Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Peanut Butter Chip Brownies

BM # 60
Week :4 , Day: 3
Theme: Baked Snacks

Day 3 under baked snacks I have peanut chip brownies. I had baked these brownies long back .The peanut chips were a gift from Priya Srinivasan. She sent them all the way from Dubai when we had our BM meet. I remember baking these from Gayathri's blog where she used some other chips.

I had cousins with teenage kids and those girls went all ga ga over these brownies. In fact everyone loved the peanut chip flavor, which was so unique.

Peanut Butter Chip Brownies
Makes 30 slices

2 cups APF
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp instant coffee
11/4 cocoa powder
1/2 cup curd
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup milk
1/2 cup + extra for topping peanut chips

Preheat oven to 170 deg C.
Grease a 12x9" tray.
Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda,salt, cocoa, sugar, coffee.
Mix oil, curd, vanilla essence.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients and slowly add milk till well combined.
Add the peanut butter chips.
Pour into a greased tray.
Top with more chips.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or till done.
Cool completely and slice into squares.

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Monday, January 25, 2016

Eggless Lemon Cookies

BM # 60
Week :4 , Day: 2
Theme: Baked Snacks

For the second day under Baked Snacks, I have some Lemon Cookies from Gayathri's blog. I had loved these cookies when she had made them for the mega marathon. I loved the imprint on them, but unfortunately couldn't get that same effect. The original recipe had lemon cream, but I omitted that , I simply made lemon flavored. I must say that these cookies vanished right away and I wish I had made more. Doesn't that prove that these taste awesome. Thank Gayathri, these were totally addictive.


2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cups caster sugar
1 cup butter
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest.
Add the milk and lemon juice and beat until fluffy.
Add the flour and mix to form a soft dough.
Make small lemon sized balls and place them on a greased baking tray. 
With the flat side of a tumbler, press the ball to make it flat. 
I inverted a Hello Kitty muffin mould to get the design on top, but somehow it didn't print well.
Bake the cookies for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
Transfer to wire rack and allow it to cool completely.

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Choco fill Cookie Muffins

BM # 60
Week :4 , Day: 1
Theme: Bakes Snacks

Week 4 begins and for this week I have picked the theme Holiday Bakes. For the very first day I made these cup cakes and placed a Choco fill cookie in them. The cup cakes are made with ready cake pre mix.

I love using cake mixes for the simple reason that it is a quick process to make cakes or any other bakes. I normally do stock vanilla as well as chocolate pre mixes. These cup cakes have been made by the vanilla pre mix and to give the cup cakes a twist I added a choco fill cookie to it. Once the cup cake is done and while it is still warm just take a bite and you are going to love the gooey cream that the cookie has, it kind of melts in your mouth.

You surely have the option of making these cup cakes with any vanilla cake recipe, but do add this cookie to it for that extra touch. Kids love them as they get both their favorites..cookies as well as cake.

Choco fill cookie cupcakes

150 gms vanilla cake pre mix
30 ml oil
75 ml water
1 pack choc fill cookies

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C.
In a mixing bowl mix the cake mix , water and oil with a blender.
Mix till just well mixed, do not over beat.
Prepare the cup cake moulds with liners and pour a tsp of the batter .
Place the cookie and pour more batter on top to cover the cookie.
Place in the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes or till done.

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Punjabi Kaale Chane Chawal

 BM # 60
Week : 1 , Day: 3
Theme: Regional Cuisine 
Region : Punjab

Day 3 and I have yet another dish from Punjab. Kale Chane te Chawal. The small variety of black chana is used and after boiling, simmered in onion tomato gravy. The gravy is similar to. The gravy of Raajma, but the taste varies . Born and brought up in Delhi, I have always been fond of typical Punjabi food and Raajma Chawal, Kadi Chawal, Chole Chawal...all are my favorite .

While buying these, I prefer to buy the smaller sized Chana, they taste much better than the big ones. Actually I don't need to buy these as one of my staff gets these straight from his field in the village. These are organic and taste real good. I have two versions of this Punjabi dish, I shall share the simpler version today.

1 cup boiled kale chane
1/4 cup fried onions
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste

Blend the fried onion, ginger garlic paste and tomatoes to a smooth puree.
Heat about 2 tbsp oil and add the puree.
Saute till there is no moisture and the mix starts to leave the sides.
Add the spices.mix well.
Transfer this mixture to the pressure cooker in which you have boiled the Channa.
Pressure cook for two whistles.
Let the pressure drop by itself.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.

It's always best to soak the Chana for a good 6-8 hours, before boiling them.

While boiling make sure you add some salt .
Even after soaking these for long , the Channa needs to be cooked in a pressure cooker .
Pressure cook for 2 whistles and then simmer the pressure cooker for about 20 minutes.
Let the pressure drop by itself before opening the cooker.

