Sunday, 17 June 2012

Cinnamon Toast

Simple and quick breakfast options are always welcome at home.


Bread slices
Softened butter - to spread
Cinnamon Sugar:
Cinnamon powder - 1 tbsp

Powdered Sugar - 1/4 cup


Spread the butter on one side of the bread slices. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the butter. Heat the girdle and drop a teaspoon of butter. Place the bread slice on un-buttered side, on the girdle. When the bread is lightly toasted, flip the bread on the cinnamon side and let it brown. Remove from heat. You could either cut it in two and eat, or just toast two slices and make a sandwich. Serve with a teaspoon of butter. Simple and quick breakfast for children. 

You could reduce the proportion of cinnamon in the cinnomon-sugar as per your taste. I like it less sugary and more cinnamony and hence I used the above proportion. This is a very easy quick-fix breakfast option for kids.
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Jaljeera - Cool Mint-Lime Drink

Jal-jeera is a wonderful refreshing drink in the summer months. With the goodness of lime, mint and cumin, it is also an excellent appetizer. 

It is extremely simple to prepare. I did not know that until recently my husband asked me to make it since we had too much mint leaves on hand. I looked up the internet and came across this recipe from Indobase:


Cumin seeds - 2 tbsp
Mint leaves - 2 tbspFresh coriander leaves - 1 tspLemon juice - 2 tbspBlack salt - 1/2 tsp Chilled water - 5 cups (750 ml)Sugar - 1 pinch


Roast the cumin seeds and allow them to cool. Grind the cumin seeds into fine powder. Grind mint and coriander leaves to make a smooth paste. 

To the mint-coriander paste, add the lemon juice, cumin powder, salt and sugar and mix well. Add the water and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve chilled. 

You could add the lemon and mint leaves to your taste. You could use normal iodised salt instead of black salt. 

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Monday, 4 June 2012

Vanilla Ice-cream

The summer heat is sweltering, even in Bangalore. Once upon a time there was no need for fans in houses in Bangalore. With rapid development of the software industry, and the volume of construction that went on in the city, fans became a must at homes. Now with high rise buildings and four-storey apartments being the norm of any locality, and the unthinking culling of trees in the city, air conditioners have become a must here. All this only adding to the power woes that the city already faces... Contrary to what most folks from hotter parts of the country think, summers are pretty bad here too. I have lived here for the last ten years and every year the summer temperature reaches an all time high, atleast two degrees up from the previous year and thus sets a record every time around.

The road side nimbu paani stalls and the mosambi juice stalls are a common sight now - on the ring road (which is supposedly a highway). Even at home ppl churn butter milk, make cucumber juice etc. to cope with the humidity and heat.

One weekend my daughter was desperate for ice-cream. I had none in the fridge and I remembered seeing some recipes for home made icecream in the blogosphere. I had plenty of whipping cream on hand and so I thought I should give it a shot. I browsed a lot of recipes and finally came up with the following, omitting the eggs and adapting to the ingredients I had on hand.


Fresh Cream - 3 1/2 cups (I used Amul fresh cream)
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla Essence - 2 tsp


In a large saucepan, heat the cream, milk and sugar together and bring to a boil. Set it aside to cool down. Add the vanilla essence and stir well. Pour into freezer containers and store in the refrigerator. After about half an hour, pull out the container and using the hand mixer, whip up the icecream, until creamy and thick. Return to the refrigerator. Repeat the whipping for about 4-5 times every half an hour. After the last time, put it in the refrigerator and let it freeze for 4-5 hours. Viola! Rich, creamy icreceam is ready to be relished. Scoop and enjoy!

Although, I meant to beat the ice-cream before it froze completely, I skipped the first time for a few hours and I had to thaw it once more and then start beating it. It did not turn out as creamy as expected due to this reason. But if were to not let the ice-cream freeze completely before starting the whisking process, it would turn out very creamy.

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Chicken in Coconut Gravy

I can never tire of chicken recipes. Like the new "" ad, where a middle aged man is unable to eat any other meat and looks for chicken in a Chinese city. I love the idea of dishing up a chicken dish anytime for dinner or lunch. It is so much simpler and most methods I pick involve little or no pre-preparation at all.

So what is different about this recipe is that we actually need to use the blender to make some coconut gravy with desiccated coconut.


1. Chicken - 350 grams (cleaned and skinned)
2. Onions - 2 (medium sized)
3. Tomatoes - 2 (finely chopped)
4. Chilli powder - 1 tsp
    Dhaniya (coriander powder) - 1tsp
   Salt - 1 tsp
   Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
   Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
   Saunf powder (fennel) - 1/4 tsp
   Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
   Ginger paste - 1/2 tbsp
   Garlic paste - 1/2 tbsp
   Curry leaves - 15 to 20
   Mint leaves - 15 to 20
   Coriander stalk - 3 to 5
5. Oil - 1 tbsp
6. Coriander leaves for garnishing
7. Desiccated coconut - 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp


Grind the ingredients in No. 4 together. 
I always keep powdered ingredients (cumin, pepper, chilli, coriander seeds) but you can use 1 tsp of the seeds to get 1/2 tsp of the powder approximately.
I also always use ginger and garlic paste. Only this time I chopped the garlic instead of grinding it. Very often the stalks of the coriander leaves turn out to be too thick for garnishing. In such cases, I use the leaves and save the stalks to grind with masala gravy.

Slice the onions fine. Heat the oil and fry the chopped onions until they are golden brown; add the masala paste and fry until the raw smell is gone and there is good aroma. Add the chopped tomatoes and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken pieces and ensure that the pieces are covered well with the masala.
Add a cup of water and boil the chicken until soft.

Grind the desiccated coconut into smooth paste with 1/4 cup of water. Add it to the chicken gravy and boil for just a minute. The gravy thickens as it cools and so you can turn off the heat even with the gravy is a little thinner than desired. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with Chapati or Rice.
Verdict: This was loved and devoured by everyone at home. The mild spices in the coconut gravy are and excellent compliment to the delicate  flavour of the chicken and so this dish goes equally well with rice and rotis.
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Banana Muffins - May challenge on Eggless Baking

Just a while after I started baking I experimented with fruits in baking and I have to admit, I have been smitten by bananas more than any other fruit. I have tried carrots, apples and strawberries too. But I cannot resist trying out a baked good with bananas in it. This is only next to my obsession with chocolate. There is something about the aroma that fills the house when these are baking in the oven, that is simply heavenly!

I was overjoyed at seeing this month's Eggless baking recipe. Gayathri had chosen Banana muffins for the May challenge. I earnestly preserved a couple of large bananas for this month's challenge. The substitution here is very easy too. The only difference from the original recipe is that I used 1/4 cup of creamy yoghurt instead of the 1 egg that the recipe requires.

Recipe Source:

Banana - 3 large (mashed) - about 1 cup

All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cups

Butter - 1/3 cup (melted)

Sugar - 3/4 cup

Baking Powder - 1 tsp

Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp

Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp

Creamy Yoghurt - 1/4 cup

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (160 degrees C). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. I used silicone muffin moulds and did not require any liners. 

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

3. Combine bananas, sugar, yoghurt, and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until just combined. Overmixing the batter will result in tough muffins. Scoop into muffin pans.

4. Bake in preheated oven. Bake medium sized muffins for 18 - 22 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.

The very fact that it is a banana muffin is enough to tell you how this recipe turned out. In my opinion the sugar could have been reduced a bit as the bananas were a bit sweet by themselves. A 1/2 cup of sugar would have sufficed. One can also use buttermilk in place of creamy yoghurt, that would result in fluffier muffins as opposed to these dense ones.
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