Friday, November 15, 2019

Sweet Potato Pancakes

We usually prepare pancakes for our Sunday breakfast. And we have liked simple pancakes, Banana pancakes Pear Pancake in past. I was inclined to use sweet potatoes in our meals and thought of mixing it with pancakes. 

The sweetness of sweet potatoes gelled very well with simple pancakes. They turned out light and fluffy but when eaten, will leave tummy satisfied for couple of hours. If there is a breakfast that can satisfy the soul and hungry tummy, then sweet potato pancake is the one.
Now to the recipe

Sweet Potato Pancakes
Recipe requirements (Makes – 5-6)
  • 2 large orange sweet potato
  • 2 cups of self-rising flour
  • 2 free range eggs
  • ¾ cup of milk
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup of cooking oil

  • In a big mixing bowl – mix self-rising flour with cinnamon powder and pinch of salt.
  • Boil sweet potatoes for 15-20 mints or till they turn soft. You can pressure cook for two whistles as well. Take out sweet potatoes in colander and drain the excess water. Keep it open for about 10-15 mints before you mash them well.  
  • Now add in egg one at a time, mixing well with flour. Add in mashed sweet potato.
  • Add in milk and mix well till there are no lumps left. The pancake batter should be smooth and a nice falling consistency.
  • Leave it aside for half an hour.
  • Heat up a heavy cast iron skillet /Tava/non-stick flat fry pan.
  • Add in 2 tsp of cooking oil spreading nicely.
  • Now scoop a full ladle of the batter and drop on the hot skillet.
  • Let the bubble surface out. Flip the side of the pancake once you see bubbles pop up nicely.
  • Cook the pancakes for another 2-3 mints. Each pancake will take 5-6 mints on low-medium flame to cook.
  • Serve hot with maple syrup, honey or butter or any other sauces you like.

Happy Cooking Friends 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Quinoa with Broccoli and Spring Onions

If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.
-          Victoria Erickson

Autumn season is in its full vigor these days in our neck of the woods. The parks and roadside trees have acquired lovely fall colors all across. The walks into parks have become even more interesting and refreshing.

I happen to took these pictures yesterday, thought of sharing it here.
I have been thinking of including Quinoa in our daily meal plans. I picked this tricolor Quinoa from our local grocers couple of days ago. These are available very readily over here. I was more looking for a warm bowl of Quinoa cooked with some veggies. This Quinoa with broccoli, spring onion and potato stir/fry is a very satisfying meal when it comes to variations. Quinoa can easily be replaced with rice and pastas and are high in fiber and protein contents. So, when I no longer crave for rice, I can always skip it and replace it with Quinoa. Broccoli and spring onions are stir/fried with turmeric and red pepper powder which adds up to the flavor of this dish. This recipe is Diabetic friendly as well as Quinoa is whole grains (actually it’s a seed) in itself. You can replace Potatoes with orange sweet potatoes for a diabetic friendly recipe.

Now to the recipe
 Quinoa with Broccoli and Spring onions
Recipe requirements (serves 2)
  • ½ cup of Quinoa
  • 2 cups of broccoli florets
  • 1 medium size potato/or 1 medium size orange sweet potato
  • 1 bundle of spring onions
  • ½ tsp of turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp of red pepper powder
  • 2 dry red pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt+ ¼ tsp of salt for Quinoa
  • 2 tsp of cooking oil

  • Chop potato into small bite size pieces. Cut spring onion and separate broccoli florets.
  • Wash them well in water.
  • Put a fry pan over cooking flame. Add in cooking oil. Now add dry red pepper, potatoes, stir/fry them for 1-2 mints.
  • Add in broccoli and chopped spring onion. Keep on stir/fry for about 2-3 mints.
  • Add in turmeric powder, red pepper powder and salt.
  • Cover the lid and cook vegetables for about 7-10 mints or till the potatoes are soft enough.
  • Meanwhile the vegetables are cooking. Put a pot with ample water to cook Quinoa. For every quarter cup of Quinoa, add in 1 cup of water. Ratio should be 3:1. Add in salt as well.
  • Let the quinoa slowly cook in water for about 15-17 mints. Once cooked, drain the excess water.
  • Now place the cooked Quinoa over serving plate. Now assemble the stir/fried broccoli, potatoes and spring onions over it. Serve and enjoy.
Other Post on Quinoa- Quinoa with Scrambled eggs

Happy Cooking Friends

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Chocolate Pistachio Oats Bars and Happy Diwali

Festival season brings loads of memories of our childhood days. And being away from home means, it’s even more noticeable and felt. 

