Flourless Peanut cookies

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Bakeathon 2016, Day 2

My New Year resolution has been constant for years now. Weigh loss. Its not a resolution, its a prayer actually. Its almost like me closing my years and praying to all theGods to grant me this wish where I am ten kilos lighter immediately. Like Magic! My fervent prayers and wishes have gone unanswered all these years. So in 2016, my resolution stayed the same, but I decided to take small steps towards weight loss. One major decision was that I won’t bake without an occasion. As you clearly can see, I cannot be left with butter and sugar, all by myself!!

The point of the entire speech is that, I am not able remember why I made these cookies. I clearly remember that these were very easy to make and also that it tasted good (if you like peanut butter, that is!). But no clue about the occasion. I made these in early 2016, about two weeks after my solemn promise not to bake anymore than its absolutely necessary. Apparently that’s the maximum period of time I can hold on to my resolutions ;-). Anyway, I am fine since I did stop baking altogether except for birthdays of friends and family. And at this point, I am happy that I have these cookies to share for today’s post :-)

1peanut-butter-cookies

Recipe adapted from Food.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat oven to 180 C. Grease and line three baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together the peanut butter and sugar with a hand mixer until smooth.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, beating it in until combined.
  4. Add the baking soda and vanilla extract. Mix it gently and evenly using your hands or a silicone spatula.
  5. Now, add the chocolate chips and carefully mix it in with your hands or the spatula.
  6. Make 1 inch balls off the dough. Flatten them and line them in a baking tray. The cookies spread, so leave enough space when placing in the pan.
  7. Bake for about 10 minutes. The cookies are overdone if the edges are brown.
  8. Take the cookies off the oven. These are delicate, so do not touch them for at least 5 minutes. Let it rest in the pan itself.
  9. Once they are cool, store in airtight containers.
  10. This recipes makes about 3 dozen medium cookies.

3peanut-butter-cookies


This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


 

Chana masala

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BM # 71
Week 1, Day 1
Theme : One pot dishes
I am surprised that the oft repeated everyday dishes are hardly featured here in my space. I was sure that I had a recipe for chana and rajma here since its something I make regularly. Apparently not! Its been part of some thali meals in the past, but never been featured as a recipe post here. Since its a regular dish at my place, I will get a chance soon to update this post with better pictures sometime down the line.
I always use pav bhaji masala when making chana masala. Its something I started long back and I don’t remember how I decided pav bhaji is the masala for this curry. Kasuri methi also adds a wonderful flavor to this dish.
Now a days, I make this curry in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker). I use soaked chana directly and don’t bother with cooking it ahead or using canned beans to cut short the time.
Read on for the pictorial.

1chana_masala

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • one teaspoon oil
  • one medium onion, chopped finely
  • two medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or per taste)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 can garbonzo beans (or soaked and cooked chana)
  • 1 tablespoon Pav bhaji masala
  • 2 teaspoons kasuri methi
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • salt

Pictorial

IMG_6156 IMG_6157

Heat one teaspoon oil and saute one chopped medium onion. When it turns pink, add two chopped medium tomatoes. Saute till tomato is cooked a bit and is a little mushy. Add the masala powders (1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chili, 1 heaped tsp coriander, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tablespoon pav bhaji masala). I forgot to add it at this point, so added it later. Add the salt also.

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Mix well. Cover the pot with a lid and let it cook in low heat for 4-5 minutes. If its dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to prevent the masalas from sticking to the bottom. Stir in between to ensure nothing burns.

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When the masalas are all cooked and the tomatoes are mashed well, add 1/2 cup water. Take aside 1/4 cup of cooked or canned garbanzo beans and make a paste out of it in a mixer jar. This paste step is optional, but helps in thickening the curry.

IMG_6172   IMG_6176

Add the rest of the chana to the curry. Add water to cover the chana. About 2-3 cups. Let it come to a boil. Add the chana paste to the curry and mix it in with a ladle. This will help thicken the curry.

IMG_6177 IMG_6180

Pav bhaji masala is coming to my mind only now :D. Better late than never, add a tablespoon of it to the curry.

IMG_6181 IMG_6184

Now time for kasuri methi and chopped coriander. Add it and mix. Let it cook in medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, taste testing and adjusting it as necessary. Take off the heat when it reaches the desired consistency. Serve hot with rice or roti.

