Thursday, December 13, 2012

Baked Palak paneer koftas in makhani gravy

                                     Princess Pea came home from school and requested for an orange gravy . This was accompanied with that that cutest smile and bright eyes . How can mommy say no to such sweet request . But this request survived only till we picked up Jr from his school . He got in the car asking for palak paneer . Do the siblings feel each other's feelings ? Do they have to ask for two different things at a time ? This momma had to come up with something that would make kiddos happy . So here it is ...baked palk paneer kofta in orange gravy .

                                    This is a super easy recipe . The kiddos loved it as both of them got what they had asked for . The koftas are baked instead of frying . While baking the koftas spread a little but once cooled again get in the shape . I baked them in muffin tin to have evenly shaped . This recipe is a nice twist to regular palak paneer .

We need :

Palak Paneer kofta :

10 oz Spinach
1/2 cup grated paneer
1 big potato boiled and grated
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp corn flour
salt to taste

Makhani gravy :

5 large tomatoes
1 tsp ginger -garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp kasoori methi
2 tsp butter
salt to taste
2 tbsp heavy cream

Garnish :

2 tsp Heavy cream
2 tbsp grated cheese

To proceed :

Palak Paneer Kofta :

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F .
2) Grease the muffin tin with oil .
3) Blanch spinach in boiling water and refresh in ice cold water .
4) Drain and squeeze out as much water as possible .
5) Chop the spinach finely .
6) Add grated potato ,paneer to chopped spinach .
7) Add ginger-garlic paste  .
8) Add corn flour and salt and mix well .
9) Form the mixtures in round shape .
10) Bake the koftas for 15 minutes .
11) Let them cool and form the shape again .
12) Keep aside .

Makhani Gravy :

   This is adapted from the master chef Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe .

1) Quarter the tomatoes and microwave on high for 4 mins with red chilli powder .
2) Grind the cooked tomatoes to a fine paste .
3) Heat butter in a heavy pan .
4) Add ginger-garlic paste with a tsp of water .
5) Fry for a minute .
6) Add tomato paste and let cook for 3-4 minutes .
7) Dry roast kasoori methi and crush it with your palms .
8) Add garam masala and salt .
9) Add heavy cream .
10) Bring it to a boil and turn off the heat.

To serve :

    Pour the makhani gravy over the koftas and garnish with heavy cream and grated cheese . Serve with roti,paratha and rice .

Enjoy !!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Potato rosti with poached egg

                                    Having a teenager boy in home is not easy on moms . And when that kid is busy with many activities , store bought snacks are definitely not for him . Then come many fads and trends that he wants to follow . One of many such fads is having some classy ,elegant , fancy aka restaurant style breakfast . Jr wants to have elaborate breakfast at 6:30 in the morning . His growing body needs a proper start of the day and I want him to go to school with a happy face .
                                    I wanted to impress Jr with the the breakfast . I wanted to present all the good stuff  in a fancy way . Here is the solution to this problem . The rosti is a nice twist to hash browns . The poached egg served on top of the rosti along with homegrown tomatoes and avocadoes make a perfect dish to brighten your day . This was served with berry parfait topped with homemade granola to make it a balanced dish .

We need :

3 medium potatoes , boiled
1 tsp ginger-garlic-chilli paste
salt to taste
1 egg
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 avocado , sliced
1 baby tomato halved
2 tsp butter

To proceed :

1) Peel and loosely grate boiled potatoes .
2) Add ginger-garlic-chilli paste .
3) Add salt to taste and mixed lightly not to break grated potatoes.
4) Heat a heavy bottom pan and melt 1 tsp butter .
5) Lightly press the potatoes and cook till the bottom turns golden brown , for about 3 minutes .
6) Turn and cook  the other side for another 3 minutes or till it turns golden brown.
7) Bring water to a rolling boil in a deep pan and lower the heat .
8) Crack egg in the water and cook the way you like . Jr likes it well done/ fully cooked .
9) Carefully place the potato rosti on a plate .
10) Top it with poached egg .
11) Season with salt and black pepper .
12 ) Serve with avocado slices and sliced tomatoes .

                         I did not add cheese on it but you are welcome to add it . I served it with berry parfait but can be served with milk ,coffee or juice .

                  Enjoy friends and keep warm .


