Monday, 28 April 2014

Eggless Dates Walnut Coffee Cake

Baking Cake on weekend(sunday) and enjoying it on weekday with coffee is something very rewarding...Why am I saying this..because that is what I am doing while typing this recipe.
My dates and walnut cake is a hit always, with friends and family.
But for quiet long I was wondering whether I can transform it to a healthy fruit cake.
So what better to try it on a weekend, when I have a good quality of dates and walnuts.
My original dates and walnut cake recipe has butter and completely based on Plain flour.
Want o simply know why walnuts, then read here.
Dates are good for digestion, rich in dietary fibre, prevents bad cholesterol, rich in iron, potassium, vitamin B,  B6,A and K and along with it has  Copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin are also present in dates and provide their own unique preventive and healing functions.
So what all these does is simply, help your body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eating dates in moderation can contribute to many health benefits, such as protecting against damage to cells from free radicals, helping preventing a stroke, coronary heart disease and the development of colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
Enough of knowledge to use dates and walnuts.
Now in the recipe I have whole wheat flour, pure cane sugar instead of normal sugar, vegetable oil in place of butter and for the extra kick the coffee.

Dry Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Flour - 11/2 cups,
Plain Flour - 1/2 cup,
Salt - a pinch,
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon,
Bicarbonate of Soda - 1/2 teaspoon.

Wet Ingredients:
Dates deseeded and chopped - 1 cup,
Walnuts - 1/2 cup chopped,
Milk - 1cup room temperature,
Water - 1cup,
Instant Coffee Powder - 2-3 teaspoon according to the taste.
Cane Sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon.
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup.

Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius /gas mark 4.
Grease the baking tin and line it with parchment paper.
Sieve the dry ingredients together and keep aside.
Boil water, remove from heat and add coffee powder and stir well.
Add chop dates to this coffee and rest not more than 10 minutes.
Mix milk, sugar and vanilla extract and stir well.
Dust walnut with little flour, so that the nuts do not sink to the bottom while baking.
Mix vegetable oil to the water and mix well.
Mix water and milk mixture, gently add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold gently.
Take care not to knock the air bubbles by brisk or over mixing  batter.
Add chopped walnut and fold to the batter.
Pour to the greased tin and bake for 40 -50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice is such a simple and flavourful south indian rice dish. This is was not my thought before my marriage, I always thought it as a very boring and it is made, when nothing comes to your head for cooking. All this changed after getting married and tasted my mil's lemon rice, yes it is the quickest thing you can make, but but it is very flavourful, soulful and very much enjoyable when done in my mil's way. Trust me she surely does very yummy. Correct blend of spice, tangy and a dash of sugar added to balance the spice and tanginess. Did I say she never adds coconut yes you read it right. Without coconut she brings out all the flavours to the rice. Now I savour it with much pleasure and enjoy it. There is a small twist to my mil's recipe, certain things you have to follow to make it a perfect lemon rice. Soo Here it is!!!!!!

Rice - 1 cup cooked and cooled at least 2 hours before making the lemon rice,
Sugar - 3/4 teaspoon,
Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup and a little more,
Coconut oil - 1 teaspoon.

To Temper:
Oil - 1 Tablespoon,
Mustard - 11/2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Peanuts - 1 tablespoon,
Chana dal - 1 teaspoon,
Green Chillies  - 5-6 finely chopped,
Red Chillies - 2 broken
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 10-12,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon chopped.

Cook rice and allow it to cool well. This is very important tha,t rice has to be cooled well before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Again my mil doesn't cook rice for lemon rice very grainy, she cooks soft and fluffy.
Once rice is cooled, add salt and lemon juice and mix well. Keep aside.
In a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds.
When it crackles,  add asafoetida, peanuts and chana dal.  Fry until peanuts and dal turns medium brown.
Add Turmeric, green chillies, red chillies and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and add chopped coriander. Add tempering with sugar to rice and mix well.
Add a spoon of coconut oil and mix well. (this is my twist to my mil's lemon rice, it tastes heavenly with the flavour of coconut oil, again its optional , if you don't like the flavour, you don't have to add it).
Allow this to rest for half hour and slightly warm it up and serve.

