Rose water, Watermelon and Kiwi Popsicles

 

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Hello World!

How are you guys doing?? So I am not going to go on about how hot Bangalore is! All I can say is that these popsicles are the best thing to have in this heat!!! I haven’t added any sweetening or colouring agent to them. All natural and clean. They are the perfect quick escape from the heat. It is basically just a watermelon juice that was promoted to a fancy pants popsicle. The addition of rose water make them sweeter and fresher. You could add any kind of fruit but I love watermelon and kiwi together. Also if you want your could juice the kiwi too, but I like the way the kiwi pops out through the watermelon so thats why I just sliced it and added it into the juice.

There is so much you can do if you have a good popsicle mould. Yes ice creams could also be poured into these mould to make soft, creamy, cold ice creams. But hey we are just getting started with summer right? I also have a recipe for an easy  Mango and Almond Chip Ice Cream and a Melon Granita. So this is another one you must try. They are s easy to make and super “Kid” friends. I give my son one a day :0)

You could add sugar or honey if you like, but if the watermelon is sweet, then why bother! Also you could mix it up a bit by adding a little lemon juice. ok so on to the recipe –

Ingredients :-

  1. Watermelon – 4 cups ( deseeded and cubed)
  2. Rose water or rose essence – 1/2 tsp
  3. Kiwi – 1 (sliced)

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender add the watermelon and rose water
  2. Blend to make a smoothie juice
  3. Pour into your popsicle moulds
  4. Add the sliced kiwi pieces
  5. Pop into the freezer and let it set for 15 min
  6. Then take them out and insert the popsicle sticks
  7. Freeze till nice and firm.
  8. To un-mould dip the mould in hot water for 5 secs and pull them out gently from the mould
  9. Enjoy!!
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Sundal – Chicken pea salad with fresh Coconut, mustard and curry leaves

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Hello my wonderful readers!

It has been so hot in Bangalore I can not begin to describe the heat! When I moved to Bangalore, I remember even in March some morning we would have to wear sweaters to school. But given the heat now, its hard to believe there was a time like that.

This recipe is actually a “Prasadam” also. Ok now a Prasadam is an offering that s made to good and then distributed in a temple or any religious place, between the devotees. Even a fruit or flower offered to god, can be considered a Prasadam. In many home in India, this recipe is made every day, using various kinds of pulses, nuts etc (like peanuts, green gram etc) We make this dish during the summer months, cause unlike many indian dishes, this is low on heat, spice and it is considered a salad. I love how easy it is to make this dish and its easier to polish off 😛 Ok now if you are using chickpeas from the can, then you do not need to soak it overnight and pressure cook it. I buy 2 kilos of these grams every month ( the dry version) So it basically goes into this, or hummus or a North Indian Channa Curry.

Ingredients :-

  1. Chickpeas – 1 + 1.2 cup – (if using dried – soak over night and pressure cook for 4 whistles)
  2. Coconut Oil – 3 tbsp
  3. Black Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
  4. White Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
  5. Dry Red Chilli – 4
  6. Curry Leaves – 2 steams
  7. Fresh Grated Coconut – 3/4 cup
  8. Salt – to taste
  9. Green Chillies – 3 (slit into two)
  10. Lemon Juice – half of one lemon  ( optional)

Instructions :-

  1. In a heavy bottom wok / Khadai heat oil
  2. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to pop, add the urad dal and dry red chillies
  3. When the chillies puff up, add the curry leaves
  4. Then add the chicken peas ( if canned drain the water and use)
  5. Add the green chillies, coconut and salt
  6. Mix well to cover the chickpeas well
  7. Turn off the flame and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the chickpeas and mix well
  8. Serve right away

 

Dry Fig, Dates and Saffron – Oats Smoothie – Super healthy kick start to the day!

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

So guess what!! This morning when I opened up WordPress I had this small little message pop up, wishing me ‘A Happy Anniversary’!! Yay!!

I cannot believe that its been one year since I started this baby! It still feels like yesterday when I asked my husband if he thought it was a good idea that I write down the recipes and photograph the food I make at home. From that day, to date, my dear husband has always been my inner voice and has always helped me with every post! Yes we are still in the “honeymoon” phase of the marriage. LOL.

