Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Birthday 4th Sense Cooking :)

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This little space of mine has turned three :) The journey has been simply fantastic and fascinating.

I identified my passion for food and photography through this blog and have felt it growing along with this blog for the past three years. It has literally been a travel of a novice cook and photographer growing and working hard to become a pro one day. There were days when hardly a person would visit my space to days now where loads of people visit and appreciate my work :)

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Blogging and blog hopping has never turned boring in these three years. The journey has made it all the more interesting and inquisitive for me to learn more of new dishes :)

Having loads of awesome bloggers around makes inspiration part very simple. Thank you buddies for making and posting fantastic dishes and inspiring little ones like me. :)

Thank you so much to all my visitors who come back again to see my updates. Your support matters a lot to me :)

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I made this chocolate mousse cake for my blog's birthday. I have made this cake before but made changes this time with the base chocolate cake.


I made an eggless and butterless chocolate cake base for this recipe with simple ingredients.

Ingredients:

Maida - 6 tblsp
Cocoa powder - 3 tblsp
Powdered Sugar - 8 tblsp
Cooking soda - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 8tblsp
Oil - 6 tblsp

Method:

Sieve Maida, Cocoa powder, powdered sugar and cooking soda together in a mixing bowl.

Add milk and oil to it and beat well.

Grease and dust the baking pan and transfer the cake batter to it.

Preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C and bake the cake for 25 - 30 mins.

Let the cake cool on wire rack for a while before you can prepare the mousse according to the recipe here and complete the mousse cake.

I chose to make only the dark chocolate mousse layer this time and decorated it with a bed of chocolate vermicelli and butterscotch nuts for the number. :)
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Written by: Nithya
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Happy Ugadi - Chedhu Pachadi & Sukhi

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Wish you all a very happy Ugadi :)

Sri Nandana nama samvatsara Ugadi subakankshalu :)

Telugu new year begins today and wish all of your get good fortune this year.

This day starts with consuming Ugadi Chedhu Pachadi. This dish has a deep meaning attached to it and I am thoroughly convinced and impressed with the thought behind it :)

The pachadi has mixed flavors and tastes and so do we pray to god for a year filled with mixed emotions. Simple and beautiful isn't it!! :)

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Chedhu pachadi this time in my new place was different from what my mom makes. For the first time I enjoyed eating a cup full of it :)

Chedhu Pachadi Recipe:

Ingredients:

Cucumber - 1
Raw Mango - 1
Neem flowers - 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
Poppy seeds - 2 tblsp
Tamarind paste - 1/2 cup
Water - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tblsp

Method:

Chop cucumber and raw mango into fine pieces. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to make pachadi. Enjoy a cup full of healthy pachadi :)

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Apart from the chedhu pachadi we also made Sukhi or Suzhiyan or Suvunta. Its a pulse based sweet filling dipped in batter and deep fried to make sweet fritters.

Find the recipe here - Sukhi.
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Power cuts in chennai makes us get back to old age cooking gadgets :) We used the stone grinder this morning to grind the pulse filling.

Written by: Nithya
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Dibba Rotti

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Life has given me a chance to taste food from a different state of India now :)

Dibba Rotti or Rotta from Andhra was introduced to me by my mil last weekend and I instantly fell for it. It was more or less like a combination of Idly and Dosa. Crispy outer layer and soft idly like texture inside. It was simply delicious and oops.. its absolutely filling too :)

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Ingredients:

Urad Dhall - 1 cup
Rice Rava (broken rice) - 3 cups
Jeera - 2 tsp
Salt - for taste
Oil

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Method:

Soak urad dhall in water for 2 hours and soak rice rava in water for 1 hour.

Grind urad dhall into a smooth paste adding little water to it.

Now mix the ground urad dhall and soaked rice rava thoroughly in a large bowl. Add salt and jeera and mix well. The batter should be if idly batter consistency.

Take a heavy bottom vessel and add three tsp of oil. Pour two full ladles of batter into the vessel and spread slightly. Close with a plate and allow it to get roasted in medium flame for 5 mins. Remove the lid and flip the rotti and roast on the other side without closing the lid.

Remove from vessel and serve hot with idly chilly powder.

