Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cooking Break!!!

Oh I feel so bad when my little diary of cooking [ Blog ]is left orphan this way. Its been a while Saji has stopped cooking at her kitchen.We are starting up a new career life at North Carolina and hence been busy packing and cleaning all thru the week and hence is this break!!!
Promise you guys to come back with delicious recipes soon.
Saji requires your support!!! Keep visiting.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bottle Gourd Pudding

Today is Holi, festival of colors. Its a funfilled festival celebrated in India. It's an occasion that brings in unadulterated joy and mirth, fun and play, music and dance, and, of course, lots of bright colors! It is also time for spring harvest. The new crop refills the stores in every household and perhaps such abundance accounts for the riotous merriment during Holi. This also explains the other names of this celebration - 'Vasant Mahotsava' and 'Kama Mahotsava'.
Today I made Bottle gourd pudding,yummy yummy dessert and here goes the recipe
2 cups shredded bottle gourd
3 tablespoon butter
4 cups milk
1/2 cup pure milk mawa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2  teaspoon coarsely ground cardamom powder
Heat butter in frying pan on medium high heat as it melts add the shredded bottle gourd and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. [[Process of shredding Lightly peel the bottle gourd leaving shades of light green, cut in lengthwise and take the seeds from the center.Shred the bottle gourd and squeeze-out the water.]] Turn off the heat and transfer the stir-fry bottle gourd in to the bowl.
Boil the milk in wide frying pan on medium high heat. Cook until the milk is reduced to about 3 to 2.5 cups. Stir in mawa powder and makes ure milk does not burn to the pan, Add the stir-fry bottle gourd to the milk and cook for another 15 minutes until the milk is creamy stirring in between..Next reduce the heat to medium and add the sugar and cardamom powder. Cook for another about 4 minutes and turn off the heat.Pudding is ready this can be served warm or cold.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake-St.Patrick's day

Today is St.Patrick's day and I wanted to do something in green and came up with this. If you love mint,chocolate ice cream, then satisfy your carvings and make yourself a delicious Mint choco chip milkshake. It can be served any time of the day.
Put 1.5 cups whole milk in a blender and add 3 cups of chocolate chip mint ice cream with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and some ice. Turn the blender on low until the ice cream and milk is mixed,then increase the speed to high and continue till mint chocolate chip milkshake s blended and creamy
Pour into glasses. Sprinkle with some miniature chocolate chips and Enjoy ...

Tilapia Pasta, My style

Pasta, this is one dish which I like to see and not eat. This is my second attempt towards pasta. And here is the secret recipe.
2 cups penne pasta
1 cup baby carrots cut lengthwise
1 cup sugar snap peas
1/2 cup Broccoli cut into pieces
3 Thai chili ( Optional, If you like more spice add it, can also add Red chili flakes)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup butter
2 Tilapia fillets cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoon fresh parsley
1. In a pan add water, to it add carrot pieces ,sugar snap peas, broccoli rabe and boil until they are crisp tender. 6-7 minutes depending on the size of your pieces. Scoop the veggies out of water with a slotted spoon or a strainer and set aside
2. Cook pasta according to package directions until done , then drain
3. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, Thai chili and saute for 1 minute. Now add in above boiled veggies and Tilapia cubes. Season it with Italian seasoning, Cumin powder and parsley. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
4. Continue cooking and stirring until Tilapia turns it color.Turn the heat to low to keep it warm
5. Toss the pasta in the above sauce along with some pasta water to keep the mixture from drying out.
Serve immediately with Parmesan if you like.
I sent this recipe to Home Cooking Challenge-Saveur.com for March,Pasta challenge.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rasmalai- Indian Dessert

Rasmalai, an Indian delicacy which is one of the favorite desserts to all. Its categorized as Milk sweet and is made of Paneer[Indian Cottage cheese].
I had lots of milk at home and had no clue what to do. I was speaking to my friend yesterday night and he uttered he was eating home made Rasmalai and that made my mouth water and Jealous too. Wish I was in India with my family to get pampered the same way.. Well after this conversation I could not stop my carvings towards this dessert and hence started  it yesterday night itself and had my first bite of it at 12:00 AM and believe me its delicious. I just spent an hour for this but waited for an hour approx to have my  first bite. Oh!! such a long wait, couldn't help it because the Rasmalai had to get its photo shoot and of-course this dessert had to be chilled. 

