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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Amrakhand / Aam Shrikhand / Mango Shrikhand

Well, pappu starts school tomorrow and we are a tad bit busy buying school supplies, lunch totes and fall jackets. Right now we are in search of a dinosaur face painted lunch tote which is really hard to find and which is driving us crazy. The little dino is so particular on that. With everything that is happening in our lives, I thought that it was time to celebrate life with something sweet. I had some canned kesar mango pulp on hand and this thick and luscious shrikhand is what happened.

~*What U Need*~
Hung Curd - 1/2 cup
Fresh mango - 1 / mango pulp - 1 cup
Sugar - 4 tbsp
Chiroli nuts/nuts of choice - 1 tbsp

How I Made it:
Cut the mango to slices and blend till smooth along with sugar without adding water. Hang the curd in a muslin cloth overnight and discard the whey water(..or if you are like me you can use this water to knead chapathi dough). Alternatively if you have access to greek yogurt use the same. Take the yogurt in a bowl. Whisk till smooth and light. Stir in the mango pulp till blended.

Chill and serve topped with nuts of choice. Tastes best when cool.

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Three Pepper Casserole | Tomato & pepper Casserole | Easy kids Lunchbox Recipes

It was a big day for us, today. Another milestone in our lives; another day to be marked in the calendar. Today we enrolled our son into preschool and he starts school from Thursday. All these changes are really making us emotional. Well there are lots to take in, right from look he is already ready for school to how is he gonna adjust to the new environment to is he gonna be okay without me. But that needs to be done has to be done at the right time. So wish me luck everyone for all that is happening right now.

A few days back, I got an email from Indusladies about their Kids lunch box recipe book event announcement asking me if I would like to participate. With everything going on, the concept fitted the bill just right and I sent out an okay e-mail right away. And this is what I came up with. Kids love anything with cheese and that layer of melty stringy cheese will definitely ooohhh your kids to take a mouthful and more...

~*What U Need*~
Cooked rice - 2 cups
Red, yellow, orange peppers - 1 cup, chopped
Crushed tomatoes - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 2, chopped
Onion - 1, medium, chopped
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Salt, pepper - to taste
Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
Mozzarella cheese - 1 cup

How I Made it:
Heat oil in a saucepan. Add the garlic and saute for a minute followed by the onions. Saute till brown. Add the peppers and saute for 2 mins. Add the tomatoes and combine together. Season with salt, pepper and italian seasoning. Transfer to a greased loaf pan and top with loads of grated cheese. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake the casserole for 25-30 mins or until the cheese is melty and bubbly.

Serve warm!!!

I am linking this to the kids lunchbox event @ Indusladies

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Eggless Skinny Banana blueberry muffins

As much as I love baking cakes and cupcakes, I always love to add a touch of health factor to my bakes like making it whole wheat or butter-free or adding fruits and vegetables. It would be either some ultra-ripe bananas or some chopped apples or some shredded carrots or when zucchini are in season some shredded zucchini but when blueberries or in that case any berries are in season it has to be berry muffins for my pappu. A warm muffin with a dollop of melty melty butter is his favorite breakfast. Here is my go to recipe for muffins when I have some ripe bananas and blueberries on hand.

~*What U Need*~
Whole wheat flour - 3/4 cup
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
Honey - 2 tbsp
Light brown sugar - 1/4 cup
Ripe banana - 1/2 cup, mashed
Vanilla yogurt - 4 tbsp
Milk - 6 tbsp
Blueberries - 3/4 cup

How I Made it:
Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Spray muffin pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, set aside. In another bowl, mix the honey and brown sugar together. Add the mashed banana and yogurt. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the milk slowly and continue to fold. Dust the blueberries with some flour. Gently fold in the blueberries. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Fill all the way to the top. Bake for 17-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool completely.

Serve with milk!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Charlotte Russe | Chocolate Charlotte Russe ~ for our 5th!!!

