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Poha Alu Raj Kachori

POHA ALU RAJ KACHORI

Raj Kachori is a delicious Chat from Rajasthan.This is a huge gol gappa sort of chat, that is filled in with delicious items in it. Essentially Rajasthani Raj-Kachori, is a stuffed katchori with potato and sprout filling and served with curd, chutney and sev. Apart from sprouts from Moong, chole, moth can also be used.

Raj kachori is a massive, puffed up, crisp snack that looks like a blown up gol gappa. It houses a variety of chaat ingredients, dripping all over the globe-like kachori.

The good thing about these kachoris is that, despite being fried foods, they are not as bad as they are made out to be. Use traditional oils or ghee, and you could eat them without having to worry too much. Of course, you should always keep portions in check, but remember kachoris keep you full till the evening, balancing the total calorie consumption of the day naturally.

TO MAKE OUTER LAYER
4 Potatoes boiled and mashed
1 cup thick poha soaked and drained
5 tsp Maida
Bread crumbs of 5 slices
Salt to taste
1 tsp blck pepper powder
1/2 tsp Haldi

 

In a bowl take boiled and mashed potatoes. Add soaked and drained poha. Add maida. Add breadcrumbs.
Mix nicely.
Add salt, pepper powder and haldi.
Knead into a medium hard dough.
Divide dough in equal portions and cover with cloth to rest.
Grease ur palms and knead the dough nicely once again to smoothen it.
Roll the round discs like poori shape. Keep it little thick while rolling from all over.
Roll all pooris and keep aside.

Filling of raj kachori

 

TO MAKE FILLING
50 gms Paneer
Grated coconut 1/2
Adrak mirchi paste 1 tbsp
2 tsp kishmish
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Hara Dhaniya/ coriander leaves

Mix above mentioned ingredients in a bowl and test the taste.
Your  filling is ready.

Assemble:
Take one round disc/poori. Make a deep well. Fill in coconut masala. Gently pull all edges together to make big kachori.

Deep fry all ready kachoris first on medium flame and then on slow flame. Fry on both sides till it turns golden brown. Drain and keep it on absorbent tissue paper.

GARNISH:
Serve with green dhaina pudina chutney and imli ki khatti meethi chutney.
Garnish with sev, pomegranate seeds and hara dhania.
Pour meetha dahi/sweetened curds over it.

Kalakand (Indian milk cake/fudge)

 

KALAKAND

Raksha Bandhan Festival a significant day for all brothers and sisters, which is celebrated all over India. Also, this auspicious day couldn’t be complete without the traditional Indian sweet!

No celebration is complete without good food and some sweets. We Indians love our food and hardly give up on a chance to indulge and if it’s something as special as Raksha Bandhan. While it might not be a very good idea to go overboard with it, I think having small portions won’t do you much harm. Also, you always have the option to go for the healthy version of the favourite mithaai, like swapping or opting for kalakand instead of the ones doused in ghee.

This year I would suggest you do something totally unexpected. Cook up some of the easiest and yummiest delights for your sibling and you will witness the widest of beaming smiles ever! So here is the easy recipe to impress your sibling

KALAKAND

Prep time : 10 minutes

Cooking time : 15 minutes

Ingredients

200gms condense milk(homemade)
250gms fresh paneer/cottage cheese
1 tbsp milk powder
1 cup chopped pista cashews and almonds
5-6 cardamom powdered

To make condense milk
Boil 500 gms milk. Add 1 small bowl of sugar. Reduce milk for about 10 minutes. Milk would start to thicken. stir continuously. cook for about five more minutes. Cool & transfer into glass jar or bottle.

This can be stored in fridge for 3 days.

Method:
In a bowl mix paneer, condense milk nd milk powder.

Put this mixture in a nonstick kadahi nd cook on medium heat,add cardamom powder,stir it continuosly till it leave the sides.

Spread it on a greased plate/ bowl nd spread dryfruits over it.
Press it little to properly stick to mithai.

 

Garnish with saffron strands.
keep it in fridge for 3to4 hours when it slightly cool down.

Cut into pieces in desired shape nd enjoy with your family.

 

Black eyed Bean/Sukhi Choulai Blondies

Black-eyed  beans, are among the most nourishing in the legume family. Black-eyed beans are a great pantry item. Their distinctive taste is wonderful in curries and salads too.

