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Archive for the ‘cooking for kids’ Category

Friends, I am back! I hope I will keep posting new recipes regularly.Why I stopped for almost two years does’nt really matter. Many of you kept sending me sweet letters, trying to get me back to posting new recipes. It is this love and support that made me  come back again. Thanks to one and all!

A few days back  I prepared this simple Paneer tikka for a TV show. I always wanted to use decorative skewers. I have searched many shops in Chennai and Bangalore in vain. Only simple barbeque sticks are easily available. The first time I made these using stalks from coconut leaves.

Paneer sticks. The table cloth is   hand stitched patch work made from leftover  material of  lakshmi’s frocks.

Ingredients

  1. Paneer – 200gms (cut into even cubes)
  2. Bell peppers – 1 each of green, yellow and red.
  3. Tomato – 2
  4. Onion – 2
  5. Carrot – 1
  6. Baby corn – 2
  7. Potato – 1
  8. Thick Curd – 2 tbs
  9. Salt – 1/2 tsp
  10. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  11. Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Any mixed spice of your choice – 1 tsp
  13. Oil – 1 tbs

Method

  • Cut the bellpeppers, onions and tomatoes into 1 inch cubes.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into one inch cubes.
  • Peel and cut the carrots into rounds.
  • Cut the baby corn into one inch pieces.
  • MW the carrots, potatoes and baby corn for 2 minutes.
  • Mix salt, Turmeric, chilli powder and 1 tsp oil in a bowl.
  • Arrange the vegetables and paneer one after the other into the barbeque sticks.
  • Spread the curd mixture on all sides and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Grease a non stick tawa with 1 tsp oil and place the sticks.
  • Close with a lid and cook in low flame for 5 minutes turning after every minute.
  • Once the vegetables are soft and paneer turns brown take off the flame.
  • Sprinkle your favourite spice powder and serve hot.

Note

You can also make these with tooth picks. Just cut the vegetables and paneer into smaller cubes.

You can use any other vegetables of  your choice.

Watch me on Srisankara TV on saturday June 26th at 1 pm IST. You can also view in the web at srisankaratv.net (timings are same)

For my friends in other countries I have requested the channel to retelecast at a time convenient for them. Will let you know timings soon.

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Although I spend much of my time eating at amma’s place, I do a fair bit of cooking as well. For example this vanilla cake topped with white chocolate and pistachios that I made last evening. People looking for a basic vanilla eggless cake can make this recipe minus the ganache sandwich.
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Makes: 10-12 servings

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • All Purpose Flour – 1 1/4 cup
  • Milk Powder – 3 tbsp
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 3/4 cup
  • Baking Powder – 2 tsp
  • Cooking Soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla – a few drops

For the Filling and Topping

  • White Chocolate – 125 gms
  • Fresh Cream – 1/4 cup
  • Pistachio – 1/4 cup (whole)

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Method

  1. Line a baking dish 9 by 9 (or equivalent) baking dish.
  2. Powder the sugar well. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Mix the flour and milk powder. Fold this into the butter-sugar. Fold in the milk. Add vanilla and mix. Divide this batter into two parts. Refrigerate one part immediately.
  4. Add 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of cooking soda to one part of batter. Pour into the baking dish. Bake at 220 C for 40 minutes or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cake and transfer to a flat tray or cake holder. Line the 9 by 9 baking dish again.
  6. Take out the remaining batter from the fridge. Repeat step 4 to bake another cake. Cool completely.
  7. Chop the White chocolate to small pieces.
  8. Bring the Fresh Cream to a boil over medium heat.
  9. Take off heat and pour over the chopped chocolate in medium bowl. Whisk well until the ganache (chocolate-cream mixture) is smooth, silky and shiny.
  10. Spread half of this ganache on top of one cake. Place the second cake on top of the first cake and spread the rest of the ganache on top. Dot with pistachios.
  11. Refrigerate until the ganache is set, cut into pieces and serve. Can be served slightly warmed with ice cream on side.

Vanilla Cake with White Chocolate and Pistachio – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DK, Siri, Srivalli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii
Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya M, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Viji, , Kamalika,Pavani, Roochi, Karuna

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I modified the basic cookie dough that I shared a few days back to make these cookie. I have replaced half the butter with white chocolate, decreased the sugar and added dried cranberries.

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Makes: 70-80 Cookies

Ingredients

 

  • All Purpose Flour – 3 cups
  • White chocolate – 125 gms
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Dried Cranberries – 1/2 cup (chopped) 
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup (I used about a tablespoon or so lesser than this)

Method

  1. Powder the sugar well. 
  2. Chop the white chocolate. Melt the white chocolate over a bowl of simmering water or microwave on high for 30 seconds. 
  3. Cream the butter and sugar.  Add the white chocolate and chopped dried cranberries and mix well. 
  4. Add the flour little by little and whisk with a wooden spoon until you get a dough. The dough should be soft, not too dry, nor too wet. Add a tablespoon or two of butter if dough feels too dry. Add  more flour if it feels too wet. 
  5. Grease a baking tray. Shape dough into round cookies using a melon baller or ice cream scoop and transfer to baking tray. Cover with a plastic fling and refrigerate overnight for 8-12 hours. 
  6. Preheat an oven to 220 C. Take out the unbaked cookies and bake at 220 C for 10-15 minutes until done. 

