Friday, August 1, 2014

Bhaat(Rice) na Muthiya

We used to make this muthiya at my mom's house with leftover rice. I haven't had this since I got married and moved to Settle. I had never made this before, but I had some leftover rice at home, and instantly remembered this muthiya. I made it this morning to take to work for my lunch. This is how I made it.

Ingredients: (Serves 1)
1/2 Cup Leftover Rice (We use short grain brown rice at home, so that is what I used for this muthiya)
4 Tablespoon Besan (Gram Flour),
Salt, To Taste,
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder,
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 Teaspoon Kasuri Methi, Coarsely Crushed

1 Tablespoon Oil,
1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Sees
1/2 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds
1 Pinch Asafoetida

Loosen, and break the rice with the help of a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Divide the mixture into 2 and make oblong shaped muthiya out of that.

Heat water in a steamer. Grease the steamer tray, and put the muthiya in the tray. Cover and steam on high flame for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the muthiya comes out clean. Take off of the stove. Take out the steamer tray and let it cool completely. When the muthiyas have cooled down cut them into 1.5 to 2 inch thick pieces.

Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds stop to splutter, add the sesame seeds and cumin seeds. Wait for 10 seconds, then add the asafoetida. Immediately add the cut muthiya. Stir to coat the muthiyas with the tempering. Cook on medium flame for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Take off of the stove. Serve with chutney or ketchup.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate your time to leave feedback and help me improve this blog.

Blueberry Muffins

Its summer time here, that means time for all the fun activities. This week I took my daughter to a farm for picking Blueberries. She loves to pick the berries from the plants. A lot of berry farmers here let you pick the crop on your own. This way, they save on the labor, and in return, you get to keep the fruits you pick at a very minimal price. Sometimes at 1/4th of the price you would get them at store. We reached the farm about 40 minutes before its closing time, so we couldn't pick a lot. We picked about a pint and paid 95 cents for the organic berries. I would have paid about $2.50 at the store for the same berries.

Since we had freshly picked organic blueberries, we had to use them up soon. I made Blueberry Orange muffins with them. I saved some for making pancakes later this week. My daughter loves to help me out when I bake. She likes to mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and stir them:). She will wait eagerly near the oven and ask me every five minutes if the food we put in the oven is done.  So, she was very excited about making the muffins. Since I was making this mainly for my daughter, I didn't want to make it solely with all purpose flour, so I used half all purpose flour, and half whole wheat flour.

Here is the recipe (Makes 10 Mini Muffins)
3/4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 Heaping Cup Fresh/Frozen Blueberries (I used fresh)
1 Cup Orange Juice (You can use 1 cup milk with you don't want orange flavor)
2 Tablespoon Cold butter
3/4 Cup Sugar,
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar (Optional, for Garnishing)
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

Heat the oven to 360 degrees F. In a bowl, combine the flours and sugar. Grate the cold butter with the help of a grater, and add to the flour mixture. Mix well. Now add the blueberries, orange juice, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir to combine everything well. The batter should be thick.

Srishti Sprinkling Sugar
Grease a muffin pan with nonstick spray, or line them with cupcake liners (I used mini cupcake liners). With the help of an ice cream scoop, scoop out 1 heaping scoop of the batter to each liner. Sprinkle the remaining sugar on top of the unbaked muffins. Transfer the muffin tin to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted to the center of the muffin comes out clean. It took 25 minutes to be fully cooked in my oven.

Take it out of the oven. Let it cool completely before taking out of the pan.

It was very hard to keep my 3.5 years away from the tin while it was cooling down. She forced me to take out a muffin as soon as it was warm enough for her to handle and eat:).

Thank you for visiting my blog. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate your time to leave feedback and help me improve this blog.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Asparagus Chutney

I had a big bunch of Asparagus in the fridge last week, so thought of using up some of it to make the chutney. I served it with Moong Dal Dosa. The combo tasted very good.

