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Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Goan Mushroom Xacuti Recipe


Mushroom Xacuti is a classic Goan dish in which mushrooms are cooked in a gravy made by using coconut and spicy xacuti masala. This dish is a great vegetarian alternative to the popular chicken xacuti. The recipe is quick and easy to make and goes well with both steamed rice or any flat bread like chapati or naan. Mushroon Xacuti is best cooked with wild mushrooms and is a preferred dinner dish at every Goan Kitchen. I have used button mushrooms in this recipe. Xacuti (Shakuti) masala is a blend of spices which has all the distinctive Goan flavors including fresh coconut, whole spices like dried red chilies, pepper corn ,cloves , coconut oil and kokum .
                

Goa is a tiny emerald land on the west coast of India. Well known as a tourist paradise, Goa is famous for its white sand beaches, striking landscape , coconut grooves, bustling nightlife ,cultural diversity and last but certainly not the least for its mouthwatering FOOD. Goan Cuisine is incredibly rich and delicious. It is influenced by its Hindu origins, the four hundred years of Portuguese colonisation and the Muslim rule that preceded the Portuguese. Rice, coconut milk and fish , along with local spices , are the basic ingredients of Goan cuisine. Other main ingredients widely used in this cuisine are kokum , tamarind , red Goan chilies and cashews. Source: Wikipedia
 

But why am i telling so much about Goan Cuisne ? Well the Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge facebook group decided to travel to Goa for February month's challenge . My partner for the month was Sharanya Palanisshami who blogs at Sara's Tasty Buds. (Do not forget to check out her wonderful blog) . She gave me Mushrooms and Coriander seeds as my 2 secret ingredients and i cooked this delicious Mushroom Xacuti for the challenge. I roughly followed the recipe from here. Mushrooms are my family favourite and i almost cook them once every week . The Goan Mushroom Xacuti made for a hearty lunch for us along with Jeera Rice and Sol Kadhi ( a digestive cooler from Goan Cuisine).

                                                    

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

For Xacuti Masala:

  • 1/2 cup fresh coconut, scraped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander Seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chilies
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 black pepper corns
  • 2-3 dried kokum pieces
  • 2-3 clove
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon oil
Other Ingredients:
  • 20 Button mushroom
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chilly powder( Use kashmiri chilly powder for vibrant color)
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 sprig fresh coriander leaves , finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil


Method:

  1. To begin with the Goan Mushroom Xacuti recipe , first wash the mushrooms to remove the dirt and wipe them with a clean kitchen cloth. Chop them into slices and keep aside.

                            

2. Now we will make the Xacuti masala , for that in a wok heat 1 tablespoon oil and stir fry the onion for 1-2 minutes. Next add the whole spices ( coriander seeds , red chilies, cloves and black pepper corn ). Fry the spices on low heat until aromatic.



3. Now add the scrapped coconut and roast it for 2-3 minutes or until it is light brown in color. Take care not to burn the spices or coconut.  Lastly add turmeric powder, kokum and garam masala and stir fry the masala ingredients for another 1 minute so that all the ingredients blend well. Put off the flame . Allow the masala to cool down completely. Now grind it to a fine paste adding very little water.



4. In the same pan , add remaining 2 tablespoon oil . Add the onions and saute until translucent. Now add the tomatoes and stir fry for 1 minute or so followed by the sliced mushrooms.


5. Stir fry the mushroom for 4-5 minutes on medium heat . Now add the prepared Xacuti paste and mix well. Add red chili powder and cook the mushrooms in the masala for another 2-3 minutes. Add about 1/2 - 1 cup of water as per the desired consistency of the gravy. Season the gravy with salt and simmer for 7-10 minutes.




6. Lastly garnish the gravy with finely chopped coriander leaves and put off the flame. Serve the delicious Goan Mushroom Xacuti with rice or chapati and enjoy the flavors of Goa with your loved ones !



I hope you would love to try out this flavorful mushroom curry from the Goan cuisine for yourself, if you do so, please feel free to share your feedback with us. Follow me on #Facebook , #Instagram , #Twitter and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates. 

For more Mushroom recipes, do check the following post from my blog
                                               

                                  

                               



Sunday, 25 February 2018

Malpua / Indian Fried Pancake Recipe


Malpua is a traditional dessert popular in Indian states of Rajasthan , Uttar Pradesh , Bihar , West Bengal ,Orissa and Maharashtra. It is basically a fried pancake coated in sugar syrup and served with rabdi (sweetened thickened milk). Malpua are delicious sweet treats, soft and fluffy in the center and crisp at the edges. Dipped in sugar syrup and served warm with rabdi, this combo is simply heavenly!

