Monday, July 27, 2009

Eggless Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

After my successful attempt of baking with whole wheat flour with Plum Baskets I wanted to try my hands on muffins and with berries in the season I immediately set my mind on blueberries. So my search started for a perfect recipe, there are thousands of eggless and vegan muffin recipes, majority of them call for egg substitutes like tofu, yogurt, flax seeds or applesauce. To my horror I didnt have any of these at home, as i have mentioned before I am trying to empty my pantry and not buying new things as i will be shifting to a new place. While going through my reader I saw the Classic Blueberry Muffins by Happy HomeBaker and thought my prayers were answered. I have been following HappyHomeBaking blog from quite sometime now and I have tried few of her recipes, they always turn out perfect! I twisted and tweaked the recipe to make it eggless and they came out perfect. These were sooooo good, I didnt miss the eggs in the muffins at all. They were light and fluffy, well risen and baked beautifully! A glass of cold milk with warm muffins is perfect way to start your day! Oh these are so easy you dont even require a hand mixer, just a spatula is enough :) Sending these to Madhuram's Whole Grain Eggless Baking event.
Ingredients: 2 cups white whole wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour is also fine) 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp baking soda 2 tsp baking powder 3/4 cup sugar (170 gms) 1/2 cup milk (125 ml) 75 ml vegetable oil (i used sunflower oil) 2 tsp vanilla essence 1 cup fresh blueberries (125 gms) Procedure:
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degress C, line 12 muffin molds with wax paper.
  • Wash blueberries and pat them dry with a kitchen towl. Add 1tbsp of flour and coat them well. Set aside.
  • Sieve together whole wheat flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  • In a seperate bowl whisk together oil, sugar, milk and vanilla essence.
  • Make a well in between the flour mixture and slowly add in the liquid mixture, fold lightly using spatula. DONOT over mix .
  • Now add in the flour coated blueberries and fold in lightly.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin pans, filling upto 3/4 full. Bake them fo 20 to 30 mins, until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove and serve them warm with a cold glass of milk or ice cream!
Note: The batter should not be runny but thick consistency, if its too dry add a tsp of milk.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Parisian Apple Tarts for Taste and Create and an Award

Dear Foodies,
This is the first time I have participated in Taste & Create, a lovely event started by Nicole of For the Love of Food. Every month you are paired with a fellow food blogger and you need to create a dish from their blog. Its a great way to meet new bloggers in the blogosphere and to share your creations! I was paired with very talented Marthe of CulinairyDelights. Like me she too loves to bake and has wonderful collection of recipes, do check out her blog here. I wanted to make something fruity especially with apples, its been a long time since i used apples in my baking. Also I had lots of apples stuffed in my fridge which i needed to finish off before next week as i'll be shifting to a new home :) Initially I had chosen Apple Cranberry Phyllo Turnovers but I couldnt find phyllo sheets here and I wanted to stick to the recipe as much as possible. So i chose these simple and delicious Parisian Apple Tarts! These tarts are simply irresistible, just 4 main ingredients and they are ready in no time. I made a very small batch of tarts, the below recipe will give 3 medium tarts.
Anshika of Cooking Pleasures and Anita of Leave No Room for Dessert have nominated me for "Kreativ Blogger Award". Thank you so much both of you, I love to read your blogs and I am glad you like mine too :)
The Kreativ Blogger award comes with some rules:- 1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated
So onto the seven things you may (or may not) find interesting about me:-
1. I am allergic to garlic, I dont know if you have not noticed this yet but in none of my recipes you'll find usage of garlic.
2. I love baking , especially cakes, it has been my passion ever since i started few yrs back. Would love to learn advanced cake decorating techniques some day.
3. Light or Sky Blue is my favorite color, infact there was a time when my wardrobe was full of light blue colored clothes, anything i see in light blue i tend to buy immediately until my mom threatened to throw my things away that i stopped :) Still it is my fav color and will always remain, plus makes me look good :)))
4. I dislike ripe Mangoes or rather i should say I am not fond of them...yeah i know sounds stupid and i think i am the only one who is not fond of mangoes :( the only mango dessert i really liked was my very own Mango Pannacotta with caramelized mangoes and hazelnuts and i do love raw mangoes especially sprinkled with salt and chilli powder :)
5. My all time favorite food is Masala Papads :)) There was a time when i didnt go to a restuarant because they didnt serve good masala papads , i can eat them for lunch, dinner or even breakfasts :) Here comes a real kicker, once i ordered for a masala papad right after having my dessert, the waiter serving us thought i m nuts and till now he gives me a weird look :)))
6. I am completely a chaat person, I am sure I have mentioned this before too. I love chaats to such an extent that once i celebrated my bday dinner on a roadside chaat stall..ah it was so much of fun with dahi puri and kalakhatta gola :))
7. I am toooooo much of a diet conscious person, hence i avoid oily, fried (though i love it) and cheesy stuff.

