Blogger Tips and TricksLatest Tips And TricksBlogger Tricks

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Easy Onion Tomato Chutney Recipe (For Idli, Dosa)


Is there one vegetable without which you can't survive for 2 days? Well for me it is Onions!
Even when I'm returning from vacation, I make it a point to either carry it (in minimum amount) my suitcase or soon after entering my home I will run over to the nearest vegetable shop to buy onions. 

 Be it for a main ingredient by itself or it could be used as an accessory like chutney. I like to make this chutney as it is super easy and can be made when you are making Idli side by side.  More so I could carry it for picnics and within minutes it would be over with dosas or pooris. The aroma itself is enough to make you crave for it.

Ingredients:
3 Tomatoes, cubed
1 red Onion, chopped
2 Garlic cloves
1 Green chili, chopped
Pinch of Asafoetida / Hing
Handful of chopped Coriander leaves
1 tsp Salt (adjust according to your taste)
2 tsp Oil

For the Seasoning: 
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Urad dal
1 tsp Oil
2-3 Curry leaves (optional) 

Method:
Take a pan and heat 2 tsp oil, add hing, onions and saute until onions turn transparent. Now add tomatoes,  green chili, coriander leaves and cook until tomatoes become soft and slightly mushy. Allow the mixture to cool. 

Now grind the mixture with salt and grind without adding water to make a smooth paste. Chutney is ready for tempering. Pour little oil in a tadka pan and put mustard seeds in it, wait till seeds crackle. Now add urad dal and curry leaves. Keep tempering for less than a minute. 


Turn off the flame and pour over chutney. This Onion Tomato chutney can be best served with Idli, Dosa but I find very tasty with Curd Rice, Bread toast, Upma and with Poori even. For variation I fried the tempering items at the very beginning and then grind it with the cooled Onion-Tomato mixture. Believe me it tasted well.

Notes:

  • Instead of onions you can use shallots if you like.
  • As I mentioned above this chutney can be made without tempering also, for variation instead of tempering at the end you can fry the Mustard seeds +Urad Dal+Curry leaves (optional) at the very beginning and then grind it with the cooked Onion-Tomato mixture. 
  • This chutney stays well outside for 2-3 days.

read more.. "Easy Onion Tomato Chutney Recipe (For Idli, Dosa)"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chocolate- Muesli Bars | Kids Snack | Gluten Free Diwali Treat


Can’t believe that we are already knocking the doors of Diwali and within a matter of 36 hours we’d be celebrating in full light. I believe that since Diwali equals festival of lights, it should be there in full steam. Decked up my home with decorative Diwali special lights, diyas are painted. Diwali crackers are spread on a newspaper to soak sun's warmth. A ritual I have been following since long as my Dad once explained the more sunlight and heat the crackers absorbed, the better they will burn. And this takes me back to my childhood days when my hand eye coordination was at it’s peak during blasting crackers and making patterns by lighting up sparklers. So after about 25 odd years here I am a mum watching his husband and growing child safely burn crackers for one day and joining in once in a while. 

And for the guests who drop by, have prepared muesli and chocolate bars which I believe is an energizing and healthy sweet during Diwali. So let the countdown to the festival begins. Happy Diwali to all my friends and co bloggers.

Recipe Source: NibblesandFeasts

Ingredients:
2 cups of Dark chocolate chips
1/4 Coconut milk
2 1/2 cups of Muesli
1/3 cup Dried Coconut, grated
1/2 cup mixture of salted Pistachio + walnuts+ hazelnuts

Method:
Line a rectangle pan with parchment paper and set aside. Pour coconut milk in a medium saucepan and heat over low flame. Bring milk to the simmer point and add the chocolate chips. Stir until  the mixture is thick and chocolate melts completely. Another sign is the mixture will become glossy. 