Ok so this smoothie is such an easy drink to make and its actually just the addition of oats that makes it super filling. The figs and dates give it a very sweet yet fruity flavour and I absolutely love it.

Ingredients :-

  1. Oats – 1/2 cup
  2. Milk – 2 + 1/2 cup ( Cold milk)
  3. Dried Figs – 9
  4. Dates – 13 ( you can add or decrease according to taste) – deseeded
  5. Saffron strands – 1 good pinch ( more of garnish)
  6. Ice Cubes – 5 – 10

 

Instructions :-

  1. In a small mug, add two table spoons of milk and heat to warm
  2. Then add the saffron strands to the warm milk and set aside (this is to infuse the saffron in the milk)
  3. Now in the bowl of your blender, add oats, rest of the milk, figs, and dates
  4. Blend well to combine
  5. Finally add the saffron infused milk and strands
  6. Blend for another 2 mins
  7. Serve right away

Lemon and Cottage Cheese Pancakes with Grilled Pineapples, Kiwi and Honey

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Hello my wonderful readers!!

Its Monday already!! Every Sunday I catch myself saying “If only the weekend had one more day”!!! Ohh..

Unlike most people, weekends is when so much gets done at home. Cause that’s when I have help. Yes these are the words of a typical stay at home mum. And I love it

So this is how breakfast looked on Sunday morning. Soft, fluffy. lemony pancakes, with lightly grilled pineapple, fresh kiwi and a honey drizzle. Usually I make a typical south Indian breakfast on the weekends. But this time I wanted a change. Apart from breakfast smoothies, we usually have Dosas for breakfast. So these pancakes where a welcome change from the usual food. They are super simple to make and ideal for a family of 4. You could add what ever kind of fruit you prefer, I love fresh pineapples and I had a few kiwis in the fridge so I added them and they were awesome!!!

Ingredients :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Sugar – 5 tbsp (brown sugar)
  3. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Milk – 1 + 2/3 cup
  5. Eggs – 4
  6. Butter – 3 tbsp (melted and cooled)
  7. Salt – 1 tsp ( or to taste)
  8. Vanilla Essence – 2 tbsp
  9. Cottage Cheese – 1+ 1/2 cup
  10. Lemon – zest of one lemon

Instructions :-

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk well with a dry whisk and set aside
  2. In another bowl mix lemon zest, milk, butter, vanilla essence and cottage cheese. Then separate the egg yolks and white.
  3. Add the egg yolks to the milk and butter mixture and whisk
  4. Whisk the egg white to soft peaks in a separate bowl – set aside
  5. Now add the egg yolk + butter + milk + vanilla + cottage cheese + lemon zest  mixture to the dry ingredients
  6. Combine with a wooden spoon (do not over work the batter, its ok if there are a few lumps)
  7. Now divide the egg white mixture into 3 and slowly fold into the flour mixture
  8. Once all the egg white have been mixed your batter is ready
  9. Heat a non stick pan
  10. I use a large ice cream scoop so that I have equal quantities of batter for every pancake
  11. Pour the batter onto the hot pan. once you see bubbles form on the ends of the pancake flip and cook for 3- 4 mins on low
  12. Stack and serve with grilled pineapples, kiwi and honey!

 

Bell Pepper and Sausage Rolls – Sausage rolls my way :)

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

So guess what!! I finally baked bread today! It feels like ages since I baked some bread. In fact I have no intention of baking today. I wanted to make a simple paneer dish for dinner and post it on the blog but my son decided to sleep for a few hours during the day, which gave me some time to write this post. Keeping in mind the requests of many followers on Instagram and the blog, to take photographs of the procedure of making the bread too, I have take a few shots of that as well. I know its not the prettiest but I am getting there.

