Thursday, December 25, 2014

Dates Cake – Eggless , Butterless , Steamed

    For the fourth mouth completion of Akshara , We made this Steamed Dates cake. The cake selection for alphabet D was a long story. I finalized to make Dundee cake  - England’s fruit cake with almonds.
          I made the batter and baked the cake . I was disappointed because of the outcome , there was a deep hollow on top of the cake , even though it tasted great .
          Next day , I managed to make this steamed dates cake. I didn’t take dates cake in my first option , as I had already posted Dates Walnut cake.
          I made this cake in small quantity , as akshara was not feeling well for a week during her fourth month and was hospitalized. Everyone in our family were not in a mood to celebrate.
          Everyone like this mini steamed dates cake which was so soft and spongy. Akshara get well soon and be haealthy ...........

Requirements :
All purpose flour - 1 1/2  cup
Corn flour – 1 tbs
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Baking soda – a pinch
Dates – 15
Molasses / Brown sugar – 1 tbs
Milk – 1 cup

Method :
 Grind dates with milk  to a fine paste.
Sieve the  flour and baking powder together for three times.
Add the molasses to the dates mixture .
Add in the flour mixture and mix well.
Pour into the steaming vessel and steam for 15 minutes.
I used a small bowl for steaming , can use any shape of your choice.
Let it cool and unmould.

I just sprinkled some sprinkles on top……….

Friday, December 19, 2014

Melt in Mouth Mushroom Pasta


Pasta is my favorites 
these days. As we can make pasta recipes within minutes and we can add the ingredients according to our taste buds.
 This was an easy to cook pasta with mushroom. Soft pasta with slight crunchiness from the mushroom gives this dish an uniqueness.
 Mushrooms are good for our health.

Uncooked pasta – 1 cup
Button mushrooms – 6- 8
Grounded Pepper – 1 tsp (as per taste)
Salt according to taste
Butter – ¼ tsp
For white sauce:
Butter – 1 tbs
Corn flour / Maida – 2 tbs
Milk – 1 ½ cup

 Bring 3 cups of water to boil, to this add the pasta and cook.
Keep in slow running water and drain well.
Wash and Chop the mushrooms.
To make the white sauce
Melt butter in a sauce pan, add the flour and roast under low flame.
Add in the milk and mix well without lumps.
 While you are mixing the flour to the melted butter and milk, can switch off the flame.
 Bring to boil to thicken a little.
 Melt the butter in another pan ; add in the chopped mushroom and sauté for two minutes.
 Add in the cooked pasta and stir gently or toss.
Add the white sauce and toss again till the sauce coats well.
Add in salt and grounded pepper.
Sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro on top.
 Melt in mouth mushroom pasta is ready to be serving.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Carrot Cake with Butter Icing – Akshara’s Third month Completion


  This carrot cake was made for Akshara’s third month completion  September 25th, 2014. I made this cake healthy by making it a eggless and with wheat flour.

        This cake was so colorful and flavorful. Carrot gives a mild orange color to the cake. I added orange flavor essence which makes the cake more delicious.
        By the time I finished baking the cake  little angel was sleeping . so we waited till she wake. Once she wake I started to take pictures of her with the cake , but she is not in a mood to pose , she yawned and did so many things but didn’t smile JJJJJJJJJJJJJJJJ

        By the completion of the third month , she recognizes our face and starts to smile at us…. She must live happily and smile throughout her life……….. God Bless you Akshara  JJJJ
        This cake was made using carrot as main ingredient for the alphabet ‘C’  and a simple butter icing with almond flakes.

    Usually in the carrot cakes cream cheese icing are used , i don't want to add more fat , so made the simple butter icing.

Requirements :
Wheat flour – 2 cup
Maida / cake flour – 1 cup
Baking powder  - 1 tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Grated carrot – 2 cup
Curd / Yogurt – 2 cup
Vegetable oil – ½ cup
Milk – ¼ cup
Granulated sugar – 1 ¾ cup
Orange essence ( Nu Naturals ) – 1 tbs
Salt – ¼ tsp
For Icing :
Almonds – 10 – 15
Butter – ¼ cup
Icing sugar – ½ cup
Milk – 2 tbs
Orange essence – 2 drops

Method :
  Sieve maida , wheat flour , baking powder and baking soda  thrice.
        In a mixing bowl , add curd , oil , milk and sugar , mix well until the sugar is dissolved completely.
   Add the grated carrot , orange essence and give a quick stir.
  Add the flour mixture in three batches and fold in in the same direction.
Preheat the oven to 220*.

