March 26, 2015

Cornflakes Rabri | Indian Desserts | Party Ideas

Sweet Rabri is a sweet, condensed milk based dish made by boiling the milk on low heat for a long time until it becomes dense and changes its color slightly upon thickening. Sugar, spices and nuts are added to it to give it flavor. It is chilled and served as dessert. When I chanced upon my bookmarks, I saw one by Cinnamon and Chillies which was bookmarked several months ago. This recipe was too tempting to pass up, and I HAD to make it. When I said I HAD to, I mean I literally got out of my study table, where apparently I was supposed to study for my exams (you know the drill right :-))), but the picture I saw in the morning kept calling out to me. 

I made one tweak here, and it was ready,right within an hour of slaving over the stove (yes, Rabri is time consuming but worth all the effort). I am partial to milk-based sweets like Payasam (Kheer), Rasmalai and the like. And getting top marks from mom who ate this was the crowning glory. The husband doesn't care too much for sweets (unless its 99% cocoa bitter chocolate) so we happily indulged :-) Make this ahead for parties / potlucks and get togethers - those single serve portions are mess free as well as look cute on any occasion. 

Sending this to BM#50 under bookmarked recipes and also to Nisha's Kids Delight - beat the heat event. Hope you enjoyed the series on bookmarked recipes with Samba Wheat Idli, Beetroot Chutney (Vegan) and today's Cornflakes Rasmalai. The BM team is back with a month long Baking Marathon all of April, so stay tuned for those recipes :-))

Prep time : 10 min | Cook time : 1 hr | Chilling time : at least 45 mins | Serves : 4-6
Cornflakes Rabri - a milk-based Chilled Indian Dessert , served at the end of the meal

  • Full cream milk ( I opted for normal Cow milk) - 1/2 litre
  • Cornflakes - 1/2 cup (50% of this is crushed, and rest used as is)
  • Condensed Milk - 1/3 cup (you can substitute with approx 1/2 cup powdered sugar)
  • Elaichi / cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp ( I didnt use)
  • Saffron strands - few
  • Nuts (chopped) - 2 TBSP ( I used almonds and pistachio)

  1. In a non stick / heavy duty pan, Heat milk on a very low flame, and do not let it boil up. 
  2. Soak saffron strands in 1 TBSP warm milk for 5 mins, add this to the pan.
  3. After 10 mins, when it comes to a smaller boil, keep scraping down the cream formed on the sides and top.
  4. Now add crushed cornflakes, stir and let it cook till it softens, the rabri would start thickening slightly now.
  5. After 5-7 mins, add the condensed milk (or powdered sugar) and stir well. 
  6. You can check for sweetness and adjust accordingly. Keep scraping down the cream and mix it with the now boiling milk. 
  7. Then add chopped nuts and cardamom powder, mix well.
  8. When it consierablly thick (it thickens quite a bit on cooling), take it off the fire and set in individual ramekins. Top with nuts if desired.
  9. Chill for atleast 45 mins - 60 mins. Serve.

1) You can add a dash of rose essence to make it richer. 
2) Use fresh cornflakes for best results. 

March 25, 2015

Beetroot Chutney | Easy vegan dip

Beetroot (or beet as is popularly known locally) is a rich source of antioxidants and practically needs no introduction. I usually make poriyal (stir fry), peanut-saladcutlet or even mini burgers with this root vegetable.  

It has been linked with better stamina, improved blood flood and lower blood pressure. the vegetable became popular in Roman times and it was used to treat fever, constipation, wounds, skin problems - and was used as an aphrodisiac.Most beetroot on sale is round and red, but yellow, white and stripy versions are available.The beetroot taste is described as sweet, earthy and tender to eat. It is grown in the ground and is related to turnips, swedes and sugar beet (Source : here)

Today is a vegan chutney / dip thats delicious to go with your Idli / Dosa/ Pongal / Paratha. Even tastes yum with Rasam and rice. Linking to bookmarked recipes under BM 50

Prep time : 10 mins, cook time : 8 mins. Serves : 4
Cuisine : Indian | course : accompaniment / chutney
Serving Suggestions :  Idli / Dosa/ Pongal / Adai
Keeps for 1-2 days under refrigeration. 

