Are you ready for a Blogging Marathon?

>>  Friday, December 31, 2010

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Yes you read it right! As a one of things to address, I decided to blog everyday on Spice your Life. This is going to be a blogging marathon on different topics. It almost looks like I keep forgetting important milestones that I meet on Spice your Life. Like I forgot that Indian Cooking Challenge completed a year some 6 months and didn't remember until reminded. Then Spice your Life completed 2 years end of August and I just remembered that now!

Well to make up for the step motherly attitude I have, I thought I should blog non stop for 31 days to get over the phase. Best part being since this blog is about so many different aspects on life, I feel it will be more fun.

Starting this Monday school will reopen and I will be literally running to plan for my Kid's snack and Lunch box. Hoping to achieve all that through this marathon.

Leave me a comment if you are interested to join me along for the Marathon. I will be glad to try and read what you will be doing the next 31 days during January 2011

If you want to join us, please read the requirement and how to send email.

Sign up to the group is done only between 16th - 23rd each Month.
I really appreciate all the interest, however emails sent any time apart from this week, will not be accepted. The email should specifically mention the weeks, themes one wants to do.



Image Courtesy: Source 

Wishing all my readers a great year ahead!

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Corn Vegetable Pulao | Kid's Lunch Box Recipes

>>  Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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Last week when Amma had got these corn kernels, we wanted to cook as many dishes with these as we could. But as it would be, we couldn't find enough time to get whatever we planned. Then when hubby dear went on a day's trip we had lunch to be planned only for us. This actually gave us some new possibilites as Athamma wanted me to make something with these corns and complete it.

I made this Corn Vegetable Pulao, which was very quick and easy to make. Everybody at office loved it and came back home to know that kids liked it too and wanted it to be done again. They ate their lunch without complains and I had a dish that surely meets their liking. I just went about doing it as the regular pulao, just making sure that rice doesn't get overcooked and the corns are intact. 


Cooking Mode : Pressure Cooking

Ingredients Needed:


Rice - 2 cups
Onions - 1 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder  1/2 tsp
Green Chilies - 3 medium.
Beans, Carrot, - 1 cup
Fresh Corn Kernels - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Mint leaves - 4-5 leaves.
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil- 2 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Water - 3 & 1/2 cups



Whole spices :


Bay Leaf - 1
Cloves - 2
Cardamon - 2"





Method to prepare:

Wash and soak rice for 15 mins.
Heat the pressure pan with oil. Add the whole spices and stir for couple of minutes. Then add onion julienne, slit green chilies, stir till the onions are light brown. Then add the ginger garlic paste. Cook for couple of minutes.

Then add finely chopped tomatoes, add the chili powder, salt and simmer for few minutes til the tomatoes are soft.

Add the chopped vegetables along with corn kernels. Combine everything well.

Add the mint leaves, drain the rice and add to the pan. Saute for couple of minutes.

Then add 3 & 1/2 cups of water. Bring to boil and cover to cook for 3 whistles or till done.

I took this for my lunch and my colleagues liked it so much. More than that, I was elated when my boys loved this and wanted this to be made again.

Reduce the spice if kids don't eat more spicy but as such this wasn't so spicy.

What do you pack for your kids?

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One Minute Microwave Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting | Microwave Recipes

>>  Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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When I made the Eggless Cupcakes with Chocolate frosting, I thought I might as well try the new silicone Microwave safe muffin tray. During our Blogger's meet, Divya happened to tell us that Lifestyle now has a wide range of Microwave Collections, naturally for the festival seasons. All the Microwave and Baking buffs immediately set out to investigate the lane. 

In fact there were quite a lot of collection. I resisted to get only this tray which looks very cute. So it is only natural that my kindled interest also probes me to try out this microwave method. I used the same batter that I used for convection baking. The beauty of baking in micro mode is that you have a cupcake in 1 minute! It was unbelievable as I thought that it would require at least 2 minutes as in the Banana Muffins. But then I realized that even that would have been actually done in one minute. 


