Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chocolate Crackles/Crinkles.......step by step.

Presenting these gorgeous cookies to all my friends.

I have a cookie cook book which I got from a street vendor who sells old books....and it is a treasure house of amazing cookies.....remember I had posted peanut cookies from that book long time ago.

When I saw these chocolate crackles pic on that cook book.....I knew I had to make it some how....they looked soooo tempting....but the recipe in that book called for chocolate bar which is a bit expensive and difficult to get at this part of the world....I wanted a less expensive, everyday recipe.....which can be made with stuffs I can find in my kitchen.......so I searched the internet for a recipe which can be made with cocoa powder and finally I got this recipe from here.....and when I baked it the first time it came out perfect... look at the number of people who have saved this recipe, submitted photos, and more than 700 reviews wow......need any other reason for not trying this

I used cadbury cocoa powder and for the oil I used rice bran oil which is my cooking medium at present...any vegetable oil should be fine......now the trick to get the cracked effect is chilling the dough which is very IMPORTANT....do not skip it.

I rolled up the dough at night and left in the fridge wrapped up in cling film and made the cookies next day.

An Update:Oct 18, 2012
Today, when I made them, instead of oil I used melted butter and the outcome was......YUM!...pure chocolate heaven.

Recipe source: all recipes.com
I got about 40 cookies with this recipe.

How I made them:
Cocoa powder: 1 cup.
All purpose flour: 2 cups.
White sugar: 2 cups.
Vegetable oil: 1/2 cup, plus 1 or 2 tbsp while mixing the dough.
Eggs: 4.
Vanilla essence: 2 tsp.
Baking powder: 2 tsp.
Salt: 1/2 tsp.

#Powdered sugar: 1/2 cup.(this is for rolling the cookie dough, put it into a bowl and keep aside).

1. In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Knead with hands into a soft dough......add extra vegetable oil if needed to make into dough. Do not add water. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours. This is very important....do not skip this

2. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and keep aside . Pinch off dough and roll into small lemon sized balls and put them into powdered sugar. 

3. Now time to preheat the oven to (175 degree C). Coat each ball in the sugar with your hands before placing them on the greased and lined cookie sheet.

4. Bake in preheated oven for about 10 to 12 min. After about 7 to 8 min you can see the cookies cracking.

5. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let it stand in the cookie sheet for a minute or two before transferring to wire racks to cool.

These cookies looks so gorgeous....I love their cracked look

Bite into it to get that "mmmmmmmmmmm" feeling.

They are damn gorgeous aren't they???


Friday, August 26, 2011

Whole wheat spinach pizza....Its really worth repeating!!

I couldn't help not posting this fabulous pizza with whole wheat, which I made today morning for breakfast. Nidhi and Cherry has Onam celebration today at school and they wanted pizza to take to school today..

I know I posted a pizza a week back but, that was with store brought base and this one is made with wheat flour and homemade from scratch...... I had to post this......because it really is worth trying out...I am having the one last piece left and its sooo perfect, soft, and cheesy pizza packed with goodness of spinach and whole wheat.....try it!!! and you will be glad u tried!!.

I made the dough at about 11.00 p.m last night and left it covered with a wet cloth to rise and the dough was perfectly risen in the morning...sorry friends in the hurryburry of the morning schedule I totally forgot to take the step by step pics....my hubby dear is in Rajasthan on his official tour for about a week now and so its just kids and myself at home (sigh)...I am sure I will make this often so...I will update the pics the next time I make....actually it was my son who reminded me to these clicks for Amma's Blog!!

The base was super soft and fluffy and I also made 2 sausage rolls with 1/4 part of this dough for my son's lunch box.

Whole wheat flour: 2 cups.
All purpose flour: 1/2 cup.
Instant yeast: 1 tsp.
Salt: 1 tsp.
Sugar: 1 tbsp.(I had some powdered sugar left so I used that).
Olive oil: 2 tbsp.
Enough water to knead.

