Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cucumber Sandwich!

Cucumber sandwich is a classic ,summer sandwich.The idea of making cucumber sandwich hit my head when I was reading the great play of Oscar wilde 'The Importance of being Earnest '.In the first chapter,Algernon ,an aristocrat  eats cucumber sandwiches prepared for his Aunt Augusta while refusing to share them with his friend,Jack .
When I was reading those lines, I got some serious craving for cucumber sandwiches.So I ventured to make these lovely,refreshing snack.

You will need :

1 cucumber
12 White Bread slices
Butter,at room temperature
1/2 cup Sour cream /Mayonnaise
1 lemon
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Cut off the ends of the cucumber and start peeling thin slices of cucumber using a vegetable peeler.

In a large bowl,throw the cucumber shavings ,squeeze out the lemon juice and sprinkle salt and pepper.Give a gentle toss.

Lay the marinated cucumber shavings on a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

Remove the crusts of bread slices and apply butter to each slice.

Place a dollop of cream/mayannoise over the buttered side of all the bread slices.Spread them evenly.

Place the cucumber slices overlapping each other over 6 slices lined up together as shown in the picture.This way we can avoid maximum wastage of the cucumber slices.

Place the other 6 buttered/creamed bread slices over the cucumber slices.Cut them to 6 separate sandwiches.

You can cut them into triangles or rectangles or squares.Or even use a cookie cutter to cut out various shapes.I cut each of them into four squares so that they can be in bite-sized.

I also made two round shaped sandwiches by using a cookie cutter!

These pretty sandwiches are great for picnic,parties and for tea time!

I'm sending these to AFAM :Cucumber event hosted by Neha of Tasty Recipes which is originally started by Maheswari

I tried Nags of Edible Garden's  Carrot- Babycorn stir-fry  had it with rotis and few slices of cucumber.This was my y'day's dinner.I liked the combo of carrot and baby corns.Very simple and delicious .Thanks,Nags :)

I also tried Onion savory crackers (Nippatu) featured in Madhuram's Eggless cooking.I followed the recipe posted by Redchillies which was originally taken from Ramya's The Cook's collection.
My mom became a big fan of these crackers.Love the onion bits and sesame in it and also the butter flavor.Thanks for sharing,guys!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tomato Soup!

I have never made tomato soup before.I love tomato soup but I don't know why I haven't tried them at home.Few months ago my 'poet' friend Shravan was bragging about this tomato soup he made .He just praised it so much that I started nagging him for the recipe.He was forgetting to send me the recipe and later I too forgot.Recently when Sanghi announced  FIL event ,his tomato soup flashed my memory and I  asked him to send the recipe.And this time he sent me immediately,and I tried it today.It was just brilliant and I'm going to make this soup atleast once in a week.It tasted incredibly delicious and thats becoz of the secret ingredient in it-MILK.When Shravan sent me the recipe,he mentioned 'Milk is the highlight of the soup..Tastes like god'. And thats 100% percent true,the milk created all the difference!
To accompany the soup ,I made Aparna's cumin flavored whole wheat barley rolls/bread.It was fabulous.I'm new to bread baking.And this is my first successful bread.Instead of making them as rolls ,I made it as a big oval bread.It was soft inside and crusty outside.I toasted the bread slices in butter.Just dunk the bread in the tomato soup and have a bite..its pure indulgence.
Tomato Soup recipe :
I made few changes to his original recipe.I skipped the garlic and included 2 carrots n onion!
You will need :
1/2 Kg tomatoes,chunks
2 carrots,chunks
1 onion,chopped
1 inch piece of ginger,chopped
2 tbsp butter
2 glass of water
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp corn flour
1 bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon stick
1 clove
salt,pepper n sugar to taste

In pressure cooker,throw the tomatoes,onion,carrot,ginger,cinnamon,bay leaf  n clove.

Pour the water. Bring the water to boil.Add the butter.Give a stir.Cover and cook for 1 whistle.

When the steam went out,carefully open the lid and let it cool for some time.
Remove the cinnamon,bayleaf n clove.Strain  the cooked stuff and reserve the water.Blend to a smooth pulp.

In the same pressure pan,pour the tomato pulp and the reserved water.Add more water if required.Heat the mixture in medium heat.
Add salt,pepper and sugar as per taste.I added 2 tsp of salt,2 tsp of sugar and 1 tablespoon of coarsely ground pepper.

In the 1/2 cup milk,dissolve the corn flour and pour it in the boiling soup.Stir immediately and cook in low heat for a couple of mins.Garnish with cream/herbs.Serve it with croutons!

I'm dedicating this tomato soup to my friend Shravan.He is not only a poet but a great cook too..

This yummy soup goes to Sanghi's Fall in love-Tomato event..Its so kind of her that she extented the deadline until March-31st..

Monday, March 23, 2009

Almond-Cashew-Choco Barfi!

I made this almond-cashew chocolate barfi few days ago and it was irresistably delicious.I will definitely make this again.I have to thank my Dad for giving me this idea of adding chocolate to almond-cashew barfi.Here goes the recipe..

