Truth Personified

My experiments with my love for food
Posts I Like
Who I Follow
Posts tagged "eggless"

image

I think I’ve mentioned earlier how Oats flour plays a significant role in our home. After having been introduced to it more than a year ago by my Mom, we’ve been using up boxes of Quaker Oats like nobody’s business. Warming up a glass of Lactaid and adding two tablespoons of the Oats flour and some honey and fruits makes for a pretty quick and delectable breakfast. If time permits, Oats dosa is an all time favourite and can be whipped up in no time.

Read More

About 2 years back, a friend of mine shared this link on facebook. I bookmarked it for later waiting to get my hands on some saffron. I finally did, very recently and have been using it since. I love the saffron flavor, aroma and the color it gives to the dishes it favors.

I used my favorite skillet as you can see and I just can’t seem to have enough of it! The bread came out sweet and flavorful just as I hoped it would so I have no complaints. I also made it a little rich(read fattening) by using some homemade ghee.

Source: The fresh loaf

Ingredients:

Maida - 1 Cup + a lil extra 

Sugar - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp for the yeast

Yeast - 1 Tsp

Warm water - 1/4 Cup

Milk - 1 Cup + a lil extra for the glaze

Saffron - 1 pinch

Raisins - a handful

Ghee - 1/2 Tbsp

In a glass bowl mix the all purpose flour and sugar. In a cup add the warm water, sugar and instant yeast and keep aside for about 5-10 minutes and let the yeast do its work.

In another bowl heat some milk and add the saffron strands and mix well. Let rest for a bit so that the saffron flavor and color come to life! If you wish to add the raisins, just add it to the warm milk.

Now add the yeast and the milk to the dry ingredients and mix well to form a dough consistency. At this point the dough will be pretty sticky and you might need that lil extra flour. Use as needed. Add the ghee at this point and knead well. Cover with a well cloth and keep in a warm place for about an hour.

After about an hour visit the dough and punch it down. Make it into the shape you like and place it in your baking dish and make sure you give enough space for expansion. Cover up and place in the warm place for about another hour.

Preheat your oven to 400 F. When the dough has risen(when you push at its surface the dough should bounce back - kinda :)) brush some milk on the surface and bake for about 11-12 minutes or till the top has browned.

Serve warm with some jelly or just bite right into it.

That’s me cutting my 6th year birthday cake baked by my Mom(she’s in the right corner of the pic making sure I don’t hurt myself), wearing a dress she stitched for me. I still have the chair I’m sitting on though I don’t fit on it anymore :) This year I celebrated my 28th birthday away from her and I missed her terribly. This was also my 1st Bday with (r)oomie so its got that bittersweet feel to it. :)

It’s also been a while since I got back to blogging - can’t believe that the last I actually blogged about food was in August for (r)oomie’s bday!!! Life sometimes does that to  you – it flies by so fast leaving you to wonder why you didn’t catch up with it. Google+ seems to have caught on, facebook is making tons of changes, the Govt is trying to control the internet and I’ve finally gotten some time to get back to baking. And because of the long break, this post is going to be super uber long. You have been warned!

We’ve made a few changes to our eating habits. We gave up rice – 100%(Well, it’s been 3 weeks now). We almost gave up all other grains too except for the odd parle-g/marie biscuit we treat ourselves to once a day. So well, what do we eat instead? – Samo seeds/Moraiyo/Vari Tandool/varyache tandul/ bhagar . It is quick to cook and the quantity required is very less compared to the regular rice/chapatti.

We have noticed that the craving for rice/chapatti and other grains have reduced drastically since we started on Samo. I’m not sure how long we will continue with it but as long as it doesn’t do us any harm, why not? I do get a craving for Pasta once in a while though and at such times I go with the flow - I don’t like to deny myself of anything :) An added plus is that it is Glutenfree!

