Monday, 30 December 2013

Bread basket

I was completely amazed by these bread baskets when I first saw them at Homebakers guild.  Later, I went through an elaborate online search, and found  this  youtube video.  With my own dough recipe, I, finally made these gorgeous basket.  


When I placed them on my dinner table, they were quite deceiving and imitated a real basket carrying fruits.  You can surprise your guests at parties and your family too.  

Sunday, 29 December 2013

BOUNTY BAR/ COCONUT BAR - (Without chocolate mould)

  Ever since I have started my blog, many requested me to post some chocolate recipes.  Am sooo sorry that I was not able to post this earlier :(  Very idea for posting this bar struck me, when I was searching for some offline content.  Yes, they were for CCC Challenge.  It was then, that I stumbled upon my chocolate recipes notebook.  I used to treasure them a lot, because saving them from Varsha's clutches is really, really an hard deal :)  And yes, like all you wished, I am planning to pen down more and more of chocolates :)



Bounty chocolates are regular chocolates stuffed with moist coconut filling.  Every bite is heavenly as we can relish the goodness of both chocolate and coconut.  These are sure to delight all-ages.  Shama liked them a lot and Varsha is also growing fond of them.  You can surprise the kids or allot them for party.  New Year is also approaching, by the way, why dont you guys give them a try?



Saturday, 28 December 2013

Bhaja Moong dal - Potluck party, cyber style December 28th 2013

   For this month of potluck party, I was paired with Sutapa.  I was too happy because I am an dal or gravy-aholic lady.  In this blogging world, we can see many bakes, many goodies  or many virtual treats, but when it comes to your home-cooking, making gravies or dal for dinner becomes an wondering part of life because breakfast and lunch preparation gets over my morning itself.  And for me, I simply quiz what to cook up, with my refrigerator and provisions shelf wide open  :D  :D   This potluck party, very clearly compensated my thought :P  



Bhaja moong dal, an bengali dal is an rich and exotic dal.  'Bhaja' means 'fry' and so moong dal was fried with ghee before pressure cooking and tempered with spices and coconut.  When I prepared, I can notice a pleasent aroma and taste, unlike other dal preparations.  So, thanks to Sutapa for introducing such an nice dal to us, I enjoyed them thoroughly with roti. 


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Eggless Christmas Cake

Merry Christmas to everyone :D  Hope you all enjoyed and had an blast :)  At home, we had a good time watching TV and other part of the day was dedicated to shopping at Inorbit Mall :D  :D  :D  I say, this is the best part of an holiday :D  Yes, coming back to my post, I had always wanted to bake an eggless cake.  And to top it, my inlaws gave an quick visit and since they are pure vegetarians, I had to search for eggless bakes.


All this time, I had an impression that these eggless cakes would not equalize the moistness/softness in an normal egg cakes.  But, trust me, I was wrong.  This eggless cake that I baked was totally super-moist and tasted yummy too!  They went missing almost within a day!!  :)  You  guys can surely give this an mind-blowing try!! 



Christmas cakes or commonly called 'plum cake' are filled with nuts/orange peels/raisins which are traditionally soaked in wine to give authentic flavour.  Here, I marinated an entire cup of nuts and peels with grape juice.  You can also try with apple juice, or else go with traditional choice too :D  Another feature of cakes were the 'rich' caramel flavour which is because of presence of  caramel syrup into cake batter.  Here, I replaced the syrup with condensed milk.  This condensed milk when baked, gave out an dense, rich and crusty caramel flavour.  

Monday, 23 December 2013

BHAJJI KI MINI PIE

  Well, what can I say about this cheesy n soft (vegetable) bhaji stuffed pies??  They are a divine fusion of Indian chaat with England-based dessert.  Since bhaji goes excellent with pav, their combo with buttery pie crust was good too :)  I made them when I desperately needed a savory snack. I am always a savory lover...  so when this 'fusion' idea struck me, I no longer resisted myself to bake :)   Yes, I don't know why baking is very mesmerizing and these days I am getting bakeaholic :D  :D




