16 June 2016

Oats-Choco Toffee (Chikki)

Another healthy recipe, that's a great snack on the move for young and old alike...
Ingredients :
Melted dark chocolate - 2 tbsps
Jaggery - 1 cup
Clarified butter / ghee - 1 tbsp
Toasted Sesame seeds - 2 tsps
Toasted, crushed Kelloggs Oats - 2 tbsps
Toasted, crushed mixed nuts - 1/4cup
Cinnamon / clove powder - a pinch (optional)

1. Add ghee to a microwave-safe glass bowl and micro on high for 30 seconds or till ghee is melted.

2. Add the jaggery to the bowl and micro on high for 2 mins, remove stir once and micro for a minute more. You should see bubbles forming on the surface. Remove.

3. While the jaggery is still hot, add the mixed nuts, sesame seeds, oats and mix. Quickly add in the chocolate syrup, stirring all the while and finally the cinnamon/clove powder, if desired. If the mix starts to harden, micro for 30 seconds.

4. With the mix still runny, pour it onto a greased baking tray, steel plate or a silicone sheet, let set for a bit, then cut into desired shapes before the toffee or chikki hardens completely. Alternately one can pour the mix into mini chocolate moulds too as I have done. Let cool and harden.
Un-mould and store in air-tight containers in a cool place.

15 June 2016

Oats Lauki Adai (pancake)

              When one starts exploring alternatives to refined ingredients, there are no dearth of options to suit your recipe. For me, it's oats, flaxseed meal and millet flour that I turn to...
This pancake, or Adai as we call it is enriched with the softness of oats. 
Ingredients :
Arahar dal - 1/4 cup
Rice - 1/4 cup
Chana Dal - 1 tbsp
Kelloggs Oats - 1/2 cup (Slightly crushed - pulse once in the mixer)
Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
Whole Green gram - 1 tbsp
Slightly sour curds - 1/4 cup
1 medium lauki, grated (drained) - 1 cup
Ginger-green chili paste - 1 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Baking soda(optional) - 1/4 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Ajwain - 1/2 tsp
Hing to taste
Salt to taste

1. Wash and soak all the lentils along with rice for 4 hours. Drain and grind to a thick, coarse paste using sufficient water (Not too runny)
2. Transfer batter to a bowl and whisk in the curds and oats. 
3. Add grated lauki, ginger-green chili paste, chili powder, salt, hing, sesame, ajwain, haldi and soda and whisk again. Keep aside for about 2 hours.
4. Stir the batter once and check for salt. 
5. Heat a tawa on medium heat, add little oil. Pour a ladle of batter and spread to make a thick pancake. Let it become golden brown on both sides. (Tip : Make small holes in between and drizzle oil in them too so it cooks evenly)
Serve hot with desired accompaniments.

6 June 2016

Mango Phirni

            The ninth and the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, Ramadan has begun. Here's a sweet treat with Mangoes, an all-time favourite, Mango Phirni. A simple dish that is rich, nourishing and can have many variations too...
Ingredients :
Cooked rice - 1 cup (Make sure to cook the rice with enough water so it can be mashed well)
Milk - 4 cups
Mango puree - 1 cup
Condensed milk - 1/4 cup
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Chopped nuts (almonds, cashews, raisins) - roasted in ghee
Few Saffron strands, soaked in warm milk

Method :
1. Mash the rice while it's still hot and keep aside.
2. In a thick-bottomed pan, boil the milk till it reduces in quantity.
3. Stir in the mashed rice and whisk well to make sure there are no lumps. 
4. Now add the condensed milk, mango puree, dissolved saffron strands and cardamom powder and stir well, check for sweetness. 
5. Remove from the flame and let cool. Serve chilled or warm garnished with the roasted nuts.

3 June 2016

Thanks for the inspiration...

            In an era where introducing oneself as a blogger, especially a food blogger either causes eyes to brighten or roll and look upwards, I salute all the bloggers out there who put in so much passion, dedication and effort to maintaining their blogs amidst their busy life schedules.
            Be it the design (even those who have little or no coding knowledge), content, and more importantly, marketing, blogs are prized possessions of many. Even more commendable is the sharing of knowledge and expertise among them to help others out in tricky situations too.
            One such inspiring co-blogger, Preethi Prasad who blogs at https://preethicuisine.com nominated me for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'. I would like to thank her and all other bloggers out there who inspire me day in and day out, especially on days when I am almost ready to throw in the proverbial towel!! Preethi, is an all-rounder in my opinion, juggles...no, successfully multi-tasks between her family, career, cooking, blogging and social media as well..
              Now about this award.. though Google doesn't help much with its origin, this award along with the 'Very Inspiring Blogger Award' seem to have been doing the rounds for quite some time now, where bloggers acknowledge inspiring co-bloggers. My theory..why worry about origins when the purpose is mutual appreciation...
So here are the rules, facts & my nominations further down...

1. Thank the Blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
2. List the rules.
3. Display the award image on your header/footer/sidebar.
4. List seven facts about yourself.
5. Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award and them know you have nominated them.

1. I am a full-time foodie and part-time blogger, not much of a recipe follower, I usually like to build up on ingredients using recipes as guidelines.
2. I have a soft corner for Indian and Italian cuisines
3. I love photography, the medium doesn't matter as long as I am able to capture the moment!!
4. I also dabble in quilled earrings 
5. Tiramisu is my to-die for dish
6. Learning the ropes and tricks of social media is my passion
7. I am tech-savvy and crazy about mobiles!!

MY NOMINATIONS (in no particular order :) ) :
1. https://madraasi.com/ - By 'Madraasi' Deepa, who is also a co-FBAB member, I have great respect for her passion for food and blogging
2. https://naveensuresh3.wordpress.com/ - By Naveen Suresh, one of the admins of FBAB, a true-blue foodie if ever there was one!
3. http://www.cosmopolitancurrymania.com - By Purabi Naha, award-winning blogger, her photography & simple writing can actually make one smell the aroma of the food she talks about..
4. http://www.binjalsvegkitchen.com - By Binjal Pandya, her food-photography is a source of inspiration for many..
5. http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com - By Aarthi Satheesh, simple to follow recipes, her blog has been a saviour many a times when I have been stuck..
6. http://recipeforperfection.com - By Katie Moseman, an acquaintance via social media, her recipes and posts are eye-catching and she also gives back in that, she happily RTs posts that have her hashtag..
7. https://cookingatmayflower.blogspot.in - By Beena Stephy, I admire her easy to follow writing style, and her dedication to her passion of cooking..
8. http://sandhyahariharan.co.uk/ - By Sandhya Hariharan, another neat blog with a vast recipe repository and amazing photography.
I will be adding more to the list, it's not about whom to add that's the struggle, it's more 'How can I leave anyone out' !! :)