Please check the recipe from the Eggless Cupcakes with Chocolate frosting, I used the same but the baking mode is different. When I had used the non stick muffin tray, few of them had a question on the metal tray being used. While it is true that metal trays should not be used, somehow it never struck me that as the store keeper said it was microwave safe. 

Still I would not advise on using it as it is advised against usage. But since I used only for a minute, it was not risky at all and no sparks came out. Anyway I immediately wanted to buy a microwave safe tray for baking. After all who wouldn't want a cupcake in one minute?


Line the muffin tray liners. Fill it to 3/4 of the cup.


Bake it for 1 minute in Microwave Mode. Allow it to cool and do the frosting.

If you are wondering why the frosting is not there, well I seem to have forgotten to click pictures of those..:)

As I said kids enjoyed it a lot. But the best compliment was from hubby dear and Mom who said Dad liked it a lot. What more can I ask for!

And today when I was going to make something else, Chinnu came running to ask if I was going to make chhooocalate muufin? Well I said he had to wait for another day. So I know I am going to bake it again.

Just saw that Ria is hosting Monthly Mingle themed on Chocolate. Now who can say no for that! This has been a real Chocolate Extravaganza!

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Announcing Kid's Delight - Chocolate Feast!

>>  Monday, December 20, 2010

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I thought I would just go ahead announce the next theme for the Kid's Delight before I work on the round up. I know we just had the Holiday Special as the theme. But since the holidays just started and it being the the festival seasons, I decided if the theme is based on chocolate it be just too great.  So it is going to be a Chocolate Feast!
To tell you the truth though, since I ended up making some chocolate dishes for the kids, I realized that this theme will be very apt as kids love chocolate in any form.



Please check out the rules and send in your entries either through the entry form or through email to spicingyourlife@gmail.com by 15th January 2011.

So it can be anything in chocolate!

Looking forward to your entries.

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Kashmiri Dum Aloo – Potato Gravy in Dum | Indian Cooking Challenge for October | How to Dum Step By Step Recipe!

>>  Wednesday, December 15, 2010

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Indian Cooking Challenge this month was Kashmiri Dum Aloo. I have been contemplating on so many recipes lately and was very late finalizing on the recipe. Finally I had a discussion with Lataji and we decided we can try some gravy as this season being hectic we can do a gravy and enjoy! We finally decided on Aloo Dum. I have a Alu Dum recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor. But Lataji referred to one that also had the Dum method involved. This recipe is from the site IndianFood that Lataji shared.

I ended up giving very short period for this dish. But since it happened to be a gravy, we thought everybody would be able to make it. I managed to make it for a dinner on a weekday. Sadly hubby dear didn't prefer it much as it turned out a bit sour for his taste. I liked it. When I took for lunch the next day, it was even better. My colleagues liked it even better. So I decided that this dish surely needs to settle down for a bit. I think that will allow the spices and curds to blend well together.



Step by Step to make Dum Aloo

Pierce through the small potatoes using a fork. Soak in water mixed with salt.

Drain and heat a pan with oil. Deep fry the potatoes and remove to a kitchen paper.

For the marinade, mix the curds/yogurts along with ginger powder, cardamon powder, fennel powder.


Mix the fried potatoes to the masala and keep it aside.

Keep the potatoes aside for 10 mintues
Heat a pan with oil, add the clove powder, hing.
Then add hot water and bring to boil.

Add the marinade along with potatoes to the boiling water.

Allow it to cook on high for couple of minutes.

Take the dough and closely cover the lid with the pan. This makes sure the alo gets cooked in Dum.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo  

Making with dum:

This recipe uses favorite Kashmiri spices like fennel/aniseed and ginger powder. Dum Aaloo is named so because it is cooked under Dum or pressure. In this cooking method, the food is cooked under pressure in its own juices.

