Thai Rainbow Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing

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I have started to believe that I have a thing towards fresh produce and making everything from scratch whether its salad dressings, breads, ghee and possibly everything within my scope. There is still a long way to go, lot of skills to learn however I am loving this. Using local and fresh ingredients rather than frozen ones adds such a depth of flavor and a feel good factor in everything you make. The effort that goes in making everything perfect for your family and friends, making everything pure and good is a true epitome of love and affection.

This salad is all about freshness – delicious and crunchy ingredients, a flavorful dressing, beautifully tossed together and yay! its ready. A perfect way to welcome the summer and enjoy every bit of homemade thai flavors.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 – 5 people)

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup red carrots, julineed
  • 1/3 cup mixed bell peppers, julineed
  • 180 – 200 grams rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 red chilli, for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup soy
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

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METHOD:

For the dressing:

  • Whisk everything together until incorporated and keep aside until ready to use.

For the salad:

  • Take a bowl filled with boiling hot water and place the rice vermicelli noodles in it. Let it soak for 2 – 3 minutes or until the noodles is cooked.
  • Once done drain it and wash it with tap water. Allow the water to completely drain off.
  • In a large bowl mix together red cabbage, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, coriander leaves, black sesame seeds and noodles and toss it so that everything is almost evenly distributed.
  • Add the dressing and toss it.
  • Garnish with red chilli, peanuts and coriander leaves and serve!

 

 

Eggless Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I have a special relationship with muffins. Be it a classic chocolate chip muffin or a blueberry muffin, I usually whip up atleast one batch of a different muffin every week. A freshly baked muffin for breakfast is what I call a perfect start to my day. And this classic Eggless Chocolate Chip Muffin is a dream come true on the breakfast table. The aroma of freshly baked goodies, the beautifully baked muffins right out of the oven sitting atop the kitchen top and waiting to be devoured – the sense of happiness and excitement is unparalleled. These muffins needs no frills or fancies. Its about the basic ingredients all whipped together to bring a smile on your face when you bite into it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6 muffins)

  • 60 grams whole wheat flour
  • 30 grams oats flour
  • 70 grams brown sugar
  • 60 ml oil
  • 120 ml yogurt (I used Epigamia Artisinal yogurt)
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp heaped baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. LIne your cupcake tray with liners or spray it with a cooking spray generously and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix whole wheat flour and oats flour and keep aside
  • In another bowl mix oil, sugar, yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk it well. Now add baking soda and baking powder to it and whisk it.
  • Add the flour mix into the wet ingredients and fold it until incorporated.
  • Add the chocolate chips and fold it gently into the mixture.
  • Evenly divide the batter into the prepared muffin moulds and bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, allow it to cool done and dive in!

Gharwali Khichdi

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Basic homestyle khichdi is my synonym for comfort food. There is nothing better that can remind you of clean and sumptuous home food than this Khichdi. A bowl of piping hot Mixed Dal Khichdi, a generous dollop of ghee and a fragrant tadka – a complete one pot meal and definitely your answer to a lazy day food.

 

Growing up in a Marwari family, khichdi was a pretty regular affair in the kitchen with so many different variations. Not only was it served with homemade ghee but also with kadhi, pickle, papad, fried munchies and curd. A simple dish was ornated and with that extra touch of love (read Ghee!) from grandmom made it even more delicious. Light on the tummy, nutritious and yummy, this lentil and rice concoction has been one of my all time favorite Indian meal. You definitely can’t go wrong with this one!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked lentils, soaked in water for 30 minutes (I took half moong dal and half Toor dal)
  • 1 green chili, split lengthwise
  • 2 – 3 dried red chilli
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod, seeds removed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ghee + extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • hing, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro leaves, for garnsihing
  • fried onion, for garnsihing

METHOD:

  • Take a saucepan and put it on medium heat. Meanwhile wash the lentils under water a couple of times.
  • Once the saucepan is heated, put ghee. Now add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing, green chili, red chilli, grated ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cardamom pod and saute for 10 seconds.
  • Now add the washed lentils and stir for 40 – 50 seconds.
  • Add some salt and turmeric powder and mix it well. Add 1 cup of water and mix it. Cover the saucepan and let the lentil for 10 minutes or so.
  • Once half done, add the washed rice into the saucepan and give it a good stir. Add more salt and around 2 1/2 cups of water and stir. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the mix cook for 20 minutes or until the rice and lentil is perfectly cooked.
  • Once done, transfer it to a bowl, garnish with coriander leaves, fried onions and a generous dollop of ghee and dig in!