And the seven bloggers whom I am nominating for this award (in no particular order) are:-

1. A2ZVegetarianCuisine - Sadhna & Muskaan 2. HealthNut - Yasmeen 3. PlantainLeaf - Rekha 4. HomeCookReceipes - Lavi 5. 4th Sense Samayal - Nithya 6. Dishes from My Kitchen - Pavithra 7. My Experience with Cooking - Pooja

Pls accept the award and pass on the kreativity!

Ingredients: 1-2 pastry puff sheets 1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped finely 1-2 tbsp brown sugar for sprinkling 2 tsp softened butter Cinnamon powder (optional)


  • Preheat the oven at 200 degrees C.
  • Roll out the pastry puff into 1/4 inch thick circles of your desired size.
  • Leaving 1 inch space from the corners, spread the finely chopped apples.
  • Fold in the sides over lapping each other.
  • Generously drizzle brown sugar and butter on the apples.
  • Bake them for 20 to 25 mins until lightly browned.
  • Serve them warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I am back with Mini Plum Baskets.....My 50th Post

Hi Everyone, I am back with my 50th Post..yuhuuuuuuu..never thought I'll reach this far. Thank you everyone for your support and encouragement shown in past few months, love you all!!!
I wanted to post something sweet for my 50th post hence I made these cute looking tarts with plums. To be honest I wasnt fond of plums until few days back when i tasted the most sweetest and juicy plums ever. I made these mini baskets using whole wheat pastry flour and semolina, adding semolina makes them extra crispy and crunchy. You can choose any other filling of your choice, just make sure that the filling is not too watery or else it may take a lot of time to bake and also the tarts may become soft and not remain crispy. These are wonderful and absolutely guilt free tarts which are sure to make you drool!
I was shocked when I checked my reader this morning with 300+ posts from my dear blogger pals, frankly I have never missed anything so much as I have missed visiting and reading your posts, blogging now has become a part of my life and i owe this to all my friends who have showered their love on me! I would like to thank each and everyone of you with my whole heart! I promise to visit you all soon, it might take few days to go through all the post so pls forgive me if I am a bit late!
Sending these to BSI:Plum hosted by Lk of Healthy Delicious and also to Madhuram's Whole Wheat Eggless Baking event
Ingredients: (adapted from Kitchen UnPlugged by Gattina) For tarts: 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1/2 cup semilona 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 3 tbsp cold butter cut into pieces 2-3 tbsp cold milk as required For Filling: 2 plum chopped finely 1 tbsp vanilla sugar 1 tbsp raisins 1 tbsp chocolate chips 1 tsp finely chopped pistachios 1 tbsp almond meal Procedure:
  • Mix wheat flour, semilona, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut in the cold butter and mix with pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Now add in milk little at a time to make dough. Chill the dough for minimum 2 hours.
  • For the filling, mix ala the ingredients together and keep it aside.
  • Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness and using a cookie cutter or a glass cut round pieces and place them in greased muffin pans making cups.
  • Fill the baskets with a tbsp of the plum filling, sprinkle some chocolate chips on top.
  • With the remaining dough cut small thin strips and arrange them as basket handles, use little milk or water to stick them to the sides.
  • Bake these in preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 20 to 25 mins until golden brown.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Click Event.....Bicolor and a small break!!

Dear Foodies,
I am taking a very very small break from blogging as my parents are visiting me for few days and I am busy spending some quality time with them. Its been more than 7 months i last met them so you can understand how much i need to catch up :)) I am also taking them around switzerland, and oh boy its fun to see our parents turn kids :) everything here seems so new and exciting for them!! This happiness is priceless!! So dear friends i may not be able to post new dishes and also visit your blogs regulary, though i will try to schedule some post in between, i promise i to catch up asap!
My mom got me sooooo many goodies from india, she herself is a complete foodie and loves to try out different cuisines, so now you know from where i get my interest in cooking, yes my mom! As you all know my love for snacks and chaats, my mom got me all kinds of snack item i was craving for from past one year! She got me banana chips both salted and spicy, kachoris, bhakarwadis, sev, puris, spicy chana daal, salted moong dal, khakhras, aam papads, my favorite chocolate wafer sticks and TANG....yessss its one of my favorite drink, i used to have it all the time at home, perfect for summers! She also got me a big packet of dates (khajoor) and imli (tamarind). Methi theplas are by default, being gujarati we always always take methi theplas whenever we go out for a trip, it has many advantages, they are healthy and nutritious, extremely tasty and they dont spoil for weeks! I can live on methi theplas for weeks and i love theplas made by my mom, they are the BEST and my friends would probably kill for these :) Arnt mom and dad the BEST?
Few days back i had made Rava Laddoos for Indian Cooking Challenge during which I captured the below click. It looks perfect for the monthly photography event by Jugalbandi where the current theme is Click: Bi Color. The above click is off to the Click event. See you all soon with some mouth watering recipes!

