Wednesday 27 October 2010

Pink Strawberry Dip ~ for PINKTOBER

"Every person has 1000 wishes, a cancer patient only one: to get better"
October or PINKTOBER, is the National breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NBCAM organization is a partnership of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to screening services..... I lost my mother; the most precious women in my life due to breast cancer. She was only 44….A loss that is still difficult to accept even after 13 long years…. A sudden loss that still has the same bitter pain, a loss that completely changed my life…. This post is dedicated to those who lost the battle with cancer, to those who bravely fought and won and to those who are still fighting…. Our prayers go out to all those families that are affected by this dreaded decease…
Pink Strawberry Dip

(Adapted from Nita Mehta’s Mocktails & Snacks)

Yogurt - 1 cup
Strawberries - ½ cup, chopped
Mint leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Honey- 1 tsp
Mustard paste-1 tsp
Chaat masala-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice- 1 tsp

  • Tie the yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it to drain for 1 hour.
  • Blend strawberries for a few seconds to make a strawberry puree.
  • Beat the yogurt till smooth. Mix strawberry puree and all the other ingredients to the beaten yogurt. Keep in the refrigerator till serving.
  • Served with peeled carrots and cucumber cut into sticks, celery sticks, capsicum and blanched broccoli or cauliflower florets with long stalks.
  • Arrange the vegetables in a plate with the dip in the centre.
  • A little milk may be added to the dip if it appears too thick.
  • Sprinkle chaat masala, lemon juice and toasted sesame seeds on the vegetables.
  • Enjoy!

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Sunday 24 October 2010

Oriental Noodle Salad

Colorful and crunchy, this salad is ideal for a party crowd. To make a main-dish salad, add cooked shrimp or chicken. You can easily substitute vegetables like snow peas, red pepper, canned bamboo shoots, canned chestnuts, canned baby corns etc. if you wish.

Oriental Noodle Salad
100 gm - Noodles or thin pasta
1 medium – size carrot, pared and cut into matchsticks
1 small head lettuce, trimmed, washed, dried and torn into bite size pieces
1 small Capsicum, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
½ cup sliced Celery
1 small Onion sliced
¼ cup Corn kennels
Soy sauce- 2 tbsp
Rice wine vinegar- 2 tbsp
Oriental Sesame oil- 11/2 tsp
Cilantro or Parsley, chopped - 1 tbsp
Ginger, finely chopped - 1 ½ tsp
Pepper powder- ¼ tsp
Chicken broth – ¼ cup
Mayonnaise- ¼ cup
Peanuts, chopped – 2 tbsp


  1. Prepare Salad:
    Cook Noodles/Pasta according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water; drain well. Combine noodles/pasta, carrots, lettuce, capsicum, celery, onion and corn in large bowl.
  2. Prepare Dressing:
    Stir together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, cilantro and ginger in small bowl. Add dressing to pasta; toss well to combine. Refrigerate, covered, until serving. Whisk together chicken broth and mayonnaise in small bowl until smooth. Refrigerate, covered until serving.
  3. To Serve:
    Toss salad with mayonnaise mixture. Garnish with peanuts.

Make-Ahead Tip: The salad and mayonnaise mixture can be prepared separately up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, covered. Toss with the mayonnaise mixture just before serving.

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Thursday 21 October 2010

Finnish Pie

Finnish Pie
(6 servings)

Minced meat-500gm
Minced onion-1 cup
Dry bread crumbs-4 tsp
All purpose flour-4 tsp
Butter-4 tsp
Cooked potato-500gm
Minced ginger-1tsp
Milk- 1 ½ cups
Pepper powder-3/4 tsp or to taste
Nutmeg powder-1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste

  • Sauté the onion and ginger in butter first, and then the meat.
  • Add ¼ cup water and enough salt and cook the meat with a lid on.
  • When it is dry add the spices and the flour, stir well and then remove from fire.
  • Grease an oven proof dish and arrange the cooked slices of potato in the bottom and sides.
  • Put meat inside and cover with more potato slices.
  • Whisk the egg, add milk and salt and pour it evenly over the pie.
  • Sprinkle the crumbs on top, put knobs of butter here and there and bake in a 350F (180C) pre heated oven till the top is golden brown.
  • Serve with Bread or Dinner Rolls.

Recipe Adapted from: Mrs. B.F. Varughese’s Recipes for All Seasons.

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Sunday 17 October 2010

White Bread

There is nothing quite like the smell and taste of home-baked bread, eaten while still warm.