Ingredients: (Makes about 1.5 Cups)
6-7 Spears of Asparagus,
1 Teaspoon oil
1 Tablespoon Chana Daal,
1 Teaspoon Urad Daal,
1/4 Cup Grated Coconut,
4 Dried Red Chilies
1/8 Cup Water
Salt to Taste

2 Teaspoon Oil
A Pinch Asafoetida
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds,
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds,
1 Teaspoon Urad Daal

Wash the asparagus. Discard the rough end portion (white portion) of the stems. Chop the green part in small pieces.
Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add the Chana daal and urad daal. Roast on low flame, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the daal starts to turn golden brown. Do not let the daals turn dark brown. Add the asparagus and dried red chilies. Sprinkle some water over the asparagus. Cook covered for 5 more minutes or until the asparagus starts to get soft. Stir often, and sprinkle more water if needed. Once the asparagus starts turning soft, add the shredded coconut. Cover and cook again for 2-3 minutes. Do not let the mixture dry out or stick to the pan. Sprinkle water as needed. Take off the heat and let it cool.
Transfer the mixture to a grinder jar and add 1/8 Cup water. Grind to a thick paste. Add more water if you desire. Transfer to a serving bowl.

For tempering, heat oil in a pan. When it is hot, add the Mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the urad daal. Cook until the daal just start to change its color. Then add cumin seeds. Cook for 10-15 more seconds and then add Asafoetida. Immediately switch off the stove and pour the tempering over the prepared paste. Mix well.

Serve with Paratha, Dosa, Idli or Pulao.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate your time to leave feedback and help me improve this blog.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dal Makhani in Slow Cooker

A friend gifted me a slow cooker when we moved into our new house. I had been thinking of using it for a long time, but never got around it.

Finally, last night, we decided to make daal makhani for dinner for today, so I thought I will put the slow cooker to work.

Traditionally, daal makhani is made by cooking the the whole Urad daal (Mah ki Daal) on low flame overnight, so I thought it would be a perfect thing to try to make in the slow cooker.

Using a slow cooker does require some prep time though, so make sure to set aside 20-30 minutes in the morning, if you plan to turn on the cooker before you leave for work. The reward is, when you come home in the evening, you will have food, all cooked and ready for you.

Here is what I did for daal makhani in slow cooker.

1 cup Whole Urad (Mah ki Daal or Kaali Daal)
3 Tablespoon Kidney Beans,
Water to soak
3 Cups water for cooking,
1 Tablespoon Oil or Butter, (I used oil)
1 Pinch Asafoetida
1/2 Cup Onion, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Chopped,
1 Inch Piece of Cinnamon,
1/2 Inch Piece of Ginger, Grated
Salt to Taste,
2 Teaspoons Cumin Seeds,
3 Teaspoons Red Chili Powder,
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala,
1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder (I used Cumin-Coriander Powder, as I was out of Coriander Powder),
1/4 Cup Cream or 2% milk (I used 2% Milk for Low Fat Version)

The night before cooking, wash and soak the daal and kidney beans in enough water to completely immerse them.

Next morning, drain the water from the daal and transfer it to the slow cooker insert. Add 3 cups water, salt, chili powder, garam masala, ginger, and coriander powder.

Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon. Once the seeds stop spluttering, add the asafoetida. Cook for 5 seconds, then add the onion and garlic. Cook on medium-low flame until the onions turn translucent. Switch off the stove, and add this to the daal mixture.

Put on the lid of the slow cooker. Cook on high for the first 2 hours, then cook on low for 5 hours. Add the milk or cream and cook on low for another hour.

Turn off the slow cooker. Mash the daal a just a little bit with a potato masher.  Serve hot with rice, naan or kulcha.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate your time to leave feedback and help me improve this blog.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Oats Khichadi

I have been trying to incorporate oatmeal in my daily meals.
I generally don't eat breakfast. My doctor has asked me to start eating breakfast, so that I don't feel very hungry in the afternoon, and that way I can make healthy choices for lunch.

I don't like to eat sweet things for breakfast, and most of the healthy breakfast recipes I looked for where sweet, and that's when I decided to come up with a savory oatmeal recipe. I make oatmeal Khichadi at night and pack it in a container to have it as a breakfast at work. You can definitely have this as lunch or dinner.


