Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bon Vivant Moments #2 - Savory Items

Welcome everyone to my another edition of Bon Vivant Moments. After all that sugar high month, it's fitting time to have some savories. So let's celebrate the savory items. By definition, savory is "pungently flavorful without sweetness". "Without" is an important word in that definition. :o) I don't want to give examples and limit your imagination. So put your chef cap on and whip up some lip smacking savory items to link up. The linkz will be open from March 1st to March 31st. 

Rules for the event remain same.

~ Multiple entries are allowed. Usage of the logo is a must.
~ Linking back to this announcement page is mandatory to get the word out.
~ Vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes are allowed. No pork or beef ingredients please.
~ Blog post should be in month of March. 
~ Two old posts are allowed, if re-posted again in March.
~ Please link up your post using the linkz below. In case of any problem linking please send me an email with your name, recipe name and url to
~ Non-bloggers can email the recipe along with a picture of the dish to the above email address.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Flaxseed Orange Cookies (Eggless)

Happy Birthday to my little sister. Wanted to post this recipe on her bday. She lives far away from me, if she was close by I could have pampered her. I miss them all so much. As for my little sis, I haven't seen her for past two years. When I went to India she couldn't make it since she had a baby. Now when she visits India, I am not going. :o(

She always keep looking for easy to make recipes and this one is dedicated to her. This wkd was the day of oranges! There were some sour ones in the lot and kids wouldn't touch them. So though of baking cookies/ cake with them. My little one said she wanted cookies, so cookies it was. I looked for some inspiration online. Also I was out of eggs, so needed an eggless version. I found one here.

I changed up the recipe quantity and in flour. These cookies are packed with vitamins, minerals and omega 3. Important addition I used was the Flaxseed powder/ meal. I use it in rotis every day, but wanted to see how bread or cookies would turn out with it. And I must say it blended in seamlessly.
Here is a rundown on this easy to bake, melt in the mouth cookies.

Prep Time: 5 min| Yields: About 50 cookies. 


Flour – 3 Cups( I used 1 ½ cup multigrain, ½ cup flaxseed, 1 cup all-purpose flour/ maida)
Butter – ½ cup/ 1 stick
Sugar – ½ cup (Increase if you are using brown sugar)
Milk – ½ cup
Baking soda – ½ tsp.
Baking powder - 1 tsp.
One Naval Orange Zest (It was about 1 tbsp.) and it’s Juice.

Method of Preparation:

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
~ In a medium bowl sift flour, baking soda and baking powder together.
~ In a bigger bowl cream together melted butter and sugar.
~ Mix in the orange zest and juice.
~ Add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients alternating with the milk in batches. Beat well to incorporate all the flour.
~ Scoop out a spoonful of mixture onto a greased cookie sheet. Keep at least 2 to 3 inches between them. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until they start to turn golden at the edges.
~ Take it out of the oven, after 5 minutes cool on the cooling rack.

~ I folded in some dried cranberries in the last batch. It was delicious too, giving a nice tangy twist to the cookies.
~ Multigrain and flaxseed might have made the batter little sticky. So I used two spoons, one to scoop out and using other to lay them on the sheet. You can also put them in a big plastic bag and pipe them out.

This goes to event on my space,  Bon Vivant Moments #1 - Sweet

Also also to Vardhini's Sweet Luv, Radhika's Let's Cook Sweet Somethings and I love baking, Sravani's Dish For Loved Ones, Vardhini's Bake Fest hosted by Anusha, Srivalli's Kids Delight hosted by PriyaAnjali's Cakes, Cookies And Desserts and Tea Time Treats  by Karen and Kate

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Crunchy Green Salad

This is an easy peasy, but no compromise on taste salad. I learnt this addition of cabbage from my MIL. And I must say I really loved the whole texture and taste the first time I had. It's a regular in our household. The other day I made it along with Bisi Bele Bhaath. Here is a quick rundown on the salad.

Prep Time: 5 min | Serves: 4

Cucumber -1
Cabbage – 1 cup - Finely chopped
Colored bell pepper – ½ - deseeded and chopped
Tomato - 1 big one - deseeded and cubed
Salt to taste
Pepper - Fresh ground
Red wine vinegar (Optional)

Method of Preparation:

~ Wash and peel cucumber. Deseed and chop.
~ Mix all vegetables in a bowl, add salt and pepper and toss.

