Strawberry Muffin

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I asked my niece last week what she wants me to bake next Sunday and she said ‘Strawberry Muffin’. In a place like Kutch where you never get strawberries when you need them, I decided to go ahead and make the muffins using strawberry filling. The muffins tuned out really nice. Since the strawberry filling is already a little sweet, adjust the amount of Sugar if you feel like to need to add a little less. I’ve adjusted the amount to Sugar as per the sweetness of the strawberry filling I had in hand. So here’s the recipe for my Strawberry Muffins. Enjoy!!!

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Ingredients:

  • 1¾ Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ Cup Melted Butter
  • ¾ Cup Strawberry Filling
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Essence

 

Method:

  • Pre-heat Oven at 180°C
  • Mix all the Wet Ingredients (Eggs, Butter, Strawberry Filling and Vanilla Essence) and Sugar together using a Manual Hand Whisk.
  • Then mix the All Purpose Flour and Baking Powder in another Bowl.
  • Now add the Dry Ingredients into the Wet Ingredients Mixture little by little and fold it in. Do not over-mix the batter.
  • Now line your Muffin Tray with Muffin Liners and Pour the batter into each Liner with the help of two spoons.
  • Fill each Liner a little more than half.
  • Place the Tray in the Oven and bake at 180°C for 20 minutes and further 5 minutes at 175°C.
  • Take the Muffins out of the oven and let the Muffins cool down a bit before you take a bite.

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji is one of my favorite street foods. I can never get bored of it. It looks like it’s just a dip and a piece of bread, but nothing can taste better. Mumbai is most popular for it’s Pav Bhaji, but it is sold in almost every nook and corner of India. Pav Bhaji can taste good at home as well. The key is getting the right amount of spice mix into the Bhaji. My recipe says 2½ tbsp. of Pav Bhaji Powder, which looks like a lot. I eventually end up using 3 tbsps. of it. It seems like a lot, but it’s not. It just builds the flavor and since you will be mashing all the vegetables and tomatoes together, it turns out just perfect. Now about the Pav Bhaji Powder. You should be getting it easily it any Indian Grocery Store but however if you can’t find it, then use Garam Masala Powder instead. It would be a little compromise, but will still taste good. Here’s my recipe for Pav Bhaji. Enjoy!!

Pav Bhaji

Ingredients:

  • 4 Pavs or dinner Rolls
  • A pinch of Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 2 cups boiled vegetables ( Potatoes, Green Peas and Cauliflower)
  • 5 cups finely chopped Tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2½ tbsp. Pav Bhaji Powder (Substitute 1 tbsp. Garam Masala Powder)
  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 Green Chili finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. Red Chili Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped Coriander Leaves
  • ½ a Lime

Method:

  • Heat oil in a deep Pan.
  • Add Green Chili and Onion and cook till they turn soft.
  • Add Ginger Garlic Paste and saute for a minute.
  • Add the Tomatoes and cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
  • With the help of a masher, start mashing the tomatoes.
  • Now add the Pav Bhaji Powder, Red Chili Powder and Salt and mix well.
  • Add the boiled Vegetables and start mashing it along with the tomatoes.
  • Keep mashing and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Now add water and cook further for 10 minutes.
  • Mash again for a minute and mix well.
  • Add a tbsp.. of butter on top and mix well.
  • Take it off the heat and Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • Squeeze half a lime before serving.
  • Heat a flat pan and add a tsp. of butter. (Low heat)
  • Slice the Pav or Dinner Roll into halves keeping one side still attached.
  • Add a pinch of Red Chili Powder into the Butter and immediately fry the Pav.
  • Fry it on both sides.
  • Serve the Pav hot along with the Bhaji.

Fenugreek Chicken / Methi Chicken

Fenugreek Chicken / Methi Chicken

Methi Chicken is a very rich and wonderful dish. Chicken and Fenugreek leaves go so well together and a little fresh cream that we add in this recipe gives that rich texture. It goes absolutely great with Rotis and Rice. I can’t imagine eating fenugreek leaves otherwise. It’s bitter, but however works perfect with chicken. Note that I haven’t used any Red Chili Powder or Turmeric Powder, as it would ruin the earthy color that the dish gets. There are so many different versions of Methi Chicken, here is mine.