Ingredients:

For the Marinade:

Baby potatoes / even small potatoes - 1 Kg
Kashmiri red chillies - 3-4 nos  roasted and powdered
Fresh yoghurt - 2 1/2 cups (must not be sour)
Ginger powder - 1 tsp
Fennel/aniseed powder - 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp

For the Masala:



Mustard oil - 4 tbsps
Cloves roasted and powdered - 6 

A pinch of asafetida
Vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil to deep fry potatoes
Cumin seeds, - 1 tsp, roasted gently and ground into a powder
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
A cup of firm dough made from flour and water

Oil for deep frying the potatoes.

Method to prepare:

Wash the potatoes well and poke all over with a fork. Then soak in water for 20 minutes. You can mix a tsp of salt to the water you are going soak the potatoes.

Heat a pan with oil for deep frying, Then reduce to medium flame and roast all the potatoes till golden in colour. Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside

Make a paste of curds/yogurt, chili powder, ginger, cardamom and fennel powders. Then add the potatoes well with this paste and keep it aside.

Heat the mustard oil in another pan, add the clove powder and asafetida and mix well.

Then add a half cup of hot water and salt to taste and bring to a boil.

To this mix, add in the potato-yoghurt mix, stir thoroughly and cover.

To do the dum, seal the edges of the pan's cover with the dough to ensure no steam can escape. Put on the stove, cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes.

Turn off the flame, remove the cover and add the cumin and garam masala powders, and cover again quickly. Leave for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with Chapatis or Naan





To all my ICC members, please link your Kashmiri Dum Aloo post to Mr. Linky.


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Tandoori Paneer Tikka on Stove Top | Making Tandoori Paneer Tikka Step by Step - Two ways

>>  Tuesday, December 14, 2010

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Tandoori Paneer Tikkas are my most favorite dish. I seem to be saying this so often. But then it surely is and not having a Tandoori oven never stopped me from making it. I have been doing it over Stove Top over many years. Last time when I did, I couldn't find the skewers, so I ended up using those tongs. 

I finally found the skewers and didn't want to miss showing how I make it. I made the recipe the same way as how I did the microwave method.

Marinade the Paneer Cubes along with the Vegetables.

Sorry for the messy picture but I had to show how much mess can happen..:) Arrange the Tomato Cubes, Onion, Capsicum in between the Paneer Cubes on the skewer.

Light up your stove, and take it right over it.

Pour drops of oil over the Paneer. When the oil comes in contact with the masala and the flame you get that smoky effect and taste as how it is made in a Tandoori Oven.

Turn over all sides to make sure the chunks get equally burnt and cooked on all sides.

Ok finally I was able to capture the flame with a night shot. Ensure to keep a safe distance when you hold it over the flame.

Once done on all sides, Tikkas are ready to serve!

In the second method I do, I cook the paneer pieces along with capsicum and onions. Leave out Tomato as it will get soft.

Cook on both sides for couple of mins, even more if you want the masala to be well cooked.

Then arrange on the skewers once it cools down.

Quickly cook over the stove, the same method while you sprinkle some oil over it.


Once done, remove to serve with onion julienne and lemon wedges. 

When Konda saw me making it, she couldn't believe we could make it so tasty as how we get it from restaurant. She still says this is the best she had.

Another entry for Kid's Delight themed on Holiday Specials.

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Microwave Paneer Tikka | Baked Paneer Tikka | Indian Microwave Recipes | Indian Microwave Convection Recipe

>>  Friday, December 10, 2010

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Paneer Tikka has always been one dish that I never fail to order when we eat out. Infact if I remember right I have tried to experience how differently Paneer Tikka tastes in as many different places. Best have been in the ones I have enjoyed in Tandoor, which were really huge pieces yet so succulent, juicy and soft! In other places, it used to be real spicy and yet soft still.

So I always used to related to soft Paneer Tikkas whenever I eat this. Yet there have been occasions when it was served quite hard. I was delighted that my daughter shared my passion for Paneer Tikkas. And trust me, spicy in Tikkas are not spicy for her. She can easily eat couple of those real spicy ones, still claim them not being so spicy.

