Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Orange Cookies

Welcome back after another long break!!! Seems like I have become too lazy these days!! I had uploaded pics for this recipe immediately after I came to know about Srilekha's Cookie Event, but then I thought I had enough time and needn't have to rush. Now the last date of sending is tomorrow, so, here I am with the recipe :).
Usually when it comes to having/making cookies, I stick with chocolate and chocolate chips (This is true for icecreams, cakes or any kind of desserts :) ). But when I saw the snap of these cookies in my cookbook, I really had to give this a try! The aroma of the batter is so refreshing and taste is just awesome!! Brown sugar and cream cheese make these cookies really moist and chewy. I was happiest when my niece asked me if I would be bringing these again the next time I visit her :)). Do make these once and I am sure you'll be making them again and again...
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup cream cheese (I used reduced-fat)
1 egg, lightly beaten (I used eggwhites only)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp finely grated orange rind, plus extra for decorating
raw brown sugar (for sprinkling)

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Grease a baking sheet with oil spray.
  • Put the butter, sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
  • Sift in the flour and baking soda. Add orange juice and rind and mix well.
  • Drop about 25 rounded tablespoonfuls of the batter onto the baking sheet and make sure they are well spaced.
  • Sprinkle with raw brown sugar and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the cookies are light brown at the edges.
  • Let cool and decorate with orange rind before serving.
After the successful attempt of the orange cookies, I decided to become innovative and tried mango-coconut cookies. ( I used mango juice instead of orange juice and used shredded coconut in place of orange rind). These were not as delicious as the orange ones :(, but they were still tasty.

I am sending my yummy orange cookies to Srilekha's cookie event.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nutty Beet Salad

Ever since FIC-pink/rose has been announced by Priya, so many bloggers have posted recipes with beet as a main ingredient. I thought I should also join them :). Here is a mouthwatering recipe that I found in my latest recipe book with slight modifications of my own.

1 1/2 cooked beet (grated)
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 apple (I used gala)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 large handfuls of mixed salad greens
2 tbsp pecan halves (toasted)


2 tbsp non-fat yogurt
2 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 garlic clove (chopped)
2 tsp fresh dill (chopped)
salt and pepper as needed

  • Put the beet in a non-metallic dish and sprinkle with vinegar. Cover with a plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
  • To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Core and slice the apple. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
  • Remove beet from the refrigerator and drizzle dressing over it. Add the apples and mix gently to coat with the dressing.
  • To serve, arrange a handful of salad greens on each plate and top with a large spoonful of the apple and beet mixture.
  • Sprinkle the toasted nuts over the salad and serve immediately.
I would like to send this salad over to Priya's FIC-pink/rose (Food in Color) Event which was started by SunshineMom.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sangria (Non-alcoholic) and Loads of Awards :)

On our visit to a spanish restaurant to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary, we first time tried Sangria. Sangria, which means bloody in spanish, is a wine punch. Both Nisarg and I don't take alcohol, so we asked for a non-alcoholic version and what they served was so yummy!!
Here is a recipe that is adapted from Giada's Italian Cooking that I tried some time ago. It was so delicious, we just drank our dinner that day :).

1/2 cup orange juice
2 cups mint syrup (recipe follows)
1 lemon (zested and thinly sliced)
1 lime (zested and thinly sliced)
1 cup sliced strawberries, grapes, raspeberries
4-5 fresh mint sprigs
1 can Sprite (I used Sprite Zero)
water (to adjust sweetness)
crushed ice

Mint Syrup:

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves

  • For the mint syrup, in a saucepan, combine sugar, water and mint over medium heat.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool for 20 minutes.
  • Strain before using and keep aside.
  • In a large bowl or pitcher, combine all the ingredients. Fill tall glasses with crushed ice and pour sangria over the top.

I would like to send this lovely sangria to Priya's FIC-Pink event which was started by SunshineMom.

FIC - Pink or Rose

Now awards time!!!
To start with, Madhavi and Purva passed this lovely award to me. Thank you so much guys:).


This award states that-These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement(? big word, lol). Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

I would like to pass this beautiful award to Gopi, Srilekha, Usha, Mansi, Yasmeen, Gunjan, DK and Trupti.

