Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Badam-Cashew Cake

Every one in my in-laws house loves sweet dishes. My mother-in-law makes sweet quite often for every occassion. Yesterday, I assisted her in making this delicious almond cake for my niece's birthday. It was a little bit too sweet for my taste. But my father- in-law insisted that much sugar is required for the cake to form. I had 3 pieces as soon as he cut them. My mother-in-law said that she got this recipe from her sister-in-law.

3/4 C almond, blanched
3/4 C cashew nusts, soaked and drained
1 C milk
4 1/4 C sugar
1 C water
2 t ghee
1 drop almomd essence(optional)

1. Use the milk and make a paste  of the nuts. Keep aside.
2. Grease a 2 inch bottom tray and set aside.
2. Melt the sugar with 1 1/2 cups of water in a heavy bottomed pan.
3. Stir in the nut paste when the sugar is completely melted. Keep stirring continuously, till all the water evaporates. It may take about 30 minutes.  Add 2 teaspoons of ghee. Add the essence at the very end.  Remove from the stove when the paste does not stick to the pan. Pour it on the greased tray and pat it smooth. Using a greased knife, make pieces while it is still warm.

Sugar can be reduced to taste(not too much though). You can not make pieces if the sugar is too less.
Saffron can be added for color.

Ragda Patty

I have not been able to blog for 2 weeks. I'm enjoying my vacation in India. I wanted to make something different for my nieces tonight. They have never eaten Ragda Patty. So I decided to make it. We enjoyed our dinner tonight. It was simple and tasty, though I had to run to the corner store to buy some of the sauces I used in this dish.

2 T oil
2 C yellow peas, soaked and boiled
1t each of garlic, ginger,and green chili, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 each of cinammon, clove, cardamom
1/4 t turmeric powder
1 t chili powder
1/2 t garam masala
salt to taste
5 large potatoes, boiled and mashed
2 green chili, chopped
1 t cumin seeds
1 t cumin/corriander powder
salt to taste
1 T corn starch

For Garnish:
chopped onion
chopped tomato
chopped cilantro
greeen chutney
sweet chutney

1. Add chopped chili, cumin seeds, daniya-jeera powder and salt to the mashed potato. Add corn starch and mix well. Make patties,place them on a griddle. Add little oil and cook till golden brown. Turn and cook on the other side. Keep the patties aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan. Add the masala and fry for a couple of minutes. Add garlic, ginger and chili and saute quikly. Add  onion and saute till it is cooked. Add tomato and cook for a few minutes.
3. Add all the masala. Add the cooked peas. Pour enough water and cook on medium low for 30 minutes, stirring occassionaly. Keep aside.

To serve Ragda Patti:
1. Place 2 patties on a plate.
2. Pour enough ragda(peas) over the patties
3.  Sprinkle chopped onion, tomato, and cilantro over it.
4. Garnish with green chutney  and sweet chutney. Sprinkle some sev and serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chili Idly

Idly used to be my all time favorite food growing up. We used to have Idly with chili powder every day for breakfast. My son does not it though. When my kids were little, I used to make stuffed Idly with peas and carrot, to get them to eat their veggies. I like to make familiar food interesting. So, one day I made idly, the Chinese way. I made it like Manchurian. What do you know, my kids loved it.  I made it for lunch today.

16 idly, cut into cubes
2 bunches spring onion, chopped
2 t oil
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 T ginger, garlic, and green chili, chopped(more if desired)
1 T tomato sauce, or ketchup
1 t green chili sauce
1 T soy sauce
1 T corn flour
1/2 C water

1. Heat oil in a broad pan. Saute chili, garlic and ginger for a minute. Add green pepper and saute for 4 minutes. Add spring onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sauces. Mix corn flour and water, and stir it in the pan. Add the cubed idly to the sauce. Enjoy it hot.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Sorry friends, I could not get to blog for a week. Been busy. Last week I finally got the courage and decided to make Tiramisu for the Super Bowl Night. It was pretty easy to make and was a hit. I followed the recipe given by my sister's co-worker. I'm going to make it again tonight for Valentine's Day.