For the topping:
Amul cheese slice: 2 or 4.
Tomato, sliced: 1.
Onion, sliced: 1.
Tomato sauce: 1 tbsp.(I used my homemade tomato sauce).
Mixed Italian herbs: 1 tbsp.
Pepper powder: 1 tsp.
Spinach/palak, chopped finely: 1/4 cup (can add more).
Olive oil: 1 tsp.
1. Put both flours, yeast, sugar, olive oil, salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Pour tepid or lukewarm water into it and slowly knead it into a dough. The dough should not be very hard....it should be soft and pliable and not sticky.

2. Knead for about 2 or 3 min and cover it to rise for about 2 hour. (I just left it overnight).
Picture updated on Sep 3, 2011

3. Roll out in circular shape on a floored surface and and gently place it on greased pizza pan. The rolled out dough should not be too thick

4. Now its time to preheat oven to 250 degree C (that's the max on my oven).

5. Brush olive oil on top of the base, spread with tomato sauce.

6. Sprinkle Italian herbs, spread onion and tomato, and cheese. Finally sprinkle finely chopped spinach.

Updated picture, with more cheese.

6. Place the pizza pan on the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 12 min and its done!!

Serve hot!!!

# I used an extra large pizza pan (10" pan).
# Go ahead and top it with whatever is available in the pantry, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan, spinach etc etc.
# Set your oven to the max temp for baking this.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Bread!!........ Tangzhong Method.....step-by-step.

I love homemade bread....and baking bread is something which I have come to love from the day I found the Tangzhong method....thanks to the internet....I found the Tangzhong method.....I now make the most fluffiest, pillow soft....bread right in my kitchen......I love the aroma of freshly baked bread


Monday, August 15, 2011

Soya Chunks-Green Peas Pulao

Happy Independence Day to all my friends!!!

After reading about the immense health benefits of soya..... I now try to include soya in my cooking..            

Since my kids love pressure cooker biriyani and vegetable pulao which I make in pressure cooker, I wondered why not make a pulao with soya chunks and peas. My kids are picky eaters, if they find soya chunks in their plate they sure will pick them and keep aside in their plates. So I grinded them, after putting them in hot water for 10 min and then drained them and again poured cold water on them and drained and squeezed them twice. I grinded the squeezed out chunks in my grinder.....  I added this into the masala and fried a bit before adding to the rice.......next time I am sure to add some vegetables along with it.....my kids didn't know that there was "soya chunks" in the pulao and they liked it so much. They thought it was just "peas pulao" and Nidhi even wondered aloud "why Amma dint put any other vegetables other than just plain peas".

Coming back to pressure cooker biriyani, which I had posted  long back....I make pulao and biriyani veg/non veg in my pressure cooker....of course I do make dum biriyani but the most preferable one is the cooker biriyani....

coz I love the rice cooked along with the vegetables or chicken or mutton....that gives an exquisite taste and flavor with all the spices blended with the rice.......the pulao version is almost the same except that I do not add any masala powder except the garam masala and I also reduce the ginger and garlic by half.

How I made them:
Soya chunks: 1 cup.
Green peas: 1/2 cup
Basmati rice: 2 cups.
Water: 4 cups.

To grind:
Coriander leaves: 1 handful.
Mint leaves: 1 sprig.(optional).
Green chilly: 2 or 3 (depending on how much hot u can handle).
Garlic: 1 pod.
Ginger: 1" inch.

For sautéing:
Cardamon: 5
Cinnamon: 1 piece.
Cloves: 5.
Onion: 2, sliced.
Tomato: 2, chopped.
Garam masala: 1 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp.
Lemon: ½.
Salt to taste.

For garnishing:
Cashew nuts: 10 to 15.
Raisins: 10 to 15.
Fried onions (fry half onion).
Green peas.
Coriander leaves.

#Here in this pulao I just used green peas and coriander leaves to garnish, you can fry cashew nuts, raisins, and onion in ghee sprinkle them on top of the pulao, I just wanted it to look colorful, so used green peas and coriander leaves.

