Saturday, November 3, 2018

Buttery Dinner Rolls


That aroma of freshly baked dinner rolls is something that I can't explain in words but if you have baked it yourselves you would know, how heavenly it is. I am not exaggerating, but the very thought of it is making my mouth water. I had never seen or done bread baking untill I came to the US, but everytime I passed by the bakery in our small township that I grew up in, the smell of the bread getting baked has always left me tempting. Bitting into a warm bread having spread some butter, which melts with the warmth of the bread slice is the simplest of pleasures.














Getting the perfect dinner rolls was always a challenge. Yes the dinner rolls would be soft when warm, but when they cool down, they would turn dry and hard. After couple of trial and errors, I finally landed on this recipe and its a keeper. Both my boys are not bread lovers. They would like it if dunked into some spicy curry to pair with. But with these dinner rolls, I just saw them taking and bitting into them even without anything spread on them. They being not a big fan of bread, but still loved these dinner rolls , I knew I had to document it before I forget the ratios. So here it is - the recipe to soft and buttery dinner rolls.











Ingredients
  1. 1/2 tbsp of yeast
  2. 1/4 cup of warm water
  3. 1 tbsp of sugar
  4. 1/2 cup of warm milk 
  5. 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  6. 1/4 cup of sugar
  7. 1/2 tsp of salt
  8. 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  9. 1 egg
  10. 2-3 cups of all purpose flour
  11. 1 tbsp of melted butter
Method
  • In a small bowl, take the yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar. Mix it with the warm water. Let it stand for about 1 minutes untill it is frothy.
  • In another large bowl, take the warm milk, oil, sugar and salt. Mix it well.
  • Add 1 cup of flour and mix it well. Add the beaten egg and mix it well untill it gets incorporated well. 
  • Now add the yeast mixture and stir it in.
  • Add 2 cups or more flour in parts while you mix it. It will be a sticky dough. Place it in a grease bowl in a warm place, untill it doubles. It should take about 2-3 hours depending on the weather conditions.
  • Once the dough doubles, punch it down and remove it onto a light floured surface. Divide it into two portions.
  • Roll out the dough into a circle abut 10 inches in diameter.
  • Brush the rolled out dough with melted butter. Using a pizza cutter cut the circle into 12 equal pieces, like pizza slices.
  • Roll each piece from its edge towards the center to make the crescent roll. Lightly press the end to prevent them from opening up while letting it stand for another rise.
  • Grease a baking tray and line the rolls about an inch apart from each other.
  • Cover the rolls with a kitchen towel and let it stand for another hour and a half, for it to rise and double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Brush the top of the rolls with melted butter and bake it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes untill the top is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and while it is still warm, brush it with another round of melted butter.
  • Serve it warm with sides of your choice or with just some hot coffee.
Tips
  1. You need to have a sticky dough. So just add enough flour to make it sticky and elastic. Adding more flour would make it like the usual dough and make the dinner rolls hard and dry.









Saturday, October 20, 2018

Tomato Rice

Something instant to cook on a busy weekday, at the same time delicious and approved by the family, is a recipe that I always lean on when tired and have hardly any energy to enter the kitchen. If its liked by all at home equally then you don't have to see people frowning at the dinner table. This Tomato rice is one such recipe that we can have for dinner after a long day at work - happy faces and most importantly, easy to put together. 











Some papad/chips and little bit of pickle is all what you need to pair with this delicious tomato rice to enjoy your meal. When I started my kitchen garden last year, I planted a tomato plant. It would produce flowers but nothing got converted to tomato, which made me think that either it is a flower plant :D or may be my hands aren't good enough for gardening. Its not gonna bear fruit. But this year, thankfully, if not it surplus, we got a decent harvest of tomatoes. And when making tomato rice, with the tomatoes from our own garden, it gets even more fulfilling. At dinner table, you can see me repeat it over and over again "it has tomatoes from our own garden". And my little harvester gets even more interested in having his tomato rice since his little hands were also involved in producing the tomatoes :).



Now off to the recipe. This recipe needs the everyday pantry items, so you need not just wait for to get the ingredients before you try it. So try it for todays lunch or dinner and I bet you won't regret.




Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cup of white rice
  2. 1 1/2 cup of chopped tomatoes
  3. 1/2 cup of finely chopped red onion
  4. 1 tbsp of finely chopped green chilly
  5. 1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
  6. 5-6 mint leaves, finely chopped
  7. 2 tbsp of finely chopped coriander leaves
  8. About 2 3/4 cups of water
  9. 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  10. 1/2 tsp of red chilly powder
  11. 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
  12. 3/4 tsp of black pepper powder
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Coriander/ Mint leaves for garnishing
For tempering
  1. 1 tbsp of oil
  2. 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
  3. 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
  4. 2-3 dry red chillies
  5. 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds
  6. 1 sprig of curry leaves
Method
  • Wash and strain the rice. Keep it aside.
  • Heat a pan. Pour in the oil. Once the oil gets hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Now add the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, ginger garlic paste, green chillies, dry red chillies and curry leaves. Saute it until the rawness is gone.
  • Now add the onion and saute it. Once onion starts turning dull and translucent, add the chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves, and saute it.
  • Add the tomatoes and stir it. Let it reduce and cook. Add the turmeric powder , coriander powder and black pepper powder. Saute and cook untill the tomatoes are all soft and the mixture looks like a paste.
  • Add the rice, water and salt. Stir it to spread it evenly.
  • Cover and cook on medium low flame untill the water evaporates completely. Turn off the heat.
  • Garnish it with coriander/mint leaves and serve it hot with some raita and chips of your choice.
Tips
  1. Using basmati rice would enhance the taste.
  2. You could add some urad dal to the tempering to enhance the taste.
  3. Keep a close watch when cooking rice. The cooking time and water required would vary according to the type of rice used.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Poha

