Easy Sweet Potato Payasam

sweet-potato-payasam
Sweet Potato Payasam

 

sweet-potato
Sweet Potato

 

GUEST BLOGGER: NEENA VILAS TALPADE

If you are looking for comfort food, this is one of the healthiest and tastiest porridges you could ask for! Prepare this porridge or payasam, curl up with your favourite book and enjoy a relaxed weekend. So here’s what you need:

Ingredients:

Sweet potatoes (pink variety has a fragrance) : 3 large

Milk: 1/2 litre

Coconut milk powder: 2 pouches

Coconut milk cream: 1 Tetra pack

Sugar: 2 tablespoons

Cardamom (elaichi) powder: 1/2 teaspoon (optional)

Slivered, toasted cashews or almonds: 2 teaspoons

 Method:

Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly.

Pressure-cook for 3 whistles OR microwave for 12 minutes till very soft.

Peel and pass through a sieve with the help of a masher.(the kind we use for mashing pav-bhaji or roasting parathas)

Add milk, coconut milk powder or cream.

Add cardamom powder if desired.

Garnish with slivered, toasted cashews or almonds.

Serve warm or chilled, as preferred.

Eat well, stay healthy and enjoy life…

 

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20 Minute Chocolate Cake

chocolate-cake-2chocolate-cake-1

Guests arriving in half an hour and you don’t know what to do!! Here’s a super quick, soft, spongy, melt-in-the-mouth chocolate cake that will definitely impress them. If you are short of butter, no issues. This recipe needs cooking oil, which has the double benefit that the cake remains soft even in very cold weather.

USE THE BLENDER INSTEAD OF SEPARATE BOWLS FOR EGGS, CREAM, ETC AND REDUCE YOUR WASHING UP TOO. 

So here’s the recipe

Dry Powders

  • 3/4 cup flour (maida)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (Flour+cocoa makes 1.1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Other ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • 1.1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cooking oil (use refined oil that doesn’t have a strong aroma of its own)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp yogurt/curd (take yogurt in a small bowl, add 1 tbsp water, mix well and keep aside)

Method

In a blender, add sugar and oil and blend together for 2 minutes.

Add all 4 eggs and blend for 2-3 more minutes.

Add the dry powders, vanilla essence and yogurt.

Blend for another 2-3 minutes or till it looks homogenous.

**Transfer to a greased baking dish and bake at 230 degrees C for 15-20 minutes.

You can eat it hot from the oven, at room temperature or right out of the fridge with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy eating…

**The oven setting and time will vary according to the brand of the oven so refer to the manual for individual settings.

 

Savory Banana Pancake – unusual breakfast fare!

 

savoury-pancakes

GUEST BLOGGER: NEENA VILAS TALPADE

During the festive season, you often find your hands full of mithai plus fruits that are ripe at about the same time! At such time, my over-ripe bananas often end up on our breakfast table in this unusual yummy dish.

You’ll know it’s tasty when you try it!!

Ingredients:

  1. Ripe bananas: 2-3
  2. Salt: 1/3 teaspoon(to taste)
  3. Sugar or Jaggery: 1 teaspoon
  4. Tamarind Pulp: 1/2 teaspoon
  5. Finely chopped green chilli(non-spicy variety): 1
  6. Finely chopped coriander leaves: 1-2 teaspoons
  7. Fine Semolina(sooji/barikrava): 3 tablespoons
  8. Ghee or oil for roasting
  9. Butter if desired: for serving

Method:

  1. In a bowl, peel/mash the bananas.
  2. Add ingredients 2-6. Mix well.
  3. Add semolina. The mixture should not be too dry.
  4. On a non-stick frying pan, put 1/2 teaspoon ghee or oil and spread all over the frying pan.
  5. Ladle a large serving spoonful of the mixture.
  6. Spread evenly- thickness of a crepe or utappa.
  7. Cover and brown on a medium flame.
  8. When brown, turn over and brown the other side as well.
  9. Serve hot with (optional)a small dollop of butter.

This recipe is really yummy. However, you may omit the green chilli if you are not used to its ‘spice’ quotient.

