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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chana Jor Garam

"Chana Jor garam..... Chana Jor garam babu main laya mazedaar Chana Jor garam..." Thats the song from the movie kranti... I know its not such a famous song but I remember it because its about my favourite munchy snack "Chana Jor Garam". If u have not seen the movie Kranti I would reccomend u to see it..not for the snack...:P. It is a good Desh bhakti movie with veteran actors and good acting..:)

Here is the song from Kranti for all to enjoy. The funny thing is I found another old song by Shamshad Begum and Kishore kumar...:) It was somewhat same lyrics as the newer one..:P Here is the old song.

In the newer song u can see Shatrughan Sinha and Hema Malini carrying small box kinda thing around there neck.... well thats how the chana vendors in Nagpur used to get it for selling Chana Jor Garam. He will call out loudly " Chana Jor Garam" in a very distinct tone. Ohh how I used to wait for him.... I don't remember if I ever even waited for "R" that way.... hehehe :P. Hope he is not seeing this..:P. My oly memory of having this was when I was in Nagpur. It seems, this street side snack is famous in Mumbai too but sadly I never went past the Bhelpuri n pani poori all the time I was in Mumbai :(

The street version of the chana Jor is deep fried and is very difficult to make.The chana has to be soaked, then dried, then fried and then later flattened into these mini discs. I went for the healthier and easier option "Haldiram's Chana Jor". It is ready made hence easy and baked hence healthy..:)

If any of u ever tried making this chana Jor at home do let me know how u managed doing it. Maybe seeing you I can give it a try. Anyways Once the Haldiram's packet it opened... this recipe is a child'd play.

Ingredients :

(recipe serves 4 or 2 very hungry people like us :d)

Haldiram's Chana Jor Garam - 1 packet
Onion - 1 small chopped

Tomato - 1 chopped

Juice of lemon - 2 tsp

Salt to taste (I used rock salt)

Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp

Cilantro - 2 tbsp (finely chopped)

Raw Mango - 1/3 cup chopped (optional)

Method :

1) Take the chana chor in a microwave safe plate and MW for 45 seconds. I like the chanas to be a bit warm...:) This process is completely optional and doesnt make any difference to the taste of the chana. In a big mixing bowl combine all the ingredients (except salt n chili powder) and mix with a gently hand.

2) Taste the mixture for seasoning and add the salt and chilli powder accordingly.

3) The Haldiram chana chor has added salt in it... so its advisable to taste it before adding any salt. Serve in a Paper cone as I did....and relive the taste and streets of Mumbai / Nagpur :D

Milagu Kozhambu

The weather has been so bad for past 3 weeks here in Los Angeles. We r getting this unexpected rains and the temperature is dropping down day by day. As a result of all this me and "R" fell ill with cold, cough and congestion. I hate having cough. I can manage even fever and running nose.... but cough is something I cannot manage.

A sweet friend and Neighbour got me this Milagu kozhambu...(pepper gravy) which helped me to ease out and soothe my throat....and the taste was terrific..:). This was the only thing I had for 3 days in a row until my cough and cold was almost gone..(poor "R"..:P). Black pepper has very good medicinal values and is considered to be the best medicine for cold and flu. I followed the recipe from the Indian Vegetarian Kitchen blog. I just altered the pepper a bit (read increased First batch 2 tsp then second batch 1 1/2 tsp) as I felt like having more pepper. And the result was I literallly cried out all my mucous hehehhe...The second batch was better...:P. But I feel for "normal people" unlike me... the quantity given in the IVK blog is perfect...:).

Anyways here goes the recipe.

a) Ingredients :

Tamarind concentrate /pulp - 2 tsp mixed with 1/2 cup water
Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp (rasam powder will also do ;)..)
Asafoetida - a heavy pinch
Riceflour - 1 tsp
Powder jaggery - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Curry leaves - few
Olive Oil - 1 tsp

b) For roasting and grinding :

Urad dhal - 2 tsp
Chana dhal - 2 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Whole black pepper - 1 tsp ( I added 1 1/2 as said earlier..)
Curry leaves - few leaves

Method :

1) Dry roast the above ingredients (b), cool and grind with little water to form a paste. Keep aside.
2) In a vessel add the prepared tamarind water along with salt, sambar powder, hing and 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil for 15 mins.
3) Now add the ground masala to this and mix well. Continue to boil for another 10 mins so that kozhambu becomes a bit thick. If not, add rice flour (mixed in 2 tsp water) to the mix to thicken it.
4) Mix in the jaggery and stir well to dissolve it. Let it boil for few more mins.
5) In another small pan add oil. when hot add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds finish crackling add this tempering to the mixture and mix well.