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White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaViji, , Kamalika,Pavani, RoochiKaruna

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We get a great amount of user feedback on recipes that we post here – many with success, some with disappointment. Those who are disappointed comes in three categories

  • the ones whose expectations of a dish and taste preferences for a dish vary from ours and therefore need a different proportion of ingredients
  • the ones who acknowledge that they have perhaps gone wrong somewhere and need more practice and look for suggestions and insights
  • and the ones who like to squarely blame it on the recipe because recipes are supposed to work like magic in anybody’s hands

The last category are people who assume that they know what is “wrong” with the recipe for a dish, that they are yet to master themselves, with the research that they do on the internet. We get hilarious sermons on how we should mention that the batter for dishA requires fermentation and how we should increase proportion of urad dal in dishB because otherwise the recipe won’t rather can’t work. Some of them may not know what is wrong, but declare the inefficacy of the recipe in the choicest words possible and we have heard very strange things like a 10 oz of dark chocolate refusing to absorb 1/4 of cup of butter and milk bursting at the 3rd minute the in the microwave. Of course, our unhappy souls find it easier to throw common sense out of the window and blame everything squarely on the recipe.

We’d like to reiterate the one thing that we keep saying on this blog. Cooking is more than following proportions given in a recipe, its about practice. Cooking is more than just method, its about the smaller things behind the method – like gauging the right amount of kneading for a recipe or understanding the nature of your ingredients.

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I recently made cinnamon cookies following Amma’s basic cookie dough recipe which yields her “melt in mouth” cookies and gave me not so much melt in mouth but yet very tasty cookies. I followed the exact same basic cookie dough recipe she uses. The difference is that she’s been making cookies for 25 years which were once declared the best in the world by a chef at Taj, while I have been baking cookies for barely a few months. I made a batch recently with cinnamon flavour, they turned out well, just not as fabulous as Amma’s.

Makes: 30-40 cookies (will vary with cookie cutter size or how big you shape them)

Ingredients

  • All Purpose Flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch piece (skip for plain cookies or add your own flavouring)

Method
1. Powder the sugar and cinnamon stick to a fine powder.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add all purpose flour and knead well to form a dough. The dough should neither be wet nor very dry and hard. In case the dough feels too dry add a tablespoon or two or butter. Add some more flour if dough feels too wet.
4. Pat the dough into a flat disc, cover with a plastic foil and refrigerate overnight for 8-12 hours.
5. Take dough out from the fridge. Roll out the dough to about quarter of inch in thickness and cut into shapes using cookies cutters. Or shape into cicular discs with hand.
6. Bake at 220 C for 10-15 minutes until creamish brown.

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Notes:

  • The butter in the recipe can be replaced with ghee for a dough that can be baked immediately. 
  • The melt in mouth texture for the cookies develops only through practice. Kneading for about 5-10 minutes improves the texture of cookies greatly.

Cinnamon Cookies – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaVijiKamalika,Pavani, RoochiKaruna

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My love for chocolates is severely understated on this blog. I haven’t really posted too many chocolate recipes, mostly because either I eat chocolate neat or because anything I prepare with cocoa or chocolate disappears in no time.  

This recipe has been adapted from Mandira’s mom’s recipe that we used for preparing the chocolate half of the marbled cake at Baking Buddies. I have hiked up the cocoa , decreased the sugar and used butter instead of fresh cream since it yields a better crust and finally replaced the eggs with milk. 

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As you can see from the photograph above, much of the dome sinks in time. Most eggless muffin recipes get a nice dome, however I have never been able to get an eggless chocolate muffin with a dome intact even after the muffins cool down. 

Makes: 6 muffins

Ingredients

  • Cocoa – 1/2 cup (unsweetened)
  • All Purpose Flour – 1/2 cup 
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup (can go upto 3/4 of a cup if you prefer a sweeter muffin, though it won’t be a dark chocolate muffin anymore)
  • Butter – 1/2 cup 
  • Cooking Soda – 1/4 tsp 
  • Baking Powder – 1/4 tsp 
  • Milk – 1/2 cup 
  • Vanilla  – a few drops 

Method

  1. Grease a 6 mould muffin tray. Preheat oven to 220 C. 
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa with cooking soda and baking powder. 
  3. Powder the sugar. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add milk and vanilla.  Fold the flour-cocoa mix into this to get your batter.  
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin moulds. 
  5. Bake at 220 C for 30 minutes. 

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Dense, dark, decadent chocolate muffins for the Recipe Marathon.