5 cups Milk [ For Paneer,  used full fat milk]
3 tablespoon Lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
2.5 cups sugar
4 cups Milk[ for malai]
3 tablespoon sugar 
1/3 teaspoon Cardamom powder
3 tablespoon pure milk mawa powder
1.5 tablespoon MTR Badam Feast Mix
3 cups water
1. Add 1 tablespoon of water to lemon juice and set aside
2. Boil 5 cups of milk in a heavy bottomed pan by stirring constantly. Once it comes to boil reduce the flame and slowly add the lemon juice. Stir it slowly. Now milk fat gets separated from water. This is Paneer
3. Strain the paneer using a fine muslin cloth and run some cold water thru it. Running cold water prevents it from further cooking and also removes the sour flavor of lemon from Paneer
4. Remove all the access water from the Paneer by squeezing the muslin cloth
5. Remove the paneer from cloth and knead to a smooth dough.
6. Make small flattened balls and set aside
7. In another pan pour 3 cups water and 2.5 cups sugar and bring it to a boil. Add paneer balls to it. Close the lid of the pan and cook them for 10 minutes.
8. Remove the paneer balls from the sugar syrup to a bowl/plate and set aside.
9.In another heavy bottom pan add 4 cups of milk. Boil till the 4 cups of milk get reduced to 1.5 cups of milk. This process took the maximum time for me. It took around 30 minute
10. Once milk s reduced add 3 tablespoon sugar, cardamom powder,Milk Mawa and badam feast and stir it till all get mixed well. 
11 Final step add the Paneer balls slowly to reduced milk and let it stand on medium heat for 5 minutes.
12 Remove from Heat, chill it down. Garnish with pistachio and serve

Also, before I go, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the horrible tragedy that occurred this morning.  My heart and prayers go out to everyone in Japan who were affected by the tragic earthquake and tsunami. There are some funds being raised for same. Help someone in need

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Orange Choco Chip Muffins

A Week ago I had an idea of experimenting with muffins(Blueberry) but I had got distracted with other idea. But today I finally decided to bake them.All I had at home was fresh oranges and some choco chips. So came up with this combination. Its very easy with very less ingredients in need. I baked mini bite size muffins. 

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup choco chips [ add more If you like ]
Preheat oven to 350F and grease in muffins tray/tin.
In a bowl add butter and sugar. Beat them using hand mixer. Add 1 egg at a time and beat till well mixed. Add in flour slowly at stir using hand whisk. Stir in combined zest,milk and orange juice. Finally stir in choco chips and spoon into prepared baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or untill done. Once done let it cool down to room temperature.
Muffins are ready to serve!!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Pilaf

Remind yourself that
are the Best!
Happy Women's Day!!!
I made Chicken pilaf a yummy rice variety for dinner today. This dish is very easy to make and all it needs is one pot to cook.
1.5 pound boneless chicken cut into cube size pieces
1.5 cups basmati rice
1 tsp red chili powder
2 tablespoon ginger paste
2 tablespoon garlic paste
1 medium size onion chopped length wise
2 tomatoes finely chopped
3-4 Green chili
4-5 cloves
2-3 cardamoms
1 1-inch cinnamon stick
5-6 curry leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander leaves
1 tablespoon mint leaves
2 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon store bought chicken pilaf masala
Salt to taste
Pat dry chicken pieces and put in a bowl. Mix salt,red chili powder, 1 tablespoon each ginger and garlic paste to the chicken and mix well. Marinate the chicken for 20-30 minutes
Also Soak 1.5 cups of rice in water for 30 minutes.
Take a large flat pan, to it add oil. Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon stick and Saute for 30 seconds. Add onions and green chili and Saute till onions turn golden brown. At this point add tomatoes and Saute for other 2 minutes.
Now add marinated chicken and rice to the pan and mix well. Add Chicken pilaf masala, coriander and mint leaves, salt to taste. Mix well.
Add 2 cups of water and close the lid. Cook on a low flame till rice and chicken is done
Serve Hot!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stuffed Bell peppers

