Nutella Coffee Chocochips Cookies

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Neha is always ready to experiment any kind of choco based cookies. I have made choco chip cookies, marble cookies, ganache cookies too. This was a trial after seeing some recipes on pinterest. Uses very little butter and has a nice flavour of delicious nutella. You can add nuts or chips of your choice and make it more nuttier and crunchier. The coffee powder enhances the taste of nutella and is perfect for monsoon munching. I am sure kids are going to love it. Please do try and share your feedback.

Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour 125 gm
  • Salt a small pinch
  • Butter 1 tbsp
  • Nutella 3 tbsp
  • Vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • Brown sugar 2 tbsp
  • Coffee powder 1 tsp
  • Baking soda a small pinch
  • Baking powder a small pinch
  • White chocochips 2 tbsp
  • Milk 2-3 tbsp

Method:

  • Cream the butter, nutella and sugar well till it is creamy. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Sieve the flour, salt, coffee powder, baking soda and baking powder 2-3 times.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter-nutella mixture and combine to form a dough. Add milk spoon by spoon as needed. Add the chocochips and combine.
  • If the dough is too soft, refrigerate it for few minutes.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep it ready.
  • Pinch a small portion of the dough and flatten it in your palm. Place it slowly on the tray. Make any shape or indentation on it.
  • You can refrigerate the tray with the shaped cookies for few minutes to avoid the cookies from spreading too much.
  • Preheat the oven at 160-170 degree celsius for atleast 10 minutes.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or till the sides appear a bit golden.
  • The cookies will be very soft when you remove it from the oven. It will eventually harden as it cools.
  • Remove from oven and let it rest in the tray for 3-4 minutes. Gently transfer onto a wire rack and allow it to cool well.
  • Store in airtight containers. Enjoy these with a cup of warm/cold milk.

 

Butterscotch Chips Cookies

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Try these simple butter cookies loaded with butterscotch chips. I tried it for the first time and took it for my cousins in Kerala. Everyone loved it. Need to bake a big batch next time, because Neha has liked it a lot and I have not been able to give her much. Very simple and yet quite tasty with a nice crispy edge and a slightly chewy centre. The melted chips gives it a nice caramelized flavour. Since these chips are quite sweet, please add sugar accordingly.

Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour 125 gm
  • Salt a small pinch
  • Butter 75 gm
  • Powdered sugar 50 gm
  • Baking soda a small pinch
  • Baking powder a small pinch
  • Butterscotch essence 1 tsp (optional)
  • Butterscotch chips 2-3 tbsp
  • Milk 1-2 tbsp (if needed)

Method:

  • Cream the butter and sugar well till it is creamy and fluffy. Add the essence and mix.
  • Sieve the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder 2-3 times.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and combine to form a dough. Add milk if the dough appears to be too dry. Add the butterscotch chips and mix well. Refrigerate the dough for few minutes.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep it ready.
  • Pinch a small portion of the dough and flatten it in your palm.
  • Preheat the oven at 160-170 degree celsius for atleast 10 minutes.
  • Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or till the sides appear a bit golden.
  • The cookies will be very soft when you remove it from the oven. It will eventually harden as it cools. This is a bit chewy kind of cookie.
  • Remove from oven and let it rest in the tray for 3-4 minutes. Gently transfer onto a wire rack and allow it to cool well.
  • Store in airtight containers. Enjoy these with a cup of warm/cold milk.

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Mushroom Biryani

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A simple mushroom biryani,  perfect for a rainy afternoon.

Ingredients:

  • Button mushroom 1 pkt
  • Basmati rice 1.5 cups
  • Salt to taste
  • Green chillies 3-4
  • Garlic cloves 4-5
  • Ginger 1 inch piece
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tsp
  • Garam masala 1 tspp
  • Onion 1 big
  • Tomato 1 big
  • Curd 1 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Khus Khus/poppy seeds 1 tsp (optional)
  • Refined oil 1-2 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves 2 sprigs
  • Mint leaves 2 sprigs

Method:

  • Wash and drain the rice and keep it aside for 25-30 minutes.
  • Clean the button mushroom and cut it into 4 parts.
  • Slice the onion into thin slices and keep aside.
  • In a mixer, make a paste of garlic, ginger, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, green chillies and khus-khus.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and saute the onion slices. When they turn pink in colour, add the ground masala and stir well.
  • After 3-4 minutes, add turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala and cook.
  • Add the chopped tomato and the musroom pieces and mix well.
  • Add the curd and the drained rice and stir gently. Add around 3 cups of water and salt to taste. Bring it to a boil.
  • Cover the pan with a tight lid and cook till the water evaporates and the rice gets cooked.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander and mint leaves and serve hot with a bowl of chilled raita.

