Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kadi/Khadi aka 5 cup Barfi

Not to be mistaken for the Punjabi Kadi or the Malayalam Kadi[a bite] or the Tamil Kadi[a silly joke],this one is a typical Konkani sweet which is often the star during weddings and festivals occupying a prime position in the sweet boxes shared around.Recently,when my parents and brothers came visiting,my sis-in-law Radhika got this especially for me.

I've said this before,she is an excellent cook and cooks up variety of dishes within minutes.Though I've been cooking for a while now,I am always confused as to 'what to cook'.She is someone who just decides what to cook and finishes cooking before even I finalize my list,yes,that fast!!

I remember cooking a similar sweet-Coconut Barfi during my schooldays.One of the first dishes I ever cooked,it used to make me feel so happy to do it all by myself and I always insisted I did the whole work from start to finish-from scraping the coconut to the setting the barfi.With a little practice,the Khadi can be perfected too.Few ingredients,foolproof method and you have a lovely sweet ready to be eaten..and shared.

Kadi/Khadi - 5 Cups Barfi
Recipe Source - Radhika,my sis-in-law


Besan/Chickpea flour - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Cashewnuts - a handful,chopped finely,optional


In a saucepan,mix together warm milk and sugar-reserve.
In a thick bottomed kadai add ghee and roast besan for a few minutes until a nice aroma comes,approximately 2-3 minutes--be careful not to let it brown.
Now add the milk-sugar mix and the nuts and keep stirring.
Keep the gas flame on simmer and stir the barfi in continuous intervals taking care as to not to burn. 
After about 20 minutes,the barfi will start leaving the sides of the pan and would be ready to set.
Meanwhile grease a plate with ghee and pour the barfi mix into the plate.
When the barfi becomes half set,make markings on it using a knife which would make it easier to cut.
When completely cool,cut into squares.
Keeps well while stored in air tight containers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vegetable Ghee Rice..a perfect one-pot meal!!

Sometimes I am full of up dishes like there's no tomorrow,cleaning the house till it is squeaky clean and dusting,again like there's no tomorrow.But sometimes,the devil takes over and I'll become the laziest person you'd ever come across.Everything becomes a task,even making a cup of coffee to uplift my mood.Combine this with a weekend stay at the in-laws place with an array of yummy dishes plus another weekend with family around combined with lots of outing,shopping and eating out.Could I be blamed if I become lazy??

Thanks to our little chat,Madhuri assured me I am not alone in this.We even named this a Food Blogger Inactivity Virus,cool no??When a syndrome takes responsibility for our laziness??However,while discussing about food - what else,I told her about the lunch I was making.Though the name sounds all fancy,it was my little trick to escape making rice with a curry and a stir fry to go along.

This one almost did not make it to the blog,but for a push from her asking me to make it for the advantage of similar minded lazy bums.Mads,thanks--the push worked!!

I assure you,this one is truly a one-pot meal.Originally a recipe for Ghee rice,I added some carrots and capsicum to make it look like a Vegetable Ghee rice,less work-more tasty!!You could add any vegetable of choice or make it plain.

Vegetable Ghee Rice
Recipe source--an old school friend of mine & my sis-in-law Radhika


Basmati rice - 1 cup,soaked for 15 minutes
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Whole spices - 2 cloves,1'stick cinnamon and 1 cardamom
Onion - 1,thinly sliced
Carrot - 1,chopped
Capsicum - 1,small-chopped
Water - 2 cups
Salt to taste


In a pressure pan/cooker add the ghee and roast the whole spices for a minute.
Add the onions and roast till they slightly start changing the colour.
Mix in the carrots and capsicum and give a good stir.
Drain the soaked rice and add.
Stir well till everything is mixed.
Add the water and enough salt to taste and let it come to a boil.
Close with the cooker lid and cook for 2-3 whistles.
Let the cooker come to room temperature-open and fluff with a fork.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Kadai Vegetable

I am always fascinated when someone says they created a recipe or rather,the new term recipe development.I can never do that for sure.All my recipes are either passed on to me by amma/mil or the ones I read up on the net,books or blogs.I salute those who create a recipe on their own successfully.Thanks to those,we can try them all sans the fear of failure.

I seldom deviate from a recipe when I am cooking something--too chicken for that.So it came as a big surprise to myself when I made this Kadai Vegetable which was actually going to be a Paneer based curry.

Halfway into the preparation,I thought of adding some vegetables since Ajay isn't too fond of Paneer.Then I thought of making into Kadai veg.Since I was already in the kitchen,didn't feel like logging in to the net and search,so I made it all up--nothing extra ordinary--just the basic ingredients put together with vegetables.I liked the taste immensely,even if I say so myself--very close to this one,in looks as well as taste.