Serve hot with steamed white rice and ghee. Delicious and heavenly when ur having a bad cold..:) Enjoy and take care :D
I am sending this recipe to the Boommarked recipe- Every Tuesday event for Aipi and Priya..:) sorry cudnt add the logo due to blooger glitch...:)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tofu in Chilli garlic Sauce

I got this recipe from a friend in a common orkut community. I had to try this immidiately. Lucky for me I had all the ingredients needed for making this curry. So here it goes. Thanks Meena for sharing this super easy recipe with me..:)

Ingredients :

Firm Tofu - 1 pack
Baby corn - 1 can
Broccolli florets - 1 cup
Red onion - 1/2 cup sliced
Garlic - 12 pods (finely chopped)
Sesame oil /Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Red Chilli paste - 2 tbsp (I used Sambal Oelek)
Tomato Ketchup - 4 Tbsp
Vinegar - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Celery - 1 stick (finely sliced)
Green Capsicum - 1 (chopped in chunks)
Ching's all-in-one sauce - 1 Tbspn ( I used simple Soya Sauce)
Salt to taste
Cornflour - 1 tspn

Method :

1) Drain and wash tofu and cut into cubes. 2) Heat oil in a wok and stir fry the garlic for a minute or so. 3) Add celery, onion and spring onion and stir fry for 2 mins. 4) Add the Broccoli, capsicum and baby corn and stir fry well for another 3 mins.

5) Mix Cornflour in 1/2 cup of cold water and keep aside. 6) Mix salt, sugar, vinegar, Tomato ketchup, red chilli paste and ching's All-in-one in a cup and mix well for a minute.

7) Add tofu to the stir fried garlic and mix gently. 8) Add the conflour and spice mixture to the tofu along with a cup of water and stir. 9) Let it boil for 5 to 7 minutes and bring it down to a boil.

Serve along side fried rice or noodles and enjoy :)

Microwave Paal Gova

I used to love this sweet as a kid. It was my only favorite sweet. My mom used to make this often especially on diwalis. I used to enjoy eating cup full of these those days but now I can't afford it right? The only thing that comes to my mind is sugar, fat and calories hehehe. How people change as they grow. But still this is my favorite sweet and given a chance I can still eat cup fulls on this..:P yummm!

I remember my mama used to get this for me from the chennai Aavin counter in the station just before our train was ready to leave. I used to enjoy it all the way back to Nagpur. Yum!

Here is the easy to make recipe. Traditionally making this sweet takes lots of patience.When my mom used to make this earlier she used to take so much time making this. Taking milk in a kadhai and then cooking it in high flame until it reduces. Yumm! but so streneous. Thanks to the technology and new inventions:d

Ingredients :

Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 tin
Yogurt - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp

Method :

1) In a deep Microwave safe bowl add the ghee and melt it for 20 secs. 2) Now add the Condensed milk and yogurt and mix well and Microwave at high for 5 minutes. 3) Keep stirring every 1 minute until the condensed milk thickens but not dries up. 4) Alter the timing depending on the power of your microwave. Your delicious sweet is ready..:)

** U can use evaporated milk instead of condensed milk to alter the sugar that goes into ur sweet. look for unsweetened condensed milk if u can get it..:)

Enjoy this lovely piece of heaven...:)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ammani Kozhakattai

This is one of my favorite evening snack. I used to love this as a kid. Every Pillayar Chaturthi I used to wait for the poojas to get over so that I can enjoy these amazing Kozhakattais....:)

So here come the recipe for the heavenly kozhakattais..:)

Ingredients :

Rice flour - 1 cup

Red chilli powder - 3 tsp

Hing - 1/4 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp

Warm water - 1/2 cup

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Curry leaves - few

Red chilli - 3

Method :

In a bowl mix all the ingredients together into a soft pliable dough. make small marble size balls of the dough. Steam the balls in a pressure cooker.

In another small pan take some oil and heat it well. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and the red chiili. Let it brown a bit and then add it to the steamed kozhakattai.

