Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Lemon Biscuit (eggless)

Lemon biscuit
There was one particular week when I wanted to bake a variety of biscuits and was looking for many recipes. I came across lemon biscuit in Tarla Dalal’s website and thought it was an interesting flavour. However, I was not too sure that was the recipe I wanted to make. I then tried to incorporate rice flour as it adds crispiness to the biscuit which is a good thing considering it is an eggless biscuit. I sprinkled some sugar on top of the biscuit before baking to give it a nice melt when we bite into it. That is purely optional but shouldn’t hurt! I quite liked the biscuit but I am conscious that not everyone can appreciate lemon flavour in their biscuit. For someone like me, here it is...
½ cup rice flour
½ cup wheat flour
½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup butter/margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 generous pinches cardamom powder
Rind of one lemon
1-2 tablespoon milk

Combine sugar and butter

Sift in all the flours along with baking powder

Add cardamom powder and lemon rind

Make a soft dough, use little milk if needed

Divide into small portions and roll into about 3mm thick disc. Cut to desired shape

Place on lined baking tray and bake in preheated oven at 180degC for 13-15 minutes, until edges are brown. If you want the biscuit fully crisp, bake until centre also begins to brown a bit. I sprinkled some sugar on top before baking, just to jazz it up.

Transfer to cooling rack, allow to cool completely and store in airtight container.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Wholewheat Onion Crackers

Wholewheat Onion Crackers
Isn’t it always comforting to nibble on something crispy and crunchy? That’s probably why most such dishes are deep fried and are no good for us. Although I am not completely against deep frying because I am sure in a good few cases there is no substitute for it, I try to avoid it where possible. I came across savoury crackers recipe in a number of websites and wanted to try it. I was not entirely sure how it will turn out but still tried my own version and without doubt, it had to include whole wheat. I was told mine was a bit low in salt but I guess that depends on one’s taste. Anyway, here is a baked dish for you to nibble on...

1 onion, finely chopped
¾ cup wholewheat flour
¾ cup all purpose flour
Salt to taste
25g butter
¼ cup oil
2 green chillies, finely chopped (optional)
3 teaspoons sesame seeds
½ teaspoon chilly powder (optional)
½ teaspoon baking powder
Cold water, as required

Mix together all the ingredients except water to make a dough. Only add required amount of water to make a soft dough

Take small balls and roll it thin using rolling pin and place on lined baking tray

Bake in a preheated oven at 180degC for 20-30 minutes. Make sure the onions don’t burn so keep an eye after about 20 minutes.

Cool and serve. You can store it in an airtight container and mine lasted three days.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012


Say lord Ganesha’s name and the first couple of things that come to my mind is remover of obstacles and lover of kozhukattai, the wonderful sweet dumpling. Don’t ask me if the lord himself told me he likes it but I can speak for myself and say I love it. Ganapathy being more popular among Iyers or shivites, iyengars call the lord Thumbikkai Azhwar. Not all iyengar families celebrate vinayaga chathurthi elaborately but as my brother and I were keen, my mom always encouraged us to celebrate. We would go with my father to a nearby temple and buy the idol, one for my bro and one for me. Then pick a nice umbrella for each of our idols and ofcourse buy garlands, arugam pul etc. and head back home. The interesting bit is decorating the place where we will keep the idol and worship. My mom would make the festive meal and ofcourse kozhukattai. My grandmother makes this dish so well and she makes it seem so easy. I also learned some tips from my MIL to shape them nicely, it is no surprise that she is good at that as she is from iyer family. Anyway, here is the recipe...
1 cup rice
1 coconut, grated
¾ cup jaggery, crushed or powdered
Soak the rice for about 10 minutes and spread on a cheesecloth so it dries completely. Grind to fine powder
In a kadai, put the rice flour and add required amount of hot water to make a soft dough. You may add few drops of ghee to increase flavour and aroma

In a kadai, sauté the coconut and jaggery until they come together

Pinch lime sized ball of dough and make it like a cup by pressing it between your fingers of both hands

Place a spoon of the coconut jaggery mixture and seal it by pulling over the dough and sealing by pressing the dough

