Saturday, July 31, 2010

Spiced Apple Walnut Cupcakes (Eggless)

I am always on the lookout for eggless cakes and found this recipe in the Vegan Family Cookbook. I was able to use up some apples lying around for a while and they turned out so delicious that they vanished in a day. Here's how I made them (makes 12 cupcakes) by tweaking the original recipe a bit:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon pwd
1/4 tsp nutmeg pwd
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp bkg pwd
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1 apple - peeled, cored and grated
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine the first 8 dry ingredients in a glass bowl. Add the olive oil and mix well. Add the milk, mix. Stir in the grated apple and chopped walnuts. Put 2 tbsp of this mix into each cup of an oiled muffin pan. Bake in a pre-heated 375 F oven for about 20 mins.

Cool and remove the muffins. Enjoy as is or frost and decorate if desired (as done by my daughter in the pic above).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vegetable Cutlets

I had leftover rice and mixed vegetables curry that I used in these cutlets. They are only slightly different from the ones I posted earlier.

1 cup cooked rice
1 cup frozen shredded hash browns
1 cup leftover dry veg. curry or finely chopped veggies like onions, bell peppers, cauliflower, peas, carrots, green beans etc.
Upto 1/4 cup fine rava/semolina to bind
Spices - 1 tsp ginger paste, 1/2 tsp garlic paste, 1 tsp cumin pwd, 1 tsp coriander pwd, 1 tsp chaat masala, 1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
Salt and sugar to taste
2 tbsp plain flour mixed in water to make a thin paste

Mix the cooked rice, hash browns (sprinkled with little water and microwaved for 3 - 4 mins.), veggies, spices, salt and sugar and rava. Shape into desired flat shapes like these heart-shaped ones I made using cookie cutters. Dip each in the flour-water mixture and shallow fry or deep fry in hot oil. I always shallow fry in a non-stick pan adding few spoons of oil at a time as needed.

Enjoy hot with chutney or kechup.

I just came across a couple of event announcements - these cutlets would fit the bill perfectly. Hence updating this post to send them to the Scrumptious Delights from Leftovers Event. and Lets Munch - Light Teatime Snack Event.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Melon Balls

This is not a recipe, but makes for a cute side dish at summer events. I scooped out watermelon and cantaloupe balls using a melon baller and served them in the scooped-out melon bowls. It is a hit everytime and gets raves from guests...with minimal effort involved.

Shree Satyanarayana Prasad Sheera

We performed Shree Satyanarayana Puja last Saturday July 17. This Sheera is the traditional Prasad for this Puja. Here is how I made it:

1 cup + 1/4 cup rava/sooji/semolina of medium courseness
1 cup + 1/4 cup ghee
1 cup + 1/4 cup milk
1 cup + 1/4 cup sugar
1 + 1/4th bananas
Few strands of saffron soaked in a tbsp warm milk
Pinch of cardamon pwd.
Roasted unsalted cashew nuts or slivered almonds

The first four ingredients are taken equally in measures of 1 whole and 1/4. Ghee may seem too much, but this is what makes this Prasad so rich and delectable. The Prasad is eaten and distributed in small proportions, so its okay to indulge.

Procedure - Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan and fry the rava in it on medium low heat for about 15 mins., stirring frequently to prevent burning, till it turns aromatic. Add the milk, mix well and cook till absorbed. Add the sugar and again mix well. The sooji will loosen in consistency, but will thicken as the sugar gets absorbed. Then add the soaked saffron strands, cardamon pwd and nuts. Stir and cook on medium low for about 5 mins. Take off heat and add the bananas, either sliced or roughly mashed. As the bananas eventually blacken, I sometimes add them just before offering/serving.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spinach pulav

As I mentioned in my earlier post, we experienced some hot summer days last week and this Spinach pulav worked well as a one-pot meal, leaving me lotsa time to enjoy the sun. But ofcourse it is delicious any time of the year.

