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Monday, November 11, 2013

Spiced Apple Smoothie

"An Apple a Day keeps the doctor away". Most of us have heard this as a kid, from parents or a teacher or anyone trying to cultivate a healthy eating habit into us.
But who says you gotta eat those boring slices of an apple day after day and gulp them down to keep you healthy. Well, you can dice them up, spice them up, blend them up in a smoothie and call it a breakfast or a post workout health drink or even serve it to your kid as an after school snack. This nutritious Spiced Apple Smoothie is loaded with apples, yogurt, almonds and spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and cloves to warm up your winters.

Spiced Apple Smoothie
Spiced Apple Smoothie
Spiced Apple Smoothie - Recipe
2 Apples, peeled and deseeded
2 cups Yogurt
2 Almonds soaked overnight
3-4 tablespoons of Sugar. Substitute this with honey to make it healthier.
A small pinch each of ground Cinnamon powder, ground cloves, nutmeg powder and dry ginger powder (Soonth) or a very small piece of fresh ginger.

Blend the apples, almonds, yogurt, sugar and the spices together. Adjust the sugar and spice as per your requirement. Tone down the spices if you are making this for kids.
Add a bit of water, if you prefer a lighter consistency to your smoothies.

And there you are with a quick pick me up breakfast smoothie or a healthy after school snack for your kids.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

CouponDunia Review

I admit that food is my first love, but then how can I forget shopping. I simply love shopping.

My kindergartener, now that she has started reading, is always looking for words ‘free’, ‘discount’, ‘off’, ‘sale’, ‘coupon’ on TV, newspaper, malls..
The other day, while I was browsing, and she was sitting next to me, she pointed  out an advertisement to me saying, ‘Mama, see what this ad says – ‘200 off on coupon….’.
That had caught my eye too…I know…like mother like daughter.

This wonderful website has tons of exciting offers and coupons.
CouponDunia is India’s largest coupons and deals site. From clothes, jewellery, watches and shoes to air tickets, baby products, electronics and books, CouponDunia offer deals and coupons for a large variety of products and services.

Since I have discovered about this website, I have used tons of coupons. I was excited when I saw Jabong, Myntra and Flipkart. I am sure you will love these FlipKart coupons.

Can you believe that they have eBay coupons too.

They have some fabulous coupons for all these retailers and of course a lot more.
Now if you love to order pizza, they do have Dominos coupons too.

Now who doesn’t love to save the money while shopping, all you need to do is copy the appropriate coupon code while checking out.
So folks check out  and save more and shop more.

You can also follow them on Facebook or sign up for their newsletters and they will keep you informed about the latest deals.
Go on …the shopping season is on..

Friday, March 29, 2013

Watermelon Granita

Summer is on for most parts of India now. Every street side in my city is busy with watermelon vendors.
Don't you love watermelons? I mean, just looking at that luscious red slice of this humble fruit, sitting on a heap of dark green watermelons at a street side vendor, just makes me feel cooler in this scorching heat.

Watermelon Granita
Watermelon Granita

A piece of red juicy hydrating sweetness of the watermelon in the mouth is the best way to beat the heat.
But not the only one. Every summer season, when my kid gets bored of eating the watermelon, I make this Watermelon Granita. And of course it can be one of the best ways to finish off those last few slices of watermelon on the verge of getting overripe in the refrigerator.

Just 3 ingredients - blend, stir, freeze, and voila - you have a sweet icy fruity treat that everyone will love.

Watermelon Granita
Watermelon Granita

Watermelon Granita - Recipe
Watermelon  - 2 cups pieces of deseeded watermelon
Sugar - 1/4 cup (Substitute this with 2 tablespoons of honey for a healthier version)
Lemon juice - 1/2 teaspoon

1. Place the watermelon pieces in the blender and blend well until smooth.
2. Add sugar and lemon juice and blend well. You might have to adjust the quantity of sugar and lemon juice depending on how sweet or ripe the watermelon is.

The granita mixture is ready to go in the refrigerator
The granita mixture is ready to go in the refrigerator

3. Pour this mixture in a metal pan or a glass baking dish and freeze. Cover the dish / pan in order to avoid any smells getting absorbed into the mixture.
4. After an hour, the surface and the edges will start to freeze. Remove the dish/pan from the freezer and scrape the edges and the top layer lightly. Stir to incorporate the crystals and return the pan/dish to the freezer.
5. Repeat this process after every hour until the mixture starts looking like shaved ice.