There are many variations of Malpua , based on the region it is prepared. It is very popular dish in Odisha , where it is served to Lord Jagannath of Puri. The batter for malpua in some areas is prepared by crushing ripe bananas , or coconut , adding flour and water or milk. The mixture is sometimes delicately seasoned with cardamoms. It is deep fried in oil and served hot. In Odisha the malpua fritters are dipped in syrup after they are fried. The Bihar version of the dish has sugar added to the batter prior to frying. Other variations of Malpua use pineapples or mangoes instead of bananas. Bengali , Mailthili and Odia malpua is traditionally made only with thickened milk and a little flour ( sometimes rice flour instead of wheat flour). Malpua in northern India, particularly in Uttar Pradesh , Bihar and Rajasthan, don't contain fruit. The batter is made using flour, semolina, yogurt , milk , khoya. There are several variations , using some or all of these ingredients. The batter is left to stand for a few hours and then spooned into a kadhai of hot oil to form , bubbling pancake which should be crisp around the edges. The pancakes are then immersed in thick sugar syrup . Malpua is a popular sweet during Hindu festivals like Holi , Diwali , Sankranti. It is also a famous dish during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Source : Wikipedia


Malpua was on my to-do list from quite a long time. Actually i hold myself back every time i thought of making this dish , as it is very rich and heavy on calories and the recipes i looked for, called for use of all purpose flour . If you follow my blog, you must have noticed that i rarely use refined flour in my recipes and almost all my bakes replace maida with whole wheat flour. I thought of giving Malpua also a try with whole wheat flour. Results were far better than my expectations. I am not too fond of sweets , but this one proved to be far good. I have made the batter of malpua using whole wheat flour, curd , milk and khoya. Have used home made khoya as i prefer it over store bought one. Used fennel seeds and cardamom to flavor the pancakes. Again to cut down a few calories , i have shallow fried the malpua in ghee. I did not dip the malpua in sugar syrup and added little sugar to the batter before frying it instead . Finally garnished the malpua with pistachio slivers and saffron strands and served it with kesar rabdi . The rabdi malpua combo simply melted in our mouth and my family just loved it to the core. I was happy too , as i had a guilt free affair !

                                     

Holi is just around the corner so our #FoodieMondayBlogHop team decided to share Holi special recipes for #133rd week with a theme #HolyOnMyPlatter. This delectable Malpua with Kesar Rabdi is my contribution to this lovely theme. Do check out my fellow bloggers post as well for some lovely festive treats .


Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes : 12 pancakes

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup= 200 ml

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup milk or as required
  • 3 tablespoon curd
  • 1/4 cup Khoya ( i have used home made)
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 pinches of baking soda
  • Ghee for shallow frying the Malpua


Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, take whole wheat flour. Add crushed fennel seeds , pounded cardamom and baking soda. Mix well.


2. In another bowl , take khoya and curd. Whisk it well to get lump free mix. Add half the quantity of milk to it and mix well. Next add sugar to it and stir until the sugar dissolves completely.




3. Add the khoya milk mix to the flour and blend well. Add the remaining milk and make a smooth , lump free batter.





4. Allow the batter to rest for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Now heat 2-3 tablespoon of ghee in a frying pan and drop spoon-full of batter in the ghee. Allow it to spread on its own. Shallow fry the pancake on low heat until the edges gets golden , now flip it slowly with the help of a slotted ladle and cook for another 1-2 minute or until it turns golden brown .




5. Using a slotted ladle, drain the malpua and keep it on a plate lined with absorbent paper. Repeat the same for rest of the batter. Keep adding little ghee after 1-2 batch of shallow frying if required.


  6. Garnish the malpua with pistachio slivers and saffron strands and serve warm with kesar rabdi.


  Notes:

  • If you do not have khoya, you can substitute it with equal amount of milk powder in the recipe.
  • I have shallow fried the pancakes , you may deep fry them if you wish too.
  • Also i skipped the step of adding the fried malpua to sugar syrup to cut down the calories.
  • The malpua tastes best when served warm with rabdi.
I hope you would love to try out this delectable dessert on Holi , if you do so, please feel free to share your feedback with us. Follow me on #Facebook , #Instagram , #Twitter and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates.

For more Holi recipes, do check my posts on 

                                     
                                  
                                   
                                   
                                  
                                 
                                 
                                 



Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Chubby Cheeks CookBook Review


The chubby Cheeks cookbook is a guide to educate families , on nutrition and making food especially for their babies and toddlers. Dr. Hemapriya Natesan , author of this book is a doctor mommy  who aims at helping  parents struggling with their child's eating problems through this book.

This beautifully laid out book includes 68 pages and is packed with 50 genuinely easy to make recipes with wholesome ingredients . It offers  nutritious approach to feeding babies from six months to 1 year.

What attracted me first about this cookbook was the catchy and appropriate name , "Chubby Cheeks". As the name suggest the book revolves around the basics of healthy baby weight gain. The first four chapters of this book provides answers to all the questions related to weight gains in babies, how to find out if your child is really underweight and how to help your underweight child gain weight in a healthy manner. The book highly recommends not to feed babies under 1 year with sugar , salt , honey and cow's milk and provides scientific reasons for the same.

