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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Vegetable Clear Soup | Veg Clear Soup Recipe


Vegetable Clear soup in the month of April ! Well this post got delayed by 2-3 months. But since one of my reader had requested for the same I had to overlook the timing. Soup is essentially a comforting food which is served during the starting of a meal. It could be classified in  two types such as clear or thick. Depending upon the thickness required agents like starch or cream is used. I find Vegetable Clear Soup a great source to use leftover vegetables and herbs. In winter times vegetable clear soups is the right choice for much needed nutrition and hydrating our body. Preparing such soup is very easy and does not take much time. Depending upon which vegetable flavor one wishes to emphasize, it could be given prominence. 

To make the Vegetable Clear Soup, I like to include all seasonal vegetables. The best part is that without using any kind of oil or butter soup could be tasty and healthy. So friends, if you wish to have a healthy lifestyle without compromising varied food, include vegetable clear soup in your day to day diet. Learn how to make Vegetable clear soup by following this easy recipe.
You can also check few other soup recipes:



Ingredients:
1/3 cup Carrot, chopped
1 big Onion, chopped
1/3 cup Cabbage
handful of French Beans
1/3 cup Mushroom
1/4 cup Tofu
6-7 Broccoli florets
Spring onion
Bell peppers in Red, Green and Yellow
3-4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp Ginger
2 Green chilies, chopped
5 cups of Vegetable stock
2 tsp Vinegar
2 tsp Soya sauce
Salt and Black pepper to taste
2-3 tsp Oil

Method:
Wash, peel and slice all the vegetables, maintaining the same length. 

Heat oil in a pan, add ginger, garlic and green chilies. Stir fry for a second and then start adding vegetables one by one (except cabbage and spring onions). 

Turn on the heat to medium high. Add vegetable stock and boil until the vegetables are slightly tender. Add cabbage, tofu, soya and vinegar sauce. 

Taste and adjust the flavours according to suite your palate. Mix well and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Transfer the soup to the serving bowls. Sprinkle some ground pepper on top and serve hot !


read more.. " Vegetable Clear Soup | Veg Clear Soup Recipe"

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How to Make Salted Chaas / Chaach | Indian Summer Drink


I spent most of childhood in North India, where we used to enjoy almost all the seasons, be it summer, autumn, spring or winter. If summer means more of Milkshakes, Chaas, Jaljeera, Mango shakes, ice-creams and so on then winter had all kind of soups. Any visit to Guajrati tradition of food, salted Chaach or Chaas would be served before a thali meal, same way you will be welcomed by Jaljeera in Rajasthani food joints. Chaas or Buttermilk is an ideal drink for summers. Chaach is basically flavoured with roasted cumin powder along with black salt. Although there are many versions of Chaas like Masala Chaach /Spicy Buttermilk, Pudina Chaas but I prefer this Salted Chaas. The difference between Salted Chaach and Lassi is that, Lassi is made out of thick curd and the thick butter that floats on top is added. Whereas Chaas is more diluted with chilled water. 

 I have been asked many a times from foreign friends that what is a buttermilk? I have answered essentially it’s a byproduct of yogurt separated from milk. This is a must have in Indian summer as it cools down the body and provides much needed calmness to it. Trust me in summer time the heat could dehydrate and sap your body from fluids which could make you seriously drained. Just a glassful of chaas or buttermilk and you are re renergized and good to fight back to the ruthless sun.

 Another benefit of chaas is that it acts as  a digestive in summer and keeps stomach cool and healthy. It not only removes toxins from the body but also cool down the system. You could add garnishing like mint or coriander leaves to make it according to your taste. Can’t think of any drink healthier than this. So engage your children this summer vacation by asking them to prepare this super easy summer drink which is also good for digestion !

Ingredients:
2 cups Yogurt
1 cup Chilled water
1 tsp Roasted Cumin powder
1 tsp Black Salt or adjust it according to your taste
1 tbsp Chopped fresh Coriander leaves
Few Ice cubes

Method:

Combine all the above ingredients in a large bowl except Coriander leaves and with the help of a beater beat until its frothy. Now add in the coriander leaves and ice cubes. Serve in 2 large glasses or small 4 glasses. Garnish with roasted cumin powder and enjoy this refreshing summer drink !

read more.. "How to Make Salted Chaas / Chaach | Indian Summer Drink"

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Shikanji - Indian Lemonade


Summer Vacations are here ! Means that time of the year when we can have Ice-creams, Kulfis, Shikanji, Orange pop sticks without any roktok (stoppage). So today's post is about my favorite refreshing drink which is very famous in North India -Shikanji ! A healthy refreshing drink with an addition of lemon, cumin powder and kala nanak. Outside any Office gate, school or college you are sure to find a thelawala selling Shikanji for mere Rs. 5 ! Easy on your pocket too you see !


