Peri Peri Seasoning

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Peri Peri Seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices which can both vegetarian and Chicken dishes into a flavourful meal. Making this seasoning at home is easy and it stays fresh up to 6 months with no preservatives.

Traditionally Peri Peri Peppers are used in the spice blend which are hard to source so I substituted that with cayenne and it turned out delicious.

Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Makes : 1 cup

Ingredients:

Sugar : 2 tablespoons

Red chilli powder : 2 tablespoons

Ground Coriander : 2 tablespoons

Onion powder : 2 tablespoons

Garlic powder : 2 tablespoons

Smoked Paprika : 2 tablespoons

Salt : 1 tablespoon

Dried Oregano : 1 tablespoon

Dried Parsley : 1 tablespoon

Cayenne Pepper : 1 tablespoon

Ground dried ginger : 2 teaspoons

Ground Cardamom : 1 teaspoon

Instructions:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to combine and store in a airtight container.

Chocolate Peanut butter Rice Crispy Bites

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Rice Crispy Treats are normally a kids favourite snack. So as Reese Peanut butter cups. So, what if we combine the flavours and make it a healthy snack at the same time. That’s what these Chocolate Peanut butter rice crispy bites are.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Set time : 1-2 hours in the refrigerator

Makes : 15 bites

Ingredients:

Rice Crispies : 3 cups

Creamy Peanut butter : 3/4 cup

Honey : 2 tablespoons

Semi sweet chocolate chips : 1 cup

Peanut butter : 2 tablespoons

Instructions:

In a medium size microwave safe bowl, add 3/4 cup peanut butter, honey and heat for 40 seconds until it’s warm but nice and smooth.

Add the rice crispies, mix well to combine. Take a 8×8 cake pan, line it with parchment paper and grease it.

Add the rice crispy mixture into the pan and press tight so everything is nice and uniform.

In a bowl, add the chocolate chips and melt them in a microwave until they are soft and creamy. Add peanut butter and mix well to combine.

Add the chocolate mixture on top of the rice crispy layer and refrigerate for 1-2 hours until the chocolate is hard and holding well.

Take the pan out of the refrigerator, cut them into 2×2 bites and serve.

Pesarapappu Gangavalli kura/ Moong dal purslane leaves curry

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Gangavalli leaves are wild greens with a lot of health benefits. My friend sent me some homegrown fresh leaves and I wanted to try something different than cooking them with toor dal. So, cooked them with moong dal and the family loved it.

Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Cook Time : 30 minutes

Serves : 6

Ingredients :

Yellow Moong Dal : 1 cup (240ml)

Gangavalli leaves : 2 cups

Onion : 1 medium chopped

Curry leaves : 1 sprig

Green Chilli : 1 slit

Salt to taste

Red chilli powder : 2 teaspoons

Cumin powder : 1 teaspoon

For Tempering:

Dry red chilli : 1 broken

Urad dal : 1 teaspoon

Methi seeds : 5

Cumin : 1/2 teaspoon

Mustard seeds : 1/2 teaspoon

Instructions:

Heat oil in a saucepan, add all the ingredients listed under for tempering and saute until the seeds start to splatter.

Add onion, green chilli, curry leaves and saute until the onion is golden brown.

Add moong dal and fry for 5 minutes.

Add the leaves and cook for 3 minutes.

Pour 2 1/2 cups of water, mix well, close lid and cook for 15-20 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the dal is cooked but nut mushy.

Add salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder, mix well and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Turn off the stove, add some butter or ghee and serve hot with rice or roti.

 

Methi Ponganalu/Paniyaram

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Ponganalu or paniyaram are ball shaped dumplings made with idli or dosa batter. These are one of the breakfast dishes made in South India. These Methi Ponganalu/Paniyaram is a simple made with Idli batter, methi/ fenugreek leaves, tempering. The Ponganalu taste delicious and it’s a good way to serve greens for breakfast.

