Blogofyum

Food, Recipes…..garnished with memories

Cheap Thrills

Let it be out in the open. Today I have decided to talk about my cheap fantasies. Not all of course :P.  Lets just concentrate on food, shall we?! These are the situations I’ve always wanted to be in.Unfortunately things haven’t worked out so far and hence I feel talking it out in the open might give me a fraction of that “thrill”.

  • Two dozen friends decide to go out and your wallet is as empty as your refrigerator (it’s time to panic baby!). You pass a hat and then scrounge to finally share (the classic 1 by 2 :D). Alas its not even close to “enough” for you and your friends. Then you decide to end it in style.Ice cream! Wait, wait, wait… two six packs of creamy goodness can satisfy your friends for about two minutes! So it has to be huge quantities of watery candies. Quantity wins over quality. I like it.
  • Have two breakfasts, two lunches and a couple of dinners for about a month! 😀 I know that’s scary. I just want to see the magnitude of my appetite for food. I am not thinking of the “side-effects” though. Guess it would be apparent 😛
  • Have a satisfying meal in a dirty, not-so-clean place. Told ya! Cheap fantasies! I like cleanliness. Please don’t judge me. I keep my kitchen really clean and my mother no more complains. This fantasy takes me back to my college days. We used to have something called the ‘tapri’- a rugged, not-so-clean place, famous for tea, ghirmit (a local snack) and smoke.  It was a local hang out for most of the students.  I am allergic to smoke hence it remained a fantasy to get the taste ghirmit, in those stained plates and spoons. (I can here some eeewww’s. Nevermind)

Today, while watching television, I came across this channel showing various kinds of street food. Sometimes just looking at food makes you hungry. I am an impulsive person by nature and I believe that planning is a waste of time. I decided to make my version of this local snack and have it with a cup of tea, sitting in my balcony.

Ghirmit-is basically soaked puffed rice with some onions, tomatoes, chilies (lots), regular spices and a generous doze of lime juice. Its almost how you cook, poha or avalakki or beaten rice.

It’s a perfect healthy evening snack and works fantastic with a cup of tea.

Ghirmit- Recipe

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

2 cups puffed rice. Soak it for about 10 minutes and drain out all the excess water

1 large onion chopped finely

2 medium sized tomatoes

Fresh coriander

2 tsp peanuts

3-4 green chillies

1/4 cup fresh coconut

1/4 cup roasted gram dal (hurigadle in kannada)

Salt to taste

Juice one 1 lemon

Heat some oil in the pan, add mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add onions, green chilies, peanuts and saute it for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, turmeric and again saute for about five minutes.

Mix the fresh coconut and the roasted gram dal in a blender. Add this paste to the onion-tomato mixture and mix well.

Add the soaked puffed rice, salt and mix it well.

Finally add chopped coriander, and just before eating add lemon juice.

Tastes best when served hot.

Oh! And don’t forget to make yourself a cup of tea.

Green Apple Pancakes

Is there anything that good food and music can’t solve? I have been listening to Adele for a week now. Loud. It’s playing in my car, on my comp, just everywhere. It’s just all up in my brain.

Her song- Rolling in the deep, reminds me of my heartbreak, which I no longer mourn. The sting is gone… and its all just sweet.

Now its like watching a movie in my head. Where me and this cute guy (its all in the mind silly! ) are the stars, we bake a nice cake (with frosting), eat it (of course) and then the best part- it gets good even during the not-so-good parts. I see myself going into the philosophical mode yet again!

Its hard to imagine how my now will someday get faded. I hope I am lucky enough to transform my now into my sweet memories later.

The now looks very promising, and sweet. Ah. Sweet!

I made some lovely green apple pancakes, and then drizzled it with generous amount of cinnamon flavored honey. I know this is not the first time in the history something like this has been made, but I do feel like a genius! 😀

I love the tartness of the granny smith apples. If you want to use red apples, be my guest!

Initially I was a bit hesitant to post this recipe as I am not very happy with the pictures, but after tasting it, I realized that not sharing this with you guys would be a crime!

Its just so simple! Perfect for a Sunday breakfast actually.

And who says pancakes cannot be made without eggs?!

This batter can be used with various other combinations. Use your kitchen brain and try something new. Trust me, you’ll end up feeling like a genius!