When it came for filling, I needed them a bit cheesy with  a different seasoning.  So, I went for oregano with mozzarella combination.  You can use any dry herbs seasoning (or replace them with a couple of fresh herbs and chili flakes you have).  If you want a classic 'cheesy' look, you can replace quarter cup of cheese to almost 1 cup.  (Trust this one, you will get a 'classic temptation')  These pies are better had straight from the oven, piping hot.  :D  :D So, with freezing climate here, they were a 'pleasure to intake' :D  :D




I got a lot of credits when I shared this pie with my neighbor :D :D  She especially appreciated the filling.  This has given me a lot of confidence, yes I am going to try this filling with more of savory types.  On the other hand, I had to admit that making these pies were a bit time-consuming.  It is best to prepare the dough before a  day and refrigerate them if you are in short of time. 

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Paneer masala

Hi all, this paneer masala is from '100 vagai side-dish' book by Archana Natarajan.  Thanks to Srivalli for an awesome CCC because I am utilizing all my cookbooks now, which otherwise would have been an dusky showcase material  :P  Never thought paneer masala would have been this much delecious that too without adding dense cashew paste or cream.  Recipe calls for an simple ingredients, yet awesome output.  Isn't it great??


This gorgeously looking paneer masala is too creamy and tasty that anybody can hardly resist :)  And they save a lot of time too :P  Comes in handy, especially if you have any sudden guests coming over also for an week-end treat!  Hubby loved it with roti/chapathi, though this would be guarentely an hit with pulao/rice :)


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Egg pulao

    Not long before, we visited 'Royalseema ruchulu' restaurant at Hyderabad, I must admit that 'Nattukodi pulao' was an real FAB.  We continued to order pulao twice, thrice.... :)  After relishing their hot, fiery pulao, blogger part of mine desired to make an 'silent try' :)   As thought, I continued making the pulao with hard-boiled eggs, pulao was fantastic.  Here, I also share one useful trick for cooking the rice with correct texture. Also try to cook basmati rice in an wide-mouthed vessel, so that they dont become mushy and stay like separate grains.


Egg pulao can also be an 'hit' in your family.  Try them ideally on an week-day lunch once before an exotic week-end lunch :D  I garnished this egg pulao with mint leaves, one slice/wedge of egg along with deep fried onions.  I had them, as such.  Every bite was flavourful and tempting.  My daughter, Varsha who doesn't eat spicy food also carved an special interest to this pulao.  This is an easy and tempting alternative to our usual home-made  biriyani.  Do try them :D

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

JUST EAT INDIA - Review

       JUST EAT India is India's largest online food ordering portal and table reservation website.  It is headquartered in Bangalore with other branches at Delhi, Mumbai etc and is prone to expand rapidly. Currently working with over 2500 restaurants, 52 cuisines and 3 lakh dishes, they have more than 3.5 lakh registered users.  Parent company is headquartered in UK, with presence of 12 other countries. (apart from India) 


WHAT MAKES JUSTEAT SO SPECIAL??


   Justeat is user-friendly website, all you have to do is one click to select the place you stay and an range of restaurants are displayed.  You can select one near your locality (within 2 kms) and get into their online menu range.  There are two options at online ordering portal- cash on delivery and online payment.  Make sure to grab online payment, because JUSTEAT offers discount coupons  for online payments which ranges from 15 to 30 percent off.  Not only that there are also coupons offering two hundred rupees off from your billing, isn't it great??

MY EXPERIENCE WITH JUSTEAT



I logged on and ordered pizza from Pizza corner and choose to make an online payment.  After I am done with payment, I soon get an call from restaurant saying that my order is confirmed and pizzas will get delivered within fourtyfive minutes.  As said, pizza is made and delivered to me within time.  I enjoyed them along with my family members...


