Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eggless Chocolate Brownie

Its Week 3 of Blog Hop Wednesday initiated by Radhika of Tickling Palates and this time I am paired with Deepali of Confusion Cook. I chose to try her Eggless chocolate brownie as it sounded quite simple, its eggless and is my first brownie ever. Thanks Deepali for this delicious one--



Ingredients

100 grams all purpose flour
100 grams chocolate
100 ml coke
150 ml condensed milk
2 tbsp butter at room temperature
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup mixed nuts

Melt the chocolate using double boiler method and keep aside. Sieve the flour along with baking powder and baking soda. In a different bowl, beat the butter, condensed milk and vanilla essence.

Now make a batter alternatively adding flour, coke and butter mixture. Add melted chocolate and mix in. Warm the nuts, coat with flour and mix in. Pour into greased pan.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and bake the batter for 15 mins. Insert a toothpick and check if done..else bake for a few more minutes as required. Mine required 2 more minutes to get done.

Cool well. I used vanilla and butter icing over it.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Behind the scenes with Joanne Weir

Joanne Weir on set

It may come as a surprise, but the best thing about being a food writer isn't the food, it's the people you meet. And Joanne Weir is certainly one of them. I met her years ago and we quickly became friends. I've given her advice on blogging and social media and she has always been there when I needed career counseling and the inside scoop on folks in our industry. She's a genuinely nice and generous person full of enthusiasm and desire to help others learn to cook and have fun. Which brings me to her new show-Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence. It's a natural progression from her most recent shows where she takes individual students into the kitchen and in no time gets them cooking.



Chris Styler setting up

"You stayed longer than anyone!" said Joanne as I was leaving. Despite the cramped space, I had a hard time tearing myself away. I wanted to see her at work and to share some tidbits about her new show. First of all it's shot in her home kitchen which gets transformed into a television studio for filming. As executive producer this time around, Joanne has assembled a crack team including director Paul Swenson who has worked with Lidia Bastianich, Eric Ripert and Christopher Kimball, culinary producer Chris Styler who has worked with Julia Child, Jacques Pepin and Jamie Oliver and a cameraman she has worked with since day one, eleven years ago. The result is a smooth quality to the process where everyone seems to know exactly what they are doing and anticipate each other's needs.



Ahi burger



So what's different about the new show and what can you look forward to?



* A wider range of recipes

While Joanne is known for Mediterranean cuisine this time you'll get her take on all kinds of food including Indian, Asian and North African. Everyone on set was raving about her Moroccan chicken and sweet potato salad with pumpkin seeds. The day I was there she made an ahi burger with wasabi mayo and a crunchy slaw with grapefruit spiked with ginger and also an Italian pasta with tomato and cream and a salad made with ribbons of zucchini, summer squash and daikon radish. Look for ways to use more unusual ingredients too like farro and fregola.



*Great tips

I always learn something when I watch Joanne's shows. From little things like how to peel ginger with a spoon to making mayonnaise with nothing but mustard, an egg yolk and oil. I've always wondered what the heck to do with red pepper jelly and in this series she make corn muffins stuffed with a spoonful of it. And did you know if a label on produce begins with a "9" it means it's organic?



* Video app

This series will not only have an accompanying cookbook but also an app that has 20+ recipes and exclusive content. Look for it this Fall on iTunes.



* Confidence

You'll see it in the students and you'll see it in Joanne who literally seems more "at home" than ever before. I talked to her director about it and he said "She's evolved, you're seeing more of the real Joanne." Without missing a beat, she balances responding to student's questions with making sure every cooking step is explained. On the day I was there everything was being shot in real time, there was no swapping out of dishes. She's the quintessential cooking teacher on PBS and really what more could you ask for?