The smaller things which we took granted while growing up, resurfaces with intense feeling of recreating them in my kitchen. My Ma used to make namkins and sweets during festivals and these things which went unnoticed during those days, suddenly makes sense to me now, when I myself have started to make them from scratch these days. The preparation for festivals itself was a daunting affair but a very memorable experience for each one of us. The small nitty-gritty associated with festivals added up to the much-awaited festival days. 

The Diyas, we used to soak in water the night before Deepawali, and then would sundry next day morning, to be preparing them to light up on Deepawali- the ‘Amavasya’ night. The kitchen used to smell of various sweet aromas infused with desi ghee and the atmosphere around our neighborhood was filled with various sweet and savory aromas coming from neighboring kitchens and homes as well. We used to distribute sweets in our neighborhood and would look forward to the various goodies that used to come from our neighbors and well-wishers very eagerly. 

Deepawali is festival of lights, so diyas, candles and light bulbs were part of every homes, that used to celebrate Deepawali. Let me wish everyone a happy Diwali, may festival of light brings good health, happiness and prosperity to you and to your family.
There are loads of other things which suddenly sprung up in my mind, but I will like to reserve those for some other days.
I wanted to make each one of us notice the festivity, so made batches of Besan Laddos and Kaju Katlis and these Chocolate Pistachio Oats bars and send them over to dear daughter’s school friends and better half’s Deepawali celebrations in his office. Soon it will be Halloween as well and schools over here have closed for half term break, much needed solace from daily routine.

Now to the recipe for this post
Chocolate Pistachio Oats bars 
Recipe requirements ( Makes 40 bars approx )
  • Quick Oats- 3/4 cup
  • 1 bar chocolate ( 150 Gms of 35% chocolate )
  • 1 cup of shelled and chopped pistachios+ ¼ cup more for garnishing (finely chopped and crushed) 
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 2 cups of milk powder
  • 1 can condensed milk+ 2 tbs of milk
  • 3-4 tsp of ghee/clarified butter

  • Dry roast flour and oats for about 5-6 mints at medium flame or till the rawness is gone.
  • Take out in a separate bowl. Mix together well.
  • Now in the same pan, add in chocolate chunks and milk. Melt chocolate at low flame, stirring continuously. Take it off from the flame when some of the chocolate chunks starts to melt. You can microwave it also. Trick is not to burn the chocolate.
  • Add in condensed milk now. Mix well and add milk powder as well. Transfer the pan over to flame now.
  • Keep on stirring, the mixture will start to become more like a liquid consistency.
  • At this time add in flour and oats slowly about half a cup at a time, stirring continuously. Do not stop mixing the mixture.
  • Meanwhile grease a tray or plate with about 2 tsp of ghee.I ended up using 2 roasting trays.
  • Keep on stirring for about 7-8 mints, the content will start to collect well. Transfer the content to the prepared tin and even out the surface with the help of your hands or spoons.
  • Let it cool off a bit before you cut them into squares. Let it cool off and then transfer it to refrigerator. You can directly eat from fridge. These bars will remain fresh for about a week if kept in fridge.

Happy Cooking Friends and Have a Happy Diwali !!

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Chicken Dry Curry- Murgir Makha-Makha Jhaal

The leaf of every tree, brings message
From the unseen world, look every
falling leaf is a blessing
-          Rumi

Past couple of days, its raining here, sometimes persistent and sometimes intermittent. We are observing sudden drop in temperatures in the mornings and evenings. If it rains the weather becomes cold and soggy which is typical of autumn season in this part of the world. 

Although, fall season has an enticing aura and grandeur. Each and every falling leaf has a beauty of its own. I was strolling out, in one of our local parks and tried to capture some moments with my mobile.

And also, this blog has turned 13. Thirteen long years have passed, when I first wrote a random blogpost in blogger in 2006.It feels nice to be connected to my readers, who have subscribed the blog posts and feeds.
Although, I am not that active in using other social media platforms, this blog still has some loyal readers. I must thank them and new readers for coming back here for recipes and more for years now.

Now to the recipe for todays post- chicken curry. I would not want to label this as curry. But I fail to come up with exact replica for ‘makha-makha jhal’ in English. I have taken some liberty in naming this dish chicken dry curry. I have used ajwain/carom seeds for making this dry curry, although it’s not the only ingredient, which I would like to highlight.
Although must admit ajwain/carom seeds being a digestive enhancer helps in balancing off the richness of the gravy that comes with walnuts and all whole garam masala ingredients.
The use of freshly grounded spices like mace, cloves and cardamom has infused much aroma to the gravy. The gravy was done in slow stir/fry type.
This is a work of patience, as you need to pound and grind the spices for a lovely aroma, which adds up to the gravy. I took the pictures with my mobile as usual. Hope, it justifies the texture of the gravy.