Enjoy this easy to make simple snack...:)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Khatta Meetha Stuffed Karela

I hate Karelas..... yes literally hate. But this one recipe was something which I love....inspite of it being made with karela.... The best part is... u cannot taste the bitterness atall..:)

I got this Idea from a college friend who used to get these in her dabba. I never bothered to taste it then because it was karela, but now when I think and see how much nutrients r there in karela.. we (me n R) r trying to get it into our food list..:) As we both hate it, I had to try some recipe which will make it easier for us to try it..:P

Hence came this recipe of Khatta meetha Karela...:)

Ingredients :

Karela / bitter gourd - 6 (ends cut , slit length wise and scooped out )
Onion - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Tomato - 1 1/2 cup finely choped
Ginger n garlic - 1 tsp finely chopped
Potato - 4 big boiled
Tamarind pulp - 1 bsp
Jaggery - 1 lemon size piece or 2 to 3 tbsp (depending on how sweet the jaggery is )
Salt to taste
Chaat masala - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder- 1tsp
Garama Masala - 1/2 tsp
Amchoor powder - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin coriander powder - 1 tsp
Oil - few tsps

Method :

1) Clean the karela and wash it under running water. Sprinkle about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp salt on the karelas and keep aside for 2-3 hrs. The karela will leave water.
2) Drain that water and rinse each karela well under running water. I dont like the bitter taste at all in the karela....atleast for my first try with it. This process will remove most of the bitterness from the karela..:) U can skip this if ur okie with the bitterness :d

3) Now for the filling. In a pan take some oil and add the ginger garlic paste. fry for 2 minutes and add the chopped onions.
4) When the onions r tender n pink add the tomato along with the red chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, chaat masala and coriander cumin powder. Mix well and let the tomato cook well and become pasty.

5) Now add the mashed potato and mix well. Let all the spices mix well into the Potato. Add salt to taste and amchoor powder. Remember u have salt in the karelas too so be careful not to over salt ur filling.

6) Add 1/4 cup of water to the tamrind pulp and mix well. Dissolve the jaggery in the tamarind juice and mix well. I used powdered jaggery which was easy to dissolve..:)
7) pour this mixture over ur filling and give a final stir. Mix well and ur filling is ready now..:)
taste it and add more amchoor or red chilli powder as needed.

8) Now comes the assembly and cooking. Stuff this filling inside the slit karelas. If ur karelas r sleek they will hold the filling well. Mine weren't holding the filling so I tied it with a thin thread. This helped the filling from not coming out when cooking.

9) Now u can either steam this in a pressure cooker or shallow fry it in a pan or Tava. I went for the option 2. Fry the karela till its crisp and dark brown spot appear on it..:) Your Khattha Meetha Karela is ready to be savoured..:D

10) If u have any leftover filling add it to a pan and pour 1/3 cup of water to it. make it like a gravy and add the fried karelas to it. It will become Bharva karela curry :D.

Enjoy it the way u want..:d. We loved it :)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Matar Salad

This is a tasty, refreshing and amazing Salad. Simple to make and healthy to eat :) Me n "R" both like to have lotsa veggies in our diet. I am practically crazy about raw veggies... I can enjoy a salad anytime of the day.... provided someone makes it for me.:P Did i mention I am very very lazy? ;).

Well this recipe was invented a fine day when I was out of salad (remember the big bag of salad u get in costco?). So i decided I will make a salad with some beans...checked the pantry and see my luck I was out of all beans too... no garbanzo cans, red beans or even black beans..:( I looked into the freezer and saw some green peas and voila... a recipe was born :)

Ingredients :

Frozen peas - 1 cup
Carrot - 1/3 cup (finely chopped or grated)
Onion - 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
Tomato - 1/2 cup (optional I didnt have it)
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Fresh coriander - 1/3 cup (finely chopped)

Method :

1) In a microwave bowl take the frozen peas and microwave for 5 to 6 minutes. 2) Let it cook well but not too mushy. 3) add the chopped carrots, onions, tomato and mix well. 4) Add salt, black pepper and the fresh coriander and mix well. 5) U can add some chopped lettuce if u like..:)

Enjoy this fresh Salad :)

Kala Chana Chaat

Lelo...Lelo....Chana chaat lelo...:) Yummm! I love Chaats. They are tangy, spicy, sweet and so so yumm....and I thank god Radha is one too. I often make this for evening snacks.

