Friday, March 29, 2013

Apple Milkshake{with Almonds&Cinnamon} | Easy Milkshake Recipes

Apple Milkshake{with Almonds&Cinnamon}
Of late,I am following a new routine of menu planning.Yes,I've tried it before but planning the menu for a whole week didn't work for me.Availability of ingredients at the given day and our moods(yes,we do eat according to our moods once in a while!)played havoc and after 2-3 days,I gave up.

Now that we do our vegetables and provisions once in a week,menu planning comes a lot handy for me.Only thing,I need to work a bit hard to make it work,resisting the urge to order in or eat out.A diet plan thrown in and it is a foolproof idea.So as part of our meal plan,I've introduced Oats,Muesli and Fruit smoothies as part of our breakfast.Less rice intake in the form of Idli/dosa which we do have twice or thrice in a week anyway.
Apple Milkshake{with Almonds&Cinnamon}
Not used to having milkshakes as breakfast did work against us:).But top it with a bowl of muesli and 2 dry toasts and it makes for a tasty spread and quite filling too.

Apple Milkshake{with Almonds & Cinnamon}


Apple - 1,peeled & cored
Frozen milk - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Almonds - 5-7
Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp


Apple Milkshake{with Almonds&Cinnamon}-step1 
Mix together all the ingredients in a blender till smooth.
Apple Milkshake{with Almonds&Cinnamon}-step2 
Serve chilled topped with some more cinnamon.

Apple Milkshake{with Almonds&Cinnamon} 
  • Using frozen milk gives the milkshake a thicker texture.If you like your milkshakes not so thick,use chilled milk instead.
  • If you do not like almonds,substitute with cashews.I use the almonds whole hence the milkshake has brown spots all over:)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Nutella Birthday Cake

Nutella Birthday Cake
Ajay turned a year older today.As much as I'd have loved to bake him a special cake,he wanted none of it.He wanted a Brownie and didn't want a cake cutting ceremony(hardly a ceremony with two of us!)but what is a birthday without a cake,right?I pestered him for another choice and he said 'ok,bake me "that" Nutella cake'.Oh boy,how could I have forgotten,it is one of his favorite cakes ever.So Nutella cake it was.Simple,delicious and so-birthday like!I couldn't leave it plain so drizzled the top with some melted chocolate.Food blogger happy and the birthday boy too :)
Nutella Birthday Cake

For the recipe and step-by step pictures hop over here - Nutella Butter Cake.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Kananga Phodi ~ Tawa-fried Sweet Potatoes | Konkani Recipes

I am a sweet potato addict.Yes,after ignoring this root vegetable for a long time,I am falling in love with it and actually obsessing over it to be honest.Thanks to my sister-in-law who introduced this simple recipe to me,which finds its way into our lunch menu at least once in week(sometimes more!).Crisp on the outside and soft and buttery inside,ah this makes for a good starter too and a no-fry one at that,how cool!
Kananga Phodi - Tawa fried Sweet Potatoes
I remember,once while we were in Bangalore,ma-in-law prepared a sweet dish with sweet potato,well not exactly a dessert,but it was sweet and mushy and I just couldn't bring myself to eat it.Nevertheless,it is considered a very popular way of eating it.Just pressure cook peeled sweet potatoes with jaggery and a pinch of cardamom.I am told it tastes delicious:)

My maid gave me another suggestion to cook with this one,which would be very similar to the above method,but here in Tamilnadu,Sakkara Valli Kizhangu,as it is locally named is just boiled with salt and had as a healthy snack.
Kananga Phodi - Tawa fried Sweet Potatoes
Kananga Phodi - Tawa fried Sweet Potatoes


Sweet Potatoes - 2-3
Red chilly powder - 2 tbsp
Hing/Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Gram flour/kadalamavu - 1 tbsp
Rice flour - as required
Oil - 1-2 tbsp


Kananga Phodi - Tawa fried Sweet Potatoes-step1 
Peel the sweet potatoes and immerse in water to prevent browning.
Cut into thin round slices-not too thin as it would make the phodi too crisp.
Mix in red chilly powder,salt,hing and gram flour.Sprinkle 1-2 tsp water and marinate the potatoes for 20-30 minutes.
Kananga Phodi - Tawa fried Sweet Potatoes-step2 
In a small plate add rice flour-enough to coat the potatoes.Dip the marinated potatoes in the rice flour so that both the sides are coated with the flour.
In a tawa,add oil and layer the potatoes.Keep the flame on high and sprinkle 1-2 tbsp of water and cover with a lid.Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Kananga Phodi - Tawa fried Sweet Potatoes-step3 
Open the lid and cook on the other side too.
Kananga Phodi - Tawa fried Sweet Potatoes
Remove and drain on a tissue paper.Serve hot with rice and dal/sambhar.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Restaurant-Style Vegetable Kurma

Vegetable Kurma
A while back,when my brother-in-law and family were here,one of the restaurants he wanted to visit was Saravana Bhavan.While there,he ordered Idiyappam and Kurma and after his first mouthful,he just could not believe how they could maintain the same taste even after 20 years,that's when he had tasted the combo last.That got us thinking,barring the North Indian delicacies,which taste different in each restaurant,there are some standard dishes which taste similar,any place you order it.