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santra Bhat / Orange flavored sweet rice

                             Yesterday Mr AJ came home from work with a ginormous box of Florida oranges . And the oranges are huge . Though happy , my first thought was how are we going to finish so many oranges before they go bad ? Without realizing both of us were going down the memory lane . Winter ,the month of December , the winter assembly session and market full of oranges . We come from the Orange city ,Nagpur . It's the time when you feel refreshed with the sweet and citrusy scent of oranges in the air . I remember my childhood days when dad would come home with 'shekda ' meaning 100 oranges and we never worried about finishing them . A guest was welcomed with a basket full of oranges and family and formal gatherings were incomplete without them . The sweets shops were always busy with the santra burfi as the ministers ,their staff and people from mantralaya would place large orders of santra burfi and oranges  to distribute and take home . On home front mom would make Santra Bhaat which is a variation of Sakharbhaat . The memories of home made me make this dish today .

                              Traditionally this is a part of main course and made on special occasions . It's made when oranges are in season as they are super sweet and not tangy . The rice is easy to make and is done in no time . This can be eaten warm as a main course or chilled or at room temperature as a dessert . The oranges I have are so big , I decided to serve the bhaat in orange peel rather than in a dish . That enhances the flavor of the bhaat and give it a nice aroma . Let's roll our sleeves and head to the kitchen ...

Ingredients :

1 cup rice
2 Tbsp Ghee
4 cloves
1 cup chopped orange segments
1 cup water
1 cup freshly sqeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
6 pods of cardamom
2 Tbsp almond and pistachio slivers

Garnish :

1 Tbsp pistachio slivers
a few orange segments
remaing orange halves left after juicing

To proceed :

1) Wash and soak the rice for half  hour .
2) Drain the water from rice .
3) Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan and add cloves to it .
4) Add the rice and roast till the grains look shiny .
5) Boil 1 cup of water and add it to the rice .
6) Add a pinch of salt .
7) Cook the rice halfway .
8) Add chopped orange segments and continue cooking .
9) Powder the cardamoms along with sugar .
10 ) When the rice is 80% done add freshly squeezed orange juice and sugar cardamom powder and the orange zest .
11) Cover and cook till the rice is done .
12 ) Add almond and pistachio slivers and cover and let it steam for 2 mins .

To serve :
 Serve in orange halves and garnish with slivered pistachios and orange segments .

**Orange zest actually gives that orangy aroma to the rice .
** If the orange half is not sitting well , you can cut a thin slice to make it flat .
** If you don't want the rice to touch the orange half , you can line it with a paper cupcake liner and fill it with the rice .

Enjoy !!!

Avocado Basundi

                                  Yes...I am not confused nor is this typo.. We at the Kane's Coop love avocadoes . We can have it at every meal and eat them as they are as a snack also . I have already tried avocado in many Indian recipes but not in any dessert . After many days I was having the urge to try something new . I wanted to make something totally new ,dramatic and something that you can not find after google search . All of us have a very sweet tooth .  Mr AJ  surprised me with my favorite roses and I decided to surprise him with Avocado basundi .
                                   Basundi is a milk derived sweet like most of the Indian sweets .It is a speciality from Maharashtra . Milk is reduced to half of the quantity and flavored with sugar and Indian spices as cardamom and nutmeg . Avocado being creamy and slightly on a sweeter ( some even call it bland ) side worked well for this recipe . Addition of avocado makes this dish healthier than the original recipe ; as I did not have to reduce the milk and it still turned out to be as creamy as the original recipe . I reduced the amount of sugar in it as avocado added it's own sweetness to it . It gave a very nice light green color to the dish . And most importantly Jr and Princess Pea approved it .

We need :

1 Avocado ,mashed
2 cups Milk
6 Tbsp sugar
2 cardamoms powdered
a pinch of nutmeg powder
4 Pistachios blanched and sliced to garnish

To proceed  :

1) Boil 2 cups of milk in a heavy bottomed pan and simmer for 5 minutes .
2) Add sugar ,cardamom -nutmeg powder .
3) Add mashed avocado and simmer it for another 2-3 mins. After adding the avocado the milk will be creamy .
3) Garnish with pistachio slices .

This can be served warm or chilled with puri , chapati like the way Maharashtrians eat or in a bowl as a dessert .

Friday, December 7, 2012

Lotion Bars

                          Xmas will be here in no time . Princess Pea and Jr have a long list of friends to give gifts . This cold weather is drying out the skins . Princess Pea has sensitive skin that makes me picky while choosing products . I decided to make my own lotion bars . Thanks to Ash for inspiring me all the time , I decided to make my own lotion bars . They are hard lotion bars and that makes them easy for carrying in the purse . They are convienient to use and carry . The oils are gentle on her skin and are helping with her eczema .

