Friday 12 July 2019

Bhindi Kurkure - Okra Fritters/Chips

It is not every day that you feel like a guest blogger in your  own blog, but that's exactly how I feel now. I even half expected Blogger to have changed it's looks and setting and braced myself to again learn my way around :) I've totally neglected my blog for the past one year. I have been trying to make a post for quite some time and it's like I've lost touch and can't get myself to write anything. I have so many posts lying in my drafts with pictures and the recipe. But for me a blog post is never complete without at least a small and interesting opening note. Though I call this a food blog and love sharing my recipes, the writing is what actually makes me love my blog. I really wonder if anybody actually bothers to read my blog with the internet filled with committed and regular food bloggers. Thanks to those kind souls who still stop by and drop me a like or a comment, you keep me going. And moreover it's still my little space where I can ramble as much a I please :) .If you have been reading my Blog you would have by this time got used to my long list of excuses of the cold or hot weather ,sickness or holidays and most often laziness. This time I have managed to come up with few new excuses to add to my list,one we've again shifted to a different house and secondly I'm back in the rat race after almost a decade. 'To work or not to work" had been a question that nagged me ever since I gave up my job to take care of my Kids. With both the kids in school for most part of the day I felt that it was time I got back to work. It did take some adjusting in the beginning like when you realise that you can actually use the restroom without having to hold a conversation with someone who's waiting for you right outside the door. Or like when you sit at your PC and half expect someone to scream "Can you come and play with me, you are free now". The best part is when you realise that you don't have to multi task. You don't have to cook, carry a toddler in your arm and try to answer philosophical questions from a 6 year old like "Why are we human beings on earth" while trying to ignore the phone that rings persistently in the back ground. But you also miss the surprise hugs and appreciation that kids give us. Nobody at work would give you the "Wonder Woman" look that your child gives you for a simple task like fetching a bottle of Ketchup from the topmost shelf. Well there are always two sides to a coin.
I have quite a few recipes lying in my post, but I realised to go with this one as I noticed that I've been posting a lot of sweet stuff. I'm not a great fan of frying food, frying happens very rarely at home. And luckily Okra falls under the list of "green" vegetables that my kids eat. It's actually the only vegetable that both my kids love eating. So I don't have to disguise it by frying. I usually make different types of stir fries with it, but tried this as a snack. And it turned to super yummy !The list of powders might look a bit daunting, but you might find most of them in your kitchen. You can mix and match with any powders of your choice for a different flavour :)

You'll Need:
Okra/Vendakka/Bhindi - 250 g
Besan/Gram Flour - 3 tbsp or more
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Fennel Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Peanut Powder - 1 tsp(dry roast and grind peanuts)
Salt - a little more than a tsp or as Needed
Oil- For frying

Get Cooking:
-Wash the okra and pat them completely dry on paper or kitchen towels. 
-Remove the crown and the tail of the Okra and cut each okra lengthwise into four pieces.
-Add all the powders and mix well.
-Let the mixture sit for 10 - 30 minutes.
-Heat oil in a pan in medium heat and fry the Okra in batches until they are crisply fried.

-You can use any powder of your choice, you can replace the Peanut powder with Idli Podi, Paruppu podi or any other curry powder that you find in your kitchen.
-When frying let the oil heat up for 2 -3 minutes between the batches.
Happy Cooking !

Saturday 24 March 2018

Banana Nut Brownies

   Is there anything not to love about brownies, except for their slightly racist name. Soft, moist and yummy,they are simply impossible to resist. Eat them a day after baking or right out of the pan, warm with a scoop of ice cream on the side, they are really delicious. I recently had a spiced version of brownie, pan cooked and straight out of the grill with a scoop of 'Gluehwein' ice cream, it tasted simply divine. And to top all that they are so easy to bake, you don't even have to beat the batter. Once you start baking them at home you'd never ever buy them from the shops.The regular brownies I bake at home are a very dense,moist  and Chocolatey version, but these one are soft and simply melt in your mouth. I found the recipe in one of the old BBC good food magazines.I'm probably one of the most outdated foodies you'll come across, I discovered BBC good food only before a year. Just leafing through them is such a delight.The pictures and the props are so beautiful that they put me to shame as a food blogger. I was surprised when I realised that they even have an Indian version of the magazine.
    I'm more of a 'Book' person than a 'Magazine' person.My favourite magazine has almost always been the 'Reader's digest'. I started reading them when I was 10 and all that I could read and understand back then were the sections, 'All in a day's work' and 'Laughter the best medicine'. Through the years the Editors have managed to keep the quality of the magazine intact. With the market today full with all kinds of magazines, with their glossy covers and countless ads, 'Reader's digest' is still one of the magazines where the content is given more importance. It would probably be the first magazine I would ask my kids to read when they are 10, just like my Dad. I still remember sitting with him and a dictionary :) and reading my first Reader's digest ! I read the German version of it now, as we don't find the English version.And funnily after 25 years, I still read it with a Dictionary at my side :)
   Coming to me being a 'Book' person I just finished reading two books,one of them being my usual thriller and the other one, though being sort of a thriller, really got me thinking. I would write about it soon in a new post. So off to the recipe !