The Kurma we get in Chennai is more of a thick version with slightly mashed vegetables,yellow-greenish in colour and tasting of coconut milk and spices.Whereas the ones we get in Kerala is pale yellow in colour,with vegetables slightly undercooked,tasting of coconut and fennel.It pairs up wonderfully with Aappam,Idiyappam,Chapathi as well as Parotta and for the same reason is made in bulk,which I believe makes it taste great.

I've tried different recipes for Kurma before and feel this one tastes the closest to the ones served in Kerala Restaurants.So here's another recipe for the Chapati-Side dish recipe requests:)
Vegetable Kurma
Restaurant-Style Vegetable Kurma
Recipe slightly adapted from Vanitha


Mixed vegetables chopped - roughly 2 cups-I used Cauliflower,Carrot,Beans,
Baby corn,Green Peas and Potato

Vegetable Kurma-ingredients 
For the Masala paste
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Fennel/Perumjeerakam - 1 tsp
Cashewnuts - 6-8
Haldi powder - 1/4 tsp

Coconut oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Onion - 1 medium,finely chopped
Ginger - 1' piece,finely chopped or crushed
Green chilly - 2,sliced
Tomato - 1,chopped
Salt to taste
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp

For the tadka
Small onions/Kochulli - 8-10
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Red chilly - 1

Coriander leaves - for garnish


Vegetable Kurma-step1 
Make a smooth paste of ingredients mentioned under the masala paste-coconut,fennel,cashewnuts and haldi.
Vegetable Kurma-step2 
In a kadai add 1 tbsp coconut oil and saute onions,green chilly and ginger till the onions turn soft and translucent.
Mix in the chopped vegetables and give a good mix.
Vegetable Kurma-step3 
Add the masala paste and about 1 1/2 cups of water and salt to taste.Close with a lid and let the vegetables cook for 5-7 minutes.
Mix in the chopped tomato and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes.
Vegetable Kurma-step4 
Add the garam masala,cover with the lid and switch off the flame.
In another pan add the 1/2 tbsp oil and saute small onions and curry leaves till the onions turn brown and are cooked from the inside.Add the red chilly,and add the whole tadka to the kurma.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Here's the winner for the e-gift voucher Giveaway - Rashmi Krishna.Please send me an e-mail so that I can send your voucher code soon.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Oreo Cookie Muffins & A Giveaway!

Oreo Cookie Muffins
I do not like Oreo cookies-period.I am told they taste out of this world and any chocoholics dream,maybe they are but not in this part of the world.I remember the first time I had these,I was utterly disappointed.I can have my Bourbon biscuits one full packet in one sitting but this one,I couldn't even finish the first bite.

Maybe it is my taste buds playing a trick,maybe that is how it is supposed to taste and maybe you all like it that way but I am not eating one again.But,there's always a BUT when it comes to a food blogger,I use them in my sweet bakes and it tastes awesome.Add crushed Oreo cookies to a simple whipped cream frosting and it gives it a completely different edge.Add it to your regular milkshake and it tastes delicious.Add it to your cookie dough for that extra crunch,so on and so forth.
Oreo Cookie Muffins
So when I got a few packets of Oreo on my last visit to the supermarket,I had this cake in mind.I also wanted to test whether the taste has changed but sad to say,it still tastes the same to me.But a few google searches later,I decided to bake these muffins.Chocolate+Coffee+Oreo,cannot go wrong,right?