Fenugreek Chicken / Methi Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups roughly chopped Fenugreek Leaves
  • 800 gms boneless Chicken cut into small pieces
  • 2 cups roughly chopped onions
  • 6 -7 Green Chilies
  • 2 inch piece Ginger
  • 5-6 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ cup Fresh Cream
  • 1 tbsp. Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander Seeds
  • ½ tbsp. Fennel Seeds
  • 4 inch. piece Cinnamon
  • 5 pods Green Cardamom
  • 2 Pods Black Cardamom
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tbsp. Butter

Method:

  • Grind the Onions, Ginger, Garlic and Green Chilies into a fine Paste without adding water.
  • Dry roast the Cumin, Coriander Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Green and Black cardamom with the outer shell removed.
  • Grind the dry roasted ingredients into a fine powder.
  • Now heat oil in a Pan.
  • Add the Onion Paste and sauté till they turn almost light brown.
  • Now add the Fenugreek Leaves and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the Chicken pieces, salt and the spice mix powder and mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add water and cover and cook until the chicken is soft and well cooked.
  • Add the Fresh Cream, mix and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Now in a small pan, heat the Butter and add a tsp. of Cumin Seeds and allow it to crackle.
  • Pour this tempering on top of the curry.

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice is a very popular South Indian dish. What makes it so tasty is the nutty flavor of the peanuts and cashews mixed with the tanginess from the lemon. They work so great together.  It’s traditionally a breakfast dish but is perfect for lunch and dinner as well. It gets done within five minutes if you have left over rice. This is one of the simplest rice recipes that add color and flavor into plain boring rice. Here’s my version of Lemon Rice. Enjoy!!

Lemon Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Boiled Basmati Rice
  • 1 tbsp. Clarified Butter or Oil
  • 1 tsp. Mustard Seeds
  • ¼ tsp. Asafetida
  • 7-8 Cashews split into halves
  • 4 tbsp. Peanuts
  • 1 tsp. Split Black Gram (Optional)
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 2 tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • Salt to Taste
  • ½ tsp. Turmeric Powder
  • 2 Green Chilies finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped Coriander Leaves

Method:

  • Heat Clarified Butter in a Pan.
  • Add the Mustard Seeds and split Black Gram and allow them to crackle.
  • Add Peanuts and Cashews and sauté for half a minute.
  • Add Asafetida and Green Chilies.
  • Now Add the curry Leaves.
  • Add in the Turmeric Powder, Rice and Salt and toss gently.
  • Add the Lemon Juice and Chopped Coriander Leaves and Toss again.

Bottle Gourd with Split Bengal Gram Curry/ Chana Dal Lauki

Bottle Gourd with Split Bengal Gram Curry/ Chana Dal Lauki

I was never familiar with the combination of Bottle Gourd and Split Bengal Gram when I lived down South.  Until I found out this combination after I moved to Gujarat, I used to hate Bottle Gourd. But now I’m so much in love with Bottle Gourd that I cook this dish almost every week. Bottle Gourd and Split Bengal Gram are made for each other. I’ve cooked this curry using a pressure cooker because it gets done in a jiffy. However you can cook it in a heavy based pan with the lid covered on low to medium heat. Make sure you cook until the gram turns soft but not mushy. Here’s the recipe.

Bottle Gourd with Split Bengal Gram Curry/ Chana Dal Lauki

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup Split Bengal Gram (Chana Dal) washed and soaked in water for an hour
  • 1 ½ cup diced Bottle Gourd (Lauki)
  • 2 inch piece Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. Oil
  • 1 tsp. Cumin Seeds
  • ½ tbsp. Clarified Butter
  • 1 tbsp. finely Chopped Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Finely Chopped Green Chili
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Onion
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Tomato
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped Coriander Leaves
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 tsp. Red Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Garam Masala Powder
  • ½ tsp. Cumin Powder
  • ½ tsp. Coriander Seeds Powder
  • 1 tsp. Ginger Garlic Paste

Method:

  • In a Pressure Cooker, heat 1 tbsp. Oil.
  • Add Cinnamon Stick and Cumin Seeds and allow it to crackle.
  • Now add the Green Chili and Ginger Garlic Paste and sauté for half a minute.
  • Add the Onion and cook until Golden Brown.
  • Now add the Bottle Gourd and Tomatoes and mix well.
  • Drain water from the soaked Split Bengal Gram and add the Bengal gram into the Pressure Cooker.
  • Add Salt, Turmeric Powder, Red Chili Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder and Garam Masala Powder.
  • Now add 2 cups water and Pressure cook until 4 whistles.
  • Open the Pressure Cooker once the pressure is released.
  • In another pan heat the Clarified butter.
  • Add Garlic and fry until Golden Brown and then add it into the Curry and mix well.
  • Sprinkle chopped Coriander Leaves on top.

Pepper Cottage Cheese Tikka/ Paneer Kali Mirch Tikka

Pepper Cottage Cheese Tikka/ Paneer Kali Mirch Tikka

Paneer Kali Mirch Tikka is one of my favorite starters. This is a dish that can never go wrong. It is super simple to make, but the outcome looks just beautiful. The ingredients used in the recipe too are very easily available. It matches perfectly with Green Chutney. I’ve made these Tikkas in an Oven but you could also grill them on an open grill. It is however traditionally made using a Tandoor (Indian Clay Oven). The difference is similar to the pizza you bake at home in an electric oven and the ones made in wood fired ovens. But this is the best you can make at home, which is still very delicious. So here’s the recipe for Paneer Kali Mirch Tikka. Enjoy!!

Pepper Cottage Cheese Tikka/ Paneer Kali Mirch Tikka

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams Cottage Cheese cut into 2 inch squares
  • 1 tbsp. Black Peppercorns dry roasted and coarsely Ground
  • 1 Tomato deseeded and cut into 2 inch square
  • 1 Green Bell pepper deseeded and cut into 2 inch square
  • ½ Onion Quartered and separated
  • Salt for seasoning
  • ½ tbsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2/3 cup Fresh Cream
  • 1 tsp. Softened Butter
  • 3-4 Skewer Sticks
  • 1/2 Lime

Method:

  • In a Mixing Bowl, add Fresh Cream, Butter, Ground Pepper, Salt and Ginger Garlic Paste and mix well.
  • Marinate the Cottage Cheese, Tomato, Bell Pepper and Onion in this mixture.
  • Transfer it into the fridge for half an hour.
  • Pre-heat the Oven at 275 °C
  • Grease a baking tray.
  • Now insert the marinated Cottage Cheese, Bell Peppers, Tomato and Onion into skewers sticks.
  • Place the skewers on the baking tray and bake them for 10-12 minutes.
  • Transfer the skewers on a serving plate and squeeze half a lime on top.

Almond Cookies

Almond Cookies

I love the freshly baked cookies. You will always find a box of home baked cookies at my place. This time I decided to make Almond cookies.  I made the powered almond myself at home because I feel the almond flour bought from the market is too fine. All I did was I took a handful of almonds and put it into the food processor. Make sure you pulse blend so that you can control how fine you want the powder to be. Make sure the powered almond is not chunky too. Once you get this right, the cookies will absolutely turn out perfect.  Here’s the recipe for my Almond Cookies.

Almond Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1¼ cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup powered Almond (not too fine)
  • ¾ cup powered Sugar
  • ½ cup softened Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp. Almond Essence
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 10 Almonds split into halves

Method:

  • Pre-heat Almond at 175°C
  • Add Sugar and Butter into a mixing bowl and mix well using an electric beater.
  • Add the Egg and Almond Essence and mix again using the beater.
  • Now add the Baking Powder and powered Almond and mix well using a spatula.
  • Finally add the All Purpose Flour and mix using the spatula.
  • Place a baking mat or a sheet of butter paper on the baking tray.
  • Make lime size balls out of the cookies dough and place them on the baking tray at least 2 inches apart from each other.
  • Give a gently press on each of the balls and then place one Almond half on each of the cookie.
  • Transfer the baking tray into the oven and bake for 14-15 minutes.
  • Once the cookies are baked, transfer them to a cooling rack and let the cookies cool.