The Chubby Cheeks cookbook provides useful tips as to how and when to introduce solid food to your baby and has easy to read segments which cover the most important areas of nutritional information.

The recipes are simple and easily doable with easily available ingredients. Each recipe comes along with yield, storage instuctions, age group and nutritional information. The clear and colorful images of food recipes are attractive and appealing. I loved the tips on how to cook with breast milk. The puree recipes are awesome..majority of them are made from fruits and vegetables which are affordable and available all year around. The beauty of the book is that it covers both vegetarian and non vegetarian food and all the recipes are wholesome and delicious and can be enjoyed by the whole family.

The Cinnamon Banana Buttons, the Dried Figs Milk Shake , Sweet Potato Roti , Broken Wheat Paneer Pulao are few recipes to name, which i tried out and which my little one approved with a sparkle in his eyes. 
                                                  
Broken Wheat Paneer Pulao
At the end of the book , the doctor mommy speaks her heart out to readers about her journey of motherhood , about the fears she faced and what inspired her to write this book. The language of the book is so simple, that we feel the author is speaking to us in person.

The book is ideal for first time mothers to ensure stress free weaning , and blessings for busy parents who want to give their baby the best start in life and help them grow up happy and healthy. You can gift this book to expecting mommies as a baby shower gift too !

 The Chubby Cheeks Cookbook is available at a cost of Rs. 299. You can place the order here and get 10 % discount. The Chubby Cheeks CookBook is an eBook and you will get it in the form of digital download. 




Sunday, 18 February 2018

Edible Food Art - Breakfast Ideas For Kids


Food presentation is the art of modifying, processing , arranging , or decorating food to enhance its aesthetic appeal. Presentation is crucial when serving any meal and I truly believe in the expression , "you eat with your eyes first". Creative and thoughtful plating enhances both the look and the taste of the food. The look of the food should be such that it should make one feel hungry . That said , it does not mean at all that you  have to be an artist or celebrity chef or you need to hold a special degree to make your food look appealing.

                            

We all know the importance of having a nutritious and balanced diet. But when it comes to kids, feeding them with the right food is not that easy. But there is no reason to give up either. Selecting colorful plates and bowls to serve food , and a little thoughtful plating can work wonders.


Edible food art is entirely made using food and main aim of this art is to make the food look artistic and appetizing. If you follow my blog , you must have noticed that my recipes are simple and doable and what my followers love most , is the way i present the food. But why are we taking so much about food styling ? Well Today's post is all about #ediblefoodart as it is the #132nd theme on #FoodieMondayBlogHop. And my contribution to this lovely theme is breakfast ideas for kids with edible food art .


We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it should be planned wisely as it gives us energy to kick start the day. Every week when i go for grocery shopping , i make sure i pick up colorful vegetables and fruits, after all colors can brighten up any ones mood !


Now coming to this beautiful spread . Here is a simple breakfast which has some fresh fruits, hard boiled eggs with salad and toasted brown bread with some Chavanprash and home made Amla jam. I have made a cute butterfly using fruits , funny animal faces on the toasted bread slice and chicks using hard boiled eggs.

Animal faces toast treats are cute and adorable and loved by all age groups. Making cute animal faces on toasted bread is easy to replicate and can be fun activity with your kids . Involve your kids in making such no cook treats on holidays or after school. Best part is that you can make funny faces with available fruits and veggies and spreads and dips of your choice . Peanut butter , Nutella , cream cheese , jams anything can be used as per your little ones choice.

To make owl and bear face toast treats we need :

  • 2 brown bread slices ( toasted)
  • 2 tablespoon spread / dip of your choice. ( i have used Chavanprash and home-made Amla Jam)
  • 1 Banana  ( sliced)
  • 1 Strawberry sliced
  • Few black grapes ( you may use blueberries if you have)



You can make creative landscapes, animals and insects shaped snacks using fruits and vegetables. Sliced oranges can be used to make Sun. Beautiful flowers can be made using strawberry slices .Grapes to make caterpillars , tortoise with kiwis and many more creative ideas to try out. Here i have made butterfly using kiwi.

 To make Kiwi Butterfly snack , we need
  • 1 kiwi fruit
  • Few banana slices
  • Mini chocolate chips 
  • Purple cabbage (optional)






To make Chicks from boiled eggs we need
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Small carrot
  • Few black pepper corns
  • Toothpicks
  • Shredded purple cabbage (optional)






Sending this cute breakfast platter to #132nd #FoodieMondayBlogHop with #EdibleFoodArt theme. Do check out my fellow bloggers post as well for some innovative ideas.

                                 

  I hope you liked today's post on breakfast ideas for kids using edible food art. If you do , please share your feedback in the form of likes and comments. Follow me on #Facebook , #Instagram , #Twitter and #Google+ for more recipes and new updates. 

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