Now before I get to the recipe, I want to share a very fond memory that I have with sausage rolls. When I was around 6, my mum had just gone back to work and she would always be back home before I got back from school. But every time I came back home, I was sure there would be a special treat at home. Some time it would be these Sausage Rolls. Very often  Amma would make them at home, but some times she would buy them from my favourite bakery “Hot Breads”. I still remember the distinct blue and white lines under the logo and that smell of fresh baked bread! Ohh!! My Amma would also make bread at home. In fact last week she gave me a cake book that I remember reading when I was very small. Most of my birthday cakes where inspired from photos in that book. These memories are close to my heart. My mum is the best baker ever! In fact her oven broke down a few months ago, but that doesn’t stop her from baking at all. She can make the most fluffiest sponge cake even on an iron skillet!! haaa!

Ok so back to the recipe. Now this is my take on the famous sausage roll. I know that the original sausage roll does not have bell peppers but I wanted to give it my own twist and an excuse to add some vegetables in there 🙂 So here it is.

Ingredients for the bread :-

  1. Bread Flour – 3 cups + 3 tbsp
  2. Sugar – 2 tsp
  3. Active Bakers Yeast – 2 tsp
  4. Milk – 1 cup
  5. Butter – 50 gms (melted and cooled)
  6. Eggs – 2 + 1 for the egg wash
  7. Salt – 1 tsp
  8. Olive oil – 1 tsp

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine half the four, sugar and yeast. Give it a good mix
  2. Now add butter and two eggs and with a fork combine them
  3. Next turn on your mixer on low and slowly add the milk
  4. Finally add rest of the flour and crack up the speed to medium
  5. Run the mixer for 5 mins
  6. Finally add the salt and mix for another 3 mins
  7. Grease a glass bowl with olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover with a warm cloth and keep the bowl in a warm place to rise.
  8. Let the dough  sit for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size

Ingredients for the filling:-

  1. Red Bell pepper – 1 – chopped to squares
  2. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1 – chopped to squares
  3. Garlic – 5 ( chopped fine )
  4. Oregano – 1 tsp
  5. Thyme – 1 tsp
  6. Rose Mary – 1/2 tsp
  7. Pepper – 1 tsp
  8. Fresh Parsley – 1/2 cup
  9. Salt according to taste
  10. Chicken Sausages – 6
  11. Oil – 3 tbsp

Instructions for the Filling :-

  1. Heat oil in a pan
  2. Once the oil is hot add the garlic and fry for a min on medium
  3. Then add the sausages and fry for 5 mins ( just to start the cooking process)
  4. Then add the Oregano, thyme, rosemary, pepper and salt
  5. Give it a good mix and then add the peppers
  6. Cover and cook for 3 mins and turn off the flame
  7. Let the filling cool before you use it in the next step
  8. Use the parsley just as it is, fresh over  the top of the cooked filling

 

Assembling the roll :-

  1. Once the dough in doubles in size, punch it down with your fist
  2. Then empty the dough onto a flour dusted surface
  3. Roll the dough out to the shape of a log. Then using a pastry cutter or a sharp knife, divide the dough into 6 equal halves.
  4. The roll out each individual pieces into 15 cm x 25 cm square pieces, leaving enough space in the centre for the filling (at least 6 cms)
  5. Slash 5 -6 lines on each side of the rolled out piece (as shown in the photos)
  6. Then add the filling into the centre of the rolled out dough. Make sure to sprinkle the fresh parsley over the filing
  7. Then start from the top. Tuck the top most piece of dough on top of the filling, then alternatively cover on over the  other ( as shown in the photos). I start with the right, lift the pieces of dough from the right and over lap the filling and pull gently towards the centre and then towards the left. Then take the piece of the left and gently place over filling in the centre and then over to the right. After you do two of them it will become easier. Make sure to press the ends of the dough at the end or else they come out a little wonky when you bake them ( like some in the photos 😛 )
  8. After you have done all of them, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with baking paper
  9. Cover and let it sit for 20 mins
  10. During this time, pre heat your oven to 200 C
  11. Crack the last egg and beat it well
  12. Then using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash. This is what will give it that wonderful golden colour
  13. Pop the baking tray into the oven and bake for 30 mins or until you the see the tops turn nice and golden brown
  14. Once they are done baking, pull them out of the oven and let them cool in the baking tray for 10 mins
  15. Then move them to a cooling rack and let them cool completely
  16. If you wanna store them, wrap them in cotton cloth and then put them in an air tight container in the fridge

 

Serve these babies with ketchup or mayo or just like that!!