Delicious and filling dibba rotti is ready to eat :)

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Note:

No fermentation is required for this batter. You can use it just after mixing the ground urad dhall and rice rava.

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Written by: Nithya
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eggless Condensed Milk Chocolate Cake

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Birthdays are meant to be celebrated with cakes is what I know since the time I was born. But it wouldn't have been so for our grandparents. They wouldn't have even known what a cake was for the first 25 years of their life!!

My man's Grandpa turned 82 yesterday and I wanted to celebrate his birthday with a cake :) I guess this would have been his first experience of someone baking a cake for him at home with love :) and that too he felt it really special when his grand son's wife baked it for him :) He enjoyed the cake a lot and so did I baking it for him :)

Happy birthday Thathaiyah!! :)

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Ingredients:

For eggless chocolate cake -

All purpose flour - 180 gms
Cocoa powder - 70 gms
Cooking soda - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Sweetened condensed milk - 1 tin (400 ml)
Melted butter - 100 gms
Water - 180 ml

For chocolate ganache topping -

Dark chocolate - 250 gms
Unsalted butter - 100 gms

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Method:

Sieve flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda together into the mixing bowl.

Add melted butter, condensed milk and water to it. Beat using an electric beater until well mixed. The batter would be in pouring consistency.

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease the cake tin with butter and dust with flour.

Fill the pan upto 3/4th and bake it for 40-50 mins at 180°C.

Check if cooked by inserting a tooth pick. The cake is done if the toothpick comes out clean.

Allow it to cool on a wire rack for a while.

Apply cream of your choice and enjoy the cake.

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Chocolate Ganache topping:

Chop dark chocolate into small chunks and chop the butter as well. Collect them in a glass bowl. Place it over a pan of water and melt gradually. Keep stirring it until it is completely melted and comes to pouring consistency.

Pour on top of the cake and spread using a spatula on top and around the cake.

Decorate with cut strawberries and chocolates of your choice :)

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Written by: Nithya
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Monday, March 12, 2012

A Small Recognition - A Stepping Stone


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Confidence grows with encouragement and recognition.

A memorable event in my life happened a week back and thought of sharing my happiness with my little blog and my buddy readers.

A popular tamil television channel Star Vijay had designed a program called "Sigaram Thotta Pengal"(Translates to Woman who have reached heights) as part of their Women's day celebration recently.

They honored women of great caliber from 13 different categories such as Medicine, Entrepreneurship, Social service, Cookery etc..

Each of such award holders were asked to identify and introduce one youngster from the next generation who is coming up in their field.

Mrs.Mallika Badrinath the well renowned chef in South India got honored with an award for her excellence in culinary skills and she in turn announced me as the "future chef" :)

I was literally in cloud 9 when I got a call from Vijay tv informing the news, but then I also felt so responsible when it was about her belief in me coming up in the field.

I would like to take the chance to thank few people this day. My first heart felt thanks would go to my parents, especially my mom for teaching me how good food would taste and how to make them as well. It is she who introduced me to the kitchen and has encouraged me throughout so far. Thank you so much Amma :) Love you.

My second thanks would go to Mrs. Mallika Badrinath for have believed and felt the talent in me :) If not for her this recognition is not possible. Thank you mam :)

My third gratitude is for Star Vijay for planning such a beautiful event and creating a lovely category to introduce youngsters and encourage them through this. Hats off to the creative channel :)

My fourth thanks would be for my hubby and new family for encouraging me to go on with what I like to do :) Hugs to you all.

My last thanks is for you all, my readers who have constantly sent mails, written comments and liked my recipes and presentation. Your encouragement was the only reason I could keep my work going always :) Thank you all :)

The recognition has given me a lot more of interest to climb further steps. I would definitely work hard for it and hope I reach the hill some day with all your support and prayers :)


The grand award function happened on 4th of March 2012 at Besant Nagar Beach between 6PM to 9PM and the program got telecasted on 11th of March from 2.30PM onwards.

You can watch the program by playing the above video link.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Black Currant Bundt Cake

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Black currant has been my favorite flavor after chocolate. The purple color of it attracts me a lot :) The berry has a distinct taste that not many would hate.