Grease the mould and pour the batter and level.
Bake in the preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes or till the tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Immediately transfer the baked tin onto a wet cloth for easy unmolding. Allow it to cool for 15 minutes, then invert on a plate.
I kept the cake in the refrigerator while making the icing.

In a bowl, mix the butter, icing sugar and essence together. Add the milk for the required consistency.
 Keep the icing in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Take out the cake and apply the icing on top.

Sprinkle the almond flakes and keep in the refrigerator till cutting as the icing will melt.
Carrot cake with butter icing is ready to serve.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Mint Mutton chops / Pudina Mutton

  This is flavorful mutton curry with the flavor of mint. Mint leaves / Pudhina as called in tamil is used in Indian, Pakistani and Arabic cooking.

   Mint leaves are good for our body, we must have this at least once in a week.
 This recipe is from a tamil cookbook for non-vegetarian recipes.

    I made this mutton curry for our lunch and we had with plain rice.
    Mutton as the lamb is called in India is my favorite as we can eat fleshy pieces without bone . 
     I had already shared some of mutton recipes
                    version - 2
 The mutton pieces were juicy and well cooked.

Requirements :
Boneless Mutton/ Lamb – ½ kg
Curd – ¼ cup
Oil – 1 tbs
For Mint Masala :
 Mint leaves – 1 large cup
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Green chilli – 4 – 5 ( according to spice level )
Ginger – 1’’ piece
Garlic – 5 cloves
Cinnamon – a small stick
Cloves – 2
Salt to taste

Method :
 Grind all the ingredients under mint masala to a fine paste.

In a bowl add the washed mutton pieces , grounded masala and mix well.

Let it be for 15 – 20 minutes.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker , add the chopped onion , sauté till it turns translucent.

Now , add the marinated mutton along with leftover masala.
Add about ¼ cup of water and required salt.

Close the lid and cook for 3 whistles.
Let the pressure lowers and open the lid.
If the curry seems watery bring to boil till the required consistency.
As we had with plain rice , I kept in a thick gravy consistency.

Mint mutton chops is ready to be served.

Serve along with plain rice , Brinji rice , phulka , roti or Dosa.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Banana chocolate coffee cake with Butter Icing - Akshara’s second month completion cake

    This is Akshara’s second month completion cake. For this month I chose to bake a cake starting with letter ‘B’. So I decided on making a cake with banana with the flavors from chocolate and coffee with butter icing. Happy second month completion Akshara J JJJ JJJ JJJ J JJJ 
   It must be posted on August 25th.

 I followed the recipe of Starbuck’s Banana chocolate cake.
   As this cake is eggless adding mashed banana gives soft and fluffiness to the cake. I used the banana from our farm.
 Check the first month cake – Apple Pistachios cake with brown sugar Icing.

Banana – 3 no’s
All purpose flour – 3 cup
Corn flour – 3 tbs
Baking powder – 1 tbs
Lemon juice – 3- 5 drops
Sugar – 2 cup
Melted butter – 5 tbs
Chocolate chip – 1 cup
Cocoa powder – 1 tbs
Instant Coffee powder – 1 tbs
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Fresh Curd – ¾ cup
For Icing :
 Butter – 4 – 5 tbs
Icing sugar – 1 cup
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Sliced kiwi – 3
Chocolate chips
Method :
  Mash the banana well.
Shift the flour, coffee powder, cocoa powder and baking powder together, twice.
To the mashed banana add the sugar, curd and mix well.
Add in the vanilla essence, chocolate chips and melted butter, mix well.
Now add flour little by little and mix in same direction.
Add the lemon drops and mix once.

Grease the mould and pour the batter.

 I used star shaped mould.
Bake in the preheated oven @ 200* C for 30 minutes or till the inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool down.
 In the mean time, mix the icing sugar with the butter and mix well.

Add in the essence and mix well.
Keep in refrigerator to condense.
When the cake is cool down, keep the cake in half an hour in the refrigerator before icing.
I applied the icing on the top , placed the sliced kiwi on the center along with chocolate chips.
 I refrigerated again and take out 15 minutes before cake cutting. My mom cuts the cake for Akshara.

 The cake was so delicious and fluffy with the chocolate and coffee flavor.

