Chocolate log

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This easy 4 ingredient chocolate log is loved by both kids and adults alike!  Over the years, this is the one thing my children have always asked me to make whenever they come home….whether they are 15 or 30! This quick recipe requires no prep and is very simple to make.

What you need:

1 packet Marie biscuits (the big size)

1 tin condensed milk

4-5 tbsp cocoa powder

1 cup walnuts chopped into smaller pieces 

1/2 cup grated coconut (optional)

How to make:

  1.  Take the Marie biscuits and throw into a blender.

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2.  Add the condensed milk and the cocoa powder and blend till a lump has formed.

3,  Remove the lump from the blender.  Add the walnuts and mix well.   

4,  Roll out  some foil and sprinkle it with grated coconut or powdered sugar.  Form the lump in the shape of a log and roll it along with the foil.

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5.  Freeze the log for a few hours and then cut into chocolate rounds!  Enjoy!

Kadai Paneer

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Kadai is a kind of wok which is similar to the chinese wok.  Cooking the paneer (cottage cheese) in masala in the Kadai gives the dish its name Kadai Paneer.  This dish can be made both dry or with gravy.   This spicy and tangy dish gets its flavors from the roasted kadai masala and tastes very good with naan, roti and rice.

What you need

250 gms Paneer (cottage cheese) cubed

1 medium bell pepper julienned

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

2 medium onions finely chopped

4-5 tomatoes pureed

2 tbsp cream (optional)

1 tbsp kasuri methi

1/2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

Cilantro leaves for garnishing

2 tbsp oil

For Kadai masala

  1.  4-5 kashmiri whole chillies
  2. 5 tsp coriander seeds

How to make:

  1.  Roast the kadai masala(coriander seeds and red chillies) ingredients on a low flame till they turn aromatic.img_1568
  2. When the spices cool, coarsely grind them in a blender.

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3.  Heat the oil in a pan and add the ginger garlic paste.  Saute for a couple of minutes and then add the chopped onions.  Stir well till the onions turn translucent.

4.  Throw in the ground kadai masala and mix well.  Now add the tomato puree and cook on a low flame, stirring from time to time.  Saute well till the oil leaves the side (about 7-8 mins).

5.  Add the bell pepper now and simmer on a low flame for 2-3 minutes.

6.  Add 1-2 cups water and salt and simmer the gravy for another 5 mins.  Add the paneer cubes and the kasuri methi and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  You can add cream now if you want to.  Mix it gently into the gravy.

7.  Sprinkle garam masala and cilantro leaves on the kadai paneer and serve hot with roti, rice or naan. Enjoy!

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Rava Fried Fish

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With the children coming home for the winter break, I wanted to try out rava fried fish.  Rava which is also known as sooji or semolina, is used for coating the fish .  It is quite awesome as it gives a nice crunch to the fish and doesn’t become wimpy very soon.   The fish turned out delicious with a nice tangy and spicy flavor.  Needless to say the kids enjoyed it!

What you need:

1/2 cup Rava(semolina)   

Basa fish 3 fillets
   
1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste 
   
1 tsp Red chili powder 
   
2 lemons quartered
   
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chat masala

2 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

1 onion cut int0 rounds

How to make:

  1.  In a bowl, take ginger garlic paste, chili powder, salt and 1 tsp oil and mix well.  Coat  the fish fillets (cut into smaller pieces) well with the paste.

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2.  Heat the remaining oil in a non stick pan.  Roll each fish piece in rava and shallow fry all of them.

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3.  Drizzle some chat masala and lemon juice on the fish fillets and serve hot with some sliced onions and chutney.    Enjoy!

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Easy Chana (Chickpea) Masala with no oil

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This simple recipe requires no oil, no onions (only to garnish) and no tomatoes.  This cant get easier than that andyet be so healthy and delicious.  The cream chickpeas can be used as a filling for sandwiches and pitas apart from puri, kulcha, roti.  Do try it and you wil be hooked!

