Anjali's Food Kaleidoscope

Minced Cauliflower Pulao

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A wise man once said “Change is the only constant in our lives “ but another wise man said that there always wont be change so you will have to bring your own , apparently this wise man is the local grocer .Hope you understood the joke.
           The year before last I had a home in Goa , then we moved to Vizag, turned an empty house into a home , decorated it , celebrated birthdays and Diwali , had lots of friends over for Dinner and tea , all in all it was filled with beautiful moments of happiness and joy.
     Now we move back to Goa , will turn a house there into a home , meet more people and make new friends .One of the many advantages of my husband having a transferable job is that I have such a treasure of good friends which I wonder if I would have been able to make if I were staying in one place all my life.
   I have learnt so much in all these years be it in cooking , housekeeping , bringing up children and about life in general.
Like they say everyone teaches you either what to do or what not to do.
  So its Goodbye Vizag now and hello to Goa. The last few days I have been busy sorting out the things in the house so I didn’t get the time to post anything. I made this  Minced Cauliflower Pulao as a quick fix , everyone loved the Minced Cauliflower Pulao , my kids wanted the Minced Cauliflower Pulao in their school tiffin  , so I was sure that The recipe of the Minced Cauliflower Pulao is fit to come up on my blog. Here is the recipe of the Minced Cauliflower Pulao  for you all.

Ingredients for Minced Cauliflower Pulao:
1. 1 cup long grain rice / Basmati rice
2. 4 cups minced cauliflower ( a medium sized cauliflower will give that much mince).Make sure there is no water in the cauliflower before grating it
3. 2 cups frozen peas
4. 1 heaped cup small cubed carrots
5. 5-6 cloves of garlic
6. 1 star anise (optional)
7. 2 green chillies slit
8. 2- 4 tablespoons  any refined oil ( I have used Pomace olive oil)
9. Salt and black pepper to taste

Method For Minced Cauliflower Pulao:
1. Soak the long grain rice or basmati rice for atleast half an hour.
2. Mince the cauliflower in a food processor to a fine mince , or if you are using the grater make sure that you make a fine mince.
3. Place the rice for cooking in double the quantity of water along with a star anise and two slit green chillies.

4. Simultaneously , in another pan , take the oil and add the finely chopped garlic cloves.












5. As soon as they begin to turn golden tumble in the carrots and stir fry for about 5-7 minutes till they remain crunchy but slightly cooked.








6. Tumble in the minced cauliflower , give a stir for 5 minutes and  follow by the frozen and thawed green peas and stir on medium flame for about 8- 10 minutes , keeping in mind that the cauliflower should be pleasantly crunchy but not have the raw taste.












7. As soon as the rice is cooked in the other pot , fluff it up and add to the vegetables.
8. Give a gentle stir to mix the two well taking care not to break the rice or else the Minced Cauliglower  pulao will look mishy mashy.
9. Season the Minced Cauliflower Pualo with salt to taste and a little black pepper.

10. You can serve the Minced Cauliflower Pulao with any raita of your choice or as a side dish with your main course.





Macaroni Pie

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All good things come in simple packages. Here is my simple and delicious recipe of the all time favourite “Elbow Macaroni “ baked as  delectable and nutritious small  pies.
     Serve them as snacks in your the tea parties , or in children's birthday parties or as a healthy and filling school tiffin meal.

Ingredients :

1.            400 grams cooked macaroni ( if you are using Bambino brand , keep them as it is , any other brand just roughly chop them to break them into halves)
2.            5 large eggs ( whisked)
3.            100 grams grated cheddar cheese
4.            One large onion chopped fine
5.            One large green bell pepper chopped fine or you could use one small red and one small green bell pepper
6.            One  heaped tablespoon cheese spread / heavy cream / thick cream
7.            Salt to taste  
8.            One level teaspoon chilli flakes or to taste
9.            One level teaspoon oregano

Method:

1.            Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well with a large mixing spoon.
2.            Pile up the mixture onto a muffin trays  with  preferably with deep pits .


3.            Bake at 180 ° C  for 25 minutes.

Makes about 18-20 pies.




Vanilla Cup Cakes

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            Vanilla Cupcakes
Cupcakes are such a delightful sight , they are like little surprises which bring immense happiness and if one can make them and serve them to family and friends......its a complete package of joy.