BMLogo

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#71

Mujadara

3mujadara

BM # 71
Week 1, Day 1
Theme : One pot dishes
I am here with an oft repeated dish at my place that is simple to make and is very tasty. Its a one pot rice and lentil dish. I have an adapted version of this dish in my space, its a tasty recipe,  but a far cry from the original Lebanese Mujadara. This version here is a lot more closer to the authentic version, though still not as mushy as it should be.
The mushiness of the dish is something I play with according to my mood. Traditionally, its more like our bisibelabath’s runny texture. This dish needs only onions, rice and lentils with minimal amount of spices. The sauteed onions are a major taste contributor, so don’t skimp there.
I have adapted this recipe from foodnetwork.com. Please check out some videos too in case you decide to try this recipe. Read on for the pictorial.

2mujadara

Pictorial

This recipe makes 4 generous servings. Clean and soak 3/4 cup of basmati rice. Set aside. Wash and clean one cup green lentils (whole masoor dal) and soak with enough water. Set aside.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan. Saute three big sliced onions till they are caramelized, about 10 minutes or so. Add salt to hasten the process. Keep half of the caramelized onions aside. To the other half in the pan, add 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder. Mix it in well.

Drain the soaked cup of basmati rice. Add it to the onion mix and saute for a minute. Add 3 cups water, lots of chili flakes (if you want the heat) and the lentils. Taste test and add salt if needed.

Cover and cook for about 25-35 minutes, checking in between. The rice has to cook completely and the water should be absorbed. Taste test and adjust seasoning. Mix in the caramelized onions well. Take off the heat and serve with yogurt and chips.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup basmati rice, cleaned and soaked
  • 1 cup green lentils (whole masoor dal),soaked or cooked
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 big onions, sliced
  • 1 stick of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
  • chili flakes, optional
  • salt
  • yogurt and chips for serving

Method:

  1. Clean and soak 3/4 cup of basmati rice. Set aside. Wash and clean one cup green lentils (whole masoor dal) and soak with enough water. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a pan. Saute three big sliced onions till they are caramelized, about 7-10 minutes. Add salt to hasten the process. Keep half of the caramelized onions aside.
  3. To the other half in the pan, add 1 stick of cinnamon (optional), 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder. Mix it in well.
  4. Drain the basmati rice. Add it to the pan, mix and saute for a minute. Add 3 cups water, lots of chili flakes (if you want the heat) and the lentils. Taste test and add salt if needed.
  5. Cover and cook for about 20-30 minutes, checking in between. The rice has to cook completely and the water should be absorbed. Taste test and adjust seasoning. Mix in the caramelized onions and stir to distribute evenly. Take off the heat and serve with yogurt and chips.

1mujadara

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Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#71

Rajma curry for chawal

3rajma

BM # 71
Week 1, Day 1
Theme : One pot dishes
I bought Instant Pot sometime back and now I am a big fan of it. Its an electric pressure cooker and I end up making a lot of one pot dishes in it. The best part is that there is no need to babysit it, you can set the time and walk away without counting the number of whistles or worrying when to turn it off. I usually keep rice in the IP if I have to step out in the mornings, so that way when I am back the lunch is done.
My staples are dal makhini, rajma, sambar, one pot pastas, mujadara, pulao. Rice and dal using separators are also regular.
So for a one pot recipe, I turned to my Instant Pot and here it is!

2rajma

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon jeera
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2-3 green chillies, cut into two
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder (or per taste)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 cup rajma soaked overnight
  • salt

Method:

  1. Wash and soak rajma overnight or for at least three hours. Set aside.
  2. The next morning, heat oil in a pressure cooker or Instant pot (electric pressure cooker). If you are using Instant pot, you have to use the ‘Saute’ function. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  3. Add chopped onions and sliced green chillies to the pan and saute until pink. Time to add the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a few moments and then add the chopped tomatoes. Once it is mixed well, add all the masalas and salt. Let the tomatoes cook until they are a bit mushy.
  4. Change the water of rajma and refill with fresh water. Add this to the pressure cooker. Change the program to ‘Bean/Chili’ in Instant Pot and set the time to 25 minutes. In ordinary pressure cooker, wait for the first whistle and reduce the heat to minimum and let it cook for another 40 minutes.
  5. Let the pressure release naturally. Open the pot, stir everything together. Taste test and if you are adjusting the seasoning, let it cook for another 5 minutes for the flavors to mingle. You can mash the rajma a bit if the curry needs thickening up.
  6. Serve with plain rice or roti.

1rajma

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Ricotta loaf

ricotta loaf-002

Bakeathon 2016, Day 1

The good thing about blogging break is that your draft folder gets stocked up. So when you want to get back to blogging, you have so many choices to pick up from. This is one of those picks. In fact, most of my bakeathon posts are from my drafts reservoir.

I was looking for a recipe to use up some ricotta cheese and I ended up trying this recipe from Pavani’s space.Incidently her original post was also a part of Bakeathon, but in the year 2014.