1.Put the soya chunks in boiling water and let it stand for 10 min. Strain the water and squeeze out the remaining water and again pour in some water and drain and squeeze...do this twice. Now grind the squeezed chunks in the small grinder and keep aside. In small mixie bowel put in green chilies, coriander leaves, pudina leaves, ginger, garlic, and grind them coarsely and keep aside. Wash and put the rice onto a sieve.
2. Heat ghee/vegetable oil (I used rice bran oil) or any refined oil in a pressure cooker. Put in cardamon, cinnamon, and cloves.
3. Add the sliced onions and fry till it is light brown. Put in the grinded masala and fry till the raw smell goes.

4.     Add turmeric and garam masala fry for a minute and add the chopped tomatoes, salt, and fry till it is well incorporated and oil comes on top.
5.      Add the grinded soya chunks  and 1/2 cup green peas and mix it well for about 3 or 4 minutes.
6.      Pour 4 cups of water into it and let it boil. Squeeze ½ lime into it and put in the strained rice. Check salt and close cooker (do not put weight). When steam comes put the fire on low and wait for 7 minutes. Open after 10 to 20  minutes and mix well with a spoon.
7.      Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and green peas.  

Serve hot with curd and pickle. 



Thursday, August 11, 2011

Methi Aloo (Potato with Fenugreek leaves).

Methi aloo is one of the simplest and easiest dish you would ever come across. Baby potatoes are ideal for this....you can also use ordinary potatoes cut into cubes.

I did not take any step by step pictures because its so easy to make..........
This is a true North Indian dish....my mother-in-law got the recipe some 40 years back when she was living in Haldwani and ever since a favorite subzi in the family.
The best part is there are no onions to  peel and slice.....no tomatoes....no ginger.....no garlic......so I guess this one stands apart!!!
Its a dry dish and leftovers can be stuffed in parathas or samosas.

#If using ordinary potatoes either boil and cube them or cut into cubes and put it soon after the leaves are added and let it cook in the water of the leaves on slow flame.
Baby potatoes: 1/2 kg, boiled and peeled.
Methi leaves: 2 handful, chopped.
Kashmiri chilly powder: 1 tsp.
Turmeric powder: a fat pinch.
Asafoitida/Hing: 2 fat pinch.
Amchur/Dry mango powder: 1 tsp.
Jeera: 1 tsp.
Oil: 3 tbsp.
Salt as needed.

1.Heat oil in a kadhai/pan/wok and put in 1 tsp of Jeera and let it splutter.
2. Turn of fire and put in 1 tsp chilly powder, turmeric powder, and asafoitida powder. If you do not turn off the fire, the chilly powder will get burned. Once it is incorporated turn on the fire again and add the chopped methi leaves, add salt. Once the leaves are well mixed add the potatoes. Mix well and let the water evaporate stirring all the way.
3. Reduce the flame. Add 1 tsp of amchur/dry mango powder and mix well to incorporate nicely. Let it fry in low flame for 5 to 10 min...keep stirring on and off.....aloo methi is done!!!

Serve hot with roti/naan/paratha.


Monday, August 08, 2011

Pizza in 10 minutes!!!......my way!!!..........step-by-step.

This is for all those bachelors or working women or teenagers......who has ready made pizza base at hand.

I get these base from Reliance outlet here in Calicut....

With the ready made base at hand....it is simple and easy to make the perfect pizza in flat 10 min.

I love mozzarella cheese for my Pizza, but if I ran out of it.....I always substitute Amul cheese blocks (small one is enough for 1 pizza).
Check out my post on whole wheat pizza.
#Veggies: Omit the chicken part.
How I made them:
Pizza base: 1.
Tomato sauce: 2 to 3 tbsp.
Capsicum: 1/2, sliced.
Tomato: 1/2 , sliced.
Onion: 1/2, sliced.
Chicken: 3 tbsp, boiled and shredded (optional).
Mixed Italian herbs: 1/2-3/4 tsp.
Dried Rosemary: 1/4 tsp.
Fresh Pepper powder: 1/2 tsp.
Mozzarella cheese: Enough to spread on top, grated.