 

Eggless Oat Cookies

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Usher into the cookie month with some simple Oat Cookies. Making batches after batches of cookies is indeed therapeutic. Warm spices to fresh herbs, chunks of butter to heaps of flour, beautiful little cookie cutters to perfectly baked cookies – the journey of making cookies is fun. Every cookie dough has exciting ingredients and its own story to tell.

These Oat Cookies were specially baked for my 2.5 year old lil one. He loves munching on homemade cookies during evenings and I love baking it for him. It allows me to introduce different flavor combinations in a beautiful way. Watching me bake so often, he loves taking part in the entire process, mixing ingredients to cutting the cookies. These classic cookies are super easy, fun to bake with kids and a total winner in my kitchen. The spice blend in the cookie dough lends a wonderful warmth to the cookie, while the oats make it chewy and addictive. Add this easy cookie recipe to your reportoire and you’ll never regret it!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 24 cookies)

  • 220 gms oat flour + extra for dusting
  • 40 gms rolled oats
  • 220 gms unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 70 gms icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 tbsp whole milk (optional)
  • pinch of salt

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl take unsalted butter and beat it until smooth. This will take around 30 – 40 seconds. Now add icing sugar and beat it until its smooth.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 – 25 seconds.
  • Add oat flour, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and salt and fold in the mixture until well incorporated.
  • Add the remaining rolled oats and fold in until just incorporated. In case the dough is too thick, add 1 – 2 tbsp of whole milk and fold in gently.
  • Transfer the mixture to a well dusted surface and bring the dough together to form a disc. Do not knead it.
  • Wrap the dough with cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 40 – 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile line the baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside. Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick circle. Using cookie cutter cut the cookies into the desired shape and tranfer on the baking sheet.
  • Keep this baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until its firm.
  • Now take it out and put it to bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
  • Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely. Once its cools down, it firms up better.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container and enjoy these for a week.

 

 

4-Ingredient Homemade Cranberry Jam

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Jams often reminds me of my childhood days. It transports me back it in time when mum used to generously slather store bought jam on a piece of bread and then tummy was happy! The fridge door was usually adorned with a plethora of beautiful and colorful jars of jams – berry, orange and lots more. To me jam making always seemed like a difficult process, until I tried to give it a shot. My first homemade jam was a strawberry chia jam and believe me it was darn delicious! I realized how very few ingredients can be turned into something so wonderful and addictive. With Christmas approaching, I have already begun the multitude of baking sessions in my kitchen. This Cranberry Jam is a must try. Layer it on your toast, swirl it in your festive loaf cakes, fill it in your cookies – it tastes delicious.

A quick, 4 ingredient recipe is sure to win everyone’s heart. Planning to gift homemade goodies this Christmas to friends and family or planning to make some dessert for the party, this Jam is the answer to all your needs.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 cup)

  • 200 gms of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 120 gms granulated white sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

METHOD:

  • Wash the cranberries properly. Take the cranberries in a saucepan along with sugar ad water and let it cook on low-medium heat.
  • Keep stirring it occasionally. Once the berries have softened by 60%, take a potato masher and gently mash the entire mixture.
  • Let the berries cook more and it will soften completely and start to thicken.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in lemon juice if needed and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Once cooled transfer it into a clean, moisture free glass container. Keep it in the fridge until consumption.

 

Corn, Broccoli and Cauliflower Bake

 

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Looking for a perfect partner for this winter? We have an answer for you. Look forward! Winters makes me snuggle into cozy jackets and blankets. It makes me feel lazy and I wish if my personal robot could accomplish all my to do list. The struggle starts right from waking up early in the morning and continues till the end of the day where I have gorged on some extra comforting food that I can almost feel the needle of the weighing scale moving no longer by grams each day, but kgs.

Winter calls for some doozy meal makeover to the commonplace dishes. Freshest of produce available in the market, it gives everyone an option to paint their own canvas, create their own paintings. As I mentioned earlier my association with winter food is Soups, Casseroles, lots of dry fruits and lots of cheese! Mum often threw the veggies she loved (which obviously I loathed) into a glass baking container, garnished it with cheese and into the oven. This recipe draws inspiration from her famous Au-Gratin. The creaminess from the white bechamel sauce, the goodness from the winter produce and cheese crust – all ties together to bring a delicious family meal. Just about the easiest and the tastiest thing you can ever make when the weather makes you want to work less.