You'll Need:
Butter - 150g
Muscovado sugar/Brown Sugar - 300 g  1 and 1/2 cups
Dark Chocolate(broken) - 175g
Walnut - 100g
Eggs -3 large ones(beaten)
Bananas - 2 big ripe (mashed)
All Purpose Flour - 100g
Cocoa Powder - 2 tbsp
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
-Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 150°C(with fan)
-To a baking paper lined tray add the Walnuts and leave them in the oven for 7- 8 minute. Then take them out and break the walnut with your finger into small pieces.
-Butter the baking pan(18 X 23 cm) , sprinkle flour on the sides and line the base with baking paper.
-In a small bowl mix the flour, baking powder and cocoa
-To a pan add the butter,sugar and chocolate and on low flame let them melt. Gently stir them from time to time to help it melt. Remove the pan from the heat.
-Add the walnuts, beaten eggs and mashed bananas , and with a spatula mix well.
-Add the flour, baking powder and cocoa mixture and again mix well with the spatula.
-Pour the mixture into the prepared tray and bake from 35 - 45 minutes, or until when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean without anything sticking to it.
-Let it cool and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for a week !

-The actual recipe calls for 175 g of butter, but it tastes good with 125 - 150 g of butter.
-You can replace the Walnuts with any nuts or mixture of nuts of your choice.
-I used two large Dole Bananas

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a sweet day !

Monday 19 February 2018

Badusha - Badusahi

    It's been a while since I posted. The last time I posted, the trees where still green and the sky was blue, now the trees are barren and the sky is mostly grey. They do look lovely when they are covered with snow. I still remember the first time when I woke up to a white morning with everything covered with snow. Everything from the street lamps to the slated roofs where covered with a beautiful white layer. It felt like God had perfectly Iced everything with the whitest Buttercream Icing. That's how it looks, perfect, serene and pure when you look at it from inside your warm home. I remember telling a friend in India that it had snowed and her first question was 'How does it taste?! '. I would've given anything to just touch snow when I was back in India and now I would give anything to bask for a few minutes in the warm rays of the sun. Grass is always greener on the other side isn't it? Guess snow is beautiful as long as you don't have to shovel it out of the pavement, or scrape the persistent layer of frost on your car's windshield with your cold numb hands or push a pram through it with a child trying to get out of the pram to play in the snow. Well Grass is greener on the other side because it's not real :) Pessimism aside nothing beats the serene white glow of snow !
    I always have a countdown running in my head each winter, where I count the 90 days it takes for spring to start. It's beautiful to watch the green landscape take over the grey one. 'Silver White winters that melt into spring' is definitely one of my favourite things too:)
    I thought I'll start this year of posting on a sweet note. This is one real easy sweet to make. I always assumed that it would be hard to make and wasn't a big fan of it as I sort of felt that the store bought ones were a tad too sweet and sticky. Though surprisingly it tastes a lot better when u make it  at home and keep an eye on the amount of time you let it soak in the sugar syrup. So off to the recipe !