You can find non stick pans and cast iron pans. I like the non stick pan as there is no need of oil in making this delicious breakfast.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time : 10-12 minutes

Makes : 24

Ingredients:

Idli Batter : 1 1/4 cup

Methi leaves : 1 cup chopped

Turmeric : 1 teaspoon

For Tempering:

Jeera : 1/4 teaspoon

Mustard seeds : 1/4 teaspoon

Urad dal : 1/4 teaspoon

Curry leaves : 1 sprig

Method:

Take the idli batter in a bowl and add the chopped methi leaves, turmeric and mix well.

Heat oil for tempering, add the ingredients listed under for tempering except curry leaves and let the seeds splatter. Add curry leaves and add tempering to the batter.

Using a spoon, put the batter into the paniyaram pan and place the pan on the stove on medium heat. Close lid and cook for 5 minutes, turn the paniyarams and cook for another 5 minutes or until the outer layer is golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot with coconut chutney, peanut chutney or podi.

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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These Cupcakes are a mini version of the Red Velvet cake which is really popular. I made few changes to the original recipe by using thick yogurt/curd instead of sour cream or buttermilk that normally used and it turned out delicious. There is absolutely no difference, kids loved it.

To get the bright red colour and the velvety texture, I added beetroot extract along with the gel red colour.

The best icing that goes with Red Velvet Cake is Cream Cheese frosting. Buttercream can be used but cream cheese flavour goes well comparitively.

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Bake Time : 22 minutes

Makes : 15 cupcakes

Ingredients:

All purpose Flour : 1 1/4 cups

Unsweetened Cocoa Power : 1/4 cup

Baking Soda : 1/4 teaspoon

Butter : 1/2 cup softened

Sugar : 1 cup

Eggs : 2

Thick yogurt/ Greek yogurt : 1/2 cup

Cold milk : 1/4 cup

Red gel food colour : 1 teaspoon

Beetroot extract : 2 tablespoons

Vanilla Extract : 1 teaspoon

For Cream Cheese Frosting:

Unsalted Butter : 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened

Cream cheese : 8 oz (226 grams) at room temperature

Vanilla extract : 1 teaspoon

Salt : 1/4 teaspoon

Powdered Sugar : 3 cups

Instructions:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time, yogurt, milk, food colour, beetroot extract, vanilla and mix well.

Add the dry ingredients and mix to combine on low speed. Do not overblend.

Line the muffin tray and spoon the batter into the cups filling 2/3 full.

Bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the pan and let them cool.

For the frosting: Add all ingredients list under for frosting and beat till the mixture is smooth and fluffy.

Let the cup cupcakes cool completely before decorating them.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add rest of the wet ingredients and beat well to combine.
Add the dry ingredients and just mix to combine. Do not over mix.

Italian Braised Chicken

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This Italian Braised Chicken is a one pot dish where the braised Chicken is cooked in tomato and basil sauce making the chicken full of flavours. The chicken is super tender and juicy. Serve it with some pasta or roasted vegetables.

You can use the chicken with skin, I couldn’t find any so I used skinless meat. Thighs are apt for the dish. I used drumsticks also as my kids love them.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time : 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Chicken Thighs : 5

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive Oil : 2 tablespoons

Onion : 1 medium diced

Garlic : 4 cloves minced

Tomato puree : 2 cups

Italian basil : 10 leaves chopped

Red chilli flakes : 2 teaspoons

Brown sugar : 1 teaspoon

Parsley to garnish

Instructions:

Wash and pat dry the chicken pieces.

Heat a dutch oven or a skillet on high heat, add the chicken pieces and season them with salt and pepper. brown the chicken on both sides. Take them out and keep aside.

Lower the flame to medium, in the same pan, add olive oil, add onions, garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add tomato puree, basil leaves, salt, red chilli flakes and stir. Add braised chicken with the juices, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Add brown sugar, stir to combine and garnish with parsely.

Serve immediately.

 

Plum Ice cream (No Churn)

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This Plum Ice Cream is made with just 4 ingredients. Plums, sugar, milk powder and fresh cream. By the way, it’s a no churn ice cream.

