Thursday, January 28, 2010

Spicy Yogurt Sandwich

Sometimes its difficult to decide what does one cook which is quick, tasty and takes care of those evening odd time hunger pangs..

This "Dahi bread" or "Yogurt bread" is perfect for those occassions.

I first ate this preparation at my neighbour's place when I was a kid. My mom has been making it ever since. This time when I went back home and it was evening, my mom surprised me with these...So I thought I should add them to my blog ASAP..

So heres the recipe for all of you..

Serves: 3 sandwiches
Level: Easy

3 tblsp yogurt
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tblsp chopped cilantro
Salt to taste
2 pinch asafoetida
1 tsp mustard seeds

Step 1 - Beat the yogurt. Add in the chilly powder, salt and cilantro. Mix well.

Step 2 - Apply to one slice of the bread and make a sandwich.

Step 3 - Take a non-stick pan. Pour very little bit of oil. Add in mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds splutter, place the sandwiches on it. In about a minute, turn them over. Take off the flame.

Eat immediately.

Dont let these cool off. They become soft and chewy.

Make these in very little oil. Just enought to slightly brown the bread. Else they taste and smell of oil...and thats really not what you want!!

Happy eating.

Rack your brains!
Yogurt is nutritionally rich in proteins.calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
It has nutritional benefits beyond those of milk.
Yoghurt is believed to promote good gum health, possibly because of the probiotic effect of lactic acids present in yoghurt.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Coconut Candy (Khobryachi Wadi)

Well it was my dad's birthday on the 21st. and I was way too excited about being in india to enjoy it with him..

My dad is not much of a cake person..and we end up eating much more than him. So this time I planned to make his favorite "Khobryachi Wadya" for him.

When I started trying out these..some time ago...there were disasters after disasters in my kitchen. I almost gave i just dint know where to stop cooking these. Sometimes they were too soft..sometimes they were rock hard...Then i came across this recipe and thought that I should give it one last try. And VOILA! they were perfect...everytime.

So anyone whos scared of venturing into the world of traditional indian sweets...this ones surely a safe and quick bet.

And NO..i havnt forgotten the ghee or butter here...its just not needed!..:)

Serves: 15 to 20 small squares
Level: Medium

2 cups fresh grated coconut
1.25 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp cardomom powder
Few strands of saffron

Step 1 - Grind together the coconut and sugar. We dont want to make it a paste. Just to mix it together.

Step 2 - Heat a pan and pop in this ground mixture. Stir continuously.

Step 3 - When it starts bubbling, add in the milk and keep stirring. You really cant stop stirring once the milk is added. The mixture could stick to the bottom of the pan. Initially the mixture would feel very liquidy, then it thickens gradually.

Step 4 - When the mixture is fairly thick, add in the saffron and cardomom powder. Keep stirring till the spoon you are cooking with stands straight in the mixture. Immediately pour into a greased tray. Let it cool a bit, cut into square shapes, but dont pull it out just yet.

Step 5 - Refrigerate for 15 mins. and then cut into desired shapes.
Eat at room temperature...Its just perfectly awesome that ways.

While making the wadis, make sure your pan (where you pour in this mixture) is greased before hand. Once your mixture is ready, you will need to immediately pour it into the pan. No time can be wasted there.

Dont forget to mark your shapes before the mixture completely cools off. Its difficult to do that once the wadis cool down.

You could keep these wadis refrigerated and pop it in the microwave for 10-15 secs to get them to room temperature before indulging !!!

happy eating everybody!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Baked beans on toast

A great brunch idea...not too heavy, not too light..just right!

This recipe is actually for my mami-in-law. She wanted to come over when I make this dish..but something or the other keeps coming up and she keeps missing it. So this ones just for her.

My mom used to make this dish for us when we were kids and used to get bored with traditional home food..which happened quite often! But when my brother got married and my sister in law made her kind of baked beans on toast...they were just wayyyy this is her recipe for all of u.

Serves: 5 - 6 people
Level: Easy

2 cans of baked beans (i personally prefer the SIL brand)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Sliced bread
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp butter

Step 1 - Take a pan and heat some oil in it. When warm, add in the ginger, garlic and chillies. Saute for a min. Add in the onions and saute till transparent.

Step 2 - Pour in the 2 cans of baked beans (Directly from can to pot. Dont drain or wash them). Mix well lightly together. You dont want mashed baked beans on toast.