The recipe is really simple and easy to make... does need some preparations like soaking the kala Chana over night...:)

Ingredients :

Kala Chana - 1 cup (Soaked overnight and cooked in the pressure cooker for 4 whistles)
Onion - 1 (finely chopped)
Tomato - 1 large (finely chopped)
Potato - 1 big (boiled and diced)
Salt to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind chutney - 1/4 cup (optional... but if u have it its better)
Pepper - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Fresh Coriander leaves - few sprigs (finely chopped)
Green chillies - 1 (finely chopped)
Sev - 1/2 cup (for garnishing)

Method :

1) Take the cooked Kala chana in a bowl. 2) Add the chopped Tomatoes, Green chillies, onions and potato in the bowl along with the chana and mix well. Add the salt, red chilli, pepper and mix well again. 3) Mix in the lemon juice , tamarind chutney and fresh coriander leaves. Garnish with some sev and serve.

Your tangy, tasty evening snack is ready. Yum Yum yum !...:) Enjoy this awesome chaat n do remember me when u do ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Roasted Batata Vada


Yes.... I am thinking fried n oily food today. First I posted an Onion Pakoda recipe and then a batata Vada post..... but thank god this one is not deep fried... compared to its original version..:d This is a roasted Vada paav. I want to thank my friend Pooja from college to pass this idea to me of making a guilt free batata vada...:P Thank u Pooja :) I owe u one :D

I made these vadas for our evening snack yday. When I first told "R" I am making Batata vada his first reaction was "nooooo" ...hehhe yeah. We both r having cold and the idea of heating oil, the smoke and the greasy batata vada is the last thing we want now..:P Inspite of the great love we have for the vada we just can't bear the heated oil smoke in our home. When I told him I am roasting it...He was excited to try it :). really the vadas turned out so good....I didnt miss the oil at all...:) It was yum yum !


Potatoes : 4 big russets (boiled and lightly mashed)
Garlic - 8 pods (the more u have the tastier it tastes)
Ginger - 1" piece finely chopped
Curry leaves - 10 to 12 leaves
Green chilli - 2 finely chopped
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup finely chopped
Oil - 2 tsp + 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera (cumin) - 1/3 tsp
Besan - 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp + 1 tsp
A paniyaram pan.

Method :

1) In a saute pan add 2 tsp of oil. To it add the chopped garlic, ginger and green chilli. After its sauted a bit... add the curry leaves and turmeric powder.
2) Add the mashed potato and salt and mix well. Heat it the spices mix well with the potato. Add the fresh chopped coriander and mix well. Ur potato filling is ready. 3) Make small marble size balls of the mixture and keep aside.

4) In another bowl, mix in the besan, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder with some water. Mix well into a nice batter somewhat like a dosa batter consistency.
5) Heat the paniyaram pan (preferably a nonstick...as it takes less oil..) and put a drop of oil in each of the pans. Dip the balls in the batter and fry them. Turn it after it cooks on one side. Cook both the sides. Remove from the pan and eat it with some garlic chutney or Tomato ketchup.

U can also stuff this vada into a bun or paav and enjoy delicious vada paav :)

Onion Pakoda


Rainy, cold evening, steaming cup of coffee.... someone to talk sweet nothings and crispy hot onion pakodas... hmmm wtelse can u ask for?

Last month Los angeles witnessed some very bad rain.....now dont give me stares...but it was really bad compared to what we get normally. I have never seen so much rain in the past 4 years that I have been here. First 2 days were like "wow its raining".

Next few days were like "again....? good we need water to remove the scarcity" .

After those early few days....it was like " what the hell its raining again....I hate it :P"

Now I know that an overdose of anything can make u hate it :P

Anyways whats best than hot crispy pakodas for a rainy evening..:)

Ingredients :

Onion - 2 (Any type will do...I used red)

Besan (gram flour) - 1 3/4 cup

Rice flour - 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Red chilli powder - 2 tsp

Green chilli - 1 finely chopped (optional)

Fresh coriander - few sprigs (for additional flavour...but is completely optional)

Oil for deep frying

Method :

1) Heat the oil in a kadai on medium heat and then clean and chop the onions into thin slices...such that u can seperate each layer. Add salt, red chilli powder and keep aside covered for 10 to 15 minutes. 2) The onions will leave water.

3) Add the gram flour and rice flour to the onions and mix well. 4)Mix the besan and rice flour together. Add the flour little by little to the onions.... U may sometimes not even need the whole 1 3/4 cup of flour depending on the amount of water the onions leave. Add green chillies, coriander leaves and mix well. The batter shouldn't be running. 5) It should be thick and sticky. Dont add water to this. If u feel u added more flour, just let the batter sit for 10 minutes or more and then mix it well... it should become fine.