You'll Need:
Makes 10 - 12
All Purpose flour/Maida - 125 g / 1 cup
Curd - 50 g / 3 - 4 tbsp
Baking Powder - a pinch
Baking Soda - 2 pinches
Butter(melted) - 3 - 4 tbsp/ 50 g
Sugar - 125 g - 1/2 - 3/4 cup
Water as needed
Oil to deep fry
Rose essence -  a few drops

Sugar Syrup: In a bowl mix the sugar with about 1/2 -cup water(the water should fully cover the sugar) and let it boil on medium heat for 4 - 7 minutes. Take it off the stove and add the essence and mix well.
For Badusha:
-In a bowl sieve the Flour , baking powder and baking soda.
-Add the melted butter and with your finger tips mix and crumble it.
-Add the curd and mix well , the dough will  be slightly sticky. Let it sit aside for 10 - 20 minutes.
Make sure you don't knead the dough a lot, just knead until it holds together. It will not be smooth.
-After 20 minutes , make about 10 - 12 balls out of the dough. Slightly flatten each ball. They will not be smooth.
-Heat oil in a shallow pan. The oil shouldn't be very hot. When you drop a small amount of dough in the oil it shouldn't immediate float to the top.
-Fry each ball until they are golden brown, flipping them over in between.
-Remove from the oil with slotted ladles and drop them in the sugar syrup.
-Let them sit for 30 seconds on one side and 30 seconds on the other side. Remove them. The amount of soaking time depends on how sweet you like it. Done !

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a beautiful day !

Friday 1 September 2017

Beetroot Halwa

The summer this year was glorious,we are back into action after almost 2 months of summer holidays.Living in a hilly area, we get to experience both the extremes,real hot summers and very cold winters.The plants in my balcony love the hot summers and they are a sight to see with their beautiful colours.Here are some of them ...

But the sunflowers really stole the show.I could sit back and watch them preening in their beauty the whole day.There was this poem that I learnt as a kid in school,I remember the opening lines of it..
'Love came to Flora asking for a flower 
That would of flowers be undisputed queen'
The poem is about how the Lily and the Rose think that they are the Queen of flowers,but Flora decides that the Lotus is the Queen of flowers.Though I would rather called Sunflower the queen of Flowers :)

I'm not much of a flower person,but to have a little garden patch with my own vegetables and flowers is definitely on my bucket list !!
So here's a recipe for an equally colourful and beautiful dish.It's very much similar to it's counterpart Carrot Halwa !

You'll Need:
Beetroots (cleaned,scraped and grated) - 4 cups
Boiled Whole Milk - 3 cups
Raisins - 3 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp
Almond slivered - 2 tbsp
Chenna/Paneer/ricotta/Fresh Cheese(crumbled or pulsed in mixer) - 1 cup
Ghee - 4-5 tbsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp

-In a a wide mouthed non-stick or thick bottomed pan add the ghee,when it heats up add the raisins, cashew nuts and Almonds.Saute until the nuts are slightly browned and the raisins puff up.
-Add the grated Beetroot and saute for 5 - 6 minutes until it's all coated with ghee.
-Add the Milk and mix well.Reduce the flame to medium and let it cook until all the milk evaporates.Keep stirring in between else it tends to stick to the bottom of the vessel.
-Now add the sugar & mix it well.Let it cook until the mixture gets dry.Keep stirring it often.
-Once the mixture appears dry keep stirring it until it turns bright and shiny. This can take around 10 -12 minutes.The mixture will start leaving the sides of the vessel and will clump into a ball.
-Now add the Chenna/Paneer/Cheese and sprinkle the cardamom powder.Stir until the Cheese is well mixed around 5 minutes.Done !

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a colourful day !

Monday 17 July 2017

Baked French Fries - Baked Pommes

I grew up in the heart of Chennai,where every corner had a crowded place where the vendors sold their hot samosas,different type of vadas and bhajjis in their push carts.The smell of those hot samosas were as much as a part of my childhood ,as the salty smell of Marina's sea Breeze .In my later years in Bangalore ,my favourite street food was almost always boiled or grilled corn on the cob.
Here in Germany,street food or fast food(Imbiss) is mostly Pommes Frites(French Fries) and various types of Wurst(Sausage) dishes.There are quite a few Turkish Döner & Pizza Shops and Chinese places,but typical German food can be found only during Carnivals,Markets and fests,when the streets are lined with Stalls offering other dishes like Reibekuchen(potato pancakes),Fish shops,Schnitzels,Grilled stuff and other local specialities. Bakeries however are quite popular and found at every corner.They are mostly crowded and offer a wide range of stuff from their Brötchens & Breads to cakes & cookies.But if you find a long queue at some place you can be pretty sure that it's for Pommes. It sure makes a pretty fuss free and filling snack or meal.My kids love it with Ketchup and can have it every day without ever getting bored.I make this baked version of Pommes as it's definitely a lot healthier and tastes as yum as the fried ones.I pretty much bake everything,we very rarely fry things.I'll have to blame my Dad for that,though we were surrounded by street food vendors,he hardly let us eat any of those fried goods.And on those rare occasions when he did get us anything from the vendors,he would never let us eat them before he had pressed them between paper towels to get the extra oil out of them :)So if you are not a big fan of fried stuff,this is a real yummy snack.You just need to find potatoes big enough to cut them into thin fingers and then chop them neatly like Chefs in cook shows.Though the only thing I successfully cut when I try to quickly chop like the Chefs are my poor fingers :)
You can add any flavouring of your choice to spice up the dish.So here's another quickie !