Watermelon Granita - ready to be served
Watermelon Granita - ready to be served

6. It might take 4-5 hours, before you scoop up a perfect Granita in your dessert cups or bowls.
It can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. So if you are serving it to your guests at a dinner party, you might as well make it the previous day.

Watermelon Granita
Watermelon Granita

Friday, March 22, 2013

Kande Pohe

Ask a Maharashtrian, what he/she wants for breakfast and you will hear 'Kande Pohe'. It is made with beaten / flattened rice stir fried with curry leaves, green chillies, few spices and onions, hence the name - 'Kande' which means onions and 'pohe' which means beaten rice. Be it a quick snack for surprise guests or a weekend leisure breakfast - 'Kande Pohe' is the word. Well, in fact sometimes me and my hubby love to have this for a lazy sunday brunch along with a cup of tea and we are off to venture out.
Along with the basic ingredients, you can add green peas, potato slices, peanuts etc.

Kande Pohe
Kande Pohe

Kande Pohe - Recipe
Thick Beaten (Flattened) Rice / Jade Pohe - 2 cups
Onions - 1 cup chopped
Green Peas - 1/2 cup (optional)
Potato - 1 medium sized (optional)
Peanuts - 1-2 tablespoons (optional)
Green Chillies - 2-3 chopped
Curry leaves - 5-6 
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Sugar - 2-3 teaspoons
Oil - 1-2 tablespoons
Coriander leaves - few sprigs
Lemon  - 1
Fresh grated coconut - 1 -2 teaspoons (optional)

Kande Pohe
Kande Pohe
1. Wash pohe and drain all the water. Keep aside for 10-12 minutes. The pohe must become soft yet firm.
2. Meanwhile, finely chop 1 medium sized onion. If you are using potatoes, peel 1 medium sized one and make small slices. If using green peas, soak 1/2 a cup in hot salted water and then drain.
3. Heat oil in a pan / Kadhai, temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida powder.
4. Add curry leaves, green chillies, turmeric powder and onions and saute' until the onions are lightly browned.
5. Add the optional ingredients like green peas, potatoes, peanuts at this point. Mix well and make sure the potatoes and green peas are cooked well.
6. Add salt and sugar and mix well.
7. Add the pohe / beaten rice and mix well. Cover the pan for 5-7 minutes on a low heat. Keep stirring to make sure that the pohe don't stick to the pan.
8. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, fresh grated coconut and a small slice of lemon.
Enjoy with a cup of tea.

Kande Pohe
Kande Pohe

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chicken Jalfrezi

My mom and me are fans of hot and spicy food. Chicken Jalfrezi is one such hot spicy curry that we always love eating at the restaurants. Cooked with green chillies, capsicum, onions and tomatoes, this curry is sure to wake your senses up. It is equally tasty with rice and roti.

Chicken Jalfrezi

Chicken Jalfrezi - Recipe
Chicken - 1/2 Kg. of skinless boneless Chicken
Onions - 3/4 cup chopped and  3/4 cup cubed / sliced
Tomatoes - 1 cup pureed tomatoes and 1 cup thinly sliced
Green Peppers / Capsicum - 1 cup cubed
Green chillies - 4-5 vertically sliced
Ginger garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
Ginger - 2 teaspoons thinly sliced
Turmeric powder - 2 teaspoons
Red Chilli Powder - 2 teaspoons
Coriander Powder - 2 teaspoons
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons
Asafoetida powder - pinch
Oil - 2 tablespoons
Coriander leaves - for garnish

1. Marinate Chicken pieces with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste and salt.
2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and temper with 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds. Add a pinch of asafoetida powder.
3. Add 3/4 cup of chopped onions and 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste and saute' until the onions are slightly browned.
4. Add a cup of pureed tomatoes and saute'.
5. Add a teaspoon each of turmeric and red chilli powder and 2 teaspoons of coriander powder and mix well.
6. Add marinated chicken, mix well and a cup of water. Cover and cook until the chicken is done.
7. In a separate pan / tava, add a tablespoon of oil. Add to this 3/4 cup of cubed / thinly sliced onions, vertically sliced green chillies and 1/2 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste.
8. To the onions, add a cup of cubed green peppers / capsicum, 1/2 teaspoon each of turmeric and red chilli powder.
9. When the capsicum is cooked, add a cup of thinly sliced tomatoes and 2 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh ginger. Stir fry this on medium heat.
10. Add this mixture to the chicken and mix well. Garnish wtith coriander leaves.