6) Now check if the oil is hot. The oil should be moderately hot so that the pakodas rise as soon as u put them in oil. 7) Fry the pakodas until golden and remove on a kitchen towel (paper napkin ) to drain the excess oil.

Serve with hot filter coffee on a rainy evening... or even otherwise..:) enjoy!

Friday, February 4, 2011

New Mehendi Designs

The new mehendi design...:) do comment plz :)

Doodh Peda


Deliciouso ! I love milk sweets. Anything made out of milk (except payasams) I simply love them especially the bengali sweets. Somehow I can't stop myself from have seconds n thirds and fourths.... well u know what i mean ;)

I saw this Microwave doosh peda recipe in spme blog.. I dont remember where... and bookmarked it (I lost the link when I formatted my pc ). It was the most simple recipe and the pedas where awesome... as if I entered a sweet shop in India..:) yumm! I did find a scribble on my recipe book for the peda....which i had written for a friend. (thank godd!!!! :P) So happy to see the recipe... I decided to try these again...:) its a fool proof recipe. I will share the original recipe when I get it through my innumerous seraches. I do remember the picture for the original peda.... but forgot the link... hmm so stupid right?

Anyways this what I had scribbled on my notebook...:)

Ingredients :

Low fat Milk powder - 1 3/4 cups
Condensed Milk - 1 can (14 oz)
Butter / Ghee (room temperature) - 4tbsp (1/2 stick)
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Crushed pistachio - for garnishing
Saffron - few strands (optional - i didn't use it )

Method :

1) In a microwave safe deep bowl add the butter, condensed milk, milk powder and cardamom powder. Mix well.
2) Microwave for 3-4 minutes. Remember all microwaves differ so keep checking. Remove and microwave the mixture every 1 minute.
3) Take a small portion and try to roll it between ur fingers. If it retains the shape and doesn't stick, that means its done.
4) When it cools, take small lemon size pieces and roll into a ball. Gently press in the centre forming into a disc.Put some coarse pitachio powder in the centre of the peda and press well.

your lovely pedas r ready to be enjoyed. It was yumm!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tandoori Veggies

Well as a lovely friend said....looks like I am on a streak...:) I am posting almost everyday from the past 4 days....which beleive me is a lot according to my earlier posting schedule :P. Hope I keep the good work on.

Anyways coming to the recipe....its a vegetarian tandoori dish using tofu and other vegetables. Many friends who saw this pic first thought I have become a non vegetarian and started cooking mutton or chicken....hmmm maybe they thought so because of the colour. But I guarantee this is pure pure vegetarian dish :P

It easy to make and goes good as an evening snack or serve it on a platter of pulav n raita..:)

Ingedients :

Firm Tofu - 1 cup (chopped in big cubes)
Green bell pepper - 1 cup (chopped in big chunks)
Cherry tomato - 1 small box
Button Mushrooms - 1 small box
Chinese eggplant - 1 (chopped in thick slices)
Zuchini - 1 big (chopped in thick slices)
Onion - 1 medium (cut in big chunks keeping the layers intact)
Garlic - 3 cloves (minced)
(you can use other veggies like squash, potato etc)

For the Marinade :

Salt to taste
Hung curd - 1 cup
Tandoori Masala - 2 tsp
Chaat masala - 1 tsp
Kitchen king masala - 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Coriander cumin powder - 2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Olive oil - 1/2 tbsp
Red food color - 2 pinches (optional)

Method :

1) Preheat the oven at 350 F.Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl (except oil). Beat it well into a smooth paste. Do a taste check and adjust the seasoning.. the marinade should be nice n thick...not runny. see that ur hung curd has no water in it at all..:)
2) Put all ur chopped vegetables in a big bowl. Add the marinade to this and mix gently. Dont mush or break the vegetables. U can use ur hand to toss it gently.....so that the marinate coats all the vegetables well.I do that :) Cover and leave it here for atleast an hour.
3) After an hour thread in the vegetables in any order u want into a wooden skewer. Wet the skewers before threading the veggies so that they dont burn in the heat from the oven. U can even skip the sweker and actually roast these of stove top using a hot hot pan / tava :)
4) Anyways once u have threaded the veggies place them in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. keep turning it in between and keep and eye on the oven all the time. U dont want ur veggies to be burnt...:). Additionally u can run the oven at "broil" for 2 mins maybe to give it a charged look...:)

Ur Tandoori veggies r ready. Remove it from the skewers and serve it along with some yogurt dip or simply serve it on ur vegetable pulav. Enjoy !