So finally,I can say I half-created a recipe too-so what if you can find similar recipes?I cooked it without peeping into a book or my laptop--that by itself is satisfactory to me,hehe.

Kadai Vegetable


Onions - 2,medium sized
Green chilly - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Tomatoes - 2,medium sized
Cauliflower - roughly half of a medium sized one
Carrot - 1,sliced
Capsicum - 1,medium sized
Baby corn - 2-3,sliced
Paneer - 100 gms,sliced
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Cumin-Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Haldi - 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp 
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste


Make a paste of onion,green chilly and ginger garlic-reserve.
Puree the tomatoes-reserve.
Boil about 4 cups of water with a tsp pf salt and a pinch haldi-when it comes to a rolling boil,add the vegetables except capsicum and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Strain and wash well with cool water-keep aside.
In a kadai add oil and splutter jeera-when it pops,add in the onion paste.
Saute for about 3-5 minutes.
Add the tomato puree,mix well and close with a lid-as it would splutter a lot.
Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Now add the masalas - red chilly powder,cumin-coriander powder,garam masala and haldi.
Add salt to taste and stir for a minute or two.
Add the kasoori methi,paneer and capsicum.
Add the rest of the vegetables and give a good stir.
Add about a cup of water and simmer for 5-7 minutes till the curry thickens.
Serve hot with rotis or pulao.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lime Buttermilk Pound Cake

Sometime back,we had dropped in at one of our relative's place and it happened to be their wedding anniversary.We had already finished our meal so the hostess offered us dessert,in her own words--"my special dessert".The moment she came forward with two plates,Ajay smartly refused saying his stomach was upset.I had no option but to get the plate for myself.I looked into something which was yellow in color,in between a cake and a pudding.How bad can it get,I thought and tasted it.Two flavors hit instantly,strong lime flavor and cloyingly sweet condensed milk flavor.

I angrily looked at Ajay as he escaped this ordeal quite smartly.I kind of gobbled down the rest of the cake/pudding and drank a full glass of water to wash down the flavors.That was the last time I had something which highlighted the flavor of lime.

But ever since I started baking with Citrus flavors,especially Orange,I am a convert.More so,after getting a Microplaner of my own which so beautifully zests Lime and Orange.

The moment I saw Deeba's recent post,I instantly knew I was going to try it.The cake baked beautifully and smelled wonderful.I poured the glaze over the hot cake and just couldn't wait further,for the cake to cool down to cut a slice for myself.With the burst of lime flavor in each and every bite,this one is truly a treasure recipe.Thanks Deeba!!

Lime Buttermilk Pound Cake
Recipe source - Deeba


Plain flour - 1 1/2 cups
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter, room temperature - 1/2 cup
Vanilla or plain sugar - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Buttermilk {or substitute recipe below}- 100 ml
Pure vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Juice of 2 limes {or 1 lemon}
Zest of 2 limes {or 1 lemon}

To make buttermilk substitute at home:
Take 100ml milk at room temp; add 1 tsp white vinegar. Let it stand 5-10 minutes. When it curdles, it's ready.


Grease and flour the sides of a 8" ring tin, or a 6" round tin. [I used an 8' round tin]Line the bottom and sides.
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Reserve.
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, lime juice and zest.
With beater on low add the flour and buttermilk alternately in three lots.
Bake for 50-60 minutes till golden brown on top, and the tester comes out clean.

Meanwhile, make the glaze--


Juice of 2-3 limes {as required}
Powdered sugar  1/2 cup


Stir in the juice of 2 limes into 1/2 a cup of powdered sugar, and stir till all lumps have dissolved. Add some more powdered sugar if it isn't as thick as you like it. The glaze should be nice and thick, yet of flowing consistency. Add a little zest if you like.

Overturn the cake out gently on rack, and remove the lining. Turn it back on another rack, and poke holes with a skewer through it. Pour the glaze evenly over the hot cake, coaxing it all around, letting some drip over the sides. Decorate with sprinkles immediately if you like.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dates & Nut Bundt Cake

I have a special love for baked goods with Dates.After all,my first bake was this Eggless dates cake which I must have baked like a hundred times.It is one of my amma's fave cakes and I make sure I pack some for her whenever I am going to my hometown.I have been planning to bake a Sticky Dates Pudding Cake with Caramel sauce and that is soon gonna feature here!!

