Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bread (Gone-Wrong) Pudding

Standard

To begin with, sorry for the incomplete post you may have received last week… I was trying out the WordPress app on my smart phone, & of course being technologically challenged, I ended up posting my draft instead of saving it!!

Well it has been a couple of those days…

All I’ve wanted to do is lay curled up in bed with a book, a movie or sweet dreams! I can’t seem to get myself out of bed to do anything…I guess I’m in the “Summer Holiday” zone! It’s May! My birthday month! The Mango¬†month! The month you just loll around & do nothing. The month you nap all afternoon & hang out with friends all evening. The month that you sleep in late & stay out all night. The month with near zero responsibility, right?

Ahem… Shivani, you were 18 a long, long time ago! Snap out of it!

It didn’t seem to be a great week for baking either… While at breakfast over at my parents’ on Monday a light bulb went ping in my head while I watched Ma make herself a PBJ sandwich. How about making a Peanut Butter Jam Bread?

So I did…

It looked pretty & all, but the texture wasn’t quite what I imagined or liked too much ūüė¶

Then I decided to bake a batch of these gorgeous Lemon Cookies 

Oh & I left them in the oven too long… Too embarrassed to put up the “after” picture ūüė¶

So there I was stuck with a ”not-so-great” PBJ Loaf & some pretty singed Lemon Cookies & a strong resolve that I couldn’t just throw them all away!¬†

And once again a light bulb went ping inside my head & I thought…

“Gone wrong? Make right!”

I got together:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 150 ml Cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons Sugar
  • Icing Sugar to dust
  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • My (not-s0-great) Peanut Butter & Jam Loaf

Then I:

  1. Whisked the eggs till light & frothy.
  2. Added the cream & sugar & combined them well.
  3. Generously buttered a baking tray.
  4. Dipped slices of the PBJ Bread in the Egg-Cream mixture & arranged them on the baking tray.
  5. Poured the remaining mixture over the bread.
  6. Dotted the top of the pudding with butter & sprinkled some sugar over it.
  7. Baked it in the oven at 180 C for 30 minutes.
  8. Dusted it with some icing sugar.
  9. And smiled!

Not too bad at all! A warm, comforting, very “home” dessert… I was happy I made it right!

Now any suggestions what I could do with the Lemon Cookie Crumbs? Do tell!

Advertisements

Lemon Rice

Standard

It’s too hot to cook! It’s too hot to think! It’s too hot to want to do anything…¬†period!

At times like these, you need a quick fix, light meal that isn’t any trouble at all!

Tangy, flavourful & super comforting, Lemon Rice, is it! This is a South Indian dish that is lightly spiced, with the lentils & peanuts adding a lovely crunch to it. You could have it by itself, with a bowl of yogurt on the side or serve it like a salad for brunch.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups steamed Basmati Rice
  • 2 Lemons (juice)
  • 5-6 Curry Leaves
  • 1 tablespoon white¬†Urad Daal /¬†White Lentil
  • 1 teaspoon¬†Jeera /¬†Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†Rai /¬†Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon¬†Haldi /¬†Turmeric Powder
  • 1 teaspoon¬†Dhania-Jeera Powder¬†/¬†Ground Coriander & Cumin Seeds
  • Chilli Powder
  • Salt
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves
  • Roasted Peanuts (coarsely ground)
  • 2 tablespoons¬†Ghee /¬†Clarified Butter

Note:

Fresh Green Chillies & Grated Ginger would work wonders too! Didn’t have them at hand, so used Red Chilli Powder. If you use these, add them at Step 2.

Fresh Coconut (grated) would also make a great garnish to this dish, highlighting its “South Indian-ness”

Method

  1. Heat the ghee in a wok & add the curry leaves urad daal, jeera, & rai.
  2. When the spices start to sizzle & the lentils turn a light gold, add the haldi, dhania-jeera & chilli powders & stir fry for 2-3 minutes till you get a beautiful aroma & the flavours all merge together.
  3. Add the cooked rice, lemon juice & salt & mix well so that each grain is coated with the spices.
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves, coconut & peanuts.
  5. Serve hot.