Note: You can top this on bed of lettuce and make a salad meal. But I was serving as a side dish, so didn’t use the lettuce.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Bisi Bele Bhaath/ Sambhar Rice

Bisi bele bhaath or Huliyanna as it’s called in Bangalore is a yummy one pot meal. The name literally means Hot Lentils Rice Dish in Kannada language. Bisi – hot, Bele – Lentils and Bhaath or Bath means “A Rice dish”. It doesn’t do justice to the tons of vegetables put into it though. We as a family got introduced to this yummy rice dish when we moved to Bangalore from North Canara. I don’t remember the first time I had it, but I loved the way my mom would make it.
Y’day was my birthday. So the previous night I went to bed, I took a deep breath and smelt “Bisi bele bath”!!!! LOL, for the first time it had happened! DH asked why in the world are you getting that smell. I knew exactly why! Every year for my birthday mom would make this, along with other favorites! So like magic I HAD to eat this. And with my hubby being from Mumbai he was not sure what this was, so I never made an effort to make it. So when mom called to wish yday I narrated her what happened. She is like the MAKE it. L. Yup, there was no other way, so I quickly jot down what she said. I made it for dinner last night. It was DELICIOUS! and satisfied my cravings. Also kids loved it. My little one who usually doesn’t care for veggies in her meal didn’t mind any. So jackpot! Wonder why I didn't try this before!
Here is my mom’s version of this classic meal.

Prep Time: 15 min| Cook Time: 30 min. | Serves:  4 ~ 6
Toor Dal/ Pigeon Pea/ Thogari bele – 1 cup.
Rice – 1 ½ cup
Vegetables – (I used Beans, Peas, Carrots, Cauliflower, Tomato)
Ginger – lemon size
Sambaar Powder – 2 tbsp. (I used mom-made, you can use MTR)
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp.
Tamarind extract – 1 tbsp.
Jaggery – 1 tbsp.
Ghee – 2 tbsp.
Olive Oil – 2 tbsp.
Salt to taste
Hing/ Asafetida – a pinch

Method of Preparation:

~ Wash and cut vegetables big bite sizes. Wash rice and dal in separate containers.
~ Pressure cook dal (in bottom pan) with some oil and turmeric powder.
~ Pressure cook vegetables in the top pan.
~ Prepare rice. (I usually make rice by removing starch. I did use same method to prepare my rice. But you can just prepare rice by your method)
~ After the pressure is released, in a wide big pan heat some oil. Add hing and then the mashed up dal.
~ Add sambaar powder, tamarind extract and jiggery. Bring everything to boil by continuously stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
~ Now add the rice and mix it up well. Add boiled water as necessary to make it more watery.
~ Add salt for this mix and little more and then add the cooked vegetables.
~ Add ghee and stir it all in.
~ Serve hot topped with more ghee and chips.
~ I served it with a mixed green salad to bring down the heat. 


~ I pressure cooked so it is quick. You can chose to cook them in the following method. First start by cooking lentils, when it’s half done, add the vegetables and lastly add the rice and cook them all together while checking on water. Add boiled hot water whenever needed.
~ Ghee is what is typically used. More the better actually. But I kept it to only 2 tbsp. and topped my kids plates with extra dollop.
~ Tangy taste is preferred, so add according to your taste.
~ When you add vegetables, add the cauliflower in the end so that you don’t mush it up.

Sharing this at Sravani's Dish For Loved Ones and Chandrani's Colorful Holi event

Monday, February 13, 2012

Multigrain Mocha Cake with Mocha Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! I know one day isn't enough to tell your loved ones how much you do love them. I show my love in different ways to my family and friends and always hope that they know am always there for them no matter what!.

My kids, especially my boy loves brownies. And many times I would just get brownie mix and do it quickly. Now that am getting a hang of baking cakes, I was thinking of making brownies for him for Valentines. There is also another favorite of his in this recipe! Coffee. He's not a coffee drinker, but he loves coffee icecream. He saw me looking at this recipe in a book and instantly he wanted to make it.

So our sunday brunch was this yummy mocha cake. I mostly kept close to the original recipe.

Prep Time: 15 min | Cooking Time: 30 to 35 min | Yields: 9 x 12 inch cake

Recipe Source: Ellie Krieger


For cake -
Multigrain Flour/ Whole Wheat Flour - 3/4 cup
All Purpose Flour/ Maida - 1/2 cup
Unsweeted Cocoa powder- 1/2 cup
Baking Soda - 1 tsp.
Baking Powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - 1/4 tsp.
Unsalted melted Butter - 2 tbsp.
Oil (Light Olive oil/ Canola Oil) - 2 tbsp.
Eggs (at room temperature) - 4
Yogurt - 1 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 2 tsp.
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Instant Coffee powder - 1 tbsp.( Dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water)
Dark Chocolate - 2 oz