We celebrated our 5th anniversary this month. Yeah 5 years with this man. I wouldn't say that life was perfect. We have had our fair share of fights and together moments and I would say fights triumphed over the latter. But it was those fights that brought us closer and intimate. Life with this guy is like a roller coaster ride. I am still learning something new but life with this guy is what makes me complete.

This anniversary I wanted to make something new and special, something that I had never tried before and this charlotte russe is everything that I needed to make the day special. It is light, it's creamy and it's delicious. Delicious in the sense mouth wateringly delicious and you would definitely crave for another slice. We kept most of the dessert to ourselves but then we started over-indulging and finally gave away half of it for friends. It is that good...

~*What U Need*~
For the genoise:
Melted butter - 1 tbsp
All purpose flour - 50 g
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Eggs - 2, large
Sugar - 60 g

For the Mocha Bavarian Cream:
Powdered gelatin - 11 g
Cold water - 75 ml
Egg yolks - 2
Sugar - 60 g
Milk - 250 ml
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Instant coffee powder - 1 tbsp
Bittersweet chocolate - 1 oz
Heavy cream - 250 ml

Simple coffee syrup:
Boil 1/2 tbsp instant coffee with 2 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp water. Set aside to cool.

Ladyfingers - 20 or to fit 8-inch springform pan.
Chocolate shavings - to decorate

How I Made it:
Preheat oven to 180 C. Whisk the eggs and sugar. Place over a pan of simmering water and whisk till it is warm approx 5 mins. Take this egg in a mixer bowl and beat on high till cooled and triple in volume. The batter should leave a ribbon like trail when lifted out of the bowl. Beat in the vanilla. Sieve about a third of the flour and fold in. Repeat with the remaining flour in thirds.

Take a spoonful of the mix and add to the melted butter and whisk well. Add this to the flour mixture and fold gently. Spoon into greased 8-inch cake pans and bake for 10-12 mins until they are slightly shrinking away from the tin. Cool for 5 mins in the tin then loosen the edges with a knife and transfer to a cooling rack.

To make the mocha bavarian cream, soak the gelatin in cold water and let it bloom for 5 mins. Whip yolks and sugar until light and thick. Scald milk and slowly add it into the egg mixture, beating constantly.

Cook this mixture over a pan of simmering water until it thickens slightly. Add vanilla extract and coffee powder and mix well to dissolve.

Melt the gelatin on heat and add into the egg mixture. Let it cool in the fridge till half set, whisking every now and then to keep the mixture smooth.

Whip cream to soft peaks, fold the cream into the half set egg mixture. Set aside.

To assemble, line the springform pan with ladyfingers(I cut them into half), place one genoise on the bottom of the pan, brush with the coffee syrup generously, pour half of the bavarian cream and smooth the top. Place the second genoise on top and repeat with the steps. Decorate with chocolate shavings and place in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours. Slice and serve.

Serve with love!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Barbecue Pulled Chicken & Sandwiches

Well, its fall here. As in officially. The climate has started getting cooler, the leaves have started changing colors and we have brought out our sweaters and fall shoes. I like this weather but I hate what it has in store and the aftermath. Winter is never our thing. It would be if it was a matter of months. But not when you have to face that thick blanket of whiteness for more than four months. And thats why I hate and love fall.

I have always been a fan of trying new recipes. And the leftover rotisserie chicken called out my name to try something new. Barbecue pulled chicken has been in my head for quite some time and I decided to give it a try keeping in my mind my palate preferences. If you are using leftover rotisserie chicken use the two breast pieces and if you are using frozen chicken then use two chicken breasts.

Prep time: 15 mins; Cook time: 25 mins; Serves - 3-4
~*What U Need*~
Chicken breasts - 2, 1 lb
Onion - 1/2, sliced
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
Chicken stock - 1/4 cup
BBQ sauce - 3/4 cup
Salt, pepper - to season
Toasted buns of choice - to serve
Cheese slices - to serve

How I Made it:
In the pressure cooker, heat oil, add the sliced onion and allow to brown. Add the dry spices and mix well. Fry for 2-3 mins. Place the chicken breast and mix well.