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Eggless Triple Chocolate Cake

Triple chocolate cake

It looks yummy right? It tasted yummier...trust me. I made this cake for this new year of 2011 with some help from "R" who actually offered to help me out with baking this cake. He was surprised on how simple it is to bake...."provided you follow the measurements" :) This is very simple cake and it is eggless. I got the Idea of making this from Anu's blog Mriganayani .
Her chocoholics cake was awesome n looked so tempting... that I had to try it out :)

I call it Triple chocolate coz its a dark chocolate cake with chocolate icing and dark chocolate ganache. Three delicious layers of chocolate...:) I made few changes to the recipe... but the idea is fully from Anu's blog.

Ingredients for the cake :
yields one 8-9" cake

All purpose flour - 1 and 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder - 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract /essence - 1 1/2 tsp
Canola oil - 1/3 cup
White Distilled Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Cold water - 1 cup

Ingredients for Chocolate Icing :
( to cover two 9" cake with the filling of icing in between)

Butter - 1cup (2 stick)
Unsweetened Cocoa - 1 cup
Powdered Sugar - 1 1/4 cup
Milk - 2/3 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache :

Dark Chocolate chips : 1 cup
Whipping cream - 3/4 cup
Corn Syrup - 1 tsp (optional)

Method :
1) Preheat the oven to 350 F. Firstly bake the cake. From the ingredients given for the chocolate cake mix all the dry ingredients (except salt n sugar) and sift it atleast two times. 2) In another bowl wisk together all the wet ingredients with salt and sugar. Wisk well to dissolve the sugar and salt in the vinegar, oil n water mixture. 3) Slowly keep adding the dry mixture into the wet ones. Mixing with a hand blender so that the batter becomes aereated and has no lumps in it. 4) Once the batter is smooth, pour it into two 8-9" greased cake pan and bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Keep checking inbetween.5) Mine were done in 22 minutes, so please keep checking and do a toothpick test before removing the cake out of the oven. 6) Take it out and invert it on a cooling rack for cooling down. Once cooled wrap it in a plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer or fridge for cooling. It helps best if the cake is cool before u start icing.

7) For the icing, beat room temperature butter in a deep bowl. Add powdered sugar little by little and beat until the icing is fluffy n smooth. Add cocoa powder, vanilla essence and beat again until smooth n creamy. 8) If u want to do a crumb coating ur icing should be of a spreadable consistency. So add milk to the icing little by little to make is thinner and easily spreadable. 9) If u want to use ur icing for decorating keep the icing thick. Piping designs hold better when the icing is thick. Keep icing aside.

10) Prepare the ganache by boiling cream in a pot. 11) Take the chocolate chips in a bowl and when the cream is in a rolling boil pour it on the chocolate chips. 12) Let it stay for 2 minutes and then stir well using a wisk until the chocolate blend in with the cream. Let it form a smooth creamy chocolate sauce. Add corn syrup to the sauce to add that shine to the chocolate sauce. Keep aside in room temperature or in a warm place. Remember it should be cool or room temperature when ur r pouring it on the cake.

Assembly of the cake :

1) Keep on cake on the cut cardboard on which u will serve ur cake. Place small plastic sheet/ parchement or foil sheets below the cake and over the board... so that the icing and ganache when put on the cake dont spoil ur cake board.Cut the rough or hard edges of the cakes well and remove the crumbs if any. 2) Put about a big spoonful of icing on one cake (this form the lower layer of ur 2 layered cake). Spread it on the cake to form a thick layer of the icing. 3) Place the second cake on it and spread another big spoonful of icing on it. Cover even the sides of the cake in a thin layer of icing. This is called the crumb coat.
4) Keep the iced cake in the freezer for 30 minutes or so... for the crumb coating to become hard. 5) Remove and spread another thick layer of the icing on the top and sides of the cake. Smooth it well. 6) Now u can either decorate it with the remaining icing and piping bags...or use the ganache as i did...:) This cake will take awesome even without the ganache..:)
7) Keep the cake on a clean serving. Spread some plastic sheets to collect the falling ganache. 8) Now pour the cooled ganache on the cake... let it overflow and drip from the edge. 8)I used a serving spoon and kinda splashed it on the sides to cover the cake completely. Let this cake stay in the until the ganache solidifies a bit. Remove the plastic pieces kept for protection... Ur cake is ready to be served n enjoyed..:)