Summer Picnic ~ Hummingbird Miniatures



Whole Wheat flour naan


Ingredients

3 cups Wheat flour
Salt to taste
Black sesame seeds
Finely chopped coriander leaves
1 tsp dry yeast
3  tbsp curds
3 tbsp warm milk
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cooking soda

Mix salt, baking powder, cooking soda and wheat flour well. Add the yeast and sugar to lukewarm yeast and let it rise for 10 mins. Add the yeast, curd and milk to the flour and mix well. Add warm water if required to make a smooth dough. Cover with wet cloth and keep aside for 2-3 hours till the dough rises well.


Make balls of it and roll them into teardrop shape. Spread some black sesame seeds and coriander leaves over it. Wet the lower side and stick it to hot tava.


Cover and cook for a minute. When there are bubbles on the naan and the bottom starts getting brown spots, slowly invert the tava and let the naan cook over direct heat. When brown spots appear, remove it and apply some butter/ghee.

Serve hot with some spicy gravy.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Eggless Custard powder cake


Followed Aparna's recipe for the cake from My Diverse Kitchen and it was superb..Thanks Aparna for the tasty cake recipe

Ingredients

1.5 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup custard powder (vanilla flavour)
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
150 gms unsalted butter
1 cup milk

Mix the flour, custard powder, baking powder well. Beat the butter and milk and add the dry ingredients mix. Pour the batter into a cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes-40 minutes depending on size of the cake tin. Insert a toothpick to check if it comes out clean and is done. Cool and cut into pieces.


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Friday, August 26, 2011

Sweet Corn bhel


Ingredients

1 cup cooked sweet corn
1/2 tomato chopped finely
1/2 onion chopped finely
Salt to taste
Chaat masala to taste
Sev
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Mix up all the ingredients well just before serving and a healthy snack is ready.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Alice in Wonderland: Mad Hatter's Tea Party ~ Vesi Koleva

Finally my Alice in Wonderland Tea Party table is ready! Two tables with all kinds of treats and tea cups, cake, butterflies and confetti.. This is how I imagine the tea party from my beloved whimsical story.

Everything you see on the pictures except for the glass and ceramic ware, metal tea pot and forks is handmade by me - tables, cloth, food, tea and teapot, sugar..



Million photos...The scale is 1:12/one inch.

Details from the first table.. My Alice must be a French girl - there are macarons and croissants which aren't so typical for an English tea time but hey.. who said it should be by the book?

For the first time I dared to put a signature on miniature - the tiny heart on middle photo.

Details from the second table

You've seen enough of my 'giant' hands on the pictures, now I decided to take a picture with my eyes :D

For more minis by Vesi Koleva, visit:

Classic Scottish Shortbread

scottish shortbread

Scotland is as well known for its Food, as it is for its history, folklore and festivals. Some people think Scottish food is not for the faint-hearted - they use varieties of meat and spices that might not gel with everyone. However, when it comes to Desserts, they are a safe bet, and Scottish pastries are famous for being not overly-sweet, with a flaky crust and nice fresh fruit filling. But even if someone is not familiar with Scottish food, I am sure they will know about the Scottish Shortbread. [photo courtesy of Rita Maas via Fine Cookingcourt]

Shortbread is the simplest of preparations, flour, butter and sugar, and also one of the fastest cookies that I have baked! The end result relies heavily upon the flavor of the butter, so don't compromise here, and DO NOT think about calories when you bake a Shortbread. This recipe is adapted from The Edinburgh Book of Plain Cookery Recipes. It has loads of authentic recipes that you will love, and if you are in the area, and would love to sample some Scottish food, check out foodie deals in Edinburgh!

Scottish Shortbread Recipe

Ingredients
1-1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rice flour
8 ounces salted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer, paddle until the dough clumps together. You can even do this by using a ladle or your hands. Break the butter into chunks and slowly mix it in with the flour to form the dough.

Press the dough in a 8-9 inch cake pan, pressing it gently to attain 1-2 inch thickness, depending on how you like your shortbread. Line the pan with heavy aluminum foil, letting the foil extend over two sides of the pan, then press the dough. This will help to lift out the shortbread after it is baked, and cut it into pieces.

Prick with a fork to decorate if you wish. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned. Cut into appropriate sized pieces while it’s still warm, and allow to cool completely before removing it from the pans.