On and I finally found one source that describes Samo a little more in detail here and some more here

An excerpt:

One such food is known here in Marathi as Vari Tandul, Bhagar or Kodri. It is the seed of a grass  ( Echinochloa Colonum) which frequently grows amongst the rice paddy as it requires damp, or even waterlogged, soil. Instead of removing it with weedkiller, farmers harvest it. When cooked, it makes a tasty and filling meal. Tandul means rice and though Vari is not a grain it provides the nourishment and energy that rice does. In the west it is called ‘Samo’ or ‘jungle rice’.

I’ve come across recipes like Khichdi, Upma, Pulav, Kheer, Kadhi, Dhokla, Dosa, Soups with Samo… The easiest way to make it is to wash it and cook it with excess water(1:4 samo:water) in the microwave for about 10-12 minutes. You can add salt and ghee for taste.

On that note I’ve been making ghee at home for sometime now. Apart from cooking I also use it to light the lamp everyday. I’d love to share the recipe with you but I honestly feel this post by Lakshmi from Purevege does it perfect justice!

A few weeks ago our friends dropped by for dinner and shared with us this unique treat called Turkish delights or Locoums/Lokums. I loved almost all the flavours they had to offer. These are perfect gifts to take home to anyone with a sweet tooth– I have them on my list. They were also suspiciously close to Kerala style Halwa - texture wise.

We also got to contribute to a wine and cheese party for the 1st time ever! I’m the wine “connoisseur”(not) of the family so I reached out to Sala and got a ton of help from her via twitter and finally got our act together. Everyone loved the cheese – can’t say the same about the wine. Since it was a day time event people preferred the white wine to the red which made me sad for some reason. After this party I totally got into the wine and cheese mood and got a pinterest board fully dedicated to it.

I also finally figured out a way to bake eggless cookies so I could share them with (r)oomie!(when we go off of being grainfree) Yay! Will put up the recipe soon. Meanwhile all my friends are having babies and so I decided to bake cookies for one of them. I’m super proud of these cookies because I managed to find a balance with the ingredients and an amazingly mess free way to do the icing. Once again thank you Pinterest! I have so much more to learn about icing though. You’ll notice the boo-boos in a bit. I also dedicated 2 cookies to Dude who celebrated his birthday on Oct 25th!

I just cannot bring myself to eat/break these! :)

It’s holiday season!!! I had to redo the red icing because of a taste issue.

 

I love how soft and white these cookies have come out though I used brown sugar.

Spot the frocks I tried to freehand for the new mommy. :)


Oh and we had a really cozy Thanksgiving this year.


And a really awesome guiltfree/caloriefree cake on my birthday!


I wasn’t going to make a post for this because almost everything is readymade or atleast semi-readymade. But you asked for it and so, here it is…

What you need:

Sujata eggless cake mix(white) {Or any other cake mix of your choice and follow basic cake mix instructions}

The directions on the box suggests that you add 1&1/8 cups water and 2 Tbsp vegetable oil to the mix. I replaced the water with organic milk(1&1/2 cups) and I used canola oil. 

Butter - 2 Oz(melted)

Brown sugar - 2 Tbsp

Pineapple slices(drained) - 4 to 5 (I used canned pineapple in natural pineapple juice(not the heavy syrup) because I didn’t want it too sweet.)

Maraschino cherries - 4-5  (completely optional, I personally did not like the taste of the preserved cherries)

Heat your oven to 350 F

That’s about it! Surprised? well, I was too and then I went on a rampage looking for upside down cakes and found some beautiful recipes, the links which you will find below the recipe…

Now take the baking dish and pour the melted butter in it. Spread it around so that it coats the sides. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly on the bottom of the baking dish. You might not need 2 Tbsps so just trust your instinct with this one. I personally find brown sugar too sweet so I try and use it judiciously.

Place the pineapple slices on the melted butter and sugar mixture - in any shape you like. Decorate with the cherries in between. You can replace the cherries with pecans, walnuts or even fresh cherries if you like…

Pour the prepared cake batter over the pineapple pieces gently so that you dont disturb the base - unless you want pineapple in between instead of upside down if you know what I mean. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the toothpick comes clean. Please keep an eye on the cake because you don’t want it to over bake - this cake is supposed to be moist.