Radish and Tomato Rasam....My Style

After those scrumptous tarts, today I present my comfort food Rasam. I am no expert on rasam, rasam was hardly made in my house. I know it sounds way too off but coming from a gujarati family, the only south indian dishes familiar to me were idlis and dosas. My dad is a very big fan of rasam, there is a small Udipi restuarant near my dad's office where he is a frequent visitor. He often used to tell how he enjoyed sambhar and rasam there, though i think once my mom did try her hands on rasam but as a kid i seriously wasnt drawn into having it and now how i regret this! There can be nothing more satisfying than rasam with steaming rice ah....grrrrr I have learnt the hard way!!! Rasam now has become regular in my house, though i havent experimented much with it, until yesterday when i saw a big bunch of radish which i had bought to make some parathas and ended up making some delicious radish rasam. This rasam is quite easy and simple to make as i have used the ready made rasam powder here, you can also use the homemade one. The recipe below serves 4 but if you love it as i did it will serve only 2 :) Ingredients: 1 bunch of red radish, sliced, without greens 3 medium tomatoes finely chopped 1 lemon size taramind soaked in water 2 tsp oil 1 tsp cummin seeds 1 tsp mustard seeds 1 tsp cumin powder 1 tbsp rasam powder (I used MTR) 1 tsp sugar 8-10 curry leaves Salt to taste 2 1/2 cups of water 1 tsp lemon juice (optional) 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • Heat oil in a pan, add in cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • As the seeds start to splutter add in sliced radish and tomatoes and saute for 2 mins.
  • Now add in the water, sugar, salt, rasam powder, tamarind and cumin powder.
  • Cook this mixture for 15 to 20 mins on slow medium heat.
  • The flavors need to be absorbed by radish and the masalas need to get cooked properly.
  • If you dont get desired tangyness than add a tsp of lemon juice but this is purely optional.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve immediately with rice.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Melon Feta Cheese Tarts, a touching experience and Awards!!

I know this sounds weird but trust me on this, melon with feta cheese is one of the most delicious combinations i have ever tasted! Last weekend I had a dinner invitation by one of my very close colleague, she lives in germany and i have known her from past 3 yrs Over the period of time we became good friends and a day hasnt passed without speaking to her! This was the first time I visited her place and it was really touching experience. As I am a veggie with exception of eggs in bakes, they had prepared the whole meal completely vegetarian just for me! I was so touched! An electronic Raclette Grill or Raclette Maker was placed in the middle of the dinner table with a huge bowl of mini boiled potatoes on top of it. A variety of fresh and pickled veggies, pulses and fruits were spread across the table like sweet corns, zucchini, radish, baby corns, chickpeas, melon, bell peppers, cucumbers etc. Traditionally raclette cheese is melted over fire and is accompanied by boiled mashed potatoes. Meal is incomplete without a wine, we had Red wine, this is the first time I have had wine more than a tsp, though I am not fond of the taste but suprisingly it went very well with hot melted cheese! I think it just takes sometime for the our taste palletes to get adjusted to the taste of wine! After dinner we went for a walk, my colleague lives near Stein, its a small town near Lorrach. A beautiful and calm place with lots of greenery around. I saw many different types of flowers and fruit trees like cherries, figs, chestnuts etc. Can you imagine living in a place where you can pluck fresh fruits right from the trees? a place where every step you take you get the scents of roses and lavendars! This was like my dream town, small, serene and beautiful! After the long walk, tea and croissants were waiting for us! I loved the croissants filled with red currants and cherry jam and guess what they were eggless!! You definately cannot make out the difference, i couldnt resist my self and immediately requested for the recipe. As soon as i get it i am making them and posting it! I made these mini tartlets with musk melon, spring onions and crumbled feta cheese. Hot cheese with sweet melon tasted out of this world. I have used ready made puff pastry sheet and cut round circles using a glass, and baked them in muffin pans. You can also make these using tart pans. These mini tarts are off to BSI:Feta currently being hosted by Zoe.
Its been raining awards for me!! Ivy from Greek hospitality, Jyoti from Food Seasons, Chaklere from Chak Le Re and Vidya from Humming in the kitchen have passed "One Lovely Blog Award" to me, i really wish to thank you all for support and encouragement ! I love your blogs too! Passing this award to 5 or 10 or even 20 is not enough for me, so i would love to pass this on to all my blog pals! Keep rocking gals!
Ingredients: 1 pastry puff sheet thawed 100 gms feta cheese crumbled 2 spring onions finely chopped 1 cup musk melon finely chopped Pepper to taste Procedure:
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
  • Grease muffin pans lightly, i used olive oil for greasing.
  • Using a glass or cutter, cut round pieces from the pastry sheet and place them in the muffin pan, making small cups.
  • Add in musk melons and spring onions. Top it up with crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add some freshly grounded pepper and bake these for 30 to 35 mins until the pastry puffs are lightly browned.
  • Serve them hot!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Broccoli Pulav