I had some super soft,melt in the mouth Dates in my fridge for a while and the effort I put in to pit the whole batch made me a bit careful of what I did with them.Sometimes,when there's nothing sweet to have after lunch/dinner,I keep a few dates in a MW safe plate and MW for a minute or so.I close my eyes and relish the taste from the first bite to last..YUM!!

After reading Aparna's description about this Dates Cake from the famous bakery in Goa,I felt it was time to take out my Dates box.Since I am in a show off mode,I baked it in my Bundt pan.It takes me a while to photograph and slice the cake coz I am so immersed in enjoying the beauty of the cake when baked in a Bundt pan!!!

I used Almonds instead of Walnuts,but otherwise,did not make any changes.

Dates and Nut Bundt Cake
Minimally adapted from Aparna's blog


Pitted Dates - 1 cup,chopped coarsely
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Boiling-hot water - 1 cup
Granulated sugar - 1 cup,firmly packed
Egg - 1,lightly beaten
Melted butter - 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
All Purpose flour - 2 cups
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Almonds,chopped - 1/2 cup

Put the dates in a slightly big bowl (you'll be mixing the batter in this) and sprinkle the baking soda over the dates. Pour the hot water over this so it covers the dates. Keep aside for about half an hour till the dates soften up and the water cools down.
Stir in the sugar, egg, butter and vanilla into the date mixture. Sift the all purpose flour and the baking powder together and add to the bowl along with the walnuts. Gently mix in this in till everything just combines.
Spoon the batter into a greased and floured (or parchment lined) 7" round cake tin. You may use a loaf tin if you choose.
Bake at 170C for about 50 minutes till cooked or till a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Serve with coffee or tea.  

Sending this to Srivalli for the Tried and Tasted event which features Aparna's blog this month,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vinayaka Chathurthi Wishes!!

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Vinayaka Chathurthi!!

Modaks/Kozhukkatais,are supposed to be Lord Ganesha's favorite--ours too.We can chomp down endless number of Modaks without any inhibitions.But I have tried[and failed] numerous times making them.I don't know what is that I am doing wrong,but I never get the Modaks right.Last year I made them wee bit successfully,and made a different version too-but year before last,had to be content with Modaks shaped in another form.

This year,I thank Ganesha that I live in Chennai--that I live very close to Sri Krishna Sweets--that they make/sell "chuda chuda Kozhakkattais'.We stood patiently in the long queue and got a big batch for Lord Ganesha,as well as for ourselves.

How did you celebrate Vinayaka Chathurthi??

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Golden Onion and Corn Quiche,Tarts actually!!

When Ria announced the Savory September challenge for A Sweet Punch,I was elated and sad at the same time.Elated because,a Quiche is something I've been wanting to try since long.I'd had a Cheesy Corn Quiche[now I am guessing it was a tart]sometime back and was looking forward to recreate the taste.But when I went through the ingredients,I was sad that it not only contained eggs and in Ria's words,couldn't be substituted because "a Quiche isn't a Quiche if it doesn't contain eggs"!!

I searched high and dry for Eggless Quiches and I did find many recipes--all vegan and I am not sure I wanted to introduce myself to Tofu--the main substitute for eggs in Vegan Quiches.

I am a vegetarian but I do use eggs in baking.I wasn't sure how I am going to taste the Quiches with eggs and was really in a dilemma till I came across this recipe.This is technically not a Quiche but uses similar ingredients.Something is better than nothing and I decided to go ahead with the recipe after all.

I have to admit,what started off as an apprehensive mission is mission successful.But next time I am adding some flavoring to the tart base.Both Ajay and me felt that the tart was quite bland compared to the filling,so maybe some more salt and chilli flakes,perhaps??Let me try it!!

Golden Onion & Corn Quiche


For the pastry
Maida -200g
Butter (frozen) -100g (preferably unsalted)
Baking powder-1/4 tsp
Salt-to taste
Beaten egg-1 [ I did not add ]
Ice cold water-as required ( which will be a few drops)
Sieve maida ,salt and baking powder together. Grate in the butter and mix it with the flour with your fingertips till it resembles coarse sand.
Add in the beaten egg and water and gather it into a soft dough.[I just added 2-3 tbsp water].
Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and lift it up carefully and line the tin that you will be baking it in.If it breaks up and you need to do a patch work, big deal! It wouldn't be seen outside! ;)
Which ever tin you are using, make sure the dough comes a little way up the sides, so that it can hold the filling in. 

