Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jelly Roll / Swiss Roll - Happy New Year 2014!!

This year I did not bake anything for holidays since we were visiting our friend Denny in Seattle for Christmas. We met after about 3 and a half years. Our kids had a lot of fun playing together. We had a great time catching up and of course ate a lot of food. She made her famous Plum cake, Checkerboard cookies and Tutti Frutti Cookies. Her parents are visiting her so we were pampered with yummylicious home cooked food. That was a quick 4 days we spent there.
I wanted to make something sweet to start the New Year and so I made this Jelly Roll. It is a simple foolproof recipe for sponge cake, which is baked in a jelly roll pan and filled with jam. You could use any filling of your choice.

Makes about 10-12 pieces
Recipe Source - Family Circle cookbook 1972
Eggs - 3
All purpose flour - 1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp (see notes below)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Jam or Jelly of your choice - 1/3 cup - whisked until smooth
Also need:
1 kitchen towel bigger than the pan
Powdered sugar - 2 tbsp
Separate egg whites from yolks and place the whites in a large bowl and the yolks in a medium bowl. Allow to come to room temperature, about 30 mins. Separating the eggs is easier when they are cold. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spread the kitchen towel on a flat surface and dust with powdered sugar all over. Grease the bottom and sides of a jelly roll pan and line with parchment paper. Whisk the egg whites in a electric hand mixer until it doubles in volume. Add 4 tbsps of sugar one tbsp at a time and continue beating until it forms stiff peaks. Set aside. Whisk the egg yolks until it is pale. Add the remaining sugar 1 tbsp at a time until it forms a thick mixture and flows in a thick ribbon when the beater is lifted. Sieve the flour and salt over the egg yolks and mix with a wooden spoon or a spatula inoh a fold pattern. Take care not to deflate the yolks. Now pour the yolk-flour mixture to the egg whites and fold to mixture until no streaks of yellow or white remains. Pour the batter carefully to the lined jelly roll pan and spread evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. When done and still warm invert to the kitchen towel and remove the parchment paper. Roll the towel with the cake breadth-wise all the way through. Cool completely in the kitchen towel, about 30 mins. Unroll the towel and spread the jam over the cake. Roll again, this time without the towel. After 5 minutes, make 1 inch slices and serve. 
The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cake flour. Since I did not have any I substituted with All purpose flour

Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 - A Flashback!

When I did a flashback post for the year 2012, I was skeptical if I would even reach this point. My resolution back then was to blog at least twice a month. I am happy that I stuck to that. 2013 was a great year and went pretty well. I went back to basics on blog front and posted many basic Indian recipes. It was well received by you readers and it made me happy. 

2013 Highlights

  • Some of the most commonly made dishes are often not considered as a candidate for the blog post. So this year I wanted to post as many common/daily recipes as possible and I am happy I could do that.
  • I took part in Vegan Thursdays initiative by Priya, who encouraged posting Vegan recipes twice a month on Thursdays. Since many dishes I cook are vegan I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a matter of fact Indian cuisine is rich in Vegan options for those who are wondering.
  • This year also saw many soups, salads and healthy foods make it to my blog. I was eating more wholesome foods for weight loss and had success. I was derailed with the onset of festival season - Diwali and Christmas. I am hoping to get back on track soon.
  • I also did Guest host few events from blogosphere to make myself more involved. 
  • I announced a Giveaway as a part of my blog's 3rd anniversary celebration. It is ongoing.. Do send in your entries by Jan 5th.

Most pinned on Pinterest

This Vegan recipe for Sesame crusted Tofu with Broccoli and Peppers is the most pinned from Krithi's Kitchen this year.

Top 3 Posts from Facebook
1. Medhu Vada - These pillowy savory Indian donuts was the highest visited post from Facebook.

2. Coconut Chutney - Basics are refreshing. This easy recipe for coconut chutney was well received. 

3. Onion Sambar - This is another simple recipe for side dish for Idli/Dosa.

I also wanted to put together the Top 5 posts on pageviews from 2013 and here it is.

1. Sundal Kulambu - Hearty, Homemade soul food.
2. Soya Chukka - Easy Healthy recipe.

3. Cauliflower Peas Masala - South Indian style - Can't believe there is a webwide hunt for "South Indian style" Cauliflower.

4. Muttai Kulambu - Non-vegetarian recipes have often been the top searches in my space, though I have very few. This recipe tops the search.

