Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Spice Cookies | Spiced Sweet Cookies

After the Coconut Squares and Chocolate flowers, next was a spiced Masala Cookies. I used Spice powders to enhance the flavours. Though you might think the powdered spice hits you when you add it, after baking you are left with a lingering taste of the spice and it's not strong at all.

Infact I added three pinches and still felt could have added more. Though the baking spree, I was searching for my molds. Finally got hold of these molds and ended up making tree, heart and mulberry leaves shapes. I loved those hearts as the mold was something that we flicked from the kids toys. Though the first batch had leaf and tree, the second batch was only heart and trust me, they turned out so crispy.

If you must know it was one long session of baking and I wanted to make sure I didn't end up with loads of dishes to wash. So all the sweet cookies were creamed in one vessel. Well that resulted in the last batch to have little bit of chocolate blended. All the good right!

Off these go for my Cookie Mela

Step by Step Pictures

Spice Cookies

All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup
Butter - 150 gms
Clove, Cinnamon, Cardamon powder - 3 pinches
Salt a pinch
Icing sugar - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp

How to bake spice cookies:

Cream the butter and icing sugar in a bowl. Add the spices, salt and baking powder to the flour. Then slowly add to the butter mix.

Knead to a soft dough. Flatten on a rolling board and cut out shapes using molds of your choice.

Pre heat the oven at 185 deg C and bake for 16 mins. Second batch took me only about 14 - 15 mins.

Allow to cool, before storing them in an air tight container.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Coconut Square Cookies | How to make Coconut Cookies

With the Cookie Mela coming to an end shortly, I couldn't miss baking some cookies. As luck would have it, I had an unexpected off from work and what better work than baking those cookies that I have been planning to bake since a month. Almost for a week now, every day I would get the butter come to room temperature, only to put it back.

So finally I had enough time and energy to bake these and I decided I might as well bake as many as I can. I have been baking non stop since evening and baked around four different varieties. As always the one with chocolate and looking brown was a hit with kids. Rest of course we enjoyed.
Coconut Square Cookies
Since it's going to be four different varieties, will be posting on both the blogs. So stay tuned for some exciting versions of cookies that you can enjoy anytime anywhere.

These Coconut square Cookies always remind me of the bakery biscuits. Having excess of fresh coconut on hand, I thought I should try out some Coconut cookies. Since I didn't have the dried coconut, I dried it in microwave for 2 mins and added to the flour. Maybe next time I might try caramelizing for more effect. Though it was coconutty in taste, I think the bakery one has sugar coated on top. However these tasted awesome just the same!

I also make some Chocolate Piped Cookies and two more to share which will be up tomorrow!

Off these go for my Cookie Mela

Step by Step Pictures

Coconut Square Cookies

Ingredients Needed:

All purpose Flour / Maida - 1 and 1/2 cup
Butter - 150 gms
Fresh Coconut, grated - 1 cup
Salt a pinch
Icing sugar - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp

How to make the Coconut Square Cookies

Grate the coconut and microwave for 2 mins with one minute interval. This will make sure the coconut is dried up.

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until the mix is very creamy. Shift the flour together with baking powder and salt.

Slowly add to the bowl and continue creaming. If the dough is thick, knead with your hands. Add milk if required.

Grease a rolling board with greased rolling pin. Pat on the sides to make sure you get a square. Cut into small squares.

Meanwhile pre heat the oven at 185 Deg C. Once done, arrange the squares with enough space on the tray and bake at 185" C for 15 mins. Start at 12 mins and continue for the next 3 mins if required. I had to complete the entire 15 mins.

Allow to cool before digging in.


The coconut I used was enough to give a good coconut taste. The ones you get in the bakery is really loaded with coconut. For that effect you can increase by another half cup of coconut.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Chicken Fry with Poppy Seeds and Spices

Today's Chicken fry is yet another recipe we made during the Party couple of weeks back. The recipe is very simple and got very good feedback from the guests. Though chicken fry or roast gets done every other week, and end up being a morphed version of the many varieties that we make, I feel I got to make sure I note even the smallest change done to the recipe. To tell the truth I don't normally stick to a recipe all the time. I keep changing the spices and other ingredients. So one particular combination gets liked more and I make sure I note down what they are.

The difference in this recipe is the usage of roasted poppy seeds along with cardamom, cinnamon and clove. That really give it a nutty taste and enhances the roast effect. Though I managed to click a step wise pictures, I was not able to click proper end picture. It was a hurried last minute capture before being passed on.

Ingredients Needed:

Chicken, cut into bite size - 250 gms
Onions - 1 big
Tomato, puree - 1 medium
Green Chilies - 2 medium
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch

Spice powder

Poppy Seeds / Gasa gasa - 1 tbsp
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon  - 2
Cardomon - 2

Roasted and powdered.

How to make the Chicken Fry

Wash and cut into bite size pieces. Drain in a colander.

Heat a kadai and dry roast the poppy seeds, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom. After couple of tossing around, remove and allow it to cool. Grind to a fine powder once it's cooled.

Add oil to the kadai, when hot add onions, chopped green chilies, saute well. When the onions turns colour, add ginger garlic paste. Cook for couple of mins.

Add the drained chicken, combine everything well and cook on high. Moisture starts coming out. Continue stirring, after 10 mins, add red chili powder, coriander powder. combine everything and continue cooking.

Next add the tomato puree, cook on high. Then add a cup of water and cover with lid. Simmer for 10 - 15 mins.

