Friday, August 31, 2012

Announcing Serve It Series - Serve It - Microwaved

This month's theme for Serve It series is Serve It - MicrowavedThis theme is to break the notion that microwave oven is used only for reheating purposes. These days Microwave Oven has become almost a must for every kitchen. This little kitchen appliance makes our life so much easier. It is a great addition to the everyday kitchen and when we know how to use, it saves a lot of time and energy. One more plus is less dishes to do. In a single bowl you can cook, serve, store and reheat. Any dish can be prepared in a microwave oven ranging from sweets, curries, rice and even grilled food. Deep frying is not possible in MW oven though. This month's Serve It event is all about Microwave cooking. Try out your favorite recipes and send it over!
Here are the guidelines for the event:
1. You may send in any entry that is cooked in a microwave oven.
2. You may use other appliances like mixie/blender/grinder for the preparation process but the whole cooking process (even tadka) should be done in the microwave oven. No use of stove-top is allowed.
3. Mentioning the MW oven wattage and correct cooking time for each step is mandatory.
4. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes are allowed.
5. Please link back to this announcement page and also to Denny's page here.
6. New entries are appreciated, however if you are sending archived entries, please re-post as latest (with a date in September 2012) and update with both the links to the announcement page and logo.
7. Usage of links and logo is mandatory.
8. Last date for submission of your entries is September 30, 2012.
9. To submit your entries, just link your entries using the linky tool below.
10. Non-bloggers also can send their entries with a picture to the below email-id.
11. If you have a problem in linking email us your problem to serveit[dot]series[at]gmail[dot]com. We will try to resolve it.
Note: If the entries are inappropriate to the theme, we would have to remove the entries from the linky sans notification. If there are other issues like link or logo missing we would definitely notify through email.
Linky for Microwaved entries:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Soraikai Dosai / Bottlegourd Dosa | Idly Dosa Recipes

I could not decide what to make for our Serve It - Griddled event until now. Adai, Romali Roti and paratha were under consideration but it was this Suraikai dosa which made it at the end. This is a simple to make easy breakfast/dinner dish. The batter can be prepared and reserved in the fridge and used for upto one week. Just a boon for those time-crunched-whats-for-dinner days.
Raw rice - 1 cup
Parboiled rice - 1 cup
Bottle gourd - 1 medium sized
Red chillies - 5
Fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
Onion - chopped fine - 1/2 cup
Mint leaves - 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste
Soak the rice together for 4-6 hours. In a wet grinder grind all the ingredients (except onion and mint) to a smooth consistency adding water. This batter can be reserved in the fridge until ready to use. Take required amount of this batter and mix water to make a pouring consistency. Add chopped onion and mint leaves with salt. Heat a griddle/dosa pan and pour ladleful of this batter from outside to inside. If using a flat griddle, swirl the griddle to have the batter fill the spaces. Spray some oil and cook well. When the edges start to crisp, flip over and allow it to cook for few more minutes. Remove and serve hot with any type of chutney or just Idli podi. I served with Raw onion chilli chutney (recipe follows soon).
Sending this healthy dosa to Serve It - Griddled event hosted by me and Denny and to Anu's South Indian Cooking #1.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Peanut Butter ~ 3 ways - Guest Post by Priya of Bon Appetit

The Guest Post series in my blog was on a break last month since I was on a blog break. I am still trying to get back to blogging by posting atleast once in a week but still working on the possibilities. Meanwhile for this month on the guest post series I have Priya Sreeram of Bon Appetit. She has a lovely space with a colorful array of dishes. Her 'A La Carte' menu card is sure to draw your attention and have you read twice. My favorite dishes which I have marked for trying are the Stuffed Paniyaram and the Potato in groundnut & Onion Curry.
I have had peanut butter flavored snack bars and chocolates but have never really tasted peanut butter. Ok Ok.. I hear you saying "You are kidding right?". But that is true. Somehow never really got into try it. And now this would be another shocking news to many or almost all. I have never tasted Nutella - The chocolate hazelnut bliss.. Now I hear you saying "You must be crazy.." Priya's Peanut butter recipe below has instigated the interest in me to try both very soon.

