Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Ninav...Traditional Indian cake

               Living abroad means kids don't get to taste grandma's , great grandma's food . I want to bring those recipes in my kitchen . I try to tell them how my grandma or their dad's grandma used to make some of these for us .
               Ninav literally means ' with no name ...anonymous ..' . I really don't know how this dish got it's name . It's a traditional Maharashtrian dessert which is packed with goodness of whole wheat flour , besan or chick pea flour , coconut milk and jiggery . Since I got the Nutrimill , I can grind the grains of desired coarseness . This recipe is made with coarser flour but tastes equally good with the regular flours . 

Ingredients :

2 cups Besan/chick pea flour
1/2 cup Whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Ghee/ clarified butter
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup grated jaggery
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
2 tbsp. nuts to garnish

To Proceed :

This recipe can be made both in the oven or microwave .

1) Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan .
2) Roast besan and wheat flour together till a nice aroma fills the entire house and the flour changes it's color to golden brown . Turn the heat off .
3) Meanwhile dissolve the jaggery in the coconut milk and season with cardamom and nutmeg powder .
4) Add the roasted flour to the coconut milk and stir to make sure there are no lumps .

** *Oven :
1) Preheat the oven to 400 F .
2) Grease a baking tray and pour the mixture in it .
3) Bake in a pre heated oven for 30-35 minutes .

*** Microwave :
1) Grease a microwave safe deep dish .
2) Pour the mixture .
3) Microwave on high for 12 minutes .

5) Let the cake cool for 5 minutes .
6) Garnish with nuts and serve.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Meatless Lentil and bean meatloaf with mushroom gravy

                     Being in a place where there are very few Indians , challenges what to serve when friends come over . Kids many times are not willing to try anything new . On one such occasion , I decided to serve this meatless meatloaf and it was accepted very well . I made mushroom gravy to make it look authentic and served it with some mashed potatoes .

Ingredients :

For Meatloaf :

1 cup oats ( any kind )
1 onion ,chopped
1/2 cups chopped mixed vegetables , boiled and drained ( I used carrots, peas, peppers )
2 cups cooked and drained beans ( I used nine beans - kidney beans , chick peas , black eyed peas , moong , moth , pinto beans , whole udid , horse gram , and white peas  - soaked overnight and cooked)
1 cup cooked and drained mixed lentils ( toor , masoor )
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp Garam masala
1 packet readymade meatloaf spice packet
1 tsp salt

Mushroom Gravy :

1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

To Proceed :

1) Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2) Grease a loaf pan .
3) Pulse the oats in the food processor .
4) Add and pulse all the beans and lentils and vegetables.
5) The mixture should be grainy and almost pureed .
6) Add garlic paste , spices ,and salt .
7) Spoon the mixture in greased loaf pan and smooth the top .
8) Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes .

Gravy :

1) Heat butter in a pan .
2) sauté mushrooms and keep aside .
3) Add whole wheat flour and roast till the raw smell goes away .
4) Add milk and stir to make sure there are no lumps .
5) Add salt ad pepper to taste .
6) Add mushrooms and mix well .
7) Boil till sauce is thick .

Serve the warm meatloaf with mushroom gravy . Enjoy !!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dream dollhouse for Princess Pea

                   Princess Pea always wanted a dollhouse but nothing impressed her . We have been Ana White's fans for a long time . We found a plan there for a perfect dollhouse . We changed the plan to fit an 18" doll( American girl) instead of 13" ( Barbie) . The structure is made with 2x2s and stairs with 1x2s .The wallpapers are made with scrapbook paper as well as gift wrapping paper while the floors are made with felt and scrapbook paper for the basement. The roof is made with borders found at the dollar store .Princess Pea is not into dolls a lot but she loves her toy story characters . Junior made her a LEGO car for her garage and Buzz light-year was the first one to move in there . The joy and happiness on her face is motivating and encouraging enough to start looking for a new project .
The plans for a Barbie dream dollhouse can be found here .