I made them into mini cakes, mini cupcakes and two 8” round cakes. In each case the bake time varied but the taste was satisfying… Also bite sizes make (r)oomie happy ;)

On a side note I have made Avalose Podi for (R)oomie - something I happened to “discover” when I was pointedly told “I LOVE Avalose Podi” and I assumed it was some kind of joke till I googled and researched and finally made and mastered{(r)oomie’s words - not mine}

I also finally conquered my fear of macarons - I made some lavender macarons with godiva fruit chocolate filling…

In other news, I also stocked up on pasta(except for the lasagna) from costco…

I end this post with a small prayer for those in danger of the hurricane threat - please be safe and hold on to your loved ones… Also with a lot of love for the ones I love…

(R)oomie and I have been having ice-cream cravings on and off. The Magnum ice-cream ads don’t help either. I called up Amma and asked her for her ice-cream recipes and it’s been like 15 years since she made some at home and so she had to get her recipe book out. She has made tons of egg-less ice-cream for me especially when we were living in Kuwait and she had all the time to experiment with food - elaichi, pistachios, mango, plain vanilla, chocolate, you name it!

Btw just FYI I love Chocolate ice-cream with chocolate chips(belgium chocolate helps) and drizzled with chocolate syrup.

Her recipes are like her - simple and straightforward, plus point is that the ingredients are readily/easily available. I did a bit of googling for the ice-cream recipes and it seemed way too complex for me and the ice-cream maker(i didn’t want to be ‘buying’ that) was a huge turn-off. Since she had to dig out her recipe book, I decided to work on it based on my taste-buds. I remember how she used to beat up the mixture in the blender and freeze it and beat it up again, freeze and repeat till the ice-cream was smooth and creamy.

My ice-cream recipe has just 3 ingredients

*)     Whipping cream - 1 Pint/473ml (Ultra pasteurized Grade A)

**)   Condensed milk - 1 Can/14 Oz/396gms (@room temperature)

***) Pure Vanilla Extract - 1 Tsp

****) White food colouring - completely optional, if you like the ice-cream to have a snow-white colour add a drop or two.

Using a hand mixer, I whipped the whipping cream on high for 5-6 minutes or till whipping consistency is reached in a large glass mixing bowl. Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract (and food colouring if using) and combine. scrap the sides with a rubber spatula and combine again. DO NOT over-beat after you add the condensed milk because the cream kinda breaks up and the creamy texture is lost(trust me I tried!). Cover the mixing bowl with a plastic wrap and freeze for 1 hour.

Take out the semi-frozen mixture and beat again on medium high for 2 minutes. Make sure you scrap the sides because the sides freeze up first. Cover again with the plastic wrap and freeze for atleast 4 hours or over night.

Serve a scoop topped with some homemade cherry preserve or a topping of your choice.

As I was making the ice-cream on one side I kinda got temped to make some kulfi too. And since I was going the simple way I decided to try and use just 3 ingredients here too.

Kulfi:

Whole Milk - 2 Cups

Sugar - 2 Tbps

Cardamom - 2 whole

Boil the milk till it reduces to less than 1/2 its quantity. You can replace this with evaporated milk too which you can find in the baking section of your grocery store. The boiling takes time and patience and needs you right by its side. Once the milk has reduced, add the sugar and mix well. Add the cardamom and let it boil for some a few more minutes to absorb the flavour. Take off heat and let it cool completely. Pour into popsicle moulds and freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

To take out the kulfi from the mould, simply dip the mould in warm water for a few second and gently pull. You can experiment with almond extract or any other flavour of your choice.

I was inspired to make cherry preserve after I saw this post at the Cilantropist. I followed the recipe to the dot. Don’t you just wish you had that cherry pitter-it took me ages & ages to get the cherries ready. 

I’ve previously tried Plum Preserve, Nectarine preserve & Golden Raspberry preserve… and even some strawberry preserve!