Related Recipes
Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
Chocolate Nutella Cookies
Coconut Cookies with Vanilla Icing

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peach Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Peach Blackberry Cardamom Cobbler

Is there a more old-fashioned word than cobbler or cobbled? It brings to mind a shoemaker in a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale or those stone streets in Europe (the ones that are so treacherous if you're wearing high heels). Just the word alone is quaint, charming and feels handmade. Which of course brings me to the culinary version of cobbler. A cobbler is basically sweet biscuit dough formed into tiles and "cobbled" together on top of baked fruit. It's the kind of thing you can make year round, just varying the fruit with the season. Because it's so chilly in San Francisco in August, it's really the perfect dessert at the moment. We'll have to a while longer before making ice cream I'm afraid.



My most recent cobbler combines organically grown peaches I got from my friend Gayle who annually adopts a tree from the writer and farmer Mas Masumoto, dark as night blackberries from Driscoll's and a spice I am crazy about, cardamom. I recommend combining a couple types of fruit, it makes the cobbler prettier thanks to the contrasting colors, but also adds more texture, complex flavor and sweetness. I also recommend adding a bit of spice. If black pepper and mint had a love child, it would be cardamom. It's an exotic and aromatic spice, common in both Indian cuisine and in Nordic baking. I added a touch of it to both the fruit and the biscuit topping but it's still very subtle.



This cobbler is based on a Sara Moulton recipe. She makes a scaled down version that bakes in a one quart pan in the toaster oven (I use an 8x8 inch pan instead). It's really smart for small households because cobbler is best fresh from the oven. In fact, if you preheat the toaster oven and then get cooking I find it reaches temperature just at the point the cobbler is ready to bake.



Note: You can blanch and peel the peaches if you like, but I prefer leaving the skins on.



Peach Blackberry Cobbler

Makes 4 servings



4 peaches, cut into 1/4 inch slices

1 1/2 cup blackberries

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon cardamom



Topping

1/2 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup buttermilk plus more for the tops of the biscuits

1 teaspoon turbinado sugar



Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the peaches, blackberries, cornstarch, cardamom and sugar and toss gently to combine. Transfer to an 8 inch square baking pan.



In a bowl combine the flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles the texture of small peas. Stir in the buttermilk to form a soft sticky dough. Knead into a ball then turn out onto a well-floured work surface and roll to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Use a biscuit cutter or wine glass to cut out 4 biscuits gathering the trimmings and rolling again as necessary. Arrange the biscuits over the fruit. Brush biscuits lightly with additional buttermilk using a pastry brush, sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with or without vanilla ice cream.



Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Oats Vermicelli idli


Adapted from Mallika Badrinath's recipe in 100 Oats recipes book.

Ingredients

1.5 cups dry roasted oats
1 cup roasted vermicelli
2 cups thick curds beaten
Bit of cooking soda
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp blackgram dal
1 tsp bengalgram dal
Salt to taste
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 green chilli finely chopped
Few curry leaves
Optional : Finely chopped cabbage, carrot, boiled peas

Soak the vermicelli for 10 minutes in the curds. Add the oats to it and mix well. Let it stay for another 5 minutes. Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add blackgram dal, bengalgram dal, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger paste. Then add chopped onions and fry for a minute. Add this to the oats vermicelli mixture and add salt. Add water as required to make it a bit loose, but not watery.

Grease idli plates with little oil and put this batter in each hole. Steam for 10 minutes till a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the idli.

Serve hot with chutney/sambar of your choice.
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Monday, August 22, 2011

All about Dijon Mustard

Dijon mustard

I never expected to visit Dijon. But on my first trip to France, I asked my Parisian friends for suggestions for where to go and they said Dijon and nearby Beaune, so off I went. The historic capital of Burgundy, Dijon is a dramatic looking city with lots to do and see. It has many museums, churches, medieval buildings with gargoyles and stunning geometrically patterned roofs of green, white, yellow, black and terra cotta ceramic tiles.