My family always cooked black- eyed beans in the form of curry to be eaten with flatbread/chapati. As usual children don’t prefer it and they can’t be forced to eat. So while searching for some interesting recipes, I chanced upon this recipe on Pinterest. And I must say this is the best way to feed dried beans to your family, as no one can say no to a sweet dish.

These Black Eyed bean Blondies are moist and fudgy, with chocolatey goodness in every bite. No one would believe they’re also loaded with nutritious beans.

PREP TIME
15 mins
COOK TIME
30 mins
TOTAL TIME
45 mins
Serves: 6

INGREDIENTS
1¼ cups black eyed peas, soaked and boiled
½ cup oats
½ cup powdered oats
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup honey
2 eggs
4 tbsp unsalted, melted butter
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¾ cup chocolate chips
½ cup slivered almonds or other nuts/seeds
¼ cup dessicated coconut and thin slices of coconut to garnish.

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Grease or line a square baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.

Blend or process black eyed peas, oats, butter, vanilla, eggs and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth.


Transfer mixture into a bowl and mix in powdered oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt.
Fold in chocolate chips, slivered almonds and coconut, then pour batter into baking dish.


Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the edges comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely before cutting and store in the fridge.

 

Sindhi Kadhi -Steamed Rice with Sweet Boondi & Sev

 

Sindhi Kadhi is very delicious and nutritious. This tangy Kadhi is made with roasted besan, (gram flour) and mix of vegetables. Traditionally it is served with rice and sweet boondi and namkeen Sev. In many sindhi homes aloo tuk is must when sindhi kadi is made on special occasions or generally on Sunday’s.

There is something so comforting about a meal like this; given how simple it is to cook. A soupy kadhi that’s tangy, hot and spicy mixed in with rice. For me any curry rice dish must have something fried on the side and Sindhis know that only too well! Aloo Tuk adds the required crisp spicy texture to every mouthful of kadhi chawal.

I sometimes make Aloo bhajia/pakoda along with sindhi kadi. I’m sharing a recipe for kadhi which is one I have cooked for years now.

 

Prep time: 10
Cook time:
Serves 4

Ingredients :
Besan/gram flour 1 katori/bowl               Methi dana few.                                               Oil 6tbsp                                               Jeera/cumin 1 tsp.                                        Kadi patta few.                                            Hing/  asafoetida 1/2 tsp.           Haldi/turmeric 1 tsp                                     Salt 1 spoon                                               Adrak mirchi/ginger chilli paste 1 Lalmirch/red chilli powder 1 tsp                  Hot water around 3 glasses or more        Imli pulp 3 tsp or more                    Vegetables like Bottle gourd cut into thick rounds                                                              gwar( cut both ends of gwar and sprinkle salt keep aside)                               Bhindi/ladies finger 6 pieces whole

Procedure:

Wash and pat dry vegetables you are using for making sindhi kadhi.                              Cut dhoodhi/bottle gourd into thick roundels. Soak it in water in which salt is added.                                                             Cut both ends of gwar and smear some salt to it.                                                                       Slit the ladies finger from the center and deep fry it. Smear some salt. Keep aside.

In a big pan put 6 tsp oil. Add 4- 5 methi dana. After it splutters add zeera & hing kadi patta adrak mirchi paste.


Now add 1 katori/small bowl besan. Saute on slow flame till colour changes to golden brown.
Meantime in a pan boil enough water to add to besan.


As soon as besan is bhunoed nicely add haldi powder. Now add hot water which you have boiled separately. Give it a nice mix. Add salt & lalmirch powder.

Now add bottle gourd/ dhoodhi pieces and gwar. Cover and simmer for abt 10 -15 minutes. Check with knife if its done.

Now add imli ka pulp. Adjust Consistancy of kadi. Add deep fried bhindi. Serve hot with rice. It tastes awesome along with sweet boondi and namkeen Sev mixed together.

Notes :.                                                                  Sindhi kadhi can be made in various ways. Many  sindhi households use tomatoes for tartness instead of tamarind pulp.

You can use vegetables of your choice. It can be cauliflower, Potatoes, carrots, drumsticks or even gram flour dumplings/besan ke pakode too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eggless Patterned Swiss Roll

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Eggless Patterned Swiss Roll

Swiss roll cake reminds me of days when I was working, and on my way back home, i used to buy them from Monginis for my son who used to love it.

