Friday, June 4, 2010

Whole Wheat Cashew and Raisin Biscotti!




Biscotti's are very popular in Italy. There are many versions of making a Biscotti. This Biscotti recipe was derived from Whole-Wheat Walnut Raisin Biscotti. I have recreated the same into a different version. I have substituted Cashews for Almonds and have used egg substitute instead of using 2 large eggs. The other ingredients are very much alike. Biscotti's have to be baked twice. Once the loaf has to be baked as a whole. The second baking is after slicing the loaf and baking the pieces to get a crusty and a crispy Biscotti.I have also given them a glaze which is a mixture of milk,icing sugar and Ground cinnamon. This is how I made these easy and tasty Biscotti's!

Ingredients:

3/4th cup of Whole Wheat flour
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup California Raisins
1/2 cup Cashews
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Egg Substitute (Equivalent to 2 eggs):

2 tsp Flaxseed Powder
1/2 cup of Water

Source: Madhuram's Eggless Cooking

For the Glaze:

1 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp milk

Method:

  • Sift the flour and add the other dry ingredients and whisk well.
  • Add the Cashews and Raisins and mix.
  • In a different bowl, mix 2 tsp of flaxseed powder and 1/2 cup of water and the vanilla extract.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Add milk in small increments to get the consistency of a dough.
  • Make a loaf of the dough in the dimensions that you are comfortable. I made a 5" X 8" loaf.
  • Place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with foil/ parchment paper.
  • Bake  the loaf in the oven at 3500  F for 20 minutes.
  • Once done, remove from the oven.
  • Let it cool for some time.
  • Take a sharp serrated knife and cut the loaf into thin slices diagonally.
  • Arrange the slices on the baking tray.
  • Prepare a glaze of icing sugar and ground cinnamon and apply on the slices.
  • Place the slices back in the oven at 3000 F for 20 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven,cool them and store them in an air-tight container.
Biscotti's can be enjoyed with tea or coffee, breakfast or evening snack....Anytime...Enjoy!!


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Raita

Raita is a side dish made from Yogurt and a few vegetables. It is used as an accompaniment to the Rice Dishes and is very popularly used in India. It is a very simple recipe. There are many varieties to this dish. This is my version of a tasty and healthy Raita.

Ingredients:

1 cup Yogurt
1/2 cup Buttermilk
2 Green Chillies (Finely Chopped)
1 Medium-sized onion (Finely chopped)
1 Medium-sized tomato (Finely Chopped)
1 small Carrot grated
1 Cucumber (Finely Chopped)
1 tsp Black Salt
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
Salt to taste

Method

  • In a mixing bowl, blend together the Yogurt and the Buttermilk to a smooth and a fine liquid.
  • To this add all the chopped veggies: Onions, Tomatoes, Green Chillies,Cucumber and Carrots.
  • Mix these will until it is well incorporated and coated with the Yogurt liquid.
  • Then add the Black Salt and the Cumin Powder.
  • Add Salt to taste and mix all the ingredients well.
  • Garnish with Cilantro.
  • Raita is ready to be served.
(You can use Chat Masala, if you want an added flavor to this Raita)

Enjoy your Raita as it is or with a Rice Dish.

Pudina Rice

This time I am back again with a rice recipe. This is one of my favorite rice dishes and I dedicate this dish to my Late friend. Latha Akka. Whenever I prepare this dish, her memories just flash back. We miss you Latha Akka! Latha Akka would have been one of the finest bloggers in the food/ cooking category, if she would have been with us by now. She was such an amazing person by heart and art. This recipe was passed on from her to my Mom and from my Mom to me. And here are all what you need to prepare this yummy rice dish!!

Ingredients:

2 cups of Basmati Rice
1 cup of Mint leaves /Pudina
1" stick of cinnamon
2-3 Bay leaves
4 cloves
4 Whole Green Cardamom
1-2 Star Anise
1 floret Mace/ Jawetri
7-8 Cashews
7-8 Pistachios
3-4 Green Chillies
1/2 cup of Grated/ Shredded coconut
2 tbsp of butter
Salt to taste


Method:

For the Mint Chutney:

