Healthy Quinoa Brownie Nutty Bites

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Dal Tadka – The Famous Indian Lentil Curry

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Hello my dear wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? My little boy is down with a fever again and now I am here taking care of him and spending all my time by his side. Over the weekend we took him to a fun play pen and the next day he came down with the cold. This is the second time this is happening after taking him to the same place and the only logical reason would be that he got it from some other kid at the play pen. How do I feel about the fact that parents bring their sick kids to a public area? Well personally I make sure my son is not around other kids when is unwell and if I know he is about to fall sick or is just recovering from one, I inform the family or friends I am about to meet. Well but that’s just me right? So now he is down with terrible cold, running nose, lots of sneezes and needs constant attention. All the while I find comfort in reassuring myself that this is the way his immune system does its job and grows stronger. So lets see.

The weekend was also a surprise cause after many many years, I made a new friend. A wonderful woman, who I can relate to in so many ways and its not often that you come across someone who you can just pour your heart out, the first time you meet them right? So all in all, the weekend was AWESOME!! It was also nice to leave the boys and have a little girl time after a looooooonnnggg time! Just to have a coffee and talk girl to girl and also hear out loud many things I have said to myself but never put to practice, was such a relief!! LOL..

Since the little one is unwell, I wasn’t able to get much cooking done. So, this recipe is my life saver. If you are Indian, then you know that there is noting simpler, comforting and wholesome like a big bowl of Dal and Rice / Chappati. This recipe can be used for a wide array of lentils. The simplest and most common combination is the one I have used in my recipe (below). The use of a pressure cooker just makes it faster and easier. But if you do not have a pressure cooker, you just need a pot with a lid and cover and cook till the lentils are mushy and soft to touch. Traditionally, Ghee / Clarified Butter is used instead of oil, but you could use any oil that you are comfortable using.

Ingredients :-

  1. Toor Dal / Pigeon Pea – 2 cup
  2. Masoor Dal / Red Lentils – 1 cup
  3. Oil / Ghee – 1 tbsp + 3 tsp
  4. Cinnamon Stick – 1  one inch stick
  5. Cloves – 4
  6. Green Cardamom – 4  ( bruise with the back of a spoon)
  7. Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  8. Asafoetida – 2 pinches
  9. Garlic Cloves – 5 Large
  10. Dry Red Chillies – 4
  11. Onions –     (finely chopped)
  12. Tomatoes –   (finely chopped)
  13. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
  14. Turmeric Powder – 1 + 1/2 tsp
  15. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  16. Salt – as required
  17. Water – 4 cups
  18. Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1.  In a large bowl, combine both the lentils and wash thoroughly in running water. Then soak in water for 15 mins
  2. Now in a pressure cooker or large bowl, add 1 tbsp of oil. One the oil is hot, add the jeera / cumin seeds (1 tsp)
  3. As soon as the cumin seeds begin to crackle, add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, red chillies (3) and asafoetida
  4. Once the chillies plump up, add the onions. Fry till the onions are pink and almost translucent
  5. Then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  6. Next add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder and chili  powder
  7. Now cook till the tomatoes are cooked through (do not wait for it to fry )
  8. Once the onion tomato paste is ready, add the soaked lentils. ( Discard the water it was soaked in)
  9. Add the water and 1 tbsp of salt
  10. Cover and cook for 3 whistles or till the lentils have cooked through
  11. Once the lentils have cooked through, in a small pan, add rest of the oil. Once the oil is hot add the rest of the cumin seeds, red chili and garlic cloves. Fry till the garlic is golden brown
  12. Pour over the cooked lentils and garnish with the chopped coriander leaves
  13. Serve right away along with hot rice or chappatis

 

 

 

Strawberry doughnuts with Honey and Lemon sugar

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Hello My dear wonderful readers,

How are you all doing today? So it was cheat day the other day and I had one of these and OMG I had to give them away cause these doughnuts are so so addictive. Strawberry season is here and I think I would use it in everything and anything. This is my second strawberry recipe for the season and let’s be honest, I can never have enough of these ruby red beauties. These doughnuts are baked and not deep fried so they are more cakey than fried but trust me when I say this, one bite and you wont be able to go back evaaaa!! These pink rings of heaven are the perfect mix of sweet, tart, fresh and  “munchy”. Those little red spots on the donuts are the finely chopped strawberries. The key is to dunk them in honey when nice and warm and therefore the lemon sugar melts into the doughnuts and OH MY GOD., the magic is insane!

