Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kreativ award

I am so honoured to receive my Kreativ award from Ramya and Shubha.It is the Kreative blogger award, honouring favourite, creative blogs.Thanks a lot Ramya and Shubha!! You have made my day and I also feel humbled receiving this award....

The rules for this award are :

1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

Rules 4, 5, 6 and 7 are really tough... How do I nominate only 7 ? I hate these confining rules... Hey but rules are rules and here I am...

7 things about me that you may or may not know and may or may not find interesting:

1)I love coriander and curry leaves... I feel I should have named my blog either one of them since i love the 2 so much.

2) I love chocolate - in any form... My favorite these days is the hot chocolate from Starbucks... The close 2nd is the hot chocolate from Williams Sonomo that you get only during Christmas.

3) I hate spinach. When I was pregnant, I used to buy them every week, leave in my refrigerator for the whole time and throw the wilted ones out before buying a new bunch. Somehow maybe the pregnant brain decided buying was as good as eating.

4) I work well under pressure... No I should say I procastinate and leave everything to the last minute and I pull it off at the end and feel very happy about my dealing with pressure bit.

5) I am good bathroom singer. If I dare sing outside the bathroom, my daughter and son come running to shut my mouth... If they are not around, others in the room walk out... Hmmm so much for my singing skills.

6) I am not a good cook. I love eating, but I think my kids and husband love it even more. I cook more out of compulsion, but love it when I see the satisfied smile on their faces. Also I love a well presented dish and will atleast try it if it looks pleasant.

7) I love baking and always like the way I get to enjoy time with the kids while doing it... It does add to the waistline though and no not all of those treats turn out blog worthy either...

7 friends I nominate are :

Sharmila of Kichu khon
Aruna of "The temptations"
Sweta of Bonne Nutrition
Shama of Easy2Cook Recipes
Shanti of Shanti KrishnaKumar's cookbook
Mangala Bhat of Recipe 24x7
Chitra of Ratatouille - Any one can cook

Friends, you do deserve this award more than me... Please accept and yes please feel free to bend the rules as you like.... I am off on a short trip. I will be enjoying this award and I hope you all do...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vegetable Patua

Patua is a dish usally made by steaming/baking the items inside a leaf (like a banana leaf). Macha Patua (Fish) is most popular in Orissa/Bengal. While I had all the vegetables that goes inside a patua, I had no banana leaf to cook it in.

Ok, I didn't even make this dish. My mom made it last week and it was so good that we finished it off right away... Also she made it on a cooktop, but the same can be put in an oven and tastes great too... If you have the vegetables cut, this is an easy dish to put together and can be enjoyed on weekdays too.

Don't you think our authentic dishes are so healthy and easy to put together ? And I wonder why I don't make it often enough ?


1 cup of Eggplant - diced into small pieces
1 cup of cleaned/peeled red potatoes - diced (don't peel it, if you want to save time and some nutrients)
1/4 cup beans cut into small pieces
1/2 cup raw banana - cut into small pieces
1/4 cup raddish cut into small pieces
2-3 cups of fresh spinach - washed, cleaned and cut into large pieces

1 tea spoon Mustard seeds
1/4 tea spoon Cummin seeds
1/4 tea spoon poppy seeds
1-2 green chillies (to taste)
2-3 cloves of garlic (skip if you want it satvic)

Salt to taste
1 table spoon of Mustard Oil for cooking
handful of Badi

How To

Grind the mustard seeds, cummin seeds and poppy seeds with the green chillies and garlic. Add 2-3 table spoon of water and leave it aside for 10-15 min.

Heat a pan. Ad the mustard oil. Once the oil is hot, add all the vegetables and then top off with spinach and pour the mustard paste. Add Salt to taste and cover and let it cook on slow fire for 30-35 min.

After 1/2 hr, check if the vegetables is cooked, if not cook on high heat for few more minutes.

Remove from the fire.

Serve with Fried crushed Badi at the time of serving....

Here is a link to Sharmila's site who makes awesome Badis and awesome Bengali food. I have never made Badis at home, but mom and mil get me a batch every summer...

As I learnt from my blogger friends, patua is called Paturi in bengal. Ofcourse the fish one is more popular in Orissa and Bengal. The parsis have a similar fish dish called patrani machhi...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cherries anyone ?

Aren't you tempted by these cherries ? I saw them in Costco in the beginning of summer and picked a box of it. I guess we ate half of the sweet yummy juicy cherries in 2 days... The rest just sat and sat. But how much of cherries can you eat ? And they do go bad soon...

So I tried 2 dishes with it. The 1st was a glaze that I had seen on Food Network. It was so simple, it was done in 5 min. The 2nd one I tried was a cherry crisp. The cherry crisp wasn't such a success - at least it didn't look good and felt kind of chewy! So I tried again, with a store bought crisp mixture. Again, not so good. The final one is what I have posted and tasted real good...