In another bowl mix muesli pistachio and remaining nuts. Place half of the chocolate liquid over muesli mixture and mix well to combine. Now transfer this mixture to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Garnish with remaining chocolate liquid, dried coconut, walnuts and pistachios. Refrigerate until firm, best is overnight. Transfer to cutting board and cut into equal bars. 


read more.. "Chocolate- Muesli Bars | Kids Snack | Gluten Free Diwali Treat"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cheesy Corn Balls | Party Snacks Recipes


I am still nostalgic about the time when I started food blogging (some 7 years back) and there were altogether a few dozen serious bloggers that were around. However, thanks to the penetration of the Internet, now a days I come across at least a dozen new bloggers per week who are so much well informed about blog statistics/ views per post calculations and promoting their recipes on different platforms smartly. This week only one of my good friend raised up an issue on FB, upon asking a query she was puzzled to get many comments as "...." Well seriously even I wasn't aware of it ! Later came to know it means "following" :-D This shows how dumb I am in this fast moving food blogging world. I think it’s a very encouraging sign for the days to come where food can be a bonding factor and a platform for friendship.

Coming back to this easy Cheesy Corn Balls recipe which is very famous with kids party. Crunchy from outside and cheesy from the center. Really simple way to please anyone.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Cheddar, grated
1/4 cup All purpose flour
1 big boiled Potato
1/2 cup Corn
2 Green chilies, finely chopped
2 tbsp Cornflour
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp Oregano powder
Salt to taste
Freshly grounded Pepper powder
Oil for frying

Method:
In a mixing bowl put all varieties of cheese and mix with a fork. Add pepper powder and salt to taste and mix thoroughly. In a coffee grinder take corn and grind to a coarse paste. 

Take another bowl and knead the boiled potato, corn, oregano along with all purpose flour and yes sprinkle some salt again. Now add the cheese mixture to it and make small balls of same size.

Make a paste of cornflour with 2-3 tsp water, dip the balls in the cornflour paste and coat with breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess and place them in dry plate.

 In a large deep frying pan, heat oil and fry them in small batches till golden brown for 2 minutes. Do toss them in between so that they get cooked evenly. 

Lift them out wit a slotted spoon and place the cheese balls over a kitchen towel. They are best eaten right away so serve them with sauce or mayo. 

read more.. " Cheesy Corn Balls | Party Snacks Recipes "

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

International Pizza Festival @ Californina Pizza Kicthen, Chennai Till 19 October


For me toppings of pizza must be full of veggies, herbs and non veg items wherever possible. So whenever I visit any pizza outlet I am sure of the regular convention of above. However, this time when I was invited to taste the International Festival Pizza Carnival @ California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), Phoenix Mall, Chennai, I was pleasantly surprised with the new variation of the pizza toppings offered to us by their team. 

 I like the fact that they often keep coming up with various festivals to beat the boredom and offer something new for their regular visitors. They started the festival last month i.e 18 Sep and will be till 19 October. I and another blogger friend Aarti decided to meet over new range of pizza.

Have been there at numerous occasions as after shopping at Phoenix we go to CPK for a quick bite.As soon as I had entered Chef Anton Madhan introduced himself who has joined CPK just a while ago. He explained us that all together they have introduced 9 Pizzas which are topped with signatures dishes from the different countries. Out of these 5 were vegetarian and remaining were non-veg toppings. We requested the chef if it is possible to bring the portions in limited numbers as none of us wanted to waste much. He said he can customize all veggie options in one pizza with different flavours and same with the non veg option. 

I ordered a Mocktail called Mango Mint Ecstasy which was refreshing and I love the mint flavour anyways.
First came Kasundi Panner Pizza. Never did I imagine that Indian Mustard Sauce (we Bengalis are anyway die hard fan of it) called as kasundi garnished with Indian spices and layered with mozzarella would taste so delicious. 



 For that matter, even a Southwest Burrito Pizza {Mexico: grilled onion, cottage cheese, roasted chills, mozaralla and other cheddar cheese} would taste so awesome!  

Along with that came Beijing Style Veg Pizza {Soya and Garlic flavoured Mushrooms with Babycorn, bellpeppers and teamed up with fiery Schezwan  sauce on a tradition crust with Mozarella and Cheddar cheese}. It was spicy so I loved it but my friend couldn't eat more. 

And then there was the Capriciossa Pizza {Thin crispy crust with Italian Pormodoro and mozzarella cheese and then topped with artichoke hearts, kalamata olives and fresh sliced mushroom garnished with hand torn basil} also Brussels pizza {Belgium- pesto marinana, , sun dried tomato, saute spinach, sliced mushroom, Mozarella & parmesan cheese and olives on a thin bubbly crust}. I loved all but especially liked Beijing Style and Kasundi Paneer Pizza.

