Cranberry Walnut Salad

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After making those Fresh Lettuce Wraps ( Yes, the recipe will follow soon!!!), I am left with some small lettuce leaves, so I thought of turning that into a Protein Packed salad with these wonderful Nutty, Berry Companions. Here is the recipe of this Simple Salad, that gives energy boost to your breakfast Platter. Enjoy!

Walnut Cranberry Salad
 Ingredients:
Iceburg Lettuce - 1 cup
Walnuts - 1/4 cup
Cranberry ( Dried) - 1/4 cup

For Salad Dressing:

Olive Oil - 1 Tbsp
Lime Juice - 1 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
black pepper - 1/2 tsp
sugar - 1/4 tsp
spring onions - 1 Tbsp for garnish


Method:
Take a small Bowl, add olvie oil, sugar, salt, black pepper lime juice and mix it very well and set aside.

Take a Large( or wide) bowl add Chopped Lettuce. Add Chopped Walnut and Cranberry on Top. Then Pour the Salad Dressing on top, toss together until the dressing dissolves into the salad. and Top with Spring Onions. Keep it in the refrigerator ( for 10 min) and serve chill for extra taste. I prefer as it is at room temperature though.




Note:
If you have cucumbers and cherry tomatoes handy, add them to this salad for extra color and crunch.


Take care until we meet here next time
-Mythreyi





Radish Chutney

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When ever we think of Radish / Mooli the first thing that comes to our mind is 'Mooli ka Paratha' (Sruffed Radish Roti). But the best way I use Radish is in Sambar. It gives very authentic madarasi taste to your sambar. Radish is little spicy and crunchy by nature similar to onion. That's why we have to use this in combination with some other soft or cream or sour flavors that softens the spicy radish taste.

These days Radish is getting famous as Diabetic friendly vegetable,  I was looking for recipes to use this as main ingredient. (It's not that I am Diabetic, but when ever I am on diet I try to follow Diabetic diet as this controls the carbs and make stress on protein and fiber in  our diet.) I remember when my mom makes Radish and Tomato Curry, when we were kids me and my sister exchange the looks of 'Oh no, Not, Again!'. That is one curry both of us agree in not liking it. and One more variety my friend in College days introduced me is 'Mooli Raita', it tastes good with Roti or Chapati. I will find the recipe will post it soon.

Radish Chutney
 But today, our wonderful Nanny shares this Radish Chutney recipe and convinced me that it tastes very good, and she makes it quite often. I am little hesitant with Radish taste always, but waited patiently while she is preparing this chutney, and the result is Fantastic, She added some Coconut and Cilantro to the regular chutney ingredients, i think that did the trick to soften the taste of Radish. VJ and myself dug into this chutney bowl, and finished  the whole dinner with this Tasty and Healthy Radish Chutney along with Hot White Rice.  Here is the recipe, Enjoy!

Ingredients:
Radish - 4 small
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Green chili - 4
cumin seeds - 2 tbsp
turmeric - 1/ 4 tsp
garlic - 5 cloves
salt - 1 tsp
coconut - 3 inch slice or 2 Tbsp fresh cocunut
Cilantro - 1/4 cup
oil - 1 Tbsp

and

Tempering (Taalimpu)



Method:
  1. Wash, Trim the Edges and Peel them. Grate the Radish and set aside. You can cut into small cubes also, grating will add good taste.
  2. Heat the Oil in the non stick pan, and add the green chilies, cumin seeds, tamarind and garlic. saute for 3 min.
  3. Add the Grated Radish and saute it for 5 min. 
  4. Grind these along with the Coconut and Cilantro while adding the salt in between. For consistency as little water as needed.
  5. Take this into a serving bowl.


Now add Taalimpu to the chutney bowl, and it is ready now... Serve this with hot white Rice or Brown Rice. I am sure you will be hooked on to this, and will never say NO to Radish. :-)

Note:
  • If you are diabetic, then skip the coconut, for healthy benefits.
  • you can serve this as Dip for you chips also.

Click Here for all other Radish Recipes.
Click Here for all other Chutney Recipes.

Take care until we meet here again
-Mythreyi


Banana Peppers in Spicy Gravy / Mirchi ka Salan (Hydarabadi Style)

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I always wonder one thing about this curry "Curry out of Peppers? ". I am not so used to jump up for this curry that much. But recently I have learnt the technique rather i would say the magic, which made me fall for that. One of my friend who is from Hyderabad is kind enough to share the secret sauce for this recipe which is in authentic Hyderabadi style. With this Hyderabadi Style, The gravy is made special with ground nuts, tamarind, coconut and various other spices. This gravy recipe is quite famous for Gutti Vankaya Kura / Stuffed Baby Eggpalnt Curry also. You can serve this with Roti or Rice, I prefer it with Rice and it is so much fun to eat these non spicy peppers in spicy gravy. Why late, try it out for your self, Here is the recipe, Enjoy!