We need :

4 oz Beeswax
3 oz coconut oil
2 oz Almond oil
2 oz Avocado oil
1 oz Jojoba oil
2-4 drops of essential oil ( optional )

To proceed :

1) Melt beeswax in a double boiler .
2) Add the rest of the oils and melt again .
3) Add the essential oil .
4) Pour in silicone molds .
5) Let them cool for some time till they are set . Mine were in the mold for about 6 hours as I went out after pouring them .But they are ready in less than 1/2 hour .
6) Unmold and store in a cool place .

                                    The lotion bar melts with the body heat .So it's easy for small kids to apply lotion on their own . Friends,give it a try and let me know what do you feel about it ...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baked sabudana vada with peanuts chutney

                           Sabudana vada is an all time favorite in my home . But now a days Mr.AJ has been talking a lot about eating healthy .But that definitely does not mean we will give up eating our favorite food . There has to be an alternative for this . While watching TV with Princess Pea , I had seen a commercial of baked potato chips . And then the bells started ringing . If chips can be made without frying why not our very own sabudana vada ? The baking does not affect the taste of the vadas . The peanuts chutney completes the dish .
We need :
Vadas :
1 cup Sabudana

2 medium potatoes
1/4 cup peanut powder
2 green chillies
1/2 " ginger
1 tsp cumin
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
salt to taste

Chutney :

1/4cup peanuts
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup yogurt
1 green chilli
salt and sugar to taste

 To Proceed :
Vada :
1) Wash and soak the sabudana for atleast 4 hours .
2) Boil and mash the potatoes .
3) Dry roast the peanuts and grind to a coarse powder .
4) Make ginger ,chilli and cumin paste .
5) Preheat the oven to 350 F .
6) Line a baking sheet with foil .
7) Mix soaked sabudana with the peanut powder,ginger chilli paste ,cilantro ,lemon juice and salt .
8) Shape into balls and flatten them a little between the palms .
9) Spray both sides of the vadas with cooking oil spray .
10) Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes .
Chutney :
1) Dry roast peanuts and grind with cumin ,salt ,sugar and chilli .
2)Whisk the yogurt and mix with the peanut mixture .
3) Adjust the consistency by adding little water .
          Serve warm vadas with the peanut chutney ....Here is to guilt free eating...yippe...

Oats dry fruit laddu

            My dad has a very sweet tooth . He can actually have dessert from breakfast to dinner . I remember my childhood days when my dad would eat laddu with chapati also . I know , it's hard to believe . Someone eating laddu as a side...yes...that's my dad . So when the doctor told him to control his sugar intake as the sugar levels are on borderline and need to be monitored , guys you would guess right ..There is a BIG PROBLEM .. A meal without sweets..No way ; my dad would say . Doctor asked him to eat oats also which he does not like . He does not like the texture of the cooked oats . That was a challange for my mom . She asked me to make something that is without added sugar but still sweet . So the solution to this problem is here . Oats dry fruit laddu...Packed with nutrients ,fibers and lots of love.. And they taste like the "Dink laddu or edible gum laddu" .

We need :

1 cup Oats
20 Seedleess dates
5 dried apricots
fistful dried cranberries
10 almonds
10 walnuts
10-15 pistachio nuts
2 Tbsp Flax seeds
1 tsp white Seasame seeds
1/2 tsp Khaskhas (poppy seeds)
1/2 tsp methi seeds ( Fenugreek seeds)
1 tsp Everest milk masala
2 tsp Ghee ( clarified butter)
2 Tbsp coconut powder

To proceed :

1) Roast oats in microwave for 2 minutes till you can smeel the toasty ,nutty  oats.
2) Roast almonds,pistachios ,walnuts,flax seeds ,seasame seeds,khaskhas,methi seeds seperately for 2 minutes each .
3) Coarsly powder the oats and the rest of the roasted ingredients .
4) Grind dates,apricots and cranberries together in a food processor .
5) Mix the powdered oats and dry fruits with date-apricot mixture .
6) Add milk masala .
7) Add ghee and form small laddu .
8) Roll the laddu in coconut powder .

The laddus are ready to eat . You can change the dry fruits and their quantity as per your liking . You can adjust the sweetness by adding or reducing the dates .

I can not say how long the laddus will last as they were gone in less than 2 hours in my home . :)

Enjoy them in this cold weather friends ..

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Egg Methi Malai

                                  It's halloween .. Kids are super excited to wear their costumes and go trick or treating . Halloween is associated with different colors ; orange, green and purple . Pumpkins and corn...
                                  I wanted to make dinner on the same theme. Kiddos love eggs . And they go well on cold nights . I had methi (fenugreek) leaves in the fridge . Moms always want to make greens appetizing for kids . Same goes with me too . This was a perfect occasion when they ould be eating without any fuss . I made spooky vegetable biryani to along with the curry . Hope recipe of the spooky biryani makes to my blog soon...

