Eggless Lemon Lamingtons

According to Wikipedia, "A lamington is a sponge cake of Australian origin in the shape of a cuboid, coated in a layer of traditionally chocolate icing then desiccated coconut." I have never come across these and was surprised when Gayathri announced this month's 'Baking Eggless' challenge.

Since I have no chocolate lovers at home. I went ahead with Lemon Lamingtons taking inspiration from here. These turned out absolutely gorgeous and finger licking tasty!

Ingredients - 

For the Vanilla Sponge Cake - Source
Cake Flour 1 1/2 cup *
Sugar 3/4 cup (I used raw sugar)
Curds/Yogurt 1 cup
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Baking Soda 1/2 tsp
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Oil 1/2 cup

For Lemon Curd - Source 
Cold Water 1/4 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
Cornstarch 3 Tbsp
Lemon juice 1/4 cup
Lemon Zest 2 tsp
Salt a pinch

* I used a mixture of Whole Wheat Flour 1 cup, All Purpose Flour 7 Tbsp and Cornstarch 1 Tbsp

Eggless Lemon Lamingtons

Method Of Preparation -
For the Sponge Cake - 
Whisk the curds and sugar in a mixing bowl until the sugar is dissolved.

Sprinkle Baking Soda and Baking Powder, mix gently and set aside for 5 min. The mixture would be bubbly and airy in 5-7 min.

Mix in vanilla extract and oil and gently mix.

Gradually add the flour and mix well to make a smooth batter.

Preheat the oven to 350 F and prepare a cake pan. I lined it with parchment paper.

Pour the batter onto the prepared cake pan and tap it on the counter to dislodge any trapped air bubbles.

Bake in the middle rack for 45-47 min or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove and let the cake cool in the pan for a few minutes before inverting the cake on to the cooling rack.

Let the cake cool before making slices.
For the Lemon Curd - 
Whisk together water, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until cornstarch is dissolved.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring continuously.

When mixture thickens, reduce heat to low and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.

Pour mixture into a glass bowl and add lemon juice and zest (I used lime instead), mixing well.

Allow to cool and thicken at room temperature.
To Assemble Lemon Lamingtons - 
Slice the cake into 2 inch squares or rectangles.

Pour the beaten lemon curd all over the cake slices and roll them on coconut powder.

Transfer them onto parchment paper so they don't stick to the plate and refrigerate.

They tasted divine the next day!

Preparation Time 40 min + Baking Time 45 min + Cooling Time > 2 hrs
Makes about 12 pieces

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Here is a simple, healthy yet tasty dry curry for Day 3 of the final week of BM #18.

Carrot-Papaya Curry

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Posted by Harini R on Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mixed Vegetable - Rava Pakodi

For Day 2 of the final week of BM #18, these crispy Pakodis are ideal to munch on a rainy day! 

Ingredients - 

Sooji / Bombay Rava / Semolina 1 cup
Rice Flour 1 Tbsp
Red Capsicum, Cabbage, Carrot, Onion sliced into 1 inch bits 2 cups
Curds/Yogurt 1/2 cup + water as needed
Ginger-Garlic-Coriander leaves paste 2 Tbsp (or as needed)
Salt as needed
Red Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp or as needed
Oil to deep fry

Mixed Vegetable - Rava Pakodi

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, all the ingredients except the oil and mix to make a stiff dough.

In a wok/kadai, heat oil until it is just about hot. Test it by adding a pinch of dough. If it rises immediately to the top, the oil is ready.

Take small portions of the dough and gently slide them into the hot oil. Fry until they are uniformly golden brown and remove onto paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Continue for the rest of the dough.

Serve with ketchup of chutney of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM #18.   
Linking it to Srivalli's Kid's Delight hosted by PumpkinFarm this month.

Preparation Time 40 min
Serves 4-5

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Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

I have been thinking about these spicy jalapenos for quite sometime and found a perfect way to serve them. These were on the spicier side and so perfect for my husband.

The other day, on the super market frozen shelf, I came across jalapeno poppers and my husband was going on and on about how he loves those. I took a peek at the ingredients and thought I could work around some of the ingredients and so here is my twist !
For Day 1 of the final week of BM #18, these cheese stuffed peppers qualify under the 'Stuffed Dishes' theme. 

Ingredients - 

Jalapeno Peppers 12 nos
For the Filling - 
Shredded Cheese 1 cup
Cream Cheese 4 Tbsp
Milk 2 Tbsp
Italian Seasoning 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Salt as needed

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and wipe the jalapenos clean.

Cut them vertically and scoop out the seeds.

Mix the filling ingredients together to make a thick paste.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Prepare a baking sheet lining it with aluminium foil. Spray oil and set aside.

Scoop a spoonful of the filling and stuff into each of the jalapenos.