White Bread
(Adapted from180 Every Day Cakes and Bakes)
Makes two 23x13 cm /9x5 in loaves
50 ml/2 fl oz/ ¼ cup lukewarm water
15 ml/1 tbsp active dry yeast
30ml/ 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
475ml/16 fl oz/ 2 cups lukewarm milk
2.5g/ 1 oz/ 2 tbsp butter or margarine, at room temperature
10ml/ 2 tsp salt
About 900g/2 lb/8 cups strong white flour

  • Combine the water, yeast, and 15ml/ 1tbsp of the sugar in a measuring cup and leave for 15 minutes or until frothy.
  • Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add the remaining sugar, the butter or margarine, and salt.
  • Stir in the yeast mixture, then stir in the flour, 150g/5 oz/ 1 ¼ cups at a time, until a stiff dough is obtained.
  • Transfer the dough to a floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, then place it in a large greased bowl, cover with a clear film (plastic Wrap), and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 2-3 hours.
  • Grease two 23x13 cm /9x5 in loaf pans. Knock back the dough and divide in half.
  • Form into loaf shapes and place in the tins, seam down. Cover and leave to rise again until almost doubled in volume, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C/375C.
  • Bake the loaves until firm and brown, about 45-50 minutes. Turn out and tap the base of a loaf; if it sounds hollow the loaf is done. If necessary return to the oven and bake for a few minutes longer. (Turn the loaf upside down in the tin if the top is done but the base is not.) Turn out and cool on a wire rack.
I made some of these different flavoured heart shaped cuties too :)...... took a small amount of dough and pressed these into my heart shaped pan and sprinkled little bit of different dry hearbs (like Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Basil ) and some dry red chilly flakes and chopped garlic on top of each...they were delicious....

  1. I halved the recipe and made only one loaf. That was more than enough for 3 of us to survive 2 meals :)
  2. I used half of All purpose flour and half od wheat flour instead of Strong white bread flour.
  3. I served the bread along with Finnish Pie and Spicy Orange Chicken Salad...It goes very well with Fish pie, Meat loaf, Fish Molee etc
  4. Toast these bread slices slightly and serve warm with butter and Jam...
  5. I am sending this recipe for the 5th World Bread Day, hosted by Zorra.
  6. And this bread is YeastSpotted!

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Thursday 14 October 2010

Mixed Fruit Jam

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother ~ Abraham Lincoln
Like I said in my previous post, to celebrate my mom’s birthday I chose to share a couple of recipes that she was an expert in. Today would have been her 58th birthday and we terribly miss her absence. I always wanted to be like her in all aspects of life-whether in behavior, looks or in cooking skills…. I really don’t know how successful I have been in following her footsteps… Today on her birthday I am sharing her Jam recipe with you…..We never used store bought Jams at home…. Mom always used to make Pineapple Jam, Pazham /Banana jam (my favorite) and Mixed Fruit Jam depending on the season and availability of fruits…. Recently I also made Mixed Fruit Jam …so here is the recipe for Mixed fruit Jam…

Mixed Fruit Jam


Mixed Fruits-2kg (You can use a mix of any well ripe fruits that are available, like Apple, Banana, Ripe Papaya, seedless black grapes, Pineapple, peach, strawberry etc)
1” long Cinnamon sticks-6
Whole cloves-24 nos
Citric Acid-1 tsp

  • Clean and chop fruits. Put them in a heavy bottom pan along with just enough water to cover the fruit pieces. Boil till the fruits are tender.
  • Turn off the heat and cool the fruits completely and puree this in a blender and strain. (If you like to have some fruit bites in your jam you can completely omit this process and continue cooking by crushing the fruits with the back of a spoon).
  • Add sugar, cloves, cinnamon and citric acid to the fruit pulp and boil the mixture.
  • Remove any scum that may appear on the surface.
  • Stir constantly with a wooden spatula till it thickens.
  • Turn off the gas, cool slightly and pour into sterilized glass bottles placed on a wooden planks to avoid the breakage of bottles.

How to find out if the Jam is ready:
  • A drop of jam put into a glass of cold water will gel.
  • If you lift the spatula and allow the jam to pour, it should flow together.
  • Pour a few drops on to a plate; if it spreads easily, then the jam is not ready; if it stays firm without moving,the jam is ready.

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Tuesday 12 October 2010

Mixed Fruit Wine!