Check out the recipe and scroll down for recipes from fellow bloggers for day 1 of Bakeathon 2016.

ricotta loaf-001

Recipe source: Cook’s Hide out

Ingredients:

  • 2 2/3 cups bread flour
  •  teaspoons instant yeast
  • tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter – softened 
  • a little oil to coat the dough while proofing
  • 1-2 teaspoons butter to brush on the loaf after baking

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients except the last two in a big bowl. Add 1/4 cup water first and add more in tablespoons if you need. Knead into a smooth dough. Knead it for another 10 minutes in a lightly floured surface.
  2. Return the dough into the bowl, coat it with oil. Cover and set aside for the dough to double. It might take 45 minutes to even two hours depending on how cold the weather is.
  3. Once its doubled, punch it down and shape it into a roll to fit your loaf pan. Place it in a lightly greased loaf pan and let it sit for a second rise. About 45 minutes to an hour.
  4. Heat the oven to 350 F. Bake for about 35-45 minutes or until done. Browning is an indication of whether the bread is done or it sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
  5. Take off the oven and brush with butter all over the bread. Let it cool completely before slicing.

ricotta loaf


This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016


 

Quick meals Saravana Bhavan

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BM # 70
Week 4, Day 3
Theme : Thali
My plan for the thali week of blogging marathon was to pick three thali meals from Saravana Bhavan, a leading South Indian restaurant. I prepared this quick lunch meal from their menu. But somehow I had to let it go of the idea and use posts already in my drafts.
Saravana Bhavan has 4 kind of lunch thalis – South Indian meals, North Indian meals, Mini tiffin meals and Quick lunch meals. I have tried to recreate their quick lunch meals. The menu shows the platter has sambar rice, variety rice of the day, curd rice, a porial (vegetable preparation), sweet, pickle and papad.
Looking at the plate, I wish I had the big steel plate with compartments for each of the dishes. That would have made the meal a lot more impressive and a lot like how they serve at the restaurant. Just like in the menu, the meal has
  • Sambar rice
  • Kadamba rice using ready made paste
  • Curd rice
  • Peas carrot beans porial (recipe below)
  • Pickle
  • papad
  • Semiya Kesari

This post goes to Blogging Marathon# 70 .  Check out this page to see posts from other participating bloggers.

1quick_meals

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots, cut into circles
  • 1 cup chopped beans
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 3 tablespoon grated coconut
  • 2 green chillies or 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Method:

  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and 4-5 curry leaves (if you have it). Once the mustard seeds pop, add the vegetables and slit green chillies. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Sprinkle a handful of water and cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring in between to prevent the vegetables from sticking at the bottom.
  3. Add salt and grated coconut. Mix everything to combine well. Taste test, adjust spices if needed. Serve with sambar rice.

2quick_meals

North Indian Thali

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Good thing happen quite unexpectedly at times. Like the phone call you get from your close friend saying that she is free to come and stay with us for a few days. When she came, it was celebration time. Loads and loads of foodie time. We hogged on lunch buffets, Thai restaurant dinners, hot chocolate at malls and thali meals at Indian restaurant. Luckily for her and me, she returned before we burst at the seams :-)).

But hey, we deserved all our treats, because we walked an hour one way to get to the Indian buffet place. So two hours of walking for 40 minutes of eating is completely justified…in my book at least.

Coming to the thali here, this is very similar to the one we had at one of the restaurants. Its  basically rice and roti with dal, 2 curries, pappad, curd, salad and pickle. We were served meeta rice at the restaurant, but I didn’t make any dessert as we had some truffles to finish off.

The thali has:

  • Rice
  • Roti
  • Dal tadka (recipe below)
  • Peas mushroom masala
  • Aloo bhindi fry
  • yogurt
  • tomato onion slices (salad)
  • pickle

3north-indian-thali

BM # 70
Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Thali
Recipe: Dal Tadka
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup moong dal
  • a good pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1 small onion chopped finely
  • 2 green chillies or per taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 medium tomato, cut into 6-8 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt as needed
  • 2 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
Method:
  1. Wash and soak the dal. Pressure cook it along with turmeric powder and enough water to soak it completely. Let the steam release naturally.
  2. In a small kadai, heat oil or ghee. Add the jeera seeds and once it changes its color, add the onions and slit green chillies. Saute until the onions turn pink.
  3. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute more. Tomatoes go in now. Add the coriander powder and garam masala and mix everything well. If the curry looks dry, add a little bit of water to stop the masalas from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Mash the cooked dal with a ladle and add it to the pan, along with a cup of water. You might have to add more water to bring it to the consistency you prefer. Let the dal boil for 4-5 minutes for the flavors to mingle. Add chopped coriander leaves at the end and turn off the heat. Serve with rice or roti.

