Monday, January 30, 2012

Shrikhand

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I love curd and can say that I literally grew up feeding on them. I eat curds with my breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner :)

When I'm so biased to curd, a sweet made with curd can never miss to steal my heart isn't it?!!

I haven't made shrikhand at home before. My mil did this dish a fortnight back and it swept me off my foot. We made it twice already after the first obsession :) Simply tempting and lip smacking dessert :)

Worth craving or crying for!! :)

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Ingredients:

Thick curd - 1 kg (make curd with 1 1/2 litres of milk)
Powdered sugar - 1 cup
Warm milk - 1 tblsp
Saffron strands - 10
Cardamom - 2

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Method:

Hang curd in a muslin cloth (any thin cloth) and place it in a strainer and a bowl at the bottom to collect the weyh water. Keep this in the refregerator over night or atleast for 8 hours for all the water to get drained.

Soak saffron stands in warm milk for 10 mins.

Now take the thick curd in a bowl and mix powdered sugar, cardamom powder and pour in the saffron milk too.

Mix gently with a whisk until everything comes together.

Refrigerate and serve chill.

This quantity would be enough for 10 - 12 servings.

Shrikhand keeps good in the refrigerator for a week.

Enjoy eating a super delicious dessert :)

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Written by: Nithya
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ginger Soup or Rasam

Ginger soup

Fortunately Chennai has been pretty chill this winter and even more fortunate that winter is still on. The evenings are breezy and pleasant :)

Though it feels good to have a cold climate the side effects of it still remain unpleasant. I mean the cold, cough and fever that it gives us is killing.

On such unpleasant throat conditions, having a piping hot ginger soup or rasam can give you the most soothing experience for sure. The double bonanza is that it would solve digestive issues too!! Aaah that's awesome isn't it!! :)

Ginger soup1

Ingredients:

Ginger - 1 inch piece
Tamarind paste - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Sambhar powder - 2 tblsps
Salt - for taste
Water - 3 cups
Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

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Method:

Dissolve the sambhar powder, asafoetida, turmeric powder, tamarind paste and salt in water.

Peel off the skin of the ginger and crush it using a stone. Put the crushed ginger into the rasam.

Chop the green chillies.

Take a tsp of oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. Now drop in the chopped chillies and curry leaves and fry for just a min. Now add this to the rasam and bring it to a boil.

Serve piping hot as soup or mix this with rice and have it as rasam.

Enjoy the healthy cup of soup :)

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Tips:

You can add some cooked dhall to this rasam too.

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Written by: Nithya
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Eggless Chocolate Centered Vanilla Muffins

V7

I'm back into weight concious mode and mood. Yup! Joined gym and have been working out for a couple of days now. Happiness is showing up as few extra pounds on my body :P Trying hard to trim it off.

Does that mean I would stop baking or indulging on filthy rich food!! NEVER.

Just that I would keep an eye on the quantity of intake. For example making a large cake and resisting to cut out a small piece for myself is hard for me, rather I would choose to bake cup cakes or muffins and stop with just one a day :) It makes life simple!!

Have been enjoying a lot of chocolate flavored cakes lately and wanted a change this time but really couldnt afford to miss the chocolate touch too. Hence came this chocolate filled vanilla muffins :)

They were absolute tongue ticklers :)

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Ingredients:

All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup (200 gms)
Powdered sugar - 150 gms (10 tblsp)
Cooking soda - 1 tsp
Cooking oil - 135 ml (9 tblsp)
Milk - 150 ml (10 tblsp)
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Cooking chocolate - 100 gms

Chococupcakes

Method:

Sieve all purpose flour, cooking soda and powderd sugar together into a bowl.

Add milk, cooking oil and vanilla essence and whisk to bring together. The cake batter should be lumpless and in dropping consistency.

Bring the cooking chocolate to room temperature and shave it using grater.

Preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C. Line the muffin tray with liners.

Fill muffin cups with cake batter upto 1/2 the height and now carefully place a spoon of chocolate shavings on top of the batter, just covering the center and not the sides. Now drop in few spoons of cake batter on top to cover the chocolate layer.

Bake it for 12 to 15 mins at 375°F or 190°C. Mine was done in 15 mins.

Truly yummylicious egg-less chocolate centered muffins are ready to eat :)

This quantity makes 12 soft muffins.

Enjoy making it just like what I did ;)

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Variation:

Add the chocolate shavings to the batter and give it a mild whip and bake them to get chocolate spotted muffins :)


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Tips:

Use cooking chocolate for the filling. This chocolate melts well when the cake is warm and gives a gooey center.