Arrange the filled jalapenos on the baking tray and place it in the preheated oven.

Bake for about 30 min or until the tops are golden brown.

Remove and serve hot.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM #18.   

Preparation Time 10 Min + Baking Time 30 min
Makes 24 pieces

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For the final day of this week's BM #18, I picked out a very aromatic spice powder which I have started using very recently. This powder makes a very good addition to various soups. 

I saw this recipe as part of a food program on TV and the lady on the show was an Ayurvedic practitioner. She said that the ingredients in this powder comply with the rules of Ayurveda and I found it very flavorful and pleasant.

Curry Powder

Ingredients - 

Coriander Seeds 5 tsp 
Fenugreek Seeds 1 tsp 
Bay leaf 1 large
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp 
Cinnamon stick 1 small (1.5 inch) piece 
Cloves 5 nos
Turmeric powder  2 tsp (reserve for later)

Method Of Preparation -

Dry roast all the ingredients separately until aromatic, except turmeric powder.

Powder the roasted ingredients and mix in the turmeric powder. Sieve to get a fine powder.

Store the powder in an air tight container and use it to spice up your soups and curries!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM #18.     

Preparation Time 10-15 min
Makes 3-4 Tbsp

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Sambar Powder

Sambar Powder is one of the essentials in a South Indian Kitchen which also means there are umpteen versions of sambar powder possible. Each household has a specific 'formula'. I have to say I am a collector of sorts. I collect different formulas of sambar powder and try out each one of them just to get a different flavor each time. Routine is boring..don't you all agree??

So whenever I taste sambar at any friend's place, I make it a point to get their formula. Here is my collection so far. I promise to keep my collection growing as and when I get a different version! So feel free to drop in your version (either email me at mail2tamalapaku[@]gmail[.]com or leave me a comment in this section) of the sambar powder so I can add it to my collection!

So for Day 2 Week 3 of BM #18, here is my collection of Sambar Powder recipe. Feel free to try out any version. The irony of it is I always have a packet of MTR Sambar Powder in my pantry and home made Vangi Bath Powder which I add to the sambar I make in times of emergency :).

Tips for a great tasting Sambar - 
* Grind fresh coconut, sambar powder and a little cooked toor dal to make a thick paste and add it to the simmering sambar.
* Try adding some Vegetable juice instead of plain water to thin the sambar!
* Saute the onions (if using) and then boil the vegetables on stove top.
* Add a pinch of fenugreek seeds in the tadka(popu). 
* Never forget to add curry leaves in the tadka(popu).

Sambar Powder

1. From my Aunt Sudha Mani :

Coriander Seeds  4 cups
Fenugreek Seeds 3/4 cup or less
Coconut (grated) 1 cup
Dry Red Chilllies  as per taste
Chana Dal1/2 cup
Cloves 3-4

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

2. From a website collected in my pre-blogging days (So source unknown):
Coriander Seeds 3 teaspoons
Rice 1 teaspoon
Urad dal 1 teaspoon
Channa dal 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) 1/4 teaspoon
Dry Red Chili 2 medium
Hing powder (asafoetida, inguva) a pinch

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

3. From my cousin Mallika:
Coriander seeds(Dhania) 5 cups
Fenugreek Seeds 1 cup
Cumin seeds (Jeera) 1 cup
Cinnamon (Chekka) 3 inch
Marathi Mogga/Capers 2-3
Rathi Puvvu/Pathar ke phool  1 Tbsp (powdered)
Red Chillies 1 1/2 cup

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

4. From my friend Preeti :
Coriander seeds (Dhania) 2 tsp
Toor Dal 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (Menthulu) 6-7
Pepper (miriyalu) 4-5
Dry Red Chillies 4-5
Coconut grated (preferably fresh) 2 tsp

Dry roast them and powder them or make a paste adding the required tamarind juice. This method is useful when making the powder for a small serving or for one time use only.

5. Unknown Source :
Chana dal 1 1/2 cup
Coriander seeds (Dhania) 3/4 cup,
Fenugreek seeds (Menthulu) 1/4 tsp,
Red Chillies 4
Jeera 1/4 tsp
Hing couple pinches
Coconut Powder 1 cup
Curry Leaves handful
Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

Note - While preparing sambar add 1/4 tsp mirchi powder and 2 green chillies

6. Unknown Source :
Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Chana dal 2 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
Pepper 1 tsp
Jeera 1 tsp
Red chillies 10

Dry roast and powder all of them upon cooling.

Sambar Powder

7. From my cousin Sowmya :
Coriander Seeds 1.5 cups
Red Chilli 3 cups
Methi Seeds 4 Tbsp
Jeera 2 Tbsp
Chana Dal 4 Tbsp
Urad Dal 4 Tbsp
Coconut Powder 1 cup

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling. 