Notes:

  • You can make this in a pressure cooker too. After you add the rice and water, bring it to a boil. Cover the cooker with a lid and keep the whistle. Reduce the flame of the gas to sim and cook for 12-15 minutes. Let it rest for 5-8 minutes. Remove the lid, stir gently and serve immediately.

 

 

Palak Chicken

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This is now one of the most sought after recipe in my home. Neha simply loves it and hubby too was all in favour of it. I just accidently made it few days back when I had a big bunch of spinach leaves in my refrigerator and few chicken pieces in my freezer. I was bored of making the same old style gravy and biryani. The best part of this recipe is that it uses very little oil and few spices. Thus it is quite easy on the tummy and healthy option too. Tastes good with hot phulkas or steamed rice.

Ingredients:

  • Spinach 1 big bunch
  • Chicken pieces 250 gm
  • Onion 1 big
  • Green chillies 3-4
  • Garlic cloves 4-5
  • Salt to taste
  • Curd 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds 1 tsp
  • Refined oil 1 tbsp

Method:

  • Clean and wash the spinach leaves and keep it soaked in water. Slice the onion, green chillies and garlic cloves. Clean the chicken pieces and keep it aside.
  • Blend the onion, garlic and green chillies in a mixer for few seconds.
  • Take a heavy bottom pan or a pressure cooker and add the oil to it. Splutter the cumin seeds and add the ground onion paste and saute for a while.
  • Add the chicken pieces and saute it for 3-4 minutes. Add salt and 2 tablespoon water and pressure cook or cook the chicken pieces till done.
  • Meanwhile boil around a litre water and add the washed spinach leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Drain the water and add the wilted leaves to ice cold water and keep it for few minutes.
  • Blend it along with the curd till you get a smooth uniform paste.
  • Add the spinach puree to the cooked chicken and boil for 3-4 minutes. Adjust salt and add a spoon of fresh cream if desired.
  • Serve it hot with phulkas.

Notes:

  • Do  not keep the spinach puree idle for a long time. It will turn bitter. Make the puree when the chicken is almost cooked and ready. The spinach can be blanched and left in the ice cold water for some time. Do not make the puree and keep it outside before adding to the masala.
  • I prefer palak paneer and such palak puree gravies with less masala. You may add whole spices, chilli powder, tomatoes etc if you wish.
  • Do not boil the gravy for long or keep it covered after it is ready, this will weaken the bright green colour of the gravy.

Zero Oil Palak Gravy

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This is one of the most healthiest and easy peasy palak recipe. Perfect with a bowl of steamed rice and curd, ideal for toddlers, growing kids and even adults. I have grown up on this recipe. I think my mom learnt it from my paternal grandmother. Do not skip the garlic, for it imparts a unique flavour to leafy vegetables as my mom always say. You can replace spinach with any other green leafy vegetable like amaranth leaves. To make it more tastier, you can sprinkle a teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee.

Ingredients:

  • Spinach a bunch
  • Potato 2 medium
  • Onion 1 big
  • Garlic cloves 4-5
  • Green chillie 2-3
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder a pinch
  • Coconut oil/ghee 1 tsp (optional)

Method:

  • Clean and wash the spinach leaves thoroughly. Chop it finely and keep aside. Peel the potatoes and chop it roughly. Slice the onion, green chillies and peel garlic cloves.
  • Take a pressure cooker/pan and add the chopped vegetables, salt and turmeric powder.
  • Sprinkle little water and cook till you hear one whistle. Reduce the flame and cook for 3-4 minutes more. Switch off the fire and allow it to cool.
  • Mash the cooked veggies with a potato masher and drizzle some coconut oil or ghee on top if desired.
  • Serve it hot with steamed rice and a bowl of curd.

 

Baked Bhakarwadi

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Bhakarwadi is a khata-meetha-theeka (sweet n sour n tangy) snack which is very famous in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Though it was originated in Gujarat, its popular as a Maharashtrian snack. The original recipe is to deep fry these in oil, but this is a baked version, thereby making it more healthy and less guilt free indulgence. Also I have replaced some part of apf with wheat flour. I was actually amazed at the super crispy texture. Got a big thumps up from hubby when he tasted it in the evening.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

  • Sesame seeds 2 tbsp
  • Khus khus (poppy seeds) 2 tbsp
  • Dessicated/dry coconut 4 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp
  • Carom seeds (ajwain) a pinch
  • Asafoetida (hing) a pinch
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) 1/4 tsp
  • Chopped ginger 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
  • Amchur powder 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar 2-3 tsp
  • Finely chopped coriander leaves 1-2 tbsp
  • Thick tamarind paste 1 tbsp

For the covering:

  • Maida/apf 50 gm
  • Besan 50m gm
  • Wheat flour 50 gm
  • Baking powder a pinch
  • Salt to taste
  • Chilli powder a pinch
  • Turmeric powder a pinch
  • Oil 3-4 tbsp

Method:

To make the filling:

  • Dry roast the sesame seeds and poppy seeds on low flame for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the fire and add the remaining ingredients and pulse it in a mixer for few seconds. Your filling is ready to be used.

