Friday, 28 March 2014

Punjabi-styled pickle

     Well, this post is most special to me, because this is my first achaar/pickle post.  All thanks to my dear potluck partner, Shoba from Foodmazaa.

With an hot mid-summer,  it is true that we always look upon to chilled beverages, but this pickle, I must say, is an all-weather-dish.  Especially to all savoury-lovers, this is an real treat.  The choice of spice mix is perfect, as it infused the smell of mesmerizing achaar, and to top that, you are making this with vegetables - puts forth an healthy option, isn't it?  
Yes, yes, I know... my time off is exceeding between posts -  nowadays, I am struggling to catch upon my usual routine, with my daughter shifted to another school, that includes odd sets of timings.  I, have hardly tried anything, but, I promise to be back in lane soon, keep in touch, guys :)

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Tomato chutney - DIP/SPREAD/LICK :)

What can I say about this chutney- with an multi purpose tag?   Isn't it an wonder to have some appetizer common to all three courses :D Yes, an apt start with any breakfast of day (idly/dosa/upma/semiya), to delecious tomato rice (Mix some paste with cooked rice to obtain the same) , also to spread over sandwiches, stuffed parathas, this chutney, is an boon for all.... And, like an cherry on top, this DIP/SPREAD/LICK tagged chutney is storable as well.......

I had this wonderful tomato chutney, sometime back at Chennai.  My aunt served them with gingelly oil drizzled at top.  I, tried to skip them with an delusional diet :D  (LOL, this is what happens, we feast on KFC, but still try to follow diet, at home-made dishes :D)   But, my aunty patiently reminded me that gingelly oil drizzled over top, not only enhances the flavour and taste, but also cools down stomach and makes them free from any gastric problems.  She also reminded me, that due to this reason, girls are forced to take gingelly oil ,on an empty stomach during their puberty.

I, then, convinced took to the chutney and found them delecious as well. Smooth,  buttery, little tanginess compensated with hot spices is what my taste-bud felt.  According to aunt, her basic formula for this tomato chutney, is

Oil + Urad dal + 1/2 parts of Onions + 1 part of tomato + Dried red chillies + 1/4 parts of Coconut

Noting down, above formula, please remember that other than tomato and red chilies (which varies according to quantity of tomato), others are flavour enhancers.  So, roughly you can experiment with any ratios, or according to your stock availability :D  :D  :D

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves:  Might serve 20, I divided the prepared chutney in two containers and refrigerated them, this went on for two weeks :)

Ingredients required

  • 2 tbspn of gingelly oil
  • 1 tbspn of whole urad dal
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped onions
  • 1/2 kg of tomatos, finely chopped
  • 10-12 dried,long red chillies
  • 1/4 cup of coconut, finely sliced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of gingelly oil (For storing purpose)


Heat gingelly oil in an heavy-bottomed kadaai, add urad dal.  Let them brown over an simmer flame.
Add onions, saute till onions turn pink (Don't brown)

Now, add our tomatos along with whole red chillies.  You can also add half tsp of salt, if you prefer.  Saute tomatos and simmer the flame, let the tomatos get mushy and reduce their quantity. 

When they got almost reduced and tomato residue sticks on to kadaai, add coconut and switch off the gas.  No need to cook coconut, as they will get cooked by the warmth shared by hot tomato residue.  Let this cool thoroughly.  Blend, without adding water, and serve, drizzled with (raw) gingelly oil over top.


If you are planning to make an large batch to store, please know that after blending, these chutney can be divided into four or five small-sized containers.  And before closing the lid of each container, do remember to drizzle 1-2 tbspn of gingelly oil over the top.  This not only enhances the flavour and keeps you fit, but also helps in saving the chutney from any spoilage.  The reason, I asked to store in small containers, is that everytime, before consumption, the chutney, needs to be brought back to room temperature.  This way, if you are storing entire stock in one large container, you need to bring this out an hour earlier everyday, leading to increased chances of spoilage.  So, it is best to store them in four to five small containers.