In fact I baked 12 of these but only 11 got to the photos 🙂 cause these donuts, my friend, are just so awesome!! lol

So while I was baking these my little munchkin decided it was time for him to play in the kitchen as well. So when I was whisking and piping, my little boy was sitting on the kitchen mat, making “rice, mutta (eggs) and cheese ” which is when I was reminded about how I went to the toy store to see if I could get him a kitchen set or a toy oven but to my surprise all the kitchen toys were only in this hideous bright pink with photos of little girls making food. So what I couldn’t understand is – why is that only girls like these kind of games? I mean some of the best chefs in the world are men and they are respected all over the world, then why is it that boys cant be allowed to play with the same kind of toys. Also why is it pink?? I have never come across a pink kitchen my entire life! And no working real kitchen can ever function to its fullest if it where white or pink! Why not have a kitchen that is the same colour as the real thing! Anyway the bottom line is, I decided if he wants to play he can play with the stuff in my kitchen and when he is old enough I will help him learn and understand that there is no job that was either reserved for men or for women. Girl or boy we all deserve equal opportunity and equal respect for the choices we make.

Now back to the doughnuts, just like all my bakes, (unless otherwise specified) make sure the ingredients are at room temperature and the baking tray is well prepared. Try not rushing this step cause these doughnuts will just pop out easily if you do so. Now for the recipe

Ingredients :-

  1. Butter – 1 tsp
  2. Flour – 2 cups + more for dusting the pan
  3. Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Oil – 1/2 cup
  5. Sugar – 1/ 2 cup + more of dusting
  6. Eggs – 2 large eggs
  7. Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
  8. Apple Cider Vinegar – 1 tsp
  9. Salt – 1/2 of 1/4 tsp
  10. Nutmeg – 1/4 tsp
  11. Butter Milk – 3/4 cup
  12. Strawberry – 1 cup ( chopped fine)
  13. Red food colour – 1 small drop ( optional)
  14. Lemon Zest – from 2 limes
  15. Honey 2 tbsp

Instructions :-

  1. Pre-Heat your oven to 180 C
  2. Prepare your doughnut pan by brushing butter on the inside of your baking pan. Make sure to butter the hole in the centre too . This recipe makes 12 doughnuts
  3. Now lightly dust the buttered pan with flour. Invert the pan and shake of the excess flour. Set aside
  4. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sieve twice
  5. In another bowl, add the oil, eggs, apple cider vinegar , vanilla, sugar and butter milk. Whisk together till the sugar has mixed well with mixture
  6. Then add the dry mixture to the wet mixture in 3 batches. Make sure to mix well at every addition of dry mixture to the wet
  7. Once you have all the dry ingredients mixed, add the chopped strawberry and colour
  8. Mix well to combine
  9. Now pour the mixture into a piping bag. Snip the bottom and pipe the batter into the prepared doughnut pan
  10. Fill till 80 % of the hole
  11. Pop into the oven to bake for 20 mins or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean
  12. While that is baking lets make the lemon sugar
  13. In a plate, zest the lemons. Then add 1/2 cup of caster sugar. Now with dry hands, mix the sugar and lemon zest. You will see the sugar turn a light green colour
  14. Once the doughnuts are done, let them cool for 5 mins
  15. Then when the doughnuts are still warm, using a pastry brush, brush honey on the face of the doughnut
  16. Then dunk the doughnuts into the lemon sugar
  17. Place on a cooling rack to dust of the excess sugar
  18. Your strawberry doughnuts with honey and lemon sugar are ready

 

Strawberry, Thyme and Caramel Brioche Sticky Buns

Strawberry Still

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Hello my dear wonderful readers!