Top it over some toasted bread, cover with your choice of topping... Serve immediately.

You can make the beans in advance and keep it refrigerated till use. Just heat it in the microwave before using it.

My favorite toppings include - some chopped onion and little bit of butter
You could top it with grated cheese...chillies ....chaat masala...chilly sauce...coriander...anything.

Hope you enjoy making this super easy dish.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Spicy Spinach Soup

I am always in search of some quick soup recipes.
Its quite boring to spend hours making a soup that finishes in a bowl or two..just not worth it!

Now that the pleasant weather comes to an end slowly...and soup season is coming to an end. So I am trying my best to make sure it is in our diet as much as possible these days.

Spinach is one of the green leafy vegetable..i love avoiding in my diet. But when i found this spiced spinach soup recipe..i thought it was a great way to get spinach into everybody. One of the best positives about this one is that it absolutely KILLS the taste of spinach. :)

So heres the recipe,

Serves : 5 - 6 people
Level: Easy

3 medium spinach bunches
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1.5 inch cinnamon sticks
2 green chillies, chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 inch ginger, finely chopped
1 cup milk
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tblsp oil

Step 1 - Firstly, boil a huge pot of water. When it comes to a roaring boil plunge in the spinach leaves and push them under water. Let this boil for no more than 2 mins. Drain in a colander and pour cold water over it. This will help spinach retain its fresh green color.

Step 2 - Put this spinach in a mixer bowl, add in 1 cup of milk and puree it. Keep aside. With the above quantity and a normal sized mixer, I had to do this in 2 parts.

Step 3 - Take another vessel and heat oil in it. When warm, add in the cinnamon stick and saute for a min. Then add in the ginger, garlic and chillies and saute for 2 mins till garlic slightly changes color. Then add in onions, and saute till brownish.

Step 4 - Add in the spinach puree, salt, pepper and water till you reach the desired consistency and boil for 5 mins.

Serve hot.

I like this soup as it is. My husband takes immense efforts to make this soup unhealthy, by having it with cheese cubes!! but trust me, if weight is not an issue or you are someone that indulges once in a while, this tastes awesome!!! The cheese perfectly softens in the hot soup and its just gooily YUM!

Milk is added to give this soup a creamy texture. Try not to avoid it!

Rack your brains!
Spinach is a very nutrient- dense food.
It's low in calories yet very high in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients.
This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium and vitamin B6.
It's a great source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber and copper.
Plus, its a good source of selenium, niacin and omega-3 fatty acids.

but beware...
- The oxalates in spinach may interfere with the absorption of calcium.
- People who has kidney or gallbladder problems may want to be careful about eating this green.
- Its possible that it can interefere with proper thyroid gland functioning, although cooking may reduce the goitrogenic compounds.
- Gout-prone people may be affected by the purines in this food.
- Spinach is one of the high pesticide- containing foods, so it's important to eat organic spinach if you can.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lemon Rice

I was never really fond of rice dishes...but during my stay in the US, I realised that no maid is going to come and cook chapatis for me everyday...i convinced myself..that rice is the way to go!
Making chapatis has been, is and will always be a boring task for me.
So I used to make them only once a day (well almost!).
The other meal used to be either something continental or some rice dishes.

In the process I did a lot of surfing for some different styles of rice. Learnt lemon rice, tamarind rice, tomato rice etc.

So heres my sis-in-law's favorite rice preparation...Lemon rice. This dish is a cool "packed picnic preparation" too..tastes best warm, but its ok to have it at room temparature too.

SIL is going with her friends to Belgaum today and she has chosen lemon rice for her group of friends in the train. Hence the large quantity. You could adjust the quantity as per your desired servings.

Level: Easy
Serves: 6 -7 people

8 cups cooked rice (2 cups raw rice)
3 lemons, or as desired
Salt to taste
3 dry red chillies
2 tsp chana dal
2 tsp urad dal
3 tblsp raw peanuts
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 pinch asafoetida/hing
2 sprigs curry leaves
3 green chillies, roughly chopped
2 inch ginger, finely chopped
3 tblsp coriander, finely chopped

Step 1 - Separate the cooked rice on a large plate and let it cool down. When cool, apply salt and lemon juice as per your taste preference. It should be lemony and perfectly salted. Its difficult to adjust the salt at a later stage. Keep aside.