Here's how I make it:

1 cup basmati rice - washed and drained
2 tsp olive oil
Whole spices - 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, 4 cardamon pods, 4 cloves, 8 black peppers, 2 bay leaves, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 tsp ginger - garlic paste
1 cup frozen mixed veggies - I use Trader Joes mixed veggies in butter sauce
1 cup spinach leaves - pureed with a pinch of salt and 1/4 cup water
1 to 1 1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/4 - 1/2 tsp red chilli pwd

Heat the oil and drop the whole spices. Fry for 1 minute, then add the chopped onions and fry about 5 mins. Add the ginger-garlic paste, fry on medium for 2 mins. Add the spinach puree, washed rice and other veggies. Add about 2 cups of water and bring to a quick boil on high heat. Add all the other spices, salt, sugar and lemon juice. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 10 mins. You may need to add a little more water if the rice and veggies are not cooked by now. Reduce heat to low and cook till completly done. Fluff with fork and serve with papad and raita.


We had a couple of 90+ degree days in Seattle last week and I made this cool, refreshing raita then. Its really very simple to put together and goes well with pulav/biryani or parathas. It is also a good picnic food if you can carry it in an ice box.

Here's how I make it:

1 cup yogurt
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper pwd
2 tsp peanut powder
1 cup finely chopped veggies - onion, tomato, cucumber and carrot
Cilantro to garnish

Whisk the yogurt with the salt, sugar, pepper and peanuts. Add the chopped veggies. Garnish with cilantro.

Thats it!

This cool raita goes to the Side Dish event at Veggie Platter.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Cabbage Curry

Here is a tasty and simple cabbage curry.

1/2 cup toor dal & handful of mung dal - wash and pressure cook together for 3-4 whistles
1/4 head of cabbage - shredded
1 small onion chopped
1 small tomato chopped
1 small potato chopped
handful of frozen peas & carrots mix
2 tbsp shredded coconut - fresh or frozen
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 spring curry leaves
For tempering - oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafotida
Other spices to taste - sambar pwd or goda masala, turmeric pwd, red chilli pwd
1 tbsp jaggery (gul)
1/2 tsp tamarind paste

Make the tempering by heating 1 tsp oil and dropping 1/2 tsp mustard seeds in it. When they stop spluttering add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds & 1/8 tsp asafotida. Add about 1/4 tsp turmeric pwd, then the chopped onions. Fry for a couple mins, then add the chopped potatoes and fry about 2 mins. Add the shredded cabbage, 1/2 cup water and some salt. Cover and cook on medium for about 10 mins. In the meanwhile grind the coconut with 1 tsp each of cumin and coriander seeds and few curry leaves. Add this along with the chopped tomatoes and frozn peas and carrots mix to the cabbage. Cover and cook another 5 - 10 mins till the vegetables are well cooked. Add the pressure cooked dals, salt and all other spices, gul and tamarind paste. Add enough water to get desired consistency. Bring to a boil. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

This curry goes well with plain boiled rice and/or phulkas/rotis.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Palak Paneer

This is a healthy and tasty way to incorporate spinach in your diet. After many trials & errors I have found this procedure best retains the fresh green spinach color.

4 cups packed spinach leaves - washed
1 1/2 cup cubed paneer
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp cumin pwd
1 tsp coriander pwd
1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
1/4 tsp cinnamon pwd
1/4 tsp cloves pwd
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp kitchen king masala
1 tsp salt or per taste
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
2 - 3 tsp oil

Microwave the spinach with a sprinkling of water and salt for about 2 - 4 mins.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Lightly fry the cubed paneer. Drain them onto a paper towel.
Update 4/28/2013 - These days I have been marinating the paneer, per recipe from Aarti Sequeira at I marinate the cubed paneer is some oil that is seasoned with salt, red chilli pwd and little turmeric pwd. After about 10 mins, I shallow fry the paneer and proceed as always. This adds a little extra zing to a dish which could sometimes be a little bland for some palates.

In the meanwhile, puree the onions. (I bought a Magic Bullet blender/processor a while back and it works great for quick purees/pwds etc.). Add the pureed onions to the same pan in which the paneer was fried. I do not usually add any more oil at this stage. Fry the onions on medium high for atleast 5 mins. Puree the tomatoes and add to the onions, along with the ginger paste, cumin pwd, coriander pwd, red chilli pwd, cinnamon pwd and cloves pwd. Fry another 5 - 7 mins on medium. Puree the microwaved spinach. Do not add too much water, 2 - 3 tbsp should be enough. Add the pureed spinach to the onion - tomato mix. Add salt, sugar, lemon juice, garam masala and kitchen king masala. Mix well. Simmer on low for 5 mins. Add the fried paneer and simmer for another 5 mins.

Thats it. Tasty, healthy palak paneer is ready. Goes well with rotis/naans/parathas or pulavs.
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