Gajar ka Halwa ~ Carrot Halwa ~ Buttered Carrot with Milk

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Today I am very happy and joyful as my son quickly recovered from the minor surgery. So I have started my morning sweetful by making this rocking desert to celebrate these happy moments and also to treat my little brave heart Abhi, for handling this with no tears.

Gajar ka Halwa

Ingredients:
Grated Carrot - 2 Cups
Milk (2%) - 2 Cups
Sugar - 1/2 Cup
Butter - 1/4 Cup
Cardamom - 2
Cashew Nuts - 2 Tbsp
Gold Raisins  - 1 Tbsp




How to Make It:

  1. First, Take the milk in glass (microwavable) bowl and heat in the microwave for 2 min. let it leave in the microwave for 1 min. Then repeat heating for 2 min and cool for 1 min. Repeat this process until the milk becomes thick and ( half the measurement, i.e 1 Cup). (It take approximately 20 min).
  2. Heat the Pan add 1 Tbsp and fry the Golden Raisins and Cashew nuts and set aside.
  3. In the same pan add the remaining butter and once it is melted, add the grated carrot.
  4. Once the raw smell goes way ( after 5 min), add the milk to this carrots in the pan.
  5. Keep stirring gently (up and down) avoiding sticking this to bottom, and do this until all the milk dissolves into carrot mixture.
  6. Add the sugar and mix it well while sugar keeps melting. 
  7. Make the Cardamom Powder in the mortar and add this to carrot.
  8. Finally top with Cashew nuts and Golden Raisins. Leave it on the stove until it cools.



Then Serve this into plates and sit back and enjoy this healthy heavenly desert.

Note:

  • This desert is the trick to sneak in some veggies, milk and nuts to my sweet lovers plate at home.
  • I have used only 2% milk to cut some fat. As we condense the milk in this recipe, 2% is enough. 
  • If you want adjust sugar accordingly. At the end, it is not too sweet, so I have added 2 Tbsp more. It depends on how sweet the carrots are. So first add minimally and at the ends you can add more, if it is less.


I am sending this to 
Savory Sunday @ Eating at WinniPeg

True Veggie Lover's Pizza - Step by Step

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These days, as my kiddo's are going crazy for Pizza nights, I am finding ways to sneak in the most veggies and fruits into Pizza. I always love Papa Murphy's Take 'n' Bake pizza concept, where they prepare the crust and toppings and give us directions to bake it. After coming home in 15 min you can have customized pizza ready for you. Even with this one,  the variety and amount of vegetables that are topped are limited. So today I have decided to make pizza loaded with vegetables in my style, so it is called 'True Veggie Lover's' Pizza.

True Veggie Lover's Pizza
Today I let my kids participate in this pizza experience by letting them arrange all the toppings on pizza. I should admit that, they did a very good job and I can see the pride in their eyes that they have helped amma (mom). When Daddy is home, they are all over him, sharing their experience in making pizza, and Abhi kept telling him that he made a pizza for, Amma!!!! ( I think Daddy should get some hints from his emphasis ;-))

Here is the recipe for you, Njoy!

Ingredients:
Pre Made Pizza Crust - 1 medium
Marinara Sauce - 2/3 cup
Mozzarella Cheese - 2/3 cup
Cheddar Cheese - 1/3 cup
Egg Plant - 1 medium
Chopped Spinach - 1 cup
Red Bell Pepper - 2 Tbsp
Orange Bell Pepper - 2 Tbsp
Yellow Bell Pepper - 2 Tbsp
Red Onion - 1/2 medium
Tomato - 1 medium
Pineapple - 1 cup
Black Olives - 1/2 cup


Step by Step Directions:
1. Chop Eggplant, Red Onion, Tomato into thin round slices. Chop the Bell Pepper and Spinach into medium chunks.  Drain the Pineapple Cubes and Black Olives slices and keep aside. (I have used the Canned Pineapple and Black Olives.)

