Sunday, August 25, 2013

Apple Pancake - Healthy and Yummy Kid Snack

Recently, lil A is in love with apples. Few days back it was banana, even before it was blueberry and now its apple. So, these days you will find apple everywhere in our house.

Who cares about the missing ball, there are apples to play with!

In our family, we all love to have pancakes, warm pancakes with maple syrup or honey are heavenly. I used to make blueberry pancakes quite often some times back, so thought why not apples! This is super easy to make and makes a wonderful breakfast or snack. And my lil one loved it.


Apple - 1 medium, grated

Dry mix
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 tablespoon
Salt - 1 pinch
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon

Wet mix
Milk - 1 cup
Egg - 1
Butter - 2 tablespoon
Vanilla essence  - 1/4 teaspoon

Mix the dry ingredients well.  Whisk the wet ingredients separately with a fork.

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and mix very well. Add the grated apple to it and fold in.

Heat one teaspoon of vegetable/canola oil in a pan and add the mix ( I added about 4 tablespoon for each pancake).

Serve warm with butter or drizzle with honey.

Even better, if you spread nutella on top of it.


You can even double the recipe and freeze some pancakes for weekday breakfast. Just thaw it and warm it on a pan. 
Also, you can add bananas to it along with apple or separately.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Bengali Misti Pulao

I wonder if there are any Bengalis who do not love misti pulao! I had too many versions of misti pulao at different aunts house, be it white, offwhite or yellow, but all very unique in its own way. My Maa always used to make the yellow version. I loved (and still do) it, mostly because of its nice colour. When I was kid, I used to call it "sundar bhaat" meaning, "beautiful rice". Maa used to make it every time her sister's daughter (my cousin B) used to come to our house for holidays. They were very close at hearts. Now I understand that my Maa was more a friend than a masi to her. Cousin B used to have her carefree days while visiting us. She and my Maa used to go to movies together, have chaats, eggrolls and shahi mitha paan, and lots of fun. I was left out from all these as I was mere a kid. No wonder, I did not like it at all! I remember feeling angry every time Maa used to cheerily announce the visit of cousin B during winter vacations. The only thing I liked about those seven days was having misti pulao more than once in honor of cousin B.

Every time I make misti pulao, it reminds me of those leisurely afternoons, the non stop adda at the lunch, our hands dried up with food and those prolonged laughter sessions. Sometimes I really miss those days and more of all I miss the fact that my lil A might not ever witness those pure love, laughter and leisure in todays fast paced lives!!!


Basmati Rice - 2 cup (Washed, smeared with turmeric and spread to dry)

Cashew nuts - 10 to 12
Raisins - 10 to 15, washed and soaked
Peas - 1/2 cup
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Green Cardamom- 4-5
Black Cardamom - 2 (seeded)
Cloves - 2-4
Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Sugar - 2 teaspoon
Salt - To taste

Wash the rice, add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder, mix well and spread to dry.

Heat ghee in a kadhai, temper it with cardamom (both green and black), cinnamon and cloves.

Add the cashew and raisins to it and saute it for 2 minutes. Add the peas to it and saute it for 2-3 minutes more. My Maa never used to add peas to this pulao, but I usually add it as it makes the dish more colorful.

Add the rice to it and stir and mix it well for 2- 3 minutes.

Transfer it to a pot and add warm water to it such that the water level rises to 1 inch above the rice in the pot.

I cooked it on stove top. Cook it in medium flame for 12-15 minutes. Keep a watch not to overcook the rice. If by any chance excess water remains, drain it out. Alternatively, you can cook it in microwave for around 15 minutes.

We celebrated the Independence Day with misti pulao and chilli chicken at lunch. Yeah, I know, no celebration is complete without foods. And of course we listened to patriotic songs all day.

I am sending this to Walking through the memory lane, hosted this month by Avika, originally started by Gayathri.