I’ve been taking it easy the past few weeks - pracastinating actually. So I’m actually making an effort to sit down and write this post. Can you imagine life for a month without cable/tv? 6 months? 1 year? We completed a year without one successfully. And I’m pushing to make it two! It’s not that I dont watch any show - I do! But it’s mostly whatever comes on hulu or youtube. I used to be addicted to netflix and had to literally use nicotine patches to get rid of that addiction and finally have been clean for 6 months now. *YAY*

Also my laptop is more like a desktop these days - can’t move it around too much which means my bathroom and bedroom are free from its clutches. I’m diverting my energy into other avenues - knitting, stitching, reading to name a few.

Also there’s a small get-together 3 weeks from now and I wanted to get something for the people I wanna meet. I’m just not sure what to get them - nothing too fancy and definitely handmade and not buttery either. Pinterest has some great DIY ideas but I’m still looking for something more feasible.

I’ve also not been cooking much of late - nothing blog worthy atleast. This weekend as a therapy I decided to make something healthy, tasty and involving hard labour(read more prep time). (R)oomie loves BK Veggie Burgers(no cheese) - it’s been his quickfix for many years now. Since I decided to go healthy for a bit - I decided on veggie patties. They are what I like to call “Veggie Energy Bars”…

Combine with with some more fresh veggies and whole grain bread and you have a complete meal. We had this for brunch and kept snacking on the patties whenever hunger struck. I tried to click a decent picture of the assembled product and royally failed.

Breakfast as they say is a very important meal of the day which is supposed to keep you on your feet most of the day. We end up eating heavy lunches and dinners(pretty late too) which again causes us to skip our breakfast (catch22? vicious circle?) and we are trying to change all of that.

I’m done with the niceties and will now get into the recipe details. For a change I put up text on my photos with the ingredient details. But being the nice person I am, I will repeat it here for you :D

What you will need:

For the Pattie:

Black beans - I soaked 1/2 cup overnight and pressure cooked it. You may want to use canned ones instead to make the job easier. I like doing the overnight thingie.

Olive oil - 1/2 Tbsp and some more for frying the patties(you can alsobake them but I didn’t this time)

Onion - Medium sized finely sliced

Green pepper - Medium sized finely chopped (as much as the onion)

Ginger - 1/2” minced/chopped finely

Garlic - 3 pods (Same as above)

Baby carrots - 5(boiled and drained and cut to 1” pieces)

Cauliflower - 1/2 cup(same as above)

Breadcrumbs - 1/2 Cup and some extra for coating

Cumin - 1/2 Tsp

Turmeric - 1/2 Tsp

Chili powder - 1/2 Tsp

Pepper - 1/4 Tsp (avoid if you prefer less spicy)

*Teriyaki Sauce - 1 Tbsp

*Soy sauce - 1/2 Tbsp

*Ketchup - 1 Tbsp

*Pesto - 1 Tbsp (I used the kirkland brand pesto that I got from Costco)

*Mix the above 4 ingredients and keep aside.

Mash the black-beans in a large mixing bowl.

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottom vessel and add the cumin. Add onion, ginger, garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes on high. Once the onion turns translucent add the green pepper, turmeric and chili powder and saute for 3-4 min. Add the *sauce to the mixture and mix for about a minute and turn off the heat. Add this mixture to the mashed black-beans and mix well. Now add the carrots and cauliflower and mash slightly and mix well. Lastly add in the breadcrumbs. Drain off as much liquid as possible while using the black-beans to avoid a runny mixture.

Prepare the patties by making them into 3/4” sized balls and flatten gently to make a disc shape. Have some of the breadcrumbs ready on a plate and gently place the flattened pattie to coat one side and then the other. Use your hands to dust a bit on the sides too. Once all the patties are ready, heat some oil on a non stick pan and slide the patties giving enough space to maneuver. Each side takes about 3-4 minutes on medium high. The breadcrumbs give the patties a crumbly exterior while being super soft as you bite into it. Serve hot or as desired.

We had some really healthy whole grain bread from Costco that was crying to be used and so I toasted it and layered some readymade coriander chutney, fresh cucumber and tomatoes with the pattie and served it for brunch.

**Surprisingly I didn’t feel the need to add any salt but if you think you need some, please make sure you add it to the pattie mix.