When most people think Dijon, they think mustard. But Dijon is in wine country, home of Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguinon and lots of other rich and rustic dishes including the classic preparation of Escargot in garlic, butter and parsley. In addition to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay and Aligoté, the region is also known for Cremant de Bourgogne and cassis. It's worth noting that you can get to Dijon in under 2 hours from Paris if you take the TGV.



But let's talk mustard. If I had to choose one mustard only (currently I have 7 open jars in my fridge) it would be Dijon. It's mellow and sophisticated in color but with a spicy bite. It's made from brown or black mustard seeds and usually from white wine vinegar, though initially it was made with verjus, a kind of unripe grape juice. Dijon is where you'll find the original Maille shop, founded in 1747, the windows filled with handsome ceramic mustard jars of all sizes. There is another Maille boutique in Paris (right near Fauchon and Laduree at place de la Madeleine).



I'm rather fond of the Maille brand (now a subsidiary of Unilever), it works particularly well in recipes and is not very expensive. If you substitute Grey Poupon (owned by Kraft), you will notice a difference (and it does not work as well in vinaigrette recipes). In France you can buy Dijon mustard flavored with everything from cassis to blue cheese to cognac, nuts, mushrooms, and piment d'espelette. Having been on the giving and receiving end, a small jar of flavored Dijon mustard makes a fine gift.



Here are some ways to use Dijon mustard (other than on sandwiches and hot dogs)



* Combine with oil and vinegar to make a classic vinaigrette



* Add to quiche recipes, especially quiche lorraine



* Slather on fish fillets before baking



* Mix with honey to make a dipping sauce, also great on salmon



* Add a touch to macaroni and cheese



* Use in baked beans



* Combine mustard and olive oil with red potatoes then roast until crusty



* Coat pork chops or chicken in mustard then crust with panko and bake



* Add to potato and egg salads



* Spread it on bread instead of butter



* Simmer mustard with pan drippings, wine, broth and cream to make a sauce for roast chicken



* Add to barbecue sauce



Want to learn more about Dijon cuisine? August 23, 2011 Michelin star chef chefs Jean-Pierre and Alexis Billoux from Dijon will be doing cooking demos at the CUESA kitchen at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market from 10 am - 2 pm as part of the Dijon Must’art tour.


Dosa Chilli


Chilli parota is a famous street food of Tamilnadu that is made with layered parotas. This recipe replaces parotas with healthier dosas..

Ingredients

2 tsp oil
1 medium onion chopped lengthwise
2 tsp capsicum chopped lengthwise
1 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp tomato sauce
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
Bit of ajinomoto
Red chilli powder (optional)
Finely chopped coriander leaves
3 dosas

After making dosas, cut them into half first and then stack one above the other. Cut them lengthwise and seperate the pieces.

Heat oil, add onions and capsicum..fry for 2-3 minutes. Add soya sauce, tomato sauce, garam masala powder, salt (remember that dosas and soya sauce both have salt), red chilli powder as required, chopped coriander leaves and ajinomoto. Mix well in high flame for a few seconds and then add the dosa pieces. Slowly mix it so that the gravy gets coated on the dosas. Serve hot with raita.
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gatte ki subzi


Ingredients

For the gatte -

1 cup gramflour
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp oil

For the gravy -

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion chopped
1 tomato (pureed)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
2 tbsp thick curds beaten

Make a soft dough of the ingredients mentioned for the gatte with water. Pinch balls and roll them cylindrically. Cook in boiling water for about 10 minutes and cut into pieces of 1 inch.

Heat oil, add cumin seeds and when it splutters, add the chopped onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes and add the tomato paste, turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Allow it to come to a boil and add little water as required for the gravy. Finally add the beaten curds and the gatte and allow it to come to a boil.
 
Serve hot with rotis/pooris/jeera rice.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Subway's Baseball Designs Tour & Charity Initiative

subway
SUBWAY® restaurants, the world’s largest restaurant chain, today unveiled the third annual SUBWAY® Baseball DeSIGNS Tour with its first exhibit at the 2011 SUBWAY® National Little League® Baseball Appreciation Game at La Cienega Park in Los Angeles.