How to make the dough:

  • Mix maida, wheat flour (atta) and gram flour (besan) and add salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder and oil and rub it well. Add little water using a spoon and knead into a smooth and tight dough.
  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes.

How to assemble and bake:

  • Divide the dough into 2 or more balls and roll each ball into a disc of uniform thickness almost like a chapati.

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  • Apply some tamarind paste on the roti uniformly. Sprinkle the filling on top of it.

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  • Roll it into a tight log and seal the ends firmly.

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  • Preheat the oven at 180-200 degree celsius for atleast 10-12 minutes.
  • Take a sharp knife and cut the log into half inch thick pieces.

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  • Take a baking tray and line it with a parchment paper. Place these pieces gently on the parchment paper leaving a small gap in between the pieces.

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  • Bake it for 20-25 minutes or till the top looks golden in colour.
  • Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool in the tray for 5-8 minutes. Store it in airtight containers after it is fully cooled.
  • Enjoy these healthy snack with your evening tea.

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Notes:

  • For a better taste replace the wheat flour with maida. Add sugar according to your taste. The amount of red chilli can also be altered. Can even add 1-2 finely chopped green chillies. The tamarind paste can be replaced by lemon juice.
  • I have made small mini sized bhakarwadis. You can make bigger ones if you like. Adjust the baking timings accordingly.
  • If you are using fresh coconut, roast it for a while before grinding.

Firni

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Firni is been on my to-do list since I started my blog and had thought of a page on Indian Desserts. I also had the write up ready and was waiting for a chance to make it and take some pictures so that I can publish it on my blog. Finally, I made it today to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. Will give a small serving so that hubby wouldn’t refuse to it. (Generally, he is not happy when I offer sweets to him).

This surely one of the most easiest, creamiest and tastiest Indian desserts. I had tasted it for the first time way back in the eighties when my mom had made it seeing the recipe in her Sumeet mixer recipe booklet. My brother was quite crazy about such desserts and very enthusiastic to read such recipes. And my mom though with the limited resources we had, was always ready to try out any such recipes. I remember him pestering my mom to make this once and we had even managed to get some earthern bowls to serve it. Though I should admit that I am sure mom wouldn’t have added saffron/kesar or pista/badam in it ( I don’t think we used to buy such exotic nuts during those days) . But I am sure she would have added some fried cashews and raisins for sure like we do for payasam 🙂 Its creamy texture is quite invigorating and very delicious too. Very easy to make and tastes almost like pal payasam, yet not as time consuming and tedious like pal payasam. Eat it chilled in an earthen bowl to enjoy the real taste of firni 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Raw rice 1/4 cup
  • Full cream milk 1 litre
  • Sugar 1/2 cup (100 gm)
  • Chopped almonds/pistachios 2 tbsp
  • Saffron strands 2-4 (optional)

Method:

  • Wash the rice and soak it for 15-20 minutes.
  • Grind it into a coarse powder in a mixer and keep it aside.
  • Take a heavy bottom flat pan and bring the milk to a boil.
  • Add in the rice powder and cook till it is fully done.
  • Add the sugar and mix well. Reduce it till you get a thick cream like consistency.
  • Soak the saffron strands in a tablespoon of warm milk and add it to boiling firni.
  • Remove from fire and garnish with fine slices of almonds and pistachios.
  • Serve it chilled in earthern bowls.

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Notes:

  • You can add or reduce the amount of sugar according to your taste buds and preferences.
  • If you do not have full cream milk, you can use normal milk and reduce it a bit longer.
  • For a royal look, you can use some silver warq on top.
  • I remember seeing on a TV show, to add some caramelized dry fruit disk on top of this firni. Caramelize sugar and add finely chopped nuts to it. Pour the hot mixture on a greased plate or silicon sheet and cut disks out of it. Cool it and place a disk on the bowl filled with firni. Just break the disk with a spoon and eat it along with the creamy and chilled firni.