I have yet to meet someone who doesn't like Vanilla cakes . But if you must have noticed that an average sized Vanilla cake usually takes from 35- 50 minutes to bake , on the other hand if you make Vanilla Cupcakes with almost the same quantity of Vanilla cake batter you will be able to make a dozen plus Vanilla cup cakes in just about 20 minutes.Yes of course to make Vanilla cup cakes one would need a muffin tray and muffin cases , but I can assure you its worth investing the money and the space in the kitchen for these delicious "Vanilla Cupcakes ".
Here is a simple recipe which will yield a dozen delicious "Vanilla Cup Cakes".
I have been asked by many kind people following my blog to put the next cake recipe in Indian measuring cups , I would be writing the metric measures too , so that many of you who are not in India can also bake them.Enjoy the Vanilla Cupcakes and treat your friends and family with dozens of Vanilla Cupcakes.

The Indian measuring cup is of 200 ml measurement.

Ingredients for Vanilla Cupcakes:

1. 1 and one fourth cup All purpose flour  /  150 grams all purpose flour
2. 1 and a half teaspoon baking powder
3. Half a cup vegetable oil ( I have used sunflower oil) / 100 ml refined vegetable oil
4. 1 cup castor / powder sugar  / 150 grams castor sugar
5. 3 eggs ( preferably large)
6. One fourth cup hot milk / 50 ml hot milk
7. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method for Vanilla Cupcakes:

1. Sift the flour with the baking powder.
2. Place the oil and sugar in a mixing bowl , and beat well with an egg beater till well mixed.
3. Add all the three eggs in one go and beat again till blended.
4. Add the flour and vanilla and using the egg beater mix again and follow with the hot milk and mix again.
5. Pour into prepared muffin tray lined with the paper cases till about three- fourth full.
6. Place in the preheated oven at 190 celcius for 20 minutes or maybe a minute or two more depending on the oven.
There you are....the cupcakes are ready.



Mixed vegetable soup

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 What I like most about the winter season in India is that the season brings along a multitude of colourful and delicious vegetables . Carrots , green peas , cauliflower , fenugreek , Spinach and the list carries on. All the vegetables being transformed to a delicious stirfry veggies , pickles , saag ,and the many such delicasies.
          I have already posted a recipes of mixed vegetables , wherein you can have a  platter of the beautiful vegetables topped by a sprinkling of a little finely chopped fenugreek .
 This post is about how we can convert carrots , peas and cauliflower into a soup bowlful of scrumptious and nutritious Mixed vegetable soup.


 The one thing I love about Mixed vegetable soup is that this mixed  vegetable soup can be had at any time of the day and you can thicken or thin the consistency of this mixed vegetable soup to how you would like your mixed vegetable soup to be . You could garnish the mixed vegetable soup with bread croutons , grated cheese , celery  or like I did , thinly sliced and chopped leaves of spinach.
 Here is how you can make Mixed  Vegetable Soup for yourself today.


 Ingredients  for Mixed vegetable soup:


 1. One cup of green peas ( preferably fresh , but frozen can also be used )
 2. Two cups of cauliflowerets
 3. Two cups of cubed carrots
 4. One medium onion sliced
 5. 4-5 cloves of garlic
 6. 2-3 tablespoons of oil ( you could olive oil , groundnut oil of even butter)
 7. 1- 2 tablespoons of  vinegar ( I prefer apple cider , you could use any of your choice )
 8. 1 tablespoon of any garnishing  ( finely chopped celery , spinach leaves , grated cheddar )
 9. Salt and black pepper to taste
10. 4-5 cups of water

 Method for Mixed Vegetable soup:


 1. Place the carrots , peas , cauliflower and the onion in a pressure cooker with two cups of water and give it about two whistles , the vegatables should be soft and cooked well after this step.
 2. Let the vegetables cool to room temperature and then blend them in a food processor or the liquidizer / mixer - grinder , or you could even use a hand blender to blend the vegetables to a smooth paste.



3. Sieve the mixture into another vessel , adding more water if necessary .

















 4. You would be left with just about 2- 3 tablespoons of roughage which can be discarded without any qualms.


 5. Rinse the mixer jar with some water about one cup , and add to the soup mixture , you could adjust the consistency of the soup to your requirements and taste .I prefer my soup to be very thin so I keep the  consistency shown in the picture. In total I have added about four cups of water , two while cooking and two while sieving it.




 6. Place the vessel of soup on the gas , and keeping the flame medium , stir it and let the soup come to a boil.
 7. Meanwhile add 1- 2 tablespoons of vinegar .
 8. While the mixed vegetable soup is cooking , on the other gas stove , place a small vessel with the oil of your choice and the quantity of your choice ,about two to three tablespoons. Keep the flame on low.
 9. Add finely chopped garlic , and the moment the garlic begins to turn a golden colour switch off the gas and pour the oil along with the garlic into the boiling soup .