The SUBWAY® Baseball DeSIGNS Tour includes more than 40 baseballs designed by young artists and signed by celebrities and athletes including: musician Katy Perry, actor Zac Efron, rock band Maroon 5, gold medal-winning swimmer Michael Phelps, pro football’s Drew Brees, baseball star Ryan Howard, basketball Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards, tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams, celebrity chef, Robert Irvine and Jared Fogle (the “SUBWAY® guy”) among others.


The tour will visit four U.S. cities concluding with a final stop at the Little League® Baseball World Series (LLBWS) from Aug. 19-28, where the baseballs will then be auctioned off to the general public with all proceeds benefiting the Little League® Baseball Urban Initiative program which helps fund start-ups, developments, equipment, clinics and field maintenance for inner-city youth leagues and teams.

"As the world’s leading youth sports organization for over 70 years, Little League® is focused on providing a community program that includes the opportunity to promote physical activity and a healthy lifestyle through participation," said Stephen D. Keener, President and Chief Executive Officer of Little League® Baseball and Softball. Baseball legends and Famous Fans of SUBWAY® will participate in the tour’s various stops including Cy Young Award winner and ESPN baseball personality Orel Hershiser and former Los Angeles all-star outfielder Shawn Green, who will also serve as honorary coaches in the 2011 National Little League® Baseball Appreciation Game.

For more information on the tour, consumers can visit SubwayKids.com and the Official SUBWAY® Facebook page. Online auctions for the celebrity-autographed baseballs will open to the public Aug. 19 and will run through the Little League® Baseball World Series, which concludes Aug. 28

About Little League Baseball & Softball
Little League® Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest and most respected youth sports organization. With players in every U.S. state and more than 70 other countries, the program is led by more than 1 million adult volunteers. It serves children ages 5 through 18, including physically and mentally disabled children (Challenger Division) and children in urban areas (Little League Urban Initiative).

Does your kid have creative design ideas? Then this is your opportunity to help your kid's talent shine through. Participate in the Baseball Design Tour, and your kid's design could be among the final 40 selected to be auctioned for charity. Check out the links above for more details.

Note: This post has been sponsored by Subway to promote the Baseball Designs Initiative.

Eggless Sponge cake


Tried out this recipe from Madhuri's recipe at Cook Curry Nook and it was perfect.. Thanks Madhuri for the recipe

Ingredients

1.5 cups of all purpose flour/ maida
3/4 cup sugar (powdered after measuring)
1.25 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup thick curds beaten
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 tsp vanilla essence


Mix in the powdered sugar with the curd. Add the baking soda and baking powder and stir lightly. Keep aside for 2-3 minutes till it gets frothy. Add oil and vanilla essence to it and mix gently. Slowly add in sieved all purpose flour. Mix gently.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180 degrees celsius and bake further for 20-35 minutes depending on size of the baking pan. Since I used small baking pans of various sizes, it got done in 20 minutes. Keep looking for brown spots on the cake and check back if done with a toothpick. If it comes out clean when inserted in the cake, it is done.

* I used chocolate vermicelli, chocolate icing and coloured sugar balls for the garnishing. Sugar balls and chocolate vermicelli should be added to the cake before baking. For chocolate icing, let the cake cool really well and then garnish with chocolate icing.
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oats Vermicelli dosa


Ingredients

1.5 cups dry roasted oats
1 cup roasted vermicelli
2 tbsp rice flour
2 cups thick curds beaten
Salt to taste
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 green chilli finely chopped
Few curry leaves
Finely chopped coriander leaves
Oil as required
Optional : Finely chopped cabbage, carrot
Mix all the ingredients except oil and add around 1/2 cup of water. Let it stay for about 15 minutes. If required add more water, but the batter should not watery.