With temperatures dropping, all I want to do is just snooze and snooze the alarm every 5 mins. I understand that it is not actually letting me rest as I would want to, because it will keep on interrupting me by ringing every other 5 mins. But still I keep doing it every single day. It is just so hard to pull your eyelids apart when you are resting under the cozy blanket. Anyways, winter mornings get better with a warm breakfast. I still recollect Poha to be a delicacy during winters. Because my mom would pluck some fresh coriander leaves to garnish the hot poha. But with the coriander leaves available year round now, I have the luxury to make it whenever I want to. Poha and some steaming chai- isn’t that just the best thing to start your day with . 







grew up eating poha as a tea time snack on cold and wintery evenings. I was not a great fan then. When I landed in pune for my job, every other day I would choose to get poha for breakfast from the canteen. They were not as good as my mom used to make and hence brought in the realization of the value of home made food.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Corn Dog Muffins

My kido is a big fan of corn dogs. Initially he would recognize the stores that we have bought corn dogs at, and would begin asking for corn dogs at the very sight of those stores. These days, as he learnt reading on his own, he can read the menu or displays and even though he has no clue about that eating place, he would tell us that corn dogs are available there and we should get it.








Making it at home, would require deep fryer and so that was definitely not an option for us. But when I saw this baked version, I just had to make these at home. I did not have a mini muffin pan, so I baked these in the usual muffin pans. 

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Grilled Chicken ~ Mediterranean Style

We did grill more frequently this year than the past years. But, somehow I kept pushing away or postponing the publishing of posts. But finally, as the boys are catching up on a movie, here I go drafting this post, to let go. 












If you are looking for easy grilling recipe, both in marination as well as cooking, then this is one keeper. Very basic ingredients are needed for its marination. Plus, its healthy too. Include these grilled chicken in your wraps or as sides - they are superb either way. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Pita Bread

My first attempt at Mediterranean food was in the initial days of pregnancy which were really hard. I ordered fancy things but I ended up eating only pita bread dipped in hummus. And then somehow I never returned to the place all throughout my pregnancy and even post that, the new mother gets so busy that somehow trying mediterranean food never crossed my mind. But in the past 2 years, we have been indulging a lot in it. Its one among our favorite cuisines to try and have whenever we think of dining out or even trying something different at home other than the daily Indian food. All of us love it.





We used to buy the pita bread from grocery stores to make our wraps. One day we thought of trying it ourselves. I had least expectation of it getting all puffed up. But surprisingly, all of them puffed up with the same perfection that I quickly made a note of the recipe. Well why not, right? Such recipes are keepers that you may always want to document it. And this recipe has never disappointed me even once. So here is it. You should think twice or may be thrice before you get pita breads from outside, when you have such easy recipes at hand :).

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Cherry Icecream

The weather seems to be getting colder day by day. We didn't have unbearable summer this year. Not at all complaining about it. But the thought that winter seems to be so close, is not at all encouraging to me. Plus, some of our favorite fruits and berries are also vanishing from the market. So to bid goodbye to our family favorite cherry for this year, I thought I should post this cherry icecream that we enjoyed multiple times this summer. 









We love eating cherries as is. But for a change give it other forms like galette, jams or even this icecream. You cannot have enough of those juicy and sweet cherries. They definitely are addictive. This recipe is not even a bit difficult, but I must suggest you to make it in large quantities for your crowd is definitely going to go for multiple servings.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Ethakka Tholi Thoran / Raw Banana Peel Stir Fry With Coconut

One of the most utilized plant is banana. If you have a banana tree at home, you would know how each part of it is never neglected or disgarded. Banana leaf is used to serve, banana flower can be used in making cutlets or stir fry, stem gets edible in the form of another yummy stir fry, banana itself can be either eaten raw or cooked...the most favorite being banana chips and even the banana peel can turn into a very delicious stir fry to be paired with rice. One banana tree and its multiple uses. Isn't it amazing?







Remember, couple of weeks ago I had posted the recipe for banana chips. And how I had asked to save the banana peel to make a stir fry. A bit delayed though, but still I made it a point to share the recipe for it here before Onam. If you happen to make the banana chips for onam sadya, then do not throw away the banana peel, they indeed make a very delicious thoran, that can be served for your sadya too. So here you go, the recipe for it is here.