5. Kathirikai Poriyal - I have never made a more perfect poriyal with Brinjal. This is a staple in our house.

Like last year, I would like to continue blogging regularly. And that is my New Year resolution!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Podi Idli | South Indian Breakfast Recipes

These cute little mini idlis are best served with sambar with a dollop of ghee. I tasted this Mini Podi Idli once in an Indian restaurant. The mini idlis were deep fried and then covered in Idli podi. As with any deep fried dish, DH enjoyed it to the fullest. So I tried to recreate the dish at home and also wanted to make it less guilty. It is a very simple dish to make and is heavenly in taste.

Serves - 2
Mini Idlis - 30 - Click here for the idli batter recipe
Gingelly oil - 2 or 3 tbsp
Idli podi - 3 or 4 tsp - per spice level

Make idlis in mini idli moulds with the idli batter. When the idlis are still hot add the gingelly oil and toss well without breaking them. Add the idli podi and toss well. Serve hot.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Eggless Chocolate Brownies | Eggless Cake Recipes

I made these wonderful egg-less chocolate brownies months ago and never really got a chance to post it. Here I am after almost half an year and I definitely want to post it before Christmas. This Christmas season I have not baked anything yet since we are visiting our friend in Seattle. If you are trying to bake something quick for the season or want to leave something out for Santa, try these.
Also checkout my Honey Brownies.

Recipe source - Nags
Serves - 16
All-purpose flour / Maida -  1 cup
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Powdered sugar - 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Oil - 1/3 cup
Buttermilk - 1 cup (see notes below)
Instant coffee powder - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla Extract - 1/2 tsp
Walnuts - 1/4 cup -  chopped -optional

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x9 pan with oil and line with parchment paper with overhang in two opposite sides. Whisk the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, salt and coffee powder together in one bowl. Mix the oil, buttermilk and vanilla in another bowl. Now pour the buttermilk to the dry ingredients slowly and mix with a wooden spoon until no flour is seen. Mix the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the greased baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25-30 mins or until the toothpick inserted comes out with crumbs (not batter). Cool the pan completely and make 16 pieces. Serve as is or topped with whipped cream, or a scoop of vanilla icecream.
Notes: You can substitute walnuts with any nuts of your choice of chocolate chips. The coffee really perks up the chocolate flavour,so don't miss it. If you do not have buttermilk, substitute it with 1 cup of milk + 1 tsp vinegar.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tomato Coriander Chutney | Side Dish for Idli Dosa

This is one more variety of tomato chutney I make often for dosas and idlis. I love the little speckles of the coriander leaves in this tomato chutney. It gives a fresh burst of flavour in the otherwise earthy spicy chutney. Also check out my other posts on Onion Chilli Chutney, Tomato Onion Chutney, Celery Cilantro Chutney on the list of my coconut-free chutneys.
Serves - 2-3
Onion - cubed - 1 cup
Tomato  - chopped - 1-1/2 cups
Coriander leaves - from about 5-6 twigs
Dry Red chillies - 4
Oil - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few

Heat 1 tsp of oil and fry the chillies and onion. When the onions are cooked through and starts to caramelise, remove and spread on a plate to cool. In the same pan heat another tsp of oil and fry the tomatoes with a pinch of salt. When the tomatoes turn mushy, add the coriander leaves and mix until it wilts. Remove to a plate to cool. Transfer the onions and tomato mixture to a blender and process until smooth adding required salt. In the same kadai, no need to wash, seriously, heat the oil for tempering and add the ingredients for tempering. When the mustard splutters pour over the chutney and serve as a side for hot idlis or dosas.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cranberry Grapes Gojju | Regional Indian Cuisines

Cooking with grapes was unheard of for me until I came across this recipe by Suma. I altered the recipe to use cranberries in place of tamarind and it was so good. This gojju has a lot of complex flavours first sour from the cranberries, then the sweetness from the grapes and finally the spice kick from the chillies. Spooned over a plate of steaming rice, this gojju can really make your day.

Serves - 3-4
Green Grapes - 1 cup - halved
Fresh Cranberries - 10 - halved
Onion- chopped - 1/2 cup
Asafoetida - a pinch
Oil - 2 tsp
Tempering: -  optional
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Spice mix / Gojju Pudi:
Chana dhal - 2 tbsp
Urad dhal - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds / Dhaniya - 1 tsp
White sesame seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - a pinch
Dry Red chillis - 4
Dry Coconut powder - 2 tbsp