Is it Thursday already???? Some times I cannot believe how the days go by. My little monkey a.k.a my son 🙂 is also growing up so fast. Let me tell you why I say that. My little boy has a cold and till yesterday what comes so easily to us, was the hardest thing for him. What is that one thing that we often do when we have a cold? we blow our nose! But my little 2 year had no clue how to blow his nose. All he would do is a “kaaaarrkkkkkkkk” sound into a tissue if I ask him blow his nose. Yesterday some how, I asked him to do the same and guess what?? it worked!!! He actually blew his nose!! Now I know you are thinking OMG what is this woman talking about! So here is something, parenting is such a roller coaster, that every single minute you learn and you grow. You do not have to be a parent to a human, it could be a cute little pup or cat or any animal you want to appreciate what i am saying. When they are tiny they are so fragile that once they start showing signs of growing up, every step calls for a celebration. At least I do. Your child is a celebration of your life. The joys I have found as a mum are unparalleled and can never be forgotten.

Now coming back to this recipe. It was actually a test recipe but given that I made quite a few yesterday and only 4 remain, I think it would be apt to share the recipe with you all. So I asked my dear husband to buy some fresh thyme for a dinner I was making and he got this huge packet of thyme so needless to say, you might see a lot of “Thyme” based recipes coming your way 🙂

Strawberries and thyme are a match made in heaven. So if you wanna make a fun snack with fresh strawberry jam or even store bought organic jam then this is just the one. When I was a little girl my mum would always make me have a jam sandwich and a tall glass of milk on the table just before I went out to play. This recipe reminds me so much of those days.

The bread is not just any bread. It is the most fluffiest, softest, tastiest bread ever. Because of the addition of butter and eggs this bread is just delicious just by itself too. The little thyme adds a certain mystical, lemony smell and taste. Winter mornings with a cup of tea and these buns are the perfect breakfast in bed option too.

Ingredients for the bread :-

  1. Flour – 2 cups
  2. Sugar – 5 tbsp
  3. Yeast – 2 tsp
  4. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  5. Milk – 2/3 cup (warm)
  6. Water – 1/3 cup
  7. Eggs – 2 (lightly beaten)
  8. Butter – 105 gms (softened and at room temp)

Instructions :-

  1. In a bowl combine milk, sugar and yeast. Set aside till frothy and bubbly
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour and butter. With the hook attachment mix till a bread crumb consistency is achieved
  3. Then add the eggs and mix well
  4. Next add the yeast mixture and milk in a steady stream with the mixer on low
  5. Once you are done, add the salt and let the dough mix for 10 – 12 mins on medium speed
  6. Mean while oil a glass bowl with 1/2 tsp of oilve oil and set aside
  7. Now you will notice that the dough is quite wet but that’s ok, continue mixing till the dough is nice and elastic
  8. Finally tip the elastic dough into the prepared bowl
  9. Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place till the dough doubles in size ( 1 – 3 hrs)
  10. During that time. Lets assemble the ingredients for the filling

Ingredients :-

  1. Strawberry Jam – 2 cups ( depends on how thin you roll out the dough)
  2. Fresh Thyme – 4 tbsp
  3. Caramel – 3 tbsp ( or as required)
  4. Egg – 1 (whisked well)
  5. Butter for greasing

Instructions  :-

  1. Pre Heat your oven to 200 C and grease a cupcake tray with butter. Set aside
  2. Flour your work counter with flour and dump the flour into the counter. Make sure to deflate the dough in the bowl first
  3. Slowly knead for 1 min till it forms a ball. Divide the ball into 2 equal halves
  4. Then using a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle 40 cm x 20 cm
  5. The using a pastry brush, evenly spread the jam over the rolled out dough ( if it very thick pop it into the microwave for 30 sec)
  6. Once you are done with the strawberry layer, sprinkle the thyme leaves
  7. Then drizzle the caramel over it
  8. Now slowly starting from the longer side roll inwards. Flour your hands, if you find the dough is sticky
  9. Once you have a nice long roll, cut into equal circles. I used a thread for this. Slip a thread under the log, come around it from both side, make a tiny knot just once and pull tight through
  10. As you make the circles place it in the prepared cupcake tray
  11. Once you are done with all of the dough in the same manner, using a pastry brush, lightly coat the tops of the rolls, with the eggs wash
  12. Pop into the oven for 30 Mins or till golden brown. Once done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack
  13. Allow to cool till warm to touch, then pop them out of the cupcake molds and place on a cooling rack to cool completely
  14. Serve with hot milk or tea

Parsley, roasted garlic and Lime Garlic Knots

 

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing today? As the weather changes and the cold sets in, I find myself pulling out my blankets, fuzzy socks and jackets out. So in anticipation of soup season, I also have a feeling we will have a lot of bread making in the house too. Did i mention I ruined my oven? Yes, so while I was getting the house ready for Diwali, last month, I cleaned the oven and when I turned it back on, the whole house lost power!!! Yeah I managed to destroy my favorite kitchen apparatus and I havent gotten around to getting the company guys to come take a look at it either (talk about being lazy) :-).