Gadbad Chicken Curry

gadbad-chicken-curry

Cooking something in a hurry can be stressful. But Gadbad Chicken Curry is easy and gets done in 30-45 minutes. I didn’t refer to any online/book recipe but just put in whatever I felt like at that moment. Everyone at home loved this easy chicken curry…

Chicken 1 kg (cut into curry size pieces)

Ingredients for the marinade:

2 green chillies
Handful of coriander leaves (kothmir/hara dhania)
1″ size ginger
6-8 pods of garlic (lasun)
2 tsp red chilli powder or to taste
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste (approx 2 tsp)

Ingredients for curry

Whole spices:
1 star anise (chakra phool)
1 mace (javitri)
2 cloves (laung)
1/2″ size cinnamon (dalchini)
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder (jaiphal)
2 tsp coriander seeds (dhania)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

Other ingredients:
4 medium sized onions
2 medium sized tomatoes
2 tbsp grated coconut

Method:

Grind the ingredients of the marinade into a paste, apply on the washed chicken pieces and keep aside for 15 minutes.
In a deep non stick pan, in oil or ghee (clarified butter) saute the whole spices till they turn slightly brown.
Add chopped onions and saute till they turn little darker than golden brown.
Add chopped tomatoes and saute till dry.
Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan dry-fry grated coconut scrapings till light brown in colour. Please do not fry too much.
Grind the onion mixture and fried coconut scrapings with a little water till it is a fine paste. Keep aside.
In the same pan put the marinated chicken, ground masala, cover and cook till done.
It’s as easy as that but turns out delicious.

This curry has a number of spices, yet gives a mild aroma so that you are licking your fingers till the end.

Any suggestions/variations are most welcome. Do share your ideas in the comments below. I would love to try out new dishes. Eat yummy and enjoy life…

Oats Finger Millet Pancakes

millet-oats-pancake

After reading my post “HEALTHIEST CEREAL – FINGER MILLET (RAGI)” you must have seen how finger millet is a highly nutritious cereal. Here’s the truth – when I combined it with oats, it turned out to be a super delicious meal too, so I am sharing the recipe for oats finger millet pancakes…

Makes 4 pancakes

Ingredients you need

4 tbsp millet flour
4 tbsp oats (ground into powder)
1 egg white
A pinch of salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp Milk
Water to make a batter.

Method to prepare the pancakes

In a bowl mix together millet flour, ground oats, salt and sugar.
Beat egg white for a minute and add to the powders.
Mix well.
Add enough milk to make a pancake batter. The batter should be of pouring consistency, neither too thick nor too runny.
On a non stick pan spread some butter.
Add a ladle of batter to make pancake-size circle.
Fry for a minute.
Flip and fry for another 1 minute.
Serve hot with honey, chutney or pickle.

Note 1: You can add finely chopped steamed vegetables of your choice, mushrooms, leftover chicken, etc as a variation. In which case there is no need to add sugar.

Note 2: Finger millet, also called red millet, ragi or nachni, is the most nutritious cereal. It prevents distressing health issues like acne, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, and many more. Being a gluten free cereal and combined with the goodness of oats, these pancakes are jam packed with nutritive value. Also, you won’t get hunger pangs too soon when you have millet because it has a low glycemic response.

Sabudana (Sago) Khichdi – with a twist

sabudana-khichdi-2
Uncooked mixture

Sago (sabudana) is a very popular snack item, especially in the Western regions of India. It is usually soaked for some hours and used to make delicious snacks along with potato and roasted groundnuts. This particular version has a twist – we used sweet corn kernels instead of groundnuts. Khichdi is avoided by those who are allergic to nuts but this recipe can be eaten by anyone.

Ingredients:

  • Sabudana: 1 katori
  • Corn kernels: 1 katori
  • Salt: to taste (3/4 teaspoon, not heaped)
  • Sugar: to taste (2 teaspoons)
  • Lemon juice: 1 teaspoon
  • Chopped coriander Leaves: 1/3 katori
  • Ghee or oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Cummin: 1 teaspoon
  • Green chillies: 2 (according to taste)
  • Freshly scraped coconut: 1/4 cup
sabudana-khichdi-1
Cooked khichdi

Method:

Wash the sabudana and soak it in water that comes about 1/2 cm. above its surface. Soak this overnight.