Check my fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaVijiKamalika,Pavani

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The inspiration for this recipe comes from the Vanilla Apple Cake posted at Sweet and Simple Bakes for their September Bake. Each month Rosie and Maria post a tried and tested recipe for people to bake and post on the 1st day of the following month on their blogs. Whether you particpate or not in their monthly bakes, I recommend that you definitely try their recipes sometime or the other. Not only do the recipes work like magic, the end results are so uniquely delicious that you’ll find yourself baking them several times.

I have modified their basic Vanilla Apple cake recipe to bake muffins that are eggless and have an apple crumble topping instead of the brown sugar topping the original calls for.

Makes – 10 Muffins

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • All Purpose Flour – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Heavy Cream – 1/2 cup
  • Apple puree – 3/4 cup (approx 1 medium apple)
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
  • Vanilla – a few drops
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Cooking Soda – 1/4 tsp
  • Curd – 2 tbsp

For the crumble topping:

  • Demerara Sugar – 1/4 cup
  • All Purpose Flour – 1/4 cup
  • Butter – 3 tbsp
  • Cinnamon Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Apple – 1 medium (cut into cubes or wedges)

Method

  1. Line a muffin pan. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Mix the butter, all purpose flour, cinnamon powder and demerara sugar for the topping to resemble coarse bread crumbs to prepare your crumble mix. Mix by hand if the butter is cold or use a fork.
  3. Sieve Maida with Baking Powder and Cooking Soda together.
  4. Powder Sugar and Cinnamon stick. Cream powdered sugar with fresh cream and Apple Puree. Add Curd. Fold in the Maida.
  5. Transfer cake batter to baking tin. Top batter with apple cubes/wedges followed by the crumble mix.
  6. Bake at 180 C for 40 minutes or until muffins are browned on top.

Notes:

  • I used a six mould standard muffin pan. Baking timings will vary with surface area. You will need to adjust according to muffin mould size and the size of the pan. If you’re using mini muffin pans, reduce time by atleast 5 minutes or more. If you’re using a pan that bakes larger than standard sized muffins, increase the time by atleast 5 minutes or more.
  • A cake or loaf with the same batter takes 60 minutes at 180C.

Check my fellow recipe marathoners:

DKSiriSrivalliRanjiPJCurry LeafMedhaPriyaBhawnaRaajiRuchii
AnuKamalaRoopaDivya KuduaRekhaDivya MRaagaLakshmi VenkateshSripriyaVijiKamalika,Pavani

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I have been dreaming of making savoury muffins ever since Raaga mentioned about her famous vegetable cake. We never ended up baking it together as we planned to but the idea was stuck in my head. Some months ago when I had just bought my oven, I ambitiously set out to buy baking ware to complement it. At that time, I had imagined my oven to be this ultimate machine which could cook 16 muffins at one go!! The 16 mould muffin tray obviously din’t fit into my puny 30L oven. Thankfully I have a better sense of proportion when it comes to cooking!

Arudathi passed on a 6 mould muffin tray she’s bought for me sometime back yesterday. I quickly threw in a few ingredients to make a batter going by whatever  I knew about what goes into a cake. The results were fabulous and looked decent for first time muffins. I got fairly good domes, not very smooth but decent.  

These muffins are savoury, eggless and have just a tbsp of oil but quite a bit of cheese.

Makes: 6 medium, 10 small

Ingredients

  • All Purpose Flour – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Tomatoes (pureed into medium consistency) – 3/4 cup
  • Peppers/ Capsicum (finely chopped) – 3/4 cup
  • Feta Cheese (crumbled) – 60 gms (approx 1/4 of a 250gms feta blockCan be replaced with paneer)
  • Onions (finely chopped) – 1/4 cup
  • Black Pepper Corns – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin – 1/4  tsp  
  • Baking Powder – 1 tsp
  • Cooking Soda – 1/2 tsp
  • Curd – 1 tbsp
  • Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp (increase if you’re using paneer)

Method

  1. Grease or line a muffin tray and preheat an oven to 220 C.  
  2. Sift flour, baking powder, cooking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Saute the Black Pepper Corns and Cumin in some Oil until they pop. Set aside for cooling. Pound coarsely. Add to the flour mix.
  4. Add tomato puree and curd to the flour mix. Fold in the milk. Fold in the peppers/capscisum, onions and feta cheese. Add the remaining olive oil.   
  5. Pour into muffin moulds.
  6. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Notes

  • If you’re replacing the feta cheese with paneer, dunk paneer in some warm water before crumbling and increase the salt. The feta that I used is rather creamy – you may not get the same effect with Paneer. You may increase the quantity of cheese if you are using Paneer. Silken Tofu would also be a good substitute.
  • This recipe does not call for the vegetables to be pre cooked in any way. Finely chopped peppers and onion will get cooked with the 30 minutes of baking.  
  • While pouring each mould should be filled all the way to the top. Only then the rise of the muffin will become a dome. Filling 3/4th of the mould will give you muffins with flat tops. 

Some shameless self promotion:

Check out the Marbled cake Mandira and I tried at BakingBuddies.

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