 @ easy and simple foods 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Indianised Curried Panner Pasta - Indian Twist to Italian pasta

      A twist to the Italian pasta with the Indian cottage cheese and flavorful masala. Panner - Indian cottage cheese  with pasta to suit the Indian taste buds .
             These days I became so lazy in editing pics and writing a post. This recipe was made in July itself . I can cook so many recipes at a go , but writing up a post seems a huge task to me............

      As we Indians like spicy foods rather than bland dishes, I want to try my hands on this Italian favorite dish to make it to a Indian.
    I added panner to make it richer and tastier dish. Panner is the milk based product which is rich in calcium.
 This recipe will be a sure hit to kids. Even elders will like to have this flavorful and delicious curried panner pasta.


Requirements :
Uncooked Pasta - 200g
Panner / Indian Cottage Cheese – 150 g
Capsicum – ¼ cup
Carrot  - ¼ cup
Butter / olive oil – 1 tsp
Onion - 1
To marinate :
Curd / Yogurt – ¼ cup
Chillipowder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp

Salt to taste

Method :
Cut the panner into cubes of desired size.
Mix all the ingredients under to marinate in a bowl, add  the panner cubes and let it be for 15 minutes.
In the mean time…
Bring the water to boil. Add in the salt and oil.
When the water boils well, add the pasta and stir once. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
Strain under running cold water.
Cooked Pasta is ready to use.
Chop the onion ,capsicum and carrot into juvenile.
Melt the butter in a pan , add in the onion and sauté till it turns translucent.
Add the chopped carrot , capsicum and sauté for two minutes.
Add the marinated paneer along with the marinade and cook in slow flame for 2 minutes.
Add salt to taste if needed.
Now , add in the cooked pasta and toss for few minutes.

Indianised curried panner pasta is ready to serve.

Note :
  Tofu can be used instead of indian cottage cheese.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Akshaya patra - Feed every child


     The basic life needs for every human being were Food , clothing and shelter. Even without clothing and shelter humans can manage to survive , but without food , it is not possible , at least has to drink water to survive.

Today's children are Tomorrow's  citizens. 

          To produce citizens with great potential educating every child is a must; hunger distracts the child from concentrating on studies. As the school going age is the child’s growth period, every child must take essential nutrients and food with carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Without proper nutritious food, the child will become malnourished and die.


          Many families were not able to afford for a meal to their children , so they send their children to work causing – child labour. Many hunger deaths has been reported in India and many African countries.

Every religion emphasis on donating food to the needed people. 

Annadanam Samam Danam Trilokeshu Na Vidhathe

    These are the verses from the Vedas, meaning Annadanam is supreme and incomparable to any charity.
     Annam – food / Rice , Dhanam – offering / giving

   Food is the basic requirement for all humans. Thus according to Vedas, the one who does annadanam to devotees, attains heaven (Punya Loka) in this Universe (Brahmanda) itself. In this whole universe, the creation and its progression depends on food. Hence giving food to the devotees is more than attaining heaven.
          Offering food to needed people will satisfy the hunger of the needy as well as the one who offers adds a good deed to his karma.
          If food was provided free of cost along with education , parents will send their children to schools . Then came the Mid day meal program.
          Out of all the states in India , Tamil nadu was the first state to emphasis the mid day meal program.


      The roots of the programme can be traced back to the Pre-Independence era, when a Mid Day Meal Programme was introduced in 1925 in Madras Corporation by the British administration. A Mid Day Meal Programme was introduced in the Union Territory of Puducherry by the French administration in 1930.
    Initiatives by State government to children, with their launch of a Mid Day Meal Programme in primary schools in the 1962–63 school year. Thiru K. Kamaraj, then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, introduced it first in Chennai and later extended it to all districts of Tamil Nadu.
          Till date every government and government aided schools are providing meals in the afternoon to the children
          We must emphasis to our children from childhood to donate a share of their meal to their classmates who were not able to afford for food. Parents can also send a extra lunchbox with their children.
          In our family , we used to donate food to a children's  orphanage  on every occasions like birthday and marriage anniversaries. I donated my first month salary to a orphange for the children food as well as for buying notebooks and pens.
      Feeding every child for stomach ( food ) and to Ear ( Literacy / education ) will enlighten their life as well as the country's development.

  This post is for Blogadda - Feed every Child - Akshaya Patra . 

·         I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda.