Saturday, 29 January 2011

Eggless Blue Berry Muffins

Eggless baking is such a wonderful thing, It's quite a challenge and the end result makes you feel so happy that you have achieved something isn't it ?, Everybody asks me why do you want to make everything Eggless, especially my children they think that the end product isn't very soft and fluff up as it does which has a recipe with Eggs in it!, Mmm.., Sometimes yes, but these days baking too many Eggless cakes, Muffins etc., My children have started to Enjoy it a lot, and a wonderful thing is when they say 'Amma it's amazing, well, when I bake something I usually try to bake with something Nutritious in it and  less fat content in it, Nutritious as not using lot of Plain flour, try alternative flours, add lot of fruits and nuts etc., less fat as H has a sweet tooth (in extremes and his daughter) and worried he eats lot of sweets! So, here is my version of Blueberry Muffins..., I had some Blueberry's long back I had made these muffins with different flours, I did not take any photos then, Hoping I have written the recipe somewhere in my pile of books, my kids loved it and kept asking me to Bake them again, well, I am happy as they just finish it off, if not monitored and so with restrictions they have to take it to school one each day! I will allow them to eat 2 to 3 at one go only when it is fresh out of oven and later on try to control it! It isn't that bad isn't it ?.
Once again coming back to the recipe! (hoping not to go way out of it again....)...


140gms of Plain Flour/APS
140 gms of Fine Corn Meal
1 Apple (weighed 100 gms)
1/4 Cup Oil
1 tbsp Flax seed Powder
1/4 Cup Milk
3/4 th Cup Granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 and 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
1 cup (150 gms) fresh Blue Berries
2 tbsp of Warm water (if required)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/350 d F/Gas Mark 4
Spray 12 case Muffin tray with vegetable oil/cooking spray or butter them or line them with Muffin cases
First of all wash and dry the Blue berries and keep them aside,
Mix both the flours and sift together may be two to three times until well combined
In a mixie /Food Processor/hand Grinder or what ever you use to grind!,
Take apples (without the peel), Flaxseed powder and oil, Grind them into a smooth paste
Pour this into a large bowl, then add milk and Sugar give it a nice whisk for just a minute,
Then add Baking powder and Baking Soda, mix well

Then add the fresh Blue berries to the bowl, combine together
Then add the flour in three to four parts, in a nice circular motion, incorporate the flour completely into the bowl, until they are well combined do not mix it too much, be careful so the air pockets created by all the Ingredients should not get destroyed but the flours should also be well combined, do it slowly and steadily
Once everything is incorporated fill the Muffin cases around 2/3rds full with the batter and bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until well risen and golden or a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
I always turn the muffin tray around after 20 minutes for an even bake.
I did not do any frosting as I always make muffins and cakes for my kids to take it to school..
Take an other look at my lovely muffins..

Thanks to my daughter for this click she wanted to show me how soft and nice it was! isn't it beautiful.. Mmm.., they all loved it hope you try it and love it too...

I like to send this to Akila's Dish name starts with E event, and also to Cooking with fruits event by Smitha

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Black Channa/Kadale Kaalu/Kaala Channa/Black Garbanzo Beans Stir-fry with Quinoa

Hi everybody, Good Morning world!, weather seems to be always cold and damp and not feeling very happy about it, Quite excited now, might be visiting India soon, children are excited too!, they are counting days so can see their cousins and family after 3 Long years, this one recipe brings back memories of Home and Ganesha festival, My Mom is an expert, in making this of course not with my twist using Quinoa powder, she doesn't even know what it is!, Yesterday my kids were discussing and making a list of all the goodies they were going to ask their Nan to prepare for them and my eldest was saying in her list this would be the first one!
As we all know that we offer this Sundal/usal/Stirfry to Lord Ganesha during Ganesha Chawthi, this is also done in our Home during the Naming ceremony of the New born Child, If my friends and family are reading this they would have tasted my mother's Sundal, as she is always asked to make them or Supervises the recipe!
I have given a new Twist to this recipe by adding Quinoa Powder, which gave a wonderful taste to the Black Channa and it tasted great!, I try this Quinoa in all my day to day cooking as it is rich in Proteins and is good for the health of Growing Children.
Here is recipe...