In water one sees one's own face;
But in wine one beholds the heart of another. ~ French proverb

My mom was a great cook; she used to make a variety of wines, jams, pickles and squashes…… I learned the basics of wine making from her and I have since experimented with different types …..Since this is my mom’s birthday week, I thought of posting a few recipes that I learned from her…… It’s still difficult to accept that she is no more in this world….. I miss sharing my ups and downs and my never ending talks with her, but unfortunately God had different plans…... I hope she is watching us from heaven… Today I am sharing one of my most successful wine recipes…. And with Christmas only two and half months away and for those who wanted to have homemade wine it’s high time you started making it at home

Mixed Fruit Wine
Mixed Fruits- 1kg (I used a mix of apples, oranges, peaches, grapes & strawberries)
Sugar-750 gm
Water-4 liter
Yeast-1/4 tsp

  • Wash and clean the fruits and finely chop them and put them in clean big wine bottle.
  • Boil water and sugar and pour this boiled water into the chopped fruits.
  • When it becomes cool add yeast and tie the bottle with a clean cloth or close with the lid a little loose.
  • Stir this mixture every day for some time.
  • After 20 days strain the mixture to a clean bottle and keep this again for 2 weeks untouched.
  • Slowly strain the upper part of the wine to small bottles and enjoy!

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Saturday 9 October 2010

Chocolate, Cranberry & Oat Bars

Adapated from Kraft foods
1 cup dried cranberries (substitute raisins for the cranberries)
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) margarine, softened
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar (I used white granulated sugar)
2 eggs
1/2 cup Chocolate chips
1 tbsp Orange Sugar-1 tbsp (rub orange zest into vanilla sugar, and let it dry in a very low oven)
1/2 cup chopped Almonds (in original recipe Pecan Pieces are used)

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • Combine cranberries and orange juice in microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high 30 sec. Let stand 10 min.
  • Meanwhile, combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  • Beat margarine and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Gradually add flour mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  • Stir in cranberry mixture, chocolate and almonds or pecans.
  • Spread dough into 13x9-inch baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake 25 to 30 min. or until lightly browned.
  • Cool completely on wire rack before cutting into bars

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Thursday 7 October 2010

Molten Lava Cake

October Sweet Punch was hosted by Divya and she selected Molten Lava Cake this time. This highly rich chocolate cake is easy to prepare but we need to be careful on baking time. If you cook one or more minutes longer than required, you won’t get the gooey centre. I halved the recipe and got only 3 ramekins small Molten Lava Cake for three of us to enjoy this Oooey, gooey chocolaty goodness. Since I used dark cooking chocolate, cake colour is on the darker side and less sugary.

Molten Lava Cake
(Recipe source -

Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate – 4 oz (113g)
Butter – 4 oz (113g)
Eggs – 2
Sugar – 1/3 cup (75 g)
All-purpose Flour – 1/4 cup (40g)
Butter – for greasing ramekins

  • In a double boiler, melt chocolate.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat Eggs and Sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Once chocolate is melted, remove pan from heat and add in butter. Mix until the butter melts fully.
  • Add chocolate/butter mixture into the eggs, add all-purpose flour and mix until well incorporated.
  • Butter bottom and sides of ramekins (small glass/porcelain bowls) and pour in mixture about 3/4 way full.
  • Place ramekins on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C) for 10 – 15 minutes. Shorter for gooey (molten) inside, longer for stiff inside. (I baked for 10 minutes).
  • Serve hot with vanilla ice cream or Whipped cream.

P.S - Some people find it gross to have cakes with uncooked centers and feel the lava is nothing but uncooked batter. If you feel so, just place a chocolate chunk in between--pour half the batter into the ramekin and place a chocolate chunk,and pour the remaining batter and cook for a longer time than mentioned.You could also place cold ganache in between,choices are numerous!!

Molten Chocolate Cake

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Tuesday 5 October 2010

Homemade Tandoori Roti using a Toaster!

Tandoori Roti is an Indian unleavened whole wheat bread traditionally made in a clay oven or Tandoor. However, for those who do not have a clay oven or Tandoor, here is an easy way of making Tandoori Roti at home using a bread toaster. These healthy rotis can be served with any gravy based veg or non veg dish.

Atta (wheat flour)- 2 cups
Maida (all purpose flour)- 1/4 cup
Sugar-1 tsp
Salt to taste
Yoghurt- 3 tbsp
Ghee or butter - 2 tbsp
Water- ¼ cup or as needed

  • Mix atta, maida, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Add the yoghurt and mix to make crumbly dough.
  • Add small quantities of water as needed and knead to smooth dough.
  • Leave this dough out for about 1 hour.
  • Divide the dough in to small balls and dip the dough ball into dry flour and roll it out into an oval or round shape disc (thicker than chapathies).
  • Place rolled out roti on a hot tava and cook until bubbles appear, flip the roti over and cook until light brown spots appear. Keep aside.
  • Repeat the process until all rotis are cooked on tava.
  • Pop these rotis into a toaster and toast them on medium until they puff up and darker brown spots appear.

  • Once the roti is done, remove from toaster and smear it with some ghee on one side. (you can completely omit this for a healthier version).

  • Place the roti in a paper towel and lightly crush it.

  • Serve hot!

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