Next day:

Boil the corn kernels in a cup of water to which 1/4 teaspoon salt is added; for about 5 minutes till soft. Drain.

Heat oil or ghee in a non-stick pan.

Add cummin seeds and green chillies.

Add sabudana to which the salt and sugar is added.

Add corn. Stir and cook till the sabudana is transparent.

Cover for a couple of minutes.

Add coriander leaves and freshly scraped coconut.

Garnish with a little of the coriander and coconut.

Serve hot with a lemon quarter on the side.

Note:

1.Tastes best when eaten hot!

  1. The traditional recipe uses roasted and lightly crushed peanuts instead of the corn. The same may be added to this recipe along with corn as well, to make it more nutritious!!

GUEST BLOGGER: NEENA VILAS TALPADE

Healthy and Cool Cucumber Pancakes

Cucumber Pancakes 2
Cucumber Pancakes

GUEST BLOGGER: NEENA VILAS TALPADE

Truly enough, cucumbers are cooling for the system and are voraciously crunched upon, in the hot summer months.

However, apart from re-hydrating, cucumbers have several other health benefits as well.They alleviate sunburn, improve the skin and bones. The humble cucumber is believed to even help fight cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Let’s look at a simple recipe that combines the satisfying full feeling that a pancake gives, along with the ‘coolness’ of the cucumber.

Ingredients:

  1. Cucumbers: 2-3 medium sized, grated
  2. Freshly scraped coconut: 1/4 cup
  3. Milk: 3/4 cup or more, enough to make a pancake batter
  4. Well beaten egg: 1
  5. Baking powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  6. Semolina: 1/2 cup
  7. All-purpose flour (maida) 1/2 cup
  8. Oil, ghee or butter for greasing the pan
  9. Grated Cheese(for topping if desired)
Cucumber Pancakes 1
Pancake batter

Note 1: Vegetarians may omit the egg.

Note 2: Coconut milk powder-1 small packet OR coconut milk tetra pack – 1/2 pack may be used instead of the fresh coconut.

Note 3: If you wish to ‘spice up’ your pancake, you may add 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera), 1-2 finely sliced green chillies and some chopped coriander leaves to the batter.

Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients from 1-7 above.
  • Heat a non-stick frying pan.
  • Grease with oil, ghee or butter.
  • Pour a ladle-full of batter on to it and spread medium-thin and evenly.
  • Cover and cook for a minute.
  • Turn and cook for another minute.
  • Serve hot off the griddle, with a topping of grated cheese OR chopped coriander leaves.

It is certain to leave you asking for more and more!

 

TRICOLOUR VEG BURGERS – INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIAL

burger 0

Let’s begin tomorrow, our Independence Day, with a fun-time breakfast. Here’s a very easy recipe for Tricolour Veg Burgers as an Independence Day special treat. You can prepare the sauces in advance and assemble at the last moment. So ladies, save some cooking time and have fun…

Ingredients

burger 1 burger 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes 6 burgers

Burger breads 6 – cut each one into 4 circles

The bottom green layer:

Cucumber slices

Green chutney (sauce) – grind the following into a paste and keep aside:

  • 4 green chillies,
  • 1 cup coriander leaves,
  • 6-7 garlic,
  • salt,
  • 1 tsp jeera (cumin – whole),
  • 1 tsp lemon juice.

Middle white layer

6 cheese slices, 2 boiled potatoes sliced,
Eggless plain mayonnaise (optional)

Top orange layer
Grated carrots

Ketchup or homemade red chilli chutney
For red chutney:

Boil some water, put off the gas and soak 6 whole red chillies in it for an hour.

Grind together red chillies, 6 garlic pods, 1 tsp vinegar and salt till it is a smooth paste. Keep aside.

METHOD OF ASSEMBLING EACH BURGER

To assemble the burgers use the green items in the lowermost part, white in the middle and orange at the top.

burger 3

Bottom layer: Apply a thick layer of green chutney. Place cucumber slices on it.

