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 .