Spoon enough batter on top of the chococlate filling layer to avoid hole on top like mine :( Never mind it still looks interesting :P

Try to bake chocolate flavored cake with white chocolate filling for a change too :)

Chococupcakes2

Written by: Nithya
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Pongal Celebrations 2012

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Wish you all a very happy Pongal :)

This is my first festival at my new nest and I enjoyed celebrating it with the beautiful family :)

Hope you all had a great day as well with loads of pomp and joy.

There are many versions of chakkara pongal and I like all of them :) Basically I have a sweet tooth and pongal is one of my favorite sweet dish.

Mom's version is with milk completely and the version that we made this year is the authentic temple style with dhall. Lucky me, got to taste both today and enjoyed them throughly :)

Checkout for the milk version here and for pongal Kolambu here.

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Ingredients:

Rice(New rice) - 1 cup
Moong dhall - 2 tblsp
Jaggery - 1 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 3 tblsp
Raisins
Cashew nuts
Cardamom
Borneol ( Pacha Karpooram)

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Method:

Wash rice and moong dhall together. Pressure cook them by adding 3 cups of water for 4 whistles.

Take jaggery and 1/2 cup of water in a pan and heat on low flame until the jaggery melts completely. Switch off the stove and pass through a sieve to remove dirt.

Now take a heavy bottom pan and transfer the jaggery liquid and the cooked rice and dhall to it. Add milk and stir well. Close the pan with a lid and cook until it becomes thick. Stir in equal intervals to avoid it getting stuck to the bottom of the pan.

Fry cashews and raisins in ghee and mix it to the pongal. Finally add a pinch of cardamom and pacha karpooram and stir once.

Delicious chakkara pongal is ready.

Enjoy it hot :)

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Miniature pongal at home :P

Written by: Nithya
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Mint Rice

Mint rice

Mixed rice is a boon when it comes to quick lunch plans and also for packing up food for work. It has for heaven sake been our family favorite too and we enjoy such rices much better than sambar and rasam types of large spreads.

A rice with fresh mint flavor can sure be your favorite too.

Spare ten mins in your kitchen to make mint rice mix and enjoy making mint rice as and when you like just in a jiffy :)

Mint rice2

Ingredients:

Mint leaves - 1 bunch
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Red chillies - 6
Tamarind paste - 1 tblsp
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Salt - for taste
Onion - 1
Oil - 3 tblsp

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Method:

Pluck, clean and wash the mint leaves.

Grind mint leaves, scrapped coconut, red chillies, tamarind paste, jaggery and salt together into a smooth paste by adding some water. Keep it aside.

Dice onion into small squares.

Take 3 tblsp of oil in a pan and fry the onions until transparent. Now add the ground mint paste and cook on medium flame until it is well cooked and becomes a thick paste.

Once done allow it to cool for a while and transfer to a clean bottle.

Store in referegerator and use. It will last fresh for two weeks.

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To make mint rice:

Cook rice and separate the grains by adding some ghee to it.

Now mix the mint rice paste that we made above with the cooked plain rice. See to that you dont smash the rice.

Serve it with chips.

Enjoy the mint flavored rice :)

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Tips:

Remember to cook rice with a little less water than usual to keep the grains separated.

You can use basmathi rice for making this mint rice.

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Written by: Nithya
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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Food on Voyage - Italy (Part 3)

Italy 32

Welcome all to Venice - the most romantic and beautiful city built by man !!! :)

We used the Euro rail to travel from Florence to Venice and it is such a bliss to travel along the green and beautiful country side!!

The first sight when you get out of the station is WATER and no roads!!! It was a big WOW expression from both of us. Either walk to the destination or sail! :) Wish Chennai was so! :P

We walked down the street to reach our hotel and then headed for the romantic Gondola ride through the beautiful waterways of Venice :)

It was the most pleasurable experience of our life time :) No wonder it was, when my man was with me!! :P

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Venice - the land of masks had a huge variety of masks of their own make. Every single piece was beautifully colored and decorated. It was pretty hard to choose one!! Oops they are of course expensive!

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Walking through the narrow streets of Venice counts for an experience by itself. The old buildings and the squares are simply admirable.

Traveling from one place to another is either through private water taxis or through Vaporetto(Water buses) . We choose to walk all the way in the day time and hopped into the buses in the evenings when it became super cold.