Purva and Vibaas have showered me with so many wonderful awards. I am so giddy with excitement!!
[friends.bmp.jpg] [Adorableblogcopy.jpg]

[amazingblog[1].jpg] [lovely_blog_award.jpg]

Two more awards from Purva!! Thank you so much dear for making me feel so special:)


Vibaas also sent me blogging with a purpose award. Thanks once again!!


I would like to pass this bundle of awards to Sia, Madhavi, Gopi, Yasmeen, Trupti, Anudivya, Bindiya, Usha, Mansi, DK and Homecooked.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

French Onion Soup

Everytime I visit a book shop  (which is on average, twice a week :) ), I grab a table near the shop cafe with various cooking books and just enjoy going through all the delicious pictures of food!! I usually try to resist buying them mainly because of lack of space in my already full cook-book drawer, but, few weeks ago, I came across this wonderful book that I had to buy!!
The pictures are so beautiful, I just can't wait to try my hands at all these yet to be tasted dishes.
With the weather here being super-cold, I thought that soup would be the best dish to try out from my new book and this lovely combination of onions, french bread and gruyere cheese turned out to be perfect for a cold stormy evening.

2 large yellow onions
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves (3 chopped and 1 whole)
1 tsp fresh thyme (chopped) plus some sprigs for garnishing
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp sugar
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
6 slices french bread
1/4 cup gruyere cheese (grated) 
salt and pepper as needed

  • Thinly slice the onions. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, or until they are just beginning to turn brown.
  • Add chopped garlic, sugar and thyme. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown. 
  • Sprinkle the flour and mix properly. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the wine. Gradually add the stock and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper.
  • Reduce the heat and let simmer for 50 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, toast the bread slices on both sides. Rub the toasts with the whole garlic clove.
  • Preheat the broiler.
  • Pour the soup into oven-proof bowl. Float toast slices into it and sprinkle with cheese. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until the cheese has just melted.
  • Pour into individual bowl, garnish with thyme sprigs and serve.

I'd like to send this over to DK's Culinary Bazaar for A.W.E.D. France Event.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Tres Leches Cake

Hello Everyone, Welcome back to my blog after a really long break!! I was in India for about a month, visiting my family and friends, and after coming back, was still in the holiday mood!! 
We had 'tres leches-three milk cake' at a lovely restaurant called 'la tusca' during our trip to washington dc. Nisarg had loved it so much at that time, that I was looking for a tried-&-tasted recipe of it since then. Recently, I got the recipe from a friend and immediately tried it out. It turned out so perfect!! Thank you so much Viji for this lovely recipe:).

1 stick unsalted butter (at room temp.)
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 can(14 oz) sweet condensed milk (I used fat-free)
1 can(12 oz) evaporated milk (I used fat-free)
1 cup 2% milk

1 cup heavy whipping cream + 1 tbsp sugar for a creamy layer on top (optional)
mixed fruits (optional)

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 inch by 9 inch baking dish and set aside. 
  • Sift flour and baking powder together.
  • Beat egg-whites till they are fluffy and create a soft peak. Add vanilla extract and add egg-yolks one at a time. Beat well after the addition of each egg-yolk.
  • In a separate bowl, beat softened butter till its fluffy. Add sugar and thoroughly combine.
  • Now, mix the sugar-butter mixture into the egg mixture and beat properly. Add sifted flour and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the crust is golden.
  • In a bowl, whisk condensed milk, evaporated milk and 2% milk together. 
  • Let the cake cool completely. Scrape the top layer of the cake and poke the cake all over with a fork. Pour the milk mixture on the cake. Cover and refrigerate the cake overnight.
  • For the icing, beat heavy whipping cream and sugar until soft peaks are formed. Coat the cake with icing and decorate with fruits. (This step is totally optional, both Nisarg and I liked it better without the icing.)


Thursday, December 25, 2008


Thepla and Chhundo (sweet mango pickle) are as common breakfast in Gujarat as bread and butter are in western part of the world. Theplas come in different flavors, bottle gourd theplas, fenugreek theplas, cabbage theplas, rice theplas etc. With the use of these ingredients, the theplas become moist and soft. One can also opt for plain masala theplas, too. Almost all types of theplas have a long shelf life. Also, theplas can fit in with anything: subjis with gravy, subjis with no gravy, sweet pickles,  hot pickles, chutneys, or all by themselves. These qualities make them very good food to keep while traveling as well.

