Sunday, June 30, 2013

Jam Swirled Muffins for Eggless Baker's Group

The Jam swirl muffins suggested by Priya Suresh from Technicolor Kitchen is our challenge on Eggless Bakers Group. the challenge is a monthly event where we a group of bloggers convert a egg based recipe into a eggless. With plenty of egg substitutes it is rather exciting to go through the round up. it surely is interesting as well as challenging.
I had been wanting to bake these ever since the challenge was announced, but with no one to eat didn't know what to do . Finally on a fine Sunday morning I decided to scale down the recipe and bake.Since I know any recipe with chocolate is the preferance I was very keen on using Nutella in some of them , but all I saw was an empty jar.So it had to be jam ones only.I used the egg re placer , my very precious gift from  Mireille, a fellow blogger, whom I met in USA.

2/3 cup (133g) caster sugar
2 cups (280g) all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 1/2 tsp egg replacer mixed with 2 tbsp water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
2/3 cup mixed fruit jam ( you could use any )

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F; butter or spray 12 regular size muffin pans.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add sugar and mix. Blend the yogurt, egg replacer ,vanilla and melted butter until well blended.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk lightly with a fork – do not over mix the batter, otherwise you’ll end up with tough muffins.
Add the jam and whisk lightly, to keep the marbled effect.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared moulds.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
Transfer to a wire rack, cool 5 minutes, then carefully unmould.
Let cool completely on the wire rack.

The muffins turned out really very soft and spongy.They just melted in the mouth. My son and hubby who are forever avoiding these things tasted and my son raised his eye ask..have you baked kinds.he loved them but refused to eat more.Boys when they work out they are so strict with their diet.Fortunately my daughter came with the kids...I was surprised the kids did not want to look at these..there was no chocolate....but my daughter loved them and packed the rest and took them. Later she told me that the kids too liked them.
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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Musseli chocolates balls

BM # 29   W eek 3   Day 3

Color of the day...Brown

Chocolates in any form are welcome by kids . To give them a little healthier version of chocolate I have made these simple quick and delicious Musseli Balls.These are very simple to make, and even the kids would love to help with this. There is no recipe, but this is how I made them.
Cooking chocolate
Melt the chocolate in double boiler.
Remove and stir it so that it starts cooling.
Gradually add Musseli and go on mixing .
Once the chocolate is semi solid make balls with the help of a mini scooper or a round soup spoon.Spoon them on a butter paper.
Place them in the frig to set or else in an air conditioned room for almost 24 hours.
If you do not want to make balls, you could pour the mix in a flat tray and make bars.
After pouring place in the frig.
Cut into bars or squares,

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Jamun Juice

BM # 29   Week 3    Day 2

Color of the day Purple
Jamun is a purple colored fruit, which is available only during the two summer months.It is a tropical berry , oblong shaped with a unique taste and flavor.The pulp of the fruit is pinkish grey and there is a seed in it. 

Several studies provide evidence that jamun has hypoglycemic effects with up to 30 per cent reduction in blood sugar reported in some studies. Seeds are rich in alkaloids which have hypoglycemic effects. 

As a kid I loved to eat these as after eating these the tongue used to turn purple and we as kids used to get fascinated. Today I have made jamun juice which looks so pretty, besides it is refreshing and full of vitamins and minerals. 

250 gms jamuns
2 tsp sugar or to taste
Pinch black salt
Chop the jamuns , discarding the seeds.
Adding all the ingredients in the blender , blend
Add about 250 ml water and blend again
Strain the juice and dilute it to the desired consistency.
Serve with ice cubes.

During the season one gets to see vendors selling these Jamuns along with some other berries which are available during this time.The way they display these fruits is a pretty sight and one has to stand by and admire the color combination.This fascination made me click these pics.Though I do not like the rest of the fruits..except for faalsa.In fact we have a faalsa tree in the house which right now is at peak bloom.You could check the Faalsa Juice here.



Chota Aamla also called Aamli


Gora Sambli


Imli / Tamarind

Dry Berries..Sookhe Ber

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Monday, June 24, 2013


Mogri is a purple colored vegetable, which tastes like radish and turns green on cooking.This is available for a very short time in winters and is a dish which is one of my favorites.I had made this during the season but somehow was not able to post , so decided to post it for weekend cooking where Valli and Champa join me every Monday.

This is one of the simplest dish one can cook, and the taste is absolutely amazing.The only drawback is that it lends an unpleasant odor while boiling..We get the green colored Mogar too, which is quite similar in taste but the purple color is surely attractive.I could not click the raw veggie, so I have got a pic from google images.In fact the Vadilalal company which is very famous for its ice creams has started selling frozen veggies and Mogri is among one of their frozen product, though I have never used that.

250 gms mogri, cut into pieces
1 boiled potato. peeled and cubed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp green chilly
1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
Pinch asafoetida
1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
1/2 tsp red chilly pwd
Pinch garam masala
Salt to taste
Boil the mogri with salt.
Drain the water and squeeze all the excess water, after cooling.
Heat ghee.
Add all the spices and saute in ghee.
Add the boiled potato and the boiled mogar.
Saute for a few minutes.
Cover and cook for a few minutes, till the masalas infuse in the veggie.
Serve with hot chapatis .