The Fish & Chips Pizza [United Kingdom - Thin crispy crust loaded with CPK tartare sauce, onion rings,mozzarella cheese, fried fish and capers, finished with lime cream sauce and served with a good portion of crispy spiced fries] was the best. I ate full portion of it !
 Rookwurst Pizza { Holland: traditional crust topped with marainara along with sliced onion, pork salami, smoky bratwurst sausage and hearty sprinkling of Dutch Gouda cheese and herbs]



The Sauerbraten Pizza {Germany: Traditional sauerkraut, shredded chicken, sliced onion on a regular crust with mozzarella cheese baked to a crisp golden crust topped with German potato salad] which I found somewhat bland. Apart from these, there were two more-Cheeseburger Pizza {USA Chunky chicken burger with caramalized onions and crushed black pepper , with a good drizzle of their secret sauce, Mozzarella & cheddar cheese} Rookwurst Pizza  {Holland: traditional crust topped with marainara along with sliced onion, pork salami, smoky bratwurst sausage and hearty sprinkling of Dutch Gouda cheese and herbs}



If you are in CPK and walk away without having dessert then I'd consider it's a crime :-D wasn't able to decide between Red Velvet cake or Chocolate Banana cake. Chocolate -Banana cake won. And my friend Aarti settled down for White Chocolate- Strawberry Cake with Oreo crust. Overall had a wonderful time tasting different flavours from all over world. A must visit for Pizza lovers if you value good taste and great dining experience.

Location: Phoneix Market City, GroundFloor, Velachery, Chennai
Festival till 19 October, 2014
Website: http://www.cpk.com/
Phone no.: 044-65108888

PS : The above opinion is entirely mine and have tried to review with an objective frame of mind.The other dishes in the menu was not tasted by me so I reserve my views for another day. 
read more.. "International Pizza Festival @ Californina Pizza Kicthen, Chennai Till 19 October"

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Strawberry Sandesh | Shubho Bijoya Special Sweet


This is that part of the year when we bid adieu to our biggest festival “Durga Pujo”. The finale is the immersion of the Idol of the Goddess and with a renewed hope that next year around the same time we’d be celebrating the festival with full vigor. So, to my blogger and reader friends all across the world, Wish you all a very Shubho Bijoya ( literally means victory of everything that’s good). So with a hope that all of us would live together happily and with harmony let me sweeten the environment with Strawberry Sondesh (sweet).

Ingredients:
1 packet Strawberry (Roughly 150 gms), chopped finely
1 1/2 litre full cream Milk
1/2 Lemon
2-3 tbsp  powdered Sugar (depending upon the sweetness of strawberries you may need to adjust the sugar)
1 tbsp Sugar + 2 tbsp Water to make strawberry sauce

Method:
Take a heavy bottom pan, add chopped strawberries, 1tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook on medium flame until the sugar takes out all the juices from the strawberries and the sauce thickens. Let it cool down.

Boil the milk and after first boil, add lemon juice in it. Stir it till milk curdles and then remove it from the heat. Remember the longer you let it cook the harder your chana(paneer) will be. Strain the curdled milk in a muslin cloth and wash it under runninng water to remove any trace of lemon flavour. Keep it hanged for 30 minutes. Transfer the chana in a plate and mash with your palm till your palm feel the oil. Add powdered sugar and mix it thoroughly. Now add strawberry sauce and mix it again. By now you will see the chana mixture is gooey so we need to cook the mixture in a heavy bottom pan again but on LOW HEAT.

 Soon chana mixture will start leaving the pan and the consistency will be like any other Sondesh. Remove from heat and let this cool down. 