This is one such vegetable that adds flavor to any variety of food whether its Indian, Chinese or American. I love bell peppers in almost all my food. When I started my cooking experiments back In India 3 years back, this was my first experiment with internet cooking. Being not very passionate towards cooking at that time my husband helped me a lot to complete the dish.
But, today its totally a different story. I totally love cooking, baking and do hell lot of experiments. I cooked this dish again with no body's help ye ye ye... 
2 Medium size Bell peppers
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
4-5 curry leaves
4-5 green chilli's
1 cup green peas
1 medium size onion finely chopped
3 medium size potatoes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon lime juice
coriander leaves
2 tablespoon oil
salt to taste
Pressure-cook 3 medium sized potatoes Remove the skins, mash them to smooth paste.In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin ,curry leaves,ginger and garlic paste. Saute for 1 minute and add chopped onion,  green chillies ,peas. Cook till onions turn little golden, at this time add the mashed potato. Stir in salt, turmeric and garam masala,lime juice and coriander leaves. Mix them all well. Cook covered on medium-low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes . This is stuffing for the Bell Peppers. [ You can add u'r choice of vegetables to the stuffing]
Take the Bell peppers, remove the seeds and membranes. Its should be hollow inside. Fill the hollow with potato stuffing till top.In a skillet, heat  1 tablespoon of oil. Place the stuffed bell peppers  and cook them covered on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them to sides in-between so that they get cooked evenly from all sides.
Serve hot!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blueberry shortcakes with Blueberry Sauce

The best time of springs is the fresh fruits you get in the market and one among them is blueberries. Every time I enter Costco one thing that always gets into my cart is the blueberry muffins. I just cant express how much I love those muffins. But, today I decided to bake them but guess what when I was searching for the Recipe I came across blueberry shortcakes, those were just mouth watering to see and hence I dropped my pervious plan of baking muffins and started up with Delicious blueberry shortcakes.
This dessert is very easy to make. 
Dont worry if you have leftover sauce,its just great over Vanilla Ice-cream ..Trust mee Its yummm....Feels like  Heaven :)
Any one in for this dessert?
Blueberry Sauce
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
6-7 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanialla extract
pinch of salt
3-4 cups of blueberry[thaw if using frozen]
4 cups flour
4 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1.5 cups milk
1 cup blueberries
For sauce combine water,sugar,cornstarch,vanilla extract and salt in a saucepan and bring it to a boil stirring constantly. Stir in berries and cook for 5-10 min till berries are softned. Make sure they retain their texture. Tansfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
For biscuit, preheat oven to 400F. Combine flour,sugar,salt,baking pwder in a bowl. Cut buttee into small pieces resembling small peas and add it to flour mixture. stir in milk and berries.Do not over mix your mixture. 
On a slightly floured surface, roll dough ito 1/ inch thick and cut into biscuts using round biscuit cutter [ or you can take piece of dough make into ball shape and press between two palms, to get flat shape. Use any way which is easier to you]. Transfer to a baking sheet lined wth Aluminium foil 1 inch apart. 
Bake until golden brown,usually would take 15 minutes. Let cool on wire rack
Pour sauce over sliced biscuits and tpo with whipped cream

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tilapia Sliders

Tilapia sliders are perfect afternoon snack bite and also a perfect appetizer. Its very healthy and nutritious.
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 grated cheese [ Use your fav cheese, I used Swiss, You can Use Parmesan too]
2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
4 Tilapia Fillets cut into desired length pieces
4 tablespoon oil
Buns, I used Hamburger buns[ There is no need to slice the buns hence, you can use Hawaiian rolls or any bread rolls]
Lettuce cut into quarters
tomato sliced
In a bowl,whisk together milk and egg and set aside.
In another bowl mix together flour,crumbs,cheese,parsley,salt and pepper.
In a Saute pan,heat oil over medium high heat.
Dunk fillets in the milk mixture and then dredge in the flour mixture coating both sides and add fillets to pan. Cook on both sides till golden brown. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.Place the fillet on each bottom half, then lettuce,tomato.
Serve with Ranch.