Makhane Ka Kheer

Thanks to the blogosphere, I have been introduced to this wonder seed (if I may say so). Apparently it is very popular in the northern part of India. Upon googling, I came to know that it is a very healthy food to be included in our diet. 

Also it is very popular as part of Vrat Ka Khana. In certain communities, Makhana cooked with some specifications is acceptable during fasting days. This kheer is just the recipe suitable for consumption during the fasting days. At the same time it is a delectable kheer fit for festivals / parties thereby part of BM #34 for day 3 week 4.

We were excited to try this kheer for the first time. My older one did try it and said she liked it but needs to get used to the texture. She asked me to make it once more so she can better appreciate it! 

Sending this to Srivalli's 'Kid's Delight - Festival Sweets' hosted by Sowmya as well.

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Instant Moong Dal Halwa

I have this recipe bookmarked a long time back from Priya's space and it took so long for me to actually get around to make it at home. 

The only difference between Priya's pictures and mine were that mine turned out a darker shade as it looks like the moong dal flour I used is the Whole moong variety while the one Priya used seems like the dehusked moong dal flour.

Aside from the color of the halwa, it was so good and my little one couldn't have enough. My older one didn't like it too much but then I knew she wouldn't like it :). So the rest of us got to finish it off and were left licking our spoons, so to say.

I prepared this to offer as naivedyam and it suited me perfectly. This also fits the bill for day 2 week 4 of BM #34 under festival sweets.
Sending this to Srivalli's 'Kid's Delight - Festival Sweets' hosted by Sowmya as well.

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Instant Kalakand

I was invited to a religious function and I had just a couple of effective hours of notice. I had in my mind that I should make some dessert which suits the occasion. Then I looked through some versions of kalakand which I have in my files and figured out this instant variety which could be made in under 30 min. Luckily I had some home made paneer which I could use.

It turned out that the sweet was a super hit with the little kids who were there at the venue. So I believe that this is a crowd pleaser as well as kid friendly.

So for Day 1 week 4 of BM #34, here is a kid approved sweet suitable for many occasions. Also sending this to Srivalli's 'Kid's Delight - Festival Sweets' hosted by Sowmya

Instant Kalakand

Ingredients - 

Homemade khoya 3/4 cup
Homemade Paneer from 1 ltr milk
Condensed Milk 1/4 cup
Cardamom Powder
Ghee to grease the pan
Pistachios for garnish

Instant Kalakand

Method Of Preparation -

Add all the ingredients in a heated non-stick pan and keep stirring.

After about 8-10 minutes, the mixture will come together as a single mass.

Remove onto a greased pan and let it set for a few minutes. Sprinkle some chopped pistachios.

Cut into desired shapes and refrigerate before serving!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 34.

Preparation Time 20 min
Makes 25 small pieces

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, November 24, 2013

Eggless Apple Cinnamon Cake

This cake has become our new family favorite, thanks to my friend, Shalaka. The version she shared with me was not an eggless one. So I changed it to suit our family. I have baked this cake twice now owing to popularity and each time the results were consistent.

I have changed the Wheat Flour, Maida ratios with no perceivable difference. So feel free to play around with the flours.

I just had a nightmare with the pictures. I accidentally deleted all the pictures from the memory card after uploading it to my system. The system just gave up on me and I lost all the pictures which I had downloaded just then. With lot of trials I finally was able to get back all the pictures using a recovery software. Uff..I tell you it is hard work :).

Check out the cake as part of the CCChallenge edition 2, Nov week 4. 

Eggless Apple Cinnamon Cake

Ingredients - 

Wheat Flour 3/4 cup
All Purpose Flour / Maida 3/4 cup
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
Raisins handful 
Apples, cored, finely chopped 2 cups (2 medium sized apples)
Sugar 3/4 cup (more if preferred)
Oil 1/2 cup
Yogurt 1 cup

Eggless Apple Cinnamon Cake

Method Of Preparation -

Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Prepare a muffin pan with liners in them or a 13 X 7 rectangular (brownie) tray. (I used a mufin pan, 1 loaf pan and a mini loaf pan)

Mix the flours, baking soda, cinnamon powder, raisins, and salt and chopped apples.