Step 2 - Take a large wok-like vessel. Pour in some oil and let it heat up. When hot, add dry red chillies and mustard seeds. When they splutter add in chana dal and peanuts. Stir on a medium low flame till they brown.

Step 3 - Add in urad dal. It quickly turns brown. Add in turmeric powder, asafoetida, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves together. Mix well for a minute or so.

Step 4 - Add rice and stir till all the masala quotes the rice well. Do not fry the rice in there. Once all is quoted turn off flame.

Serve warm with some pickle.

You could leave out the chana dal, if you think you dont like too much crunch.

Rack your brains!
Citrus fruits have more benefits than any other fruits.
Lemon juice is a good source of vitamin C.
It can protect your body against germs and bacteria.
Lemon juice is very high in citric acid, which helps the body fight off colds. 
It is also a liver stimulant and can control irritable bowel syndrome.
It can control conditions like constipation and diarrhea.
It can also help in helping heart burn, some bloating and even helping in subsiding gas pains.

Chicken Curry - South Ishtyle

A recipe passed on to me by my mom. Apparently she got this one from one of her friends.

We are having some guests coming home today. So this chicken is for 12 adjust the quantities as per your requirements.

This dish has a mild fenugreek and curry leaf flavour..which makes it a fresh change from the normal maharashtrian style chicken which is usually made at our home.

Here is how its made

Level: Medium
Serves: 12-13 people

2 kg chicken (pref. with bones)
13-14 dry red chillies
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 tsp coriander seeds
20 curry leaves
1.5 cups fresh grated coconut
2 tblsp tamarind paste
15-16 garlic pods
3-4 tblsp oil
4 large onions, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder
3-4 bay leaves
4 - 5 cups water
Salt to taste
Coriander for decoration

Step 1 - Clean the chicken, apply salt and turmeric and leave it aside.

Step 2 - Take a pan. Add 2 tsp oil. Saute dry red chillies, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and curry leaves till it releases an awesome aroma and slightly changes color.

Step 3 - Grind the sauted spices, fresh coconut, tamarind pulp and garlic pods together into a smooth paste by adding a little water. Keep aside

Step 4 - Take a large vessel. Add some oil. When hot, add the bay leaves and onions. Saute till onions turn brownish. Add the marinated chicken and saute well for 10-15 mins. Till the chicken turns whitish.

Step 5 - Add the spice mixture paste and saute well for another 10 mins. Add 4 to 5 cups of water and mix everything well. Cover and let it cook completely.

Serve piping hot...decorated with coriander and a dash of lime.

Do let me know how this turns out for you folks !

Rack your brains!
Fenugreek seeds have been found to contain protein, vitamin C, niacin, potassium and diosgenin.
It has been found to help increase libido and lessen the effect of hot flashes and mood fluctuations that are common symptoms of menopause and PMS.
In India and China it has been also been used to treat arthritis. asthma, bronchitis, improve digestion, maintain a healthy metabolism, increase libido and male potency, cure skin problems, treat sore throat and cure acid reflux.
Fenugreek also has a long history of use for the treatment of reproductive disorders, to induce labor, to treat hormonal disorders, to help with breast enlargement, and to reduce menstrual pain.
Recent studies have shown that Fenugreek helps lower blood glucose and cholestrol levels, and may be an effective treatment for both type 1 and 2 diabetes.
Fenugreek is also being studied for its cardiovascular benefits.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dhondas (kakdicha)

A very typical kokani sweet dish...almost forgotten in time.
One of our favorite traditional dessert...which for some reason does not get made a lot at home...I wonder why?? :)

This dish can be either baked or steamed. I personally prefer the steamed one..maybe because my mom and her mom always made it that ways...reminds me of old times. Plus i think the baked version is a bit dry..I like dhondas when its juicy...


Heres how i made it...Hope you try this one out.

Level: Medium
Serves: 6 - 8 people

2 cups idli rava
4 cups cucumber grated (no need to squeeze out its water)
2 cups jaggery, grated
2.5 tblsp fresh coconut, grated
1.5 tsp ghee
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp jeera powder
2 tblsp cashew, roughly chopped (optional)
1/2 cup water, if needed
2 pieces of dried/fresh turmeric leaves

Step 1 - Take 1 tsp ghee in a pan. Lightly roast the idli rava for 2 mins. It should very slightly change color. Do not change its color completely. Remove and keep it aside.