I love experimenting with foods. Ice creams are something that are on top of the list. It’s the season for plums and I had 2 fruits left and I wanted to try making ice cream out of it. The ice cream turned out creamy and super delicious and my daughter who is not a big fan of fruit ice creams is in love with this one.

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Freezing Time : 6-8 hours

Makes : 250 grams

Ingredients :

Plums : 2 large pitted and diced

Sugar : 1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons

Milk powder : 1/2 cup

Fresh cream : 1/2 cup

Instructions:

In a small saucepan, add the diced plums, 2 teaspoons of sugar and cook until the plums are soft and mushy. Turn off the stove and let them cool.

In a small blender jar, add the plums and make puree.

In a large blender jar, add plum puree, milk powder, sugar, fresh cream and blend till smooth.

Pour the mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze for 6-8 hours.

 

Jackfruit Smoothie

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Jackfruit is an exotic fruit grown in tropical regions and it is a native fruit in South India. It has a lot of health benefits. The raw fruit is usually used as a meat substitute and the ripen fruit is eaten raw or used to make desserts, ice creams etc.,

This smoothie is made with ripen fruit. I used soy milk but your choice of milk can be used.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Serves : 2

Ingredients:

Jackfruit pieces : 1 cup

Soy Milk : 1 cup

Honey : 1 teaspoon

Healthy Mix Recipe: 1 teaspoon

Instructions:

Add ingredients to a blender jar and blend till smooth.

Serve immediately if you like the liquid consistency. If you like thick smoothie, refrigerate for 2 hours and serve.

 

Pistachio Cake

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This Pistachio Cake is full of bursting flavours from nutty pistachios, almonds, cardamom and orange zest. I saw a post on Almond cake and thought let me try a Pistachio cake as that’s one nut no one in the house eats. I have to always make something and hide them.

The cake is so fluffy with a beautiful colour. My husband who is not a big fan of cakes loved this one and asked me to bake a second one within few days. The sweetness is mild compared to the other cakes.

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Bake Time : 35 minutes

Serves : 6-8

Ingredients:

Butter : 1/2 cup / 1 stick

Sugar : 1 cup

Eggs : 3 large

Almond extract : 1/2 teaspoon

Orange zest : 1 orange

All purpose flour : 1 1/4 cup

Baking powder : 1 1/2 teaspoons

Salt : A pinch

Pistachios : 1/2 cup ground coarsely

Almonds : 6 ground coarsely

Green cardamom : 6 pods seeds powdered

Warm milk : 1/2 cup

Slivered Pistachios for garnish

Instructions:

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees F / 180 degrees C.

Grease a 8″ pan on the sides and line it with a parchment paper.

Cream sugar and butter and beat till it light and fluffy.

Add one egg at a time and beat well. Add almond extract, orange zest and beat to combine.

Add all the dry ingredients in batches along with milk and beat well to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, garnish with slivered pistachios and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Let the cake cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Aratikaya Bajji/ Plantain Bajji

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Aratikaya Bajji / Plantain Bajji is a popular evening snack in Andhra. The process is pretty simple, Plantains are thinly sliced, dipped in batter and fried. As simple as that.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 minutes per batch
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients:
Aratikaya/Plantain : 2 large sliced as shown in the pic
To make the Batter:
Besan/Senagapindi: 1 cup
Rice Flour/Biyyappindi: 1/4 cup
Red chilli powder: 2 teaspoon
Baking soda: 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Water: 3/4 cup
Method:
Take a large bowl of water with salt, peel and cut the plantain and put the pieces in the water so there is no dis coloration.
Mix all ingredients listed under for batter to make your batter.
Heat oil for deep frying, dip the eggplant pieces into the batter and drop them into the oil. Fry them on both sides till they turn golden brown for about 3-4 minutes.
Serve hot with some hot sauce or ketchup.
Note: apply some oil on your hands and the knife before peeling  the plantains. It’s very sticky.