Heat tava and pour a ladle full of batter and spread slightly to make a dosa. Sprinkle few drops of oil in the sides and allow it to cook. When it browns on the lower side, slowly flip and cook on other side as well till brown spots appear.
Serve hot with chutney/sambar of your choice.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The San Francisco Street Food Festival 2011

SF Street Food Festival

There are so many reasons to go to the San Francisco Street Food Festival it's hard to know where to start. First and foremost, for just a few dollars (nothing is over $8) you can eat things you love like chicken wings, cheeseburgers and ice cream to things you may not have tried before like chicken mole croissants or wax moth larvae tacos(!) The festival takes place in the Mission district along Folsom Street between 22nd and 26th. It begins at 11 am and goes until 7 pm. It's also a fundraiser for the presenter, La Cocina.



La Cocina is a non-profit incubator that has helped many successful local food businesses get up and running and the festival showcases many of the entrepreneurs in their program. Some of their graduates include Clairesquares maker of the highly addictive milk chocolate crunchy oat flapjacks, Azalina's luscious Malaysian food an Off The Grid stalwart (and featured in Bon Appetit not long ago), and Kika's Treats. Cristina aka Kika is currently offering a gooey Brazilian cheese (gluten free) bread you must try. Other clients include Donna of Love & Hummus. Her organic hummus is silky smooth and comes in unique flavors including my favorite, roasted lemon and thyme. More favorites? Anda Piroshki and El Huarache Loco who makes the antojitos or Mexican snacks that Alemany farmer's market shoppers adore (count me among their fans).



You will also find some famous local and not-so-local restaurants at the festival too. Been dying to try the food at Flour + Water, Commonwealth, Wise Sons Deli? They will all be there. Last year I fell hard for the chicken wings from Nombe, the succulent cheeseburger from 4505 Meats and the matcha gobs from Gobba Gobba Hey. I have no idea what will win me over this year but I can tell you I am planning on trying the banh mi taco from the Peached Tortilla from Austin TX, La Victoria Bakery pan dulce (you may have read that Luis Villavelaquez has revamped the recipes), Beijing's lamb skewers and the sweet potato pie waffle with bourbon caramel sauce from Pinx. Plan ahead by perusing the full list of vendors.



Last but not least, the festival could just as easily be called the International Street Food Festival. There will be food from all over the world with vendors who are originally from places like Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Mexico and Africa. If you still need encouragement, check out the slide show to see just a few of the smiling faces and to get a preview of the ridiculously delicious food. See you there?

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer




More previews?



SFoodie

SFBG

Eater SF

Bay Area Bites (for vegetarian only picks)

Eggless Whole wheat chocolate cake



Radhika's Blog hop Wednesday enters the second week and this time I have been paired with Archana of The Mad Scientist's Kitchen. Eggless Whole wheat chocolate cake was the obvious choice for me considering that it was uses wheat flour instead of all purpose flour, its eggless and the quantity of butter used is very less. There were some changes made to the recipe...since I tried it out in lesser quantity, my cake was done in 6 minutes flat. Also I spread some butterscotch sauce over the cake and skipped the use of instant coffee powder.

Ingredients

2 cups wheat flour
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 tsp cooking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp drinking chocolate powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp butter in room temperature
1/2 cup beaten curd
1 cup milk
2.5 grams of Eno fruit salt
2-3 tbsp butterscotch sauce or chocolate sauce

Mix the butter with curd and milk. In a seperate bowl, mix all the other ingredients except Eno. Now add the butter-curd-milk mixture to it and mix well. The batter loosens up in some time when the sugar melts. Keep this aside for 4 hours.
Add Eno to the batter and pour it in a microwave safe greased container..Ensure the batter doesnt exceed half the size of the bowl. Microwave for 10 minutes but keep checking back even minute after 6 minutes in case you try it out in lesser quantity..or else your cake might get burnt. Insert a toothpick to check if done.
Cool and cut into pieces. Spread butterscotch or chocolate sauce over it and serve.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Corn pongal


Ingredients

2/3 cup broken corn
1/3 cup greengram dal
Salt to taste
2 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Few cashews
Few curry leaves
1/4 tsp ginger paste

Slightly dry roast the broken corn till a bit hot. Pressure cook the dal, roasted broken corn and salt with 3.5 cups of water till soft.