The temperature was as low as 6 degrees and due to the water around it was feeling all the more chill and breezy. Thinking back, I pat myself for have managed to enjoy that temperature too :)

We happened to walk through the public market of Venice and found a lot of fresh produce being sold.

The fresh artichokes were so attractive for I have never seen one before!

Lots of fresh oranges and tomatoes were stealing the eyes with their bright colors.

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Had a hot Eggplant & Zucchini pizza to feed the hungry tummies. Lip smacking it was with a super thin crust.

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We took a half a trip to nearby islands - Murano, Burano and Torcello that evening.

Murano is known for its glass factories and are undoubtedly the best at it.

We got a chance to see a live demo of glass blowing technique. The art brought goose bumps all over.

The below picture will give you a sample of astonishment that I got while I walked through the glass factory and showroom. Could have been the best of possessions a food blogger would love to have, but dint buy them due to the risk of breaking a beautiful art piece :( Sigh!!

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Next was the visit to the second island - Burano, which is the city of lace making. The women their are best at it. The fine art with thread is so delicate and pretty.

This is the city of colors too. Each and every building in the city is of different color which makes it super attractive and a perfect location for shooting movies!

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Visited the last Island - Torcello and came back to Venice to have a hot plate of spaghetti. It was simply the best of pastas we have ever had.

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We bid adiau to Venice and moved on to Milan next for a halt of a day.

Milan - the fashion capital kept us eager as we entered the place, since we were given a great heads up about the place earlier.

Duomo at Milan can given you an architectural shock!! Its so damn big and beautiful. The doves that go around Duomo will make you stay there and admire them for a long time. They are an amazing entertainment for the kids and the crowd :)

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A walk through the posh city will surely make you feel the difference of this modern city from rest of Italy.

The streets are lined up with showrooms of top brands like Prada, Gucci and so on..

Their window display is super creative and attractive. It calls one to get into the store but just to get out with nothing because they are filthy expensive. Nevertheless the window shopping experience by itself is worth a billion :)

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The window display of Sergio Rossi(above) and Louis Vuitton(below) elephants below kept me look back to them again and again for their elegance and catchy ideas.

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Love stories have a good ending and so was my happy trip with a scrumptious chocolaty gelato.

One of the best I had in the trip. They gave us a choice of dark and light chocolate liquid filling into the waffle cone first which was topped with a generous scoop of gelato(ice cream) of our choice.

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The last and the best Gelato we had. Dark chocolate lava filling topped with chocolate ice cream and a waffle on top :) I am drooling right now!! Wish I could get back to Italy just for those super duper delicious creamy Gelato :)

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Came back at the end of ten short days with loads and loads of experience and memories for life time :)

Love you ITALY :)

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chocolate Pudding - New year celebration

Chocolate pudding

Wish you all a very Happy New Year 2012

2011 was a very eventful year for me with loads of happy moments and good memories to keep rambling for a life time. Its so astonishing when I look back to note that the year passed by in a jiffy. It just feels like moments but 356 long days have gone. Oops!!

Hope you all had a lovely year too and may god bless us all with a fantastic year ahead :) Looking forward for an exciting 2012.

With this note, I am also happy to announce that I have put my laziness to sleep and have taken up Project 365 - A click a day project :) I will be posting a photograph a day in my new born blog - http://nitsclicks365.blogspot.com/ :) Hoping to entertain you all with pretty clicks.

I wanted to start the year with a sweet note and hence here is a simple chocolate pudding for you all.

The moment I saw this recipe on veggie belly, I bookmarked it and was waiting for an occasion to make this and new year was so apt to enjoy with chocolaty pudding. I had to make few changes in the recipe to get the right consistency, hence here is the recipe with my measurements :)

Chocolate pudding2

Ingredients:

Milk - 2 1/2 cups
Corn flour - 4 tblsp
Cocoa powder - 2 tblsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup

Chocolate pudding1

Method:

Sieve corn flour and cocoa powder together into a bowl. Pour 1 cup of milk(Room temperature) into the bowl and mix with a whisk until it blends well with the milk. Keep it aside.

Boil the remaining milk along with sugar and mix until the sugar melts. Now reduce the flame and pour in the chocolate milk mixture through a sieve into the boiling milk and keep stirring. Keep stirring on medium flame until it becomes thick and glossy.

Wash the cups or moulds and pour the pudding into the cups and set them in the refrigerator for 3 hours minimum.

Serve them chill :)

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Tips:

See to that the milk is in room temperature before you mix corn flour and cocoa powder.

Pass the chocolate milk mixture through a sieve while pouring into the boiling milk to avoid it forming lumps.

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

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