Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

If you like what you see, do leave a comment. If you don't, please leave a suggestion to help me make this better.

You can also request for any recipe you want. Just leave a note in a comment box.

Happy cooking!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Eggless whole wheat pound cake and Giveaway for a valid cause

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give" - W.Churchill.

Before we get on with the recipe of Whole wheat pound cake, I want to share something with you. My fellow food blogger, Siri, is on a remarkable, warm hearted mission. She has started a fund drive to benefit Vaidehi Ashram for Destitute Girls, Hyderabad. The ashram, at present, houses 108 girls (3 to 22 years) each of whom is either an orphan or has a single parent unable to take care of her. Do take the time to read on for every little act of kindness holds in it the potential to make someone’s life a little better.

Participating in the fund drive is fun too because it comes with 40 different sponsored raffle prizes. Contributing to the drive automatically entitles you to select from this list of wonderful goodies.

I’ve sponsored a raffle prize in the form of a Sanjeev Kapoor cookery book set of 5.

So, are you willing to extend a helping hand? If yes, then here is how,

1.Click on the 'Chip in' button below.(It will take a few seconds to load.)

1 Raffle Ticket = $10 or Rs.500

2.Contribute: Via Paypal or credit card. You can donate any amount. Each $10 (Rs.500) donation will get you one raffle ticket towards a raffle prize of your choice.
Click here to view the list of raffle prizes.

3. Once you have completed the donation process and you get the payment confirmation,please forward it to info.siri@gmail.com, clearly specifying which raffle prize(s) you are interested in. Within 24 hours, your name and contributed amount will be added to the 'Fund Drive Supporters List'.
4. The fund drive ends on Feb 25th and a random drawing by the Ashram kids will determine the winners on 27th Feb 2012. You will be notified of the same on the said day.

If you'd like to choose my raffle prize, remember the code, RF 9. I will be shipping it to anywhere in India, with postage paid. Even if you reside outside India, you can always opt to have your gift mailed to a shipping address of a friend/relative in India and collect it later.

Please visit Siri's post on the Ashram so that you are doubly sure that you are indeed contributing to a valid cause.Click here.

Thank you for your patient hearing and here is the scrumptious recipe for you...

Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Sweetened condensed milk - 1 tin (400 gms approx)
Soft brown sugar - 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup for crust
Ripe banana puree - 1 cup (3 medium bananas)
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon for the crust (I use powder)
Unsalted butter - 200 gms
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
Soda bi carbonate - 1/2 teaspoon
Almonds - 20 Nos

Whisk the condensed milk and 1/2 cup brown sugar, in a mixer bowl or blender, till the sugar has completely dissolved and you get a smooth mixture. Addin the banana puree and the butter,at room tempreture, to the mixture and whisk everything together. Pour into a wide mixing bowl and add in the wheat flour, vanilla, baking powder, and soda bi carbonate.

For the crumbly crust

Coarsely grind the almonds and brown sugar together in a mixer jar, along with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Preheat oven at 250° for 10 minutes. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. pour in the batter. Evenly sprinkle the almond - brown sugar crumble on top. Bake at 150° for 40 minutes. Insert a tooth pick or fork to check if done.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sambhar Sadam - wholesome, one pot meal

Sambhar sadam, as it is called in Tamil Nadu, and the Bisi Bele Bhaath of Karnataka are close if not identical kins. At least, that's how I've felt. My paati (maternal grandmother) was a stupendous cook and her Sambhar Sadam was something to die for. My version of it is created from what I remember of her's with some minor tweaks to include the mild masala taste of the Karnataka version.I make this quite often but missed posting it here. Yesterday, my food blogger friend, Lubna, started a discussion on favourite 'one pot meals' and I ended up promising to post my favourite one pot delight,sambhar sadam,recipe for her. So, here goes...

Raw rice - 1/2 cup
Toor dhal (sambhar parippu)- 1/2 cup
Small onions - 7-8 Nos
Assorted veggies - 1 cup (I used potato,carrot,and small violet brinjals)
Tomato - 1 medium
Garlic - 2 cloves
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Curry leaves - 3-4 sprigs
Coriander leaves/cilantro - a small bunch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons
Chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cloves - 2 Nos
Cardamom - 2 Nos
Fennel (saunf) - 1/4 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a few pinches
Tamarind extract - 1 tablespoon (or 1 large lemon sized tamarind ball soaked in warm water and juice extracted)
Water - 3 1/2 cups
Salt to taste

For tempering

Peanuts (with skin) - a liberal handful
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Cumin (Jeera) - 1/2 teaspoon
Dry red chillies - 1-2 Nos
Cooking oil - 1 tablespoon ( I use gingelly/sesame oil)

Put all ingredients, apart from the tamarind extract, cilantro and salt, into a pressure cooker and cook for 6 whistles (two on high flame and three on low). Once the pressure settles, add the tamarind extract, chopped cilantro, and salt. Mix well and simmer for a couple of minutes. Heat a pan and add oil. Roast the peanuts till golden, remove and add to rice. Place the rest of the ingredients for tempering into the same oil and saute till jeera crackles. Add to rice. Serve piping hot with papadoms, bujia, om podi, or appalams.

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