Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Remember Britannia Little Hearts....

Love is in the Air...and what best way to express it than with a treat that always wins hearts....

They are coming your Way....:-)
Check out this page soon....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Award Time Again...:-)

Praneetha Raghava of Kitchen Flavors and EC of Simple Indian Food have passed on this 'Wylde Woman Award' to me.

Thank you so much Pranee and EC for considering me worthy of this Award. I really dont know if I deserve it. This gesture is very much appreciated. It gives me a lot of motivation to keep this Blog going on with more and more innovative posts. Thank You So Much ..:-)

The rules of this award are:
1.You can give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it's up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post

2. Link back to this blog site Tammy can go visit all these wonderful men and women and remember the Purpose of the Award: To send love and acknowledgment to men and women, who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy. It's been a blessing and an inspiration to meet all of you through your wonderful blogs.

To keep up the Tradition I would like to pass on the award to my blogger friends/ real time friends who have encouraged me from time to time not just by their comments but also through their silent acknowledgement for each and every single post. Thank You All for the tremendous support for a Blogging Novice like me. It is very very encouraging.

I would love to pass on this award to :
I would love to include Deepthi and Swathi here...but have seen that they have already received theirs from Praneetha.

Thank so much once again...
Loads of Love....Amu :-)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tiranga Halwa...

Happy Independence Day to all Readers of this Blog....:-)

India this year has celebrated its 61st Independence Day...I feel very honoured and proud to be born as an Indian and come what may I will never give up on this Cultural Identity of mine...I strongly respect my Roots and where I come from...Though I live in a Foreign Land...there is not a day I don't think of My HomeLand. I truly cherish all the Memories of me growing up and developing all the characteristics of being a True Indian...i.e. Respect for Our Motherland India and deep-rooted trust and belief for all our Values and Traditions...which every Indian associates themselves with.

This Year August 15 falls on a very Auspicious Day of Varalakshmi Vratam (Sravana Sukravaram)...and it happens to be My Best Friends Birthday...So it was an apt day for a Triple Celebration...I was busy all day making different food items to offer as Naivedyam (Prasadam) to the Goddess Varalakshmi and then spent another couple of hours reverently praying for the Health and Good Life of My Husband...

But how can I forget My Motherland and the importance of August 15th and how well we used to celebrate this day back home...and all the sweet Goodies we used to get at school and college on this day...So I decided to make something to mark the occasion of Indian Independence Day...I remembered that my friends Spandy and Siri both came up with this wonderful treat for last years Independence Day...While theirs is a traditional recipe...I worked on producing one a little different...and with a few modifications/additions to their recipe, I made my Own Trianga Halwa...representing the colours of our Indian National Flag....SAFFORN, WHITE and GREEN....

Here goes the Recipe:
1.5Cups Fine Semolina (Bombay Rava,Sooji)
1.5Cups Fine Dessicated Coconut( can use finelt grated fresh coconut)
2Cups Sugar
1Cup Ghee (Clarified Butter)
4Cups of Water
1tsp Cardamom powder
1/2Cup Roasted Cashews (powdered to a fine powder)

To Finish:
Orange Colour
Green Colour
Roasted Cashews

1) In a Large Pan, melt the Ghee and add the Rava and Dessicated Coconut to it and roast it on a slow flame till the ghee is well coated over them and a nice aroma wafts the air. Care must be be taken for them to not get any brown colour. So continously stir when they are getting roasted.
2) Then add the Sugar, Cardamom Powder and Powdered Cashew Powder to the the above mixture and stir it till all the ingredients are well mixed.
3) In another pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
4) Slowly add the water to the rava mixture while continously stirring to avoid any lumps from forming.
5) You will know that it is cooked when the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan.
6) Once cooked, divide the Mixture into 3 equal parts.
7) Mix both colours separately with a little water and then add Orange to one part of Halwa and Green to other part of Halwa. Mix well to ensure even distribution of colour.
8) On a warm greased plate firstly place the Green Part of Halwa and spread it to form an even layer.
9) Then place the uncoloured Halwa on top of the Green and spread it evenly again.
10) Lastly top with Orange part of Halwa and spread it to form an even layer.
11) Smooth the Sides and leave it aside to cool.
12) Using a Warm Knife, cut the halwa into desired shape and garnish it with roasted nuts and sultana. Serve them Warm or at Room Temperature.

This is how it looked...

The Orange colour might not be exact because I actually didnot have Orange...I used Yellow and added a little Pink to it to achieve this colour. My Husband and our friends who visited us for dinner that night were very impressed and enjoyed the sweet immensely...and I am very Happy that they liked it. So heres another food item I tried to be innovative with by adding Powdered Cashew and Dessicated Coconut. But if you prefer the regular Sooji Halwa...check out Spanz and Siri's Recipes which are equally Awesome...!!!