Step 2 - In the same pan, add the cucumber (along with its water). Add the turmeric powder, salt and jeera powder. Mix well. Cook the cucumber till its almost done. Do not let it all mash away.

Step 3 - Add the idli rava. Stir well. If the batter is too thick, add 1/2 cup water. Do not make it watery. It should just all mix well together.

Step 4 - Add the jaggery. Mix well. Cover and let it all cook together. When it all comes together, as shown in the picture above...pour it in a greased steam pan and put in some turmeric leaves for flavour. Pour the batter in the vessel and steam without a lid for 2 whistles.

Serve hot with some ghee.

The turmeric leaves are optional..but it gives a great traditional kokani flavour.

Rack your brains:
Cucumber is a vegetable that belongs to the same family as pumpkins, zucchinis and other squashes.
Raw cucumber, applied on the skin, can help reduce heat and inflammation.
Fresh cucumber juice can provide relief from heartburn, acid stomach, gastritis and even ulcers.
The potassium in cucumber makes it useful for problems of high and low blood pressure.
It contains Erepsin, the enzyme that helps in protein digestion.
It has been associated with healing properties in relation to diseases of the kidney, urinary bladder, liver and pancreas.
Those suffering from diabetes have been found to benefit from the consumption of cucumber juice.

Fruit Punch

A refreshing drink for any party...sure to please a crowd. You need to try it to believe it. 

I learnt this at a small cooking course I took for mocktails..when I was in college...

You can vary the combinations given as per your preference. You could change the juices, vary the quantity of ice cream...or well change the ice cream flavour itself, adjust the sugar syrup quantity as per your liking and the tartness of the juices....well as you can can just go places with this one.

Heres how we like it at our place...

Level: Easy
Serves: 5 medium glasses

1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup mango juice
3 small scoops ice cream
Sugar syrup (as desired)
Dash of lime (optional..but it has its own fresh flavour)

Step 1 - Make the sugar syrup in you want this at room temperature. Take water and sugar in equal proportions and heat them till the sugar is dissolved and the mixture boils for 5 mins. Take off the flame and let it cool down.

Step 2 - Take a huge bowl. Add in all the ingredients and whisk it together

Serve chilled...:)

Sllluuurrrpppp !

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Date and Walnut Cake (Eggless)

Frankly, the most loved cake recipe I've ever come across...

With the softness dates give this cake, contrasted with the slight crunch the walnuts give..this cake wins hands down.

Today I have made this cake for 2 reasons
Firstly, as it was requested by my brother ..and hes coming down to india today...
And secondly, I came to know a couple of days back that my paternal grand dad likes this cake a this is my special surprise for him too.

Well I made a huge cake today..for 8 to 10 noone would let me take the entire cake safely out of my in laws house. So had to leave some for them too..:)

Level: Medium
Serves: 8 to 10 people

200 gms seedless dates, finely chopped
80 gms walnuts, roughly chopped
140 gms all purpose flour/maida
100 gms white butter, room temperature
200 gms condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp soda-bi-carbonate
1 tsp baking powder
Water, if required

Step 1 - Chop the dates and soak them in water with 1/2 tsp of soda-bi-carbonate. The level of water should be enough to just soak all the dates. Keep this aside for a minimum of 4 hours. I usually keep it overnight. Makes the dates really soft.

Step 2 - Sieve maida, baking powder and soda-bi-carbonate together. Keep aside. Dont avoid this step..Believe it or makes a difference

Step 3 - Take a large vessel, and beat the white butter prefereably with a whisk for 5 mins. Add in condensed milk and vanilla essense. Whisk all together again.

Step 4 - Add in all purpose flour, soaked dates and whisk it again together. At this stage if you think this mixture is too thick to whisk..add in some water. But dont make the mixture watery..just enough water till its possible to whisk it all together. 

Step 5 - Lightly mix in walnuts and mix it with a spoon. Do not use a whisk crushes the walnuts in the mixture.

Step 6 - Smear the cake tin with some butter and sprinkle some all purpose flour in it.

Step 7 - Pour the cake batter and bake in a 200 deg C oven for 40-45 mins., till the top is brown and some cracks form on the top crust.

Tastes best when it is had warm with some cold vanilla ice cream.