Add the chicken stock, barbeque sauce and give it a toss. Pressure cook for 2 whistles and reduce the heat to low, cook for 10 mins. Release the pressure, season with salt and pepper and if you need more sauce, add as per liking. Cook in medium flame till you get the desired consistency. Using two forks, shred the chicken and toss in the gravy.

Serve on toasted buns with cheese!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ambur Chicken Biryani | Ambur Style Chicken Biryani

To the huss weekends are never complete without a plate of chicken biryani. So if I don't make biryanis in the weekend I make it a point to make some by middle of the week. This biryani happened like that. We are not spice lovers, well we like it but we generally prefer mild spices in our food. The ambur version of biryani never fits our bill. Its super spicy and the color of the biryani screams spiciness when you even look at it. This is my version of the ambur biryani cos I have used my own strategies to reduce the spice level. But if you are in for the game then skip the cashew paste in the recipe, reduce the yogurt to 1/4 cup and add more chillies as per your spice level.

Prep time: 10 mins; Cooking time: 40 mins; Serves - 3-4

~*What U Need*~
Chicken - 1 lb, with bone
Oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Onions - 1, large, sliced
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Coriander Leaves - a handful, chopped
Mint Leaves - a handful, chopped
Tomatoes - 1 large, chopped
Thick yogurt - 1/2 cup
Biryani rice - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 2 cups

To grind:
Cashews - 5-6, whole

To grind separately:
Red chillies - 2, seeds removed

For biryani masala:
Fennel Seeds - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1"
Cardamom - 2
Star anise - 1/2
Cloves - 2

How I Made it:
Wash and soak the rice. Soak the red chillies in hot water for 5 mins. Drain and make it into a smooth puree. Set aside. Grind the cashews and set aside. Heat oil in a kadai. Add 1 bay leaf and fry for a min. Add the onions and saute well. Once golden brown, add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.

Add the tomatoes and fry well. Add the chopped mint and coriander leaves and saute for a min. Add the fresh biryani powder and saute well.

Add the cleaned chicken pieces and mix well. Now add the chilli paste and fry till the chicken is half cooked. Add the cashew paste and fry for 2-3 mins.

Add the yogurt and mix well. Add water and the drained rice. Add 2tbsp ghee, give it a stir and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Open the lid and fluff the rice.

Serve with some raitha!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Rye Bread | Bread Recipes

Rye flour has got its own health benefits. Rye is a good source of fiber, promotes weight loss, lowers diabetic risk, promotes gastrointestinal health and has many more benefits. The taste of rye bread is something you hate totally or love with all your heart. Adding rye flour to your bread dough gives it a a sourdough kinda taste in the end product, a taste which you will fall for or you will run away from. Luckily, the huss and me and even pappu have taken a liking for the bread right from first bite. The first time I made rye bread, I didn't know what went wrong but the bread was dense, and hard, there was no significant oven spring and the bread was a total disaster. I have been experimenting ever since and this recipe from King Arthur bread is a keeper. Perfect crust, fluffy crumb and not an overpowering rye flavor. Since this was a trial, I halved the recipe but feel free to try the original recipe, you can never go wrong.

~*What U Need*~
Warm water - 1/2cup
Rye flour - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp
Instant yeast - 1 1/8 tsp
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Unbleached all purpose four - 1 cup + 6 tbsp
Vital wheat gluten - 1 1/2 tbsp

How I Made it:
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, sugar, rye flour and yeast, mixing to form a soft batter. Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, mix and knead the dough until smooth.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rise for 45-60 mins. Gently deflate the dough, knead it briefly, and shape it into an oval loaf. Place them on a lightly greased parchment-lined baking sheet. Let rise until puffy for 45 mins. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slash with a knife. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven, and transfer them to a rack. While still warm, brush with melted butter, if desired.

Serve with spread of choice!!!

So thats it Folks...
With Love,

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