In a pan, dry roast chana dhal and urad dhal until they slightly change color. Add the coriander seeds, sesame seeds, fenugreek and red chillies. Continue roasting for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and add the coconut powder. Mix well and cool. When completely cool, grind to a fine powder in a mixie. Heat oil in a kadai and add the ingredients for tempering and asafoetida. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and saute until it turns soft. Add the halved cranberries and cook for about 2 minutes. Mash them with the back of the ladle as you saute. Now add the grapes and saute for 2 minutes. Add the ground spice powder and mix. Pour 2 to 2-1/2 cups of water and mix. The gojju will be watery at this stage, check for salt and add as desired. When the curry comes to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes. Serve hot over steamed rice.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sweet Potato Balls | Healthy Evening Snacks

Growing up evening snacks mostly meant something home-made. After a long day at school we would be so beaten and tired when we get home with tons of homework. And these homemade yummies with a cup of tea was what gears us up to get all the work done. Sure we had our occasional treats of Veg puffs, Samosas and Vegetable Cutlets which Dad gets us from our local bakery. But, made from scratch, these soul foods were made with love by grandma and kept our little tummies full until dinner. Boiled peanuts, Kaara Pori, Steamed Tapioca, Ellu Urundai & Pidi Kozhukattai and these Sweet Potato balls are a few I remember. 
Here I have used the Garnet yams aka Orange Sweet potatoes here for the color and to get a little attention from Kavin. He loved to eat it after his afternoon nap and sure did give me some energy to keep me hustling between his toys and my dinner preparations.

Sweet Potato / Yam - 1 - medium sized
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 3 tsp

Boil 4 cups of water. Cut the ends of the sweet potato and cut in half. Place in the boiling water and cook in medium-high heat until fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and mash with a fork. Remove any lumps which are not mash-able. Mix in the grated coconut and ghee. Make lime sized balls and roll over sugar.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chow Chow Bhath | Regional Indian Cuisines

Chow Chow bhath is a famous breakfast dish in the Indian state of Karnataka. The name may be misleading for those who know the word 'chow chow' as a vegetable. This vegetable is called by many names chow chow, chayote, seema kathirikai, seeme badhnekayi etc.,. But it sure is not a dish about that vegetable. Honestly I do not know the history behind how this dish got its name. But I knew about this dish when I was working in Bangalore. I was staying in a hostel with my friends. It was one lazy Sunday morning, when we were listening to the radio while doing some laundry and there was this program called Chow Chow Bhath. That was an interesting name for a radio program, so we asked one of our Bangalorean friends what it meant and she told us about this dish, a combo of both sweet and spicy components and that is what that program is all about.
So this Chow Chow bhath consists of Kesri Bhath and Khara Bhath aka Upma served together for breakfast.

Kesri Bhath - Check out the recipe here.

Kaara Bhath/Upma
Rava / Sooji - 1 cup
Onion - sliced thin and halved - 1 cup
Tomato - 1/2 - chopped
Chopped vegetables - approx 1-1/2 cups (I used a combination of carrots, beans and peas cut into approx same size for fast cooking)
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp 
Curry leaves - a few
Coriander leaves - a little
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Hot Water - 3 cups
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Chana dhal - 1/2 tsp
Dry roast the rava until it is hot to touch. Remove to a plate to cool. Place the vegetables in a microwave proof bowl mixed with a tsp of water and microwave for 2-3 minutes until done. Alternatively the vegetables could be steamed. Heat oil in the same kadai and add the ingredients for tempering and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the chopped onions with a pinch of salt and fry until it turns soft. Add the chopped tomato and fry a little. Add the cooked vegetables with turmeric powder and chilli powder. Add the hot water and salt. Check for seasoning. When the water starts to boil add the rava and mix in medium-low heat until all the water is absorbed and the rava is cooked.
Serve the Kesri bhath and Kaara bhath together with Sambar and Chutney.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Palak Paneer | Indian Curry Recipes

Paneer based dishes are loved very much at my home. Especially curries with paneer are hands down winners against regular curries. I believe one could tell that seeing the array of paneer dishes I have in my menu. This palak paneer is delicious and is also low-fat since I have not used cream. This recipe here sure makes a big pot of the curry. I used half of the curry to go with our chapathi for dinner and Jeera rice for lunch. I froze the remaining half of the batch in a freezer-safe container for another day when I cannot get to elaborate cooking. 