Sambar

Sambar is one unavoidable item on the sadya menu. With onam fast approaching, I thought sharing a sambar recipe would be apt. Whenever I complain that Jacob should get more involved in the kitchen and should take up interest in cooking, he always picks on me saying "who taught you to make sambar ?". Well those initial days of marriages while I was learning to cook to feed our stomach, the sambar preparations were done by Jacob. He is such a sambar lover. I would always prefer moru kachiyathu over sambar for rice. But I guess, as year pass by living with a sambar lover, I too have started to like sambar.



Well this recipe is not the traditional method of sambar preparation. Usually, the sambar powder is fried in the oil along with tempering and added to the sambar . I avoid doing it, to cut down the consumption of oil. Also I find it as an easier way to prepare, without the fear of burning the sambar powder, especially when you have too many things on the menu for sadya and hurrying, things go wrong sometimes. So try my version of sambar if you would like to, for this onam and let me know if you liked it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Baingan Bhaja/ Begun Bhaja/ Pan Fried Aubergine

We all love to have food from restaurants. Well who will not, right? You get to taste something apart from everyday food....somebody else made it so you have not slogged or shed a sweat in making it...plus you don't have to do the dishes :). But we love the restaurant food for may be a couple of times in a row. If you happen to travel for couple of days and end up eating from outside every single meal, everyday, then you might picture even the simplest of homely foods as heaven. 












This Baigan Bhaja is so simple to make that it can get ready in just minutes. Like I said, when you are tired, post travel or even at the end of a hectic day at work, this simple dish can just cheer you up and make your meal so delicious and finger licking without putting in too much effort. Steaming rice, some tadka daal and this Baigan Bhaja... isn't that a picture of a homely meal that could satisfy the soul, craving for some comfort food. Here is how I make it. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Kerala Banana Chips / Ettakka Upperi

Onam is fast approaching. To prepare Onam Sadya is definitely some work, but is totally possible with some planning and prep work. This chips is something that you could make early and store, to be served for Sadya. It definitely is worth making it at home because it is easy, cheaper than store bought ones, fresh and homemade with love :). For me Sadya is not about how many dishes you made to feed your crowd, but how much love did you add in it to make it special.





These chips can never be forgotten in a Sadya. Salt and chips usually get served initially and while we wait for the rice and other 'n' number of curries to be served, these chips all vanish, which makes us take another serving of it and enjoy. Ahh, there is still time to enjoy an Onam Sadya but I think all this talking made me crave for one..he he... Cannot wait for it to be Onam. Who else is with me? Anyways, grab this recipe and make some chips before Onam to serve for your Onam Sadya.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Lady's Finger Stir fry/ Vendakka Mezhukupuratti / Okra Stir Fry (Indian style)

I have seen many people hating Lady's finger for their mushy or gooey texture. Frankly, I too hate it for the same. But if cooked in a way that they stay separate and not clinging onto each other with those gooey texture, I love them. It would be one veggie that I would so love to have and so does my family. 








Now, how to get that perfectly done lady's finger is not rocket science. You could refer to tips section to know how. BTW, have you noticed, that the way you cut your lady's finger, decides its taste. I usually go by cutting them vertical, thin and long. I find it more tastier than the horizontal, disc shaped ones. Am I sounding weird or have you too noticed it? Before, I confuse you or make myself sound like one idiotic person to you, let me put a full stop to this conversation and move on to the recipe for the day.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Ragi Idli

Ragi Idli could have never made it to our menu for breakfast, couple of years back. Only after my lil guy was born, we started feeding him Ragi and I started to try understand how wholesome and healthy it is. Hence I started trying different things out of it. The usual idli, puttu, dosa etc. started getting healthier by adding ragi in it. And its good to bring in some variety to the monotonous menu too. No doubt our family has loved it. Because every time I have served it, the plates have been left wiped clean :).











They were so pillowy soft. And that grainy feeling of ragi and its taste was mellowed down by a portion of rice that, it was loved by us, who otherwise would put on a sad face with the mere mention of the word ragi. If you are looking for including ragi in your diet, this ragi idli could be one yummiest ways to do it. So here is the recipe to it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Curd Rice

The most comforting food is what I would want to describe, curd rice as. I just love having it and my lil monkey has also taken over that love for curd rice from me. So we make it often. With the rise in temperature, this is one perfect lunch option. That random bite on juicy pomegranate seeds is one big thing to like about it. But unfortunately, now pomegranate is not in season. But that doesn't stop us in enjoying this delicious crud rice with some pickle and papad. Perfect ! 








Enjoy this curd rice this summer. They are perfect to cool down when it is super hot and boiling outside. Here is the recipe to it.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Chocolate Cake ~ with minimal butter

Chocolate cakes, leave me tempting every single time I see them. I had tried different versions of it in the past. But the amount of butter or oil and sugar, that goes into it, held me back from making it often. My kido loves chocolate cake, so to make it for him would mean, we would end up eating it too. Who can resist the temptation of having a slice from such a delicious and chocolatey cake, right?








When I came across this recipe, it was hard to believe how little butter could yield such a delicious and soft cake. I was not so thrilled to try it first, thinking, it wouldn't turn up as I expected. But I must tell you, there was no delay in trying it the second time and then the third time and then multiple times that we have made this cake. 
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