Monday, March 30, 2015

Kid's Delight Roundup

Kid's Delight is a themed event started by Srivalli of Spicing Your Life. Every month is hosted by a different blogger. I have never hosted an event on this space so when she sent out an email asking for hosts I put my hand up. The theme I chose is colorful dishes.

Color in nature makes us feel good on the outside. Eating food with different colors makes us feel good on the inside. As a rule one should try to eat foods with five different colors a day. I challenged my fellow bloggers to come up with recipes that used colorful food, not food color. And here is what they came up with.

Srivalli from Spicing Your Life

Archana from The Mad Scientist's Kitchen

Ruchi Indu from Ende Kushini

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Aeblekage (Applesauce and Breadcrumb Dessert)

Aeblekage is a Danish dessert made with apples and sweetened breadcrumbs. I first made it as part of the Danish meal I cooked last September. However I did not like some of the dishes in the meal. I cooked the entire meal again but I decided to switch to aebleskiver for the dessert. This recipe remained in the drafts until today.

I made breadcrumbs from day old soft buns. I had baked a few extra just to make this dessert. I made the apple sauce using Gala apples. The alternating layers of fresh made applesauce and browned breadcrumbs makes this dessert very appetizing.

You will need
For the breadcrumbs
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. butter

For the applesauce
1 apple (I used Gala)
2 tbsp. sugar

For the garnish
Whipping cream to garnish
1 tbsp. sugar

To make fresh breadcrumbs cut the day old buns into pieces and bake on a sheet for about 5 minutes. Leave them uncovered to cool and harden. When cool run them through the food processor. To a cup of these fresh breadcrumbs add the sugar and butter and brown them in a pan. Keep aside to cool.

Meanwhile core and peel the apple. Cut it into slices and put it in a pan to cook with a tablespoon of sugar. Let it cook until it is very soft and can be crushed with a fork. Turn off heat. Your applesauce is ready. You can adjust the texture from chunky to paste depending upon your taste.

In a serving bowl place alternating layers of breadcrumbs and applesauce until the very top. Top with breadcrumbs. Chill for a few hours. To serve whip some sugar with whipping cream to garnish the bowl.

This is my entry for week four, day three of BM #50 for the theme Bookmarked recipes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Avocado Paratha

Fresh ripe avocado is very tasty and has a beautiful green color. It is packed with nutrients and good fats. The most popular dish with avocado is guacamole. But avocado can be used in many different ways. It can be sliced and used in sandwiches. Or in a paratha as I have done here.

When I first heard of this paratha I couldn't really tell whether it would be liked in my family. I had made a note of it but never tried it. I am so glad I did. This paratha is colorful and very tasty. I did what I usually do while making parathas. I walk into my pantry and pick up the bottles that catch my eye. Those are the flavoring spices for the day. I listed what I used, feel free to experiment.
Note: Avocado turns black brown if it is exposed to air so you cannot cut it ahead of time.

You will need (for 7 parathas)
1 avocado
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. kalonji (onion seeds)
1 tsp. ajwain (carom seeds)
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste
1 tsp. oil
water as needed to make dough

Peel the avocado and remove the seed. Mash it and add all the other ingredients except the water. Mix well and use just enough water to form a soft dough. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Divide into 7 portions.

Heat a griddle pan. I use cast iron. Take one portion of dough and roll it on a work surface to the size of a small disc. Fold the sides in like an envelope.

Roll it out in the shape of a square. Place it on the hot griddle and cook one side. Flip it over and cook the other side. Brown spots and a change in the green color should tell you when the paratha is cooked.

Take the paratha off the griddle and repeat for the other portions.

Enjoy with a bowl of yogurt and/or pickle.

This is my entry for week four, day two of BM #50 for the theme Bookmarked recipes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kesar Lassi

Lassi works wonders on a hot summer day. As a yogurt drink it is also very filling. I made this lassi on an unusually hot winter day. I don't make lassi often as my daughter does not like it at all. My husband prefers his cup of tea. I am not fond of tea or coffee so I am always looking for alternatives. Though single serving blender cups make it easy to make drinks for just one person I usually do not go out of the way to make something just for me.