1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats (Not the Instant Kind)
1/2 Cup Daal of Your Choice (I Pick and Change Between Mung Daal, Masoor Daal, and Tur Daal)
Salt to Taste
1 Green Chili, Slit
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
2 Cups Water

2 Teaspoon Ghee or Oil  (I use Oil),
1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds,
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds,
1 Pinch Asafoetida

Take out your choice of daal in a container and wash with water. Drain the water. Add the oatmeal, salt, turmeric powder, slit chili and water. Pressure cook on medium flame for 5 whistles. Switch off the stove and let the cooker cool down. Take out container from the pressure cooker.
 Heat oil/ghee in a small pan. When hot, add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add the cumin seeds and Asafoetida. (Make sure to not burn the cumin seeds). Wait for 5 seconds, then add the cooked Khichadi to the pan. Stir to combine the tempering. Switch off the stove. Serve hot.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate your time to leave feedback and help me improve this blog.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Oatmeal Upma

I don't like the traditional way of eating oatmeal at all. I just can't get past the gooey texture, plus I don't like to eat anything sweet for breakfast. But, since oatmeal is very good for our health, I tried to make savory dishes with it such as this oatmeal upma,  oatmeal chivda, and oatmeal dosa.

1 Cup Oatmeal, Not the quick cooking kind
1.5 Cups Water,
Salt to Taste,
2 Green Chilies, Slit,
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger, Grated (or paste)
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice,
1/4 Cups Onion, Chopped
1/3 Cups Frozen Mixed Vegetables (Corn, Carrots, Peas etc).
1/8 Cups Frozen Peas
1/8 Cups Frozen Corn
1 Fresh Carrot, Grated ( I Used a Grated Carrot)

1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds,
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds,
1 Tablespoon Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Asafoetida

Dry roast the oatmeal in a pan until its fragrant and  it just starts to turn golden brown. Take out of the pan, keep aside to cool.

In the meantime, heat oil in  pan. When hot, add the asafoetida and mustard seeds. Once the seeds stop spluttering, add the cumin seeds. Cook for 5-6 seconds, then add the onion and chilies. Cover and cook until the onion starts to turn translucent stirring frequently. Now add the mixed vegetables. Add some salt to cook the vegetables and mix well. Cook for 30 seconds, then add the water, and the grated ginger.
Cover and cook again. Once the water starts to boil, add the roasted oats. Stir gently once. Turn the stove to simmer. Cover and cook again until all the water is soaked up by the oatmeal (about 7-10 minutes). Do not stir while the oatmeal is cooking.

Once cooked, turn off the stove. Fluff it up with a fork, and then add lemon juice. Gently stir again to incorporate the juice. Serve hot.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate your time to leave feedback and help me improve this blog.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Eggless Indian Chrismas Fruit Cake (Plum Cake)

My husband loves plum cake we get in India during Christmas time. We bought a plum cake from an Indian store here. Needless to say, it didn't taste like the fresh cakes we used to get in India. So, I decided to try to make it at home. As I was going to make it at home, I omitted the eggs and the alcohol part. I know some of you might not agree that it is called a real Fruit cake without the rum, but believe me, it tasted very good. My whole house was filled with the aroma of the spices and fruits in the cake.

Some notes before starting:
For the dried fruits and nut portion of the cake, I soaked the chopped dried fruits and nuts in grape juice for 24 hour hours. You can soak these as much in advance as 1 year or 1 month, but of course I hadn't planned to make this a year ago:). Soaking in rum will give you a very authentic taste, but you can soak it in orange juice, apple juice or grape juice too.

Refrigerate: Once you add juice to your chopped fruits, mix well, and refrigerate. If left out to soak in hot climate (such as India), the juice will go sour and rancid and it might spoil your fruits and cake.

Four: I used a mix of Whole wheat flour and All purpose flour. You can definitely make this cake with 100% All purpose flour.

Dried Fruits: I used whatever dried fruits I found at the store. So my mix contained dried prunes, dates, pineapple, apricot and cranberries. I couldn't find ginger peel or orange peel, so I added dried ginger powder and lemon zest. You can use 1/2 tablespoon each of the chopped ginger peel and orange peel instead.

Nuts:  Again, I used whatever I had at home. So my cake contained chopped almonds, chopped pistachios, and chopped cashews. If you have pecan at home, that's a plus. I didn't have it at home when I was baking the cake.

Butter and Oil: I used a combination of butter and oil to make this cake. You can omit the oil altogether, and use 1 cup melted butter instead.

Now to the Ingredients:

Fruits and Nuts:
1/4 Cup Unsalted Almonds, Chopped
1/4 Cup Unsalted Pistachios, Chopped
1/2 Cup Unsalted Cashes, Chopped
1/4 Cup Dried Prunes, Chopped,
1/4 Cup Dried Pineapple, Chopped,
1/4 Cup Dates, Chopped,
1/4 Cup Dried Apricot, Chopped,
1/4 Cup Dried Cranberries, Chopped
1/4 Cup Maraschino Cherries, Chopped
1 Cup Fruit Juice of your choice (I used grape Juice)
10-12 Maraschino Cherries for decoration.