Krithi’s invitation to share my hearth adventures in her space saw me doing a happy jig as it is always a pleasure when a blogger asks for a guest post. While she is busy with her bundle of joy, I am here to light her space with this simple but elegant spread/dip.
Peanuts is a great source of plant protein and nutrients and eating it in moderation has health benefits.I love peanut butter and if you follow my hearth adventures, you would know very well that licking it direct from the bottle is my favorite way of eating it up. I hence prefer making it at home as it is simple and gentle on the pockets. It is definitely a healthier option as well as store bought peanut butter is generally loaded with preservatives.
Here are some ways of how I bring variety to the spread. I generally eye the measurements while making and hence the quantity mentioned in the recipes can be varied to suit one’s taste palette.

Crunchy N Salted Peanut Butter
The most simplest way of making the butter and very tasty too.
Peanuts  (Roasted) – 2 cups
Olive Oil – 1 to 2 tbsp (You can also use peanut oil/vegetable oil/canola oil)
Salt – to taste

Bake or dry roast the peanuts to get started. Tip it into a food processor and give it a good swirl. Add olive oil and continue blending it till it comes together. Add salt to taste. Tip it to an airtight container. I usually add a handful of roughly chopped peanuts to the final mix for a chunky butter.
Note:  If you prefer a sweeter version, you can tip in brown sugar or honey or alternatively use jaggery.

Coffee kissed Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter
This is my most favourite way of making peanut butter. The hit of coffee in every lick gives the butter a different high.
Peanuts (Roasted and unsalted) – 2 cup
Dark Chocolate (melted) – ¼ cup ( I used Bournville Dark Chocolate)
Instant Coffee – 1 ½ tsp to 2 tsp (I used Instant Nescafe Powder)
Honey - to taste

Melt dark chocolate in a microwave or alternatively using double boiler method. Grind peanuts till creamy, scraping sides. Blend in melted chocolate, honey and coffee powder. Store in a airtight container.
Note: You can add Cocoa Powder and/or Drinking Chocolate to the mix instead of using dark chocolate.

Dark Chocolate and Banana flavoured Peanut Butter 
(Source: Dinner Dishes & Desserts)
The addition of dried banana chips was an interesting addition. Sometimes, I add a dollop or two of Nutella Hazelnut Spread to the recipe.
Peanuts (roasted n unsalted) – 2 cups
Dried Banana Chips – ¼ cup
Dark Chocolate melted – ¼ cup
Vanilla Extract – 1 tsp
Salt – ¼ tsp
Nutella - 2 to 3 tbsp (optional) / my twist to the recipe

Grind peanuts till creamy, scraping sides occasionally. Add banana chips and grind. Blend in chocolate, vanilla, salt. While the blend tastes good like this you can induce more pep to it by mixing Nutella.
Enjoy !

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Briyani / Vegetable Biryani in Pressure Cooker | Indian Rice Recipes

"Briyani" - The exotic dish native to the Asian Sub-continent. The very name makes its fans (including me) all drool with excitement. A rice dish with meat and/or vegetables gets its popularity due to the various spices used in it. There are number of ways to prepare this dish and also every region has its recipe and style to make this. A few famous being Hyderabadi Briyani, Awadhi briyani, Malabar Briyani, Dindigul Briyani.. This recipe here is a simple and easy Vegetable Biryani in a pressure cooker, prepared by MIL.
Serves - 4; I used 160 ml cup
Basmati Rice - 2 1/2 cups
Oil - 3 tbsp
Whole Garam Masala (Cloves - 3; Cinnamon - 2 inch stick; Bay leaf - 3; Cardamom - 2)
Onions - thinly sliced - 2 cups
Ripe Tomato - 1 - finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
Carrots - 2 - thick julienne
Cauliflower - 1/2 of a small head - cut into florets
Beans - 10 - cut into 1" pieces
Peas - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp (add according to the spice level of the chilli powder)
Coriander powder - 1 heaped tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Curd/Greek Yogurt - 1 tbsp
Water - 5 cups
Cashew nuts - 5 (fried in little oil/Ghee)
Ghee - 1/2 tbsp (optional)
Salt - to taste
Wash and soak the rice in water for a maximum of 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the whole garam masala. When the flavors start to infuse add the onions and saute until light brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for 2 mins. Add tomatoes with a pinch of salt and fry until it turns mushy. Mix the spice powders and the yogurt and stir well. Add the cut vegetables, salt to taste, fried cashews and mix well. Add rice and water and allow it to boil. When it starts boiling turn the heat to medium high and cover with the pressure cooker lid. Cook for one whistle and remove from heat. After the pressure is released, open and add the ghee, fluff it with fork. Serve hot with any type of raitha. Enjoy!!
Note: Alternatively you could close with the lid immediately after adding rice and water. Cover and cook for 2 whistles in this case.
Sending this delicious plate to 
Show me your HITS - Rice event by Sangee;
South Indian Cooking - SIC #1;