I had been waiting to make use of my bundt pan and today was the special occasion when I as a woman wanted to treat myself with my favorites for my day ;)

The cake treated my taste buds at its best :)

Hope woman around the world had a great day just as I did :)

WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY :)

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Ingredients:

All purpose flour(Maida) - 125 gms
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 100 gms
Powdered sugar - 150 gms
Eggs - 2
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Black currants - 1/4 cup
Black currant crush - 1/2 cup

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Method:

Pre-preparation -

Take the black currants in a microwave safe bowl and add a tbl sp of water to it and microwave for 1 min in high. Once it cools down, soak it in the black currant crush for one night or more. You can keep it in the fridge until use for even 6 months.

This soaked black currants can be used for cakes, cupcakes, milk shakes, dessert toppings, with pan cakes, on toasted bread etc. too.

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For the bundt cake:

Chop the butter into small cubes and drop them into the beating bowl. Add sugar in two parts and beat until fluffy.

Now add one egg at a time and beat well for each addition until well incorporated. Add vanilla essence and mix well. Now add the milk in two parts and beat. Then add the flour mixture and fold gently. Finally add the soaked black currants with the crush and fold until well mixed.

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Preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C. Grease the bundt pan with butter and dust with flour.

Fill the pan upto 3/4th and bake it for 25-30 mins at 375°F or 190°C.

Check if cooked by inserting a tooth pick. Its done if the toothpick comes out clean.

Allow it to cool on a wire rack for a while.


Soft and flavorful black currant bundt cake is ready :)

Enjoy at tea time :)

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Tips:

You can replace black currents with raisins.

Bake these in cup cakes with some fresh cream topping to make it exotic.

Due to the weight of the black currants they tend to get to the base, so its better you use moulds that you invert so that the currants are on top while presenting.

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

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tom - Melon Juice

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Summer is already up. The sun has been scorching hot for the past one week in Chennai and the AC is already on all night long :(

Sweaty day time is the worse and leaves us thirst all the time.

Got some red water melons yesterday and the color coordinated tomatoes made me think of a blend of both and no wonder they tasted really good together :)


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Ingredients:

Water melon - 1/2
Tomato - 2
Damera sugar (brown sugar) - 2 tblsp
Ice cubes

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Method:

Chop and de-seed water melon.

Dice tomatoes into randomly.

Drop both into juicer and blend until smooth. Add sugar and blend again. Run it through a sieve and add ice enough ice cubes.

Enjoy a chill drink this summer :)

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

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oats Vada Frankie

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Back again to the Oats contest entries. This was the last of the 5 trials that I made with Saffola oats and MHP Masala Vada Mix.

Frankies have always been there on my fun food list. I wouldnt mind hogging on them on any day :) They are not so heavy but would soothe hunger for a while.

When I came up with the patty idea for burger, the immediate though was frankie too. It worked fantastic as well.

Total India version of frankie :)

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Ingredients:

For filling -

Oats – ½ cup
Potato – 1
Bengal gram dhall – 1 cup
Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Salt – ½ tsp

For chapathi –

Wheat flour – 1 cup
Oats – ½ cup
Salt
Oil
Lemon juice
Onion - 1

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Method:

Dry roast the oats for 3 mins.

Cook and mash the potato smoothly.

Soak Bengal gram dhall for 1 hour in water. Grind the dhall coarsely without adding much of water and add chili powder, garam masala powder, roasted oats and salt to it. Mix in adequate water to make it into vada batter consistency. Close the bowl and keep it aside for 15 mins.

Now mix in the mashed potato until it forms firm dough.

Make long oval shaped patties. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry it until well cooked and golden brown on both sides. Keep it aside.

To make roti dough:

Powder oats finely.

Take wheat flour, oats powder and salt in a bowl. Add adequate water to it and make roti dough.

Pinch small balls and roll into roti. Heat a tawa and roast the roti by adding few drops of oil.

Assembling:

Place a roti on the work area and spread some ghee on it.

Keep a patty in the center and sprinkle some chopped onions on top. Pour a generous spoon of lemon juice on the patty.

Mix ½ tsp of chilly powder, chaat masala powder and salt together with 2 tblsp of water. Pour one generous spoon of this on the patty as well.

Now roll the Frankie and tie it up with a tissue or foil. Serve hot.

Enjoy eating a healthy and delicious frankie :)

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

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