With one-click ordering system, JUSTEAT has made life easier and reliable.  Earlier, I used to  ask this as an favour to my hubby.  But, now, with JUSTEAT, I can order my favourite dish from favourite restaurant, simply by sitting at home...  I find this very comforting, don't you too friends???  Don't have system/laptop to support this need......??  Don't worry :)  Because, now JUSTEAT is also available as an food ordering applications  in your mobile phones (Android, iPhone, Windows 8 )  Make sure, you do grab their apps and benefit yourselves  :)











Monday, 16 December 2013

YULE LOG - Baking partners December 2013

The very same date, previous year was my first post for Baking partners ..still cant beleive it is since an year now, feeling very nostalgic :) And ever since I bought an OTG, and got many flopped outcomes, I had been scratching my head for an better alternative.  Introduction to this Baking partners was an 'blessing in disguise', through one of my friend's blog.   Let me take this as an ideal oppourtunity and list out other bakes I made,

1. Plum cake
2. Apple pie
3. French Macaroons
4. Cheese cake
5. Newyork-styled pizza
6. Chocolate eclairs
7. Chiffon cake
8. Biscotti
9. Kronut
10. Pumpkin bread
11. Pataqueta

    Don't get hard on counting, since I missed february month :)  So, each bakes listed here, has lots of tactics or lots of tips/details involved.  Since we were given links to knowledge each details, the entire baking became like an 'internal assessment' to us :P   Now, I have the confidence of baking my own cookies/cakes, thanks all to this humble community.




Coming over to this month's challenge, it is YULE LOG.  YULE LOG is an dessert/cake made especially during Christmas.  Here an chocolate cake/genoise cake is baked using an swiss roll pan, filled with vanilla icing, rolled over and again frosted with chocolate icing.  Fork impressions are made in order to make them resemble like an log!   Making them was quite interesting and nourishing the delecious outcome was the BEST DAY in my life.  Thanks all goes to Tanushree and Swathi Iyer.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Flax seeds powder

    One evening, I was watching JAYA TV programme, termed suvaiyo suvai.  The host was cooking 'Aazhi vethai podi' otherwise called Flax seeds powder.  I was completely delighted to find this, since I had bought flax seeds few weeks before :)   Flax seeds, derived from fibre crop is well known for its healthy benefits.  Not only is it source of fibre, vitamins, omega 3-fatty acids and micronutrients, they have also been proved scientifically to lower risk of heart attack, diabetes and cancer.


You can also view this wiki link which explains its consuming tricks.  Flax seeds powder made here, is an delecious fusion, I must say :D,  dry roasting  our desi ingredients and flax seeds separately, they were made to cool and thoroughly powdered.  This can be substituted with our regular idly/dosa podi.  The cook host has also requested not to mix them with oil and consume them as it is with dosa/idly.  The reason she explains is that though one mouth would feel the 'dryness', saliva will be secreated and balance the rest of the meal.  

Friday, 13 December 2013

Vuppu biscuits / Salted biscuits, Tea-time affair

    Be it latenight-weekends or sipping bed-tea, everyone is this world is habitual, isn't it??  One such is going to be our topic of the day :D  Yes, I am talking about all those, who love to crunch biscuits in between your hot n steaming tea.....  Everyone in my family does that.  Though Marie biscuits/ Digestive biscuits are available in every home, nothing can replace this vuppu biscuits available in bakeries.  At Chennai, my mother used to stock them very well. 

 
These super-soft, crunchy biscuits is known to occupy its presence at mind & heart.  I can still recollect those melting moments when they get paired up with tea.  All thanks to Sandhya from MyCookingJournal!!  When I first saw her post, it was sooo tempting that I can barely resist myself from baking them.   She has an fascinating site full of authentic South-Indian dishes, not to mention her bakes are my all-time-favourite.  :D 
 
 
The uniqueness of this biscuit is the presence of rice flour in it, which itself provides an authentic twist to regular cookie/biscuit dough.  I made an huge batch and they are disappearing....  :)  My parent-in-laws were delighted to taste this one.  Overall, baking them was one proud moment in my life :)  Try them too, will you ?  :)
 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Hiruva masala shaak / Green masala curry - POTLUCK PARTY, CYBER STYLE Dec 10

   It's party-time!!! :D  yes, back to potluck party, cyber style hosted by Jagruti mam where several bloggers meet with their party dishes online and share treat virtually  :D.  They, also pair up and prepare the other partner's dish and cherish them as well.  Isn't it interesting??   But, travelling frequently for past two months, I was not able to make up.  This time, I do proudly present the authentic curry preparation, made by my Mother-in-law - Hiruva masala shaak or Green masala curry.