2. Place the Pizza Crust on a flat surface. and deliberately apply the marinara sauce.

3. First Place all the Round Slices. Eggplant Rounds, Tomato Rounds, and Red Onion Slices.


4. Next Place the Chopped Bell Pepper and Spinach.


5. Then place Pineapple chunks and Black Olive slices.


6. Finally Top with Mozzarella and Cheddar Cheese Mix.


7. Bake it in the oven at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes on the center of the medium rack. As it is loaded with vegetables, you have to bake it little longer than the directions said on the crust. And at the same time make sure you don't get the cheese burnt or browned. Cheese supposed to melt and bubbled.  My Kids love anything little crispy so I finally Broiled on High for 1 min to get that effect ( this is optional).


8. Now Enjoy your yummy yummy 'True Veggie Lover's pizza' loaded with vegetables.

Hmmm, Yum Yum, the egg plant and red pepper gave such a unique taste to this pizza. Juicy Pineapple and Black Olive leaves such a nice taste in your mouth. Mouth Watering..... Don't wait and just bake it for yourself and experience this Veggie Lover's Pizza.

Now I don't have to be after my kids to eat those vegetables, as they made it, they finished all their pizza with that excitement.

'Yehhhh, We did this Pizza for Amma!'

Note:
1. I have used Costco Premade Pizza Crust which came withe marina sauce, however as that is not enough, I have added some RAGU marina sauce.
2. For Pineapple and Black Olives I have used the Canned Ones, if you get fresh ones you can certainly use them
3. For the vegetables, I have just used what ever is in the refrigerator. You can use (replace with) other vegetables also, like Zucchini, Broccoli, Basil, Artichoke Hearts or Mushroom.  Just go wild with your vegetables. ;-)


I am sending this recipe to Savory Sunday @ Eating at WinniPeg


Take Care until Next Time
-Mythreyi


Orange Blueberry Loaf

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Since I made this Cinnamon Stresuel Bread, baking bread is becoming fun for me, and I ended up baking more breads than cakes these days. One day as  the Oranges are on sale in Sprouts, I have bought a big batch with out realizing in the same week hubby is on Business Trip. Kids and Me fully enjoyed the freshly squeezed orange juice for couple of days and then we got bored. So at the same time I have a pint of blueberries that are pending in the fridge and quickly remembered the saved recipe a while ago with this fruit combination.. ( By the way this is the recipe I cut and clipped from the Orange Juice Carton :-)).
Orange Blueberry Loaf

The same week happened to be a big release week at work and our team  is putting lot of hours to get the work done, so I just took this loaf as a sweet gesture to the team and every one enjoyed the freshly baked loaf with fresh fruits, right from the oven. Corn Meal and Orange Juice adds a southern 'Texan Touch' to this loaf.  Here I am saving the recipe for you, Njoy!

Ingredients:
Fresh Orange Juice - 1/2 cup
Fresh Blue Berries - 1 cup
All Purpose Flour - 2 Tbsp
All Purpose Flour - 1 3/4 cup
Corn Meal - 1/4 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 6 Tbsp
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Egg - 1
Orange Peel Grated- 2 tsp

Preparation:
  1. PreHeat the oven to 350F. Grease and flour one  8 x 3 loaf pan.
  2. In a small bowl toss the blueberries along with 2 Tbsp Flour.
  3. In a medium bowl mix the corn meal, baking soda, baking powder, remaining 1 3/4 cup flour
  4. In a Large Bowl beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. ( about 3 min)
  5. Add Egg and beat well, add orange juice and orange peel. 
  6. Add the flour and beat on low speed until well blended. Stir in the blue berries.
  7. Now pour this mixture into prepared loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes
  8. Take it out once the top is brown color and Cool on a rack for 5 min.

Slice the bread into 1 inch thick loafs and enjoy this Yummy and Fresh Fruity Bread with the crowd.


Note:  If you have noticed the orange spots, they are formed because of the grated orange peel and it adds grate taste. You can zest it with Zester, I have just used my peeler, roughly peeled the orange.

I am sending this to
Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday
EKat's Friday Potluck
Lisa's Sweets for Saturday.