If you want, you can add grated coconut about a tablespoon.
The lemon rice should be a competitive blend of spice and tanginess.
Cooling of rice before tempering and resting after tempering, allows all the tastes of the spices to seep in and bring out the flavours.
Adding sugar just compliments the spice and tanginess of lemon.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Avarekaalu/Hyacinth Beans Rice Rawa Upma

As I said earlier it was very difficult to stay away  from my blog. Lot of things happened in this time.  First there was a problem in my the time it was sorted out, my laptop broke down.
Then I travelled to India to visit my mom..which I was waiting for a year.
It was much awaited travel I was waiting for. Then came the drooling cuisine of Mysore.
I was born and brought up in this beautiful city. As I walked through the streets, it was nostalgic.
The cuisine, street food like masala puri, churmuri(I die for it, because people from mysore never like churmuri, from any part of the world, except for in mysore. It is soo authentic of mysore). I am a no excuse of this rule. The evening walk is just a excuse to savour all these. The hot bajjis, vadas and the not to forget fresh sugar cane juice. The old restaurants, which are famous for the morning hot idli vada sambhar, masala dosas, set masala dosa used to be my favourite(two small sized masala dosas).
Some other restaurants during my college days, where we used to celebrate our parties, which introduced north indian food like cutlets, samosas , ohh the list is endless.
Though many new restaurants have come up a lot, ask me, I never try them, but go the same ones, which I used to.
Its been more than 10 years I left the city.
Best of all while enjoying food, one simply gets carried away with the nice smell of mysore jasmine flowers. The pan or the betal leaf the city is famous for.
A special variety of green brinjals   which comes from the outskirts of the city, from a place called EERANGERE, and the variety of brinjals is prefixed by the name of the place 'EERANGERE BADANEKAYI'.  Badnekayi means brinjals.
This was the street and restaurant food.
Home cuisine is something different, you don't get in hotels or anywhere.
I will be posting few of them in my next posts.
Avarekaalu or hyacinth beans is what mysore is soo famous for.
The crop is between December to march.  Miles before you can smell the beans.
People just love the aroma. The beans is like, what is jackfruit to kerala, is avarekaalu for mysore.
During this season of beans, the household will be filled with variety of different food, but everything will have this beans  in one way or another, like upma, sambhar, kootu, pongal, nipattu, the list is endless..the beans is soaked and outer skin removed and fried to make mouth watering chivda mix.
Today I am posting the all famous rice rawa/semolina sooji avarekaalu/hyacinth beans upma.
Rice Rawa - 1 cup,
Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Chana dal - 2 teaspoons,
Urad dal - 2 teaspoons.
Avarekaalu/Hyacinth Beans - 3/4 cup.
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Green Chillies - 4-5 finely chopped,
Curry Leaves - 12-15 leaves,
Water - 21/2 cups boiling,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup fresh or frozen.
Coriander - 1 tablespoon, finely chopped,
Juice of 1 medium sized lemon.
You can either use fresh or frozen beans,
Pressure cook beans with enough water and salt for 2-3 whistles.
If you are using frozen beans cook it for 5 minutes in boiling water.
In a pan heat two teaspoons of oil.
Add mustard and asafoetida.
When mustard crackles, add chana dal and urad dal and fry until slightly browned.
Add rice rawa and fry until the raw smell evaporates and keep aside.
In another broad kadai, heat 1 tablespoon of oil.
Add green chillies and curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
Drain water from the beans and reserve the water, you can later use to cook the rawa.
Add beans to the kadai and fry for couple of minutes.
Add the reserved water, if it is less, then add more boiling water, according to the measure.
Adjust salt.
Add rice rawa and mix well.
Take care that there are no lumps of rawa, in the mixture.
Lower the heat completely, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes,
When water is evaporated 90%, remove from heat.
But keep covered for couple of more minutes.
Then remove the lid, add coriander chopped and lemon juice and mix well.
Serve hot with a spoon of ghee and enjoy.
Making of  rice rawa is simple.
Simply mill the raw rice in a flour mill to medium rawa/sooji/semolina consistency.
Sieve it to take out the fine flour and store in air tight containers.