I already have a recipe for Paneer Tikka, that I had done on stove top without a Tandoor Oven the recipe is completely different from this recipe, which was shared by the MW Chef. And the fact that I prepared this Paneer Tikka in both "Only Micro Mode" and in Combo Mode of Convection + Micro Mode.

The difference between these two modes was that the Tikkas made in the Combo Mode came out soft and crisp on the top, while the Tikkas in the only Micro Mode, came out a bit harder. Of course if you ask me, I won't mind either ways.

This serves as a delicious starter and a great dish for Kids.

The below picture is made in Microwave Mode:


Mix the Paneer cubes along with Onion, Capsicum, Tomato pieces with the marinade and keep it aside for 15 mins.
 Then Micro the marinade for 2 mins for the masala to get cooked.

 Then using toothpicks, cube the paneer cubes along with tomato, onion and capsicum and micro for 1 - 2 mins in micro mode.

This is done in combo mode, where the same marinade is used and using toothpicks, club the paneer and rest. Pre- heat the oven for 210 degree and then in Combo mode using Convection + Microwave mode, cook the Tikkas for 15 mins.

Microwave Paneer Tikka in Microwave Mode:

Paneer - 250 gms
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder / Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Corn Flour - 2 tbsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Curds/ Yogurt - 1 cup, hung
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Kesar colour a pinch (opt)

For Garnish

Capsicum - 1/2
Tomatoes - 1
Onions - 2

Method to prepare:

Wash and cube Paneer pieces into 2 inch squares.

Cut Onions, Tomatoes and capsicum into 2 inch square pieces.

Made a marinade of hung curds, ginger garlic paste, corn flour, garam masala, red chili powder, salt, cumin powder along with oil. Add kesar powder if you are using. Mix the paneer, onion, tomato and capsicum into this marinade. Keep it aside for 15 - 20 mins.

In Microwave Mode:

In a microwave safe bowl, cook the marinade for 2 mins.

Then using tooth picks, insert the onions, capsicum, tomato with the paneer in between.

Micro for 1 -2 mins.


Baked Paneer Tikka | Paneer Tikka in Convection Microwave Mode:

Pre Heat the oven at 210 degree, then switch off the oven

Follow the same process of marinade the Tikkas.

In a microwave bowl, micro the marinade for 1-2 mins.

Arrange the Tikkas in a Tooth pick.

Then switch to Combo mode by choosing Conv + Micro Mode, arrange the Tikkas on the tray and cook for 15  to 20 mins.


Sending this to Monika, who is hosting the Microwave Easy Cooking themed on Savory Snacks. And also for Kid's Delight themed on Holiday Specials.

Hope you have already sent in your Microwave Entries.

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Quick Tomato Chutney | Easy Tomato Chutney | Bachelor Cooking

>>  Monday, December 6, 2010

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When you decide on dosas or idlies for breakfast, having a quick chutney handy makes the task easy. We are always on the lookout for good recipes. Though we make Tomato Chutney in different ways, this is yet another way of making a quick chutney. Not only is this quick, it tastes great for a easy breezy dips.

You can make this less spicy if you want to give this to kids. We made this as a quick one when Amma had tried making an idli with Moong Dal and Idli Rava. I suggested this to a bachelor friend, who tried this and said wow.


Quick Tomato Chutney - 2

Tomato - 1 medium
Onion - 1 medium
Red Chilis - 2 -3
Curry leaves - 2 -3 twigs
Tamarind a small marble size
Garlic - 2 -3 cloves
Oil - 1 tsp

For Seasoning

Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad Dal - 1/3 tsp
Curry leaves 2 -3 leaves

Method to prepare:

Chop all ingredients.

Heat a pan with few drops of  oil, saute the chopped ingredients for couple of minutes. You need not actually saute them very brown. About 3 mins is just enough.