Take care until next time
-Mythreyi


Easy Chicken Roast with Garlic and Indian Spices

6 comments
As I am in search for protein packed snacks and dinner options for kids ( esp the little one is fond of non-veg , to give company to dad I guess :-) ), this easy, peasy Chicken Roast invention in my kitchen is quite handy these days. There is no cooking effort with this recipe, yet turns out tasty and flavorful for kids. Usually, for this roast, I marinade the chicken in the morning, and leave in the fridge, after coming home from work, all I have to do is set the oven and bake accordingly. By the time kids bath and homework is done, yummy Dinner is Ready with no effort of cooking. WhoooOOoooOO! What a time saving recipe, right!!! Just sharing it here for you, Enjoy!

Garlicky Chicken Roast
Garlicky Chicken Roast
Ingredients:
Chicken Breast - 4
Curd/Yogurt - 1/3 cup
salt - 2 tsp
black pepper - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder  1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Garlic - 4 to 5 cloves
Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp
Olive Oil - 1 tbsp

Method:
1.Wash the chicken breast and drain the water and pat dry. Make slight slits on Chicken breast on two sides.
2. Mix the Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, salt and pepper and rub it on all the chicken breast and set aside for 15 min
3. Mean while mix the Yogurt, Red Chili Powder, Coriander Powder, Cumin Powder  and turmeric powder to make the marinade and set aside.
4. Grate the Garlic Cloves, and rub the chicken breast with this grated Garlic ( this is the secret for very nice flavor), close the lid  (to pack the garlic flavor) and set aside for 10 more minutes.
5. Then add these garlic infused chicken breast to marinade and leave in the fridge or outside for at least 30 minutes. (The more time is in marinade is more flavor, you can leave over night for best results). I don't have that much patience and never waited that long but still got the yummy result. :-)
6. Now bake these chicken breasts in the oven at 350F  for 30 to 35 minutes.
7. Let it cool and dig into this Flavor Packed Chicken Roast.



Serving Tips:
If you have to serve this to Guests, Garnish with cilantro and serve it with Red Onion Slices on the side, just before eating squeeze some lime juice on top.

Hint:
Lemon Juice and Garlic are two secret ingredients in this recipe. Lemon Juice takes out the non-veg smell, while Garlic adds lot of nice flavor.

I am sending this recipe to Miz Helen's Full Plate Thursday.

Take care until Next Time
- Mythreyi

Mamidikaya Pulihora ~ Mango Yellow Rice

6 comments
It's been a week that we have celebrated Ugadi, but my mind is still wandering in those childhood memories and now I am feeling nostalgic. In those notes, I was churning all those recipes that my mom used to make during festivals time, and Mango Pulihora is the spring's best dish as raw mangoes are abundant in this season. At the same time my grand maa and aunt's used to make the famous Andhra Special Mango Pickle aka aavakaya (ఆవకాయ)  in our villages. I will find the recipe for the pickle and will make one day, but today let me share this Mango Pulihora ( Tangy Rice) recipe with you.  (Of course, I have called my mom and affirmed this recipe by her.) Enjoy!


Ingredients:
Raw (green) Mango - 1 medium
Cooked Rice - 4 cups
ginger - 1 inch stick
Peanuts - 1 Tbsp
CasheewNuts - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 1 tbsp
green chiles - 5 to 6
red chiles - 4 to 5
urad dal - 2 tbsp
chana dal - 2 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
oil - 3 Tbsp
turmeric powder - 2 tsp
curry leaves - 10 to 12

How to Make It:
1. Let the cooked rice cool if it is hot
2. Grate the Mango and set aside (make sure you avoid the seed when you grate, because these mangoes are still raw, some times you can not take out the seed easily)
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil  and add turmeric to it
4. Add turmeric oil into rice and mix it well so that the rice is coated yellow color
5. add the grated mango into rice and mix well gently
6. Add Salt to rice ( adjust accordingly)
7. Take the non stick pan and add the remaining oil and make the tempering by adding Red Chilies, Urad Dal, Chana Dal, Mustard Seeds, Ginger, Curry Leaves, Green Chilies, Pea Nuts and Cashew nuts.
8. Add this tempering to the Rice and close with lid and set it aside for 1 hour to let sink all the flavors into rice
9. Yummy! Yummy Mango Pulihora is ready now.