1.5 Inch Stick Cinnamon,
2 pieces Cloves,
4 pieces All Spice, (if you can't find all spice, use total of 2 inch of cinnamon, 3 pieces of cloves and 2 peppercorns).
1/8 Teaspoon Nutmeg, Freshly Grated, (or Nutmeg Powder)
1/4 Teaspoon Ginger Powder (OR 1/2 Tablespoon ginger peel, Chopped).

Cake Mix:
1-1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour,
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda,
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder,
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Zest or Orange zest (Or 1/2 Tablespoon Orange Peel, Chopped)
1-1/2 Cup Brown Sugar,
1 Cup Milk,
2 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar (or Regular Vinegar),
1/3 Cup Unsalted Butter, Melted
2/3 Cup Oil

Soaking Fruits and Nuts: In a deep bowl, combine all the chopped nuts and fruits (except the cherries saved for decoration). Add the juice to the bowl. Make sure that the fruits and nuts are completely covered by the juice. (You might not need the whole 1 cup juice). Cover and refrigerate for minimum 24 hours. If you plan to soak for more than 24 hours, then stir the fruits every few days to ensure uniform soaking.
Dried fruits soaked in Grape Juice

Soaked Fruits Drained after 24 hours

In a blender (or mortar and pastel) combine and grind the first three spices listed in the spices section. Add the ginger powder and grated nutmeg. Mix well. Set aside.

Drain the fruits and set aside. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F. Grease only the bottom of an 8 Inch round baking pan. If you grease the side too, your cake will have a big bulge in the center. This happens because, as the cake rises, it tries to stick to the sides of the pan. If the sides are greased, the batter can't stick well, and starts to go down again. (I learned this in a cake baking classes here). See further notes below.

Add about 1 tablespoon of the all purpose flour to the fruit mix and coat well.  Sieve the two flours and baking powder. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the coated fruits, sugar, lemon zest, oil and butter to the bowl and lightly mix.

In another bowl, add 1 cup of milk. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix well. Set aside only for a couple of minutes (no longer). The milk will just start to curdle. Do not panic (We want it to happen). Now add the baking soda to the milk and mix. You should see some froth in the milk. If there is no froth at all, the baking soda might have expired. It is no longer useful for baking.

Add the frothy milk mixture to the cake mix. Stir well to combine. The batter should resemble pancake batter (thick), and not runny.

Transfer the batter to the cake pan. Arrange the saved maraschino cherries on top for decoration. I let my 3 year old do that for me. She was happy to help me out and show her creativity:).

Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick entered in the center of the cake comes out clean. Take out of the oven, and let it cool down completely (atleast 30 minutes) before trying to take it out.

Note regarding greasing a cake pan: Personally, instead of greasing the bottom of the pan, I just cut a parchment paper to match the shape of my baking pan, put it in the bottom and pour the cake mix over it (As learned in the cake baking class). This way my cake never sticks to the bottom of the pan, it always comes out in one piece:). Also, my bake ware never has any grease stuck to it. Easy to clean, no brown spots, and it still looks brand new.

Activity for Children:
If you have kids, this is also a good family activity. I have a three years old daughter. Every time, I am in the kitchen making something, she wants to help me out (of mess up my work:)). But last night, as I was prepping for the cake, she came to me and asked me what I was doing. I said, I am making a cake. She jumped with a joy and said, I want to make a cake too. So, I thought of using some additional help from her:).

She patiently waited for me, when I said I will give her a bowl to mix all the ingredients.( I rarely see her sitting, waiting patiently). I added all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and asked her to mix them for me, while I waited for the milk to curdle. I added the milk to the flour and asked her to mix it again. And at the end, I asked her decorate the cake with the cherries. I also have a small cake pan for her. I added some of the batter in her small butterfly shaped pan. She was very happy to decorate her "own "cake. She didn't even let anyone else eat her "butterfly" cake.

I took our her cake in 20 minutes. As her pan was very small, and shallow. Make sure to check your cake for doneness if you choose to use different size of pan.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I would love to hear from you. I appreciate your time to leave feedback and help me improve this blog.