Summer is spreading it’s tentacles and to avoid getting dehydrated and refresh your senses there is nothing more effective than a large glass of fresh lemonade or “Shikanji ". Although there are canned and concentrated drinks available in the market, but you are never sure of what ingredients are being applied to enhance it’s taste or prolong it’s packed life. Lime being best source of Vitamin C protects body from various skin related diseases. So go ahead and enjoy a hot summer with ease.
If you want to check few more Summer special drinks then click on Papaya Orange Juice, Pomegranate Virgin Mojito, Honeydew Melon Juice, Fresh Black Grape Juice, Strawberry Milkshake

Ingredients:
2 Lemons, soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes
Soda / Sprite, chilled Or you can use chilled water instead
3 tbsp Sugar OR as required + 3 tbsp Water {Stir until dissolved}
1 tsp Roasted Cumin powder (jeera powder)
1/2 tsp Black Salt
1/4 tsp Ginger powder
Few Mint leaves
A few Ice cubes

Method:
Roll the lemons over your kitchen counter by slightly pressing them down. This actually helps them to release their juice. Slice the lemons and discard the seeds. Squeeze the juice with the help of your hand and keep aside. 

Add the syrup in your pitcher followed by ice cubes, lemon juice, black salt, cumin powder, ginger powder, and add sprite. Give a nice stir, taste and adjust sugar /lemon juice as per your liking. Pour into glasses, garnish it with mint leaves. Serve it chilled by adding a slice of lemon. Enjoy Desi Lemonade !!!

read more.. "Shikanji - Indian Lemonade"

Monday, March 23, 2015

Nutella Mousse With Kiwi | Easy Shot Glass Dessert


I cannot even put into words my love for Nutella ! Today I'm going to share Nutella Mousse with Kiwi Dessert which has saved me in various occasions.
Sometimes I ask myself, do I have any “go to” recipe to please my guests when I'm pressed for time. Being a homebaker I always have Heavy cream in my freezer section and Nutella is again one such important part of my life that I can never run out of it ;-)

 Many a times my Nutella Mousse has come to my rescue. It has provided in World cup terms a solid finisher with a six for the guests so much so that first by the look it is attractive as most of us eat with our eyes first, it is a treat to watch the smiles on the faces of guests.

Ingredients:
1 cup Heavy cream
1/2 cup Nutella
3-4 Kiwis
You can decorate it with strawberries 

Serving tips: You need to chill it for 5-6 hours before serving.

Method: Take a big bowl and beater, pop it in the freezer section for 15 minutes. In between wash the kiwi fruit gently, remove the skin with a sharp knife and cut the kiwis into two halves in the horizontal direction. And then slice the fruit from top to bottom in the same direction. Keep aside. Beat a cup of heavy cream until it is light and fluffy. Add nutella and continue to beat until thoroughly combined. 

Place the Kiwi slices in the shot glasses, fill a pastry bag with Nutella Mousse and fill the glasses. Chill for 5-6 hours. TaDaa ! Your easy shot glass Nutella Mousse is ready !

read more.. " Nutella Mousse With Kiwi | Easy Shot Glass Dessert"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Magnum Launches 'Choco-Cappucciono' in Chennai



Let me confess in the beginning that I like ice creams although not to that extent that I would crave for it after every meal or otherwise. However, when World renowned luxury ice cream brand invited me for a launch and review of their latest offering Choc√≥ Cappuccino, I simply had to attend it. Magnum ice creams, Unilever’s premium ice cream brand launched its fourth variant, Magnum Choco Cappuccino recently in Chennai. Prepared by a heavenly mix  of coffee & chocolate, Magnum Choco-Cappuccino is made up of creamy vanilla ice cream, blended with swirls of smooth cappuccino sauce covered in thick cracking Belgian chocolate coated with sweet crunchy pieces that  provides crunchiness with every bite.

Another motivating factor was coming together of two internationally acclaimed culinary professionals. One was an authority in Barista and coffee based delicacies Mr.Fritz Storm and another was Asia’s best pastry chef Ms. Janice Wong. All of us who attended the meet thank our lucky stars to witness such an awesome display of teamwork between two through professionals to blend together coffee and chocolate in a seamless fashion.