8. Typical Tamilian Sambar Powder
Red Chillies 4 cups (4-5)
Coriander seeds 2 cups (2 Tbsp)
Chana Dal - 1/2 cup (1 tsp)
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup (1 tsp)
Fenugeek Seeds - 1 tsp (a pinch)

Use the measurement in the parentheses for sambar meant for 6-8 people.
Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.

9. From my friend Girija
Coriander Seeds 1 cup
Chana Dal 1 cup
Jeera 1 Tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/8 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/8 tsp
Red Chillies 15
Coconut 3 tsp
Pepper 10

Dry roast each of them separately and powder them upon cooling.
Preparation Time about 10-15 min

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Pav Bhaji Masala

Like a typical blogger, I also have some recipes which have been written down a few years back and stored away in a 'treasure chest'. Needless to say - out of sight, out of mind, right? I unearthed my treasure chest during a typical 'Spring Cleaning' a few weeks back. It gives a nice feeling to see some nostalgic pictures, mementos and other pieces of interest once in a while.

So when Srivalli announced the themes for BM #18, I was thrilled to find that she had included a theme for kitchen basics which make life easy. 
So for Day 1 week 3 of BM #18, here is the main masala which goes into the ever popular Pav Bhaji.

Ingredients - 

Coriander Seeds / Dhania 4 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds / Jeera 2 Tbsp
Pepper Corns 2 Tbsp
Cinnamon 4 inch piece
Cloves 1 Tbsp
Black Cardamom seeds 1 tsp
Fennel seeds / Sonf 2 tsp
Dry Red Chillies 8-10 (depending on the spice level needed)
Turmeric 1 tsp
Amchur Powder / Dry Mango Powder 2 Tbsp

Pav Bhaji Masala

Method Of Preparation -

Dry roast all the ingredients except turmeric and amchur powder separately until each of them give out a nice aroma.

Let them cool and powder them together adding the amchur powder and turmeric.

Mix well and store in an air tight container for further use.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM #18.    

Preparation Time 20 min
Makes 3/4 cup

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pati Shapta

This edition of Indian Cooking Challenge is a traditional Bengali sweet which is made for the festival of Sankranthi. This is typically a rice-flour dosa/crepe with a sweet khoya-coconut filling and a sweet milk topping.
I have scaled down the measurement to make a smaller batch  and we found it to be very filling and delightful. This would definitely make a great party dessert.

Recipe Source - Here
Ingredients - 
For The Crepes - 
All Purpose Flour 1/2 cup
Wheat Flour 1/2 cup
Sooji / Semolina 3 Tbsp
Rice Flour 1 Tbsp
Salt a pinch
Milk 1 1/4 cup 
For The Filling - 
Khoya 5 Tbsp
Coconut 1/2 cup (I used dry coconut powder - fresh recommended)
Sugar 1/2 cup
For the Topping - 
Sweetened Condensed milk recommended but I used
Khoya 3 Tbsp 
Milk 3 Tbsp
Sugar 2 Tbsp

Pati Shapta

Method Of Preparation -
To Prepare the Filling - 
Mix the khoya, coconut and sugar and microwave for 4-5 min in 45 sec intervals until the result is semi powdery and sticky filling. 

Traditionally on a stove top it might take about 20-30 min to achieve this consistency.
To Prepare the Topping - 
Blend the ingredients in a mixer/blender and boil for a couple minutes and set aside.
To Prepare the crepes and assembly - 
In a mixing bowl, add the maida, wheat flour, sooji, rice flour and salt. 

Add milk gradually and mix it with your hand to get a lump free batter. The batter needs to be a little thinner than pan cake batter.

On a heated griddle/tawa, pour a ladle full of batter and spread it quickly to make a small, thin dosa/pancake.

Cook on both sides until they are golden brown. Take about 1 1/2 Tbsp of filling and fill it lengthwise in the center of the crepe and fold the edges.

Remove onto a serving plate and make as many crepes as needed.

While serving drizzle the topping as needed and dig in!!

Preparation Time 45 min
Makes 8

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Crispy Peppery Moong Dal

This month's Magic Mingle was announced with the ingredients Moong Dal and Pepper. My first thoughts were of making some variety of Pongal. But later on I was thinking that some snack would be a good choice for the kids.

I usually get the ready made Crispy Moong Dal from the local Indian stores for the kids to munch on. This time around I thought to make it a little healthy for them to enjoy and tried it the microwave way! They just disappeared in a flash!

Ingredients - 

Moong Dal 1/4 cup
Salt as needed
Pepper as needed
Oil 1/2 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

Wash and soak the moong dal for about 1-2 hours. Drain and air dry for a few minutes.

In a microwave safe bowl (preferably ceramic/glass) spray oil and moong dal. Mix well so the moong dal is coated with oil.