This is a dish which gets its flavor by cooking in ghee and tastes best if it is on the spicy side.A real quick side dish.

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Karele ji Katt / Bitter Gourd Saute'

BM # 29   Week 4   Day 1

Color of the day...   Green

A new week begins and this week is a color week for me.For the color theme we have to pick the color of the day and make a dish, the end product may or may not be the ingredient color.

Today's color is Green and I have chosen to cook Bitter Gourd peels.Earlier this week I mentioned about these, and since I am trying to concentrate on Sindhi dishes, I chose to make Katt. I wanted to post all Sindhi dishes trying to adjust with the themes. Katt is a peel .While cooking bitter gourds normally the peel is discarded  We try to use it as a dry saute or sun dry it and store.The recipe for both is almost the same.

1 cup Bitter gourd peels
1 tbsp wheat flour
1 tbsp curd
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients, rubbing the peels well.
Keep aside for at least an hour.
Wash thoroughly.
Squeeze excess water.
Heat oil for deep frying.
Add the squeezed peels.
Fry till crisp .
Remove on an absorbent tissue.
Sprinkle red chilly powder, dry mango powder.

You could sun dry the same peel.Instead of deep frying the peel after squeezing the water, place the peel on a kitchen towel and then on a mat.
Place this in the sun  for 3-4 days till nice and crisp.Store it in a jar and saute or fry when needed.

The katt is slightly bitter.Adding mango powder takes away  some of the bitterness.
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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Kesari Badaam Gulab Doodh ka Masala / Saffron, Almond Rose Milk Powder

BM # 29  Week 3   Day 3

When I chose the theme spice powders I did not know what I would be posting.I wanted to post something that I genuinely use.Well everyone knows I am a great fan of roses and use them lavishly in my cooking.So I decided to make a aroma filled spice powder from these roses and nuts.This powder turned out really good, full of beautiful aroma from cardamom and roses.The nutty flavor from almonds and I used some saffron too.All these blended together made this powder which can be used for Masala Milks or kulfis or even Halwas.It gives a pale pink color to the milk with specs of yellow in between.Absolutely heavenly.

1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup dried rose petals
10 - 12 cardamoms
1 tsp saffron
Put all the ingredients into a grinder and make a powder .
Store in a airtight container.

Could you ask for anything simpler?...after clicking this pic I just popped that spoon in my me you can enjoy it is it is too. Truly a royal treat !!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Chole ka Masala

BM # 29   Week 3   Day 2

We all are great fans of Chole. Specially if prepared in the authentic Punjabi style.There are many versions of this dish.In fact I myself prepare 3-4 and my sis in law makes a version which is truly awesome.She makes a special spice mix, which is normally instant, but since so many spices go in it is better to make a mix and keep.Here is the recipe of this mix, which we use for about 300 gms of Kabuli Channa. You could vary the spices if you do not like any particular flavor.But it surely is a must try.The recipe for the chole with this masala shall follow very soon.

1 tbsp rock salt (kaala namak)
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp red chilly powder
1 tbsp roasted cumin pwd
2 tbsp coriander pwd
3 tbsp dry mango pwd
Mix all the powders and make Chole ka Masala.

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Gujarati Peela Dhokla

Gujarati Cuisine has some amazing steamed snacks, Dhoklas being tthe most popular. As a kid I always went to a Gujju farsan shop to get these spongy lentil cakes. Now actually that spongy one that you see in the market is called Khaman. I had no clue that there was a variety of dhoklas and khamans available in Gujarat.My MIL makes the world's best dokhlas. With her age she cant do much but we do get a treat once in a while.Following her recipe I do try to make them , but of course nothing like her's.

This is another version of dhoklas, where a mix of daals and rice is soaked and then grinded and steamed.The combo of these lentils makes the difference in the taste.There are still some more versions of dhoklas, will surely post those too , but for this weekend cooking here are some special dhoklas which are a hot favorite of the complete family. Valli and Champa join me for this cooking event, do check what they are cooking.

2 cups rice
1 cup bengal gram + pigeon pea dal + split black gram (all three daals in equal proprtion, in all measuring 1 cup )
1/4 cup curd
Wash and soak the daals and rice for 4-6 hours.
Grind to a paste, making sure it is neither too smooth nor too coarse.
Add salt and curd and leave it for a few hours to ferment.(this depends on the weather, if hot it shall require less time to ferment).
If you are in a rush one can go ahead without fermenting too,all you need is about 1/4 tsp of citric acid.

1 1/2 tbsp garlic paste
3 green chilly, roughly pounded
Pinch turmeric
1 sachet ENO
2tb sp oil

Red chilly powder
Mustard seeds
Pinch asafoetida
Whole green chilly
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves

Place water to boil in a dhokla maker .
Grease the dholka  trays or thalis.
Add all the ingredients to the dhokla batter.
Mix well , the consistency of the batter should be like idli batter.
Pour into thalis, sprinkle red chilly powder and steam for 8_10 minutes or till done.
The knife should come out clean.
Cut into pieces.