While Mr. Storm, gave us up close demo of the craftwork involved in  coffee and brewing, discussing coffee production, its selection, quality and local coffee while also sharing a few handy tips on how to create the perfect brew at home, Ms. Wong spoke about the goodness of chocolate, in the meantime blending unusual ingredients together to create desserts that are not only unique in taste but also look like work of art.

Throughout the session they kept us in splits while demonstrating their skills in preparing desserts like Mocha Martini, Chocolate Champagne etc. Finally when I had a taste of Choc√≥ Cappuccino, I felt absolute bliss. I can assure that this is the best ice cream that I had in ages. Ending the session on a high note, the masters came together to co-create their own Magnum inspired desserts made by fusing rich Belgian chocolate and aromatic coffee along with different scrumptious toppings. 

 Moreover, special thanks to Ms. Kiran Rao owner of the venue Amethyst gives a Shangri-La like ambiance in midst of all the hustle and bustle of Chennai. Overall I could see the glint in the eyes of the attendees and after the end of the program there was an unanimity that this ice cream would be a hit amongst everyone. Now let the pictures to all the talking.

read more.. "Magnum Launches 'Choco-Cappucciono' in Chennai"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Veg Pulao Recipe | Paneer Pulao



This is perhaps one of the very favorite tiffin item for my son. He loves paneer in any form, be it Paneer paratha, Paneer sandwich, Paneer cutlets or you name it ! Nowadays he comes back from his school and gives me feedback how his friends shared his tiffin box and licked till the last grain. The paneer pulao is very easy to make and one pot meal. 

Ingredients:
1 cup Basmati rice
250 gms Paneer
150 gm French beans, thin strips
1/2 cup Green peas
1-2 Green chilies (optional)
2-3 Green Cardamoms
1 Star Anise 
1 inch Cinnamon stick
Salt and pepper powder according to your taste
Handful of coriander leaves
2 tbsp Sunflower oil + 1tbsp Ghee

Method:
Rinse and soak basmati rice for half an hour. Drain out the excess water and keep aside.
In a non stick kadai add 2 tsp oil, shallow fry paneer pieces with a sprinkle of salt and keep aside. 

In the same kadai, add remaining oil and throw in the garam masalas (cardamoms, star anise, cinnamon stick) fry till it leaves nice aroma. Add beans, carrot and sprinkle some salt and pepper. On medium flame keep stirring the vegetables for 2 minutes or till the raw smell goes off. Add green peas, stir fry for a minute and then add rice.  Add 2 cups of water sprinkle some salt and pepper and combine well. Cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Remove from fire, add the fried paneer pieces, fluff the pulao carefully with a fork and add ghee. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Paneer Pulao is ready to be served with Chilly Chicken or Chilly Tofu. We had this rice with Cucumber Raita.


read more.. "Veg Pulao Recipe | Paneer Pulao "

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Coffee Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting | Easy Baking Recipes


Valentine day just passed round the corner. It’s been quite a while in last 12 years of my married life that we went out to this occasion. However this time around my hubby insisted that we visit nearby Phoenix mall to listen to music concert played over there. So late in evening we went over there and instead of taking our seat my husband took me to the basement departmental store and presented me two nonstick frying pans, which I was longing to buy. So this was indeed a surprise for me. After that we went up and watched a couple of performances. A Kathak based fusion and another DJ who flown in from US to entertain us. So overall it was a great evening and the zest was still on after so many years.
Had made these absolutely delicious coffee flavour cupcakes for the occasion. The frosting was cream cheese with a strawberry on top. Needless to say my man was happy to gobble them up.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Butter
1 cup Brown sugar
1 +1/2 cups All purpose Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa powder (dutch process)
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
2 Eggs, room temperature
1 cup brewed coffee, room temperature
1/2 cup mini Chocolate chips
Pinch of salt

Method:
Pre-heat the Oven to 180 Degree Celsius. Line the cupcake tray with the cup liners. 
In a large mixing bowl sift together all the dry ingredients twice. Keep aside.
Cream butter and sugar by a hand blender on low speed for 3-4 minutes. In the same bowl, beat one egg at a time with blender till it is fluffy, then add another. Add brewed coffee and stir well. 

Slowly pour chocolate chips and lightly mix with a spatula. Spoon the mixture into prepared tins (they swell beautifully so fill only 3/4) and bake  for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcakes comes out clean. Remove from Oven and cool on wire racks. 