Do you feel the need for something sweet after all of that? Drop in at my neighbour’s for some yummy strawberry(picked fresh off the farms) cake and preserve!

Sending this off to MLLA 36, hosted by Served with Love, originally Susan’s brainchild.

I give all credit for putting up this post to (R)oomie. The moment this idea started building up in my head I jumped out of the couch and started working on all the vegetables and worked my way through it. It took a LOT of time and by the time I was done I lost all my appetite for it. But (R)oomie got in on the action from there on and ate it - He ate it through the night and just watching him devour it somehow made up for my lack of appetite. I decided I would blog about it.

Just make this on a weekend or someday you have a lot of time and you need to unwind(if cooking is your way of unwinding that is).

Have I mentioned how much I love pasta? In any form appetisers, main courses maybe even desserts(who knows right?)! Don’t puke just now, since you’re here anyways why don’t you read the post and decide if its fun experimenting with food(pasta in particular)

I boiled and drained 3 sheets of lasanga and kept it aside. If you have some leftover stored in your fridge I’d suggest you use that. The lasanga is for the bottom most layer of this heavenly savoury cake, so you could actually layer it with any shaped pasta you like. How’s that for fun?

I’m really sorry that I didn’t take any pictures while I was doing all the prep because that’s really the time consuming part. Also maybe I should ask you to run 2 extra miles because of all the calories this dish is guilty of. We’ll try to make it work :)

What you will need:

Boiled and drained pasta/lasanga - About a cup, just about enough to layer the bottom 1 inch of your 9” cake baking pan.

Olive oil - 1 Cup and enough to oil the cake pan.

  1. All purpose flour - 1 Cup (To go the healthier route you can replace this with whole wheat flour or other whole grain mixes)
  2. Baking powder - 1/2 Tsp
  3. Baking Soda - 1/4 Tsp
  4. Salt - to taste(Because of the cheese you have to be careful on how much you add)
  5. Sugar - 1 pinch or 1/8 Tsp(Similar to how we add a pinch of salt to bring out the flavour in sweet dishes)
  6. Parmesan cheese - grated 1/4 Cup. You can be bold enough and go to 1/2 Cup but I have a feeling it would be too much.
  7. Paprika powder (optional)

Blanched Veggies of your choice - I blanched carrots, peas and spinach

Roasted Veggies of your choice - I roasted onions and zucchini.(Both were sliced thin and long)

Whisk the above 6/7 dry ingredients in a bowl and keep aside. We are just making sure that the dry ingredients combine well before adding the wet ingredients to it.

The only wet ingredient is the olive oil. Add that to the dry ingredients and mix well and keep aside. If you like you can add some water or some more olive oil to make it a thick semi solid dough like consistency.

The other thing you can do is prepare the veggies on the side. I had blanched carrots, peas, spinach along with roasted/pan fried zucchini, onion.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Oil your baking dish with olive oil.

Start by layering the boiled and drained pasta (I think using the lasanga layers would give it a kind of a base)

Layer the spinach and veggies over the pasta. Now pour the batter over and spread evenly. Make sure you leave enough space for the cake to rise. This mix rises easily. Bake in the middle rack for 35-40 minutes or till the toothpick comes on clean. I would suggest that you turn the pan around after about 20 min(midway) for even baking. You might find the cake a tad bit oily(duh!) The cake rose quite well but fell soon after but I wouldn’t worry about it, unless anyone could tell me what I did wrong?

I added some heart shaped pasta pieces as a topping/garnish to please the (R)oomie but it wasn’t necessary.

After a really long break Im glad that I can participate in PPN212 hosted by Ruth this week.

Cricket has been a huge part of the majority of Indian homes and from the looks of it, will continue to be. This has been one religion that marries the whole of our country. Tensions leading to heavy betting and self mutilation(nail biting included) are all part and parcel of this religion.