Again, with the syrup, you can be as creative as possible.  I just mixed some honey, cinnamon powder and a teaspoon of butter. You can go with some dark chocolate and cream (now what can be better than that?!) or just some sprinkling of powdered sugar and cinnamon powder.

Tip: To prevent the apples from getting oxidized, put the diced apples in a bowl of water with a dash of lemon.

 

I should have taken the pictures of the syrup.Duh-huh. Patience is not one of my virtues by the way. I just had to eat the pancakes with copious amounts of hot syrup.  😀

 

Green Apple Pancakes- Recipe

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp green apple crush/apple or any other fruit juice

3/4 cup curd

3 tsp brown sugar

2 green apples, peeled and grated

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp butter

For the Honey Cinnamon syrup

4 tsp Hoeny

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp butter

Sift the wheat flour with baking powder. Mix the wet ingredients together and then add the dry ingredients to it. Mix it well.

In a pan, add about 4-5 spoons of batter (makes the pancakes thick and fluffy) and spread it. Once the side turns brown, flip the pancake and cook for about 2 mins. Add some butter to enhance the color of the pancake.

For the syrup- Mix honey with some cinnamon powder and butter, and just simmer it for about 2-3 minutes.

Pour it generously over the pancakes.

 

Trust me on this one- you will LOVE these!

More to come… 🙂

 

Barley and Peanut Salad

I am in a mood to teach. How about a quick lesson on my newest food find? Are you game? Ok! I am going to drop some knowledge.

Barley is a cereal grain derived form a grass known as Hordeum Vulgare.  It is majorly grown in Germany, France and Russia. It has its roots in the Palestine.

It has a beautiful nutty flavor and a slight crunch, also its super-duper healthy which keeps you full for hours together. You’ll have to trust me on this one because its rather impossible to keep me full for hours. Its rich in fibre and protein.

Since I have had too much of sweets and fried stuff last week I decided to make a light and healthy barley salad. Without oil.  I know!!! That must be something!

Ok I know what you’re thinking. How do I cook barley?! Right?!

I was getting there!

The best way too cook barley is to soak it overnight and then pressure cook it for about ten minutes. It takes very less time to cook.  Since I am using it in a salad, I’d like to retain the crunchy and chewy texture of barley, hence used the soaked barley.

There is no recipe as such for this salad. One can be as creative as possible. I’ve used some bell peppers, spring onions, roasted peanuts and pomegranates fresh coriander, a generous doze of  lemon juice, salt and pepper. The whole idea is to keep this salad light and colorful.

 

 

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and there you go! It’s a perfect side dish, or may be even a midnight snack.

 

So, look around for some barely and try this dish sometime. It’s totally worth it. 🙂

 

More to come… 🙂

 

Pasta With Beetroot Pesto

Hello Everyone!

I am back from a big fat Indian wedding and I haven’t had that much to eat in a while. You dress up, look (try)  all pretty, smile at everyone, and eat! What a wonderful life isn’t it?

Are you a good secret keeper? I’m sure you are! I lack the ability to try something new with confidence.  Most of the times the ingredient completely flips me out. Like reaaaallly. One of my friend who reads my blog regularly (Thank you very much), asked me for a recipe with beetroot.

I am not too sure if its just me, but when people ask for something in particular, I like to take them my surprise! Like completely knock them off their socks! You know what I mean?!

I just LOVE beetroot! It beet puts me back on a conveyor belt to some random childhood memories.

One of the things that fascinated me about beetroot was its color and its ability to turn everything around it pink! I loved pink curd rice! 😀 That was just curd rice mixed with beetroot palya/sabji. Joys of having simple things in life! Priceless.

Into the oven....

For the Pesto I used the ingredients which were readily available at home.  Being a true Bangalorean, I follow the concept of “swalpa adjust maadi” which means to adjust a bit.  No compromise as far as the taste is concerned though.  So I used almonds (instead of pine nuts) and fresh coriander (instead of parsley/basil). You can also use vinegar to balance out the sweetness of the beetroot.

For the pesto...

Pesto...

Oh yes! I haven’t used cheese in the recipe at all.  For a person who gorges on sweets and anything fatty, that’s surely an achievement. Applause please! Thank you very much 😀

Pasta with Beetroot Pesto

 

PASTA WITH BEETROOT PESTO – RECIPE

For the Pesto

1 Large Beetroot

5-6 cloves of garlic

Freshly ground pepper

2 tsp Olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 cup fresh coriander

2 tsp Vinegar

5-6 Almonds

Salt to taste

1 large bowl boiled pasta.