For the filling

Boiled and shredded chicken-1/2 c[I used equal amount of corn kernels]
Onion-250 g ,chopped
Cheese-100g [ I used Mozarella and used very less quantity--about 3 tbsp for the filling and then I grated a little bit on top of the quiches before baking]
Milk-1 cup,Beaten eggs-3 ,Instead of these,I used 300 ml cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil- as needed
Heat oil and slightly fry the corn till it is golden brown. Add in the onions and fry till onions have caramelised.
Add milk,beaten eggs, cream,cheese,salt and pepper and mix well,let it thicken for a while[about 5 minutes].
Switch off the flame.
Pour into the pastry case and bake for 25 mins or till golden brown.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Onion & Paneer Calzone

A calzone (Italian "stocking" or "trouser") is a turnover that originates from Italy. It is made of ingredients similar to pizza, folded over and shaped like a crescent before being cooked. The typical calzone is stuffed with tomato and mozzarella, and may include other ingredients usually associated with pizza toppings.Source

I remember bookmarking this recipe long back,in fact when Ranjitha posted this quite simultaneously with Aparna with almost the same filling.I was fascinated with this Pizza lookalike and wanted to recreate it in my kitchen.But as usual,the fear of yeast took over and I left it at that.

During my last trip to Ernakulam,I came across this Yeast envelopes/packages for one time usage.It came with the shopkeepers strong recommendations and I decided to get a couple of those.I wanted to conquer my fear of yeast[I haven't done so yet],so I decided on baking this one.The initial process went on quite smoothly.The dough rose well and as I always say,along with it rose my hopes too!!The filling was done and I was all ready.

The dough was a bit sticky making it difficult for me to shape it.I struggled with it,but now when I think back,I had given up even before I started and that was the culprit,I wasn't thinking right.I somehow managed to keep one batch into the preheated oven and was wondering what to do with the rest of the dough and the filling when an idea struck--finally!!

I ogle at pretty looking dinner rolls and wanted to make my own batch--to an extent,I did well.I stuffed the rolls with the filling[like you would for a stuffed paratha] and placed the rolls in a round cake tin and kept it covered till the calzones got baked.then I plonked it into the oven and waited for a miracle--my prayers were answered and I succeeded in making pull-apart stuffed rolls!!

P.S-Sorry Calzone--though the post is about you,sadly the rolls have taken over!!

Onion & Paneer Calzones and some Stuffed Rolls


For the dough

2 cups all purpose flour
1½ tsp dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp dried Italian seasoning (or herbs of choice)
1 tbsp olive oil

For filling

1 tsp olive oil
3 big onions, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper (juliennes)
1 cup paneer, crumbled [I chopped the paneer into small cubes]
1 cup processed cheese, grated [I used Mozarella] 
Salt and pepper to taste


The filling
 Heat the oil, add the onions and a bit of salt and sauté the onions till soft and light brown. Add the pepper and the bell pepper juliennes and stir a couple of times and take off the heat. Crumble the paneer and grate the cheese. Keep aside till required.

The dough

Put the flour, herbs, yeast, sugar and salt in the food processor bowl. Add the yeast mixture and enough water to the flour to make a soft yet elastic dough. This may be done by hand too. Now add the olive oil and knead well. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to double.
Take the dough, press out the air and divide into eight pieces. 
Roll each piece into a circle about 6” in diameter. Place the onion filling on one half making sure the edges of the semi-circle are free. 
Put some crumbled paneer over the filling and top off with some grated cheese. Moisten the edges with water and carefully fold the filling free half over to form a semi circle. Using the tines of a fork, press the edges down.
Place the calzones on a greased tray and cover with a cloth. Allow to puff up a bit, for about 5 - 10 minutes.
Bake the calzones at 180C for about 20 minutes or till brown.

For the Stuffed Rolls-Pinch off a small ball of dough and flatten it in your palm.Keep some stuffing and roll into a ball.Place into an oiled tin seam side down.Bake for about 20 minutes. 

Verdict - I really don't know when I can confidently venture into yeast baking but I really wish it comes sooner.The Calzones as well as the rolls were so soft and fluffy and the filling was just so perfect.Thank you Aparna,for this wonderful recipe!!

Off this goes to Srivalli's T&T,which features Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen this month.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Orange and Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Orange and Chocolate--hmm,even writing both together makes me feel so good.I love the combo,the citrusy flavor of the orange mixed with the deep dark chocolate flavor makes anything taste good.Especially in baked goods,I've tried this combo before and absolutely loved it.

I had bought a lone Orange in hopes of making an Orange pound cake,but as usual,the thought of adding so much butter[for the pound cake]made my plans go haywire.I also wanted to use the Microplaner I got as part of this giveaway.Though I've been using it extensively in my kitchen for grating ginger,garlic and even cinnamon and nutmeg,I really wanted to see how it zests Citrus fruits.

