holes (or kuzhi) in which we pour any batter and make small ball shaped snacks. SO this is what we're using today, to make these low-fat dumplings. If you don't have this, you can always deep fry & then burn off on the treadmill! :-P

Friday, 4 November 2011

♥ Cadbury Diary Milk Silk ♥

Chocolates ~~~~ Can't live without them, eh? Cadbury’s Diary Milk Silk is one such chocolate that everyone who wishes to obtain Nirvana should try! :-D Seriously, no kidding! From the moment you put a slab in your mouth to the time it slowly melts in your mouth is truly a trip to heaven and back.

Chole Masala | Chickpea Curry

Looking forward to what Mom will be cooking for my lunch box or peeking to see how she goes on about making the food or quickly making 1 or 2 Dosas when she is away for 2 seconds are a few things that made me realize I definitely had a lot of interest in cooking. And I have to majorly credit my mother for nurturing the interest at a very young age. Since the 5th grade, she has been encouraging me to do a little of this & a little of that. No matter how exact the recipe is, a little advice from Mom always reassures my confidence in the dish.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Pav Bhaji | Mixed Veg Curry with Burger Buns

Hi folks!
Yet another Blog Hop Wednesday... And I found myself hopping over to Nirmala's Kitchen. And to my delight, what did I find? PAV BHAJI! (paa-oh bhaa-jee) Since the time I sprouted teeth, I remember eating Pav Bhaji every time we went to a restaurant - every-single-time without fail! Pav Bhaji is one of my most favorite dishes ever. Just thinking about it makes me drool! :-D And who makes the best Pav Bhaji (besides Sadguru Hotel in Mumbai)?? My Momma! :-D Yes, I love the hotel Pav Bhaji. But they make you feel heavy right away! My mom's Pav Bhaji is light & I can keep gobbling more & more! :-D So, following the basics of Nirmala's recipe, I finally learnt my Amma's magic! :-)
A little about Pav Bhaji -
Its pretty much a mixed vegetable curry eaten with Pav. Pav is similar to your Burger Buns (although not quite) You can eat the curry with any form of bread, tortillas, rice etc. I eat the curry in bucket-loads! :-) Of course, if you don't have the cpcity to bear the spice, you're dead! :-D But nothing that can't be adjusted with a little sugar & little less of the red-chili powder & other spices.
B&W doesn't give the effect, does it? :-|
Now- there are different ways of making the curry. But I settled for my mother's method because it seems like the easiest one. She used the Pressure Cooker method.
Ingredients -
For the Curry:
Potato - 2 medium sides cut into small cubes
Bell Pepper / Capsicum - 1 chopped finely
Carrot - 1, cut into small pieces
Cauliflower - 1/2 cup
Tomato - 3-4, chopped
Onion - 2 medium sliced finely
Peas - 1/2 cup, boiled (i skipped coz I didn't have)
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Ginger - 1 teaspoon grated
Green chilies - 2, chopped 
Red Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon (more or less)
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Pav Bhaji Masala / Garam Masala - 1 tablespoon
Salt  - to taste; 1-2 teaspoons
Sugar - 1/4th of a teaspoon
Oil - 2 tablespoons
For Garnish:
Butter - 1 teaspoon
Pav Bhaji Masala / Garam Masala - 1 tablespoon
Coriander / Cilantro leaves - to decorate

1. Wash the cauliflower well & boil it in salt water. Flowers tend to have worms in between so it is important to do this - apparently. Drain excess water
2. Keep the other veggies ready.
3. Heat 2 TB of oil in a pressure cooker & add the onions
3. Then add green chilis & ginger, garlic. Sauté for 1 minute
4. Add the turmeric powder & saute
5. Next, add salt
6. Then, add potatoes & Sauté well
7. Add carrots & capsicum & mix well.
8. Add a pinch of sugar (to balance the flavors)
9. Add red chili powder 
10. Garam Masala / Pav Bhaji Masala & mix
11. Add the boiled cauliflowers & mix well.
12. Let the veggies cook for about 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes & mix
13. Finally add enough water to cover the entire vegetables-mix
That's it. Now let it cook in the pressure cooker (until about 5-6 whistles) (takes about 15-20 minutes)
14. Switch off the flame. Once you can open the cooker, take a large spoon or a vegetable-masher & mash the entire mix.
(I over-mashed it. Don't mash it to the int that it looks like pulp)
15. Then add the boiled peas & mix. (I skipped)
16. This is what my mum does for extra flavor. > Heat butter & add 1 TB of Pav Bhaji / Garam Masala  mix well
17. Add this to the mashed veggies & mix well again.
18. Garnish with some Coriander leaves & onion slices.

Serve with toasted Pav / Bread / Buns / Tortillas / Rice etc.
Best eat with Pav.
One of the famous Mumbai Street foods. If prepared at home with care, it can be a very healthy lunch option too. 
Linking it to Radhika's BHW & also linking this one to the Healthy Lunch Challenge hosted by Edible Entertainment (started by Smita) & Pari's Only Curries
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