Roast the beetroot with pepper, garlic, salt and some olive oil for about 10 minutes in the microwave. Blend in the roasted ingredients with coriander and almonds. The beetroot pesto is ready.

Mix the pesto with boiled pasta, and enjoy in piping hot.

 

More to come 🙂

 

Potato and Pumpkin Curry

I have finally started with driving a four-wheeler. That calls for an applause. Thank you very much. I am thoroughly enjoying the zip-zap-zoom! Two interesting things- My dad gets nervous, although he hates to admit it and my mom hold’s the seat belts the way one holds it in an amusement ride :D.

After one and a half months of blogging, I have some requests from my readers! Yay! I am overjoyed! Thank you so much!

The other day I was just having a conversation with my 15 year old cousin who happens to be a regular reader of blogofyum and he reminded me that I haven’t put up any main-course recipe. Here’s a reason why. My day starts at 5 am, I reach my work place by 7:45 and I am back by 5 in the evening. My mom packs my lunch and when I get back I generally bake or make something that is quick.  Dinner is not an elaborate affair on weekdays.

I was planning to make  Potato and Pumpkin Curry for lunch but ended up making it  for breakfast. That’s how good it is. Have it with rice, hot-parathas or phulkas. Choice is totally yours.

Tomatoes.. for tartness

Making this curry is a simple process.  It’s packed with whole lot of Indian flavors. Cumin, coriander, asefoetida, nigella, carom, fennel, turmeric, red chili powder and the quintessential garam masala.

Just stand in front of the stove, saute the potatoes and pumkin with spices, think some thoughts, stir, taste, stir. That’s it.

I like the sweet and spicy combination, thanks to my initial years in Gujarat. If you are not too fond of sweet-spicy, then avoid sugar.

 Just make it happen in your kitchen and you’ll understand 🙂

POTATO AND PUMPKIN CURRY- RECIPE 

2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into big chunks.

1 cup pumpkin, cut into big chunks

2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp Nigella (kalonji) seeds

1/2 tsp carom seeds

1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 Bay leaves

1 tsp red chili powder

a pinch of asefoetida

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp jeera powder

1 tsp dhania powder

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp mustard oil

1/2 ghee or clarified butter

Salt to taste

Heat the pan, add oil and ghee. Once it heats up add the spices (mustard,cumin,carom,bay leaves, asefoetida,fennel, fenugreek and nigella). Add the potatoes,  pumpkin, some water  and cook till they are soft.

Add the rest of the spices and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Add fresh coriander and serve with hot rotis/phulkas/parathas/jeera rice.

Spicy Lemon and Date Spread

There are days when I feel like eating something of a particular color. Now is that weird? Really?  Sometimes I feel like eating something green (spinach) or red (beetroot). Today it was brown.  I was thinking of making some really nice, rich, moist triple chocolate cake, but its getting so hot here in Bangalore that I just dropped the idea. I know! I know! Nothing should come in between you and your dreams. Alright! I am lazy and I need something super-quick.

Its a boon to have a huge garden in a city like Bangalore. My mom had plucked a few fresh limes from the garden, I had some bread! No thank you! I like my nutella, just like that! 😀

By the way I still feel like eating something brown. Dates may be?!

This spread can be made in a jiffy and it tastes something like, you’ve never tasted before. It’s sweet, sour and spicy.

The Ingredients

Hey do you know the game of “guess the ingredients?” 😀  I play that quite often with my cousins.  It’s fun! May be you should try it sometime. You will be a total winner with this!

And it's ready!

 

SPICY LEMON AND DATE SPREAD- RECIPE

1 cup seedless dates

2 green chilies

Juice of 1 lemon

Lemon zest

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp olive oil

Water

 

Cook the dates until soft. Keep adding the water, just enough to cook. Blend the dates and chili with some salt and olive oil. Add the lemon juice and zest.

This spread works great with bread, and crackers.

 

Have a great day 🙂

 

Vanilla Cup Cakes with Chocolate and Candied Orange Peel Frosting

Do I sound like one of those ‘masterchef’ guys, who make stuff with terribly long names? 😐

Please excuse me.