Chop chop, crank up your oven and enjoy this hearty bowl of awesomeness now!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1 cup corn kernels, blanched until tender (I used frozen corn, you can use fresh too)
  • 150 grams broccoli florets, blanched until tender
  • 200 grams cauliflower florets, blanched until tender
  • 50 grams unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 40 grams all purpose flour ( you can also use whole wheat flour)
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk, room temperature (you might slightly more based on your white sauce consistency)
  • 1 tsp of dried mixed hers (I used dried oregano and dried basil)
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup processed cheese, grated
  • 1/ 2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
  • few sprigs of micro greens, for garnish

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take a saucepan on low flame and put in 40 grams unsalted butter into it. Once the butter melts, add 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic and sauté.
  • Now add the flour and keep stirring and cooking the mixture to avoid the flour from burning. This would take about 1.5 – 2 minutes.
  • Now add milk slowly and keep stirring to avoid forming lumps. You can add a 4 – 5 tbsp of water if the consistency is becoming too thick.
  • Bring it to boil on medium flame. Add processed cheese, mixed herbs, chili flakes, sugar, salt and freshly grounded black pepper. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take the remaining butter in a saucepan. Saute garlic cloves, pinch of chili flakes and dried oregano. Now add the bread crumbs and sauté for 30 – 40 seconds and keep aside.
  • Take a baking container. I used a borosil baking tray dish. Put 2 – 3 tbsp of white sauce. Then layer it with the blanched veggies (corn, cauliflower and broccoli) and then pour the remaining white sauce mixture.
  • Garnish with cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese evenly (leaving one table spoon of each aside).
  • Now layer with the panko bread crumb mixture evenly and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
  • Put this to bake for atleast 20 – 22 minutes or until the crust starts to bubble and turns golden brown.
  • Take it out of the oven, garnish with micro greens and dive in!

Sooji Rava Dhoklas

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Everyone has their special time with their daily cup of coffee or tea. Its the most precious time. It rejuvenates you, gives you the necessary kick and you are back to your daily chores. And when you can pair something delicious and healthy with your cup of coffee or tea, its pure bliss. This fluffy suji dhokla is my all time favourite breakfast and snack. I remember mum making it so often – sometimes the basic ones and sometimes loaded with colorful veggies. I had an undying love for this dish and still love it. Lapping up with homemade tangy chutney – oh so yum! Never do I remember that a batch of these dhiklas lasted for more than 30 minutes. We literally gobbled up these pillow-y bites.

The fluffy dhoklas, tempered with basic Indian spices is delicious and my entire family loves it. Its a no brainer recipe and a perfect addition to your meal table.

RECIPE

METHOD: (For 3 – 4 people)

For the dhokla batter:

  • 2 cup semolina/ sooji
  • 1 cup curd (I used relatively thin curd)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 /2 tbsp oil + extra for brushing the plate
  • 1/4 tsp green chili paste
  • 1 packet eno
  • salt, to taste

For tempering:

  • 1 green chili, cut lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 10 – 12 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • coriander leaves, for garnishing

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl mix all the ingredients mentioned under the dhokla batter except Eno and whisk it until combined.
  • Now add some water so that it the batter is slightly thicker than the idli batter.
  • Meanwhile add water in the steamer base and ring it to oil. Grease the pan with oil and keep aside.
  • Now add eno to the batter and whisk it vigourously until evenly incorporated. Immediately transfer the batter to the pan and put it to steam until a tooth pick  inserted comes out clean. This would take about 15 – 18 minutes on a medium-high flame.
  • Once cooked allow it to cool for 10 minutes and then slice it up.
  • Meanwhile for tempering, take a saucepan on a medium flame. Add oil, curry leaves, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, sesame seeds and saute for 10 seconds.
  • Now add chili flakes and green chili and saute for 20 seconds.
  • Now add a couple of tablespoons of water and turn off the flame. Saute for 10 seconds and pour the tempering over the sliced pieces of dhokla.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with green coriander chutney.

Enjoy!

NOTE: Please note that in case you have to make this dhikla in 2 batches, add eno to the first batch and put it to steam immedaitely. Only when the next batch is ready to go inside the steamer is when you put eno to that batch.