What you need:

2 cups white chickpeas or kabuli chanas

2-3 heaped tbsp chana masala

3 tsp  julienne ginger

3-4 slit green chilli

Black/rock salt to taste

1/4 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

How to make:

  1.  Soak the chickpeas/chanas overnight. Boil Chana with rock salt,  till soft in the pressure cooker.  Pressure cook 1 whistle on high, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Open pressure cooker after steam releases….Chana will be cooked through!

img_11472.  Now in the same vessel, add the chana masala and cook the chanas on slow heat stirring every 10-15 minutes.  Throw in the thinly sliced ginger and slit green chillies and stir well.

3.  After 30 minutes the chana should be cooked till the outer covering of the chana comes off and melts to form a smooth sauce! If water dries up before that you can add more water for cooking.

4.  Serve hot with a squeeze of lime and chopped onions.

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Spinach and mushroom soup

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Cold winter evenings call for hot and hearty soups with a side good nutrition thrown in!   I had some spinach and mushrooms which are good for soups separately on their own.  I decided to experiment and combine both.  The result was a yummy soup which was loved by the whole family! Makes about 4 servings.

What you need:

1.5-2 cups chopped spinach

1 medium chopped onion

1 tsp ginger finely chopped

2-3 gloves garlic chopped

200 gm mushrooms sliced

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups water

1 tbsp cream

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp wholewheat flour 

salt to taste

fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp coriander leaves finely chopped

How to make:

  1.  Boil spinach in a little water, along with chopped onion and ginger (you can also do this in a microwave) till the spinach leaves are soft.  Cool and then grind in a blender.  Keep aside.
  2. In a pan, add butter and melt.  Now saute the chopped garlic till it begins to boil.  Now throw in the sliced mushrooms and stir till the mushrooms start to release water.
  3. Add the flour and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add the black pepper and saute for half a minute.  Then add the spinach mixture and stir well.
  5. Add the water followed by milk.  Mix well and add the salt.  Keep on low heat and let the soup simmer till it starts to thicken. (about 5 mins)
  6. Add the cream and the coriander leaves and stir well.
  7. Serve hot.  Enjoy!

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Masala fish fry

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Fast and easy and tasty too!  Fish made with freshly ground spices and then flash fried….perfect for unexpected guests or when the kids want a quick bite.  Here’s how it is made.

What you need:

2 tsp Coriander Seeds

1 tsp ghee

2 tsp toor(arhar) dal

1 tsp pepper

2 red dry chillis

½ tsp cumin seeds

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder (or to taste)

Salt to taste

How to make:

  1.  Dry roast the first 6 ingredients and then grind them coarsely.
  2. Wash fish with a tbsp of vinegar.  Pat dry and cut into 2 inch pieces.
  3. Toss the fish well with the ground spices and add a good squeeze of lemon.

img_97244.  Also add the turmeric and chilli powders and salt to the fish.

5.  Flash fry the fish in medium hot oil or pan sear it with a spray of oil.

6.  Serve hot with green chutney/sauce.  Enjoy!

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Fish in Mustard Gravy

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I love the flavor of mustard and that is what is used in this Bengali inspired fish recipe.  This dish is deliciously spicy and  healthy and  goes well with both steamed rice and roti .  The aroma of mustard in every bite gives this dish a unique flavor.

What you need:

500 gm fish fillets

1/2 tsp nigella (kalonji) seeds

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1  tsp turmeric powder

2 medium onions finely chopped

2 medium tomatoes pureed

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1/2 tsp chilli powder

2 green chillis slit

3 tbsp mustard oil

1 cup water

Salt to taste

To grind

2 tsp yellow mustard seeds

2 tbsp sesame seeds

How to make:

  1.  Rub the fish fillets with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and  1 tsp salt. keep aside for half an hour.img_8870
  2. Take some mustard oil in a pan and heat .  Now shallow fry the fish and remove.
  3. In the same pan add the nigella seeds and cumin seeds.  Once they splutter, add chopped onions and the ginger garlic paste. Also throw in the powdered mustard seeds and poppy seeds.   Stir well  till the mixture starts turning brown.img_8871
  4.  Now add the tomato puree along with the red chilli powder and  turmeric powder.  Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat. Add the fish fillets gently to the pan now and let the masala coat the fish well.  
  5. Add a cup of water and salt to the mixture.  Once the gravy starts bubbling, lower the heat and cook till the gravy thickens.
  6.  Garnish with coriander leaves and green chillis  and serve hot with rice or roti.  Enjoy!