Last weekend was one of the most productive weekends I have ever, EVER had in a long…long time.  I worked-out.OK! A little! That does count! I did a bit of cleaning. I cleaned my room. Ah! It looks so much better now.  I was cribbing to a friend of mine, about not being able to clean my room and the evergreen topic of how I don’t find enough time to juggle. Finally I was motivated enough and now knowing the kind of work that has gone into cleaning, I dare not mess my room again. 😛

To beat the Monday Blues I decided to make cupcakes. You know, like a reward 😉 to myself, of course!  There is something special about cupcakes isn’t it? I remember watching Carrie Bradshaw with mouth-watering envy as she devoured the almost-perfect little cake with pink frosting in ‘Sex in the City’.

Oh! By the way, I made some lovely candied orange peel this Sunday. It is a simple three step process.

 I just discovered that I love making cupcakes exactly 23689 times more than I actually like to eat them. Making these lovely treats is actually purgative.  Have you noticed that all the cupcakes look same with minuscule  differences and  imperfections. I love the part when I line them up, take in their differences and cover them up with lovely frosting.

Nothing too overwhelming about the frosting. Its  simple melted chocolate and milk.

Sinful

They taste very well without the frosting too. Sweet, spongy and just the right amount of moistness. But that’s not their best use. Smother the cup cakes with copious amount of chocolate and eat them in mass 😀

 

 

CANDIED ORANGE PEELS

Peel of 2 oranges, thinly sliced.

1/2 a glass of orange juice

2 tsp of sugar

Peel the oranges and remove the pith with the knife. Reduce the mixture of orange juice and sugar into half. Add the orange peel and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Place the cooked orange peels on a baking tray, sprinkle some sugar and bake it on 150 degrees for 5-7 minutes.

VANILLA CUP CAKES-RECIPE

1 1/3 cup All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Salt-a pinch

1 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup fresh cream

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp Vanilla extract

FROSTING

Grated Cooking chocolate

3-4 tsp of milk

In a bowl mix in cream and sugar and whip till the mixture becomes smooth. Sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda and mix the dry mixture with the cream and sugar mixture. Add milk and mix till the batter becomes smooth.

Grease/ place the baking paper in the cake molds and pour the cake batter. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 180 degrees.

Melt the chocolate with some milk and once the cake cools down, pour the chocolate on top and sprinkle some candied orange peel.

Now after this, don’t you feel that world is surely a better place to live in? 🙂

More to come…

Toodles! 🙂

Blast From The Past

I have been on a romantic movie spree since Sunday. It happens once in a while. These are the times when I speak as an authority when it comes to the matters of the heart. I become this philosophy consumed, idealistic creature.

Here’s the thing about love. Everything written about love is true. Yes. Even the most cliched ones. From “Love is Blind” to “Journeys end in lovers meeting”. Everything is true. One has to fall “in” love with everything. You’ll have to think big. That’s the risk you need to take. That’s how it works. Isn’t it?

Now what happens if it doesn’t? What happens when one starts feeling as small and as insignificant as humanly possible? What happens when it starts aching in the places, which you never thought existed inside you? BAM! THUDD!  You fall flat on your face and then you start doing some random things like, joining the gym, getting haircuts and all that jazz.  By the way, falling flat on your face, absolutely sucks! And after all that, however long it may be, you’ll go somewhere new, meet new people, people who will make you feel worthwhile again, and all the pieces which were misplaced, will start falling back into place.  That’s when you know that you have separated yourself from all the suck and try again. Waaaaaaaayyyy later and this time waaaaaayyyyy more cautiously.

That was surely some food for thought.

Aah. Food. Back to square one.

Remember, I had told you, I absolutely had the right thing for this blogpost? Well, yes! I know I always say that. Never mind.

This is my dad’s recipe and I believe that nobody makes this dish as delicious as my dad. I have tasted various versions, but nothing beats this.

Aate Ka Halwa. Ok! I am salivating now. My dad has spent significant years of his life growing up in Kota, Rajasthan. He recollected that this was given as a prasad (anything edible that is offered in religious places) to all the people who went to the gurudwara. There is something special about the prasad given in all religious places. So delicious!

So on Sunday my dad made Aate Ka Halwa. You know there are two categories of food. Food that reaches your heart and food that reaches your soul. This belongs to the latter. I asked him if he could make some more, for the blog, to which he replied “Then when will you learn?”