Allow to cool, then grind to a smooth paste. Heat the pan again with 1 tsp of oil. Splutter mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Pour this over the ground tomato chutney.



Enjoy with your Dosas or Idlis.

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Pesara Purnalu | Moong Dal Sweet Dumplings

>>  Saturday, December 4, 2010

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Pesara Purnalu or sweet dumplings with Whole Moong dal are a quick snack that you can do for evening snacks for kids. Not only that these are very healthy for kids. Never mind the deep fried nature of this recipe, as kids can eat deep fried snacks. 

We make these dumplings with two different coatings. Traditionally it is done with Urad dal, while for this we did the coating with Maida and Rice flour. Make these for your kids as a holiday treat and I am sure they will enjoy it very much.



Pesara Purnalu / Moong Dal Dumplings

For Stuffing

Pesara pappu / Yellow Moong Dal - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Coconut grated - 1/4 cup
Cardomon powder a pinch

For Coating

All purpose Flour/ Maida - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 2 tbsp
Salt a pinch

Method to prepare

For the Stuffing
Soak Yellow moong dal for 2 hrs and grind to a fine paste with very little water.

Make the paste into small balls and steam the moong dal paste as how you will do for idlies for 15 mins.

Once it is cooled, grind these steamed dumplings into powder, if they are soft enough you can also grate them into powder.

To this moong dal powder add powdered sugar, grated coconut. Make into small balls.
For the Coating
Make a thick batter of Maida and Rice flour, salt.

Heat a pan with oil and drop the balls dipped into the batter into the hot oil.

Cook on both sides and drain once done to a kitchen towel.  

These make a great holiday treat for kids, do send in your holiday specials that you will prepare for your kids for Kid's Delight!

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How To Make Ghee Rice in Microwave | Quick 'n' Easy Ghee Rice in Microwave | Step By Step Recipe

>>  Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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Ghee Rice must be the simplest dish one can make, especially as meal to go with spiced gravies. I normally make this for non veg gravies and spicy veg kurmas. Since I only post Vegetarian in this blog, I will only link to the Ghee Rice that is done in a Rice Cooker and a regular pan.

This recipe was shared by the MW Chef I talk about. She made this with such easy you never knew it got cooked too. I tried it and it comes done as a breeze. Though as I say cooking Rice in Microwave takes time so it is not exactly Quick though it is very easy! Still when compared to microwave cooking this rice is quick.

Check out my 365 Days of Microwave Cooking, this Ghee Rice again goes for this event.


Step By Step to make Ghee Rice in Microwave

Cooking Mode : Microwave Mode
Cooking Time : 30 mins



Soak rice for 15 mins.

In a big bowl,  add the ghee, onions, green chilies, ginger garlic paste, cloves, cinnamon, spring onions and micro for 5 mins.
Add water to the sauteed masala and micro for 25 mins.

This is after 10 mins.

Keep stirring in between 10 mins,
 Water is all absorbed completely, put it back for the remaining time.

Add the salt in the final stage, and mix well.


Remove from oven, cover with a lid and keep it aside for 5 mins.

Rice is ready to serve.

Ingredient Needed:

Basmati Rice - 2 & 1/2 cups
Water - 4 cups
Onions - 2 medium
Spring Onions - 1 bunch
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chilies - 2 medium
Cloves, Cinnamon - 2 each
Salt to taste

Ghee - 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.

In a Microwave safe bowl, take the ghee, cloves, cinnamon, onion julinnes, finely chopped spring onions, ginger garlic paste, green chilies and micro for 5 mins.

Remove and stir well.

Add rice to the bowl along with water. Micro for 25 mins.

Remove and stir in between 10 mins and finally stir again at 5 mins.

Once it is done, remove and cover with a lid for 5 mins for the rice to settle down.

Serve with spicy gravy dish.

This serves as a great Holiday Dish for Kids, check out the Kid's Delight event!

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