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Monday, January 4, 2016

Baingan Ka Bharta Punjabi Style

 BM # 60
Week : 1 , Day: 2
Theme: Regional Cuisine 
Region : Punjab

Continuing the Regional Theme for Day 2 , I have Baingan Bharta , typical Punjabi style. Baingan or Eggplants as they are popularly called all over the world, have a wide range . We get to see white, green, light purple, dark purple, and then they are in various shapes too, from small to big.

For Baingan Bharta we need the purple big sized baingans , and while buying these, make sure they are not very heavy. The heavy ones are always full of seeds and you will definitely not enjoy a seeded bharta .In olden days when they used to cook on coal, the Brinjals were roasted on coal, but now we roast them on the open flame of gas.

Once these are roasted, and the skin is charred , let them cool before removing the charred skin. After removing the skin, I normally wash the meat from these brinjals, because the charred skin  kind of clings and should be removed. Once the basic preparation is done , it's simple to cook the bharta.

Did I tell you I used to love eggplants, but suddenly developed allergy and am off these now. I cook for the family and love the aroma from bharta. I always keep some coal at home, I place it on the flame , make it red hot and place it in the dish, add some hot ghee or oil and quickly cover it, so the smoke is trapped. This lends a amazing smoky flavor to the dish.

The smoky bharta is typically Punjabi, I have a Gujju version too, but for today I will share the Punjabi one.

1 large eggplant
3 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2 green chilly, roughly chopped
4 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/ 4 tsp garam masala
Coriander leaves
A piece of coal ( optional )

Smear oil on the brinjal and place it on slow gas flame.
Rotate the brinjal every now and then till completely roasted.
Remove and let cool.
Remove the charred skin.
Carefully remove all the flesh and rinse it, so that all the charred skin separates.
Now heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee.
Add onions, saute till translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste and Saute further for another minute or two.
Add tomatoes and green chilly.
Cook till all the moisture from tomatoes dries up.
Add the spices and the flesh of Brinjals.
Mix well and mash everything with a potato masher or with a wooden spoon.
Let the bharta simmer till the oil comes up.
Heat the coal on open flame till red hot.
Carefully lifting it with tongs place it on top of the cooked bharta.
Heat 2 tbsp oil or ghee to a smoking point.
Keep a lid handy.
Pour the hot oil or ghee on top of the coal and quickly cover the pan or dish, capturing all the smoke.
Let stand for 3-4 minutes. Open and discard the coal.
Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Punjabi Kadi Pakoda

 BM # 60
Week : 1 , Day: 3
Theme: Regional Cuisine 
Region : Punjab

We begin with a new edition of our regular marathons, and this is my first post for the 2016.Let me start by wishing you all A Very Happy New Year!

 I could not blog for a couple of months due to so many reasons. Shifting into a new apartment and settling is rather cumbersome. I had not even settled and I had a fall...and broke my wrist. Well, even now when I decided to participate, I have pulled out all the posts from my drafts. I am unable to hold my camera. Thankfully I do have a rich draft section where I can survive for awhile, not missing my blog friends.

For this first post I have made a typical Punjabi Kadhi. Kadhi Pakora is very popular in Punjabi homes and I have picked this recipe from our neighbors in Delhi. This is one of our favorite Kadhis and it tastes delicious with or without pakoras. Of course, I prefer with pakoras, but for those calorie conscious ones, minus the pakoras, you will still love it. I shall be cooking Punjabi dishes for this week under Regional Theme.

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora

1/4 cup chick pea flour

1 cup yogurt
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 green chilly finely chopped
1/4 tsp garam masala
Coriander leaves

Tempering 1
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 clove
1 small piece cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 dry red chilly, broken into pieces
Pinch asafoetida

1 large onion, sliced
Salt to taste
1 green chilly, finely chopped
2 tbsp coriander leaves
Few mint leaves
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 cup chick pea flour ( you might require a tsp more or less, check notes)
Pinch cooking soda
Mix everything, and add bare minimum water to make pakoras or fritters.
Heat oil to smoking point for deep frying the pakoras.
Make lemon sized balls and dip them into oil, fry till nice and golden.
Keep aside.

Tempering 2
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chilly powder

Blend curd and chickpea flour to a smooth paste.
Add about 11/2 cups water and blend again.
Heat oil.
Temper the Kadhi with tempering 1 ingredients.
Add ginger, green chilly, red chilly powder, salt.
Cook the kadhi on full flame till it boils.
Simmer the gas and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
In the meantime make pakoras, keep them aside.
Once the kadhi has cooked, add pakoras and temper the kadhi with Tempering 2.
After tempering cover immediately so the tempering flavors are captured.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

For the kadhi normally sour curd is used, but I always use fresh curd, this not give acidity. However you could use according to your taste.
While the kadhi is being cooked, you could reduce or increase the quantity of water to get your choice of consistency.
You must remember that after adding the pakoras , the kadhi becomes thick, as the pakoras absorb the kadhi.
While making pakoras, add water drop by drop, just enough for you to get a thick batter which clings to the onions. These are like the Maharashtrian onion bhajias.
At times we do not realize that onions and salt both ooze out water, in that case you might need to add more chick pea flour.

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