Mirchi ka Salan / Banana Peppers in Spicy Gravy
Ingredients:

Banana Peppers - 8 to 10 ( medium)
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 1medium
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Chili Powder - 2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Coconut ( fresh) - 2 Tbsp
Ground Nuts ( Pea Nuts) - 1 /3 cup
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp
Red Chili (dry) - 2
Salt - 2 tsp ( as per your taste)
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Cilantro - 1/4 cup



Method:

  1. Roast the ground nuts and cool them. Roast the Red Chili and Cumin Seeds together and cool them. 
  2. Now Grind the Red Chili, Cumin Seeds, Ground Nuts, Tamarind along with Coconut into a smooth paste.  Add some salt (and water as needed) while grinding. 
  3.  Heat 1 Tbsp oil in non stick pan. make slits to the Peppers and Saute them in the oil, until the skin wilts little bit. Sprinkle with Salt and Black Pepper and toss them until the pepper gets coated with it. Take these out and set aside in  a plate.
  4. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp oil to the same pan and add the chopped onions. followed by ginger garlic paste.
  5. Once the onions becomes translucent add the chopped tomatoes and half of the cilantro. Add some salt. Let it all cook on low and simmer until it comes together.
  6. Now Add the Grind Paste to the pan and mix it well.
  7. Add Turmeric, Red chili Powder, Coriander Powder and mix it well. Add some water if you need gravy consistency. Let it simmer on low for 5 min.
  8. Adjust the taste as per your needs, and add the Sauted Peppers to this gravy. (Don't not mix it, other wise the Peppers are very soft they might break.) And cook on slow for 5 more minutes.
  9. Now switch off the heat and serve the Gravy into a bowl and garnish with remaining cilantro. 

Now it's your turn to surprise your guests or make them fall for your Authentic Hyderabadi style Mirchi Ka Salan Curry.  :-)


For a colorful look I added chopped red onion here instead of cilantro. the purple onion not only contrasts the green peppers but adds a crunch and nice flavor.

Here is the link to some more recipes with Banana Pepper

Take Care until we meet here..
-Mythreyi

Valentines Day Treats

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Dear Readers,

Happy Valentines Day to you and your beloved ones. In the beginning i don't used to get the concept of Valentines Day, I used to think, When we love some one, why do we need to express it only on one particular Day?  And then I came to realize, we know we love our beloved ones always and every single moment of our life, and in this busy life, some times may be we forget to express or share it to them, or don't find time ( one common excuse :-) )  to tell them how much we love them. So, Having reasons like these V-days, will help to make us some time to do it. After appreciating the fact of this Love Day, I feel like we should have this day once is a month.  :-)


Chocolate Covered Spritz cookies

There is a feel that V-day means it is only for Girls, always Boys are the only ones who end up buying gifts or flowers. I feel like it's not only for Girls, when it is about expressing love, why it should only limited to Guys? And we girls don't expect the expensive gifts, we cherish those small joys of togetherness moments than Diamonds.

You can wake up early than her and make her a cup of coffee while she is in the bed, or surprise him with an unexpected Love Note or Make his favorite Dinner and make it special with Candles or take her to a special place that you have never been and surprise her or make him relax to his fav soothing music and give a gentle massage or just cuddle up and remember how you first met him/her and laugh at all those sweet nothings that you had.

Do something special than routine, put a smile on your spouse face or give that charm of surprise in their eyes.  Enjoy these Moments of Love together...!!



So coming to my recipe, last year I made some spritz (butter and sugar) cookies with all the fun loving shapes, while remembering that recipe, today I am sharing some simple but special touches I gave to these cookies.

Ingredients:

Spritz Cookies ( mini or heart shaped) - 10
Dark Chocolate - 1 or 2 oz

Method:

Heat the Water in the Double Boiler. If you don't have the double boiler, heat the water in medium stock pot. and put wider or bigger bowl ( that shouldn't dip into the stock pot) on top of the pot. And place the chocolate in the top bowl.  This is the procedure to melt the chocolate consistently. (You can melt the chocolate in microwave also, but you have to be careful and you won't get this smooth and consistency.)  Once the whole chocolate melts evenly, Switch off the heat and take the bowl from the stove.