1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup grated bottle gourd and/or carrots
2 tbsp kasuri methi (optional)
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tbsp ginger-chili paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paav-bhaji masala (optional)
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt plus more if needed
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
2 tbsp oil (I use 2 tbsp yogurt instead of oil)
water to knead the dough
oil spray/oil for cooking theplas

  • Mix all the ingredients to make the dough. Keep aside for an hour.
  • Divide into 7-8 equal portions. Roll them out (make them slightly thicker than regular rotis).
  • Heat a non-stick pan to a medium-high heat. Start by roasting the theplas on one side. Turn over, and apply oil spray/oil. Repeat for the other side.
I would like to send these yummy theplas over to the Singing Chef's Think Spice-Think Carom event. I'll also send them over to EFM-savories event hosted by SriLekha.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Khajur (Dates) Ladoo

This is one dessert that is totally guilt-free!! It has no added sugar, no butter, ghee, oil and all the ingredients are full of nutritional values. This dish also lasts for a long time. 

2 cups dates (chopped) (I used Madjool Dates)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, almonds, pistachios
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp dried ginger powder
1 tbsp shredded coconut 

  • Put 1 cup chopped dates in a microwave-safe flat plate/bowl and heat for 30-50 seconds. (This is done to soften the dates so that they mash easily.) Mash with a potato masher and set aside. Do the same for the next cup of dates.
  • Add chopped nuts, cardamom, ginger powder into mashed dates and mix well. 
  • Roll bite-sized balls and coat with shredded coconut.
Dates are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals. They provide energy and also help strengthen the muscles. Instead of added sugar, this dessert gives the benefit of natural sugar contained in dates. 
Almonds contain calcium, magnesium for strong bones, vitamin E which help protect against cardiovascular disease.
Walnuts are considered to significantly lower the LDL cholesterol.
Pistachios provide a great source of vitamin B which is essential for energy.
Because of all these amazing benefits of various ingredients used in this dessert, I think it is a perfect entry for Eat Healthy during Pragrancy event. 
I would also like to send this over to Purva's Christmas Feast Event and Tasty Treat's Santa's Holiday Challenge.
This dessert is so easy to prepare I'd also like to send this to Ramki's Recipes for the rest of us.



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas FruitCake

The festive season of Christmas is around, people have decorated their houses with lovely light decorations, shops and malls have started to play Christmas songs, all the food blog afficianados have started hosting festive events, and everyone over here is preparing cakes, cookies, puddings, pastries and pies. Also, mood is more than cheerful in town as Steelers are performing so well this season.  
I thought that making a cake and posting a recipe for it would be very fitting on such an occasion. The cake I present over here is ideal for gift-giving, too. 
Hope you will enjoy this... 

3 cups whole-wheat bread flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup each of dates, crystallized ginger, dried apricots, dried pineapples, pecans, almonds, walnuts, pistachios (chopped)
3/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup cranberries
10-12 maraschino cherries
1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
1 1/2 cups applesauce
2/3 cup oil
1 cup molasses ( use 3/4 cup if you the dried fruits are sweetened)
1/8 cup vinegar

  • Preheat the oven to 300F. Grease and flour a bundt pan or two 9-inch round pans.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, soda, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl until well combined. Add all the fruits and nuts to the flour mixture and toss until well coated.
  • Blend together the applesauce, oil, molasses and vinegar. Working quickly, mix the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring only until mixed thoroughly. Pour the batter into the pan and place in the oven.
  • Bake for about 1 hour for round pans or 1 1/2 hours for bundt pan. Let it cool completely.
  • Garnish with cherries, pecans if desired. It slices more easily if made a day or two in advance. 
I would like to send this cake over to Purva's Christmas Feast Event, Happy Cook's Homemade Christmas Gift Event, Tasty Treat's Santa's Holiday Challange and Vandana's Baking for Beginners Event.