I am trying all different types of lassi. That will give me a chance to make lassi more often. I loved this kesar lassi because of the mellow yellow color and fragrance from the saffron. Unlike a mango lassi this one is for the yogurt lover. All other flavors are subtle. I got this recipe from a magazine cut out my mother had saved for me years ago.

I garnished it with crushed pistachios.

You will need
5-6 strands saffron
3 tbsp. warm milk
3/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. sugar
4-6 cubes ice

Crushed pistachios to garnish

Soak the saffron strands in warm milk and keep aside for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile mix the other ingredients together except the ice cubes. Put the ice cubes in a blender. Pour in the blended yogurt mixture and the soaking saffron with the milk. Blend until smooth. Pour in a serving glass and garnish with crushed pistachios.


This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #50 for the theme Bookmarked recipes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Maharastrian Thali and Gudi Padwa

I would like to wish all my readers a very happy and prosperous New Year on the occasion of Gudi Padwa and Ugadi. This new year day is special as my Father is visiting. I am posting a simple thali of marathi everyday dishes. There is poli (chapati) and rice, a dry side and a side with gravy, a salad some chutney and dessert.

This simple menu is cooked without onion or garlic as most dishes in our house are. It is filling and satisfying. My family enjoyed this simple meal with interesting conversation. Hope you all had a pleasant day with your families. Once again Happy New Year!

The menu
Shrikhand (you could also make Amrakhand)
Green Chutney
Cucumber Koshimbir (recipe coming soon)
Batata upasachi bhaji / Potato dry side
Mugachi usal (Mung side with gravy)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Apple Milkshake

Milkshakes with ice cream blended in is a special treat. I my daughter enjoys a cool milkshake and when the temperature hit 80 I thought it would be nice to celebrate the oncoming spring. I added the small single serve tub of ice cream to the apples to make this creamy milkshake.

The first time I made this milkshake was when I got my new Vitamix blender. I took the blender out of the box and ran a cleaning cycle to make sure it was working. I kept the clean blender ready for when inspiration struck. The day I made this milkshake I got all the ingredients in the jar and placed the jar on the base. I plugged in the blender, set the cycle to smoothie and hit start - nothing. The blender would not turn on. It did not matter what I did. Finally I transferred the contents to my old Magic Bullet and blended it. There were chunks of apple but we had milkshake. Now I had the jar to clean. So I filled it with water and dish washing liquid and placed it on the base. Again, nothing. I was convinced I was going to have to call customer service. I reached over to unplug the machine when my fingers ran over a switch - the powder switch. I flipped it and the light went on. Both on the Vitamix dial and in my head. This was the root of my problem. I am so glad I did not call their customer service line. It would have been so embarrassing! After that I have always gotten my Vitamix to work for me. Now for the recipe.

You will need
1 single serve size vanilla ice cream
3/4 cup milk
2 apples

Blend together until smooth. If you like the shake thicker use more ice cream.


This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #50 for the theme Pick 1 Category, do three - snacks. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Jowar Chivda / Sorghum Chivda / Jondhalyachya Lahya Chivda

Chivda is savory snack made with a variety of grains or with fried batter. My favorite has always been the churmure chivda (or puffed rice chivda). During Diwali I make the pohe chivda. Both are very easy to make and are great as a snack. This week my father is visiting and so I decided to make churmure chivda for him. I went with him to the Indian store to bring back supplies when he asked if jondhalyacha lahya or puffed sorghum was available. He said the chivda made with sorghum tastes really good and is very healthy too. I checked the store and luckily they had packets of puffed sorghum so that is what I went with.

This recipe is very similar to the churmure chivda. I used a whole 7 oz. packet of puffed sorghum as chivda is very popular in my house.

You will need
1 7 oz. packet of jondhalyacha lahya or puffed sorghum
3 tbsp. oil
3/4 cup roasted peanuts
a handful of curry leaves
1/2 cup cashews
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup daala (roasted yellow gram)
2 tsp. turmeric powder
2 tsp. cayenne pepper powder (adjust to taste)
1 tsp. sugar
salt to taste (~ 1 1/2 tsp.)

Place the puffed sorghum in a wide mouthed pan and roast until hot and crispy.

Keep aside. In the same pan heat the oil and add the peanuts. Saute until they begin to change color. Next add the curry leaves. Watch out they will splatter oil. Then add the cashews and raisins. Saute them for a few minutes. Next add the daala or yellow gram, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper powder and sugar. Add salt to taste judging the amount based on the sorghum to be added.