2 small tubs of mascarpone cheese(Italian soft cheese),about 500 gms
4 eggs
1/2 C whipping cream
1 1/2 C strong coffee or espresso
4 T rum extract or 1 small bottle Baileys or brandy
2 small packs 24 per pack lady finger(cookie)
1/2 + 2 T white sugar
cocoa for dusting
chocolate shavings(optional)

1. Separate the 4 eggs into two bowls.
2. Beat the egg yolks until they are light in color, then slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar. mix well and add the mascarpone cheese. Set aside.
3. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold this into the cheese and egg mixture.
4. Beat the 1/2 cup of whipping cream in a chilled bowl, until stiff. Fold this into the cheese mixture.
5. In another container, mix the espresso or strong coffee with 4 tablespoons of rum extract and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix well and allow to cool.

How to assemble:
1. Either dip or brush each side of the lady fingers with the coffee mixture and arrange on the bottom of 2 9x9x3 glass dish. Cut the cookies to fit if required.
2. Add a generous layer of the cheese/cream mixture. Top with  another layer of the lady fingers, and spread another layer of cream on top. Dust the top with sifted cocoa and chocolate shavings.
3. Chill for 2 hours or overnight.

Makes 2 small cakes in a square 9x9x3 glass dish.

If you dip the cookies or brush them too much with coffee, the cookies will become soggy.

I mixed 2 tablespoons of imitation rum extract in the coffee for one cake.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Grilled Tomatilla Sandwich

I love the green tomatoes(tomatilla) that I get from the Farmer's Market. I make dal with it. I found a nice recipe for panini sandwich using tomatilla  in some magazine. It is a low-calorie food. Some people may not like the tangy taste of the tomatilla.

4 tomatilla, sliced
4 slices of cheese
8 slices of rye bread
2 T corn flour
1 t crushed chili flakes
1 t barbeque spice(optional)
1/2 t ground pepper
oil spray

1. Mix the corn flour and spices on a plate. Coat the sliced tomatilla on both sides with the corn flour. 
2. spray a broiling pan with oil. Arrange the tomatilla on the pan. Spray the vegetables with oil. Broil in oven for 10 minutes, turning the vegetables once. Remove from the oven and set aside.
3. Take 2 slices of bread for each sandwich.  Spread the bottom slice with your choice of sauce(pesto or mayo). Place 2 slices of tomatilla on the bottom slice. Top with 1 slice of cheese.  Place the top slice over the cheese. Place the sandwich on the panini grill or sandwich maker. Repeat the process for the remaining slices of bread. Enjoy the sandwich with a bowl of soup.

I like to use different kinds of cheese for my sandwiches, like Swiss, Provolone, Mozzarella or Gouda.
Smoked Gouda goes very well in the sandwich.

Vegetable Upma(Sooji Kitchidi)

 When I was young, my mom used to cook cream of wheat(sooji) for breakfast. She used to make it plain, with onion, or with vegetables. I love the plain version. We call it upma. It is a very easy dish to make for teens. I taught my daughter to make the plain upma yesterday. I don't know how much she retained. But, she can always look back to the blog to check the recipe.

1 C cream of wheat(sooji), roasted
1 small onion, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
1 small potato, diced
1 T green peas
1 green chili,slit
2 t oil
1/2 inch cinnamon
1 cardamom
1 clove
1 t each of mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal
1/2 t turmeric powder
1/2 t chili powder
3 C water
salt to taste
curry leaves and chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in a pan to medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, chili, and the spices. Add the chopped onion and fry till translucent. Add the remaining vegetables, turmeric powder and chili powder. Cook for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
2. Add salt, curry leaves and cilantro. Gradually add the roasted sooji, while constantly stirring.  Check for salt. Upma should be done in 5 minutes.
3. Serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney.
My kids and husband love to eat it with sugar.