You'll Need:
Potatoes - 2 Bit ones(Washed & Peeled)
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Salt ,Pepper and spices as needed.

-Chop the potatoes into Thin fingers.
-Boil a large vessel with water,add salt and a few drops of oil to the boiling water.
-Add the chopped Potatoes to the water and let it cook for 2 mins ,remove them immediately and drain the water.
-Add salt,olive oil and pepper to the potatoes and mix well.
-Heat the oven to 220° C/ and line a baking tray with  a baking paper.Spread the potatoes on them,make sure that they are spread evenly and don't lie on top of each other.
-Bake for 20 - 30 mins,until they are crisp.
-Serve with Ketchup or Mayonnaise.
-You can add different spices like, Chilli powder,Garlic,Curry masala powder to the potatoes before  or after baking them for a more flavourful dish!

Thanks a lot for Stopping by ! Have a nice day !

Tricolour Ice pops

Right from the day I spotted a multi colour Ice pop in the shops,I wanted to try out something similar at home.So one day when I made a Galia Melon-Strawberry-Orange smoothie,I made these pops too.I still don't understand why kids get all excited about a colourful Ice pop,but shun the smoothies made with the same ingredients :)This is such a simple dish that I was sceptical about posting it.I wasn't sure if it qualified for a blog post,but the picture looked so colourful and cute that I decided to go ahead and post it.So the next time you decide to make a colourful smoothie,make sure to save some for these pops:)

Makes 4 Ice pops
You'll Need:
Galia Melon - 1/2 cup (Pureed)
Strawberry Puree - 1/2 cup
Orange Juice- Squeezed from 1 orange
Sugar as needed

-Add sugar to each of the fruit purees/juices as per taste and mix well.
-Fill each of the mould with the Galia melon puree until they fill 1/3rd of the mould.Let if freeze for 40 minutes,take it out and insert the ice cream stick or wooden skewer in each of the mould.Let if further freeze for an hour.
-Take it out and fill each mould with the strawberry puree so that it fills 2/3rd of each mould.Return to the freezer and let it freeze for an hour or two.
-Take it out again and fill the remaining 1/3rd of all the moulds with the orange juice .Return to the freezer and freeze for 2 to 3 hours.
-To serve run or place the mould in hot water and loosen the sides with a sharp knife and remove it from the mould.

Thanks for Stopping by !Have a wonderful day !

Wednesday 5 July 2017

Honey Melon Popsicle(Quickie)

We had one week of heat wave here with the temperatures soaring to almost 38°C,one of the hottest summers I have endured here .The schools even decided to let the children go early, and as always ,Ironically, it started raining and the weather became cool.I still remember how we would wait for the schools to decide to declare a holiday on rainy days.We would paddle in our rubber shoes in the rain water ,with our polished white school shoes safely wrapped in our back pack on all the rainy days.And exactly on the day when the weather forecast people would predict bad rains and the schools decide to declare a holiday ,would the sun shine brightly.It's kind of like nature laughing at our Weather Prediction skills :)

I find the summer here hotter than in Chennai,where the sea breeze makes it a little pleasant.
Well we decided to cool off with these Pops.They make great smoothies actually,I love to drink them while my little ones love the pops.

You'll Need:
Honey Dew Melon -  1/2 a big one
Orange Juice or Lemon Juice - 50 - 75 ml
Quark/Greek Yogurt/Full Fat Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1 tbsp or more (if needed)

-Add all the ingredients to a Blender and pulse for a few seconds.Add sugar and blend again if needed.
-Pour in the Popsicle mould and freeze for at least 4 hours.After the first one hour of freezing,stick the ice-cream stick in the middle of each mould.

Thanks for stopping by ! Have a cool day !
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