For Cream Cheese Frosting : Take 1 cup Cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tsp Vanilla extract, 1 cup cold heavy Cream. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, sift the sugar into the bowl and beat to combine. Add vanilla extract and mix well. Scrape down any cream cheese from the sides of the bowl. In another bowl beat heavy cream at medium speed for 4-5 minutes or until you get soft and firm peaks. With a spatula mix heavy cream with cream cheese. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and decorate as you want. I added strawberries on top as we are having them in abundance.
read more.. "Coffee Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting | Easy Baking Recipes"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Bata Maach Shorshe Diye | Bata Fish in Mustard Sauce


Ingredients:
6-7 Bata fish, cleaned and washed
4 tbsp Mustard seeds (I used yellow seeds)
1 tbsp Vinegar 
3-4 Green chilies 
A pinch of Onion seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder + a big pinch for marinating
2 tbsp grated Coconut (optional)
3 tbsp Mustard oil, strictly mustard oil as no other oil will do justice to this dish
1/2 Water
Salt to taste

Method:
Soak mustard seeds and vinegar in a small bowl in warm water for half an hour. Grind the mustard with a green chili (or you can add according to your preference) and a pinch of salt at the time of grinding. 

You may add 1-2 tsp water if the mixture is too dry while grinding. Now add 1/2 cup of water, salt and turmeric powder in it and keep aside Marinate fish pieces with some salt, turmeric and red chilly powder. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Heat a part of mustard oil in a flat pan and fry fish pieces one at a time on low flame till light brown and keep aside. 

Discard the oil in which you fried the fishes, heat fresh oil. Now add onion seeds and few green chilies into the hot oil and when the seeds splutters, add mustard paste.

 Cover the pan for 2-3 minutes and then add fried fishes. Simmer for 3-4 minutes and turn off the flame.

 For more pungent flavour you may add raw mustard oil over the final dish. Serve with plain rice.

read more.. "Bata Maach Shorshe Diye | Bata Fish in Mustard Sauce"

Friday, February 6, 2015

How to Make Luchi Step by Step | Deep Fried Flatbread | Bengali Luchi Recipe


I wish to make a humble declaration that Luchi and Puri are as different as parathas and chapattis. Many a times my friends get confused between what are the specific differences between luchis and puris? The answer to this question my friends is that one Puris are made out of Atta ( Wheat flour) and Luchis are made out of Flour. Moreover, we add Moyen or Ghee to knead the dough also while rolling in circular shape a few drops of oil is added instead of Aata. Now you might be wondering why am I explaining so much about them? It’s because next time you try either of them in your kitchen, you can easily make out the difference.

I still remember during our childhood days in weekends when my dad headed for the market in early morning, all three of us Mom, me and my sis used to form a team and start preparing luchis. 

As usual Mom was the captain who used to fry them, I used to roll the dough and my sister used to set the table. When Dad returned with fish and veggies we all used to sit and enjoy and well-earned breakfast with luchis and Aloo Chorchori or Cholar Dal.

Ingredients:
3 cup All purpose flour /moida
3 tbsp Refind oil / moyen
Pinch of salt
Water as required (warm)
Sunflower Oil / Shada Tel for deep frying 

Method:

In a large bowl take flour, pinch of salt and 2tbsp oil and mix thoroughly. We Bengalis use oil as shortening to knead the  flour which is also called ‘moyan/moin’. 

Add little water at a time to knead the dough. 

The longer time you knead the dough the softer and fluffier your luchis will come out. The magic of having soft luchi lies here only. 

You have to knead the dough till it doesn't stick to your fingers. As you can see in the above pic I'm still not there so another 5 minutes. 

You will know you are there if you press the dough with your finger it should spring back instantly. Cover this dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for ½ hour.

Since luchi is a deep fried item, take enough oil in a kadai abd put it on low flame. Remember temperature is a very important factor when we are making luchi, we need piping hot oil but not smoking hot oil.



Now divide the dough into equal sized balls and cover the rest with a damp cloth to retain the moisture. And roll the balls into 5 inch diameter.

Prepare 4-5 and place these on a oil smeared surface. Test the oil by dropping a small pinch of dough in the oil, if it immediately rises upto the surface, it is ready.

 At a time only one luchi has to be fried, so gently slide one luchi in kadai and start flicking hot oil over the top of luchi.

 Within seconds it will swell and then gently flip it to the other side. Just when the surface starts yellow golden spots remove from heat and drain with an absorbent paper. 

Remove it from the kadai and place in a colander to remove any excess oil.

Follow the same procedure with the rest of the rolled discs. Serve these soft and gorom(hot) luchis with Aloo chorchori or Cholar Dal and enjoy the simple bliss !



read more.. "How to Make Luchi Step by Step | Deep Fried Flatbread | Bengali Luchi Recipe"