Swiss roll is basically a sponge cake which is baked in a sheet pan and then filled with jams, frosting etc. The tricky part lies in rolling the cake perfectly and making sure that it doesn’t crack.

When I made it the first time, the cake was very thick and impossible to roll. After trial and error,  and going through many videos on you tube , I have figured out few important things that one should keep in mind while making this swiss roll cake. I have shared those in Notes section.

Making them has been on my “to bake list” for long. I wanted to bake not the regular swiss roll but the patterned one. I knew it would be a challenge but when it comes to baking I’m always game for it. The pattern just makes the cake look more prettier. You can either use print outs to trace the pattern on parchment paper or draw free hand.

Prep time : 20 minutes                                     Cook time : 10 minutes

Serves 6

INGRIDIENTS:

Vegetable oil 1/4 cup
condensed milk 3/4 Cup
Vanilla essence 1 Tsp
Maida 1 Cup
Baking soda 1/2 Tsp
Baking powder 1 Tsp
Warm Water 1/2 Cup

FOR WHIPPED CREAM
Icing sugar 1 cup
Whip cream 1/4 cup

Method :
Mix all dry ingredients maida, baking soda, baking powder in a bowl.

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Mix wet ingredients like condensed milk, vanilla essence and oil in a separate bowl. Whisk it well.

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Now mix dry ingredients with warm water & put it in the condensed milk and oil mixture. Blend with hand blender. Keep aside.
(Before you start the blender make sure the flour mix is wetted completely. Then blend well.)

Then take out 4 table spoons of this mixture into 1 seperate bowl. And then add strawberries puree(by blending strawberries into mixer and strain it to make a thick puree to be used as colouring agent to make pattern for swiss cake)+ a pinch of red food colour(optional)

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And keep rest of the cake mixture sperate,at room temperature.

By the time pre heat oven at 180degrees.

Take a piping bag. fill with fruits puree( dark pink) mixture in it.

FOR MAKING PATTERN FOR SWISS CAKE:

Cut the baking paper which fits your baking tray.
Then make your pattern by piping it onto the baking/parchment paper.

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Then place this baking tray in the freezer for about 4 hours or more, to go firm.

FOR WHIPPING CREAM :
mix icing sugar and cream untill smooth with hand blender and keep it aside in fridge.

FOR BAKING A CAKE FOR SWISS ROLL:

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Take out the patterned tray from freezer.
Pour the cake mixture over your frozen pattern and spread it evenly, right to the edges with spatula, making it as thin as possible (it will rise after baking)

Bang the tray on kitchen platform a few times to make sure the mixture gets all around the pattern.
Then bake in the oven for 7 minutes in the centre rack of the oven. It doesn’t have to be over baked otherwise it would be difficult to roll the swiss roll.

Once your cake is ready take it out of the oven and immediately trim off the edges using a serrated knife.

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Cover cake with baking paper, and invert it on another flat baking tray or chopping board on top and flip it over.
(And then you will be able to just lift off your tray, the edges will stay in the pan and you’re left with a neat cake)

Peel off the baking paper straight away while it is still hot. Then leave it to cool.

Place a clean sheet of baking paper over your cooled cake and flip it over again.

Once the cake is cooled a bit , spread whipped cream and icing sugar mixture on top of it.

Then starting at one end using the paper to help you roll up the cake up and transfer it to your serving platter.

Decorate with strawberries puree on top( instead of putting fruit puree inside the swiss roll, up on the layer of whip cream, i have decorated on top).

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Place the cake roll in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before slicing into pieces.

Enjoy a light and spongy cake with whipped cream frosting inside it!

Notes :

Don’t try to slice the cake as soon as you roll it. Keeping it in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours gives it time to set and then you will be able to cut clean slices.

You can fill these cakes with anything you like. The easiest options would be nutella or any jam of your choice.

A lot of sponge cake recipes do not use butter/oil. I would encourage you to use oil like I did, my cake had no crack and it was super soft and moist.

While spreading the batter of cake on frozen pattern, make it as thin as possible, as after baking cake would rise and otherwise would be difficult to roll the cake.