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Multi grain pasta cake

                      This is the longest unplanned school closing . The snow , way below freezing wind chills make it hard to get out of the house . Kids are tired of such a break and their boredom leads to constant " I am hungry " and " Give me something good to eat "state.  Here I come with another fusion recipe that is kid as well as mom pleasing . It's a savory cake that is packed with nutrition . The house was filled with an aroma that could not keep the kids away from it .

Ingredients :

Pasta :

3/4 cup Thalipeeth Bhajani ( homemade blend of mixed flours )
1/2 tsp  Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
water to cook pasta

Spicy Paneer and vegetable mix :

1 cup cubed Paneer
4-5 baby corns cut in roundels
1/2 cup mixed peppers , cubed
1/4 cup mushrooms ,cubed

Marinade :

3/4 cups Yogurt
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp ajwain/ carom seeds powder
1 tsp fennel seeds powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kasoori methi , crushed
1 tsp oil
juice of 1/4 lemon
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chaat masala

Sauce :

3 Tomatoes , deseeded and chopped
1 cup spinach , shredded
2 cups of heavy cream
5 Tbsp cornflour
a pinch of salt
1 cup grated cheese

To Proceed :

1) Preheat oven to 400 F .
2) Grease the pan you want to bake the cake in .

Pasta :

1) Using enough water knead a firm dough .
2) Roll it in 1/4" thick big roti .
3) Cut in diamond or vermicelli / spaghetti shape using a pizza cutter .
4) I cut it like vermicelli with the help of ruler and a pizza cutter .
5) Let it air dry for a few minutes , about 3-5 minutes.
6) Cook in boiling water for 4-5 minutes .
7) Strain and keep aside .

Spicy paneer and vegetable mix :

1) Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and add vegetables and paneer to it .
2) Let it marinate for 15-20 minutes .

Sauce :

1) Mix cream and corn flour in a deep bowl .
2) Add spinach, chopped tomatoes and spicy paneer and vegetable mix to it .
3) Add grated cheese to it .
4) Add pasta to it and toss very gently .
5) Add this to the greased pan and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean .
6) Serve warm .

Enjoy !!!

*** You can substitute any kind of pasta in place of homemade one .***

Paneer Tikka Pizza

          Which kid does not like pizza ? And we are always craving for Indian flavors . So here is a beautiful pairing of Indian flavors with western food .

Ingredients :

Pizza dough :
3 1/2 cups Bread Flour
1 tsp honey
1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups warm water

Marinade :
3/4 cups Yogurt
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp ajwain/ carom seeds powder
1 tsp fennel seeds powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp kasoori methi , crushed
1 tsp oil
juice of 1/4 lemon
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chaat masala

Toppings :

1-2 cups of cubed paneer
1/2 cup sliced green pepper
1/2 cup sliced baby corn
1/2 cup mushrooms
1 onion thinly sliced
2-4 cups of cheese

Sauce :

5-6 large tomatoes
2 bayleaves4 black pepper corns
1 small onion
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 green + red + orange pepper
3 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano / pizza seasoning
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp salt

To Proceed :

Pizza dough : This can be made in stand mixer / food processor or bread machine .

1) Combine bread flour , sugar , yeast and salt in a bowl .
2) Add water and oil and form a smooth but firm to touch dough .
3)  Grease a large bowl with some oil and add the dough , cover and let rise till it doubles in size , for about 1 hour.

Marinade and toppings :

Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and add all the toppings except cheese to it . Let it marinate for 1/2 - 1 hour .

Sauce :

1) Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water . Remove it's skin and chop finely .
2) Heat oil in the pan .
3) Add bay leaves and black pepper corns and sauté till the bay leaves change their color .
4) Add chopped onion , garlic and green pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes .
5) Add chopped tomatoes and simmer it for 10-15 minutes .
6) Add sugar and salt and simmer for 2 more minutes .
7) Add oregano or pizza seasoning .
8) Cool for some time and grind into the consistency of your choice .

To Proceed :

Preheat oven to 400 F .
Lightly grease the pan you want to bake your pizza in .
Assembly :

1) Roll the pizza dough as per your choice . Prick it with fork so that it does not puff .
2) Brush little oil on it .
3) Spread the sauce .
4) Add the toppings .
5) Add as much cheese as you like .
6) Bake in a pre heated oven for 12-14 minutes .