While going through Aparna's blog for T&T,I saw this post by Deeba,where she had blogged about a muffin with Orange and Chocolate chips.Now,whenever a recipe calls for steps like--mix until enough,or fold in etc,I start to panic.Somehow I feel I am doing it wrong.So I stick with recipes which require 'beating'.This recipe is a mix between Deeba's muffins and Ria's Squarecakes.I should say the match was made in heaven*wink wink*.

Orange and Chocolate Chunk Muffins
Adapted from Deeba & Ria


All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cups
Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup[100 gms]
Sugar - 1 cup,heaped [granular]
Eggs - 2
Milk - 1/2 cup
Freshly squeezed Orange juice - 1/2 cup
Freshly grated Orange zest - 1 tsp
Chocolate Chunks/chopped chocolate - 1/3 cup


Preheat oven to 180C.
Sift together both the flours,baking powder and salt 3 times.
Beat together butter and sugar till fluffy,about 2-3 minutes.
Add the eggs,one at a time and beat well.
Mix in the flour alternately with milk and orange juice[starting and ending with flour],until the batter becomes smooth and fluffy and no specks of flour remain.
Fold in the chocolate chunks.
Pour into greased/line Muffin tin and bake for 20-22 minutes.
[Makes 18 cupcakes]

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Coffee and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies

There is a Cookie shop in Spenser Plaza which makes us aware of its presence the moment we step into the mall.The wonderful aroma of freshly baked cookies is so tempting and inviting,and the variety,oh boy!!They have so many mix and match flavors that you'd really be confused as to which one to buy.Ajay is not much a cookie fan and I am content with 2 or 3 cookies,so it doesn't make sense to buy a batch for me and then feel guilty for finishing it off all by myself. 

But whenever we pass by the shop,we have a regular routine.I ask Ajay if we can buy some cookies and he says,why--you make better cookies!!Ok,I know I know,sounds very kiddish,but we,I enjoy it a lot!!

It's been a while since i posted a Cookie recipe here,I always fall back on my regular Cookie recipe and shy out from trying out new ones.I remember bookmarking this recipe when Ria made it.So when Sweatha of Curry Leaf made it recently for T&T from Aparna's blog,I decided it was high time I tried it too..and I did.

The crunchy cookie with a strong coffee burst and bite of chocolate chunks in,to-die-for cookies,I bet!!

Coffee and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread Cookies
Recipe source - Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen,Original recipe by Dorie Greenspan

Baking: From My Home to Yours


Instant coffee powder - 1 tbsp
Hot water - 1 tbsp
Butter - 200 gms
Powdered sugar - 2/3 cup
Vanilla extract - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Milk chocolate -3/4 cup chopped (into small chunks)
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Dissolve the instant coffee powder in the water and keep aside to cool.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter and powdered sugar till smooth, not light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). 
Beat in the vanilla and dissolved coffee.
Turn down the mixer to low speed and add the flour and salt, mix only till the flour is incorporated into the dough. Overworking the dough is not a good idea as it affects the texture of the shortbread.
Now fold in the chocolate chunks with a spatula or wooden spoon.
Using the spatula, transfer the dough (it will be a bit sticky) into a large Ziploc bag. Leave the bag open, place on your work surface and slowly press out the dough with a rolling pin so it becomes a 9" by 10 1/2" rectangle about 1/4" thick.
Turn the bag to the other side as well, while rolling, and occasionally lift the bag from the dough to smooth out the creases. Take care to see no air pockets remain and gently press out any. Seal the Ziploc bag and refrigerate for at least two hours or upto 2 days.

The longer the dough is chilled the easier the dough is to handle, and the better the cookies hold their shape when baked. So please make sure the dough chills for about 24 hours.
When the dough has chilled enough, take it out. Place on a cutting surface and slit the Ziploc bag open. Take the chilled rectangle of dough out, and cut into 1 1/2" squares with a sharp knife after marking them out using a ruler.
Place the squares on a baking sheet lined with parchment (I just placed them on ungreased cookie sheets) and prick them well with a fork.

Bake at 180C for 18 to 20 minutes till they look golden. The baking time needs to be judged well, as the dough is already a pale brown, or one might end up with slightly burnt shortbread squares that no one wants to eat! So keep a watch on them once they've baked for 15 minutes.

Dust the shortbread squares with powdered sugar while they're hot, if you prefer.
Cool on a rack.

Sending this to Srivalli for the Tried and Tasted event which features Aparna's blog this month!

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