Combine everything and finally add the puffed and roasted sorghum. Combine everything and turn off the heat. Let the chivda cool completely before storing.


This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #50 for the theme Pick 1 Category, do three - snacks (chivda). Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Carrot Clementine Banana Smoothie

When you get home from work after a long commute and are so hungry you could eat a horse, what do you do? Do you reach for whatever is the closest to you in the pantry? If your answer is yes, then I suggest trying fruit and vegetable juice. Juice has come a long way with the ever improving quality of blenders and juicers available at a reasonable price. Long gone are the days when most of the fiber had to be thrown out. Now whatever you put in the blender / juicer is what you end up with in your glass. You can actually see the yummy goodness.

I was one of the late adopters to juice. But lately I have gotten pretty ambitious and like to try out new combinations. This one was a new one for me. The only change I would make when I make this smoothie again would be to use just half a banana.

You will need
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 clementines, peeled
1/2 banana, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 milk
1/4 cup ice cubes
a pinch cinnamon

Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.


This is my entry for week four, day one of BM #50 for the theme Pick 1 Category, do three - snacks (drinks). Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Heirloom Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad

Heirloom tomatoes arrive in the stores with Spring. They are available in multiple colors and are very juicy. But most importantly they are delicious. I am not someone who loves tomatoes. But these tomatoes are an exception. The salad I present today is very delicious and it is not because the recipe is complicated. These tomatoes need very little to bring out their flavor. If you have not tried these tomatoes try this recipe. You will love it.

I found this recipe in a food magazine Cooking Light in my Doctor's office a while back. It was a two year old magazine and I started to browse through it to kill time. I liked this recipe and took a picture with my phone. It has been a hit ever since. In fact everything I make with these tomatoes is loved. I have decided to plant these in my garden this spring. Hopefully they will grow well and I will not have to buy them. I will keep you posted.

You will need
2 heirloom tomatoes (I used one red and one yellow)
5-6 springs cilantro
1 tsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. goat cheese

Slice the tomatoes lengthwise and allow to drain. Dice the cilantro. Combine the tomatoes, cilantro, oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and allow it to rest for 15-30 minutes. Sprinkle crumbled goat cheese over the top and combine. Serve immediately.

This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #50 for the theme One Ingredient three dishes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tomato Garbanzo Beans Mediterranean Style Salad

The day I made this salad I needed something in a hurry. No one was very hungry as we had just come back from Prom dress shopping. Prom or farewell parties as we called them in high school in India are a formal affair. Formal dress hunting can be quite time consuming. Very few department stores carry prom dresses and specialty stores can be really expensive. In the end we found a pretty colorful dress that we all liked. And when we got home we felt like we had returned after a heavy meal. Luckily I had some soaked garbanzo beans. I quickly whipped up this salad.

I call this salad a Mediterranean style salad. Tomatoes with garbanzo beans and feta cheese and a hint of lemon and cumin. This salad is not authentic but close in taste to the salads typically served for breakfast with Pita bread. It is very filling.

You can make this salad with halumi or Mediterranean white cheese. But I have to go to a special store to get that and I did not have any at home. I used feta cheese instead. I used regular tomatoes in the salad. In the past I have used cherry tomatoes and they work well too.

You will need (3 servings)
1/2 cup dry garbanzo beans
1 large tomato
7-8 sprigs cilantro
3 tbsp. feta cheese
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. powdered roasted cumin seeds
salt and black pepper to taste

Soak garbanzo beans overnight. Cook them in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes or 3 whistles. Alternately, cook them with 2 cups of water in a covered pan on the stove top. Drain the beans and keep aside. Dice the tomatoes and the cilantro. Combine all the ingredients and a bowl. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.

This is my entry for week one, day two of BM #50 for the theme One Ingredient three dishes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Tomato Koshimbir

This is a dish that showcases tomato. Tomato is a very special ingredient in my book. It was rarely or almost never used in the house when I was growing up. Onions and tomatoes were never stocked in the house. My father has very few dislikes but tomato is one of them. My sister is not fond of them either and I like tomato only when it is mixed with something else. Most Maharashtrian recipes do not call for tomatoes so we never bought them unless my mother made one of her specials just for me. This salad was one of her specials. It has onions, powdered roasted peanuts and cilantro in addition to the tomato. There is a variation of this salad that I will post another day.