I love cupcakes/muffins in any form and these too didn't disappoint.I found it to be a little less sweet,even though I added more sugar than mentioned in the recipe,but have it with a glass of cold milk and all's fine with the world again:)
Oreo Cookie Muffins
Oreo Cookie Muffins
Recipe source


All purpose flour/Maida - 2 cups
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Eggs - 2
Sugar - 1 cup*
Oil - 1/2 cup*
Milk - 1 cup + 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Instant Coffee powder - 1 tsp
Oreo cookies - 10-15,crushed
Chocolate chips - 1 cup,I used white & dark chocolate chips
Oreo Cookie Muffins

Preheat oven to 190C.Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Oreo Cookie Muffins-step1 
In a mixing bowl,mix the dry ingredients together-flour,cocoa,baking powder,baking soda and salt.
Oreo Cookie Muffins-step2 
In another bowl,beat together eggs and sugar till frothy-about a minute.
Oreo Cookie Muffins-step3 
Mix in oil,milk,vanilla and coffee powder,beat for a minute.
Oreo Cookie Muffins-step4 
Now add half of the dry ingredients and beat well.
Oreo Cookie Muffins-step5 
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.
Oreo Cookie Muffins-step6 
Switch to a spatula and mix in the oreo and chocolate chips,saving some for the topping.
Oreo Cookie Muffins-step7 
Pour a ladleful of batter into the muffin pan filling 3/4 of the muffin cups.Top with the rest of the oreo and chocolate chips.
Bake for 18-20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.
Cool on a wire rack and serve.
This recipe makes 18 muffins.
Oreo Cookie Muffins
  • I found the muffins to be a little less on the sweeter side,despite adding oreo cookies and chocolate chips.So if you,like me,prefer slightly sweeter muffins,add 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of sugar.
  • I added 1/2 cup of oil,original recipe calls for 1/3 cup.
As part of the Blog-anniversary,I am giving away a 500rs e-gift voucher from Flipkart to one lucky reader.So go on,add a comment saying what you'd like to see more in Easycooking in the coming days.Or else,just say a Hi:)

Giveaway sponsored by me.-Giveaway closed.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dry Cauliflower Sabzi {For Roti}

Dry Cauliflower Sabzi{For Roti}
Among the very many recipe requests I get on the blog,the one which tops the list is 'side dish for chapathi',so much so that I feel I owe to all of you who write in to introduce a new section on this blog for the same,really.It is a question which haunts me too-making chapathi dough is a breeze in the food processor and making chapathi does not take much time either.All the time is lost in thinking what to make as a side dish for the chapathi.

I had a go-north-indian phase a while back where I tried a new dish every day,from paneer to gobi to aloo,I made them all.But then we realized it was beating the purpose.We were having rotis as part of our weight loss regime and if I started to pair them with calorie laden dishes,we might as well have dal-chawal for dinner!

So in my new mission to try out sabjis for roti,this one is the first on the list.Cauliflower always works out as a good side for rotis-aloo gobi,cauliflower kurma and cauliflower sabzi.This one is no different-simple,delicious and gets done in a jiffy.
Dry Cauliflower Sabzi{For Roti}
Dry Cauliflower Sabzi {For Roti}


Cauliflower/Gobhi - 1 medium,cut into bite-sized florets
Tomato - 1 medium,pureed
Oil - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1 small,finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Rec chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Haldi powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - for garnish


Dry Cauliflower Sabzi{For Roti}-step1 
Chop the cauliflower into bite sized pieces and wash well under running water.Drain and keep aside.
Dry Cauliflower Sabzi{For Roti}-step2 
In a non-stick pan(preferably) add oil and splutter jeera,saute the onions,add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 1-2 minutes and then mix in the tomato puree.
Dry Cauliflower Sabzi{For Roti}-step3 
Saute for 2-3 minutes and then add red chilly powder,coriander powder,haldi and garam masala.
Dry Cauliflower Sabzi{For Roti}-step4 
Add chopped cauliflower,salt to taste and sprinkle 1-2 tbsp of water.Mix well.Cover with a lid and cook for 3-5 minutes or till the cauliflower is almost cooked.Now cook uncovered for another 5-7 minutes.
Dry Cauliflower Sabzi{For Roti}-step5 
Add coriander leaves and switch off the flame.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Quick Masala Biryani | Easy Rice Recipes

One day,while we were having our usual chat amma asked me about this ad about induction cooktops & the concept of Sunday Biryani.Growing up in a vegetarian household,we have no idea what goes into a Biryani and why it is made on a Sunday:).I told her maybe because of the laborious process involved,people like to cook it on a Sunday in a relaxed atmosphere.
Quick Masala Biryani-Ed
On the contrary,the Biryani/Pulao we make,with vegetables is a quick one which gets done in no time.In fact,when sudden guests come over for lunch,we turn to this biryani which looks like a lot of effort went into it but the fact is the effort is limited to the chopping of vegetables and the cooking time,which is minimal.

