Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Choco Milk Shake

A lazy, Sunny Sunday Afternoon.
Have nothing much to do, except for lazing in front of the TV…. Or with a book. All you need is something cold to quench the summer thirst…. And some chocolate to lift up your spirit! Why not combine the two to make a chocolaty shake? And if you are just two, then it’s a wonderful time to sit with a glass of cold, chocolaty milk shake and just talk and talk everything on earth!
Well, this is the best thing I like to do on weekends when we are home alone – err both of us are together alone, I mean! We’ll then have ample of time to just sit and relax and talk and chat and watch movies and of course to make two glassfuls of yummy milk shake and sit back and sip it slowly...... And that’ll make the weekend sort of complete, I can say. And if it’s chocolate shake that I make, it’s a wonderful energizer as well.
So, you need not go to CCD to have a choco-shake... here’s how you can make it yourself, and suit it to your taste....
Choco - Milk Shake

Preparation time : 5 min
Cooking time : 5 min
Serves : 2

Chilled Milk - 1 ½ glass
Cold Milk - ½ cup, room temperature
Cocoa Powder - 4-5 Tsp
Sugar - 3-4 Tsp, depending on taste
Vanilla Ice cream - 3 scoops

• Mix cocoa powder thoroughly in milk to form a consistent paste
• In a blender / mixer jar, add sugar, chilled milk and the cocoa paste and blend it for a minute or two
• Add one scoop of vanilla ice cream and blend again
• Pour it into 2 serving glasses
• Add one scoop of ice cream to each glass and serve.

Tips n Tricks:
• Do not add cocoa powder to chilled milk as it forms lumps and does not make a smooth paste

• A couple of teaspoons of thick coffee decoction can be added
• Chocolate flavored ice cream may be added for rich choco flavor
• More chocolate sauce can be added over

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vegetable Pudina Pulav

There are n different ways of making Pulav. I used to love the way mom made Vegetable Pulav. I would not mind eating it for breakfast, carrying it for lunch, and again having the leftovers for dinner! Mom mostly never used Pudina (mint leaves), or even if she used, it would be a small quantity only for the flavor.

A few days after marriage, MIL once decided to make pulav (I was not cooking independently then ;)). And she started picking a whole big bunch of pudina for the Pulav! I just watched, wondering why so much of it is needed. And she is of the opinion that Pulav can be made ONLY with Pudina. Well, I didn’t have a choice but to wait and watch, and taste of course!

Okay, the pulav was done, and it was absolutely Green, and looked rather inviting as well. I tasted it, and liked it. Carried it for lunch and my pals there who tasted it were bowled over! And started asking me how to make it, and asked me to complement my MIL for it. That’s how I learnt this wonderful and easy recipe. Now I can make it as good as my MIL, and guess she’s proud of me for having learnt her recipe well :P

It is rather simple, and yet gives a delicious taste. I like it because not much of spice is used in it, yet it cannot be called bland....

Okay, so here’s how you make it....

Vegetable Pudina Pulav
Preparation time : 10 min
Cooking time : 15 min
Serves : 4

Beans - 250 gm, cut into ½- ¾" pcs
Carrot - 250 gm, peeled and cut into 1"x ¼" pcs
Green peas - 1 small cup (optional)
Cooking oil - 1 Tbsp
Cinnamon - 4-5 small pcs
Cloves - 4-5
Pepper - 8-10
Rice - 2 cups (preferably Basmati)
Water - 3 cups
Salt - ½ Tsp or as per taste
Mint leaves - 2 big bunches (Pudina), picked and washed
Green chilies - 5-6, depending on taste
Ginger - 1" cube
Coriander - a few strands
Ghee - 1 Tsp
Cashew nuts - 10-12

• Heat oil in a pressure pan and add cinnamon, cloves and pepper
• After half a minute, add the cut vegetables and sauté for 3-4 minutes
• Meanwhile grind to paste and make a puree of pudina, green chillies, coriander leaves and ginger
• Add washed basmati rice to the vegetable pan and sauté for a minute
• Now mix the ground pudina puree and salt in to the pan and stir for a minute
• Add water and close the pressure pan
• Cook till 2 whistles
• In another small pan, heat ghee and fry cashew nuts till golden
• Add to the pulav and mix after the pressure comes down
• Serve it hot, optionally with any raita

Tips n Tricks:

• Quantity of pudina should be sufficient enough to give that special taste. Color and flavor.

• The same can be prepared with only green peas, without vegetables

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Happy Sankranti to one and all.
Well, here I start my new Food blog with Sankranti Specialties.

Sankranti is an important festival in India. The word is derived from sat and kranti, meaning "good movement." Sankranti means transmigration of Sun from one Rāshi (zodiac in Indian astrology) to the other. Hence there are 12 such Sankrantis in all. But the Sankaranti festival usually refers to Makara Sankaranti, or the the transition of the Sun from 'Dhanu' Rasi (Sagittarius) to 'Makara' Rasi (Capricorn). that marks the starting of Uttarayana, which means northern movement of Sun.
Well, the celebrations in Karnataka is marked by preparing and distributing “ellu-bella” and sugar candies called sakkare-achhu to friends and relatives. People greet with the words " “Ellu bella thindu, Olle Maathu Aadu”, meaning “Eat sesame seeds and jaggery and speak only good”. The significance of this exchange is that sweetness should prevail in all the dealings.
Additionally, newly wed ladies are expected to give ‘baagina’ to 5 ladies, containing bananas, dry fruits, dry coconut, haldi-kumkum, bangles, etc. The speciality of this custom is that she has to give 5 bananas in the first year and increase it by 5 every year till the fifth year! So, in the fifth year she will actually be giving 25 bananas to each of the 5 ladies!
Preparation of Ellu and Sakkare acchu does take quite an effort, but after it’s done, it does give a satisfaction too :)

Ellu Bella

Ellu Bella

Sesame seeds
Fried gram
Dry coconut

• Jaggery and coconut are separately cut into small pieces and dried in sunlight for about a week to get crispness
• Peanuts are roasted and the husk is removed, and only neat, evenly sized ones are picked
• Sesame seeds are slightly roasted
• All the ingredients are mixed, when they are crisp enough
• Optionally, sugar balls available in market can be added to give an enhanced taste.

Sakkare Acchu
Sakkare Achhu


• Sugar is melted in a little water
• A little milk and curd are added and heated continuously stirring
• Once the syrup starts turning whitish, it is poured into wooden moulds of various shapes and sizes
• The extra spilled out syrup is cleaned with a knife
• If the consistency of the syrup is right, it hardens in a minute
• After a couple of minutes, the candy can be removed from the mould