1 Cup Black Channa/Kadale Kaalu/ Kaala Channa/ Black Garbanzo Beans
10 to 12 Sprigs of Coriander leaves
1/4 tsp of Asafoetida
3 to 4 Green Chillies
1'' Ginger piece
1/4 Cup Coconut
2 tbsp of Quinoa Powdered
Salt to taste

2 To 3 Tbsp of Oil
few curry  leaves
1 tsp Mustard seeds

First of all Soak Black Channa  Previous night, as it needs at least 12 to 15 hours of Soaking time ( A tip my sister gave me was soak all these kind of Beans with a pinch of Baking Soda, it makes the beans soft and in the morning you can wash it 2 to 3 times to get rid of Soda).
In India people don't like to use Soda in the cooking, as it was known as not good for health, well, these days I use it a lot because of baking, that too when you are trying out Eggless baking!
Any ways coming back to the recipe....
Fry Quinoa in a dry pan for few minutes like it starts to change colour and starts spluttering, remove it aside and allow it cool
Meanwhile cook Black Channa with a tsp of Salt in a pressure cooker upto 3 whistles which makes the beans quite soft using water (This water need have to be thrown out as it will have nutrients, you can use this to make Rasam, Sambhar, gravies or in any other way which it can be substituted for water), The water should be soaking level of the beans.
Once everything is cool, drain the water and store it for future use and keep aside.
In a mixie Grind coriander leaves, ginger, chillies, asafoetida and Fresh coconut to a consistency where everything is grinded properly add little bit water if required not too much.

Take a wok/pan heat oil when it is hot add Mustard seeds, when they splutter add curry leaves and the grinded masala and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the cooked Black Channa or Kadale Kaalu to the wok and mix well with a little bit more salt (Remember that you have already used salt when cooking the beans). Once everything is well mixed add Powdered Quinoa mix well once again, close the lid and leave it for few minutes in a minimum flame, so the Beans observes all the Ingredients well, be careful that they don't stick to the pan/wok, sprinkle little water if so, that's it mix well and it is ready to serve now
I would like to send this MLLA#31 started by Susan hosted by Simona of Briciole
I would also like to send this to CMT- KATHOL, Event hosted by Lakshmi of Taste of Mysore, brainchild of Jagruthi's.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Shakkare Pongal (Sweet Pongal) / Rice Pudding made with Jaggery and Ghee

Hi friends, After a long time I decided to post something to start with! this is long awaiting post from my blog, I know lot of you would have posted this recipe, I made this on January 11th as it marks the 27th Stanza of Thirupaavai, and is called Kudaarai vellum.
I belong to a community called Iyengars (Vaishnavites), as we all know that we follow calendars according to Lunar or Solar, Tamilians follow the Solar calendar and so they call their month in different names and follow a Tamil Panchangam for auspicious events like Marriages, Upanayanam etc., So accordingly this month is Maargazhi Maasam (December 15th to January 14th), This month is very Important to us as People get up very early in the Morning and Pray to God for Moksha (Salvation).  So, why is this in this month....
It's a little story which I will not be able to write it down here as it will take a lot of space!, Godai or Andal as she is called is one of the 12 Alvars, She Devoted her whole life in trying to reach God! as a small girl and in the end she marries him that's how she at last reaches his abode If you click on to the link on her name you can read the story of her, She Prays to Lord Vishnu in the month of Maargazhi, as it is the coldest month and her penance is nothing concerned to religious rites but she says as the month is so cold getting up so early in the morning and following these simple things in her life she tries to please the Lord It is kind of Tapas (Penance) in her own way and yearns for the everlasting Service to the Lord , she has a written a Poem of 30 Stanzas which is called Thirupaavai, also called Paasurams in Tamil in praise of Lord vishnu and it is a part of the Divya Prabandham, a work of the Alvars.
Each song is sung each day during this month, and unmarried girls try to follow the little things she describes as kind of penance to the Lord to get Good Husbands!!, Vishnavas sing these songs to bring Peace, Prosperity and Divine Grace towards reaching Moksha (Salvation).
In the 27th stanza, she comes out of her Penance and Dresses up nicely and makes this sweet Porridge offering to the Lord, she even describes how this sweet should be...
She says '' Today is the day she will come out of her Vratham and adornes herself with beautiful jewels and clothes and will make Ksheeranam with milk and Jaggery and lots of ghee, wherein the ghee will flow down to her elbow when offering it to the Lord'', So that is how this Shakkarai Pongal should be made with lots of Ghee!!.
Well, as the days went by and People became health consicous, nobody wants to make Pongal that way!, but still we do get Sweet Pongal as Prasadam in temples the way she describes :)).