Many claim that vegetable biryani is a gimmick and is nothing but vegetables stir fried and mixed with rice.Though I tend to disagree,I have no clue how the non-veg version tastes(and don't want to either)so I keep quiet.Ajay is someone who prefers the non-veg version and whenever he praises a veg biryani,I consider the recipe a treasure.
Quick Masala Biryani Last time,when I was home,amma made this delicious quick biryani which was half-finished the moment the pressure cooker was opened.It tastes great hot,out of the pan as well as warm.Serve it plain,with some pickle and papad on the side or with some mint raita.
Quick Masala Biryani-Ed
 Quick Masala Biryani


For the masala paste

Onion - 1/2 of a medium onion,thinly sliced
Tomato - 1 medium,chopped
Green chilly - 1
Coriander - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Saunf - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Haldi - 1/4 tsp
Whole garam masala - 1 cardamom,1' piece cinnamon & 3 cloves OR
Garam masala - 2 tsp

Oil/Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashewnuts - 3-4 chopped
Raisins - 6-8
Onion - 1/2 of a medium onion,thinly sliced
Carrot - 1,thinly sliced
Green peas - 1/3 cup
Capsicum - 1/2 of a medium one,thinly sliced
Pudina leaves & Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup each
Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Salt to taste


Quick Masala Biryani-step1 
Make a smooth paste of the given ingredients for the masala paste.Keep aside.
Wash and soak the rice in enough water till you get the stuff ready for the biryani-about 10 minutes.
Quick Masala Biryani-step2 
In a pressure cooker/pan,add ghee/oil and saute cashewnuts and onions till it starts getting golden brown in colour.
Mix in the masala paste till it starts getting pulpy-about 2 minutes.
Quick Masala Biryani-step3 
Add the vegetables and give a good mix.
Now add the mint leaves and coriander leaves and drained rice and mix well.
Quick Masala Biryani-step4 
Add water and salt to taste and let it come to a boil.
Quick Masala Biryani-step5 
Close the cooker with the lid and cook for ONE whistle and then switch off the cooker.
Let it come to room temperature and then open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
Serve warm.
Quick Masala Biryani-Ed
Here's the winner for the giveaway - Poornichan is the lucky recipient to win the book Baking Favorites.Please send me your shipping address so that I can ship the book to you right away.

Thank you every one for the overwhelming response,I do have some more giveaways lined up for the month of March,so stay tuned:)

P.S-Thanks to Nags for helping me out with editing the main pics of the post:)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake & A Giveaway!

Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake
Some of us were having a discussion on facebook(where else!)about the use of food processors in kneading bread dough and cleaning up after baking.I pride myself in keeping my kitchen counter clean and tidy,but you know,we all have our days.Strangely,when I have utensils to wipe dry and clean and there are stuff on the counter top to arrange in the pantry,I bake.Yes,I bake!

I find space in the chaos and start prepping.By the time the cake pan goes into the oven,I will be feeling full of energy and will clean up the kitchen in half the time it usually requires.And the prize,goodie coming out of the oven.Fair deal,right.
Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake
I had some leftover dried blueberries in the fridge after making these cookies.We had finished almost half the packet by snacking,so I didn't have much.Searched for some recipes and came across this no-fail recipe from Deeba.Have baked this cake so many times already that the recipe was stored in my head.To make up for the lesser amount of blueberries,I added a good amount of chocolate-chips which can never go wrong in my opinion.
Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake
The cake itself is delicious and very homey.With a slight tang from the lime and buttermilk,along with the chocolate chips,this makes for an ideal cake for tea-time.

Blueberry Chocolate-chip Tea-Cake
Recipe source - Deeba


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

Dried Blueberries - 1/2 cup
Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup


To make buttermilk substitute at home

Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake-step1 

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.
Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake-step2 

Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Reserve.
Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake-step3 

Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract, lime juice and zest.
Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake-step4 

With beater on low add the flour and buttermilk alternately in three lots.
Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake-step5 

Mix in the dried blueberries and chocolate chips.
Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake-step6 
Bake for 50-60 minutes till golden brown on top, and the tester comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then remove the lining and let the cake cool further on a wire rack.
Blueberry Choco-chip Tea Cake 
Slice and serve.

Other Variations of the cake

Lime Buttermilk Pound Cake | Mango Buttermilk Pound Cake

Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake | Coffee-Chocolate chip Bundt cake

To celebrate the occasion of Easycooking turning 5,I am giving away one(1) copy of the book Baking Favorites by Australian Women's Weekly to a lucky reader(shipping only within India).Just post your favorite recipe from Easycooking in the comment box.Or just say a hi,either will do:)

This Giveaway is closed.

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