Last few days have been crazy, tight schedules, meetings and loads of work had kept me busy and away from blogging. This will go on for a while but i'll try and post few recipes weekly. Few days back I made this amazingly easy and delicious broccoli pulav. I wasnt familiar with Broccoli until few years back. For a common man in india broccoli is hardly used in their daily diets, even in a city like Bombay broccoli's are considered to be rich man's food as they are very expensive, although this scenario has changed over a period of time. As we all know broccoli is member of cabbage family and closely related to cauliflower. It was originated in Italy, "Broccolo" its italian name means "cabbage sprout". Did you know Broccoli fights against various cancers like ovarian cancer, blaader cancer and when teamed up with tomatoes it helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. It also helps to detoxification of body cells, helps in sun damaged skin and also makes bones stronger. You can find the detailed health benefits here. Broccoli by itself does not taste that good, personally i like my broccoli with spices. The recipe below serves two and I would suggest to use fresh broccoli florets.
I big broccoli , chopped into small florets
1 cup rice washed and soaked for 30 mins
1 bunch of spring onions finely chopped
2 green chillies slit
1 tsp ghee
1 bay leaf
3 cardamon (elaichi) roughy crushed
1 small cinnamon stick
4-5 whole peppercorns
1/2 tsp pulav or biryani masala
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
Salt to taste
2 cups warm water
  • Heat a tsp of ghee in a vessel, add in chillies, peppercorns, cinnamon,bay leaf and cardamon seeds. Saute for few seconds.
  • Now add in the chopped spring onions (keep little aside for garnishing) and broccoli florets and saute for few mins.
  • Season with salt, sugar, pulav or biryani masala and mix well.
  • Add in the soaked rice and water, cover and cook for 15 to 20 mins until rice is cooked.
  • Drizzle some lime juice and garnish with spring onions.
  • Serve hot with plain curd or any raita.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Moroccan Sesame Roasted Potatoes

I have been planning to try moroccan cuisine from the very day Lavi announced but for some or the other reasons i couldnt until last night. I had bookmarked many recipes from RecipeZaar where i found so many interesting morocaan dishes. Finally yesterday night I made these roasted potatoes in moroccan style. Who doesnt like potatoes? I adore them, I love having them roasted, baked, boiled or deep fried. Though i dont prefer them in my curries and gravies. I prefer potatoes mildy spiced with fresh herbs and sometimes with a dash of creamy white sauce!
The recipe I used is adapted from here, i have made few changes to suit my taste. Its simple and easy to make and tastes heavenly, if you are a potatoe lover, do try this, you will be amazed how simple spices can make you drool! I couldnt keep my hands off these at all, i digged in as soon as they came out of the oven.The combination of sesame and harissa paste gave wonderful aroma which filled my kitchen making my head spin!
These are off to Lavi's IAVW-Moroccan event started by Vaishali of HolyCow, sorry for the last minute entry dear! I am also sending these to Think Spice : Sesame guest hosted by Padmajha, mastermind of Sunita and finally to BSI:Potatoes which is currently being hosted at Chez What? Ingredients: 4 Big Potatoes chopped in big pieces 1 tbsp sesame seeds 1 tbsp harissa paste 1 tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp pepper powder or crushed peppers Salt to taste 1 tsp fresh lime juice Note: For Harissa paste i just followed Lavi's recipe which you can find here. Procedure:
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl except lime juice.
  • Keep aside for 10 mins.
  • Line the baking tray with foil paper, grease the foil using little olive oil.
  • Spread the potatoes and bake them for 25 to 30 mins at 200 degree C.
  • Turn the potatoes around and again bake them for 15 mins until lightly browned.
  • Enjoy them hot along with any dip of your choice.