So I decided to make this amazingly simple, delicious, soul-touching sweet. I have told you about my sweet jaw I think 😉

The ingredients used are minimum, but the process is a tad longer than usual. Take my word, its absolutely worth it.

I have used jaggery instead of sugar, because it gives this rustic flavor and I love jaggery.

Who wants the last bite?? 🙂

Atte Ka Halwa- Recipe

1 cup wheat flour

1 cup ghee/clarified butter

1 cup jaggery

5-6 Almonds, slivered

1/2 cup of water

Heat the ghee in a pan and roast the wheat flour in it. This is the time consuming part. You need to roast for about 10-12 mins. Basically the color should turn from pale brown to slightly dark brown and there should be no raw smell of the wheat flour.

Add jaggery and stir for about 5-6 minutes. Slowly add water, till you get the consistency shown in the picture. Add nuts and serve hot.

And now can you see those running shoes?? Yes? Then go run! 😀

If you never feel guilty (like me) then you are the happiest one after this 😛

Carrot and Orange Cold Soup

I know what exactly you are craving for in this hot Bangalore summer. I know what’s going on in your mind.  I know juuusssssst the right thing to make on a hot Sunday afternoon.

Cold Carrot and Orange Soup.

Interesting right? Probably an answer to all your burning questions? Just the perrrfect thing you’ve been yearning for?

This soup kick-starts with beautiful, sweet, citrus-Oranges. See! We are already off to a great start, aren’t we?

Then we have some onions, ginger, carrots, fresh coriander and pepper.

This soup is really light and different. The orange chunks, give each sip a kick of flavor and crunch.

Bright. Refreshing. Packed with beautiful flavors. Absolutely slurpacious!

Top Secret: I wasn’t too sure if I was going to like this soup.

But two bowls down and I am loving it. It’s different and sometimes, different is delicious!

 

Carrot and Orange Cold Soup- Recipe

Makes 3 medium servings

1 medium size bowl, chopped carrots

2 Oranges, cut into chunks

1 small onion, chopped

5-6 peppercorns

1/2 tsp ginger, grated

Fresh Coriander

Salt

1/2 tsp olive oil

 

In a pan heat olive oil and cook the carrots and onions for about 5-7 minutes. Add water and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Blend the mixture with coriander  peppercorns and ginger. Chill the mixture for half an hour.

Add the orange chunks in you soup bowl and pour the carrot mixture on top.

Sit back and enjoy on a summer afternoon.

Have a Happy Sunday.

By the way I just have the perfect thing for my next post. 🙂

More to come….

Minty Melon Salad

Let me tell you again! I am NOT  a salad person! Its the weather which is making me feel like eating nothing other than some fresh fruits. On the flip side, I think this diet is going to last for a while. 😛

With this weather and weekend in the proximity I feel absolutely unproductive (a mental hi-five if you are with me) I have some serious work lined up for the weekend  and I need to think about five, umm no! ten things that can charge me up.

1. Bruce Springsteen’s “I am on Fire”

2. A long drive (alone, by the way) on a traffic-less road and listening to rock ‘n’ roll.

3. Paint my nails, bright sunshine yellow or orange.

4. Watch “The Holiday” and eat vanilla ice-cream with piping hot chocolate sauce! See! I am actually feeling better, just the thought of it makes me dreamy. I mean both ice-cream and Jude Law 😛

5. Sleep with ridiculous number of fluffy pillows around.

6. Dance

7. Shop. Umm Didn’t I do that just last week? Doesn’t matter.

8. Pizza

9. A surprise

10. Fresh Mint and Melon Salad.

Now we’re talking baby!

Just realized that two out of ten feel-good-factors above involve food! 🙂

This is a very quick recipe. It took me about 10 minutes. The flavors are absolutely refreshing.

Don’t get intimidated by the melon scoops. I like my salad pretty plus I had to do something to come out of my I-feel-so-unproductive-zone. You can very well, chop the melons into big chunks.

MINTY MELON SALAD- RECIPE

Makes a medium bowl of salad

1 small size cantaloupe or musk melon

1/4 Water melon

For the dressing

10-15 sprigs of mint

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 tsp pepper powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp powdered sugar

Scoop/ cut the melons and refrigerate for 10 minutes. A cool salad is always refreshing.

Grind the min leaves along with lemon juice, pepper powder, salt and sugar. Toss the melons with the dressing.

Tell me how you like it…

More to come…….

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