P.S. Sorry, not too many photos. Lil A has been sick for last few days and extremely sticky to her Mom. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Egg Less Zebra Cake in Microwave

I really miss baking. Not that I was/am very pro at baking, but for some unknown reasons I love to bake. I say unknown reasons because my Maa never liked baking and there was not much baking around when I was growing up!!!! This love for baking is the reason why I miss my old kitchen and my oven in particular. I am yet to get an oven for my new kitchen ( I know, I have said this for nth time).

The other day, when I came across this recipe of zebra cake (heard/read it for the first time) in Aparna's wonderful blog, my hands started to itch to bake. So, what did I do? I baked, a microwave.

I modified the recipe a bit, particularly in terms of amount of the ingredients, and baked it in a microwave. The baking took way less time than arranging the stuffs. This is actually a third cake that I baked in the microwave. I am slowly getting used to it. Now, I warn you, don't even expect the same result in a oven bake and microwave baked cake. I really miss the darkened, little crispy top layer of a oven baked cake. But, trust me, the cake turned out pretty well, soft and moist, and can be enjoyed with tea, coffee or ice-cream. The name of the cake might intimidate you, but it is super easy to make. And it is egg less too!!

(Makes a 7 inch round cake)

For Orange Batter

All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Orange Juice - 1/3 cup
Vinegar - 1/4 teaspoon
Oil - 1 and 1/2 tablespoon

For Chocolate Batter

All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Cocoa Powder - 1 and 1/2 tablespoon
Milk - 1/3 cup
Vinegar - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil - 1 and 1/2 tablespoon
Vanilla essence - 1/2 teaspoon

Mix the batter separately in two bowls. Do not beat, just fold in. I mixed the dry stuffs first followed by the wet ingredients.

 Take a big spoon full of batter and add it to the middle of the cake bowl. Let it spread on its own. I started with the chocolate batter. Add a spoon full of the alternate batter and add it to the middle of the first batter. Again, do not spread it. Let it spread on its own.

It will look somewhat like this.

Repeat the steps until the batter is over.

Put it in microwave and bake it for 5 minutes. Let it sit in the microwave for 5 minutes more before you take it out. I cooked it in the microwave mode and not in the convection mode.

The cake turned out to be soft and moist and very yummy.

And the stripes looked good too.

This is really a super easy cake to make and do not need anything fancy. And completely egg less!!!

Have fun at tea time.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cabbage Curry - Andhra Style

Unlike today, when we get all kinds of veggies throughout the year, cabbage was a winter veggie in my mother's kitchen. Maa used to make the cabbage curry with machher matha on special occasions and other days it was simple curry with green peas and jeera phoron.

I vaguely remember having a special type of cabbage dish at my paternal aunt's place, chunks of cabbage cut and dipped in egg batter, fried, and then made into curry. It was jhol instead of tarkari. But frankly, I don't remember the taste. Maybe I will try it someday to recreate the dish.

But today it is the different cabbage curry that I tried. These days  I am having this curry too often at the office canteen and in spite of the fact that it was way too hot for me, I liked the curry. My version is not hot at all. In fact, these days all the dishes I cook is way too mild. I do this for my lil A, so that she can have the same food as we do. She never eats anything special that I cook for her, it have to be our food.


Cabbage - Thinly cut, washed and drained
Chana dal - 1 tablespoon, washed and soaked for 15 miutes
Onion -1 medium, thinly sliced
Ginger paste - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red chili - 1
Oil- 1 tablespoon
Ghee - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Cut the cabbage in thin small pieces, wash and drain.

Heat oil in a pan and add the red chilli to it. Temper it with the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds splutter, add the cumin seeds and stir. Add the onions to it and stir it for 2-3 minutes.

When the onions starts to turn pinkish brown, add the chhana dal and stir for about 3 minutes.

Add the cabbage to it. Add turmeric, cumin powder to it and mix well. Add the sugar and salt and give it another mix.

Cover the pan and cook in low to medium flame for 10 to 12 minutes. The cabbage releases a lot of water and turns soft. At this point, stir it well. If required ( if it seems to dry) add 1-2 tablespoon of water. Cover and cook for another 3- 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the ghee. Mix well and keep it covered for couple of extra minutes.

Your cabbage curry is ready to go with white steamed rice.