I wanted to send this entry to Pooja's Theme of the Week:Safforn,White and Green (Independence Day Special) but missed on posting the recipe by the due date...

So I am sending this across to EC's What's Your Favourite (WYF): Colour in Food Event

Recipe Source: Spandana of Cinnamom Trail and Sirisha of Ambrosia Flavours....and My Modifications...
Image Source: My Phone Camera...

Hope You All liked this Post...Please do try this version and let me know how it turns out...
So Until Next Time...Happy Cooking...:-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Blogging Friends Card...

Padma of Padma's Kitchen and Usha of My Spicy Kitchen has passed on this Blogging Friends Forever Card...

She is a Friend and I truly cherish this Friendship Gesture from her...Thank You so Much Padma...Much Appreciated..:-)

I would love to pass on to pass on this Friendship Card to my Good Friends...who are also my Blogging Friends...

* Keerthi of CuminHut and Microcosm...

* Swetha of Swethsy...

* Sirisha of Ambrosia Flavours...

* Deepthi of Deepthi's Cosmos...

* Poornima's Maya...

Thank You...and until next time...Take Care..:-)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Homemade Dinner Rolls...

Back again with my Bread Baking Mania...I am truly addicted to the aroma of freshly baked bread at home. These days, I have reduced the number of hours I am working because my Health is not permitting me too those long hours continuously on my feet...So I decide to cut back on my working hours and what better to do with the free hours at home than make some yummy goodies that we both eat. (Read it as My Husband does not Fuss about...:-D)

I took out the recipe I had for baking Dinner Rolls which we got in our Yeast Goods class which I used on regular basis when at School in other Kitchen classes...I used to bake these rolls to serve as accompaniment to Soups, Stews to get extra points when the final dish was served for our chef to taste and evaluate. Some Chefs were impressed as to how I found time in between cooking 4 items in a 4hour kitchen class...I always ended up getting extra points for making that extra bit of effort...and this practice helped me in my Advanced Yeast Goods Class..(I scored 98/100...highest in the school...)

The above picture is My First Dinner Roll....(It felt Great holding it)...Now the secret is that the recipe is very easy to follow and make...and they have always worked whatever be the situation...So here goes the Recipe...

200gms Plain Flour/Wholemeal Flour (If you can get - Bakers or Bread Flour)
10gms Active Dry Yeast (or 5 gms Fresh Yeast)
120ml Milk
1tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbsps Butter (melted and cooled)
To Finish:
Caraway(Ajwain) Seeds/Sesame seeds
Milk to brush on top

1) Firstly heat the milk to lukewarm stage or 37*C. Be careful the milk should not be Hot if not the yeast will not be activated.

2) Add the Yeast and Sugar in a bowl and add the warm milk to it. Mix to dissolve and add the warm milk. Leave it aside till a froth develops and increases in volume. This means that the Yeast has been activated.(This Process is called Basic Proove)

3) Meanwhile Sift the flour 2 to 3 times to aerate it and add the Salt to it and keep aside.

4) Once the Yeast is ready, form a bay in the flour and slowly mix the flour to form a dough by adding the yeast mixture little by little. While mixing the flour move your hands in a circular motion collecting dough to the liquid as the hand is moving.

5) Once the dough is formed. Cover and keep aside to Proove(rise) again for about an hour or till the dough doubles in its volume.

6) Once the dough has doubled in volume, remove it onto a lightly floured surface. Then knock back the dough to its original size by kneading it in slow motion using the palm of your hand. Continue kneading for another 10 minutes till the dough is smooth and elastic.

7) Then add the melted butter and knead again till butter is well incorporated into the dough.

8) Divide into 6 equal portions (above recipe makes 6 rolls) and shape them into rolls by rolling them in a circular motion using the palms of your hands and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray. (refer picture below)

9) Leave them in a warm spot for another 20/30 minutes to rise again. (picture below)

10) Once they have risen to double their size, brush them with milk on top and sprinkle few Caraway or sesame seeds.

11)Bake them in a Preheated 200*C oven for 10 to 15 minutes or till they get a nice golden colour on top.
Disclaimer: Oven Temperatures adjust accordingly...

12) Serve them warm from the Oven as fresh bread is at its best of taste when warm. They can be served along side soups or any dish as an accompaniment.

I eat them as it is...:-D because I bake mine using Wholemeal Flour as a healthier option....

I had these pictures that I shot long ago for the purpose of blogging...but back then never had the time to blog as regularly... as i do now...So I am using the same snaps I shot back then for this post... But I recently baked them as an accompaniment to Spicy Pav Bhaji...

Image Source: My Trusty Phone Camera
Recipe Source: Yeast Goods Class (with my own additions and deletions ofcourse..he he...:-D)

Try this recipe out and do let me know how it comes out...Until then Happy Cooking....:-)