Cherry Glaze


1 cup of pitted cherries
1/2 cup water
2-3 tablespoon of sugar

How To

Get the water to boil. Add the cherries and sugar and let it simmer for 5 minutes or until the cherries are soft. Let it cool and pour on your vanilla ice cream and enjoy...

Cherry Crisp

I had Crisp for the 1st time last year. My husband's colleague had come for dinner and had made blueberry crisp for my mother-in-law since he knew she was vegetarian. It tasted so good that it was finished flat out. I asked him for the recipe and he of course had approximate measurements. One of the thing he had added was clove, which my mother-in-law loved, while I wasn't so fond of it. I have tried cherry crisps several times this year. The following recipe worked...

1 cups pitted sour cherries
1/4 cup brown sugar (add more if the cherries are not sweet)
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tea spoon baking powder
1/4 tea spoon cinnamon + elaichi powder (I usually have these 2 ground together in my pantry)
1/8 cup butter at room temperature

How To
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray 2 ramekins with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix the cherries, 2 table spoon wheat flour and brown sugar.
Evenly distribute the cherry mixture into 2 ramekins.
Combine the oats, 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder and butter together. Crumble evenly over the cherry mixture.
Sprinkle the elaichi and cinnamon powder.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Enjoy warm with ice cream or eat a spoonful just like that....

So let me know if you have any other suggestions for cherries ? Those big boxes of cherries still tempt me in the stores!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fish Cutlet

My mother-in-law is the queen of cutlets. She is an awesome cook, and she probably knows at least 50 different kinds of cutlets. Fish cutlet is an all time favorite for everyone in the family. My son who doesn't eat fish usually chomps on these happily.

Usually I take an dish and try to find a easier way to make it or a healthier way to make it. But some how I can't get myself to make fish cutlets any other way. So it is one of those very few dishes that I make that is labor intensive, but I feel well worth it... What say you ?

2 pounds of fish fillet (I use tilapia fillet)
1/2 tea spoon of Turmeric powder
1 tea spoon of Chili powder
1/2 cup Vinegar
4 large Potato boiled and skin peeled off and mashed
1 large Onion finely chopped
4-5 large garlic cloves minced
1 tea spoon of garam masala (optional)
handful of raisins
1 spring of mint leaves cut finely
Bread Crumbs - as needed
Salt to taste
1 cup of Besan
Oil for deep frying

How To

Marinate the fish with little turmeric powder, chili powder, vinegar and salt, overnight.

Then the next day you can fry the fish (the usual shallow fry of fish or broil it in the oven on each side for 5 min). The broiling works well for cutlets, since the fish is fried at least 2 more times after this and leaves no fishy smell....

In a nonstick pan fry Onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Then add the fish and fry for a few minutes. Add the garam masala and mashed potatoes and salt to taste. At the end add the mint leaves and raisins and mix well and take off the stove and let it cool.

In a separate bowl, take the besan, a pinch of salt and pinch of garam masala and mix well. Add water to make a thick batter and mix well to ensure there are no lumps.

After the fish mixture cools, take small portions and shape into oval cutlets. Dip them in besan batter then roll them in bread crumbs and keep aside. This makes about 20-25 cutlets.

I usually keep the cutlets in the refrigerator and deep fry as many as you need just before serving them. The cutlets stay fresh in the fridge for about 4-5 days before deep frying.

Enjoy these cutlets with mint chutney or else enjoy with Amba Panna...

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Eggless Cup Cakes to celebrate July 4th

I saw these cupcakes few months back on this blog 'Evolving Tastes'. She has an amazing blog and all her dishes are awesome. I have made these cup cakes several times since then, sometimes using mini muffin cups and sometimes the regular ones. These cup cakes literally take 10 min to assemble and don't really require a mixer or any additional gadget. My 8yr old daughter assembes them with the help of my 3 yr old son and I just put into the mould and put in the oven and bake. Both my kids absolutely adore these cakes and I made them for both their birthday parties this year.

So enjoy the July 4th weekend with these yummy cakes... The recipe is noted here with slight modifications from the original. I skipped the coffee and substituted vegetable oil with butter (I feel it is ok to indulge and use butter with cakes and cookies, but use vegetable oil if you want. It tastes good with vegetable oil...)

Makes 6

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tea spoon baking powder
a big pinch of salt
1/4 cup milk, or a little more if needed
1/4 cup butter (I substituted butter for vegetable oil from the original recipe)
1/2 tea spoon vanilla extract (you can skip this if you don't have it)

How To

Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa power, sugar, baking powder and salt.
In a medium bowl, mix together milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Pour into dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined well.
Distribute batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4th full.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven to cool completely, before digging in...
And if you can't wait, eat it while it is still warm... I love mine hot from the oven. How do you like yours ?