Steam for about 10-15 minutes, until the dough becomes glossy


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Uppu Kozhukattai

Uppu Kozhukattai
Although not a regular in our house, it is a festival special. Honestly, I have not made it every year for Vinayaga Chathurthi and this really is my first time and this I say despite being married to an Iyer! I assisted my mother-in-law in making these during the very first vinayaga chathurthi after my marriage. I learned how to make the shape from her while she sat down after the pooja to make the big batch of both sweet and savoury kozhukattais. My personal opinion is that this is a very healthy snack and a great way of including lentils especially for kids. Next time I make it, I intend to make it using red rice flour instead of white rice flour just to enhance the nutritive value. Anyway here is the recipe...
1 cup rice flour
½ cup urd dal
1 green chilly
¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
Salt to taste
Oil, preferably gingelly oil
Soak urd dal for about 1 hour and grind coarsely along with salt and green chilly. Make small patties or balls and steam these for 15 minutes

Heat little oil and add mustard seeds and asafoetida, once it crackles, add the steamed dal, break it with your hand, and mix well. You may add curry leaves to the tempering as well (forgot to click the mixture after tempering)

Roast rice flour in a heavy bottom kadai for couple of minutes and add salt and boiling hot water and make a soft dough. Add some oil/ghee to make it all come together

 Pinch lime sized ball and flatten them and depress them in the centre to make it like a cup. Use some oil to grease your hand 

Put about a teaspoon of stuffing in the centre and seal it.

Pinch the edges to form a pattern for the crimp and steam for about 15 minutes. Make sure you grease plate on which you steam so you do not break the kozhukattais when taking out. You know they are done when they look glossy. 


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Baingan ka Choka
My love for aubergine has been mentioned a good few times in my blogs but even s much love would not explain why I have some many of them in my fridge. Well, thanks to online order I got four packs of many aubergines as a substitute for four aubergines. Now that is a good reason to try a few aubergine recipes but I am sure my family would have had enough of eggplants by the end of this week. And yet I tried this very simple dish I read up on sanjeev kapoor’s website. I adapted it to suit our taste and skipped the garlic as well. You could char garlic and add it too if you like. I added turmeric powder for its colour and red chilly powder for added heat. I did not have mustard oil, as suggested in the original recipe, but used gingelly oil instead. Here is the recipe...
2-3 eggplants
2 tomatoes
1 onion
3-4 green chillies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon chilly powder
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder

Cook the eggplants, onion, tomatoes and green chillies, cool, peel the skin and chop

Heat some oil and add cumin seeds and allow it to brown

Add the onions, turmeric powder and green chillies and sauté for a minute

Add tomatoes and sauté for couple of minutes

Add the eggplants and chilly powder and cook for 2-3 minutes, sprinkle some water if needed

Serve with rice or any Indian bread

Monday, 3 September 2012

Kesar Biscuit (Saffron Biscuit)

Kesar Biscuit
Here is a confession, my latest love affair is with saffron. It is the most expensive spice on earth, so it is a costly affair. It is the stigma of the saffron flower that is used in cooking. In addition to imparting fragrance and flavour to savoury as well as sweet dishes, it has some role in home remedies too. Pinches of saffron made into paste using warm water, when applied on foreheads and nose of baby, helps relieve congestion. Another interesting belief in India is that pregnant women should consume loads of saffron with milk so their baby has a fair complexion. I used to laugh at this theory because colour is genetic but wondered why it was recommended for pregnant women. I think the reason is that its decongestant property will help pregnant ladies as pregnancy cause frequent congestion. Anyway, these biscuits were awesome and are a keeper.

2 pinches saffron strands
¾ cup wholewheat flour
¾ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon milk
2 pinches of cardamom powder
1 pinch of cinnamon powder
½ cup butter/margarine, softened
½ cup brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons chopped nuts

Heat the milk and add saffron strands and allow this to sit for about 30 minutes. This helps more essence and favour from saffron seep out 

Cream together the butter and sugar

Sift together the flours and baking powder, add nuts and the saffron infused milk. Mix and knead very lightly to form soft dough. Rest for five minutes

Divide into a number of portions depending on your work surface and roll into about 3mm thick disc. Cut to desired shape and place on lined baking tray

Bake in a preheated oven at 180degC for 12-13 minutes. If you want crisp biscuit then allow the edges to brown well. If you want a soft centre (not chewy though), bake for little shorter, just until edges are brown