So this time I made my bread in the “convection” mode of my microwave oven and to my pleaseant surprise in really does work! how awesome is that. Now did I mention that this recipe also incorporates, whole wheat? Yes, sir it does!! So I added equal amounts of bread flour and whole wheat flour to make these babies so that they are not all that unhealthy and make a perfectly wholesome meal when paired with a big bowl of healthy soup.

Do you guys love the small bread baskets that they serve in Italian restaurants? With the flavoured butter? I am a sucker for them. While my husband refuses to have it cause he says its a distraction from the main food. I say I love it all.. hahaha..

Ingredients :-

 

  1. Bread Flour / Maida – 1 + 1/4 cup
  2. Whole Wheat Flour / Atta – 1 + 1/4 cup
  3. Sugar – 1 tbsp
  4. Salt – 1 tsp
  5. Oil – 2 tbsp
  6. Yeast – 1 tbsp
  7. Water – 1 cup (warm)
  8. Garlic – 9 cloves
  9. Lime – 1
  10. Parsley – 1/4 cup (chopped fine)
  11. Butter – 50 gms (at room temperature)

 

 

 

Instructions :-

    1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add sugar, water and yeast. Set aside to rest for 10 mins. In 10 minutes it should have become nice and frothy
    2. Into the same bowl, add the flour, salt and oil
    3. With the hook attachment on, turn on the mixer to a medium speed for 7 – 10 mins
    4. It will form a nice sticky dough
    5. Grease a big glass bowl and tip the dough mixture into the bowl
    6. Let it rest for 2 hours or till the dough has doubled in size
    7. Meanwhile, drizzle a little oil over the garlic cloves and put them into an oven at 200 C for 15 min or till they are golden and almost black on the outside. Once they have cooled down, with the back of your spoon, press them to form a nice paste
    8. Now take a bowl and add the melted butter, zest the lime, chopped parsley and garlic paste. Season with salt and mix well and set aside
    9. Peheat your oven to 200 C and line a baking tray with baking paper
    10. Once the dough has doubled in size, tip the dough onto a floured surface.
    11. Slowly knead the dough for 2 mins
    12. Then make a large ball and cut it into 2. Then cut them into 5 each. You should have around 10
    13. Slowly roll out the dough into long rolls
    14. Then just like you tie a shoe lace, tie the knot with the rolled out dough
    15. Once you have made the knot, place on the prepared baking tray. Do the same with the remaining dough
    16. Dip a pastry brush in some olive oil and brush the tops of the knots lightly
    17. Place the tray in the pre heat oven and bake for 15 – 20 mins or till lightly golden on the top
    18. During this time, melt the butter mixture in a microwave
    19. As soon as the knots are ready take them out of the oven and dip them into the melted butter
    20. Use a mitten while you dip the knots as they will really hot!!
    21. After dipping them, place them back on the tray
    22. Just before you serve them, brush again with the flavored butter!!

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Oat Smoothie – Fall inspired goodness

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My Dear Wonderful Readers

So we are finally settling in and most of my stuff are on the walls and inside the wardrobe and guess what? I am still out of space! LOL All the while I am thinking how did I store all this junk at the old place. Have you felt the same way too?

So I was online scrolling through my instagram account and I found that pumpkin is the thing every body wants to cook with. So i decided to join the fun and start off with a simple smoothie. This one is a no brainer and it really is a mixture of everything I would have on a daily basis just that instead of apples or other fruits I just added pumpkin puree. Now making the puree was actually really easy. It helps if you make a large batch and use whenever you need it. Not just in smoothies but in many more recipes. I will share those with you soon. But for now here is a fall inspired pumpkin smoothie.