Shape them as you wish and garnish with a slice of strawberry in the center. Chill and serve these flavoured sondesh to your loved ones. 
Sending this to my friend Raksha's  page "For the contest "Indian Dessert Recipes Sponsored by Zoutons.com and Collegedunia.com" who blogs at Raksha's Kitchen

read more.. "Strawberry Sandesh | Shubho Bijoya Special Sweet "

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Beet-Aloo'r Torkari | Beetroot Stir Fry Recipe


As autumn is approaching, the variety and freshness of the veggies are gradually increasing in the markets. Now a days it’s more convenient to spend time in vegetable markets and fill my bags as quite a few good fresh vegetable shops have opened up near my place. What caught my attention is one of a recent article where it said that health benefits of beetroot includes lowering blood pressure, slowing progression of dementia, preventing constipation and increase blood flow. Excellent source of potassium and Vitamin A as well as Vitamin C. I remember first I had this at my friend Anindita's place along with paratha. The simplicity was having fresh , naturally colored side dish. So taking a cue from it and applying my foodie instincts, I prepared this fast to cook yet a little spicy stir fry so that it takes a tasty turn. The results were pretty decent, if I may say so. Thank you Anindita dear for sharing such simple yet tasty dish.

Ingredients:
2 medium Beetroots
2 small Potatoes
1 Carrot
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 
1 tsp finely chopped Ginger
2 Green Chilies
1/2 tsp Jeera powder (dry roast jeera on tawa and then grind to make a fine powder)
2 tsp Poppy seeds
Salt to taste
Oil to cook

Method:
Wash, peel the beetroot, potatoes, carrot into thin lengthy pieces. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan or kadai and crackle mustard seeds. Immediately add finely chopped ginger and stir it for 1 minute. Add green chilies and add potatoes. Season with salt and fry for 2 minutes. Now add beetroot and stir it nicely. Cover the pan to cook and cook it for 5-6 minutes or until the beetroot is soft. The slightest bruise by stirring allows beetroot to bleed during cooking and leaves a nice color. Now add roasted jeera powder, poppy seeds and mix well. Remove it from flame and serve immediately with chapati or parota. 



read more.. "Beet-Aloo'r Torkari | Beetroot Stir Fry Recipe"

Monday, September 22, 2014

Stuffed Buns | Keema Buns


I make these buns whenever we buy Keema as they are filling and goes well with a movie on Saturday night. And if you are a vegetarian you can easily replace the stuffing with potato mixture / paneer bhurji. 

Ingredients:
1 tbsp Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup Warm Water
A big pinch of Sugar
2 1/2 cups will give you 6 big buns and 3 cups will give you 7
2-3 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Milk, room temperature, keep aside 2-3 tsp milk for brushing on top just before baking.

Ingredients: 
For Keema mixture -
200 gm Chicken keema
2 medium sized onion finely chopped
3 tbsp Tomato puree1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
3 finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
salt to taste

Method:

Wash keema thoroughly and drain the water. Mix turmeric powder, salt and marinate for half an hour. Keep it aside. Put 2 tbsp oil in a pressure cooker and heat it. Add in bay leaf, chopped onions, ginger and garlic paste. Saute it till the onion turns brown. Add marinated keema in it. Fry on medium low heat for about 6-7 minutes. Now add tomato puree and mix together well. Pour 1/2 cup water and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook till you hear 1 whistle and remove it from the burner. Now open the lid to check if the water has dried up. In case there is any gravy, heat it till it dries up. Cool the mixture before you start the buns.

Water should be barely warm or lukewarm to the touch as too hot water may kill the yeast and cold water doesn't help to wake up. So ideal temperature should be 100-110F for proofing. Add a pinch of sugar and let this sit for few minutes (15 min). You will see these signs:



  • The water will dissolve the outer coating around the granules of active yeast inside.
  • Soon you will see bubbly foam on the surface, happens because the carbon dioxide being released.
  • The volume will double. 
  • Now you got proof that your yeast is active!

In a big mixing bowl take flour, salt and make a well in the center. Pour 2 tbsp of Olive oil, yeast liquid and start mixing it with your hands. Initially it will be sticky so don't worry! Keep adding milk in between to make a smooth dough. Add more milk if required. Keep kneading for next 10 minutes. Stop only when you reach a stage of non-sticky and smooth, soft dough. Slightly grease a deep bowl with olive oil and leave this dough covered with a cling film for an hour. I like to keep my dough rest in a casserole. 


 After an hour, once the dough has risen, sprinkle some flour on your kitchen counter and punch down to remove the air from the dough. Knead it again for 5 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 equal parts and roll them into smooth round balls. 