Heat oil.
Add mustard , green chilly and pinch asafetida and curry leaves.
As soon as the mustard cracks, add asafoetida, green chilly and curry leaves.Pour on the prepared cut dhoklas.
Sprinkle coriander leaves.

These dhoklas are very soft too and can be served with green chutney but I love to eat them with those tempered chillies.
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Garam Masala / Indian Spice Powder

BM # 29   Week 3   Day 1

This is the 3rd week of this BM and for this week I shall be making Indian Spice Powders.

Normally except for garam masala we do not make any major masalas.Sambar powder is one spice mix that I use to make, but that department has been taken over by hubby, he makes it better than me plus every time it has to be fresh.

Garam masala is an Indian spice powder which is made in many different ways.The spices used for these vary with personal taste .The proportions vary and these variations make the flavor of this spice very different.

The Garam Masala that we use in our house is rather mild. Since our everyday food is with minimum spices the addition of garam masala is not there in all vegetables or curries.While making formal dinners or the special dishes I use freshly ground spice powder as the taste and aroma of the freshly ground masala is wonderful and it enhances the flavor of the dish.For every day dishes the masala is ground and stored, though I make this in very small batches.

The spices that I use for Garam Masala are..
7-8 tbsp cumin seed
10 -15 bay leaves
1 tbsp shahi jeera
8-10 cloves
1 small stick cinnamon
1 tsp peppercorns
1 tsp Green Cardamon
6-8 black Cardamon
Lightly roast all ingredients and grind it to a fine powder.
Alternately grind it to a coarse powder.
Store in a jar.

While making fresh garam masala I normally use mortar and minus the bay leaves, as these are difficult to powder. This powder is rather coarse but while enjoying the dish one can actually make out the flavors of different spices.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dapka Kadhi / Gujarati Curry with Dumplings for Indian Cooking Challenge

This month , for ICC we have chosen to cook the famous Dapka Kadhi from Gujarati kitchen. Dapka Kadhi is made by the Jain community of Gujarati's.  While Valli and I decided on this curry Tarla Dalal's recipe seemed the best option. I followed her recipe but having Jain friends I wanted to go deep and find the authentic recipe.

 My Jain friends told me that sugar is not used in the authentic recipe , not even in the dapkas , though the TD's recipe has sugar in both the kadhi and dapkas.
The second variation is the tempering.I tempered the curry with cumin seed instead of musturd. The fenugreek seeds are added without tempering.

The Jains do not use moong daal for the dumplings, instead they use chola ni daal. I had already soaked moong daal so I did not change that. 

Since it is a Jain speciality onion and garlic are not used.

Turmeric powder s not used in this Kadhi. The color comes from the red chilly powder which is used for tempering.

The recipe asks for 3 1/2 cups of water, but I used much more.I found the consistency of the kadhi  quite thick.

Now  let's get to the recipe .

2 cups fresh curd
3 tbsp gram flour
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
Pinch asafoetida
2-3 dry whole red chilly
2 green chilly, finely chopped
1tsp ginger , finely chopped
1 tsp red chilly powder
Salt to taste
Beat curd, besan and 4 cups of water with a blender.
Heat oil.
Add cumin seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves.
Add red chilly powder and immediately add 1/4 cup water.
Now add the curd and flour mix.
Add methi seeds, ginger and green chilly.
Let the Kadhi cook.
Add salt.
Let the Kadhi boil.
At this step there are two options for making this Kadhi

Option 1
While the Kadhi is boiling, the flame has to be full.
Beat the batter well and make one lentil ball and drop into the Kadhi.
This ball should come up.
Repeat with the rest of the batter to make these dumplings.
Make sure not to drop all at one go.
They might disintegrate.

Option 2

Alternately put water to boil, and when it has boiled well add the dumpling to this.
Once it comes up , put the other dumpling.
Remove the first dumpling and put in Kadhi.
Make all dumplings in the same manner.

Let the kadhi cook .
Temper once again with curry leaves cinnamon and cloves.

1 cup yellow moong daal
1 tsp ginger chilly paste
Pinch asafetida
Salt to taste
Pinch soda ( optional )
Wash and soak the moong daal for 3-4 hours.
Strain and leave it In a sieve so that all the water is completely drained.
Make a fine paste of this daal with ginger and green chilly.
Add salt .
Use bare minimum water for grinding.
Remove in a bowl, add asafetida and beat well.
If you wish to add soda you can do so.

The curry came out good, but the dumplings should have been more soft.
I served this curry with rice, thepla and a peas, corn and paneer side dish.The vadhvaani mirch is a must with my Gujju meals.My hubby who is a hard core Gujju cuisine fan, told me that the dumplings should have been really small, just like the mini rassgullas. After he told I realized that when ever I have seen and eaten this curry the dumplings are actually very small.They melt in the mouth.My friend told me that they use Choula ki daal for these dumplings. This is one daal that the Jain community really uses, I still have to try using this one.Perhaps with that daal and lot of beating the dumplings get soft and I think I should ask my friend to give a live demo of this curry.

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