Coconut Rice with a Red chilli, Curry Leaf and Gram Tempering

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How are you all doing today? So this is what I made for our dinner last night. It is so simple and hardly takes any time. If you have any left over rice, you can use that too. I make a new batch of rice everyday so I can add that to my sons diet. Rice is a staple at my place. It could be fermented like in Dosas and Idilis, or plain rice and Pulav/ Pilaf or just various kinds of flavoured rice. Its not really the best thing to have a lot of rice in your diet and trust me I know that, but its just the easiest thing to cook when you can’t spend too much time in the kitchen. One question I get very often is how do I cook my rice? Now heres the thing, cooking rice purely depends on the type of rice!

If you are using a good quality Basmati rice, then one cup of rice with 2 cups of water is perfect! But if is red rice, or any kind of wild rice, its a whole different story. We make a lot of red rice at home, but that involves soaking the rice for one whole night and then using tons of water and then draining out the excess water! Its a long procedure, but personally I love the flavour of red rice. Back in my village we always have red rice. Ah the taste of red rice and avial!

My son loves it too!! We make Kanji – ( rice cooked in lots of water) and have it with Payar (green gram curry) with Papapdam and pickle. It is just the simplest dish on this planet and yet the most healthy and power packed meal ever!

Ok so back to this recipe. This recipe is super simple!! All you have to do is make the tempering and mix them both! Finished!

Ingredients :-

  1. Basmati Rice – 1 cup  ( soaked for 15 – 20 mins)
  2. Water – 2 cups
  3. Salt – 1 tsp
  4. Coconut Oil – 4 tbsp
  5. Dry Red Chillies – 6
  6. Mustards Seeds – 2 tbsp
  7. Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
  8. Channa Dal – 1 tbsp
  9. Cashew Nuts – 10
  10. Curry Leaves – 15 ( cleaned and dried)
  11. Asafoetida – a pinch
  12. Salt – to taste ( for the final dish)
  13. Fresh desiccated coconut – 1 cup

 

Instructions :-

  1. Pour 2 cups of water into a large dish with a lid. Once the water comes to a boil, add the soaked rice and salt. Stir gently and cover and cook for 10 mins
  2. Then using a spoon, take one grain of rice and check if the rice is cooked. If so, turn the flame off and set aside
  3. In a large wok / Khadai, heat coconut oil
  4. When the oil is nice and hot, add mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the dry red chillies, asafoetida, urad dal, channa dal and cashew nuts . Fry till the urad dal turns a light golden yellow
  5. Then add the curry leaves and stir
  6. Then add the coconut and the cooked rice
  7. Stir well to combine all the ingredients
  8. Add salt according to taste and your dish is done!
  9. Serve right away with your choice of curry or just with yogurt and popopdams

 

Watermelon, Carrot and Sweet Lime Juice

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

I have been trying to work with my new camera. So, this is my first post with the new one! So excited! I know I have a long way to go but there is such a huge difference I can almost touch it. LOL. Its like there is much more depth and clarity now. But what I have understood is that every camera needs some time getting used to. Simply cause they work different. What I can tell you off the top of my head is that my new Nikon responds so much quicker and faster and the change in the parameters work really really well unlike my old camera. But the older one had the Live View option that would also show the changes that where made. Here’s the thing, I haven’t ever been to photography school and what I know of the camera and photos is from one year of taking photos. So I do not know the technical terminologies for most of what I am trying to covey! But if I had to tell you what I know about photography, I would sound like a 6 year old taking about a day at school. Ok not so helpful huh. Sorry 🙂

Ok back to the recipe. This is what I made this morning along with breakfast.

Ingredients :-

  1. Water Melon – 500 gms
  2. Sweet Lime – 3 (juiced)
  3. Carrots – 2 cups
  4. Salt – two pinches
  5. Ice Cubes – 1 cup

Instructions :-

 

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender
  2. Blend for 5 mins

 

  1. Serve right away (Keeping it for a while will make it sour).