Roll the dough little flat and in the center place 2-3 tsp keema filling. Re-shape into a smooth ball and repeat the same with the remaining dough balls. 


Arrange it on a greased baking sheet. Cover the baking pan with a cling film and let it sit again for 35-40 minutes. Pre-heat Oven to 170 Degree Celsius.
Brush the top with milk and bake it for 15-20 minutes or till the buns give a shiny look on top. Remove from Oven and let it cool on. Rub butter when they are warm and serve. 

Tips:

  • I have explained above that checking yeast condition is a must step. Just make sure your yeast is alive.
  • Punching down the dough in between is essential, so is leaving them on the counter for proof.
  • The stuffing is entirely your choice. Go for vegetarian filling if you want.
  • Instead of milk wash you can also apply egg wash. A layer just before baking gives the bun a nice finish.
read more.. "Stuffed Buns | Keema Buns"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pearl Millet Sweet Balls | Bajra Ladoo


Certain recipes are close to your heart because they have connection with your childhood. This Bajra Ladoo is one of them. Ma used to make these ladoos during winter season to keep us warm. Not only bajra is good for health, ghee in it makes it nutritious. We sisters were as thin as paper wafers so on doctor's suggestion she used to prepare these delicious ladoos. I had made these again for Ganesh Chaturthi last month and distributed as prasad.




Ingredients:
2 tbsp Sesame seeds to be roasted dry and keep aside
1 cup Bajra flour
1/4 cup Ghee
1/2 cup powdered Sugar or you can adjust the sweetness accordingly
1/2 cup Dried fruits, coarsely grin dry fruits in a grinder
1 tsp Cardamom powder

Method:
Take a heavy bottomed pan and add bajra flour and stir continuously till it is aromatic.

 Remove it from heat and transfer the mixture in a plate. Allow it to cool for few minutes. Just when the temperature of mixture is warm add sugar, sesame seeds, cinnamon and mix dried fruits. 

Mix well and add hot ghee in the center of the bowl, mix with a spatula. Take some mixture in your hand, press it with your palm to give a firm round shape. Shape into round balls, if you are not able to bind add 1 or 2 tsp of melted warm ghee and 

Shape them into ladoo by rotating inside your palm. Let them cool and then serve. Later store them in an air-tight container as this will stay for a week.

read more.. "Pearl Millet Sweet Balls | Bajra Ladoo "

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tofu Paratha | Indian Bread with Tofu


Tofu is one food that I started eating only 4 years back . Back then, after reading a lot about its nutritional benefits and testimonies from foodies, I thought why not give it a try? The most convenient is  making parathas with tofu stuffing as  Tofu itself is tasteless. Let me tell you these parathas are very filling and healthy snack too.  I often pack it as lunch item for my little one for school. 
                                                             
Ingredients:
Needed for the dough
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tbsp Oil
Water to knead the dough

For the Filling:
200 gms Tofu, grated
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Green chilies, chopped
1/2 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
Salt to taste (do keep in mind that I have added little salt in the dough as well)
2 tbsp fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped
Oil for cooking 

Method:
Take a big bowl and mix flour, salt and mix well. Add oil and water simultaneously to knead the dough as you would do to make rotis. Cover and leave it for sometime to settle down.

To make the Filling:
In a large bowl crumble the tofu and add all the above ingredients under Filling. Mix thoroughly and keep aside the filling.


Assembling the paratha:
Now from the dough make two lime sized equal balls. Take a ball and flatten it on your palm and then by using a rolling pin roll out on a floured board to make a 5 inch disc.
                                                                         

 Shift this to another plate and make another 5 inch disc with another set of ball. Spread 2-3 tsp of filling on one roti and then cover it with the other roti. Press down the edges to seal firmly. Dust some flour on it and roll out slightly. 

                                                                

Transfer the paratha on to the hot skillet / tawa. Cook for few minutes, flip in between, when brown spots appear drizzle with some oil. When both sides are done you may dab little butter on each paratha. Do the same with the rest of the dough. Serve hot with butter, pickle or with chilled curd. 

read more.. "Tofu Paratha | Indian Bread with Tofu"