 
As the name suggests, green masala curry is  very hot (Caution to spice-tolerant guys!), they differ from Nilgiri/green coloured curry because it is not the  (green) colour that matters here.  Hiruva masala shaak has many green chillies (8-10), sauted and pureed, this masala is added to regular curry-base, unlike other curries where  pureeing mint/coriander leaves is done to attain characteristic green colour.   

HEALTHY SNACKING - GIVEAWAY


Hi guys... I should mention that my giveaway had an awesome entries, all thirty links were close to my heart and hugs to all who made my day :)  But, one sad part is only three give-aways are given, I am sad because I partially feel that is demotivating to the rest :/  I wish I had thirty give-aways :)
So, without making any delay, let me present you the winners.





So, our first winner who gets Nita Mehta's FOOD FROM AROUND THE WORLD goes to entry ...

True Random Number Generator 2

Entry 2 is Tutty-fruity muffins from Babi's recipes.  Congrauts :D

Second winner who gets Sanjeev Kapoor's KHAZANA OF HEALTHY & TASTY RECIPES goes to entry....

True Random Number Generator 11

Entry 11 is Banana-apple smoothie from Savourindian recipes.  Congrauts :D

Third and final winner who gets Nita Mehta's PRESSURE COOKING RECIPES goes to entry.....

True Random Number Generator 18

Entry 18 is Potato patties from Kitchen odyssey.  Congrauts again :D

    Winners kindly mail your Indian address to arthyshama7@gmail.com.  Hearty thanks to all other participants...

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Chocolate scones

   Scones are regarded as quick tea-bread that are made with baking powder as its leavening agent, unlike using yeast.  Slightly sweet, they are occasionally glazed.  This 'CHOCOLATE SCONES' is adapted from the book '100 Best Delecious Chocolate'  I must say that these scones were easy and quickly made.



Chocolate scones were crisp and nicely browned over the top, these were soft and layered inside.   I enjoyed them with tea.  Slightly sweet with bits of chocolate chunks in each bite, these scones were an treat indeed!  

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

SANTA CLAUS BREAD - CHRISTMAS SPL

I had always wished to do creative baking.  Yes, my recent crush, being on fondant type designer cakes.  Though the difficult part in such bakes is to find right ingredients within your reach or within your budget :(  Nevertheless the creative part in breads sparked me, when I visited this santa claus bread in Vicky's post.  Thanks to her and here I am posting an similar version :) Atlast, this one makes me pat my own back, and yes ' I AM HAPPYYY' :) :)

 
Ingredients are quite simpler, the trick lies in shaping the dough.  Here, I have explained with step-by-step pics.  So, don't worry!!!  Just surprise your loved ones, for upcoming Christmas.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Kathrikkai kara kuzhambu

   If anybody asks me what cuisine/which country's food you love, my only answer is Indian food, especially south-Indian food.  A one shot of  hot kara kulambu with appalam would drool my tongue and I can firmly say that it won't be equal to McD's Burgers or KFC chicken. :P  :P

 
When I came across karakulambu from Swathi Iyer's blog, I could hardly resist than giving this godly curry, an try.  You can view her post here.  She has prepared an mixed vegetable curry, since I am an brinjal-freak I prepared kulambu with brinjals.  I must say that I fell in love with them.  Thanks to Swathi Iyer, for introducing this godly curry to me :) 

Mysore rasam

    At first, I would thank you guys for linking delicious recipes to my giveaway.  Planning to announce winners next week-end.  Secondly, I just bumped into CCC in Srivalli's blog.  Cooking from cookbook challenge was soo interesting for me to approach.  Thanks to Srivalli for adding me here.  The first post I am going to make is Mysore rasam, from Nita Mehta's 'Quick & Easy Pressure cooking'

 
Rasam is an soupy, watery dish, usually had at the end of South-Indian meal.  Rasam also aids in digestion.  What differs mysore rasam from normal ones, is the delicate balance of sweet-tangy-spice notes.  The unique addition of jaggery teams up with divine aroma of the ghee, isn't it great??  Let us view the recipe

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