Friday, August 10, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Cookie Recipes

This is an entry from my oven after a long time. I hadn't been baking much lately due to pregnancy. Now that my LO is here I am planning to experiment more in baking (with his "schedule" permitting me of course). I made these little drop cookies to finish the leftover bananas on my fruits basket. With this scorching summer banana gets to over-ripe very fast, don't you agree? I followed this recipe from Namitha's space.
Wheat flour - 1/2 cup
All purpose flour/Maida - 1/2 cup
Quick cooking oats/Rolled oats- 3/4 cup
Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Butter (room temperature) - 1 stick or 1/2 cup
Light Brown sugar / Granulated sugar - 1/2 cup
Mashed banana - 1/2 cup (1 big)
Egg - 1
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup
Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Sieve/mix together the flours, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside. Whisk the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a whisk or hand mixer. Add the egg, mashed banana and vanilla extract and mix well. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and fold until mixed. Use a rounded 1 tbsp to measure the dough and drop into the cookie sheet. Place the dough two inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes are until light brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the cookie sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. These cookies also tastes good when warm.
Sending these scrumptious cookies to the following events.
Let's Party - Go Bake It;
Taste of the Tropics - Cinnamon;
SYF&HWS - Cinnamon of Anu;
Lets cook with Fruits;
Bake Fest #10;
Bake Along Challenge: Bananas;

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Welcoming a New Member into our Family - My 200th post - Also a lovely gesture by dear blogger friends!!!

I am happy to share that we are blessed with a baby boy. We welcomed our Little Prince on June 28th and he has changed our lives (days and nights) totally since then. We have named him "Kavin" - meaning "Handsome". I couldn't believe how I got adopted to waking up at a slightest whistle from him and go to deep sleep the moment I hit the pillow after tending to his needs. The break of the dawn bawlings and midnight moanings are keeping us busy and alert all the time, but I am completely enjoying this new life.
With all this tight schedule I didn't actually have the time to get back to blogging though I was visiting some sites occasionally. Incidentally this is my 200th post and thought I should post the announcement in this one. I wanted to make a sweet to celebrate but could not do so due to time crunch.
Little did I know when I received an email from Reva and friends that they were hosting a virtual party in welcoming our Prince. I was so excited and delighted on the lovely gesture. And guess what they all made for the party.. "Sweets". I have a sweet-tooth and my regular readers would know that very well. I am very happy and delighted to see the lovely spread. Few of them have also made healthy postpartum food for nursing mothers. Just checkout the cute logo they have made.

And now for the spread.
Mysore pak by Reva
Badam Katli by Priya Suresh
Tirunelveli Halwa by Priya Sreeram
Kaaju Barfi by Priya Mahadevan
Rava Ladoo by Vardhini
Ragi Semiya Kheer by PJ
Prawn Coconut Fry by Shama
Jalebi by Nupur
Amritsari Badami Phirni by Dhyuthi
Mango Kheer by Radhika
Mango Nut Halwa by Anu &
Almond Energy Blast by Denise
Thank you Reva, Priya Suresh, Priya Sreeram, Priya Mahadevan, Vardhini, PJ, Shama, Nupur, Dhyuthi, Radhika, Anu and Denise for the wishes and blessings. 

A little "Thank you" note from Kavin.