Heat the ghee and add cashews. When slightly golden brown, add cumin seeds, pepper, curry leaves and ginger paste and add it to the pongal. Mix well.

Serve hot with chutney/sambar.
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Thai Red Curry With Tofu & Vegetables

thai-red-curry
Thai curries are famous for their distinct flavors and the coconut base. And I love the fact that you can create beautiful variations by using different types of curry pastes or spice blends to make a red, green or yellow curry. This Friday night, we experimented with the Thai Red Curry made with Tofu and vegetables. What better way to get some protein, vitamins and loads of nutritious juices into our system than make a fulfilling curry! The best part, it was so easy to make, did not need much preparation, as we used a ready-made paste, and it tasted great with hot Jasmine Rice. Perfect for Vegans too! Flavored with lemongrass, basil, kafir leaves and laden with veggies, tofu and bamboo shoots, this Thai Red Curry is surely something that will please your palates!

Ingredients
Adapted from original recipe over at Epicurious

1 medium onion, halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 teaspoons bottled Asian red-curry paste such as Thai Kitchen brand
1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low-fat)
1 teaspoon salt
1 (1-lb) package frozen mixed vegetables such as broccoli, corn, and red peppers
1 (14- to 16-oz) block firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce (optional, omit for vegetarians)
1/4 cups water

Method
Cook the onion in oil in a wide 4-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate, then add garlic and curry paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in coconut milk, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir in vegetables and return to a boil. Cover pot, then reduce heat and cook at a brisk simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Gently stir in tofu and simmer curry, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 7 to 8 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and stir in fish sauce and salt to taste.

To make Jasmine Rice, rinse rice briefly in a sieve and drain, shaking sieve to remove excess water. Bring rice and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart heavy saucepan over high heat, then cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook rice over low heat until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the delicious Thai Red Curry with Tofu in a serving bowl, garnish with some basil and lime wedges, and serve hot with Jasmine Rice.

Need more Thai inspiration? Then check out these basic Thai sauce recipes and Thai Pineapple Fried Rice recipe

Budding blogger : Anamika

Meet Anamika of Taste Junction in the Budding blogger series this week

She says -

Hi, I'm Anamika, an Indian by birth and soul. I am an advertising professional on a sabbatical, busy raising my 2 year old hyperactive son, while travelling and moving countries with my husband, and in the process setting up new place to live everywhere I go.Though a foodie for as long I remember, yet the comforts of being with family rarely brought me to kitchen. It was only when we moved to Dubai and had to live and cook independently, that I was thrown into the deep waters. Thankfully so, because it gave me something to cherish, to enjoy. I love to see the expression on the face of my son, husband and family and friends (in that order) when they enjoy my meal. Presently I'm in Bahrain and getting used to the slower life out here.

Taste Junction is my way of exploring the changing styles of a modern Indian kitchen. It would have not just lovely Indian recipes, with focus on North Indian (that's where I am from), but would share some tasty dishes from all over the world. And that's why the name Taste Junction, a meeting ground, a melting pot of different flavours and aromas. But baking would form a great part of it, for sure since that's my current love.

While getting my way around in the kitchen, I'm also trying to learn the ropes of photography, food photography. I really like to see well photographed and well written posts. Yes I like a bit of writing too, samples of which you can see on my page - Scribbles. Other than that I'm a regular simple girl, who likes to travel, shop, read, eat chocolates, get gifts and basically all the simple pleasures of life.

Though all my blog posts & recipes are dear to me, yet I would like to share few of my favorites with you . Chocolate lava cake, Tomato Tart, Chocolate shortbread fingers, Hyderabadi baghara baingan, Spinach spaghetti and Waldorf salad. Hope you like it too!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hoornada Holige


Tried out this delicious variation of poli from Prathibha's blog The Chef and her Kitchen..Thanks Prathibha for this traditional version.