We need :-

8 Eggs - Hard boiled
2 cups methi -chopped
1 medium onion - chopped
paste of 2" ginger and 3-4 garlic cloves
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 whole cardamom
2 cloves
Paste of 4-5 cashews and 4-5 almonds soaked for 1/2 hr
1 cup yogurt
1 cup heavy cream ( optional : 1/2 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup whole milk )
salt and sugar to taste
1 Tbsp Ghee or butter

To Proceed :-

1) Make slits on the hard boiled eggs in a way that they make a plus sign if put together ; i.e. one cut on each side of the egg .
2) Boil the onions in enough water till they are soft and tender .
3) Drain and make paste of boiled onions .This gives a sweeter taste to the gravy .
4) Heat ghee in pan ,add whole cardamoms and cloves .
5) Add the onion paste ,ginger -garlic paste and fry till the oil seperates .
6) Add turmeric powder ,coriander powder and garam masala and fry for a minute .
7) Add chopped methi and fry till the leaves start wilting .
8) Add yogurt and cook till the oil seperates .
9) Add the cashew-almond paste and fry for a minute .
10) Add the eggs and let the masala coat the eggs well .
11) Add salt and sugar to taste .
12) Add heavy cream and cook till the gravy comes to a boil . You can adjudt the consistency either with milk or water if needed .

       Serve warm with rice,pulao,biryani and roti ,naan , poori too . This gravy is on sweeter side and is favored by the kids .

Enjoy !!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vegetable shepards pie

                   On cold wintery nights I prefer warm one dish meals . This is an awesomely easy recipe and is ready in a jiffy . This is a very accomodating recipe so you can change everything according to your liking .

We need :

3-4 big potatoes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cheese
1 tbsp oil
1 onion chopped
2 cups mixed vegetables ( i used 1/2 bag of frozen mixed vegetable , 1 bell pepper and 1/2 lb mushrooms ** Princess Pea tries new food only if she sees lots of mushrooms**)
1 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic- green chilli paste
1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste

To proceed :

1) Boil the potatoes.
2) Mash the potatoes with salt , 1 tbsp butter , sour cream , milk and cheese .
3) Heat remaining butter with oil in a pan .
4) Add onions and ginger garlic chilli paste and saute for couple of minutes .
5) Add vegetables and cook till they are half cooked .
6) Add salt and garam masala and cook for a min .
7) Keep aside .

To assemble :

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F .
2) Grease the rectangular pan .
3) Press half of the mashed potatoes on the bottom of the pan .
4) Spread the vegetables and top with rest of the potatoes .
5) Bake in a pre heated oven for 20 mins and then broil on high for 5 mins .
6) Serve warm .

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oats Rava Chia seeds banana nut bread

                               This  week started with the anticipation of the arrival of this unwanted guest ; Hurricane Sandy .. State of emergency was declared and everyone was at home . After a long time all of us were home and there were no activities,no errands to run and no outdoor play . We decided to make it a fun time . No fun is complete without baking in Kane's coop . So here it is indian flavored oats-rava-chia seeds banana nut bread . It's a wholesome , healthy ,filling bread and packed with protein and calcium for active kids . I got this recipe from Donna and Usha and tweaked it a little . Junior had once told me how to write recipes for cakes and breads the way he is learning at school .

Dry Ingredients :

1 cup old fashioned oats
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup fine rava/sooji/cream of wheat
3 tbsp almond powder
1/4 cup walnuts
3 tbsp flax seed powder
2 tbsp everest milk masala
5-6 cardamoms powdered
1/8 tsp nutmeg powder
couple of pinches of saffron
3/4 cup brown sugar ** you can use regular sugar also**
1 tsp baking powder

Wet Ingredients :

2 1/2 Ripe bananas
1 cup milk
4 tbsp ghee/clarified butter

To decorate :
2 tbsp sugar

To make the bread :

1) Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2) Grase the cake pan with baker's spray .
3) Powder the oats and chia seeds together .
4) Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan and roast oats-chia seeds flour with rava till there is this nice aroma .
5) Keep aside and cool down completely .
6) Mix all the dry ingredients except baking powder in a big bowl .
7) Puree bananas with milk and the remaining ghee.
8) Add to the dry ingredients and mix well .
9) Add baking powder and mix well .
10) Pour in the prepared pan and bake for 30 mins or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean .
11) Invert on a plate and sprinkle sugar with the help of a strainer .

Serve warm . The kiddos like it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream .

Garden rotini in avocado sauce


                    Kane's Coop just loves avocados and pasta is always a hit with the kids . Diwali is approching and kids are busy with their practices in addition to regular activities . Pasta is a kind of meal I can count on when kiddos are tired . One of my friends was telling me how she would love pasta with some green sauce on red and green themed dinner for christmas and I knew what I was making for dinner tonight . Princess Pea loves beans so I try to add beans in every meal I make . I found a recipe on US Masala and tweaked it according to my family's taste . The sauce is smooth and creamy and goes well with any kind of pasta . I prefer Penne or Rotini or something that will hold more sauce than spaghetti .
Pasta :-
1 box of whole wheat garden rotini
*** you can use any pasta of your choice ***

Sauce :-
3 ripe avocadoes
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup cilantro
4 cloves of garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup toasted walnuts
salt to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas/chhole

Pasta :-

Boil the pasta according to the directions on the box . Drain .Reserve 1/2  pasta water and keep aside .

Sauce :
1) Blend together avocados , spinach ,cilantro,garlic ,walnuts and half of the garbanzo beans to a smooth paste .
2) Use oil instead of water to make into a smooth paste .
Add salt and lemon juice and blend again .

Assembly :

Toss the pasta in prepared avocado sauce . Adjust the consistency by using reserved pasta water . Mix with rest of the garbanzo beans . Serve with garlic bread and soup .

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Microwave Modak

                           Ganesh Chartuthi brings with it excitement , peace,happiness and positivity . We miss the festive atmosphere here but still the heart is bouncing with joy . Every year I make modak and every passing year the kids enjoy it more . This year I planned to make modak in the microwave . What is the use of all these appliances if you don't use them . so here comes microwave modak..

Dough :

1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sabudana powder (optional : if you are not sure how old the rice flour is ..)

To make dough :

1) Add salt and oil to water in a microwave safe bowl . Microwave on high for 2  mins .
2) Add rice flour and using sabudana flour . Mix well , cover and microwave on high for 2 -3 mins till the mixture looks shiny .
3) Knead the dough in the food processor .

Filling :
1 cup grated coconut
1 cup jaggery
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

To make filling :

1) In a microwave safe bowl mix grated coconut and jaggery .
2) Microwave on high for 4 mins till the mixture looks dry and sticky .
3) Add cardamom powder and mix well .
4) Keep aside and let it cool .

To mold :

1) Take a small ball of the dough .
2) Roll it with your palms to about 3"diameter .
3) Add 1 tbsp of filling in it .
4) Make 8-10 folds in the dough .( Traditionally we make 21 folds in the dough )
5) Shape and close the modak as it looks in the picture .

To steam :

In microwave :
1) Add water in a microwave safe bowl . Keep one small bowl filled with water in the bowl and cover with a plate that will fit in that pot .
2) Wet the paper towel on the plate .
3) Dip the modak in water and place on the wet towel .
4) Cover and steam for 4 mins .

In rice cooker :
1) Boil water in the rice cooker .
2) Lay the wet paper towel on the steamer or a sieve .
3) Place the modak on the towel and steam for 10 mins .

To serve :
Place the modak on a plate .Add a tsp of ghee and serve warm .

Enjoy....Ganapati Bappa Morya !!!!

Dasara Special : Jalebi with Rabdi

                                       I wish everyone a very Happy Dasara .. I was missing my home terribly on the day of Dasara . Being in Bangalore for almost 8 years made Dasara very special . The markets get ready for the festive season and people start planning for the 10 days school break . Dasara in Maharashtra is totally different from that in Karnataka .But the spirit is the same .Now living abroad makes it all different . You have normal everyday routine on the festivals too. Kids have school , activities and homework . I was listening to my family planning the Dasara sweets . And I miss all of that.. My MIL always talks about this particular dessert and I decided to surprise my family with their favorite dessert ..Jalebi( we call it Jilabi in marathi ) with Rabdi .This is an instant version though the traditional method is always the best .

Jalebi :

1cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp corn flour / besan
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp yogurt
1 tsp ghee/oil
pinch of saffron powder / turmeric powder /orange food color
oil for frying

Sugar Syrup :

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
a pinch of saffron
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 -1/2 tsp rose essence(optional )

To make the Jalebi :

1) Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup lukewarm water .Let it sit for 5 mins .
2) In a bowl mix all purpose flour,ghee,sugar,and saffron powder together .
3) Add yogurt to it .
4) Add the yeast mixture in the dry ingredients and make a smooth ,lump free ,ribbon consistency batter .You may need to add some water to it .
5) cover the bowl and let sit for 1/2 hour .
6) The batter looks spongy when fermented .
7) Fill the Jalebi batter in jalebi making bottle /empty clean ketchup bottle/icing bag .
8) Heat oil in a pan .
9) Pipe the Jalebi in circular motion to desired size .
10) Fry till golden brown on both sides .
11) Put in the warm sugar syrup just for a few second .
12) Drain and Keep on a plate .

