Monday, 21 December 2015

Eggless Blueberry Muffin (With Dried berries )

This is one of the best eggless cake tried out recently thanks to Raks kitchen .I have just modified the method of preparation.i.e.,steps that I follow while baking.Here the fresh ones have been replaced with dried berries instead(thanks to my sis Anu who got a nice pack of dried blueberries ).I had baked cupcakes using fresh blueberries long long time ago and can still remember how the berries had let their juices melt  into the cake while baking and it was perfect.The idea of macerating(soaking) struck me and there was no looking back as I love my silicon flower cup cake moulds too!!!and one more eggless cake recipe...yippeeee and it was delicious :) and worth trying out.

All purpose flour/Maida                    1.5cups(minus 3tbsp)
Cornflour                                                 3tbsp
Baking soda                                            1/2tsp
Baking powder                                      1tsp
Powdered sugar                                    3/4cup
Blueberries                                             1/2cup
Curd/yogurt                                           1cup
Oil                                                               1/2cup
Vanilla essence                                      1tsp
Salt                                                             a pinch(optional)

  • Soak the dried berries with little warm water just  for 3-4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Line muffin moulds  with paper cups and grease with oil,if using silicon moulds just grease with oil.
  • Sieve maida,cornflour,baking soda and baking powder 2-3 times.
  • In a bowl first whisk curd and sugar well and then add oil and whisk some more.
  • Add vanilla then the sifted flour in batches and gently fold the batter.
  • Fold in the berries and combine well.
  • Pour into the prepared moulds until 3/4 full(as it will puff up while baking)
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.
  • Tranfer on a wire rack gently sliding out of the mould if using paper cups as the heat will make the cake continue cook further and become dry.For silicon moulds just shake and lightly press the corners and slowly slide over the wirerack to prevent over baking.
  • Perfect snack with a hot cup of coffee or tea.  

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Vaali Ambat-Spinach and Cucumber cooked in a Spicy coconut sauce and Seasoned with onions

I have already posted a couple of ambat recipes before  in this blog whereas each combination has a peculiar taste.'Vaali' is the Konkani term of the spinach and ambat means a type of gravy.This curry is native to Mangalore-udupi belt and prepared by GSB Konkani community and tastes heavenly when served with white rice and heavenliest with red boiled rice. 

Spinach(Malabar variety)
(washed and chopped)
also a few tender stems                            3cups
chunks(peeled)                                             1cup
Tuvar daal,cooked
(split pigeon peas)                                       1/4 cup
Onion(L)finely chopped                            1 nos(reserve 2tbsp for seasoning)
Turmeric powder/haldi                            1/4tsp
Jaggery                                                            1/4tsp
Salt                                                                     to taste

For masala:
Fresh grated coconut                                1/2cup
Roasted red chillies                                   3-4
Tamarind                                                       size of a peanut

For seasoning :
Oil                                                                      1tbsp

  • Pressure cook spinach leaves along with its tender stems,cucumber chunks,chopped onion along with turmeric and a dash of salt  adding 2cups of water to just 1 whistle then cook on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.
  • Tansfer the pressure cooked contents into a soup pot.
  • Take out a little water and use it for preparing masala and texture adjustments
  • Add salt to taste,cooked daal and jaggery and bring to boil.
  • Meanwhile prepare a smooth masala paste with the mentioned ingredients.
  • Add this masala paste to the soup pot and boil some more adding required amount of water to get a gravy consistency.
  • In a small seasoning pan heat the oil and roast the reserved onions adding a pinch of salt to golden brown and drop into the pot of gravy.
  • Boil for one more minute.
  • Since the roasted onion is used here,the gravy thickens after sometime.
Cucumber may be substituted with peeled and cubed raw papaya(the best and authentic combination)or even peeled and cubed chayote chunks.
Similarly spinach(palak) may be substituted instead of Malabar spinach.

Mangalore/Madras/Malabar cucumber-
Malabar Spinach(vaali)-

Monday, 7 December 2015

Kooka Masalo-Chinese Potato/Koorka Dry Subzi

 "Kooka" is a Konkani name for Chinese potato.Other synonyms are Koorka in Malayalam and Sopur Kooka in Kerala Konkani.This vegetable resembles taro root and the cooking process is also similar.The peeling of this vegetable involves  labourious task if peeled directly(usually they are wrapped in jute gunny bags and beaten on ground which enables the peeling process simplified)and even dirties the fingers though the effort is worth it.If boiled and peeled then the job is pretty easy and taste varies in both cases the tastier being the former one.It also has a delicate flavour and are grown in the west coastal states of India.It has a high nutritional value and carb content.
   This is a dry version of this vegetable originally made using potatoes and the recipe belongs to my mother Ms.Anitha Bhat where a masala is prepared whereas my paternal grandmother used sambhar powder and tamarind pulp and a dash of besan/chickpea flour and the dish is quick and equally tasty.

Please look for the picture as to how this vegetable looks like after the recipe instructions below.
Kook/Chinese potato                       40 nos
Onion (M)                                             2nos
Oil                                                            1tbsp
Salt                                                          to taste
For masala:
Fresh/dry coconut(grated)          2tbsp
Byadagi chillies                                4-5
Coriander seeds                                1/4tsp
Tamarind                                            size of a chickpea(kabul chana)
Water                                                    to prepare paste

  • Rinse the chinese potato/Kook nicely in several changes of water so as to get rid of all sand and mud particles.
  • Pressure cook adding required water(say,1.5cups)for a whistle then lowering the flame and cook further for 10 minutes.
  • Soak the tamarind with little warm water and extract pulp
  • Meanwhile roast coconut on a low flame to golden but not over roasting  along with red chillies,add dhania seeds and switch off the flame.
  • Chop the onions to fine pieces.
  • Take the roasted ingredients in a blending jar and grind it dry then add the tamarind pulp and required amount of water to form a smooth paste.
  • Check to make sure the kook/chinese potatoes are cooked(similar to arbi/potato),then peel all the skin and chop to bite size pieces and sprinkle some salt over it.
  • Heat a pan and add oil and roast onions to light golden.
  • Add the prepared paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the chopped kook and combine with a slotted spoon till masala gets incorporated well
  • Add little water and salt if required.
  • Cover and cook on a low flame for 7-8 minutes.
A view of Kooka/Chinese potato-