Thursday, February 26, 2009

Badishoap powder - Powdered Fennel mouth freshener

This is my MIL's recipe. She always sends us a bottle full of this powder, so we are well stocked with it year round. As a result, I have never needed/attempted to make it myself. It acts as a wonderful mouth freshener/digestive aid, especially after a heavy meal.

The proportions below are approximate, to be modified per taste desired.

200 gms badishoap/fennel seeds/saunf

Ova/ajwain seeds - handful - this has a mildly hot flavor so adjust accordingly to taste

Jeshthamadh (sweet root) pwd - this adds sweetness

Shendelon (Rock salt) pwd

Padelon (Black salt) pwd

Most of the above ingredients are available in large Indian stores.

Lightly roast the badishoap. Then dry grind along with other items to a fine pwd.

This Badishoap/Fennel seeds mouth freshener goes to the Think Spice - Fennel Seeds event at Kopiaste.

This event was started by Sunita of Sunita's world.

Bhoplyache bharit - Squash raita

This is a favorite at home - easy to make, tasty and good for health.

1 box frozen cooked squash - thawed
1 cup yogurt
2 tsp roasted peanuts pwd
For tempering - 1 tsp oil or ghee, 1-2 chopped green chillies, 1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnish

Make the tempering and add it to the squash. Add the other ingredients. Stir to mix.

Works well as a side with Indian breads and rice dishes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Paneer-Peppers subji

This is an incredibly simple and tasty dry subji I learnt from an old school friend.

2 bell peppers - (I used 1 green & 1 yellow here) - cut into long thin pieces
400 gms paneer - cut into long thin slices
2 tomatoes chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1 tsp kasuri methi
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd or to taste
Salt to taste
Ghee or oil
Cilantro to garnish

Heat the oil. Fry the ginger and garlic pastes for a min. Add the bell peppers and dry spices. Cover and cook on medium for 5 mins. Add the tomatoes. Cook till the fat separates. Add kasuri methi & salt. Cook a few more mins. Add the paneer. If desired, the paneer can be fried separately before adding - I usually shallow fry it in a non-stick pan with a few drops of oil. After adding the paneer to the subji, cover and cook for 2-3 mins. Garnish w/cilantro.

Cauliflower-potato-paneer vegetable

This is a slight variation of the usual aloo-gobhi subji. I found it in the Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking and loved its delicate gingery flavor and the addition of paneer. Here's how I made it:

1 cauliflower - cut into flowerets

2 small potatoes - cubed

200 gms paneer - cubed

2 tsp oil or ghee

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp ginger paste

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1 tsp cumin pwd

1 tsp coriander pwd

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd or to taste

1/2 tsp cinnamon pwd

Salt to taste

1/2 tsp garam masala pwd

Cilantro for garnish

The original recipe called for deep frying the cauliflower, potatoes and paneer. I chickened out and shallow fried each in a non-stick wok with 2 tsp oil each.

Heat 2 tsp oil/ghee. Add the mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add the ginger paste and bay leaves. Saute 30 secs. Add all the dry spices, except garam masala. Immediately add about 2 cups water. Stir well and bring to a rapid boil. Then reduce to a simmer. Add the fried cauliflower. Cover and cook 5 mins. Add the fried potatoes. Cover and cook again 5-7 mins. Add the paneer. Cook another 2-3 mins. Add salt and garam masala. Stir well. Garnish w/cilantro.

This Cauliflower-potato-paneer vegetable goes to the JFI-Cauliflower event at Paajaka.

JFI is the brainchild of Indira of Mahanandi fame.

A cake by my daughter

My daughter loves it when we bake together at home. Being the non-baker that I am, we had so far restricted ourselves to muffins and to her Easy Bake Oven stuff. On my recent visit to Mumbai, I picked up a packet of Pilsbury eggless cake mix that is cooked by steaming in the pressure cooker. So when she expressed her desire to bake a cake for us for our wedding anniversary/Valentine's day, I promptly got this packet out. She was so happy that I had complied with her wish without any resistence. Her eyes sparkled as we discussed the different ways she could decorate it. With a few hints and suggestions from me, she finally decided to use Cool Whip as the icing and pineapple and strawberry to decorate. Being all of 5 yrs of age, I did help her with measuring out the ingredients, mixing, pouring, cutting the cake into 2 layers etc. I was totally overjoyed & overwhelmed by the end product which she laid out before us with a flourish. We had so much fun making it together. And when she declared that this was the best cake ever, I agreed with her wholeheartedly.

This cake made with so much love & enthusiasm by her goes to the Fun Event Cook & Create with Luv for Luv at Asankhana.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Roasted tomato-chickpea dip

This is an easy and versatile dip I've adapted from The Essential Vegetarian Cookbook my co-worker gave me last year.

2 tomatoes - chopped

1/2 large onion - chopped

1 can chickpeas - drained & rinsed

1 bayleaf

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp lemon juice

Salt to taste

Fresh or dry basil leaves for garnish - chopped

1 tsp olive oil

Heat the oil and saute the onions for 5 mins. on medium. Add the tomatoes and cook till very tender. In the meanwhile, microwave the chickpeas with 1/2 cup of water for about 2 mins. Add the chickpeas and the bayleaf to the tomato-onions mixture. Cook covered for 2-3 mins. Take off heat and allow to cool a bit. Remove the bayleaf and blend till smooth along with the garlic, salt and lemon juice. Mix in the basil.

This makes about 1 to 1.5 cup of the dip.

Apart from using this as a dip, I also slather it on toasted bread, sandwiches, parathas, use it to thicken soups, it even works well as a pizza sauce/spread.

This Roasted Tomato-Chickpea Dip is off to Mane Adige for the Chutney/Dip mania event.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Berry Banana Smoothie

2 cups milk
1 cup flavored yogurt (I used Yoplait French Vanilla flavored 99% fat-free)
1 banana - sliced
handful of blueberries
5-6 strawberries - sliced
2 tsp sugar or to taste

Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Pour and enjoy.

My 5-yr old daughter loves making this for us and for herself ofcourse...its that easy. We often enjoy this after school.

This easy, healthy drink is off to Preety's Kitchen for her Cooking For Kis Event.

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