Rack your brains:
Dates are valuable as medicine for their tonic effect.
It is easily digested and they are very useful for supplying energy and repairing waste.
The nicotinic content in dates is an excellent remedy for intestinal disturbances.
The date is a laxative food. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of constipation as the roughage provided by it stimulates sluggish bowels.

Walnuts are one of the best plant sources of protein.
They are rich in fiber, vitamin B, magnesium and antioxidants such as vitamin E.
Walnuts have been shown to aid in the lowering of LDL cholestrol (the bad cholestrol) and the C-Reactive Protein.

Dhaniya Chicken Legs


Yea..thats the reaction i expect from everybody...but dont loose hope..its a total hit everytime its made..

I like asking people what they think when i say powder chicken...well i got some hilarious answers..but this one beats them all...a white colored chicken...dry and powdery..

Well ..believe it or not..its one of the easiest chicken starter I've ever made..and when you see people digging their fingers in the big pot you cooked this in...well it sure gets you smiling...and satisfied !

This recipe is inspired by my cousin's MIL...thanks to her.

Level: Easy
Serves: 12 chicken legs
Source: My Papu Tai (Smita Rodrigues)

15 garlic pods, finely chopped
2 inch ginger, finely chopped
3 green chillies, finely chopped (optional)
1 cup coriander, finely chopped

Masala mix:
6 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp pepper powder
1.5 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
3 tblsp ketchup
1/4 cup water

Salt to taste

Step 1 - Take oil in a wok. When hot, add in garlic, ginger, green chillies. When they start getting brownish, add in the coriander and stir well.

Step 2 - Make a paste with 1/4 cup of water and the powders. Add in the wok. Stir well till oil is left from the masala.

Step 3 - Add in chicken and stir till cooked.

Serve hot with some sliced onions, and some lime squeezed over it..

Can it get simpler???

You can make this dish into a gravy dish by making a onion-tomato gravy..or just pour in a tin of coconut milk...tastes heavenly either ways.

Rack your brains:
Chicken is generally quite a healthy food.
As a source of protein it is one of the best, as it contains very little fat compared to other sources of meat.
However, the preparation of the chicken should be considered, as well as the type or parts of the chicken that are being consumed.
If you have severe cholestrol problems, they say chicken may not be good for you, as it contains a considerable amount of cholestrol, as much as red meat.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Warm Potato Salad

A delightful change from the usual veggie salad.

I generally make this salad, when we are on our not so strict diets..

Even though this salad has some mayo in can always avoid it (or like me cheat with 97% fat free mayo)...and make it healthier..but this is our favorite here it is for all of you..

Have it with some soup and its a meal in itself..:)

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 to 5 people
Adapted from: Book: Salad by Swapnali Sheteye

8 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, diced
1 large bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 green chilly, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, or as per taste
1 tblsp olive oil/salad oil
Sprigs of coriander, chopped
1 tsp sugar
3 tblsp mayonaise
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Tobasco to taste

Step 1 - Take a wok like vessel. Heat olive oil in it and saute the green chilly, bell pepper and onion till they are half need them to be slightly crunchy.

Step 2 - Turn off heat.

Step 3 - Add in diced potatoes, salt, pepper, tobasco, sugar. Toss around well.

Step 4 - Add in mayonaise and coriander. Toss around again.

Serve the name suggests..

You can also serve this with some crispy garlic bread..

Chop the potatoes finer...or mash have a sandwich spread/filling ready.

Truly filling !

Hope you enjoy  making this one. Do let me know how it turns out.

Rack your brains:
Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C and a source of fibre and iron.
Potatoes are not fattenning by themselves. Its what you put on it that adds calories.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hot and Sour Soup

A hot favorite Chinese soup in almost every home. Never heard of anyone who doesnt like this soup on a cooolllldddd day...

The best part of any chinese soup is the variation you can have in it. any veggies..any broth...its just too convenient..:)

Heres the and sour soup..aai's style...

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 to 6 people
Source: My Aai (Suchitra Thakur)

1/4 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/4 cup spring onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup french beans, finely chopped
1/2 cup cabbage, finely chopped
4 garlic pods, finely chopped
1.5 inch ginger, finely chopped
few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten (optional)
2.5 cups stock (i used chicken)
2 cups water (or as desired)
3 tblsp cornflour
1/4 tsp ajinomoto (optional)
1 tsp sugar (optional)
3 tblsp vinegar
2.5 tblsp soy sauce
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Step 1 - Place the stock in a pot, add water till the desired soup quantity is achieved and bring this to a roaring boil.