As luck would have it my daughter loves tomatoes. She is so fond of them she eats them raw as a snack. She swipes slices when I chop them. From the time she was two I have planted cherry tomatoes in the garden every summer. She helps herself to tomatoes whenever she wants. When she was little she would lovingly offer me some and I would tell her there would not be enough for her if I took some. I did not want to tell her I did not like them and influence her tastes. Now she wonders how anyone can dislike tomatoes.

My husband too is fond of tomatoes so I use them a lot. But some dishes like this one will always be special.

You will need
2 large tomatoes
1/2 onion
a handful cilantro
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt to taste
1 tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 green chili pepper or Serrano pepper

Dice the tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Grind the roasted peanuts to coarse powder. In a bowl combine the tomatoes, onions and cilantro with the ground peanuts. Add salt and sugar. Break up the green pepper into small pieces. In a small pan heat the olive and turn off heat. Add the cumin seeds and the pieces of pepper. Let the oil cool completely. Pour the cooled oil over the tomato mixture. Combine and let it sit for 15 minutes before serving.


This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #50 for the theme One Ingredient three dishes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Methi Vade in Appe Pan

I had some left over methi leaves after I used most of the bunch to make something else. I wanted to made methiche vade in the appe pan. It was a great day to make them. There was fresh snow on the ground and the sun had come out. Everyone was happy to see the sun after so many gloomy days. The cats would not budge from near the window. As the snow began to melt there was hope that we would be able to get out of the house. At the time same we knew the temperature was only in the upper 30s. And something like vade are perfect for a cold wet day.

I do not deep fry anything in my kitchen. If I have to eat something that is usually deep fried I find an alternative. I either bake it or cook it in my trusty appe pan.

You will need ( for about 10)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped methi leaves
1 cup besan
1 tsp. cayenne pepper powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt to taste
oil as needed

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Add water to make a thick batter. It should be pouring consistency. When the vada are deep fried the batter is made thicker. But in the appe pan it is easier to use thinner consistency batter to allow it to cook completely. Heat the appe pan over medium heat. Add a few drops of oil in the bottom of each well. Pour the batter in the well until about 3/4 full. Let the bottom set. Then using a knitting needle or a skewer turn the vada half way. The batter will pour out.

Let it set a little and then turn the vada all the way such that the done side is on the top. Let it cook on low medium heat until completely cooked through turning frequently.

Enjoy the vada while they are hot.

This is my entry for week one, day three of BM #50 for the theme Methi dishes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Methi Thepla

Methi thepla is something my mother used to make. I never knew it was a Gujarati recipe until I moved to Mumbai for work. My mother grew up in Gujarat and like her kadhi, these parathas were from Gujarat. March is a month I think of my mother a lot. It was her birthday month. I tend to remember the songs she liked or things she said a lot more during this month than any other. These are in her memory.

These parathas are great to take along when travelling. They taste great even when cold. They are great as packed lunch too.

I used a silicon brush to apply a little oil to give them the classic texture and color. I made these on my cast iron griddle and I think that adds a special something to the texture.

You will need (16-18)
1 bunch fresh methi
4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup besan
2 tsp. cayenne pepper powder
1 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. oil
salt to taste

2 tbsp. oil to brush on when cooking

Separate the methi leaves from the stems. Discard the stem. Wash the leaves and chop roughly. Add the chopped leaves to a bowl with all the other ingredients.

Using water as needed knead into a soft dough. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into lemon ball sized portions.

Heat a cast iron griddle or a griddle pan of your choice. Using a little flour to prevent sticking roll out the one thepla. Place it on the hot griddle. Flip it over when the under side is cooked and brown spots appear on its surface.

Brush on some oil to the cooked surface. Flip over when the second side is done. Brush a little oil on the second surface. Flip over one more time and let it cook for a few seconds.

Take off the heat. Repeat for the remaining portions of dough.

You can use these in place of regular poli/roti in a meal. Or you could enjoy it with yogurt and pickle.

This is my entry for week one, day one of BM #50 for the theme One Ingredient three dishes. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#50.