Namaste and a warm welcome to all.

As you can see my blog is about food and recipes. I love eating and trying out new recipes all the time.

Very often we mum's think of healthy and interesting food options that we can make for our kids especially when they are back from school knowing that their lunch boxes never come back home empty. Hence I always feel its important to give them a healthy and wholesome snack once they are home. When my kid comes home from school I always try and give him some source of carbohydrate combined with proteins along with this, a fruit and milk, or puddings made from milk. Kids normally can't eat too much at one time, so the portions can be small but giving them a little from each of these food group ensures a balanced meal.

I have some interesting ideas that I'd like to share with you all. You might find some of my recipes very basic but I am hoping that my blog is helpful not only for Indians but for people all around the world! Indian food is quite popular and enjoyed by most, so hopefully you can attempt recipes from here and make it yourself now, in your kitchen. Please do go through my recipes and give it a shot at trying them. Let me know how things turned out and if you enjoyed your experience of cooking.... Feel free to get in touch, share your experience, leave a comment or ask any questions you may have. Thank you for stopping by and taking a look! I do hope its helpful.

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Black-eyed bean cake

This savory cake can be eaten as a breakfast item, as an evening snack along with your tea or coffee, as a starter before your main course or as an accompaniment with your main course. Even for those who are diet conscious you can incorporate it in your main course along with a soup and salad so your carbohydrate intake can be reduced and at the same time you get a good satisfaction from your food intake.

150 gm of black eyed beans.

1-2 cloves of garlic , 1 green chilly and 1 small piece of ginger.

1 sachet of Eno fruit salt

1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin (jeera)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1 tbsp of sesame seeds.
Any cooking oil for greasing an 8 inch cake pan.
Salt as per taste.

This is optional:

Fresh methi (Fenugreek leaves)

Wash well and chop the leaves very finely.

Saute on high flame till the leaves loose its shape and settle down (like wilt). This takes a minute or two and the leaves give out some water as you can see here. Switch off the gas and keep this aside as this will be used later in the recipe. This is an optional step so you can skip this ingredient completely if you want.

Preheat oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius before you bake the black eyed bean cake. Alternatively you can also steam this cake if you do not have an oven for about 20 minutes. Boil the water first before you keep the cake for steaming.

Wash well and soak the black eyed beans for 2 hours.

Grind the ginger, garlic and green chilly first in the grinder using very little water so to make a paste.

Once you have the above paste, add the black eyed beans into the same grinder and start the grinder.

Adding minimum amount of water or only that much water needed to start and facilitate the grinding process.

Once you have got a thick and coarse batter (you don't have to make it a smooth puree, let it be a bit coarse or granular), take out in a bowl.

Now add all the spices:

Add salt:

Red chilly powder:

Turmeric powder:

Coriander powder:

Cumin (jeera)

Sesame seeds

Now you can add about 3 heaped tbsp of the methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) that you've sauteed and kept aside earlier. You can replace the methi with same amount of grated carrots or bottle gourd (lauki) or add 1tbsp of each or skip this step completely and proceed from below.

Mix well.

Add sugar (again this is optional) but I prefer this little amount of sugar as it enhances the taste further according to me.

Add the Eno fruit salt now and mix well. The batter will have bubbles since Eno fruit salt causes effervescence.

Grease an 8 inch cake pan with little bit of cooking oil and spread the oil evenly on the base and the sides of the pan with your fingers.

Pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes.

Check to see if the cake is ready. To see if its done or not insert a toothpick in the center, if its comes out clean then the cake is cooked.

Also the top layer should be firm and sides when pressed/forced towards yourself should be able to come out and not stick to the side of the pan. Make sure its not too hot for your hands when you check it this way!!!

Cool the cake completely and using the blunt side of the knife cut into squares and then use a flat spatula to take out the squares as shown below:

Serve warm with coriander chutney or tomato ketchup.

This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Folate and Manganese.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Rice Paper Roll

Making the rice paper roll consists of 3 steps. First making the stuffing which are the vegetables here. The next is making the peanut sauce (or you can use the ready Thai sweet chilli sauce which tastes great as well) and finally assembling everything and making the roll.

A packet of rice paper roll (should be available in stores that have International/Imported ingredients and food).

1/2 cup chopped french beans
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 chopped onion.
2-3 cloves of crushed and chopped garlic.
1 and 1/2 cup of chopped cabbage.
1-2 chopped green chillies (optional-for those who like it spicy).
Some fresh Iceberg Lettuce.
1-2 tbsp of crushed peanuts (use a grinder to make a coarse peanut powder).
Few sprigs of fresh coriander.
1-2 tbsp of sesame oil (can use any other cooking oil if you don't have sesame oil).
1/2 - 3/4 cup of water.
Salt as per your taste.
Sugar- Just a pinch.
Some freshly crushed black pepper.

For the Peanut Sauce:
2-3 tbsp of ready peanut butter.
A bit of grated garlic (optional).

Method: STEP 1: Making the vegetables.
Heat oil.

Once hot add the crushed garlic and the chopped onions. Stir well and cook for about 2 minutes on a medium flame.

Add the chopped french beans.

Add chopped carrots.

And the chopped cabbage.

Stir well and cook on a medium flame. Add salt.

Add freshly crushed pepper. For those who like it spicier you can add 1-2 chopped green chillies as well.

And a pinch of sugar. It is this pinch of sugar that makes the taste magical....

Now add water, stir well and cook for another minute or two.

Strain the water and keep aside as this water will be used for making the peanut sauce.

To make the peanut sauce:

Take the strained water and add the ready peanut butter into it.

Heat this peanut mixture on a medium flame, stirring occasionally till it thickens or comes to a sauce consistency. You may want to add a bit of salt into it. You can also grate a bit of fresh garlic into it (the garlic is optional though).

You can see how thick the sauce looks, however you can choose the consistency you like and accordingly cook it more or less.

STEP 3: The final and the last step: Making the roll.
The rice paper does not need any cooking here. It is a stiff round sheet.

Take drinking water on a plate and dip the rice paper roll completely in the water. Keep the tips of your fingers touching the rice paper roll to see when the stiffness is gone and the rice paper has turned soft. This is very crucial because if you over soak it the rice paper will tear, however at the same time it should be the right soft so as to be edible. To give you a better idea I timed it and this brand takes a minute of soaking in the water to get to the right edible soft texture.

Once it is soft lift it vertically from the top so all the water is drained off and then keep it on a clean towel. Dab it on top with another clean towel so all the excess water has been soaked up.

While the rice paper is on the towel keep a piece of washed and cleaned iceberg lettuce on it (on the bottom leaving just a little space for rolling upwards).

Add a spoonful of vegetables on the lettuce.

Sprinkle the coarsely crushed peanut powder.

Put a sprig of fresh coriander.

Roll the bottom upwards (like the way you wrap a spring roll)

And folding both sides inwards, make it compact and roll upwards.

Rice paper rolls are ready.

Serve with the sauce of your choice.

Another way of doing it: If you have the patience go ahead....

Take a bigger piece of iceberg lettuce as shown:

Put in all the fillings the same way shown above.


Garnish on top with Peanut sauce or have it just like that with the sauce on the side.

RECIPE SOURCE: Thank you Cecil for teaching me so many different dishes including the one above. I always enjoy making rice paper rolls as I feel its a lot of fun....