This recipe serves 4

An Early Mother’s Day Lunch

Standard

Ma came over for lunch on Friday…

Oh yes that is a big deal! Don’t get me wrong. I am a good daughter. I do see my Mother about twice a week at least. Since it’s more convenient, I end up doing most of the visiting. We tease her that she visits my sister, who is in a different¬†country¬†all together, more often in a year, than she comes over to ours! And we are in the¬†same¬†city! Yes the Bombay traffic is awful & with an hour & half journey one way, we might as well live in different towns… but she could do better than drop by once in 6 months!

Anyway, Ma decided to come over for lunch Friday (Yay!). Since it had been a while & with Mother’s Day right round the corner, I wanted it to be special. It is¬†unbelievably hot in the City, so she requested something light & simple.

So here it is, a light, simple yet special menu for Ma on her special day ūüôā

Pear & Nut Salad

Eggplant Boats

Spinach & Cottage Cheese Quiche

Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie

Pear Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 firm Pear (cored & sliced)
  • Mixed Nuts & Raisins
  • Honey
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cinnamon
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Iceberg Lettuce

Method

  1. Arrange the pear slices on a bed of lettuce.
  2. Sprinkle the nuts & raisins over it.
  3. Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing together & drizzle over the salad just before serving.
  4. Serve it chilled.

Eggplant Boats

Ingredients

  • 1 Eggplant
  • 2 Tomatoes (diced)
  • 2 Spring Onions (finely chopped)
  • zest & juice of 1/2 Orange
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • Basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†Ajwain /¬†Marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon¬†Jeera /¬†Cumin
  • Chilli Powder
  • 5-7 Black Olives (chopped)
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Cheese
  • Bottled Tomato Pizza / Pasta Sauce

Method

  1. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 2 halves. Carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving the exterior intact. Place the eggplant halves face down in salt water & chop up the scooped out eggplant.
  2.  Heat oil in a wok & add the jeera & ajwain. When the spices start sizzling, add the garlic & onions. Saute till brown.
  3. Toss in the eggplant, tomatoes, olives, orange zest & juice & stir fry till cooked.
  4. Season with salt & chilli powder. Keep aside.
  5. Pat dry the eggplant boats & lightly rub the skin with olive oil. Place on an un-greased baking tray.
  6. Fill each boat with the cooked eggplant & tomato mixture.
  7. Sprinkle the boats with bread crumbs & cheese.
  8. Cover the boats with aluminium foil & bake in the oven at 180 C for 25 minutes. Uncover & bake some more for about 15 minutes.
  9. Warm the pizza/pasta sauce & pour over the eggplant boats before serving.

Spinach & Cottage Cheese Quiche

The Quiche¬†was inspired by 2 chefs¬†Rachel Allen¬†&¬†Jamie Oliver. I am an avid watcher of Food Shows on TV. If I don’t have the time, I record them & then watch them back to back! During a couple of these marathon TV watching sessions, I saw that with a few simple additions, the 2 chefs transformed the quiche to something else!

Jamie Oliver added Parmesan Cheese & Rosemary to the pie crust & Rachel Allen added a layer of boiled Potatoes & Goat’s Cheese to the Quiche before adding the Spinach Filling. I wanted to try it out ever since.

Mother’s Day Lunch is the day!

The above dishes were perfect for a loving mother-daughter duo! With a chilled glass of Pomegranate juice to start & warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies to end, with loads of bonding girl talk & gossip, it was a lovely lunch indeed!

Happy Mother’s Day Ma & to all the Moms out there ūüôā

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Standard

A fresh batch of gooey Nutella-Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies, just out of the oven! I love the way my Kitchen smells!

These are for Rudra & Nemo…. Chittoo’s nephews ūüôā

Chittoo is my oldest friend ever & the real force behind me starting this Blog! It seems perfect that I’m baking something specially for her & her loved ones on my Blog’s 3rd Month-versary!

Chocolate & Banana Pancakes

Standard

It’s summer time in Bombay! And that means it’s time for Summer Workshops all over the City! And that¬†means I am employed for the month! When you freelance… that¬†is¬†a big deal!

I am trying to get back to my old early morning routine… up by 5.30 am & out of the house by 8.15 am… & using the time in between to exercise (still trying to be regular about that!), make & eat a good healthy breakfast & pack an equally good & healthy lunch for the husband & me.

What I love about being on a diet at this point in my life is that I do have the time to cook! (Even with the¬†occasional project like this one!)¬† Up until now, whenever I was on one (& there have been many over the past 12 odd years!) I never could spend much time planning & making the kind of meals I would’ve liked. So I was stuck eating quick fix meals like steamed veggies or soup made for a week & frozen or boiled egg whites or… did I mention steamed veggies? Boring!! Now that I am totally giving in to my food obsession & I can dream up, plan & cook whatever I want… making sure it’s healthy and¬†delicious ūüôā

My¬†foodie partner in crime, Priti,¬†like me, constantly struggles with wanting¬†to eat food that is¬†oh so good! & the need¬†to healthy. Most of our lunch dates start out with good intentions to eat light, eat right & eat healthy… & end up with the two of us in a blissful food coma! Seriously… no regrets! But recently, once again we have been trying to support each other towards healthier goals.

The other day Priti called, saying she gave in to a pancake craving… I don’t blame her, I’d give in to one any day of the week! Now pancakes are always delicious, but they don’t have to¬†be unhealthy, right?

So this one is for Priti, me & all of us that crave a Pancake Breakfast¬†(or lunch, or dinner) without the guilt ūüôā

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Oats (ground coarsely)
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • ¬†1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 1/2 Egg
  • 1 small Banana
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Honey
  • 1 – 2 squares Dark Chocolate (chopped into pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon Sugar

Method

  1. Whisk all the ingredients together, except the last 2.
  2. On a non-stick pan melt a teeny, tiny, next-to-nothing smidgen of butter & pour in half the batter.
  3. When little bubbles start forming on the surface of the pancake, sprinkle 1/2 the chocolate pieces over it & flip it.
  4. Once cooked serve it hot with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon sugar sprinkled over it.
  5. Use the remaining batter, chocolate & cinnamon sugar to make the 2nd pancake.

A filling, satiating breakfast, very satisfying breakfast… the dark chocolate complements the sweet banana & honey beautifully…. mmmmmmm ūüôā

This recipe makes 2 yummy-licious, totally guilt-free pancakes!

Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup

Standard

It’s too hot for soup… I know that!

But when you are right in the the middle of setting up your Kitchen & yet dinner has to be made… then there’s nothing¬†easier! Especially this one, since most of the cooking takes place in the oven to begin with. So you can just stick the tomatoes & garlic in the oven for an hour & concentrate on the really important things like “Where do I stack up these stainless steel boxes that I’m never going to use!

The inspiration for this soup is the Tomato Basil Sea Food Broth¬†I always order at¬†Pronto, a tiny little 3 table restaurant / take-away right next to the husband’s office. Often if we get done with work pretty late, or are too hungry to last the 2 hour drive home, or if it is raining, or sometimes for no reason other than quiet “us” time… we stop by for a crisp, thin crust, Pepperoni Pizza & Bruschetta with Olives & Tomatoes or our favourite Cheese Garlic Bread with Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar & Chilli Flakes to dip into & Caesar’s Salad to make the meal seem healthy or the beautiful, meaty Shepherd’s Pie with Creamy Mashed Potatoes. Pronto is about as authentic as a small Indian, Italian / Mexican take-away in Bombay can get, but the ingredients are fresh, the flavours mingle beautifully & there is this comforting home-style quality to the food. And they play some great music too sometimes. We love going there!

So coming back to my soup. Another reason for picking this one was I had to go with Whatever’s In The Fridge.¬†And I was lucky… I had everything I needed for a heart Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup… & more!

Ingredients

Roasted Tomatoes

  • 6¬†Tomatoes (quartered)
  • Fresh Basil (chopped)
  • Black Olives (chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chilli Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • Olive Oil

Roasted Garlic

  • 2 heads Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 squares Aluminium Foil

Method

  1. Arrange the quartered tomatoes in a well oiled baking tray.
  2. Sprinkle the basil, salt, pepper, chilli flakes & sugar over it.
  3. Drizzle olive oil generously over the tomatoes.
  4. Cut the tops off the garlic heads