And now carefully dip half of the cookie on both sides (front and back) in the melted chocolate and place them on a plate. Repeat this procedure until all the cookies are done and place this plate refrigerator to cool for 10 to 15 min. (If you are fond of nuts, after dipping the chocolate you can roll them in nuts).

You can do the same procedure with Strawberries also.


Now express your love with these cookies and Enjoy with your spouse for the evening coffee.

Other Ideas:
Don't have time to bake these cookies or Is it too late that you woke up with out any plans for V-day? don't loose your heart... here are some quick ideas...

Server your routine Idli, by cutting into Heart shape ( you can use cookie cutter to cut)

  1. Cut your Pancakes into heart shapes and serve with syrup. 
  2. Make heart shape on your pancakes with maple syrup and fill that with strawberry slices. 
  3. Make a sunny side Toast but try it with heart shape for the egg. 
  4. Make mini heart shaped Utappams.

Enjoy the small and sweet moments of love....
-Mythreyi

Marble Cupcakes

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Marble cake is always a favorite in my house. The texture of sponge cake and the touch of chocolate, for sure wins not only kids but adults and of course no need to mention the beauty of those Marble Effects.
Marble Cupcakes
As you know, I am not a baking person yet, no no i take it back..I am not a baking cakes or sweet person, I am always up for baking some thing savory. But these days slowly experimenting with cakes and breads to improve my baking skills. I have never baked cupcakes though, that too from scratch, so never got the motivation to buy Cup Cakes Tray or Muffin Tray to bake. but during my recent trip to Dallas, the cute design of this Betty Cooker Tray win my shopping soul. The winning point is this comes with the nice lid to carry your cup cakes as it is (no need to extra carry case) and also this is the best part, it comes with the easy to assemble cup cakes stand which is part of this tray. Love their neat and slim idea of collapsible cup cake stand that comes with it. So now I need to find the opportunity to put in use this gadget. As I have made marble cake several times, I thought Why not Marble Cupcakes, it is fun for the kids to see their marble effects in their own cup cake and also eat with out making a mess. Here is the recipe, enjoy!

Betty Cooker Cupcake or Muffin Tray

It comes with collapsible cup cake stand. You can take your cup cakes on the  go and  show-off  with this cute cup cake display stand.


Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
salt - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Eggs - 2 large
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup
vanilla extract - 1 tsp
semi sweet or dark chocolate - 1 oz

Right from the Oven

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease line 12 cups from a 12 cup muffin tin with paper cups liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Pour in dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  4. Melt the Chocolate by keeping it in microwave for 30 sec to 1 min. (Keep on stirring for every 30 sec)
  5. Remove 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and stir in melted chocolate.
  6. Evenly distribute batters into prepared muffin cups, adding a spoonful of vanilla, followed buy a spoonful of chocolate, followed by a little more vanilla. Gently run a knife through the batter to give them a swirl.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack before frosting.
Makes 12 Marble Cupcakes.



Distributing the Batter in all cups is little time taking and need to be done carefully, but it is Total  worth when you see these cute cupcakes with marble effects inside. My kids kept eating until they finish them all, and that leaves one soul satisfied Mommy!!
Ahaaa! Look at those beautiful marble effects. 

Tips:
  • Buttermilk is to give some slight sour taste and spongy texture. You can replace that milk or egg, if you are not up for buttermilk. 
  • If you have Coca Powder handy, you can use 1 or 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder instead of dark chocolate. 
  • You can increase the chocolate or coca powder quantity based on how dark marble effects you want or how much chocolate touch you desire in your cake.
This has been sent to Love n Choco Fest event by VimithaKid's Delight hosted by Edible Entertainment
 


Take Care until Next Time
-Mythreyi


My Growing Home Garden

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Organic, Organic, Organic is the today's Buzz every where and in every product from Food, Vegetables, Eggs, Clothes to Cleaning Products. In olden days, every body used to grow their own vegetables in their gardens. And they grow them using natural food and minerals like home grown compost etc or with less usage of chemicals. As the saying 'Old is Gold' is always true, we are realizing these days some of our ancestors ideas and implementing them by tagging some kind of  buzz words like 'Organic', 'Go Green', 'Natural' etc  to attract this generation crowd.