 10. Give a stir to the mixed vegetable soup and add salt and pepper to your taste .
 11. Serve the Mixed Vegetable Soup with garnishing of your choice with toasted bread , bread sticks , or maybe just have it plain. The mixed vegetable soup will taste great any way you serve it.






  

Peanut and Jaggery Laddoos

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Winter season ,
the cosy bliss of sleeping in warm quilts ,
 Gachak , rewarees , soups and stews .
Bonfires , fog, sweaters , jackets and shawls.
Enjoy the beautiful season with AFK ‘s Peanut n Jaggery laddoos or Nut  balls.


Roast two cups of peanuts ( plain / unsalted ) on medium flame till crisp and roasted . With the help of a rolling pin , powder them into a very coarse powder and flick  off  / remove the skins of the peanuts . Take approximately half the quantity of grated jaggery  i.e one cup , mix both the ingredients and press them into smooth and firm "Peanut n Jaggery Laddoos". Now the sweetness and dryness of the jaggery bar depends on place to place ,so you might have to adjust the quantity of the jaggery to the sweetness you like . Sometimes the laddoos need more jaggery to bind , so play along with the ingredients , till you can form the mixture into firm laddoos by taking about two tablespoonfuls in your palms. Now this is a bit of a hard wok for those who have never done it before.


 So , come on treat yourself to healthy and nutritious Peanut and Jaggery Laddoos.















Dill Dal

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                                        Dill dal


 Ingredients:
 1. 1  cup masoor dal
 2. Three cups finely chopped dill leaves
 3. 1 tablespoon heaped pure ghee / any refined oil
 4. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds / jeera
 5. 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
 6. 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilly powder
 7. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
 8. 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
 9. 1 teaspoon garam masala

 Method:


 1. Wash and soak the dal in half a cup of warm water for at least half an hour to one hour.


 2. Take ghee in a pan and when it gets warm , add the cumin seeds.














 3. The moment they change colour add the garlic and stir fry for a minute till they just begin to become golden brown.









 4. Add the spices like the red chilly powder and the turmeric powder followed by the dal.


5. Toss the dal well in the spices and if it begins to crush on pressing gently , that means it is cooked .
 6. Sprinkle the dill leaves , toss them to coat the dal.










 7. Toss a few times , add salt and give a few stirs till the leaves shrink to almost one fourth the quantity and are cooked well.
 8. Sprinkle the garam masala and serve hot.






Sugar free Ragi Laddoos

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A subtle sweetness , goodness of Ragi and Dates , a little ghee to help bind the Laddoos and a rustic flavour of Jaggery , all mixed and shaped into these pretty little things . I had these goodies at my friends place a few days back and no sooner had I taken the first bite , I made up my mind to blog it . Sarika came over to my place and taught me how to make these and  lo behold ! I was making them in dozens and here you can make them for yourself and your family.
           A versatile cook with lots of interesting recipes  in her repertoire ,  Sarika , many thanks  for teaching me these and the other absolutley amazing things which I would be blogging soon .

1. One cup Ragi flour
2. Half a cup of whole wheat flour
3. 5 heaped  tablespoons ghee
4. Half to Three fourth cup of chopped date ( Soft)
5. Half a cup of grated Jaggery ( I have used organic)


  In a  heavy based pan stir fry the Ragi flour with three heaped tablespoons of ghee for 10 to 12 minutes on low flame. Remove and keep in a mixing bowl.



In the same pan , roast the whole wheat flour with one tablespoon ghee for about 5- 7 minutes on low flame.
 The wheat  flour will turn a shade darker and mix well with the ghee.
 Mix the two flours in the same pan and stir for about 3- 5 minutes.Remove and keep aside in the mixing bowl or thallee.
Just wipe the pan with a kitchen  towel  and stir fry the chopped dates with a tablespoon of  ghee , on low flame  for about a minute till they become softer and stickier.


 Mix all the ingredients including the grated jaggery in the mixing bowl , give a good mix .And while the mixture is still hot enough to handle , shape into laddoos. Now this task is to be done as fast as you can as the mixture becomes difficult to bind if it cools down too much.Take heapfuls of the mixture in both the hands and keep pressing them till the mixture is bound and sticks together. Then shape them into even balls.
Depending upon what size you make , will make about a dozen plus. I make the size of  a squash ball and get a dozen of them.


 
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