Friday, December 12, 2008


I think Dhoklas are the most popular food Gujarati food. I have been asked to demonstrate Dhokla preparation by my non-Gujarati friends more often than any other item so far, making Dhoklas an absolutely worthy dish for my posts. Nisarg also loves Dhoklas very much, so I get to make them often :).

1 1/2 cups rice
1/2 cup urad dal
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tbsp ginger-chili paste
2/3 cup shredded bottle gourd
1 tbsp urad dal-chana dal
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (I didn't use it this time)
1 tbsp cilantro (chopped) (optional)
1/4 tsp asafoetida
3/4 tsp soda-bi-carb
1 tsp oil
1 tsp black pepper (coarsely ground)
salt as needed

  • Soak the rice and urad dal overnight and grind in a mixture the next day. Add yogurt, 1/8 cup of hot water and allow to ferment for 6-7 hours.
  • Add all the ingredients except black pepper and mix well.
  • Apply oil spray on a flat metal dish (see picture-2) and pour batter to fill half the height. For thinner dhoklas, make this layer thinner (see picture-3).
  • Sprinkle black pepper on top and steam for 13-14 minutes. Repeat with rest of the batter. 
  • Cut into pieces and serve hot with green chutney.
I'd like to send this dhokla over to Lubna's FIC-white (Food in color),which was started by sunshinemom of ToungeTicklers.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bharelu Shak (Stuffed Brinjals with Potatoes)

My dear Jagufoi sent me this mouthwatering recipe few days back along with photos. She took the pictures specially for this blog :). Nisarg is not a great fan of brinjals but when he saw the photos sent by her, he really wanted me to try it! I was planning to use onions too, but Nisarg wanted it just as Jagufoi made it :).
So, I made this yesterday with rotis and it turned out fantastic! 
11-12 small brinjals
4 small potatoes 

For stuffing:
1/2 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup peanuts (coarsely ground)
1 tbsp ginger-chili paste
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tbsp aam-churan ( I didn't have this so I used 1 tsp tamarind paste)
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt + more if needed
2 tsp oil 
For Tadka:

1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp asafoetida

  • Wash and dry the brinjals and remove the stem. Slit them vertically and horizontally like a cross sign, without breaking them into halves.
  • In a bowl, mix all the ingredients needed for the stuffing. Stuff it into the brinjal slits. Keep the remaining mix for the potatoes.
  • Put the brinjals into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. Turn the brinjals and heat again for 3-4 more minutes.
  • Put the sliced potatoes in the microwave with little amount of water and cook for 3-4 minutes. When they are almost done, mix with remaining masala and heat until done-about 2-3 minutes.
  • Put cooked brinjals and potatoes in a big bowl. Add tadka on top and mix gently. 
  • Serve hot with rotis.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dahivadas-with a twist :)

The twist in the recipe is---'There is no frying involved!!'  For someone like me, who is not very fond of frying, this is a great option. 
We have new Indian neighbors in our apartment (We haven't met them yet) and every evening when Nisarg returns from the office, the whole lobby area smells of some delicious Indian food :). Last week or so, he informed me that the neighbors were having dahivadas, and I suddenly remembered that my bhabhi used to make this dish without frying the vadas!! So, I got on the phone with bhabhi and made these the very next day. 

For Vadas:
1 cup green moong daal (husk makes the vadas softer)
1 tbsp ginger-chili paste
15-17 raisins
oil spray, salt as needed
For Garnishing:
2 cups yogurt
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup tamarind chutney
1 tsp sugar
chili powder, roasted cumin powder to sprinkle
salt as needed

  • Wash and soak moong daal for about 4 hours. Grind in the mixie along with ginger-garlic paste and salt. Use minimum amount of water to make the vada batter.
  • Heat up the sandwich maker and once it is hot enough, coat with oil spray and pour batter. Top with raisins and let it cook.
  • Place the cooked vadas in lukewarm water and soak for 30-40 minutes. 
  • Mix yogurt, salt, sugar with a hand-mixie and add some amount of water to make smooth consistency. 
  • Squeeze the vadas gently to remove water and place in a large bowl. Pour yogurt mixture over it and let it soak for 15-20 minutes.
  • Drizzle tamarind chutney over the mixture and sprinkle with cilantro, chili powder and cumin powder.