So here is my version of Sakkarai Pongal....

1 to 1 and 1/2 of Jaggery (use Paaku Jaggery / Unde Bella)
1 Cup of Raw Rice
 1/2 Cup of Green Gram /Hesaru Bele / Paitham Paruppu / Moong dal
1 tsp of Cardamom powder
A Pinch of Pacchai Karpooram (Edible Camphor)
1 and 1/2 Cup Milk
1 and 1/2 Cups of Water + 1/4 cup Water
1/4 tsp of  Nutmeg
2 tbsp of Cashewnuts
2 tbsp of Kishmish/Raisins/Dried Grapes
1/2 Cup of Pure Ghee / Clarified Butter (increase it more if you enjoy eating ghee)

First of all in a wok add a tsp of Ghee and fry Green Gram into Golden colour, which gives a nice aroma around the Kitchen.
Then In a thick bottomed vessel take the washed rice and Moong dal with 1 and 1/2 cup of Milk and 1 cup of Water and either cook it directly on the stove if you are using a thick bottomed vessel (Vangala Paanai) or Mud Pot, I made this in a pressure cooker, Cook dal and Rice with milk and water close a lid to the vessel and pressure cook up to 3 whistles, ( If cooking directly I close a lid to the vessel as we know that when milk boils it froths up and spills out so it is better to close it with a lid and put a ladle in it, which helps the liquid not coming out ).
Meanwhile take Jaggery and 1/4 cup of water (use Jaggery according to your tastebuds) and allow it to completely dissolve it in the water, then leave it for 2 minutes allowing the impurities to settle down,  filter the Jaggery as it usually has impurities, take the filtered Jaggery in a vessel and start to boil it, until it reaches a ball consistency you can test this by dropping a tiny bit into a cup of water, where you can see that it doesn't spread out into the water but you can see it well and where you can bring it into a ball (next time I will try to take a photo tutorial of this).
It is important that you do this even after the cooker cools because when it reaches ball consistency it becomes hard and you have a add a little bit of water to keep in this consistency until your cooker cools, It's just the timing no need to panic, Once the whistle is gone, take the cooker out from the stove and keep it on a table top on a stand (as it will be very hot!), otherwise the heat from the stove keeps the cooker still warm for a bit longer.
Either way you can do it, like I said I cooked the dal and Rice in a vessel, use a thick bottomed vessel for boiling the Jaggery , Now to this add the cooked Rice and mix well, start boiling this whole thing in a medium flame stirring now and then to keep an eye on the cooking mixture so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the vessel, as it will be a very thick once they all start coming together thick and lovely start adding Ghee it kind of swallows all the ghee, You can add a Cup of Ghee if you want and your Chakkare pongal will be very delicious as we are very health conscious we do not want so much ghee Leave around 2 tbsp of Ghee and add remaining Ghee from the 1/2 cup. I have mentioned add the other Ingredients Cardamom powder, edible camphor, nutmeg powder mix and switch of the stove and close a lid.

Now Garnish Chakkre Pongal, take 2 tbsp of ghee in a small pan once it is warm enough add chopped Raisins and broken cashewnuts fry them, Raisins becomes swollen and cashews turn golden in colour, keep the stove in a low when doing this and don't burn them add this to the Pongal mix well. 
Serve hot and Enjoy....
Notes: It is better to use Round Jaggery (Unde Bella), Check Valli's Blog for Jaggery Varities from this Recipe, she describes each one of them with a lovely click too!!
updated : Adding more ghee will not make the Chakkare pongal hard and keep it more moist, Anyway reheat in the MW for a minute before eating.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Cooking with Seeds - Anardana Seeds Round-up and wishing all my readers a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR

Hi friends, hope all of you are doing well, I have been very sick from past few days, the doctor thought I might have caught a swine flu, thank God!, that it was not the case, Hubby being away in India for three weeks, I had a busy life alone with three kids, so the day he came back, he had to take me to the doctor, and that's it all my plans went haywire completely bed ridden!, that's how I welcomed the New year 2011, not a good start, I had planned some resolutions like I would post all my drafts piling up so much and consuming all the spaces in my comp, by posting them everyday one by one, and it is already 11th of January, Missed so many recipes from blogger friends, Thanks to my friends and family for enquiring about my health.
This is a long await post and the Participants would be thinking that I would never post them at all, as this is my first event I would like to thank everyone of you who participated.
Here are the entries in order I recieved them......