  • Fresh Beetroot - 1 large
  • Coconut grated - 1/2 cup
  • Garlic pods - 2 medium (optional - I made it both with and without)
  • Channa dal - 2 TBSP
  • Urad dal - 1 TBSP
  • Dry Red chillies - 2 nos
  • Salt - to taste
  • oil - 1 TBSP
  • Tamarind - small roundel (about 2-3 gms)
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, asafoetida, urad dal (1/2 tsp), curry leaves

  1. Wash, peel and slice the beetroot into thin strips using a mandolin slicer (you can chop them into chunks but sauteeing sliced strips is far easier).
  2. In a pan, heat oil, saute urad dal and channa dal, red chillies till golden brown (about 2-3 mins), remove to a plate. Add beetroot, garlic (if using), tamarind and saute till raw smell disappears (about 3-4 mins on low/ medium heat). Remove. Cool and grind with coconut, salt to a smooth thick paste. Adjust salt and seasonings. 
  3. Prepare tempering with the ingredients, top onto chutney and serve immediately.

March 24, 2015

Samba Wheat Idli | Diabetic Breakfast options

Samba wheat or cracked wheat is more nutritious than ordinary wheat or even wheat flour. Its high fibre content makes it an ideal option for diabetics. Samba Wheat is alternatively called Lapsi in some recipes , but I personally feel samba wheat is harder and more coarse and gritty. You can make Upma, payasam or bisibelebhath too out of this. But ideally, I would clear out of the payasam option for diabetics. (As a diabetic if you are to avoid sweets, whats the point of adding external sweet and trying to call it healthy !!). 

Anyway, this Idli makes for a filling and healthy breakfast or supper option. I saw this recipe on television and tweaked the recipe according to family preferences. The taste takes getting used to, but we enjoyed it a lot even on the first try and it features regularly on the breakfast menu. Do try it out and let me know how you and your family liked it. 

Check out other Diabetic friendly recipes here

Sending this to BM #50 under 'bookmarked recipes' theme. Stay tuned...

Prep time : 15 mins. cook time : 20 mins | Makes : 6 idlis
Samba Wheat Idli - Cracked wheat idli
Serving Suggestions : any chutney ( I served it with Tangy Coriander Chutney)
Cuisine : South Indian | Course: Breakfast (or even supper) | Spice level : Medium

  • Samba wheat - 1 cup
  • Curd / yoghurt - 1/2 cup (may require a little more or less depending on wheat quality)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Cooking Soda - a pinch (optional)
  • oil - 2 tsp (divided use)
  • Tempering : Mustard seeds, urad dal, grated carrots, grated ginger (to taste), coriander leaves, curry leaves, chopped green chillies (1 tsp) 
  • Additional addons to the mix : roasted cashewnuts, shredded cabbage, green peas

  1. In a pan, dry roast the wheat for 1-2 mins till it gets a nutty aroma , transfer to plate. when cool, add whisked yoghurt, salt. keep aside.
  2. In the same pan, heat 1 tsp of oil. splutter mustard and urad dal, saute carrots for 3-4 mins till soft, add the grated ginger and the rest of the tempering ingredients. When slightly cool, add to the yoghurt-wheat mixture and whisk well. Check for salt and spice and leave aside for 5 mins
  3. Just before cooking, add a pinch of cooking soda and ladle out this mixture onto greased idli plates. Steam for 15 mins (this takes slightly longer than the usual Idli or Rava Idli). Serve with any chutney or sambhar. 

March 19, 2015

Hung Curd Carrot Sandwich | Tea time snacks

Curd rules summer. So you have seen in my previous posts this week : Dry fruits Lassi Sprouts dahi Batata Puri .Today's sandwich is a popular favourite with me and kiddo : we love to munch them anytime. Easy to make and serve, this is also a popular party treat. You cant really go wrong with hung curd and carrot : two of my fav ingredients.  

Hung Curd is a versatile ingredient to use, and we make these Hung Curd Canapes or these Cucumber or Lentil (Masoor) Salad often at home with Hung Curd.

So, make it anytime and enjoy.. Hope you enjoyed the Beat the heat series with Dry fruits Lassi, and today's Hung Curd Carrot Sandwich for BM # 50. Sending this to BM # 50 and Nisha who's hosting Summer Coolers -Beat the heat Kids Delight event. 