Indulge in this hot Indian flavored pizza while steaming hot !!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Eggless , sugarfree Nachani/Ragi cake

                   The kiddos are growing up fast and I am still holding on to the recipes I used to prepare when Jr. was young . A new mom always wants to feed her new baby the healthiest stuff on this planet and that leads her in search of  recipes that fulfill her requirement . This is one of such recipes that is packed with good stuff required not only for kids but for a person of any age also . This cake does not contain white flour and sugar is replaced by iron packed dates .

Ingredients :

Dry :
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Nachani / Ragi / Finger Millet flour
2 tbsp. chopped nuts ( optional )
1 tbsp. cocoa powder ( optional )
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 pinch nutmeg powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Wet :
3/4  cups chopped dates
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup yogurt , thick , not strained
1/4 cup water - to grind the dates

To Proceed :

1) Grind the dates with enough water to make thick date puree .
2) Preheat the oven to 350 F .
3) Grease the cake pan .
4) Sift all the dry ingredients and keep aside .
5) Mix the date puree with rest of the wet ingredients for about 2-3 minutes .
6) Mix the wet and dry ingredients together gently .
7) Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or till the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean .
8) Cool for 5 minutes .
9) Serve warm or cold as per your liking .
10) Cool it completely if you wish to frost it .

Enjoy !!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

No fuss pineapple mousse

                When Princess Pea and Junior decided to have their friends over for a play date , the main thing I have to worry about is what to feed their them . This dessert is an instant hit with kids as well as their parents . It's smooth , velvety texture is complimented with pineapple bites .This is a super easy dessert which is ready in no time at all .

Ingredients :

1 can crushed Pineapple
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup heavy cream , whipped
2 Tbsp instant Gelatin
1/2 cup whipped cream for topping

To Proceed :

1) Drain the crushed pineapple and reserve the juice .
2) Dissolve the gelatin in 1/2 cup boiling water .
3) Beat the condensed milk on medium speed for 2 minutes .
3) Add 1/2 cup of reserved juice and mix again for a minute .
4) Add crushed pineapple and mix well .
5) Add the dissolved gelatin and mix again .
7) Fold the whipped cream . It can be mixed at low speed also for a minute .
8) Pour in dessert cups and let the mousse set in the refrigerator for 10 minutes .
9) Top with some more whipped cream .

Enjoy !!!!

*** Cool whip can be used in place of  whipped heavy cream .***
*** Unflavored / flavored ( lemon / Pineapple ) gelatin can be used .***
*** If you like sweet whipped cream as topping , you can add 1 Tbsp sugar to 1/2 cup heavy cream while whipping it .***
*** If you like chunkier texture , you can replace crushed pineapple with canned pineapple chunks.***

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Princess Pea's tribute to her grandma .. Her first attempt of baking

          It's been three weeks since Princess Pea lost her grandma . She wanted to do something that her grandma used to do .  Her grandma used to make this cake for Princess Pea's dad , uncle and aunts . She did not have an oven then , but she baked it with the help of sand .

Ingredients :

1 cup Rava / sooji / semolina
1 cup Yogurt
1 cup Milk ( at room temperature )
1 cup Sugar
3-4 tsp Ghee / Clarified butter
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
A pinch of saffron
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp water

To proceed :

1)  Mix well all the ingredients except baking soda in a deep bowl .
2)  Keep it aside for 2 hours .
3)  Preheat the oven to 350 F .
4)  Grease the cake pan with little ghee .
5)  Mix baking soda with a tsp of water and add to the cake batter .
6 )  Pour the batter in greased cake pan .
7)  Bake in the preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or till the toothpick comes out clean .
8)  The cake starts to turn brown and the aroma fills the entire house when it's done .

**** This cake stays fresh and good for 2-3 days . Hence very good for long drives , weekend trips or picnics too . ****

**** It's healthier as it does not have white flour or butter . ****