You will need :

1/2 cup of Almonds
1/2 cup Cashew nuts
1/4-1/2 cup of milk 
1 cup Sugar
125 gm of semi-sweet chocolate bars
3 tbsp ghee + 1/4 tsp for greasing the tray

Add 1 cup of water to almonds and microwave for 3 mins.Cool and peel off the skin.
Soak the peeled off almonds and cashew in hot water for 30 mins.

Drain the excess water and grind the cashew n almonds together with milk to a paste.
Bring a vessel containing water to boil.Place a heat proof bowl over the boiling water.Put the chocolate bars in the heat proof bowl and allow them to melt.

In a heavy bottom vessel,melt 2 tbsp ghee and add the ground paste and sugar.Keep stirring in low flame until it starts to come together as single mass.

Add the remaining ghee and the molten chocolate.Stir well.

In a greased barfi/baking tray,spread the mixture and make it even n smooth(if the bakign tray is very large spread the mixture in one side of the tray with the thickness of around 1/2 inch).Let it cool for 5 mins .Apply some ghee on a knife and make squares/diamond and serve.

I'm sending this Almond-Cashew-Choco barfi to Let's go Nuts-Almonds event hosted by JZ which was conceptualized by Aquadaze

And also to For the Love of Chocolate event hosted by Poornima Nair.


Thanks for everyone who helped me in choosing the picture for Click -Wood event.Many of you liked the pic 1(Coconut Pannacotta) and pic 3(Spice box) which I posted in my previous post..I really couldn't decide which one to choose.But later felt that pic 1 is bit dark n not so clear as pic 3.So I went for pic 3...I'm a beginner in photography but I'm so proud  taking part in this spectacular event hosted by  the Jugalbandits.This event further kindled my interest in photography and now I'm seriously into the business of taking good pictures :) All thanks to the Jugalbandits!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Coconut Pannacotta!

Pic 1

Pic 2

This is my first time to participate in Jugalbandi's Click  event.When they announced the theme as 'WOOD',I got very excited and the first thing that came in my mind was 'Coconut shell' I made a trip to our backyard and found some coconut shells..Then I tried to make its outer surface smooth by myself ..and got fed up with it very soon.So finally gave it to a carpenter and got it neatly trimed and varnished..
I made coconut pannacotta,an Italian dessert and moulded them in coconut shells ..When I was taking those pictures it was like around 6 .30pm and the lighting was dim.I was'nt quite satisfied with the pictures.
My sis and my cousins were impatiently waiting to finish up the dessert..So immediately after shooting,the shells went empty :(  

Pic 3

So the next day ,I took some pictures with this spice box.I bought this spice box in Munnar last year...

Pic 4

I took more than 100 pictures and couldn't able choose the best one.After so much of confusion ,I could pick up these 4 pictures as my fav..I would like to know which is the best among these 4 pics..So plz help me buddies!

I took the recipe for coconut pannacotta from ..and i tweaked it a bit..

You will need :

250 ml of fresh cream
250 ml of first-press coconut milk
1 cup of Sugar
2 tbspoon gelatine powder
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup grated coconut,toasted

Procedure :

1.In a saucepan,add coconut milk,cream and sugar..Keep stirring until the sugar dissolves in a medium heat.u
3.Add the gelatine to the hot water and whisk using a fork to dissolve completely.
4.Pour this gelatine to the coconut/cream mixture.Whisk to combine well.
5.Pour this mixture into 6 coconut shells/ramekins.Refrigirate for about 3 hours ,or until set.
6.Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the pannacotta and serve.

Other serving suggestion: You can also turn the pannacotta on a serving plate and serve it some seasonal fruits.

I tried the following three recipes this week:

I didn't have soy milk so I went ahead with cow's milk for making this Cocoa-banana shake.And also i replaced silken tofu with fresh cream.I loved this drink so much.Esp my sis who became a very a big fan of this shake.The combo of banana and cocoa is awesome!Thanks a lot ,Varsha.

Though there are many recipes I wanted try from Priya's blog,this one  really triggered me.I added some paneer cubes and skipped cheddar chesse for the filling.It was so tasty and we all loved it...Thank you,Priya :)

I never knew Archy has this yummy soya recipe at her blog until y'day.A very good friend of mine mailed me her recipe and told me that he tried it and it was simply superb.And he insisted me to try this.So I made it today and loved it so much.I also used this curry as stuffing to make a Calzone.This delicious curry has the perfect blend of tangy and spicy taste.I liked it so much...Thanks a lot ,Archy :)

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tomato Thokku!