Linking this to Srivalli's CCC Challenge

Cooking from Cookbook Challenge

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Graham crackers

Graham crackers (Please view my earlier post, saltine crackers for elaborate discussion on 'crackers') are mildly sweet cracker, that are named after its  creator,  Sylvester Graham.  They are made from graham flour, which is coarsely ground whole wheat flour.  Honestly, I haven’t tasted one, but curious enough to try them out due to their magnified applications in S’mores,   crust for cheese cake, etc

 Their texture and taste achieves an  perfect balance,  that lies between an cookie and cracker.  And when I browsed through Smitten Kitchen’spage, I was confident that I could make them, thanks to her simplistic method.  J  Only ingredient I had to replace here is bleached all –purpose flour instead of unbleached one since, I could not find one at my place  :/  To those, who are quite new at this,  APF is generally processed, in order to yield that bright white colour, before packing commercially.  For this processing, this flour is made to pass through  chemicals or preservatives.  So, the normal flour, you buy at grocery stores are all bleached ones.  Unbleached flour, on the other hand, is less processed with an pale colour, which makes it not only healthy, but also used extensively in baking.  I learnt that unbleached ones yield an little rough texture on the output (Which makes them important in our ‘cracker’ preparation), unlike bleached one, that yields softer  output.  However, an basic substitute of unbleached one will be an mix of bleached flour and whole wheat flour.

 Since this is an mix of APF and wheat flour, I would consider this as an guilt-free snack, that I could offer to my family.  Not only sweet, they were also flavourful  with an dash of cinnamon at the top.

Saltine cracker

First of all, I would like to thank Swathi Iyer for letting me suggest  this  month’s challenge.  Thanks a lot, Swathi J  For this month’s challenge, I have suggested two types of cracker – SALTINE, GRAHAM CRACKER.

So, what is this CRACKER?....
  1. A cracker is an baked snack that can be sweet and savoury (Mostly savoury).  Alternatively, they are also termed as an ‘savoury cookie’.
  2. Name of this snack, is believed to come from the caused noise, when these are broken into half.
  3. Crackers are thin, crisp with an usual square or circle shape.  They are known to be topped with herbs, salt, spices or other seasonings.  
  4. They are usually served with dips/cheese-spread/butter/milk.  
  5. These cracker can be yeast-raised or baking powder raised, so in order to prevent raising of dough during baking , these crackers are drilled with holes before switching them to oven, these holes, otherwise called as docking holes, is one characteristic feature of CRACKERS. 


The difference chart shown below depicts the basic differences between cracker and cookie

Commercial examples for crackers include Maska-chaska, Monaco and Brittania crackers, etc.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Meal maker tikki with makhni sauce

 Going out of vegetable stock?.... Refrigerator under repair?....  nor do you have an surprise guest visit?.... Do not fear, if tiny, chocolate brown soya chunks or meal maker is there, this would be, perhaps, an blessing in disguise :)  Just make sure you stock them up from your nearest supermarket and they may never fail your expectations.... Yes ranging from pulao, curry, noodles this meal makers can be mixmatched in our regular cooking, here is one such sample.... meal maker tikki.  To top them more delecious for Potluck party, I have accompanied them with my version of makhni sauce.  Both were godly and  pleased all...

I have combined meal maker with few of vegetables, but other half of combo is completely left to you.... you can add anything that is stocked up at your home ranging from left-over rice, poha, murmura, crumbled paneer etc

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Eggless vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate icing

I can realize a lot of excitement whirling up my head as I pen down this post...yes, an array of emotions... I must suggest... An long gap filled with back and forth travelling has made my online status inactive for an longer period, especially my survival without facebook  for months together :P  :P  So, I strongly wanted to start my post with an delecious dessert (in order to compromise my absence, I may assume :P ) Am likely to pen down my adventures with upcoming posts, please pardon me since I running out of time in this post..

These are delecious super-yummy eggless vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate icing, dedicating to my CCC group.  The white chocolate icing, is adapted from the book '100 Best Delecious Chocolate'.  The best part of this dessert is that they are completely egg-free,  drawing attention of strict vegetarians too!! The smooth silky white chocolate icing over the top is an highlight, suggesting this to be an kid-pleaser as well...  Since I had an star-shaped tip 33,  I kind of enjoyed myself playing around with piping the icing.

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