Step 2 - Add all the chopped veggies, ginger, garlic and parsley and boil again till the veggies are half cooked. You dont want it all mashed up in the soup.

Step 3 - Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ajinomoto, salt and pepper. Boil for 3 to 4 more mins.

Step 4 - Mix the cornflour in a few tblsps of water and form a thick paste. Add this to the soup.

Step 5 - While the soup is boiling, pour in the beaten egg, real slow and keep stirring the soup rigourously. This step needs to be real slow, as the egg cooks instantly when in contact with the soup. You dont want the soup to have lumps of eggs in it.

Serve this soup piping hot.

You can use any stock, be it chicken, vegetable, beef...I have actually tried this recipe with only water too. NBAA...

You can use as little or as many veggies as you like...
You can add shreds of boiled chicken to this soup too, to make it Chicken hot and sour soup.

If you want a vegetarian hot and sour soup, minus the eggs and replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Hope you enjoy making this super simple soup..and do let me know how it turns out..:)

Rack your brains:
Ajinomoto (monosodium glutamate/MSG/sodium glutamate), is a sodium salt of the naturally occurring non-essential amino acid glutamic acid.
It is used as a food additive and is commonly marketed as a flavour enhancer.

MSG as a food ingredients has been the subject of health studies.
It is said to be safe for most people when "eaten at customary levels".

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Golden Broth Soup

One of my favorite soups...a MUST TRY especially when its nice and cool outside and you desire a nice warm healthy cup of soup.

I first had this at my maternal aunt's place and was completely in love with it. My mom and I have been making it ever since. I dont wait for winters to make this one..its made all round the year at our place. Now its a hit even at my in laws place.

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 to 6 people
Source: My Varsha Maushi (Varsha Khanolkar)

4 carrots, diced
4 potatoes, diced
4 onions, diced
5 -6 leaves spinach, finely shredded
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tblsp butter
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Step 1 - Boil the diced veggies (carrots, potatoes, onions), preferably in a pressure pan and puree it.

Step 2 - Heat butter in a pot and saute the finely chopped onions and spinach on a medium high flame to slightly brown it

Step 3 - Add the pureed veggies to the pot, season with salt and pepper and bring it to a boil for 2 to 3 mins.

Serve piping hot with some crusty bread or toast to dip in it.

This soup can be a meal in itself...which it usually is when my husband and I go on our so called diets !!...:)

Hope you try this one out..and do let me know how it turns out !

Rava Cake (Semolina Cake)

Finally I start my own food blog..have been planning it from quite sometime..but something or the other just kept coming up...and on quite a few occassions I was just a bit worried about how this would all turn out..Then I just decided one day that I am going to just go for it..and heres my first post for all of you..:)

Was suggested by my husband to start with this Rava Cake/Semolina Cake..which is his favorite..:)

So heres a sweet start to my blog.

This is a great option when you arnt in the mood for those lovely iced cake..great for grandmoms and granddads who dont eat cakes with eggs on their birthdays..:)

Level: Easy
Serves: 6 -8 people
Source: My Mahim chi Ajji (Vasanti Parulekar)

1.5 cups semolina/rava
1.5 cups sugar
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup plain milk
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp soda-bi-carbonate
1 tsp vanilla essence
a pinch of salt
a pinch of saffron (optional)
1/2 tsp cardamom powder (optional)
Nuts for decoration (optional)

Step 1 - Mix the sugar and yogurt thoroughly, preferably with an electric whisk till the sugar has completely dissolved.

Step 2 - Then add all the other ingredients and whisk again till its mixed well.

Step 3 - Let the batter stand covered for an hour. This softens the semolina.

Step 4 - Smear the cake tin with some ghee/clarified butter and sprinkle some maida/all purpose flour on it, so that the cake comes out of the cake tin smoothly.

Step 5 - Preheat the oven at 200 deg C. When the oven is ready, bake for around 25-30 mins. The top of the cake must be golden brown.

Let it rest till the base of the tin cools down and then invert it on a serving plate.

You can have this cake plain (room temperature) sprinkled with some powdered sugar or warm it and have it with some vanilla ice cream.

Heaven !

Hope you try this one..and do let me know how it turned out.