  • In a shallow frying pan, melt about 1/4 tbsp of butter. 
  • To this add the green chillies, mint leaves and the shredded/ grated coconut. 
  • Roast all the ingredients well on low flame until the mint leaves wilt well.
  • Once done, remove from the pan.
  • After the mixture has cooled, blend it will in a blender and grind it to a coarse paste.
For the Rice:
  • Soak 2 cups of rice in the electric rice cooker or a normal pressure cooker for about 30 minutes.
  • Melt the remaining butter in the pan.
  • To this, add all the dry spices: cinnamon, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom (seeds with the skin slit), star anise, mace, pistachios and the cashews.
  • Roast for about a minute or two on medium heat. Then add the ground paste and fry well.
  • Add salt to this and turn off the heat.
  • Add this mixture to the soaked rice and cook until done. (For pressure cooker let 2 whistles. Rice will be done quickly as it was soaked for 30 minutes).
  • Serve hot with Raita.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Tomato Gojju

Tomato Gojju is a very popular side dish for Chapathi's, Dosas and some Rice varieties. Tomato Gojju is called so in Karnataka and Thakkali Gothsu is the name for the dish in Tamil. The same Gojju can be mixed with white rice to make Tomato Rice / Baath. This forms the base for Tomato Rice/Tomato Baath. It tastes delicious when served as a side dish with Venn Pongal/ Khara Pongal. This is one of the exclusive recipes from my Mother's kitchen and an all time favorite at my Mom's place.This is how you make it.




Ingredients:

3 medium sized tomatoes (Finely chopped)
2 medium sized onions (Finely chopped)
3-4 green chillies (Finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (Minced or chopped)




1 teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1 teaspoon of red chili powder (optional)
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 tablespoon of finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, Urad Dal and Chana Dal
Salt to taste
Oil for seasoning (About a table spoon)


Method:

For the Gojju Powder:


  • In a small fry pan, roast the Cumin seeds and the Fenugreek seeds together until the aroma from both the spices are released. 
  • Grind it into a slightly coarse powder and keep it aside.
For the Gojju :
  • Take a deep pan and add about a tablespoon of oil.
  • Once the oil is hot add Mustard seeds, Urad Dal, Chana Dal and curry leaves.
  • After the mustard seeds crackle, add the chopped onions and green chillies.

  • Then add the garlic and mix well. Garlic is added after onions and green chillies to prevent it from burning.
  • Sauté them until translucent.Then add the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  • Now add the turmeric powder, salt and red chili powder. Along with all these add the ground Fenugreek and Cumin powder. 
  • Mix all the ingredients well. Cover and cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat.
  • Mix the contents in between and cook for an additional 5-10minutes.
  • Garnish with cilantro.Tomato Gojju is ready to serve.

Enjoy eating and I will be back with a new recipe soon!!

Notes:

  • Red Chilli powder is for the extra red color. It can be adjusted to taste and is optional since we already added green chillies.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Back From Hibernation

Hi all. I am back after a long time. This last semester was very tough. Had a lot of stress upon me. Living away from home is one of the major drawback. Personal interests cannot be carried out the way it has to be when you are living away from home. Blogging took a back-seat while I was at school last semester. Well!! I am happy that I am done with school for the next two months. Have to enjoy being at home and enjoy my trip to my home country-India this month. I am so very looking forward to the trip :)

Blogging came into being quite a few years back. I have many friends who have been very active bloggers ever since the inception of blogging. I have always looked at their blogs, enjoyed reading them and admired them for having been so creative and being able to dedicate much time into it. Then got busy with work and life took a new twist. When I got married and came into the US about 18 months back, I was just at home and idle. Blogging never occurred to me at that time when I was at home (I was just enjoying my newly married life and roaming places). If it had, Things would have definitely been different. Anyways!

Gradually I started school and got very busy with my studies. Had not time for any extra-curricular activities. One day, just browsing through the internet for some good recipes, I stumbled upon a very good Indian vegetarian food blog. That blog led me into another and another and the list went endless. It was then that I realized that the chain was so huge and the passion for cooking among various people was humongous. It was then that new ideas got into me..

 Of late I developed this interest in blogging. Creating this blog was not at all easy for me. I had to think much and put in a lot of time and gain good will power to create this blog. There were constant questions going on in my mind while creating this blog. Will I be able to do justice? Will I be able to dedicate the time I need to give this? My self-confidence was put to test. But then I decided that I will do what I am capable of. Cooking has been my passion and I will give it my best shot. It is something that I do to bust my stress. There have been a lot of bloggers lately who have been doing a remarkable job. Kudos to them all..

I have to get back to active blogging soon and I will do so shortly. Since I am a novice at this, I need some time to get started. Definitely!! I will keep trying and give my best to make this site a useful and an active one. I will keep my blog very simple and informative. Hope my readers will enjoy reading my blog and encourage me to perform well. Hope to be back soon with some good and new recipes. Happy Cooking!!