Prep time: 15 mins , zero cook | Serves : 2
Cuisine : American, Course : Breakfast or Snack

  • Bread slices - 8 (I used brown bread)
  • Hung Curd - 1/4 cup
  • Grated carrot - 2 TBSP
  • Salt and black pepper - to taste
  • Lemon Juice - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli flakes & dried oregano - to taste (optional)
  • Butter - 2 TBSP (pref unsalted)

Optional Add-ons (for adult portions)
Sliced cucumbers,mayo,cream, sliced bell peppers, shredded cabbage

  1. Trim the slices of the bread and keep ready buttering them one side up.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients, if making immediately add salt, else salt just before making sandwiches.
  3. Slather a thick portion of the mix onto the buttered side and close with the other bread slice
  4. Cut into half or triangles and serve immediately.

March 18, 2015

Sprouts Dahi Batata Puri | Easy summer snacks for kids

After Dry fruits - Ginger Lassi, its time for another lip smacking summer dish using yoghurt. Yoghurt being a natural coolant, its used in most summer meals like morkozhambu (yoghurt curry with veggies), Kadhi (a different kind of yoghurt curry with gram flour), Raita, Pachadi. Chaat is always welcome at home, so we made this easy to make and nutritious Sprouts Dahi Puri. Requires very little time and ingredients, so we enjoyed it for a quick after school snack.. Pep it up with Green chat ki chutney, Tamarind chutney and Red chutney and you have a winner. Sending this to BM # 50 and Nisha who's hosting Summer Coolers -Beat the heat Kids Delight event. 

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 5 mins | Serves : 2
Sprouts Dahi Batata Puri - Street Food made healthy :-)

#Chaat #Summer #yoghurt 

  • Pani puri ka puri (aka Puchka / golgappe) - 10 nos
  • Yoghurt - 1/2 cup
  • Roasted cumin powder - 1/2 TBSP
  • Sprouts - a handful
  • Boiled potato - 1 no (optional)
  • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Chaat Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Greenchutney - 1 tsp
  • Tamarind Chutney & Red chilly chutney - 1 tsp
  • Garnish : Coriander leaves

  1. Boil potato and make it fork tender , blanch sprouts with a pinch of salt for 5 mins, drain. 
  2. Beat yoghurt wit a pinch of salt and chaat masala.
  3. Mix the mashed potato, sprouts, salt, red chilli, powder, chutneys, chaat masala with a fork.
  4. Arrange the pani puri puris (dry) on a plate, stuff the potato - sprouts mixture into them. 
  5. Spoon the beaten yoghurt, top with roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder and coriander leaves
  6. Serve immediately

March 17, 2015

Dry Fruits Ginger Lassi | Summer Coolers

This was a bouncer when the H made it one sultry Sunday noon when the mercury had hit the 40s (deg C) and we all needed a cooler. Like I mentioned it my earlier posts on sugarfree mocktails, the dear husband is the go-to person for any unusual mocktail or beverage at home. So, we slurped on glass after glass and the cool comfort is just perfect for those summer noon / evenings when a glass of these health drinks are far better than the commercial colas. 

So, make a huge batch of this dry fruits - ginger lassi, and enjoy the summer days. Sending this to Week 3 Day 1 of BM # 50 and also to Nisha who's hosting Summer Coolers -Beat the heat Kids Delight event. 

Prep time : 5 mins , zero cook , serves : 4
Dry fruits - Ginger Lassi : Cool Yoghurt beverage with dry fruits, ginger and spices
#Lassi #Summerdrinks #yoghurt

You would need:
  • Thick yoghurt - 1 cup
  • Ice cubes - as reqd
  • Dry fruits - a handful (the husband added few almonds, 2 figs, few raisins)
  • Green chilly - 1-2 (to taste)
  • Black salt - to taste
  • Black pepper powder- a big pinch
  • Ginger  grated - 1 TBSP
  • Coriander - a small fistful - chopped

  1. First blitz the yoghurt with dry fruits till nicely blended. Then add the rest of the ingredients and blend well till smooth and frothy
  2. Check for salt and spices and serve immediately.  

March 10, 2015

Methi Chaman, and a poetry about food !

