October 28, 2011

Vermicelli Kheer | Diwali & Some Hand Painted Diyas

I hope you guys had a cracker of a Diwali .. I wanted to do a post on Indian sweets much before Diwali but then I got really busy with shopping & preparations ..
And, 2 days before the festival, I grated my finger yet another time, & this time it was a pretty bad one. I meant that I couldn't do any major cooking on Diwali, but I managed to make a simple Vermicelli Kheer

I should have ideally posted this on Diwali but this time, I was so much into hand painted Diyas this time, that I didn't want to do a post .. I painted quite a few of them & I loved it ..
Have a look at my Diyas here  .. Lovely isnt't it??


Now the Vermicelli Kheer .. The simplest Indian Dessert .. 

Vermicilli Kheer

You Will Need:
  • 1 litre Milk
  • 1/2 cup Vermicelli
  • 1/2 cup Sugar or more if you need
  • 1 tsp Ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • Broken cashews & almonds for garnish
How To:
  • If you are not using pre roasted vermicelli, roast them in a tsp of ghee until golden brown. Set aside. I used Pre roasted Vermicelli, so I skipped this step, which is why you will see that the vermicelli is not golden brown here.
  • Bring milk to a boil, add vermicelli & stir. Let it simmer for about 15 mins until the vermicelli has cooked. Add sugar & stir well. Let it simmer for another 10 mins. The kheer should have thickened by now. But it should have a pouring consistency. If you find that the kheer has thickened a lot, add some more milk & sugar & simmer for another 2-3 mins.
  • Fry cashews & almonds in ghee until golden in color. Add them to the kheer along with cardamom powder.
The kheer will thicken further once it cools down, so keep this in mind & adjust the consistency accordingly. Serve Hot or chilled .. Enjoi !!

October 21, 2011

Homemade Kesar Badam Milk

For ages, I've been using the readymade Badam Milk powder & I've been quite happy with it .. Until, I had home made Badam Milk at a friend's house & I fell in love with its fresh taste ..  It is quite time consuming to grind almonds each time you may want to drink this, but do make this when your guests come home this Diwali .. They will love it ..

Kesar Badam Milk

You Will Need:
  • A handful of almonds - soaked in hot water for an hour & skin peeled
  • 2 cups of Milk
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
  • A pinch of saffron dissolved in warm milk
How To:
  • Boil milk & set aside to cool
  • Grind almond into a smooth paste using a tbsp of milk
  • Add this to boiled milk, Mix sugar & stir so that sugar dissolves.
  • Add green cardamom powder, & Allow it to chiil in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
  • Pour into glasses, Garnish with saffron strands

Enjoi your Kesar Badam Milk chilled ..

October 18, 2011

Banana Walnut Loaf Cake

Shankar turned an year older last sunday &amp since it was a holiday; I wanted to bake him a cake with him . But our plans changed the last minute, & we ended up spending the entire day outdoors .. I finally found the time to bake a cake this morning ..  .. A few months ago, I brought a small Banana cake loaf from the local bakery & Shankar loved it as it wasn't overy sweet .. Although terribly late, Banana Walnut Loaf Cake was what I baked for the Birthday Boy ..

Banana Walnut Loaf Cake

I got the recipe from here & it definitely is for keeps.

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter - softened
  • 1 1/3 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp Cocoa powder
  • 80g chopped walnuts
  • 3 large ripe bananas - mashed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tso Bicarbonate of Soda
How To:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • In a large bowl, put the butter, sugar & eggs. beat well with a hand blender. Add mashed bananas to the mixture & give it a good mix
  • In another bowl, sift the flour, Soda, cinnamon powder, cocoa powder.
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Stir in yogurt & walnuts.
  • Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan & spoon the mixture & level the surface. Bake for the hour.
  • Let it cool on a rack. Unmould & cut into slices
Serve warm with some Coffee or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream by the side & serve as a dessert .. Enjoi !!

  • The original recipe calls for chocolate chips, I replaced it with walnute instead.
  • I also reduced the amount of cocoa powder from 1 tbsp to 1 tsp. We loved the very slight hint of  chocolate

October 14, 2011

Quinoa Upma

Okay, so I finally made a Quinoa dish , almost 3 months after I bought a packet of Quinoa :)  I had this sudden urge to eat some healthy low calorie food, & Quinoa Upma is what I made for today's lunch

Quinoa Upma

And did I like the taste?? Yes only if cooked with loads of seasonings as Quinoa is quite bland on its own. But its nutritional value makes it up for everything else. Next time, I will make a spicy Quinoa Pulao & will use it in Porridge as well .. Watch out for the recipe

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped
  • 1 carrot - diced
  • 1 green pepper - diced
  • 1 potato - diced
  • 2 green chillies - chopped
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp cooking oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • fresh Coriander for garnish
How To:
  • Dry roast quinoa for a couple of minutes. Set aside. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add quinoa & let it cook for about 10 mins on medium flame. Add additional water if required. When completely cooked, fluff with a fork & set aside.
  • In a wok, heat oil, splutter mustard & cumin seeds. Add turmeric, green chillies, ginger & stir. Throw in chopped onions & saute for a couple of mins. Add the rest of the vegetables & some salt & give it a good stir. Add a couple of tbsps of water so that the vegetables don't stick to the pan.
  • When the vegetables are completely cooked yet crisp, add quinoa & lemon juice. Check for salt & mix well. Let it stand on low flame for about 2 mins.
  • Turn off the stove & garnish with fresh chopped coriander.
Serve HOT with some salad & yogurt by the side .. Enjoi a healthy meal ...

October 5, 2011

South Indies: Rice & Coconut Milk Payasam

Hope, everyone is having a great time celebratind Dussera. We are having a lovely time, visiting temples, relatives & friends & looking all the lovely dolls on display, at theit homes .. I was wanting to go to Mysore to have the look at the world famous Dasara procession but sadly couldn't make it this year ..

We have been indulging in some lovely traditional home made food ever since the onset of Dasara & this yummy Payasam was made for Durgashtami.

This isn't exactly the traditional Kerala style coconut milk payasam. I love the flavor of coconut milk so it got added along with rice, milk & other ingredients ... I haven't used jaggery either, but it can be used instead of sugar if you wish to

Rice & Coconut Milk Payasam

You Will Need:
  • 1 1/2 cups full fat milk
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • A handful of Basmati rice
  • 3/4 th cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • Cashews, almonds & raisins for garnish
  • 2 tsp desi ghee
  • A pinch of Saffron dissloved in warm milk
How To:
  • Clean & wash Basmati rice. In a tsp of ghee, slightly roast the rice until aromatic.
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, add milk & bring it to a boil. Add Rice, sugar & allow it to simmer until the rice gets cooked.
  • Add coconut milk & cardamom powder & simmer for another  mins.
  • Roast almonds, cashews & raisins in a tsp of Desi Ghee & add them to the Payasam.
  • Garnish with Saffron & serve Warm or Chilled .. Enjoi !!!