When Sanghi announced FIL event with tomato as main ingredient,the first thing that sparked in my mind was this 'Tomato Thokku'.While reading the guidelines at her site,the fond memories about this thokku was parallely running in my mind.
Firstly,I have to thank Sanghi for hosting such a wonderful event with my fav ingredient 'Tomato'..I can live on tomatoes..Any dish that has tomatoes,I'm in love with it..Everybody in our home love this tomato pickle  and we have this with every meal .It can pair well with any dish savoury main course.During my school days,mom used to pack this pickle and curd rice for my lunch.The tangy,spicy and a teeny bit of sweetness in this pickle made me to fall in love with this thokku.Just add a spoon of this thokku to a cup of boiled rice,drizzle it with some ghee,mix and eat..This can be an instant tomato rice.
I don' t like store bought pickles for they are packed with sooooo much of oil, vinegar or preservatives.My favourite ones are the one my grandma makes.During tomato season ,she makes this tomato pickle in large quantity and distribute it to our relatives and keep some for home.This thokku is her own recipe and its so popular among our negihbourhood too..She halve the tomatoes and dry them under the sun for a day or two to let the moisture to evaporate and then start pickling them.Every dish prepared by my grandmas are so traditional and mouthwatering..
Having two lovely grandmas is such a blessing that I don't have to crave for yummilicious and traditional food.Infact,they both inspired me to cook and taught me each and everything they knew ..And I'm still learning.
I told about this event to my maternal grandma who is an expert in making this tomato thokku..She taught me this y'day and here its coming to your home :)

You will need :

1 kg of tomatoes
1  golf ball sized tamarind pulp
20 dried red chillies
1/2 cup of chopped Garlic
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tbsp grated jaggery
2 tbsp rock salt
1/2 cup gingely oil
1 small piece of asafotedia

Chopped tomato..

Chopped Garlic..

Wash and pat dry the tomatoes.Chop them keep it under the sun for a day or two.

Add half a cup water to the tamarind and extract the tamarind juice.
In a large pan,add the tomatoes,garlic,salt and the tamarind juice and cook this until the water is absorbed.Adding tamarind,gives an extra zing to the thokku.

In a tsp of oil fry the asafotediea ,fenugreek seeds and red chillies.Grind them together with the mustard seeds to a fine powder.

Add the powder and jaggery to the tomatoes in the pan and mix well.Cook for 3-4 mins until the pickle looks dry.Turn off the heat and add the oil.Mix well and preserve in a clean,dry jar.

I hope this tomato pickle will delight your tastebuds too :) 
I made this tomato thokku exclusively for this event with my grandma's guidance.I'm dedicating this tomato thokku to my beloved grandma :)

Sending this 'Tomato Thokku'  to Sanghi's 'Fall in Love-Tomato' event..

I made Kichidi and had this thokku as an accompaniment .This is the best comforting food ever!
I have seen this simple and delicious kichidi at Sunita's World long ago..This Kichidi is  'Heaven in a bowl!'

I tried Soma's Pizza..
This is the perfect pizza i have ever made..few days back Soma has posted The Perfect Pizza margharita ..i just followed her pizza dough recipe and the result was awesome.I made 9 pizzas in past 3 days and i have prepared some more dough for tommorow's pizza party..I'm sure my friends will be very much delighted ..All thanks to,Soma :)

Have a look at the freshly made pizza..I went for a different topping with capsicum,Onions,Cheddar Cheese and lots of pepper on it..Its yum!!

Have a wonderful,Sunday !

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Watermelon Pudding!

Summer has begun in India.Watermelons are flooded in the market .I just bought one y'day from the market and settled down in making this lovely dessert .My sistor enjoyed it so much and asked me make this again..I hope you too will enjoy..

You will need :

2 cups of watermelon juice
1 cup of watermelon,cut into tiny cubes
1/2 tin sweetned condensed milk
10 gms China grass or 1 packet of rasberry jelly crystals

Wash and soak the china grass in half cup of warm water.
Add the china grass/jelly crystals to the watermelon juice .Heat the watermelon juice until the china grass/crystals gets completely dissolved..

Add the condensed milk and combine well..

Add the watermelon cubes to the mixture and stir gently to combine..

Pour the mixture into ramekins ..Refrigirate to set.Transfer the pudding on a serving dish..

Scoop out watermelon balls or carve out your desired shape from the watermelon.Serve with some fresh cream and the carved out watermelon shapes.

Sending this picture to Gayathri's Magnificient Click contest..

Im sending this pink dessert to FIC-Pink/Rose hosted by Priya which is orginally started by Sunshinemom

And also Im sending this decorated watermelon pudding to Food Fanatic's Garnishing Event 

For the past two days,I bookmarked so many recipes to try..but with available ingredients at hand ,I was tempted to try the following recipes:

I have never made Bhindi do pyaaz in this way.It tasted divine and I finished off the whole thing by myself :) 

Suma's CAM curry impressed me the moment I saw it..I have never tried this combo.Though ,its considered as a common subzi in North Indian homes ,for me its new.Loved it so much..

I discovered Jeena's blog y'day only and I got addicted to her blog..This egg curry made me drool..I had all the ingredients at hand so I made this for dinner..It tasted superb!

Thanks Dk,Suma and Jeena for posting your wonderful recipes..

I have bookmarked so many recipes from other blogs too..And I wanna try them all..Very soon I will try them and let you know!

Sweet Shama has passed me these lovely awards..Thanks a lot ,Shama for thinking of me..She has also tagged me for the me-me..I will do it very soon in my next post :)

Im passing the awards to all my blogging friends .I don't wanna miss out any name...All of you deserve these plz feel free to pick them up :)