For Frosting -
Cream cheese, softened - 8 oz
Confectioners'/ Powdered Sugar - 1/3 cup
Instant Coffee powder - 1 tsp. (Dissolved in 1 tsp. hot water)
Coffee liqueur/ Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

For Garnish -
Dark Chocolate Shavings

All blended in
Ready to go into oven

Hot from Oven

Topped with Frosting

Method of Preparation:

~ Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 x 12 inch dish and keep it ready.
~ First whisk all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl. Both flours, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
~ In a bigger bowl, whip melted butter and oil together. Add all other ingredients one by one. Eggs, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar and prepared instant coffee.
~ Double boiler or microwave (on high for 90 secs) the dark chocolate and combine into the wet ingredients.
~ Now add the dry ingredients in batches to combine without any lumps. Do not over beat.
~ Pour the mix into the prepared dish and bake it for 30 to 35 mins, until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. It took me 35 minutes, but I kept a check on it from 25 mins onwards.
~ Take it out and place the dish on cooling rack. Brush the warm cake with a tsp. of coffee liqueur on top of the cake. Let it cool for atleast 20 mins.
~ Meanwhile prepare the frosting. Beat all the ingredients under Frosting using an electric mixer.
~ Top the cake with frosting and chocalate shavings and serve.
~ Oh, I was so proud of the outcome. My kids were even more happier nicely licking away the frosting to begin with.
~ Note that I had intially planned to skip the frosting, but I am glad I did. They both complemented each other really well. Try it out and see it for yourself. :o)

This goes to event on my space,  Bon Vivant Moments #1 - Sweet

Also also to Vardhini's Sweet Luv, Radhika's Let's Cook Sweet Somethings, Sravani's Dish For Loved Ones, Vardhini's Bake Fest hosted by Anusha, Srivalli's Kids Delight hosted by Edible Entertainment, Vimitha's Love n Chocolate Fest, Valli's Chocolate Mela, Let's Cook for Valentine's , Anjali's Cakes, Cookies And Desserts and Tea Time Treats  by Karen and Kate

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fruit Bread / Fruit Cake

I had bought some tutti fruitti container before Christmas. But since we went to India, my plans of making plum cake was kept on hold. Then y’day I wanted to bake something with my little one. Afterall she got this cute handmade valentine card for me. She has been rolling rotis alongside with me nowadays and I didn’t had to make any y’day. So I said let’s bake some cake.

Tutti fruitti cakes were always my favorite ones, besides plum cake that is. But I remember dad bringing home these fruit breads from bakery and we all jumping for it. I had no clue what fruit they were. Later I got to know they are usually made of pineapple bits or papaya bits. Interesting isn't it.

I followed this recipe from Sailus. It turned out ok. I say ok, coz the cake was little too sweet for my taste and I think next time I might reduce sugar, add pinch of salt, add ¼ cup of buttermilk and try with pineapple essence. Meanwhile my kids and hubby have started working on their cake vanishing act. J

Prep Time: 15 min. | Baking Time: 1 Hour 10 min. | Makes: 1 loaf bread

Maida/ All purpose flour – 2 cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp.
Baking soda – ½ tsp.
Granulated sugar - 1¼ cup
Melted Butter – 1 stick ( ½ cup)
Eggs – 2
Vanilla essence – 2 tsp.
Milk – ½ cup
Tutti Fruitti mix – 1 cup
cooking spray

Check out the valentine card from my lil one. :o)
Method of Preparation:

~ Preheat the oven to 350 deg. Fahrenheit. Grease the loaf tin.
~ Sprinkle some flour on tutti fruitti and coat them. This will prevent them from sticking to each other.
~ Sieve flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and keep aside.
~ In another bigger bowl, cream butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy.
~ Now add one egg at a time and beat with the mixer.
~ Add essence and combine with the mix.
~ Alternate flour and milk and combine little by little, making sure there are no lumps formed.
~ Add coated fruits to the batter and fold in gently. 
~ Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for an hour or so, until toothpick comes out clean.
~ Take it out of oven and let it cool on wire rack for about 15 minutes.
~ Remove the cake from pan and slice using oiled knife to get a smooth cut.

This goes to my Bon Vivant events #1 - Sweet

And also to Vardhini's Sweet Luv, Radhika's Let's Cook Sweet Somethings, Sravani's Dish For Loved Ones, Kalyani's Served with Love and Gayathri's Walk down the memory lane, Vardhini's Bake Fest hosted by Anusha, Anjali's Cakes, Cookies And Desserts

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Coriander/ Cilantro Chicken

You must be wondering the name says cilantro chicken, but the gravy is red! Well, it the bright color that comes out of tomatoes. Neat isn’t it?  :o)
This post is for monthly blog hopping event and I am paired with Swetha of Our Cherished World for this month. Visit her to find out what she has cooked from my collection. Going through her recipes this coriander prawns recipe caught my attention. I decided to try this with chicken. And boy was I glad to try it. It turned out really nice and tangy with a rich flavor of the curry. It's a must try and will be a sure hit.