Some dishes are like love : you fall in love even before you realise you are in love. No, thats the romantic in me writing odes to a dish I fell in love (just reading about it - with Anusha's recipe, theres poetry, wit and a funny bone) even before I made it !! A huge thanks and hug is in order for Anusha for introducing me to this dish. I do love paneer and methi (as individual ingredients), but their match was made in heaven.  The kiddo just rolled her eyes in amazement as she dug into the silky smoothness : a term something a whisky is generally associated with :-)) I am told staunch whisky drinkers are also poets, so this dish does the same for your tastebuds ...

This is one of the really really few recipes I followed to the T, so I can replicate the ingredients from Anusha's verbatim, with a few changes in the order :-D .. Made this with phulkas (although thats not in the picture) and with a crunchy salad, it was a memorable dinner affair :D

Sending this a tad late to my Methi (fenugreek leaves) series of BM # 51. Hope you liked the series with Low fat Methi Malai Matar, Masala Methi dal

Methi Chaman - a creamy cottage cheese-fenugreek side dish

Serving suggestions : Chapati / Roti / Naan / Pulav
Spice - medium, Cuisine : Indian, Side dish

Prep time : 10 mins | Cook time : 15 mins | Serves : 4

Fresh fenugreek / methi leaves - 1.5 cups
Paneer cubes - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Milk - 3/4 cup
Oil - 2 TBSP
Red chilli powder
Sugar - to taste

Set 1 : For the gravy:
Onions - 1 large / 2 medium - finely chopped
casehews - 8 to 10
ginger - 1 tsp
garlic - 2 to 3 cloves
Green chillies - 1 to 2 (adjust taste)

Set 2 : Dry roast and Grind to powder:
Fennel seeds (saunf) - 1 tsp
Cloves - 3 to 4
cinnamon - 1/2" stick
Green cardamom - 1 
Cumin seeds/ jeera - 1/5 tsp

  1. Wash, pick and chop methi leaves finely. Dry roast, cool and powder Set 2 ingredients separately. In a pan, lightly roast in a tsp of oil set 1 ingredients and grind to a paste with little water. 
  2.  In the same pan, clear all ingredients, add in the remaining oil, fry the paneer cubes till slightly golden brown, and soak them in water  / milk for 10 mins. 
  3.  In the remaining oil, saute methi leaves with a pinch of salt and sugar till wilted (about 10 mins). Now add the spice powder , red chilli powder and saute well. check for salt and tip in the ground paste and milk and mix them together. 
  4. Let it come to a light simmer on very low heat (be on a constant watch coz milk can burn). 
  5. Tip in the paneer cubes (draining the water) and lightly toss them taking care not to break the cubes.
  6.  Serve immediately with hot rotis and / or rice /pulav and a salad 

March 4, 2015

Methi Masala Dal | Methi based gravy for Rice

There are some dishes you detest at first taste, and then they grow on you. Today's is one such which I literally hated it for the first couple of times, till gradually grew on me. Like yesterday's post on Methi Matar Malai, this too was accepted when I made some changes to the original recipe and served it to the kiddos and family. It goes well with steamed rice.

I made it with some potato dry curry and pickle, and it was lip smacking good. As with Methi Matar Malai, addition of onion is totally optional, but we liked it with them. Make these for a sunday brunch as we did and you have a healthy smile on ur family's lips. Sending this to BM#50 under Fenugreek leaves series

Prep time : 15 mins | Cook time : 15 mins | Serves : 3
Methi Masala Dal - a lentil based vegan curry with fenugreek leaves, toor dal (split pigeon pea)
Serving suggestions : Hot steamed rice, Potato Curry, pickle

  • Methi / fenugreek leaves - 1 cup
  • Toor dal - 1/2 cup
  • Onions - 1 medium
  • Tomato - 1/2 medium
  • Ginger - garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Green chillies - 1 or 2
  • Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds -1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Amchur powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Dhania (dry coriander) powder - 1 tsp
  1. Wash, pick, sort and chop fenugreek finely. Pressure cook these leaves with toor dal for 3 whistles with a pinch of turmeric , tomato, onion and green chillies till done. Mash them up a bit once this is cooked.
  2. In a pan, transfer this above mixture, add salt and other dry spice powders. let it simmer.  Once done, make a tadka (tempering) with jeera, cumin, mustard seeds and methi seeds (whole). Once done, pour the tempering on the dal and serve immediately with rice and pickle and dry curry 

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