Ingredients

For outer layer -

1 cup very fine rava called chiroti rawa
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup oil
Ghee as required

For the filling -

1 cup redgram dal
1 cup grated jaggery
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup grated coconut
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp elaichi powder

Mix the rawa, salt and make a soft dough with required water. Keep kneading the dough well to make it softer and soak the dough with oil for an hour. Remove excess oil and it can be used for other purposes. The outer dough is ready. Make balls of it.

Soak the dal for 10 minutes and cook with water, turmeric, salt and ghee till soft but not mushy. Strain excess water. Heat grated jaggery with a bit of water till it melts and add the dal, coconut, elaichi powder and mix well. Once cool, grind the mixture to a smooth paste without adding water. Make balls of it and keep ready.

Grease banana leaf with little oil and pat the outer dough into a round. Place the filling ball in the center and cover it with the outer dough. Pat slowly to a thin round without letting out the filling as far as possible. Slowly invert the leaf on a hot tava and remove the leaf carefully. Spread a bit ghee and cook on both sides till brown spots appear.

Serve with a drop of ghee over it.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bread cup sprouts chat


The recipe for baked bread cups is inspired from Nithi's recipe at 4th Sense Cooking.

Ingredients

Bread slices (I used brown slices)
Butter as required
Cooked moong sprouts
Salt to taste
Chaat masala
Sev
Sweet chutney
Green chutney
Thick beaten curd
Finely chopped onion
Finely chopped tomato
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Remove the corners of the bread if you want to and apply little butter on both sides. Place them in a cupcake tin. Preheat oven to 190 degrees and bake for 10 minutes.


Assemble the chat just before serving.

Add sprouts to the bread cups, then chopped onions and tomatoes, sev, sweet and green chutney, bit of curd and finally coriander leaves.


Serve immediately
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bajra Pongal


Ingredients

2/3 cup broken bajra
1/3 cup greengram dal
Salt to taste
2 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Few cashews
Few curry leaves
1/4 tsp ginger paste

Slightly dry roast the broken bajra till a bit hot. Pressure cook the dal, roasted broken bajra and salt with 3 cups of water till soft. It would look a bit gooey but it wouldnt affect the taste.

Heat the ghee and add cashews. When slightly golden brown, add cumin seeds, pepper, curry leaves and ginger paste and add it to the pongal. Mix well.

Serve hot with chutney/sambar.
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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Simple Chickpea and Mung Salad

mung-protein-salad

There are days when you feel like eating the most simple and nutritious things in life, and naturally, the first thing that comes to your mind is a Salad. There are loads of salad dressings available in the market these days, but if you closely look at the labels on them, you'll find they are not always less in calories. It's best to stick to simple and traditional home-dressings when you are trying to fill yourself up with something nutritious. Here's my favorite salad, which I call a bowlful of protein, as it's made of lentils, spinach and peppers, no fancy dressing, no additional pizzazz, just plain old simple Indian salad!


Ingredients
2 cups of washed fresh spinach leaves
2 cans of boiled chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 cups of boiled green mung beans
1 green or yellow bell pepper
1 small onion - chopped finely
1 green cucumber - diced
1/2 cup of lemon juice
1 firm tomato - chopped finely
salt and pepper - to taste
chaat masala - to sprinkle on the top
a handful of coriander leaves - chopped

Method
Mix all the ingredients except the spinach leaves in a large bowl and add the lemon juice to it. Let it refrigerate covered for at least half an hour, allowing the lentils to soak the lemon juice.

Before serving, add the spinach leaves, salt, black pepper powder and chaat masala and toss well so it is evenly combined. Add finely chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately!

This Chickpea and Mung salad is a healthy and highly nutritive salad, and can keep you full for quite some time, thanks to all the protein and fiber content that it has!

Thai Shaved Ice ~ Mimi Chan



To view more of Mimi Chan's creations, visit:

Flickr: flickr.com/photos/mimiisme