Hope ur enjoyed this recipe...:) Do give me ur valuable opinion on the same. Love u guys.. and have a great year ahead :)

Vegetable Sheperd's pie


Vegetable Sheperd's pie. This is something i tried long ago... took pics and never bothered to post. This savoury pie is very simple to make and filling..:) A nice way to include all the veggies u family normally tries to avoid..:) Kids love this pie too. U can either bake it in a big casserole or make individual portions of the pie in Ramekins..:) A Sheperd's pie normally is a supposed to be "no extravagant dinner". It was something the sheperd's wife used to make with leftovers available and vegetables. U can even add chicken or any other meat to this recipe. Mine is a vegetarian version. I dunno much about the origin of this recipe but know that it is something I am gonna make often..:)

Ingredients :
Filling :

Fresh or frozen Vegetables (blanched,steamed or microwaved except mushrooms) - 3 cups (I used mushrooms, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, celery, corn, spinach, peas & Bell peppers)
Onion minced - 1 cup
Tomato finely chopped - 1 cup
Cooked garbanzo beans - 1 small can
Cilantro or parsley - few sprigs
Italian seasoning (oregano will do too ) - 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Chopped Garlic - 4 cloves
Vegetable stock or water - 1 cup
Red chilli powder or hot sauce - 2 tsp
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Cover :

Russet potato - 3 large (boiled and mashed)
Cream or heavy cream - 1/4 cup
salt to taste
Black pepper - 1 tsp
minced garlic - 1 clove

Method :
1) Heat oil in a deep bottom pan and add chopped garlic, onion and stir fry for few minutes. 2) Once the onion is slightly browned add the chopped tomato and saute well for few minutes. 3) Add all the steamed vegetables and garbanzo to the saute pan and mix well. 4) Add salt, pepper, red chilli powder, italian seasoning, mushroom and parsley and cook till the vegetables r coated with the spices and completely cooked. See that its not mushy. 5) Check the seasoning and add more if needed..:)

6) Preheat the oven to 350 F and Prepare the covering by adding cream , salt, garlic and pepper to the mashed potato. Mix well seeing that there are no lumps. 7) Now for the assembly, put the vegetable filling in a oven proof greased pie pan. 8) Level the vegetable filling on the pan and spread little bit of the potato cover mixture on the filling evenly. 9) Put rest of the potato mixture in an icing bag with a large star tip. Pipe out potato stars on the evened out potato. Cover the whole area. 10) Place the pie pan in a preheated oven and bake until bubbly for about 30 minutes. I even broiled it for a minute or 2... for the nice golden brown crust...:). Enjoy this awesome and yummy Sheperd's pie to your heart's content. It is a very filling meal to be enjoyed in a winter evening.

Hope u liked this recipe. Do leave ur valuable comments..:)

Vietnamese Banh mi Chay and an Award. Yaaay !

This Sandwich is currently my favourite sandwich. I saw the recipe for this sandwich on Delhi belle's blog and I was instantly tempted to try this out.

I was curious about this particular bahn mi from the time i saw the food network show "The great food truck race" or something and they had this truck called "Nom Nom truck" which sold these sandwiches. It was a hot cake and that truck always came first in the truck to the do the most bussiness... hmm. I was very curious to see how a simple sandwich can beat grilled burger and cheese sandwich and other yummy trucks... hmm.. Btw they didn't win the tv show... they were runner ups though..:). The truck runs in LA and sells awesome veg n non-veg sandwiches. My recipe here is a Vegetarian one..:)

Anyway coming back to the recipe. When I saw this on Delhi belle's blog I had to try it immidiately. Me n R being sandwich lovers it wasnt difficult to convince him about having this for dinner..:)

Here is the original recipe. I will be anyways putting up the recipe again here.I didnt make much changes other than the tofu marinate as I didnt have lemongrass at hand.Also I want to thank Priya of Mharo rajasthan for motivating me to post this recipe with her awesome event "Bookmarked recipes - Every Tuesdays" . I am sending this recipe to that event..:)

Ingredients for sweet n sour pickle :

Carrot julliened - 1 cup
Daikon radish (mooli) julliened - 1 cup
Vinegar - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
water - 2 cups

Marinated & flavoured tofu :