1. Lets get started!!!

2. Slice capsicum, onion, and tomato.

3. Spread tomato sauce on top of the base and sprinkle rosemary on top.

4. If using chicken, sprinkle boiled and shredded chicken on top.(optional)

5. Assemble the veggies on top of it.

6. Sprinkle pepper powder on top.

7. Sprinkle mixed Italian spices on top.

8. Grate cheese on top and put in a preheated oven, 180 c,  for about 5 min or until the cheese melts.....

9. Yummmy pizza is ready !!!



Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Fish Roe Scrambled.....Step-by-step...Recipe Rewind!!

Fish Roe or Fish eggs or Pananjeen as we call it in Malayalam.....is common at this time of the year....especially sardine fish roe. My son loves it scrambled to have with rice.

I had posted this long back in this space when I was an anonymous blogger.....I had mentioned earlier that I will be rewinding some of my favorite recipes which I had posted ....which I make often in my kitchen.

You can find the original post here

Sardine fish roe: About ½ cup.
Coconut Oil: 2or 3 tbsp.
Shallots: 3 or 4, slit.
Grated coconut: 1/4 cup.
Green chilies chopped: 3.
Pepper powder: 1/4 tsp.
Rice flour: 1/2 tsp.
1 spring curry leaves.
Salt as needed.

1. Sardine fish roe all cleaned up and ready!!

2. Take a bowl and put in the scraped coconut, green chilies, slit shallots, pepper, rice flour, salt.

3. Mash it with your fingers or you can also blend the fish roe in ur blender and then add to this...but I prefer my fingers.

4. Heat a skillet and pour coconut oil and put in the fish roe.

5. After about 2 min flip to the other side and scramble it. Let it cook on slow flame for another 5 to 10 min stirring in between till all the moisture has dried up and it is nicely fried. When done sprinkle curry leaves on top and switch off the fire.

Serve hot with rice!!


Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Ripe Mango Curry / Pazha Manga Curry..... step-by-step.

When Homey got some "nadan" or "nattu"mangoes, I saved some to make this traditional curry. I learned this to make from my neighbor, Sulu Chechy from Trichur (we lived in Trichur for around 3 years). Ever since this has been my favorite bookmarked recipe.

This curry is made with ripe local variety mango aka "nadan manga".

* This is a standard recipe for 2 mangoes.....increase ingredients if making with more than 2 mangoes accordingly.
Mangoes: 2.
Jaggery: 1 small piece.
Red chilly powder: 1 tsp (I used Kashmiri Chilly Powder).
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.
Water: 1/2 cup.
Salt. As needed.

To grind:
Coconut grated: 1/2 cup.
Green chilies: 2.
Cumin seeds: A fat pinch.
Shallots: 3.
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp.

To mix into the curry.
Curd: 1/2 cup, beaten.

For seasoning:
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp.
Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp.
Red chilly crushed: 1/2 tsp.
Fresh curry leaves: 2 sprigs.
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp.
1. I used the local variety mangoes which is a must to make this curry.

2. Peel of the skin of the mangoes with ur fingers.

3. All the peeled ones sitting pretty....and waiting!!!

4. Pour 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp red chilly powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 small piece jaggery, and salt into a deep bottom vessel and cook. Once it starts boiling reduce the flame and let it simmer for 5 to10 min.

5. In the meantime, in a chutney bowl , put in 1/2 cup coconut, 2 green chilies, a fat pinch of cumin seeds, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, and 3 shallots.

6. Grind it finely with little water to make into a paste.

7. Now pour this over the simmering hot mango curry.

8. Mix well for a min or two.....remember low flame is the rule here!!

9. Add the beaten curd to this and mix well.....over heating may result in curdling of the curd. So stir very well on low flame.

10. Get the spices ready for seasoning.

11. Heat a tadka pan with 1 tbsp of coconut oil, add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, crushed chillies, and curry leaves.

12. Pour it over the curry, immediately switch off the fire and close with a lid....this way the aroma of the spices stays in the curry.

Pazha Manga Curry is Ready!!

Serve hot with Rice!!!

An update:
Check out how Anu made this mango curry here


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