To make Sugar Syrup :

1) Dissolve sugar in water in a heavy bottom pan and let it boil .
2) Reduce the heat and simmer till it reaches one string consistency .
3) Add cardamom powder ,lemon juice ,rose water and saffron to it .
4) Turn off the stove .

Instant Rabdi :
1can evaporated milk
1 can condense4d milk
2 tbsp cashew powder
2 tbsp corn flour
1/4 tsp cardamom powder

To make Rabdi :
1) Mix evaporated milk and condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl .
2) Microwave on high for 8 mins stirring every 2 mins .
3) Add cashew powder and MW on high for 2 mins .
4) Add cornflour and MW on high for 2 mins stirring every 30 seconds .
5) Add cardamom powder .
6) Rabdi will further become thick after cooling down .

To Garnish :
     Sliced pistachios ,almonds and saffron strands .

Assemble the Dessert :

1) Spoon some Rabdi on a plate .
2) Place Jalebies over it .
3) Spoon some more rabdi .
4) Garnish with chooped almond,pistacios and saffron .


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Vegetable Pizza

                                        When I want kiddos to eat vegetables without fussing , only two dishes come to my mind . The good old Pav-Bhaji and Pizza . Pizza is always welcome at the parties , playdates and even mom's meetups .

               The pizza crust and sauce recipes are from The Complete Italian Cookbook by Tarla Dalal though I have tweaked them a little . I got this book about 10 yrs back and still love it .

You need :

Dough :

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp yeast
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt

For the sauce :

6 medium tomatoes
2 bay leaves
4-6 peppercorns
1 small onion diced
1/2 green pepper ,chopped
1 tsp garlic , grated
2 tbsp tomato puree
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp oregano or pizza seasoning
salt to taste

Toppings :
vegetables of your choice

**you can add any meat to make it a non vegetarian pizza .

To proceed :

Dough :

1) Combine all the ingredients except oil and knead into a soft dough using enough warm water until smooth and elastic .( The amount of water differs with different brand pf wheat flour )
2) Add oil and knead again .
3) Cover the dough with wet cloth for 15-20 minutes or till it doubles in volume .
4) Knead lightly to remove trapped air .
5) Divide the dough in two equal parts .
5 ) Roll and stretch into a pizza dish .

Sauce :

1) Blanch ,peel and chop the tomatoes .
2) Heat oil in a pan .
3) Add bay leaves and peppercorns and saute for a minute .
4) Add the onion ,garlic and green pepper and cook for couple of minutes .
5) Add chopped tomatoes and simmer for 12-15 minutes .
6) Add tomato puree ,ketchup ,sugar and salt and let it simmer for another couple of minutes .
7) Let it cool down a little and grind well in a blender .
8) Return to the stove and finish off the sauce with oregano or pizza seasoning .

Assembly :

1) Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2) Spread the pizza sauce on rolled pizza crust .
3) Add the toppings .
4) Add cheese .
5) Bake in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes .

Serve hot .

Cranberry Pickle


                            It's fall and we can feel the chill in the air . The stores are getting ready for the holidays . Grocery stores are stocking up on supplies for the festive foods . You hear people talking about thanksgiving and christmas . My favorite part of thanksgiving dinner  is the cranberry sauce . The first time I had cranberry sauce , I fell in love with it . Then I had cranberry orange relish and there began my love for cranberries . I like to eat them fresh ,dried ,in sauce, jelly , in cookies and scones and everything that can accomodate them . Come fall and the grocery stores display these bright red ,dainty berries . They are in season from October to January . They have sour ,tart and a refreshing taste just like that of raw mango . And if they remind me of raw mango ,they remind me of grandma's mango pickle .
                           I used store bought pickle masala that one of the family friend had recently gifted me . This pickle is pretty easy to make .

One bag of fresh cranberries
1/2 cup of store bought pickle masala
1/4 cup oil

How to :

1) Wash and dry the cranberries .
2) Cut them in half .
3) Heat the oil till it's smoking . Let it cool down completely .
4) Mix the pickle masala with the cranberries .Mix to coat the cranberries .
5)At this point you can start testing . If enough of the pickle is left then you can proceed with the next step .
6) Put it in aglass jar .
7) Add the oil and mix well .
           Let it marinate for a day if you have self control(oops...I don't ) . The cranberry pickle is ready to rock .