Microwave it on high for 6-7 minutes in 1 minute intervals stirring in between. Remove from the microwave when the dal turns crispy and changes color to light golden brown.

Sprinkle salt and pepper and enjoy !

Sending them to Srivalli's MEC hosted by Smitha, Sangee's 'Show me your hits - lentils and legumes' hosted by Nalini and  Kids Delight hosted by Vardhini .

Preparation Time 10 min + Soaking Time 2 hrs
Makes 1/4 cup

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Corn-Carrot Stir Fry

For the final day of this week of BM #18, I chose to blog about this simple stir fry which is close to my heart as it has been made by my 10 yr old all by herself. In fact the picture also has been clicked by her upon my direction.

Since it caters to the needs of kids, the spice level is also very low. While the kids ate it with rice, mom and dad loved it as a salad!!
The vegetables were all taken from the freezer while she painstakingly chopped a small onion by herself. She alters the spices she uses each time she makes this, experimenting on all the different flavors. :)

Ingredients - 

Carrot cubed 1/2 cup
Corn 1/4 cup
Peas 2 Tbsp
Onion chopped 1/4 cup
Salt as needed
Turmeric a pinch
Pepper as needed
Chaat Masala as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds a pinch)

Method Of Preparation -

Boil the vegetables except the onions separately either on stove top or in a microwave and set aside.

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop, saute the onions until they are translucent.

Add the remaining vegetables and sprinkle salt, turmeric, pepper and chaat masala.

Serve hot with rice along with chutney and dal!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM #18.   

Preparation Time 10 min 
Serves 2 

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Posted by Harini R on Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dum Gobi

For today's dry saute, I chose to go with this Dum Gobi which I picked up from Tadka Masala, my partner in Blog Hop Wednesdays
The method of cooking this curry intrigued me into trying it. It was pretty good and I loved the taste of ajwain in this curry. So for Day 2 of this edition of BM #18, here is the recipe..

Ingredients -

Cauliflower florets 2 cups
Carrots sliced 1/2 cup
Peas handful (I used frozen peas)
Onions chopped 1/4 cup
Ginger grated 1/2 tsp
Yogurt 1/4 cup
Salt as needed
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp 
Coriander-Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Ajwain 1/4 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, Cloves 3-4, Cinnamon 1 inch pieces 2)

Dum Gobi

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the cumin seeds crackle, saute chopped onions until they are translucent.

Add ginger and stir for a few seconds. Add yogurt, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder and let the flavors blend in.

Add the vegetables and mix well. Cover with a heavy lid so that the steam is trapped in. I put a tight fitting lid and placed another utensil filled with water.

Reduce the heat and let the vegetables cook for about 10-12 min.

Sprinkle garam masala and cook for a minute or two until the curry gets dry. Take care to see that the cauliflower florets don't get mushy. We want them to have a slight crunch.

Remove from fire and serve it as a side along with rice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM #18. 

Preparation Time 25 min
Serves 2-3

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Beans-Chana Dal Stir Fry

For this edition of BM # 18, I have chosen to post some dry saute/side dishes for the next 3 days.

We, at home are all fans of Green beans. We love them in any form. So I tried this version with soaked chana dal and it was a delightful fry. In fact I ate it like a salad as I had reduced the spice level for the kids!

Ingredients - 

Green Beans stringed and chopped 2-3 cups
Chana Dal 1/4 cup soaked for 2 hours
Onions finely chopped 1/4 cup
Salt as needed
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp)
To Grind -
Coconut 2 Tbsp
Sesame seeds , roasted 1 Tbsp 
Dry Red Chillies 2-3
Coriander leaves few

Beans-Chana Dal Stir Fry

Method Of Preparation -

Boil/Steam the green beans separately either on the stove top or in the microwave.

Grind the ingredients listed under 'To Grind' and set aside.

In a heated kadai/wok, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop, saute the onions until they are translucent.

Add the soaked and drained chana dal. Stir fry for a couple minutes.

Sprinkle turmeric and add the boiled/steamed beans. Stir fry 
adding the ground masala.

Add salt as needed and remove from fire.

Serve as a side dish along with rice and Dal/Sambar.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM #18.

Preparation Time 25 min
Serves 3-4

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The round-up of 'Veggie /Fruit A Month - Blueberry' is here. I thank Priya for giving me the opportunity to host the event. 

Thanks to my fellow bloggers who have come up with some unique recipes using blueberries. However I haven't been able to contribute many entries this time around.

Please go through all the entries at leisure and enjoy the virtual treats!!

They are listed in the order I received them.

Harini Shrinivas sends

Swathi Iyer sends 

Priya of Priya's Versatile Recipes sends 

Kalinda Piper of WheatFreeMeatFree sends 

Padma of Plantainleaf sends 

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, July 8, 2012
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