Enjoy your festival with this traditional dish and invite the spring to your home.

I am sending this to Walking through memory Lane event by Gayatri.


Take care until next time
-Mythreyi

Chinese Fried Rice ( Quick and Easy)

6 comments
After looking at my lunch box Ideas several people requested for the recipe of Chinese Fried Rice, until then I have not realized that I haven't posted a recipe for this quick and easy Fried Rice. Whenever there is some rice left from the dinner, with out a thought that ends up as Chinese Fried Rice in our lunch box the next day.


Ingredients:
Cooked White Rice -  2 Cups
(Frozen)Mixed Vegetables - 1 Cup
Fresh Broccoli Florets - 1 Cup
Onion - 1/2 medium
Green Chile - 2 or 3
Soy Sauce - 1 Tbsp
salt - 1 tsp
black pepper - 1 tsp
Hot Chili Sauce - 1 Tsp
Red Pepper Flakes - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Spring Onions - 2 Tbsp



How to make It:
1. Heat the Wok or Kadai (take the wide one) and add oil to it
2. Once the Oil is hot add red pepper flakes followed by thinly sliced onions and green chile
3. Thaw the frozen mixed vegetables ( carrot, bean, pea, corn mix) in the microwave on high for 2 min.
4. Add the Mixed vegetables to the pan and add the soy sauce to the vegetables (saute for 2 min)
5. Add the Rice ( make sure there are no lumps in the rice and it is fluffy)
6. Add salt and black pepper to rice and mix well ( cook for 2 min)
7. Add the Hot Chile Sauce and Cook for 1 min
8. Mean while steam the broccoli in the microwave for 1 min ( not more than that), and add this to rice
9. Stir Everything well on High , taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, turn off the stove and garnish with spring onions.
10. Yummy Lunch box treat is ready in minutes, now sit back, relax and enjoy your morning coffee. :-)

Tips:
1. Stirring on High is the secret tip for the best fried rice
2. Some times if  i have color peppers, I replace the mixed veg with color peppers slices ( red, yellow, green bell peppers). Mixed Veg (pre cut) saves the cutting time in the morning though.
3. This rice usually comes perfect with left over rice. If you don't have left over rice, let the cooked rice cool until it is fluffy, you can keep in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 min to get that result.
4. Soy Sauce consistency differs based on some brands, if you think 1 Tbsp is not enough, add some more. you should get light brown color coated rice.

Take care until next time
-Mythreyi

Creamy Zucchini Curry

9 comments
Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables these days. This soft and tender vegetable, gets cooked quickly and tastes good however you cook it. Some times I make exotic dish like Baby Zuchini Bajji, which is the motivation to put together this blog. But most of the times I make Zucchini Fry (similar to Brinjal/Eggplant Fry) . One day as I was experimenting with this wonder veggi, by addition of milk to this zuchini curry resulted in this invention and since then this is our all time favorite especially for kids because of its soft, mild and creamy nature. Check Out the Recipe, Enjoy!

Creamy Zucchini Curry
Creamy Zucchini Curry
Ingredients:
Zuchini - 4 medium
chopped Onion - 1/4 cup
Green Chili - 1
salt - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Chana Dal  1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder  - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Oil  - 1 tbsp
Cilantro - 1/3 cup

How to Make It:
1. Heat the non stick pan and add oil
2. Once the Oil is hot, make the tempering by adding Chana Dal, Urad Dal, Cumin Seeds and Mustard Seeds
3. Add the Sliced Gren Chilie and Chopped Onions, add turmeric powder and saute for 1 min
4. Add the salt and close the lid
5. Meanwhile chop the Zuchini into small peices (first length wise and then 1 inch width wise)
6. Add the zuhini cubes to pan and fry for 3 min and close the lid.
7. Once the Zuchini is cooked to soft (after 4 to 5 min) add milk to it
8. Add cilantro and close the lid and cook for 2 or 3 min. (unitl the milk dissolves into curry)
9. Yum! Yum! Yum! Creamy Zuchini Curry is ready in minutes



Serving Tips:
  • This tastes good with Rice or Roti
  • As I serve this for kids, I have used less spicy. If you need more spiciness increase the measure of green chilies and add the red chilies to tempering also.
I am sending this to MizHelen's Full Plate Thursday.