 

Ingredients :-

  1. Pumpkin puree – 2 cups (scroll down for recipe)
  2.  Oats – 2 cups
  3. Milk –  1/2 ltr ( or as much as you want)
  4. Coconut / Palm Sugar – 1 tbsp
  5. Cinnamon Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Nutmeg – 1/2 tsp
  7. Banana – 2 (ripe)
  8. Almond flakes and chia seeds – just for the topping

Instructions :-

  1. In the bowl of your blender, add the pumpkin puree, oats, palm sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg powder and bananas
  2. Turn you blender on and add as much milk as required
  3. Add in accordance to the consistency that you like
  4. Finally pour the smoothie into your glass and top with chia seeds and almond flakes

 

To make the pumpkin puree :-

  1. First wash and  cut a medium sized pumpkin into 4 equal halves
  2. Then scoop out the seeds and innards of the pumpkin
  3. Bring a pot of water up to boil and slowly immerse the cut pumpkin into the water
  4. Boil for 10 – 15 ( depends on the size and ripeness) mins till the pumpkin is soft and tender ( use a spoon to pierce through the pumpkin to see if its done)
  5. Turn the heat off and drain the water from the pumpkin
  6. Let the it cool and then scoop out the flesh leaving only the skin
  7. Drain excess water by keeping all the flesh in a strainer and letting the water drain out completely
  8. Store in a clean container in the fridge till ready to use. I usually use it in a day or two.

Dosa – Crisp rice batter crepes

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Hello My Dear wonderful readers!!

How are you all doing today? Its a long weekend and we have been having the best time ever! The new house is shaping up and I am down to my final two boxes to unpack! yay.  Before we moved here, I would save up the carboard boxes of the new gadgets and electronics we would buy and my reason was quite simply, “cause it will come handy when we move”. But for the first time in my life I am saying “hey throw it, we are not going any where, are we?” . The sheer happiness of buying your own place and making it home. I still haven’t figured where I want all my paintings and photos to go up on the walls but hey, that is the fun part right? setting up your own place and doing it up the way you like it and not worrying about what your house owner would say 😛

The best part about the new place is the fact that my kitchen now has lots more counter space. That means, more space for making bread. lol!! My earlier kitchen was always a choice. There where decisions made every time a dish was made. But now I absolutely love it here
That brings me to my recipe. I always loved making dosa and idilis for breakfast. They are super easy to make and the boys love hot crisp dosas with ghee or cheese early morning. So this time I decided to share my mums dosa batter recipe and methods with you. 

Ingredients :-

1. Par Boiled Rice – 1 cup
2. Regular Rice -3 cups
3. Split Black Gram – 1 cup
4. Methi / Fenugreek Seeds –  2 tsp
5. Salt – according to taste
6. Water – as given in instructions

Instructions to make the Batter

1. First the rice – Mix both kinds of rice and the fenugreek seeds. Wash in running water till the water runs clear. ( first it will be milky white, but 3 – 4 good washes will give you nice clean rice with no mucky white water)
2. Second the Split Black Gram – Wash the dal the same way as the rice till the water runs clear
3. Soak – Soak the rice with 3 and 1/2 cups of water
4. In another bowl, soak the split black gram in 1 cup of water
5.  Let them soak for 6 – 8 hours ( usually this is done on a sunday early morning so by evening it is ready for the next step
6. After soaking, grind the rice and the gram separately. You could use a food processor too but you want to make sure that the batter is nice and fine
7.  Finally once you have both the rice and the gram in a batter , combine the two in a big container ( make sure that the container is only 60% full once you have poured both the rice and the gram batter. Give the batter a quick mix and set aside to ferment
8. Now typically this step is done over night. But do give it atleast 10 hours in a warm place. I have seen that if the temperature is above 25C the batter ferments faster and the batter is much better
9.  After the given time your batter is ready! Add salt just before you start making your dosas 

 Instructions to make the dosa 

1.  First grease your pan / tava / griddle with coconut oil lightly . Then spoon some of the batter onto the centre of your pan.  Make sure you use a nice long spoon with a round base that will help spreading the batter evenly around the pan

2. So after pouring the batter in the centre of the pan using the back side of the spoon, push the batter outwards in a circular motion. ( Do Check out my INSTAGRAM Account for a quick video on how to do this part)

3. After the batter is evenly spread, add a few drops of coconut oil around the dosa and wait till you see the edge and the thin sides, turn brown. That is when you have to turn the dosa over.

4. Once the other side is done too, you are ready to serve!

Serve with hot sambar, coconut or peanut chutney or with chutney powder (locally known as podi)!