Fortunately or not the only exposure I’ve had to this game was when my cousin played with his friends in the little make shift playground behind our rented house. That was when I was 10. Pappa was a Tennis fan and so I grew up watching tons of tennis tournaments and having crushes on Agassi and Boris Becker and admiring Steffi Graf. I then grew some more and realized that all my friends knew so much about cricket and I was clueless. I ditched Tennis to try and understand the game that my peer group seemed to be crazy about so that I could “fit in”. I wasn’t very successful - I still dont fit in. I don’t understand the thrill behind every match and I don’t understand the lbw or the wide and I have no clue who the players are anymore - except Tendulkar ofcourse!

So I take comfort in being in my safe place and playing the game that I have come to enjoy - cooking :) One of my favourite comfort food is Idly with THenga or Ulli CHamanthi(Coconut or Onion CHutney). 80% of my school lunches has been idly with sambar or chutney. I’ve never dared to try making the idly batter myself till very recently when the greed for the fluffy steamed rice cake overcame my fear of making its batter.

Read More

Baking is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for me. Tasty, healthy and half the work! So less kitchen time and yet the results are uniquely tasty experiments. Works for me :)

I’ve been hesitant to buy veggies that require a lot of cleaning time and end up taking the same amount of time to cook. Veggies like Cauliflower and Carrots for example. I’ll come up with other examples later but for now enjoy this tasty treat for an evening snack.

Read More

Caramelized Onion Pizza with a simple tomato sauce

Caramelized onion has a very special memory in my life. It’s the only dish my Pappa ever makes and it tastes super! I never got the opportunity to get the recipe from him but I have tasted a ton of it and so I still have the taste lingering on my taste buds.

Pappa and I have never shared kitchen time but this recipe is a gift from me to my parents today on what would have been their 28th wedding anniversary!

Off to the recipe…

For the pizza base:

This was a simple base made with unbleached all-purpose flour. If you want yours healthy, add whole wheat flour or experiment with any healthy flour.

All-purpose flour(unbleached)/Maida – 2 Cups

Water – 1 Cup (microwaved for 1 minute – or warm to touch. This is required to activate the yeast)

Active dry Yeast – ½ Tsp

Sugar – 1 tsp

Salt – ¼ tsp

Olive oil – ½ Cup

In a mixing bowl mix the above ingredients to form a firm dough consistency. I used olive oil liberally to get off the sticky dough off my fingers and also to keep it dough well-oiled while rising. Knead the dough well for about 7-10 minutes such that when you jab a finger into it, the dough bounces back. I left this well-oiled dough in my warm oven to rise - for 2 hours.

After 2 hours take the almost doubled dough out and separate into 3 parts. I used just one part and packed the other two parts in plastic food wrap and stored in my freezer.

Flatten the dough you are using into the shape you need. I roughly flattened it out using my hands. Oil a baking dish (I used my round cake dish) and place the pizza base in/on it. Leave it to rise for another hour. You pizza base will be ready for the topping in 1 hour. I suggest that you do the below in the 1 hour that you have.

For the sauce:

Normally I use store bought pizza sauce or make it with tomato sauce and basil. This time I tried something a little different.

Tomato paste – 1 heaped Tsp

Thai chili garlic sauce – ½ Tsp (I used readymade variety. Go slow on this if you don’t like your sauce spicy. Or add a tsp of brown sugar to balance the spice)

Low sodium soy sauce – 1 Tsp

Ginger garlic paste – ¼ Tsp (I used readymade variety)

I didn’t have to add salt because the thai chili sauce and the ginger garlic paste already had salt in it.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and keep aside until required.

For the caramelized onion(which is actually the star of this dish):

White Onion - 1 medium size sliced thin(5 mm)

Olive oil – 1 Tsp (I avoided this)

Sugar – 1 heaped teaspoon (Red Onions are by nature sweet but if you are using white onion, like I did, then you need this step)

Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan if you are using oil else add the onion to the pan and heat on medium high. Add sugar and salt and keep stirring to make sure that you don’t burn the onion. It took me exactly ten minutes for the onion to turn golden brown. I turned off the heat and kept this aside to cool.

Bringing it all together:

Preheat oven to 450 F. Spread the pizza sauce evenly on the pizza base. Top it off with the caramelized onion. Bake it for 10 minutes or 15 minutes if you like your base real crisp.

Lastly, enjoy hot!