In a separate bowl, mix sugar, oil, and yogurt until sugar is dissolved.

Pour the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Divide the batter into the muffin pan, loaf pan and the mini loaf pan.

Remove the muffin pan in about 20 min and the loaf pan in 30 min. But do the check by inserting a tester before taking it out of the oven.

Eggless Apple Cinnamon Cake

Let it cool and let the kids enjoy!

Also sending this cake to Srivalli's Cake Mela.
Preparation Time 15 min + Baking Time 30 min 
Makes 12 muffins, 1 loaf and 1 mini loaf or a 13 X 7 cake

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Oats - Oat Bran Cheela

For Day 3 week 3 of BM #34, here is one uthappam/cheela which is healthy and is suitable for diabetics, weight watchers and the regular folk just as well. The oat bran used in this will help in increasing the fiber content while reducing the net carbohydrate content in the whole mixture.

The idea of adding oat bran was given to me by my friend, Pooja. The resultant uthappam was a softer one and needed careful handling.

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quinoa Rava Dosa (Instant)

For Day 2, week 3 of BM #34, here is a very healthy dosa/crepe which can be made instantly. No soaking, no fermenting, no resting time. I saw these at and had bookmarked a while ago. They made perfect breakfast on a hurried weekday.

Recipe source - here
Ingredients - 

*Quinoa flour 1/2 cup
Rice Flour 1/2 cup
Semolina / Sooji 1/4 cup
Flax Seed Meal 1 Tbsp (or more)
Water 2 cups (approx)
Salt as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafoetida 1/8 tsp, Chopped green chillies 1 tsp)

* In the event of non-availability of quinoa flour, dry roast quinoa until it turns a shade of brown and powder it upon cooling. (That is what I did). If quinoa is roasted it doesn't give out the typical smell and is easy to mask its flavor and derive the benefit of the healthy grain.

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, add the quinoa flour, sooji, salt and rice flour. 

Add 1 1/2 cups of water and mix well so there are no lumps in the batter.

Meanwhile grind the flax seed and mix it in the flour mixture. Also prepare the seasoning by heating the oil and adding mustard, cumin seeds, hing and green chillies.

Add the seasoning to the batter.

Heat the griddle/tawa and take a ladle full of batter and pour it in the center and the batter will spread by itself. Spray oil on the sides (Optional) and let it cook on both sides.

Remove and continue for the rest of the batter.

The batter stays good for the next day as well if stored in the refrigerator.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 34.

Preparation Time 30 min
Makes 8-10

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Rava Uthappam (Instant)

I came to know about this instant uthappam from my friends here. It is supposedly very popular in their homes and so I tried it out. I had a hunch that we would all like it as it is mostly a thicker version of our favorite Rava Dosa.

I used yogurt in the uthappam, but in the absence of yogurt, water can be used as well.

This would form part of BM #34 week 3 day 1.

Rava Uthappam (Instant)

Ingredients - 

Sooji / Bombay Rava / Semolina 1 cup
Yogurt 1 cup
Onion finely chopped 1/2 cup
Tomato finely chopped 1/2 cup
Salt as needed
Green Chillies as needed 
Ginger 1 inch grated
Coriander leaves finely chopped

Rava Uthappam (Instant)

Method Of Preparation -

Mix salt and sooji with yogurt and set aside.

Meanwhile chop the onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves and grate the ginger.

Mix all of them in the sooji-yogurt mixture.

Heat the griddle and pour ladle full of batter and gently spread it in a circular shape.

Spray a few drops of oil and let it cook. After the underside is cooked, flip onto the other side and let it cook.

Remove and continue for the rest of the batter.

Serve them hot with any chutney or gravy curry.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 34.

Preparation Time 25 min
Makes 7-8

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Beetroot  Pulao

Today's post is the result of my husband's homework. You read it right. I asked my husband to look into 8-10 cookbooks and mark the ones he would love to try. It was a funny scene at home with my husband asking me about the vegetables on hand, time at my disposal etc and my older one joining him in adding to the list of to-dos.

Finally I picked up from the list and made this almost one pot meal which was very filling and colorful at the same time. This goes to the CCChallenge for the month of Nov week 3.

Ingredients - 

Basmati Rice 2 cups
Beetroot, grated 1 cup
Potatoes, sliced 1 1/2 cups
Onions, chopped 1 cup
Fresh/Frozen Coconut, grated 1/2 cup
Green Chillies, finely chopped 3-4 (or as needed)
Salt as needed
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Lemon/Lime Juice as needed
Seasoning (Oil / Ghee 3 Tbsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp,)

Method Of Preparation -

Cook the basmati rice so that each grain is separate. While the rice is cooking lets prepare the masala for the pulao.

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

Add grated beetroot to the onions and saute. Meanwhile parboil the potatoes and drain them.

Add those parboiled potatoes to the kadai. Sprinkle the coconut, turmeric and saute until the potatoes are cooked through and turn a little crispy.

Sprinkle salt and the cooked rice as well. Mix well and adjust the salt. Squeeze in the lime. arnish with coriander leaves and fried cashews. Serve hot/warm with Raitha.

Preparation Time 30 min
Serves 4-5

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Chatti Pathiri

After a long absence from Indian Cooking Challenge, I decided to do this month's challenge as it sounded very tempting!

As I understand Chatti Pathiri is a layered pastry with a variety of fillings. Typically they are filled with meat. However, Srivalli zeroed in on a sweet nutty filling which made this one a very special treat at home.

This recipe is adapted from the Malabar Cuisine of Kerala and apparently poppy seeds is the most important ingredient in their cuisine. It definitely adds a very exotic touch to the sweetmeat.

I found that the Chatti Mathiri is very filling because of the obvious ingredients and so make sure that each serving is a small one so as not to load up on calories :). The only thing I would do different is substituting All Purpose Flour with Whole Wheat Flour. I imagine, it would be just as tasty.

Chatti Pathiri

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Apple Cinnamon Milkshake

I am part of a group of bloggers who have decided to honor the memory of the the celebrity chef Tarla Dalal by posting a recipe from her collection.

I have been a follower of Tarlaji for her healthy tips, tricks and recipes. One such is this milkshake. I typically resort to making this milkshake when I am fasting and this gives me the much needed energy to go through the day!

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Posted by Harini R on Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sweet Potato Poori

I had too many things on my mind and was in a state of confusion as to what I should be posting for Day 3. Here again a friend of mine, Shalaka, helped me out and suggested that I should try out these pooris.

They turned out very good and my older one enjoyed them for an after school snack. I made some crunchy for the little one and she was immensely pleased! So my entry for Day 3 Week 2 of BM #34 is here..

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I had initially planned to make Zucchini Halwa for today's post but my older one wanted to bake cookies with Zucchini and so I googled my way through to arrive at my own recipe. She is giving me great ideas these days !

So for Day 2 check out these cookies which are kid approved. My older one helped bake these. I felt that the cookies I made had an after taste of baking soda as I had used 1/2 tsp of it. But my friends and family didn't agree with me. Anyway, the next time, I shall reduce the baking soda and have updated the recipe below as well.

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Sweet Corn Pudding ~ Sweet Corn Kheer

For Week 2 of BM #34, I have chosen to make desserts out of vegetables. So keep an eye out for some interesting desserts with a few chosen vegetables.

Here is a delectable and simple pudding/kheer to please your friends and family for Day 1. I have made this using a microwave but feel free to make it on the stove top.

My husband loved it the first time around but said that the pulp from the corn was a little irritating and so made it the second time by straining the pulp and he was impressed.

Sweet Corn Pudding ~ Sweet Corn Kheer

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, November 10, 2013

Apple Raita

In my last trip to the library, I got a bunch of cookbooks to see if there is anything which catches my fancy. But as it always happens, I never browse through the books as leisurely as I would like to but nonetheless, I picked out a few of them which I thought would be fast, easy and healthy.

Here is one from Madhur Jaffrey's 'From Curries to Kebabs', which was a healthy addition to my lunch. Check it out for CCC#2, Nov week 2 edition. 

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Posted by Harini R on Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chickpea-Banana Salad

For Day 3, Week 1, BM #34, I had a brain storming session with my friends and was given a suggestion to make chaat with banana. Though they gave me the rough idea of what goes into it, I googled and found some interesting ingredients.

Traditionally, Chaat in the Indian sense, has a protein and carbohydrate component. In this, there are chickpeas and fruits and the spices marry very well with them to give a fantastic kick to the taste buds! 

I was also thinking that a sprinkling of green chutney, tamarind-date chutney, beaten yogurt and sev would take it a notch higher. The older one wasn't ready to give up this taste for anything!

My older one virtually fell in love. Though it was a little spicy for her, she loved the spicy flavor and then the bite of banana and pom in every other bite. She gave up saying that I finally made her eat 'banana', her nemesis, so to say. :)

I was a little skeptical about the dad liking it but he had no problems finishing his bowl. :)

Recipe Source - Here
Ingredients - 

Cooking Oil 1 Tbsp
Ginger, grated 1/2 tsp
Garlic grated 1/2 tsp
Green Chillies, finely chopped 1 tsp
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Chaat Masala 1 tsp
Tamarind paste (Thick) 2 tsp
Water 1/4 cup
Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, soaked, drained and boiled 1 cup
Salt as needed
Banana, finely chopped 1 cup (1 medium size banana)
Pomegranate seeds handful
Spring Onions, finely chopped 1 Tbsp
Cucumber, finely chopped 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves, finely chopped or garnish (I skipped it)

Chickpea-Banana Salad

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and saute the ginger, garlic and green chillies for about 30 min. 

Add in the Coriander powder and chaat masala.

Add the tamarind paste and pour in the water and mix well. Sprinkle salt and the boiled chickpeas as well.

Mix well and let the mixture become dry. Remove from fire and set aside to cool.

Upon cooling toss in the chopped spring onions, cucumber, banana and pomegranate seeds.

Sprinkle some chaat masala and garnish with coriander leaevs for a filling salad!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 34.

Preparation Time 20 min
Serves 2

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Banana-Oat Milkshake

I have been trying make this for myself since a long time. Finally I got to making it for BM #34, week 1, day 2.

I was getting tired of drinking the regular banana milkshake in all it variety and so when I saw the banana-oat combo floating around in the blogosphere, I couldn't resist. 

For people who are anti-oats, they can try roasting the oats and using the powdered version in this smoothie. Also cooking the oats prior to using it in this shake is also a great idea.

Ingredients - 

Rolled Oats 1/4 cup
Banana sliced 1 cup (I used a medium sized banana)
Milk 3/4 cup
Cinnamon powder a pinch
Sweetener of your choice (I didn't add any)

Banana-Oat Milkshake

Method Of Preparation -

Blend all the ingredients in a blender/mixer and sip it up to good health!!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 34.

Preparation Time 2-3 min
Serves 1

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Deepavali!!

Trifle Pudding with Banana Muffin Crumbs

Today, on the eve of Diwali, we start the 34th edition of Blogging Marathon. This week I shall be posting 3 recipes using Bananas.

For Day 1 here is a Trifle Pudding for which I used a banana-nutmeg muffin crumbs as a base. It is funny how I came about this recipe. I initially thought to post just the Banana-Nutmeg Muffin for today. But due to unexpected tasty disaster, as I would like to call this, I am posting this pudding instead!

It happened like this. I was on the phone with my sister giving her instructions to bake a yogurt cake. At the same time I was preparing to bake these banana muffins as well. By the time out conversation was over my muffins were out of the oven and when I tasted some crumbs, I realized that I had missed out the most important ingredient, Sugar! So much for giving instructions to my sister!!

Though my kids dipped those sugarless muffins in sugar, strawberry jam and enjoyed those, they had greater fun teasing me. But it didn't feel good to be posting that muffin recipe alone. So to assuage my guilt here is a Trifle pudding which is a combination of my search on the web and my friend, Pooja's inputs.

This pudding has become a raging hit at home as well as at a party I took this to. I agree it is low on sugar and cream but that is just how I made it. Feel free to convert it into a sinful indulgence with loads of whipped cream and ice cream and loads of fruit as well. I wish I had some fruits on hand to make it look and taste better! But well, no regrets on this pudding!!

Ingredients - 
For the Banana-Nutmeg Muffins - 
All Purpose Flour 1 cup
Whole Wheat Flour 1 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup (I forgot to add this)
Baking Powder 2 tsp
Baking Soda 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
Allspice Powder 1/8 tsp
Buttermilk 1 1/4 cup (approximately)
Mashed Banana approx 1/2 cup (I used a small banana)
Cooking Oil 1/3 cup
For the Custard Filling -
Milk 3 1/2 cups (Divided use)
Custard Powder 1/4 cup
Sugar 1/2 cup
For the Jelly Topping - 
Jelly Crystals Raspberry or Cherry flavor 1 pack (I used Gelatin free instant set jelly from the Indian store)
Water 2 cups 
Additional Ingredients - Whipped cream, fruits like kiwi, strawberries, cherries etc

Trifle Pudding with Banana Muffin Crumbs

Method Of Preparation -
To Bake the Banana-Nutmeg Muffins -
In a mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients listed in order from flour to Allspice powder.

In a separate bowl, whisk together mashed banana, oil and buttermilk.

Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and gently mix to form a slightly thick batter.

Preheat the oven to 375 F and line the muffin pan with cupcake liners.

Scoop out the batter and fill 2/3 of the muffin cups.

Bake for 18-20 min and remove. Let them cool.

To make the Custard Pudding - 
Boil 3 1/4 cups of milk in pan. Add sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves.

In a separate bowl, make a smooth mixture with the remaining milk and custard powder.

Gradually mix the custard powder-milk mixture into the boiling milk. Keep stirring until the custard thickens.

Remove from fire and set aside until it cools down to room temperature.

To make the Jelly - 
Boil 2 cups of water, remove from fire. Add the jelly crystals and stir until the crystals dissolve.

Set aside for 10 min to cool.

To assemble the Trifle Pudding - 
Mash the muffins (I added a little sugar and oil as well - remember they were sugarless muffins to start with!) and pat them onto a greased pan (preferably a glass bake-ware so that the layers would be visible making it a visual treat as well).

Bake it for 15 min and remove. Let it cool on the counter top.

After it cools, layer the custard, cling wrap it and set it in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours. (Make sure the custard is at room temperature before layering)

After the custard firms up, get the jelly ready and gently spoon it over the custard. Cling wrap it and refrigerate until the jelly firms up as well.

When it is firm, slice the pudding and serve!

Note - A sponge cake can be used as the bottom layer or even cookie crumbs can be used.
Use whipped cream and/or fruits to add more layers to the pudding!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 34.

Preparation Time 30 min for the miffins, 10 min for the custard , 10 min for the jelly 5-6 hrs setting/cooling time
Makes 12 slices

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Yogurt-Fruit Parfait

For CCC #2, November, week 1, I have chosen to post this delightful parfait which was liked by half of us at home. I had noted this down a long time back from a health magazine at the doctor's office :). 

But then my older one showed me a different version of parfait from a magazine she got from school. So I was inspired to make this for her. She literally got behind me to make it for her. Just the previous day my husband had got home a whole pack of fruity Greek yogurt. 

My older one and I loved this thoroughly while my husband was not too thrilled about it. Neither was my little one. She just picked out all the pomegranate seeds and gave the rest back. So I guess it is a matter of preference. 

I thought I should try with the traditional hung yogurt instead of the Greek Yogurt. Also there is no particular order of ingredients. So feel free to play around with the combinations.
Here is what I used..

Ingredients - 

Greek Yogurt 1 1/2 cups
Pomegranate seeds 
Banana slices as needed
Chopped Nuts (I used cashew and Almonds)
Peaches chopped
Corn Flakes (I used Raisin Bran Crunch cereal)

Yogurt-Fruit Parfait

Method Of Preparation -

Start with a yogurt layer then layer the rest of the ingredients as per your fancy and decorate the top as you will.

Enjoy every scoop of goodness for a filling breakfast or snack!

Preparation Time 10 min
Makes 1-2 servings

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Posted by Harini R on Friday, November 1, 2013
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