Firm tofu - 100 gms (8 slices 1 cm thick)
Mexican season powder (spicy fruit salt) - 2 tbsp (if u dont have this u can mix salt,sugar & red chilli powder )
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Olive oil - 1 tsp
chopped Garlic / paste - 2 tsp
Soy sauce - 2 tsp (optional)
Black Pepper powder - 1 tsp

Other Ingredients :

French (wheat) Baguette - 1
Mayonaise / Veganaise*- 1 cup
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Shallot / red onion - 1/2 cup
Pickled Red chilli - 1/4 cup (u can make this at home like the sweet & sour pickle)
Ching's Mushroom sauce - 2 tbsp (optional)

*Veganaise is a vegan mayonaise...and its eggfree :)

Method :

The sweet n sour Pickle : 1) Mix the Julliened carrot and daikon in a boil. 2) In another bowl add the vinegar, salt, sugar and water and mix well until the sugar and salt dissolves well. 3) Pour the mixture on the daikon n carrot and mix well. 4) Keep this aside for an hour for the daikon n carrot to marinate.After using in the sandwich u can store the rest in a glass jar for later use. It stays good for atleast a month. 5) Do the same with the red chilli and store in a glass jar. Stays well atleast for a month.

Marinated and flavoured tofu : 1) Place the sliced tofu on a plate. 2) Sprinkle the fruit salt (or the red chilli, salt, sugar mix ), soy sauce, Lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and pepper on the tofu and rub it gently on the tofu. 3) See the the tofu doesnt break or get mashed up. 4) Allow it to marinate for an hour. 4) After an hour heat a griddle / tawa and roast the tofu on it. U can even bake it if u want...:)

***Cheater tip ;) - U dont actually need to marinate the tofu for 1 whole hour.:p. I just marinated it for just 15 minutes and it was perfect... but yeah 1 hour would be the best maybe :D

Assembly of the sandwich : 1) Cut the baguette in half and then slit it lengthwise. Toast it on a tawa for few minutes. The sandwich tastes crisper and nice when its warm :). 2) Spread a generous amount of the mayonaise on the bread. 3) Now drain a couple of spoonful of the sweet n sour pickle from its brine and add it to the sandwich. 4) Now, arrange some onion, the baked tofu and some sprigs of fresh cilantro on the sandwich. Keep the stems intact in the cilantro... it adds to the taste. 5) Add few drops of the mushoom sauce if u r using it.

Ur Yummy Vietnamese Banh Mi Chay sandwich is ready. Enjoy it and do leave me ur valuable comments n suggestions..:) Once again I thank Delhi Belle for this lovely recipe..:)

Now for some award time...:) I want to thank my new blogger friend Harika of Harika's blog for this awesome award. Thank u so much for tagging my blog as a Stylish blog :)

Isn't this pretty?? Yeah I know it is..:)

So to recieve this award I have some rules to follow. As we all know blogging is about knowing and sharing with others...so to accept this award there r certain criterias to be fulfilled.

1) Thank and link back to the blogger who awarded you with this award.

2) Share 7 things about you.

3) Award 15 recently discovered bloggers.

4) Contact the blogger and Inform them of the award.

So to start with I did the first part of thanking dear Harika. The second will be 7 things about me. Hmmm so here it goes..:)

- I love being a homemaker

- I love living in LA.

- I love crafting and also like to learn new art and craft forms..:). I love painting and cake decorating of them all..:)

- I am very very lazy....specially when it comes to blogging :D

- I am super talkative.

- I am super sensitive and very possesive :P

- I love India and want to someday go back and settle there..:)

Now comes the third part... Share it with 15 new bloggers... hmm. As I have not been very active for past few months/ years I think this is the most difficult job I have..:P

Anyways, here it goes

- Harika of Harika's kitchen ( just came to know her through this award..:)

- Sheela of Delectable-Victuals

- Veena of Veena's Veg Nation

- Pinki of Desi Fusion corner

- Madhuri of Ma recipes

- Mahima of Indian Vegetarian Kitchen

- Vegan Dad

- Ranjani of Wake up and smell the Masala

- Meena of Meena's corner

- Kitchen Flavours

- Richa of As dear as Salt

- Sowmya of Creative Saga

- Yasmeen of Health Nut

- Annapoorna of Kadchhi ke Kamal

- Jyotsana of the Cook's Cottage

Wow these r some awesome blogs. I hope u all love these blogs as much I do...:) U all guys r doing a great job and I hope u love this award and accept it :)

Now the last part... well I will do that..:)

Love ya guys... see ya again later with a delicious post..:)