Now to the recipe.

Chicken Dry Curry- Murgir Makha-Makha Jhaal
Recipe requirements
  • Chicken – 1kg
  • 4 medium size onions
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 1 medium size tomato
  • 2-3 medium size potato cut into half
  • 5-6 walnuts
  • ¼ cup of raisins

  • 1 tsp of red pepper powder
  • 2 tsp of coriander powder
  • salt as per taste or 1 tsp 
  • 5-6 tbs of cooking oil 

To be freshly grounded
  • 2 tsp of whole black pepper
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 4-5 green cardamom
  • Few strands of mace
  • ¼ tsp of carom seeds
  • Wash and clean chicken pieces thoroughly. I have used 4 leg-sides portions for this curry which makes approx 1 kg of chicken.
  • In a food processor or mixer/grinder, grind onions, garlic, ginger, walnuts, raisins, tomato and green chillies to a smooth paste.
  • Now heat up a heavy bottomed fry pan, add cooking oil.
  • Add in the prepared paste, add in salt, turmeric powder, red pepper powder and coriander powder and keep on stir/fry for 10-15 mints.
  • Meanwhile in a mortar/pestle, dry grind- carom seeds, cloves, cardamom, whole black pepper and mace.
  • Now add in cut potatoes to the above. Add the dry grinded masala powder now.
  • Keep on stir/frying for about 5-7 mints more. 
  • Now cover the pan and let it cook. Do not add water, if you want a dry gravy with it. Lower the flame and let it slowly cook in its own juices and all spices for about 30 -35 mints or till all the chicken pieces turns soft and cooked through well.

Happy Cooking Friends

Friday, October 11, 2019

Orange Avocado and Mint Salad

Now that Ma Durga has gone back to Shiva’s abode with her children, leaving behind us with heavy hearts, the routine life for most of us has started whether you are living in New York, London or Kolkata or for that matter, any part of the world. Each and every year, we so look forward to spent these 4-5 days with loads of enthusiasm and zeal. But once those days are spent, the longing to spend, few more days keeps on coming back. I haven’t yet wished Vijayadashami to my readers. Let me wish everyone a Shobha Bijoya and Happy Dussehra.

I have been receiving few messages for Bijoya and Dussehra greetings. Couple of them got my attention, so thought its worth mentioning here. Dussehra festival is celebrated in India and abroad by Hindu people and it’s a very inclusive festival, where everyone is encouraged to participate and celebrate irrespective of their choice of religions. The community food distribution during these days is open to all sects of the society, where ever you can go and join in. The ethos implies in ‘Vasudhev Kutumba-kum’ in Sanskrit meaning -"Entire cosmos is our family". 

In today’s context Dussehra implies in these few lines.
The demon is always within.
The Goddess is always within.
The battle too, is always within.
And so is the triumph of one, over the other.
Which one, over which one?
That choice is also, somehow always within.”
Everyone is capable of making good choices for themselves, no matter how much adverse circumstances can be. As The headmaster of a wizard world ‘Hogwarts’- Albus Dumbledore once said to Harry Potter in the famous Book- Chamber of Secrets.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” The choices made by us defines our personalities as well.

Now to the recipe for this post- Orange Avocado and mint salad. We have been getting fresh oranges over here and since autumn and oranges go hand in hand, thought let me share a very simple salad recipe. After eating out all sorts of rich and festive food items, now its time to detox a bit. This salad is healthy and very diabetic friendly recipe. It is also good for people who wants to keep a watch on their blood pressure levels.
Now to the recipe
Orange Avocado and Mint salad
Recipe requirements
  • 2-3 oranges
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1cup of mint leaves
  • ½ cup of grated paneer
  • For dressing
  • 1-2 tsp of olive oil
  • Salt as per taste
  •  ¼ tsp of Crushed black pepper

  • Peel oranges and separate pieces. Cut and chop avocado, carrot into bite size pieces. Separate mint leaves from its twigs.
  • In a big salad bowl, put all the above – oranges, avocado, carrot and mint leaves.
  • Now grate a big block of paneer to get about a quarter cup.Add to the salad bowl.
  • Now add in olive oil and seasonings- salt and freshly crushed black pepper.
  • You can add red chilly flakes for an extra kick in the salad.
  • Tip- to make it even more filling, can add cooked black beans or rajma as well.

Happy Cooking Friends