Serves - 4-6
Spinach - 5 cups (tightly packed)
Shallots/Pearl onions - 7
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1/2" piece
Green chilli - 1 (optional)
Paneer - 150 g - cut into 1/2" cubes
Onion - finely chopped - 1 cup
Tomato puree - 1/2 cup (I used crushed tomatoes from a can)
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 3 tbsp (Can substitute cream or half and half)
Oil -  1 tsp + 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a wide pan and fry the shallots, ginger, garlic and green chilli. When the garlic is half cooked add the spinach leaves and saute until it wilts and shrinks. Allow to cool and blend to a puree. In the same wide non-stick pan, spray some oil and fry the paneer cubes in medium heat. This step is optional though. Heat 2 tbsp of oil and fry the onions until it turns light brown. Add the spice powders and salt. After a couple of minutes add the tomato puree and fry until it is cooked through. Add the spinach puree and water to get the desired consistency. Allow it to boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Finally add the paneer pieces with the milk and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Serve hot with roti/naan/rice.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Buddha's Delight | Vegan Chinese Recipes

Whenever we have tofu at home, Sunday's lunch is normally chinese or thai. It would be a simple Garlic basil tofu fried rice, Thai Green Curry or Tofu Szechwan. Last week I tried this simple Buddha's Delight, a true vegetarian Chinese dish with ample fresh vegetables and tofu on a soy based sauce. Ever since I got this Cooking Light - way to Cook Vegetarian cookbook, I have been wanting to try all the recipes in it. This recipe is my third attempt from the book. I have already tried and posted the Tofu Szechwan. I also made Vegetarian Chili for dinner one day, which was truly scrumptious, but couldn't get decent pictures since it is winter, it starts getting dark here by 4 PM.
Carrots - 3 - peeled and sliced on the bias
Broccoli - 1 - cut into florets
Snow peas - a handful
Green onions / Spring onion greens - 1-1/2 cups
Ginger - grated - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves - minced
Salt - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Extra Firm Tofu - 1 block
Vegatable broth - 1 cup
Corn Starch - 1 tbsp
Soy Sauce (Low sodium) - 3 tbsp
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Rice wine vinegar - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Press the tofu to remove excess liquid. Cut into small cubes or triangles. Mix the ingredients for the marinade the toss the tofu in it. Keep it covered in the refrigerator for 1 hour, mixing once in between. Mix the broth and corn starch in another small bowl with a whisk. Drop the broccoli florets and the carrot slices into boiling water for about 90 seconds and drain and plunge immediately into an ice bath. Let it rest for a few minutes and then drain again. Heat oil in a wide non-stick skillet. Drain the tofu and reserve the marinade. Add the tofu to the skillet and fry for about 7-10 minutes in medium-high heat until all the sides are light brown. Now add the green onions, garlic, ginger and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the snowpeas and fry for a minute followed by the broccoli and carrots. After about 5 minutes, add the sauce mixture, reserved marinade and salt. Cook in medium flame until the sauce thickens a bit. Serve hot over steamed rice.
Notes: Any vegetable can be added to this dish. Baby corns, bamboo shoots, cauliflower, water chestnuts are best additions.
Linking this up to Vegan Thursdays.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Rava Kesari / Sooji Pudding | Indian Festival Recipes

Starting December with a Sweet note! DH asked for this sweet himself. You may say "So? big deal". Actually he is not a big fan of sweets but he asked me to make this sweet on my birthday. I was happy to make it because, firstly he asked for it, secondly, I get to satisfy my sweet tooth :D. I was making this one when MIL was on phone wishing me on my birthday. She asked what I was making and I replied "Rava Kesari". "Good, that is our family's traditional sweet made during celebrations" said she. No wonder he asked me to make it. It is an easy to make sweet which gets done is less than 30 minutes, which is pretty amazing for an Indian Sweet. What do you say? Rava Kesari, anyone?
Serves - 4
Rava - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Orange food color - a pinch
Cashews - 6 - halved
Ghee - 4 tbsp + 2 tsp
Water - 3 cups
Heat 1 tsp of ghee in a non-stick kadai and fry the cashews. Remove and set aside. Add another tsp of ghee and roast the rava until it is warm to the touch. Remove and spread on a plate to cool. Heat 2 cups of water in the same pan covered. Heat 1 cup of water separately in a saucepan and keep it covered. When the water in the kadai starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium, add the roasted cooled rava and mix with a wooden spoon until most of the water is absorbed. If the rava is cooked through it would appear clear. If it still appears like white grains add the other cup of water in 1/4 cup increments and cook until the rava is cooked through. When it is done, add the sugar and food color. The mixture would thin out a little and may form lumps after adding sugar. Continue stirring until there are no lumps. Add ghee little by little and continue to cook in medium heat. When all the ghee is used up add the fried cashews. Remove from heat and serve warm.
Notes: You can substitute yellow food color instead of orange.
Linking these up to Kid's Delight - Festival Treats;
Kids delight[4]