I always cherish the freshly grown vegetables and greens,  I always wanted to explore the charms of Farmers Market, but that was a disappointment in DFW area. I have been to some, but the dried greens and very less selection of vegetables didn't welcome me that much. I have started my own garden in the backyard in my Frisco home, but due to excess Dallas Heat that didn't fly as well. I have grown only Tomatoes, Chilies, and Egg Plants. I always envy Californians in that matter, as I heard very good things about their Farmers Market Experience.  But when I went to Hawaii and explored the Farmers Market, i felt like i found the Farmers Market that I always imagined.  Now again it's second opportunity to witness such thing here in Bangalore. This tropical Bangalore weather not only perfect for my soul but for my garden. 

Now I am able to grow lot of vegetables that i always wanted to in the backyard including Kitchen Herbs. Here are some of growing garden pictures and tips to grow them.

Tomatoes:
The goodness of Homegrown Cluster Tomatoes you can find only in your Curries, Rich Gravies, Soups and Sauces. These are very sour in taste and rich in color making my curries flavorful and colorful.
Homegrown Cluster Tomatoes 

Some Tips to grow Tomatoes: 

  • Don't make your tomato plants touch the ground. When they grow little big they always bend and touch the ground. 
  • Always support them with rounded or triangular stand, which gives them enough space to grow with out bending. 
  • Don't water them heavily, they need moderate water supply and enough sun. 
  • Always trim the stem that grows in between main stem and side stem. 

Spring Onions:
I have grown these spring onions not intentionally. One day I bought a bunch of Spring Onions and that has very thick roots. After trimming the Spring Onions, I have just dropped these Roots in the soil. And in the next few days, I have seen them grown to 2 inch high. Then, I have separated the bulbs and planted firmly in the soil. With in 10 days, the spears shoot up this High, Beautiful!!!! Now, When ever I make Fried Rice or Noodles, I can rely on these herbs.

Tips:
  • Separate every bulb and plant them with 2 inch space in between.
  • Make sure you water them regularly and enough sun is there for at least 2 hours daily.
  • When you need to pick the harvest, cut them at the bottom ( with scissors), and next you will see them growing again. 
  • I think you can grow them in pots as well. 
Green Chilies:
I just planted the Red Chili seeds in the pot. The baby plants grew in a week. After that you can spread them with even distance and plant them nice and firm in the soil. I think it will take 30 to 45 days to get the harvest of Green Chilies.

Green Beans:
We just planted the Green Bean Seeds with even distance in the soil. It just took 3 days to see the baby leaves for these plants. Compare to other plants the growth in these plants is very high. May be the Present Winter Weather also coopering for their growth.

Mint:
It is always good to grow the Mint in the pot, because of their spreading roots.  I used put it in the soil, and these roots used spread very fast stopping the growth for other plants near by in the garden. So make sure you always grow it in the pot. The only thing is you need to remember to water it regularly. This is the only herb that even grows in the severe winter with out dying. If you don't like to remember to water it, then put in the pot and leave in your garden in one corner, the sprinklers will take care of watering it and roots won't grow out of that pot. Making your Omelets savory with the addition of Mint is easy, when you grow this power herb in your garden.

Spinach:
When I bought a fresh bunch of Spinach from farmers market here, I have saved the Roots, and planted them in the soil. In a Week I have seen the fresh spinach in my garden. I have tried planting spinach Seeds several times before, but never got lucky with the seeds. These fresh home grown baby spinach leaves will be nice addition to your salads.

Amaranth:
You  can easily grow Amaranth (Thotakura) by sowing the Amaranth Seeds. In USA, You can find Amaranth Seeds in farmers markets or Whole Foods shops. I have found these Sprouts Market in Frisco. These are best to grow in pots. 
Amaranth (Thotakura)

Methi Leaves:
Once you start using the Methi Leaves from your garden, you will get addictive to grow them in your garden. Because these are so easy to grow, and you can grow them with methi seeds which are readily available in every small store. These need very less maintenance, moderate water and sun is required. These can be grown in pots or soil. But I felt, these grow best and fast in the soil than in the pots. After sowing the seeds with in 7  to 10 days, they will be ready for harvesting. You have to pluck these with roots. After one harvest is done you have to sow the seeds for next harvest. These days I stopped buying Methi leaves from store, Why should I? When I have abundant in my garden. :-)

Coriander Leaves:
I have tried growing Coriander in my garden but not successful.  I have tried with coriander seeds and with roots, but was not able to grow these herbs in my garden. Please share some tips if you know how to grow Coriander easily. If i get lucky then I will update you as well.  :-)

It is such a nice feeling, that when you cook with the vegetables that are grown in your garden. They are not only fresh and but full in nutrients and readily available for you.  If you have some garden tips, please share with me. 

Have Fun and next I will come with some Nice Recipe.
until then Take care and Ba Bye
-Mythreyi