Prep Time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 30 to 40 mins | Serves: 6 people

Chicken - 1 Kg (2.2 lb - Was about 4 cups)

Yogurt – ½ cup
Chili powder - 4 tsp.
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp.
Salt to taste (About 1½  tsp.)

For Curry Paste:
Onion – 1 cup chopped
Tomato – 3 cups chopped
Yogurt – 1 ½ cup
Cashew nuts – 2 tbsp.
Ginger – 1 tbsp. grated
Garlic – About 10 pods
Cinnamon – Small piece
Cloves – 7 to 10
Pepper – 1 tsp.
Fennel seed – 1 tsp.
Cumin/ Jeera seeds – 1tsp.
Green Chilies – 5
Fresh Cilantro/ Coriander leaves – 1 big bunch.

Method of Preparation:
~ Cut and clean chicken. Mix everything under marinate into a paste. Apply to chicken and let it marinate atleast for 2 hours. I marinated overnight.
~ Grind all the ingredients under “For Curry paste”.
~ Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a pan. Add the masala paste and fry for at-least 15 minutes on medium heat. After raw swell goes and oil starts to separate, simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes.
~ Now add the marinated chicken, increase the heat and mix for about 5 minutes.
~ Cover the pan and continue to cook until chicken is cooked completely. This took about 15 min. Uncover and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes while stirring.
~ Goes really well with Italian bread, Chapati or rice.

Update: Just thought will add alternative vegetarian option to the list. The gravy itself was so good that it can be used in vegetarian dishes.
~ Potato gravy - Potato is so versatile that it goes well with any gravy that is meant for chicken. My mom would take out the gravy and then add meat in case someone in the house is not going to eat the non-veg dish. She would boil some potatoes and after bringing gravy to good boil, add potatoes and switch off the heat.
~ Bhindi/ Okra - Clean okra, pat dry them. Then fry them in little more oil than usual with little salt. Once half way done add the prepared gravy and bring them to boil.
~ Eggplant/ Bhaingan - Follow instruction as in for Bhindi.
~ Soy Chunks - Wash and soak soy chunks in hot water for 10 mintues. Squeeze out all the water. In a pan fry soy chunks, add gravy and bring them to boil.
Check out my previous blog hop entries

This is off to Radhika’s blog hop event.

And also to Srav's Dish For Loved Ones

Friday, February 3, 2012

Seven Cup Burfi

People from Banglore can instantly recognise this sweet. :o). It's name seven cup burfi coz it needs 7 cups of ingredient! duh!!!. I had failed at my initial attempts few years back. It used to be either too watery or too thick. Then over the time I have experted in this. My kids love this one too. I thought of making this for my Bon Vivant Moments - Sweet. It sure smells festive when you are preparing it and tastes divine!

Prep Time: 5 min. | Cooking Time: 40 min.

Bengal Gram Flour/ chickpea flour/ Besan – 1 Cup
Desiccated coconut – 1 Cup
Ghee - 1 cup
milk – 1 Cup
Sugar – 3 Cups (I use brown sugar for half the quantity)
Cardamom powder – 1 pinch
Ghee for greasing the plate.

Method of Preparation:

~ Grease a plate with ghee and keep it ready.

~ In a big pan fry besan for few minutes (about 5 minutes). This will avoid forming lumps. Take out the besan and keep it aside.

 ~ In the same pan bring milk to boil.
~ Add sugar and mix until it’s dissolved.
~ Add coconut and cardamom powder and mix well.
~ Now start adding besan slowly in batches. Keep stirring continuously to make sure lumps are not formed.
~ After besan is mixed, start adding ghee 1 tbsp. at a time. Making sure every time it gets well incorporated into the mix.
~ Continue to stir and cook until it starts to leave the sides, frothes and starts to come together. Look how there is ghee at the edge.

~ Switch off the heat and pour it in prepared dish/ Plate. Smooth the top and leave it to cool.
~ Once it’s cooled off little (after an hour), cut them into little pieces with greased knife and enjoy!
~ I added chopped almonds to decorate.

This is off to my Bon Vivant Moments - Sweet Isn't it. :o)

And also to Vardhini's Sweet Luv, Radhika's Let's Cook Sweet Somethings, Sravani's Dish For Loved Ones, Kalyani's Served with Love and Anjali's Cakes, Cookies And Desserts events.

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