2north-indian-thali

This post goes to Blogging Marathon# 70 .  Check out this page to see posts from other participating bloggers.

4north-indian-thali

Sadya on a plate – 2016 Onam

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BM # 70
Week 4, Day 1
Theme : Thali
A proper thali meal needs some planning in terms of preparation and execution. People mostly prepare a thali or any elaborate meal when there is some festival or guests are visiting. In my case, my fridge was empty to prepare a thali meal, but my drafts section was full. So I am taking you back to a meal I prepared in September this year for Onam.
With my dad visiting us, there was some motivation in preparing this mini sadya. If it was just the three of us, I don’t think I would have bothered. We had a full sadya the next day at a friend’s place, so Onam really was good :-).
Though the plate looks messy, it has twelve dishes in there. The chips and pickle are ready made, but everything else was prepared at home. Funniest part was that my fridge was equally empty that day also, so this is literally what I scrapped from all my resources – fridge, freezer and pantry.I wasn’t planning on capturing the sadya on camera, but I am glad I did!
The meal has

This post goes to Blogging Marathon# 70 .  Check out this page to see posts from other participating bloggers.

Recipe source: Ramya’s recipe

Ingredients: 

To grind:

  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 green chilli or per taste

Other ingredients:

  • 2 cups pineapple chunks (I used canned)
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • salt as needed
  • 1/3 cup yogurt, whisked well
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oil

Method:

  1. Cook pineapple chunks with a little water and a pinch of turmeric powder. Add salt as needed.
  2. Grind the coconut, mustard seeds, jeera and chilli to a smooth paste adding water as needed. Add this paste to the cooked pineapple. Let it boil for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat.
  3. Whisk the yogurt well and add it to the pineapple mix. Mix well and take off the stove.
  4. Heat one teaspoon of oil in a small pan for tadka. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the mustard pops, take off the heat and add it to the kichadi. That’s it!

3onam_2016

 

Parippu thogayal

 

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My mother in law used to make poricha kuzhambu and keerai masiyal every Saturday for lunch. When we moved out, we started doing the same, but on Fridays and without the keerai masiyal. For us, it was poricha kuzhambu, pickle, rice and pappadam. If I feel fancy, I used to make a thogayal.

Poricha kootu or kuzhambu is a dish which uses up leftover bits of veggies. It takes all veggies in small quantities and is not spicy usually. A spicy pickle or thogayal makes an excellent side dish.

Read on for the pictorial recipe. This post goes to the Cooking from Cookbook Challenge. Please check out this page for more details about the event.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add 1/2 cup toor dal and fry until it turns slightly brown. Transfer into the blender. In the same pan, add 3 garlic cloves , 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns and 3-4 red chillies(these are the spice source, so adjust according to your taste). Saute for a minute until the chillis are dry. You can add 1/4 cup coconut to the pan now and fry for another minute. I added it at the time of blending though.

Transfer everything into a mixer jar and blend with 1/4 cup coconut. We like thick and spicy thogayal, so I add only a little water to get everything smooth and ground.

A3thogayal

Chocolate Strawberry Chia Pudding

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BM # 70

Week 2, Day 3

Theme :Fruit based Recipes 

One look at Sapana’s chia pudding recipe yesterday and I knew what I had to make for Day 3. My son is not a fan of chia seeds when added to milkshakes, but I thought its time to assess his reaction to puddings. The kid really enjoyed and finished off two (mini) servings happily. It did help that the flavor was chocolate with a lavish layer of strawberry preserve in between.

Me and my camera are still in the readjusting phase, so hopefully the pictures will start getting better in a few weeks. Until then, this is how its going to be..It could be worse, so I am ok with these for now. Read on for the recipe and my determination to finish off my Costco hot chocolate packets.

This post goes to Blogging Marathon# 70. Check out this page to see posts from other participating bloggers.

2chia-pudding

Recipe Inspiration : Sapana’s blog

Makes 4 mini servings

Ingredients:

For chocolate layer 

  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 packet hot chocolate

For strawberry layer

  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 small cup of strawberry yogurt

To assemble

  • chocolate chia pudding
  • 4 teaspoons strawberry preserve
  • strawberry chia pudding
  • a few slices of banana for topping

Method:

  1. Mix everything for the chocolate layer in a bowl with room to expand.
  2. Mix the strawberry layer in a separate pan. Refrigerate both overnight.
  3. The next morning, layer four small glasses with a layer of strawberry preserve in between and serve.

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