Janet from Taste the Space sent me 4 entries...
Here is whole load of 4 types of Salads Janet has made (another 28 in her blog!), for a very healthy living I should say, check out the first one of the lot she has a list of Salads she wants to try from other blogs :)), may be with these 4 you have a cart load of them for every day!, she
1.Turkish Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad
2.Apple, Pomegranate, and Arugula Salad with Apple Cider-Honey Vinaigrette
3.Roasted Eggplant, Red Pepper and Green Bean Pomegranate Salad
4.Pomegranate Tabbouleh Salad
Lisasupersmall from Food and Spice sent me....
I don;t have anything to say about her kitchen ventures A whole array of  vegetarian stuff in there, I was hooked with the Quinoa dishes she has made for a whole day!, If you love Quinoa check out her blog!, not just that with many more healthy recipes to go....
Quinoa Spinach Salad with Feta, Pomegranate and Toasted Almonds
Shobha of Food maaza sent me 3 entries...
No need to say that it is a sindhi kitchen, without knowing that it might be the same dish I brewed up stuffed Bhindi too :)), but I was late in posting as always, I would like to try the other two and look into her kitchen for more sindhi Rasoi's, The one from Alka's I made I have never posted it still :(
1.Sindhi Koki
2.Gwar ji Bhaji (Sindhi)
3.Anardana Masala Stuffed Bhindi

Rekha of Plaintain Leaf sent me
Love Andhra dishes, she has some wonderful dishes in her blog, just not Andhra but a whole lot of cuisine going on in her world, Of course as she who doesn't love Aloo :))
Amirtsari Aloo Punjabi
Santhosh Bangar sent me this...
Santhosh has some wonderful recipes from the Capital city of India, I loved the way she decorates her plates and click them so beautifully.
Water Melon Juice with Pomegranate seeds  

Reva from Kaarasaaram sent me 2 entries.....
She has got some wonderful recipes in her blog, she has substituted meaty dish to a vegetarian one and tired her hand out on these Bajjis and these sweet potatoes called for something new from her tray and so dished it out through her imagination! lovely clicks too check out...
1.Plaintain Bajjis with Coriander Chutney. 
2.Sweet Potato Bites with Anardhana.

Our Dear Host Priya  graces all the events she participates with her delicious and versatile cooking and sent me these 3 entries ...

1.Butternut Squash & Quinoa Parathas
2.Aloo Anardana
3. Lilva Beans & Tomato Sambhar

Lalitha from Indian Spice Magic sent me 6 entries...
I noticed these in Toronto view's red event and asked her to send me these entries, she promptly sent me everyone of them thanks to you lalitha, Beautiful clicks, every healthy quick recipes to try out.
1.Oats Chaat
2.Curd Rice
3.Fruit Custard
4.Dahi Vada
5.Fruit Chaat
6.Oats Muesli

Nayana Kanabar has sent me this....
She has a beautiful blog with lots of things going on in her kitchen check out for some more events she is hosting..
Pomegranate Fool
Paaka shaale sent me this
She is a budding blogger with lovely recipes you must check out her blog for some tasty south Indian cuisine, which I love, and see tried these parathas for a twist with these seeds!, beautiful clicks too...
Aloo anardana paratha

 Tasty Curry Leaf sent me
Grilled Tofu
She has experimented these seeds in a very healthy way, and she gives you some tips about adding some sugar to it, you try it out.., She is a blogger with such fantastic recipes she tries from all over the world.

Last are my late entries to my own event started by Priya of easy n tasty recipes, I wish to thank her for acknowledging my Interest and having a lot of patience to wait for my round-up a month late!!

These are my entries..

Bhindi Masala/ Okra Stir fry

Green Bataki/Mustard green leaves Gravy

Here are the Beautiful pictures for all these entries.....

I have tried to bring out your pictures well, but I had to struggle a lot with collaging and i just gave it up, hope you all don't mind, My apologies...

Here is an other one.......

Here is the last one.....

That is it.., hope you all enjoyed the Lovely Seeds Round-up, thanks once again priya, I really enjoyed it, and now i have lots to try using these seeds and A BIG THANK YOU to all my participants and made my first event quite a success.. Love you all...

Enjoy and take care,  try out all the dishes out here and write to the others about it :))


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