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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Beetroot Spiced Drink

I was getting ready to make beetroot fry. Once I peeled and washed the beetroot, I diced them and accidentally put them in a bowl of water I kept for potatoes. The color of the water was so beautiful. My daughter saw the water and asked me to make something out of that water as she loves the color. I loved the taste of the water too. So, I added few ingredients and made this spiced drink.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Serves : 2


Beetroots : 2 large
Water : 3 cups
Limca or Sprite : 2 cups
Ground Cinnamon : 1 teaspoon
Ginger : 1" piece (extract juice)
Ice cubes : 1 cup


Wash, peel and dice the beetroots. Add the pieces to water and let the soak for 20 minutes.
Strain the water into a vessel and add rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Pour the drink into glasses with ice and top it with some cinnamon pieces.
Serve immediately.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Potato and Green pepper Biryani

I love the simplicity of Biryanis and Pulavs. Just raita is enough to accompany the rice to serve as a meal. They work well for lunch boxes too.
Kids love Pulav and biryani so, I try to make different combination of veggies all the time. I'm sending this dish to blogging Marathon #71 under one pot dishes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Serves : 4-5


Basmati Rice: 2 cups
Onion : 1 large sliced
Potatoes: 2 large diced
Green pepper/Capsicum: 2 large sliced
Green chilies: 7 slit
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tablespoon
Biryani powder/paste : 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder : 1 teaspoon
Cilantro/coriander leaves : 1 bunch chopped
Water : 3 1/2 cups
Salt to taste

For Tempering:
Cloves : 5
Elachi/Green cardamom: 3
Bay leaves: 2
Shahi jeera : 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon: 1" stick
Mace : 1 string
Star Anise : 1 flower


Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee and 1 tablespoon of oil, add all ingredients listed under for Tempering. Fry for 1 minute.
Add onions, green chilies and sauté till they turn light brown.
Add ginger garlic paste, biryani paste and fry for 1 minute. Add cilantro and fry for 1 minute.
Add the veggies for 4-5 minutes.
Add drained water and fry for 2 minutes.
Add water, salt, mix well and close lid.
Cook for 12-14 minutes. Turn off the stove and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Fluff it up with a fork and serve with raita.

Quick Plum Cake

Plum cake and Christmas go hand in hand. Love plum cake but I prefer non-alcoholic version while soaking nuts and dried fruits. Here is a quick microwave version which takes 8 minutes to cook.
Kids love this quick and easy cake. I made it on Christmas morning and the cake was gone in 5 minutes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Soaking Time: 3 hours at least
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Serves : 4-5


To soak:
Dried fruits : 1/2 cup (Raisins, dates, cherry, )
Nuts : 3 tablespoons (Pistachios, almonds, cashews, walnuts)
Orange juice : 1/2 cup

All purpose flour: 1 1/4 cup
Cocoa powder: 3 tablespoons
Baking Soda : 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar : 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil: 1/4 cup
Honey : 5 tablespoons
Warm milk: 1/2 cup


Take ingredients listed under to soak and mix together.  Soak them for 3-4 hours or they can be soaked for 1 day.
Mix All purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking Soda and sugar in a large bowl.
Add soaked fruits and nuts along with the juice, honey, oil and milk.
Mix well with a spatula.
Pour the batter in a 10" greased cake dish and cook it in a microwave for 8 minutes.
Let it cool off and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Take it out, cut into slices and serve.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Purple cabbage and red pepper fried rice

I've been busy with a family wedding and pretty much ran out veggies except a purple cabbage, a red pepper, baby corn and spring onions. I was in a bind as I have to pack lunch for the kids. So, I thought of making fried rice with what I have and change the sauces to compliment the veggies. It turned out so good kids loved it and my poor son came home hungry as his friends loved it and ate 3/4th of his box.
You can use red cabbage as a substitute if you can't find purple cabbage.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves : 3-4