 

 

 

Watermelon Rasam

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Watermelon Rasam

While going through many recipes which include fruit as main ingredient, watermelon Rasam caught my attention. I found it very interesting as I love experimenting with different cuisines. This is a recipe developed by Shri Mountbatten Iyer, a well known Chef from Chennai. So decided not to give it a miss and went ahead.
I have come across so many types of rasams and this one made with watermelon totally blew me off. A combination of tangy, sweet and sour, this rasam is very different but tasty.

Prep Time 20mins   Cook Time 10mins       Serves 4People

Ingredients:

Cooked toor dal – 1 cup (this should be extremely watery and should have no trace of dal)                                                                Watermelon juice 3 cups (strained without seeds)                                                     Tamarind juice – 1 cup                       Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp                          Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp                     Hing/ asafoetida- 1/4 tsp.                                 Salt to taste (preferably rock salt)                   Jaggery 1/2 tsp

To make Rasam Powder :

Rasam powder 1 – coarse powder of whole pepper & Jeera/ Cumin seeds (2:1 ratio)
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Cooked toor dal – 1 cup (this should be extremely watery and should have no trace of dhal)

Note on rasam powders 1 & 2: There are 2 powders that need to be used to make this rasam. Rasam powder 1 should be added while making the rasam and Rasam garnish powder to be added after the rasam is made.

Ingredients to make rasam powder 2 for garnish: (this powder to be made preferably before making the rasam for freshness and added flavour)

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Ghee – 1tsp
Hing / asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Toor Dal – 1.5 tbsp
Channa Dal – 1.5 tbsp
Pepper – 1.5 tbsp
Coriander seeds – 3 tbsp
Whole red chilly – 10 nos (can increase if you want more spice)
Jeera – 1 tsp
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves – finely chopped
Rasam powder 2 (recipe)

Heat ghee in a wok, add toor dhal, channa dhal and fry till golden brown and add pepper corns.
Once they pepper corn splutters, add coriander seeds and fry till golden brown (or till the raw smell dissappears)
Add red chillies and fry till the red chillies inflate and are fried.
Add curry leaves and once you hear them crackle add some jeera and immediately turn off the flame
Cool this mixture down and grind to a coarse powder (roasted rava like texture).

 
Method to make Watermelon Rasam:

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Pour tamarind juice into a wok and add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, hing, salt, curry leaves and jaggery and bring to a boil
Add a little water to the boiling mixture if you think it is a little too thick.
Let it boil till the raw smell of the tamarind fades and add chopped coriander leaves
Now add the rasam powder. Allow to boil and add the watermelon juice
Add some pepper powder nd let it boil. The colour is a lovely deep red colour. Add the cooked dal water and let it boil just a little bit.

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Add the powder that is used to garnish and immediately turn off the flame
Add ghee in a separate wok, temper mustard seeds, jeera and pour over rasam
Add a squeeze of half a lemon.

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NOTE: The tempering and squeezing of lemon is done after turning off the stove always.

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Notes
Try and use your hand as much as possible while cooking, especially while making Rasam. Your hand imparts flavour that no ladle can. This is a secret tip shared by   Shri Mountbatten Mani Iyer.

Pineapple Zarda (Sweetened Rice)

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Pineapple Zarda (Sweetened Rice)

Zarda is a traditional dish which is mainly prepared in weddings in the north Indian Muslim communities. Pineapple Sweet Rice is a traditional dish of India and Pakistan. There are many variations of this recipe. Pineapple flavour is widely popular among Muslims. It’s a very delicious Dessert and it’s really very easy to make.

This is the perfect combination of fruity and rich flavours. People call it by many names, Meethe Chawal, Zarda, etc. Here I have added pineapple to give it a fruity taste. Though traditionally mawa is added, you can leave it out and make your dish less rich.To my surprise it turned out awesome. I wasn’t sure at first but when my family appreciated it and asked for more, It made me happy that the recipe passed the test and is ready to go on the blog.

This is one of my favourite dishes. My mother always used to make zarda/meethe chawal on special occasions with saffron and coconut flavours.
The best Zarda is one, where each grain of rice is long, separate and firm with no evidence of mush or overly softened rice, all whilst being coated in the sparkling syrupy goodness of the sugar.

So, the sweetened pulao is here for you. Prepare it at home by following this easy recipe with step by step instructions along with pictures.