When the chicken is cooked and tender, saute in high for the moisture to evaporate. Remember this has to be almost dry, so continue until you find the moisture is all evaporated and nicely done.

Finally add the ground masala powder to the chicken and mix everything well. Cook for couple of mins, sprinkle coriander leaves and switch off.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chocolate Fudge Cookie | Eggless Chocolate Fudge Cookie

Though I have been planning to make some cookies for the Cookie Mela, I never could get myself make some. Yesterday Peddu threw a tantrum saying I was going to make him some cake, showing me the butter box that has muffins on them. So I was forced to make some muffins, so I ended up making some Chocolate Fudge Lava Cake.

With the same dough, I just reduced the milk and rolled out some cookies. These chocolate fudge cookies were chewy and soft. If you want to make it crispy, them you can reduce the butter and increase the baking soda.

Sometimes I think chewy cookies taste great, especially with so much chocolate in it.

Chocolate Fudge Cookie
Chocolate Fudge Cookie

I was shooting the pictures in the morning and Peddu was up by then. He was eagerly looking at what I was doing. I asked if he would hold them for me. He was so glad to be asked for help.

Chocolate Fudge Cookies

Makes - 12 mini muffins

Cake flour - 1 cup
Cooking chocolate - 2 slabs
Drinking chocolate - 1/4 cup
Icing sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk powder - 1/4 cup
Baking powder - 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup
Milk as required (1 tbsp)

How to make the cake

Melt the butter in microwave for a minute. Chop the chocolate slabs into smaller pieces and melt for 30 secs.

In a bowl, shift the flours together with sugar and milk powder. Into the butter, slowly add the flour and blend well. The dough will have to shift.

Freeze the dough for 10 mins. Then make balls and flatten them on a greased tray.

Pre the oven at 185 deg C and bake for 15 mins.

These are for my Cookie Mela and I am hoping to be making more for the event!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vegetable Fried Rice | How to make Vegetable Fried Rice ~ Step by Step

There are times when you make something, you are reminded of the many times you had events related to that dish. This Vegetable Fried Rice that I made for the recent party we hosted, was something similar. It has lot of memories that are nostalgic and makes me wistful for those bygone days. I never look back with regret for the days that so quickly pass. Only I make sure I live the present, to ensure these days are remembered with the same merry as those many days in your past.

How can a simple dish like this kindle so much thoughts! Really do we create associated things to remember the time, or things happen on a predestined fashion that you remember both. I will never know. For me, it's always been that I associate most events with food and the food we make, share and of course discuss. Food is such an integral part of our whole day affair. The entire process starts at night, when I ask my kids what they want for breakfast and for lunch. Then I go and discuss with Athamma on what we can make, then a call to Amma, to find out what she is planning. Finally discuss with hubby dear on what I am planning to make. All these might take just about 10 to 15 mins. Still these are the highlights most evenings.
Vegetable Fried Rice
Vegetable Fried Rice
Come morning, I again see if there is a change in the menu. The weeks when I plan out the menu, it's all together a different story. Well those weeks are not that often these days. I end up cooking on the fly, depending on so many factors. Most times it also depends on what I plan for Blogging Marathon. Anyway when Amma said I got to cook the vegetarian food for the party, I knew right away that I had to plan for a rice dish. And this is what came to mind.

Vegetable fried rice that we used to order in our club, is always something that comes to mind. I don't think we have ever ordered this dish elsewhere. And you must know it's not the Indo Chinese version as this Chinese Fried Rice. This is the Indian version, with so much of Indian influence. Having eaten this dish so many times, each time trying to understand the component that's gone in to make dish, I have come to my own conclusion of how it's made. Of course it wouldn't have been a tough task asking the chef how he made it. But I wanted to recreate it on my own, with my own understanding. Amma has a wonderful ability to decipher a dish. I wanted to see if I have the same trait. I know that's expecting too much, still here's my experiment with my senses.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Makes for 6 -7 people

Ingredients Needed

Basmati Rice - 3 & 1/2 cups
Water - times the rice quantity,
Salt to taste

For making the Fried Rice

Assorted Vegetables
Carrots - 1/2 cup
Beans - 1/2 cup
Capsicum - 1/2 medium
Fresh Peas - handful

Onions, julienne - 1 big
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green Chilies - 2 medium
Green chili paste -1 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Roasted Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Whole Spices

Bay leaf - 2 nos
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 2"
Cardamon - 2


Wash and chop the vegetables into very fine pieces.

For the Rice:

Wash and soak the basmati rice for 15 mins. Once you are done, bring a pot having twice the amount of water as the rice, boil. When the water starts rolling boil stage, drain the rice and add to the water along with little salt. Cook on high for 10 mins and simmer for couple of minutes.

Cover with a lid and drain the water. Let it stand with the lid on for couple of mins. Then spread on a plate for the rice to be separated and not sticky.

For sautéing the vegetables.

Heat a wide mouth wok or Kadai with 1 tbsp butter and oil. Add the whole spices and saute for couple of minutes. Then add the onions, saute till it starts turning colour.

Add ginger garlic paste and saute well. Add the slit green chilies along with green chili sauce. Saute well. Now add the vegetables and cook on high. Add salt, pepper powder, cumin powder. Combine everything well and check spice.

Now add the cooked rice and mix well.

Finally add 1 tbsp butter, simmer for 5 mins.

Serve with Peas Paneer Curry

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