Take care until Next Time
-Mythreyi

Ugadi Pachadi and Vindu ~ Full Course Festive Meal

8 comments
I wish all my readers "శ్రీకర నామ సంవత్సర   శుభాకాంక్షలు" (Happy Ugadi). UGADI is a Telugu  New Year Festival. The actual name is 'Yugadi' (Yuga Aadi) means the beginning of 'New Yuga'. In Andhra we follow a 60 telugu Year cycle  based on the Lunar Calendar. Usually the 'Spring' the First Season in the nature indicates the 'New Beginning' in the Year with the fresh leaves and fresh start. So that is the reason this festival usually falls in the End of March or beginning of April in India.

Ugadi Pachadi is one dish every one in the family should taste on this festival. Ugadi Pachadi is made with six different basic tastes (షడ్రుచులు/Shadruchulu) that includes Sweet (తీపి), Salt (ఉప్పు ), Hot (కారం ), Bitter (చేదు ), Sour (పులుపు ), Tartar/Astringent (వగరు). This tells us that every year is not just sweet, but it is the mix of the all different tastes and we should balance our life accordingly. How Beautiful it is?  That's why I love all of our traditions and customs that are created by our ancestors, every traditional event teaches us to rise and fall accordingly and learn to lead the life by adjusting to circumstances however good or bad they are.

Ugadi Vindu Bhojanam

On this auspicious day we go to temple, pray god that this year should bring prosperity to everybody and participate in  పంచాంగ శ్రవణం/ Panchaga Sravanam (forecast for this new year explained by the priest) . The priest explains the forecast that is expected in the Mother Nature, as if there are good amount of rains to bring the full crops or any calamities or disasters are ahead so that we can prepared for it.

I still remember those days when we are not so ready to taste the Ugadi Pachadi ( because of  usage of Neem Flowers (వేప పూత ) to get the bitterness taste). My mom wakes us up early and while she prepares the yummy meals with festive specials, we used to decorate the Pooja room and decorate the house entrance with the Thoran made with fresh mango leaves with the help of dad. I miss those days where the whole family sits together and enjoys the full course meal by sharing jokes and having fun. As I don't want my kids to miss all those nice customs and traditions, this year we have celebrated the Ugadi with friends and families  by enjoying the Full Course meal that is served in Banana Leaves (అరటి ఆకులు ) . Yes, you heard it right, I was able to get the banana leaves at Taj Groceries. That definitely gave the special festive touch and made us remember all those vindu bhojanams which in result cracked lots of fun.

In our busy life style we have to spare some time to celebrate such events which gives us an opportunity for us to explain the customs to kids, pass the traditions to next generation and for kids also it brings so much fun.



Ugadi Pachadi Recipe:
(Sweet) Jaggery - 1 small lemon size
(Sour) Tamarind - Half Lemon size
(Salt) salt - 1tsp
(Hot) green chilie - 1 or 2
(Tartar) Raw Mango Slices - 1/3 cup
(Bitter) Neem Flowers - 1 Tbsp
Banana - 1
Ugadi Pachadi

How to Make it:
1. Place the Tamarind in the bowl with some water and micorwave it for 1 min. Let it cool for 1 min.
2. Then Squeeze the tamarind  and extract the tamarind paste and mix some more water to it to make it dilute
3. Add the salt, minced green chili, Raw Mango slices, Neem Flowers.
4. Place the Jaggery  in a bowl with water and microwave it for 1 or  2min, then you will get the liquid out of it. I always use this tip to if the jaggery is too hard to chop. If the jaggery is soft you can just chop it into small pieces and add it to tamarind juice.
5. My mom adds some fruits like banana or grapes to get some natural sweet taste to pachadi. Today I have added Banana.
6. The Festive Special Ugadi Pachadi is Ready now.....

Ugadi Prasadam
Today we have filled our festive plate with


Hope you have celebrated the Ugadi at your best too. Happy Ugadi again!


Take care until next time
-Mythreyi