Rice : 2 cups washed and cooked
Purple cabbage : 3/4 cup
Red pepper: 1 diced
Baby corn : 5 cut into 1" pieces
Spring onions/ scallions : 1small bunch to garnish
Green chili sauce : 1/3 cup
Chili vinegar: 1 tablespoon
Soy sauce : 1 tablespoon
Fresh ground black pepper: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste


Heat oil in a wok or a large pan, add purple cabbage and white part of scallions.
Sauté  for 1 minute and add red pepper and baby corn. Sauté for 3-4 minutes.
Add rice and rest of ingredients except scallions. Toss well and cook for 3 minutes.
Turn off the stove and add scallions and serve hot with any Chinese fry or gravy.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Almond Coconut cookies

I made these Almond coconut cookies for Christmas, kids in the county and my friends loved them. These cookies are simple to make.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Makes : 12 cookies


Eggs : 2 large
Sugar : 1/3 cup
Salt : A pinch
Shredded coconut: 1 1/2 cups
Almond extract : 1 teaspoon
Ground nutmeg: 1/4 teaspoon
All purpose flour : 4 tablespoons
Almond powder: 1 tablespoon
Candied cherries: To garnish
Coconut powder: To garnish


In a mixing bowl, beat eggs well. Add salt, sugar and beat again until stiff.
Add almond flavoring and beat well.
Add rest of the ingredients slowly and fold well with a spatula.
Pre heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the cookie dough on cookie sheets and bake for 15 minutes.
Garnish with cherries and coconut powder. Cool them on a rack and serve.

Mushroom Pulav

Kids love mushrooms specially stir fries. I got my hands on these good quality mushrooms and I made Pulav for kids lunch boxes. They loved the taste and I love the simplicity of this Pulav.
Sisters kids were visiting and they loved the Pulav too. So, I can say it tastes good both hot and cold.  I'm sending this recipe to Blogging Marathon #71 under one pot dishes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves : 3-4


Long grain rice : 2 1/2 cups
Mushrooms: 200 grams washed and cubed
Onion : 1 large sliced
Ginger garlic paste : 1 tablespoon
Green chilies: 4 -6 slit
Cilantro/coriander leaves : 1 small bunch chopped
Mint leaves : 2 tablespoons
Garamond masala : 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder : 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Water : 5 cups

For Tempering:

Cloves : 7
Elachi/ cardamom: 2
Bay leaves : 2
Cinnamon: 2" stick


Heat oil in a pot, add ingredients listed under for Tempering and fry for 1 minute.
Add onions and green chilies, sauté for 3 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 30 seconds until the smell is gone.
Add mint and cilantro leaves, fry for 30 seconds.
Add mushroom pieces and all the spices. Fry for 3 minutes.
Add rice and fry for 2 minutes. Add water, check for salt and close lid.
Cook for 20-25 minutes until the rice is done. Let it rest for 5 minutes before opening the lid.
Fluff up the rice with a fork and serve hot.

Note : You can soak the rice 15 minutes before frying.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Spaghetti in a pot

Kids love pasta but not the white sauce or marinara all the time. So, I just added all the ingredients in a large pot and made a simple yet cheesy pasta.
I fed this pasta to a group of kids and they loved it.
I'm sending this dish to blogging marathon #71 under one pot dishes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Serves : 6


Spaghetti: Large pack 6-8 servings (I used a pot sized box)
Zucchini: 1 large diced
Mushrooms: 250 grams diced
Garlic cloves : 6 chopped
Peas : 1 cup
Kraft Three cheese blend : 1 1/4 cup
Oregano: 1 tablespoon
Pepper : 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste.


Take a large pot and add all ingredients except cheese with enough water to cover the pasta. ( I added 6 cups)
Bring it to a boil and cook until the pasta is completely done.
Add the cheese and mix well. Once the cheese is nicely coated to pasta, turn off the stove and serve immediately.

Note: You can add cream cheese along with cheese for more creamier pasta.