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Serving:4
Ingredients:
1 cup rice, basmati
1.25 cups Pineapple juice
1 bowl Pineapple cut into chunks
1/2 cup sugar
2 spoons clarified butter/ghee
2 sticks of cinnamon,
4 green cardamom
3-4 cloves
1 cup water
Saffron strands few
Milk 2 spoons to soak saffron
2 drops of yellow food color
2 drops of kevada water
Few drops of lemon juice
pinch of saffron
Pistachios, cashews, raisins & almonds handful

Steps :

Add saffron in warm milk. Set aside.

Add 1 cup of pineapple juice with 1 cup of water. Add yellow food color and boil.

Add soaked rice to this and sprinkle few droos of lemon ,and cook until rice is 90% done. This would make rice khila khila for zarda.

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Drain the rice and spread in a thali, so that rice does not stick to each other.

20170209_120542In a separate pan, put ghee. Put all the dry fruits. Fry and keep them aside.

20170209_114537Now in that same pan in ghee, add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Saute it.

20170209_114932Now add remaining Pineapple juice & sugar. Add a cup of pineapple chunks. Cook till pineapple softens.20170209_115107

20170209_115323Now add drained rice to this, sprinkle saffron milk & kevada water and mix well on low heat. Cover with aluminium foil and cook it on dum, till it is cooked and grains of rice are khila hua.

20170209_115540Once liquid is dried, turn off stove. Remove the foil.

IMG-20170424-WA0089_wmGarnish with dry fruits. Serve hot with chunks of pineapple.

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Ragi/Finger millet – Almond Cooler

Ragi Almond Cooler

 

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Ragi is also known as Red Millet or Finger Millet. It has tremendous health benefits like – aids in weight loss, increases bone strength, controls diabetes, reduces cholesterol, treats anemia, aids digestion etc. Especially during fasting days, taking ragi drink in any form gives the body a cooling effect.

Calcuim-rich wonder grain, Finger millet /Ragi helps cool our body during summer. It’s tasty, filling and nourishing!
With minimum 3 ingredients its ready in a jiffy.

Ingredients:
Ragi powder/flour 3 tbsp
Jaggery 4 tbsp or less according to ur taste
Roasted Almonds powder 3 tbsp
Coconut milk optional 2 tsp

Method :
Combine 3 tbsps ragi powder and 3 tbsps roasted almond pwd with half a cup of water. Make a thick paste.
Take 2 cups of water & 4 tbsps grated jaggery in a pan and allow the jaggery to melt.
Bring water to a boil. Reduce flame and slowly add the ragi badam mix stirring continuously till it thickens. Cook for 2-3 mts.
Turn off heat and cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
When chilled, it thickens.
To enhance the taste :
At the time of serving, add some coconut milk.

Buckwheat/ Kuttu atta , Chocolate & beetroot cake

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Buckwheat/ Kuttu atta , Chocolate & beetroot cake.

This is a wonderfully moist and fudgy,gluten free cake, made with buckwheat flour, chocolate and beetroot. No sugar added to this. I have used dates and honey as sweetner. Make it to believe this.

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 45 minutes

Serves 6

Ingredients

buckwheat flour/kuttu atta- 170gms
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Cocoa powder – 25 gms
Coconut oil – 125 ml
Dark chocolate – 50 gms
Honey – 100 ml
Dates pitted and chopped – 50 gms
Eggs – 3
Vanilla essence – 2 tsp
Beetroot grated – 120 gms
For Chocolate glaze :
Cocoa powder – 15 gms
Honey – 50 ml
Coconut oil melted – 10 ml

Steps

Preheat oven to 180 degree. Grease a 7-inch round cake pan. Dust it with some cocoa powder.
In a small bowl, sift the buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder together.
Combine coconut oil, honey, chopped dates and dark chocolate in a large saucepan. Warm the mixture over very gentle heat and stir till the chocolate melts.
Turn off the heat. Add the grated beetroot.

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Mix well. Let the mixture cool a bit and then beat in the eggs and vanilla.

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Stir in the dry ingredients, mix until you get a thick batter. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.Turn out on a cake rack to cool.

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For the glaze: Mix all three ingredients in a small bowl till thick and glossy. Taste and adjust for sweetness.
Pour over the cooled cake. Sprinkle some nuts, seeds and cocoa powder.

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