Friday, September 28, 2012


                    As moms ,we want our kids to eat healthy balanced meal that will keep them full and satisfied .  we want it to be balanced too . But kids have very little time to eat at school not because they have less time for lunch but in Princess Pea's words,"the recess comes really early ,mom.." this keeps me busy with trying to make one dish ,easy to handle meals . After one party I had some leftover store bought naans .The kiddos eat any kind of sandwich as long as it's homemade .So I came up with this Naanwich and kiddos absolutely loved it .They keep asking for it again and again and I make it over and over again . The filling are endless. I make them with vegetables and egg but even meat would go well too .

We need :-

Store bought naan
Boiled potato
boiled egg
Cheese ( any kind you like )

          Cut the Naan lengthwise so it will be almost symmetrical . Spread hummus on both sides .Layer all the toppings you like .Cover with Cheese .Brush little butter or ghee on both sides .Heat on a hot griddle / counter top grill ,panini maker or even in the oven till the cheese is melted . Serve hot , warm or even cold .



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

DIY Laundry organiser

                               I am always struggling over the laundry organisation . I have baskets ,hampers and still it's hard to carry the loads to the basement . When I stumbled upon the Ana White's webpage on pinterest I knew I have hit a jackpot . Mr AJ and I both love DIY projects that involve wood , paint and tools. We followed the directions exactly the way she explained . We bought the wood at Lowe's .We got it cut there too . The whole project was done under 2 hours . We stained it  and it took almost 24 hours to dry . But the finished product is gorgeous . It's very easy to make and very functional .

                 You can find the step by step directions here .

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chocolate Almond Butter

                                       Which kid on this planet does not like Nutella ? But like any other store bought product kids are given many non healthy ingredients . And we moms think we are giving our kids something healthy and nutritious alternative to regular butter . Is Nutella really good for our kids ? After reading the label I realized the first ingredient was sugar followed by vegetable oil and then hazelnut . And there is soy lecithin . The story is not any different in organic nut butters also . This makes me try to make homemade alternative . According to many health experts almonds top the list of healthiest nuts . So my first choice was pretty easy . Almonds . Chocolate will be the reason for kids to atleast give it a try . It's ready in almost no time . It can be made from raw or roasted almonds .
                 The process is almost the same like making the peanut powder . You just have to run the mixer evn longer till the oil seperates from the powder and is kind of runny . My magic bullet did wonders making this .

What we need :

1 cup almonds
2-3 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup cocoa powder
a pinch of salt

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees .
2) Roast almonds on a fil lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes stirring twice to prevent burning .
3) Cool little bit for about 10 minutes .
4) Put in the mixer or food processor and let the game begin .
5) First it will be in pieces ,then powder and then it will look like a ball .
6) Keep going till the oil seperates and the almond butter looks runny .
7) Add cocoa powder ,honey and salt and keep going .
8) After about 15 minutes ,the chocolate almnond butter is ready .
9) It can be used as aspread , a dip for fruit or even in baking .

            Taaadaa....chocolate almond butter is ready to rock . Happy eating...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Homemade Almond Milk

          Since the kids are back in school , I get lot of time to explore the grocery stores . Upon one such visit I overheard two friends talking about the almond milk . One was telling the other how good almond milk is for her and her family and the other friend was not so sure .  I realized even I had heard my friends talk about it and unknowingly stopped to look at it . As usual the first thing I wanted to do was check the label . Like most of the other processed and packaged products there are many ingredients that don't make sense. Carrageenan ( it's kind of a hidden MSG ) ,Xanthan Gum, evaporated cane juice and the list goes on .. So how many real almonds are there in the carton I will be paying a huge price for ? 
        Making almond milk at home is really easy and healthier too . Traditionally our grandma and mom were making this especially during exam times , during our pregnancies and even after delivery . Almonds are good source of protein , amino acids ,folate and vitamin E which we all know is good for our hair and skin . It can be flavored also .But to get maximum benefits I decided to keep it unsweetened and unflavored . And the kiddos loved it . They did not miss the sugar in it . The almond powder left after straing the milk can be used in baking ,making gravies or even in halwa . This is a really good to have just before the swim meet or a game as it is dairy free . It can be stored in the refridgerator for 4 days .

What we need :-
 1/2 cup almonds
2 cups water

     Yes....only two ingredients . Soak the almonds for 4-6 hours in the water . Peel the almonds . Put it in a blender with little water till it turns in a paste .Add the rest of the water and keep blending . Strain it through a fine strainer or musleen or cheese cloth . This gave me  2 cups of  thick almond milk .  You can add any sweetner or flavor at this time . Serve chilled or at room temperature . This can be used in smoothies also . The leftover almond pulp can be stored in the refridgerator for later use .