Place the next bread slice on it and apply a little butter.

burger 4

Middle layer: Trim the edges to form circular cheese slices and place these on the buttered bread.

Arrange some potato slices and sprinkle a pinch of salt.

Keep another slice of the burger bread and apply a little butter.

burger 5

Apply some red chilli chutney or ketchup, and add grated carrot on it.

Spread some butter on the last slice of bread and place it on top.

Note: For small children you can substitute red chilli sauce with ketchup.

Now cut the burger into two halves and turn them on their side to show the three colours of the Indian Flag.

Indian flag

JAI HIND

VITAMIN-IRON RICH STUFFED PLANTAIN FRITTERS

Banana fritters 2

GUEST BLOGGER: NEENA VILAS TALPADE

Plantains and bananas are tropical fruits that belong to the same family but are slightly different. Plantains are mainly grown in India. They need to be cooked while ripe bananas can be eaten right off the tree.

They are a rich source of potassium, vitamins A and C and carbohydrates. They give plenty of dietary fiber and are great energy boosters. They can be bought and cooked while green or yellow or even when the skin starts turning darker (almost blackish!). The taste and texture is quite different at each stage of its ripening and it is cooked differently.

Today, we look at a tasty recipe that is not too difficult, yet appetizingly yummy! It may be had as a snack or a dessert.

This is a traditional recipe with a few improvisations.

Ingredients:

1.Large Yellow ripe Plantains: 3

2.Fresh scraped coconut: 1 cup

3.Sugar: 3 tablespoons

4.Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp

5.All-purpose wheat flour(maida): 1/2 cup

6.Cornflour: 1 tablespoon.

7.Water: to make a medium thin batter

8.Salt: a pinch

9. Oil for frying

10. Powdered sugar or honey for the drizzle

Banana fritters 1

Method:

  1. Peel the plantains and cut into 3 pieces each.
  2. In each piece, make a slash for the filling.
  3. Combine coconut, sugar and cardamom powder lightly with a fork.(1/4 teaspoon of saffron or nutmeg could be added if desired)
  4. Stuff about 1 teaspoonful of the above filling into each piece of plantain.
  5. In a bowl, make a medium-thin batter with the flour, cornflour, water and a pinch of salt.
  6. Heat oil in a frying pan or wok.
  7. When oil is hot, fry the plantains till golden brown on both sides.
  8. Drain on a tissue. (Dab with tissue to remove extra oil.)
  9. While serving, drizzle with powdered sugar or honey.

This dish may be served piping hot or cold, both taste awesome!

Iron-Rich Amaranth And Sweet Corn Curry

Amaranth n corn

Hello ladies. In India this is the season when sweet corn is available in every supermarket and even on the streets. So here’s another recipe with sweet corn that also provides dietary fibre and iron. Women of 40+ need to increase haemoglobin levels to at least 13 so that other nutrients are absorbed. Adding iron-rich food in your diet eliminates the need for supplements. And guess what, my dish tastes fantastic.

The ingredients you will need:-

Amaranth 2

Amaranth leaves (rajgira, laal bhaji) one bunch, chopped fine

Amaranth 4

2 medium size potatoes, chopped into medium size pieces
Corn kernels of 1 cob (approx. 1.1/2 cup)

Amaranth 3
2 medium size onions finely chopped
5-6 garlic and 1/2 inch ginger ground together into a paste
1.1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi)
1/2 tsp garam masala or any curry powder
1/2 tsp roasted coriander seed powder (dhania)
Salt to taste

Method:-

Amaranth 1

In a non-stick pan take 1 tsp oil n sauté onions till golden brown.
Grind ginger-garlic into a paste. Add to the onions and stir for a minute.
Add all powders except salt and stir well.
Add corn kernels, chopped potatoes and chopped amaranth leaves.
Add salt and stir well.
Cover and cook on low flame till done.
Serve hot with steamed rice, brown bread or chapattis (Indian flat bread).
Stay healthy and beautiful. Love you all.

Any variations you can think of? Your comments are most welcome.