    Eat healthy ,live healthy....


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tomato Basil Pizza on Cauliflower crust


                                    Hello dear ones...It's long weekend and both Mr.AJ and I are down with flu . I know it's not a great long weekend at Kane's Coop . When kids are home,they are always hungry . We had plans for the long weekend but had to cancel them . Here in the US ,you have to cook your own food even if you are not well . I wanted to make something that would be filling and healthy too . Who else could I turn to seek help at such time other than Pinterest . I have a friend whose entire family is allergic to all possible things .She had challenged me to come up with a pizza for her . And there it was....Gluten free pizza...
                                   It may sound strange but the pizza crust is made from cauliflower .  I had homegrown tomatoes and basil .I was really low on cheese but guess what ..the kiddos did not even notice it...yay...This is a super fast recipe . It takes less than 30 minute from start to finsh ... Isn't is great to make it on a busy day ...

What we need :
A small head of cauliflower , grated
1 Egg beaten
2 Garlic cloves , grated
1 tsp pizza seasoning
1/2 cup pizza sauce
2 tomatoes ,sliced
handful of Basil leaves
1cup of grated mozzarella cheese (I did not have grated cheese so I used the deli slices )

Add ins :- Bell peppers ,olives ,mushrooms , pineapple or anything you like on your pizza..

1) Grate the cauliflower with a grater or food processor .If grating it in food processor ,we need to be careful not to puree it .We should process it till it looks grainy . Cook in a microwave for 8-9 minutes stirring halfway through .There is no need to add any water in this . the moisture in cauliflower helps in cooking it .
2)While the cauliflower is cookng,preheat the oven to 450 degrees .
3)Grease the cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray or oil .
4) When the cauliflower is cooked try to get as much as water out of it by squeezing it with the paper towel .
5) Add beaten egg , grated garlic , and pizza seasoning to it . Mix well .
6) Press it down on the greased cookie sheet to make a round pizza ...about 10"diameter..
7) Lightly brush with oil oil and bake for 15 minutes .
8) Spread the pizza sauce ,toppings and cheese on the crust .
9) Broil it on high for 3-4 minutes or untill the cheese melts .
10) Let it cool for 5 minutes and serve hot .

                    So dear ones , enjoy your long weekend while I rest and recover ....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

DIY Detangling Spray

                                                 Princess  Pea loves "Rapunzel" .Her silky ,long golden hair fascinates her . She wants to be like her  , wants to have long hair and leave them untied . That's the problem . In the entire movie they don't show whether there were tangles in her hair and whether she cried or not while brushing them off . My wanna be Rapunzel has a problem with the brush . Even though her hair looks straight ,it gets tangled really bad . That means detangling spray is one of my survivor tools . Now when the crafting bug has got me , I started reading the labels and ofcourse there was Pinterest . I reallized it's nothing but the conditioner and water solution .I tried mixing different proportions of conditioner and water . I also added little coconut oil to nourish her hair . And here we are....with no more tears...

1/2 cup hair conditioner
3 cups of hot water
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil

Mix together in a spray bottle and it's ready to use .

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Brocflowpper Paratha / Broccoli , cauliflower ,Bell Pepper Paratha

                                            Paratha is a staple when it comes to a lunch box . No messy hands , no leftover sabzi.. Like most of the moms I also want to hide most of the vegetables in kiddo's food . While packing in the lunch box , I cut the paratha like a pizza in small 8 pieces so the kiddos can pick one piece at a time and dip in yougurt or ketchup .
What we need :-
Cover :
3 cups wheat flour
salt to taste
1/2 tsp oil
Filling :
1/2 cup grated cauliflower
1/2 cup grated broccoli
1 medium green pepper finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1-2 green chillies finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp aamchur(raw mango)powder
1tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste
Butter or ghee optional to apply while cooking
To proceed :
1) Make a soft dough woth the wheat flour and keep aside covered for 10 min .
2) Mix all the ingredients of the filling .
3) Take two lemon sized dough balls and roll into about 6"circles .
4) Spread enough filling on one of them and cover with the other .
5) seal the ends very well .
6 ) Roll out the paratha to desired thickness .
7) Cook on a hot griddle till tiny brown spots appear on each side .
8) Add little butter or ghee to finish cooking .
              Serve hot with raita ,ketchup or have it as is . This stays soft even after getting cold and goes really well in the lunch box .