Chicken Jalfrezi

Friday, March 15, 2013

Veggie Pasta (Spaghetti with baby corn, red and green pepper)

Yesterday, I got a panic call from a newly married friend, asking for a simple vegetarian recipe.  She has been a non-vegetarian all her life, until she fell in love with a vegan. It's been couple of weeks now, since they said their vows, so it's time for her to impress her in-laws and dear hubby. Before she got married, her every recipe had either fish or chicken or at least an egg in it. And now she is in a dilemma or in her words, 'These veggies scare the hell out of me'. Anyways, so my dear friend, here's a very simple quick Pasta recipe with veggies and homemade Pasta sauce for you to try.
Add or substitute any other veggies you like - Broccoli, Asparagus, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Spinach or Cherry Tomatoes. All these go well with this kind of Pasta sauce and Spaghetti.

Veggie Pasta
Veggie Pasta
Veggie Pasta - Recipe
Spaghetti - 1/4 pound (substitution - Linguine)
Tomatoes - 4 medium sized
Onions - 1 medium sized
Garlic - 3-4 cloves
Baby Corn - 1-2 cups (each cut into 3-4 pieces)
Green Pepper - 1 cup (chopped)
Red Pepper - 1 cup (chopped)
(Add any other veggies you like - Broccoli, Spinach, Cherry tomatoes, Asparagus, Zucchini, Mushrooms...)
Dried Oregano - 1 teaspoon
Dried Basil - 1 teaspoon
Parmesan Cheese - 1 tablespoon (grated)
Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon (I prefer fresh cracked pepper)
Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon

Spaghetti with baby corn, green and red pepper
Spaghetti with baby corn, green and red pepper

1. Fill a large pot of water and bring to a rolling boil. Add a teaspoon of salt to it.
2. Add the spaghetti. (don't worry, if the spaghetti does not immerse completely, it will go down as it becomes softer) Stir occasionally and cook (uncovered) until tender yet firm.
3. Meanwhile, finely chop an onion, 3-4 garlic cloves and 2 medium sized tomatoes. Make a paste of 2 remaining tomatoes. Chop the veggies - green and red pepper and baby corn or any other veggies, you have in your refrigerator. Keep these veggies chunkier than the tomatoes and onions.
4. Drain the pasta and reserve half a cup of pasta water.
5. Heat half a  tablespoon of Olive Oil in a pot. Add chopped garlic and onion and saute' until soft.
6. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and saute' until cooked.
7. Add oregano and basil.
8. Keep this sauce on the side. In the same pot, add half a tablespoon of olive oil and then add all the veggies. Cook all these veggies. Add the pasta water that we had set aside and then add the sauce back to the pot. Stir well.
9.  Add the Spaghetti and toss well.
10. Add parmesan cheese, pepper and salt and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes or until all the sauce is soaked in the pasta.

Veggie Pasta
Veggie Pasta

Monday, March 11, 2013

Seer Fish Fry

The aroma of fish frying in the kitchen marks the beginning of a weekend in my house. But once in a while, I like to make a boring week happy by frying some fish for dinner in the middle of the week. In my husband's words, 'The house smells like a Sunday on a boring Wednesday'.

Seer Fish Fry
Seer Fish Fry

Seer Fish Fry - Recipe
Seer Fish - 4 pieces
For marinade:
Garlic- 4-5 cloves
Green chillies - 2
Coriander leaves - handful
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Tamarind paste - 1/4 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1/2 teaspoon
For Coating:
Rice flour - 1/8 cup
Besan (gram flour) - 1/8 cup
Rava (Semolina) -  1/8 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Oil for frying.

1. Wash, clean and cut the fish into pieces almost 2 cms thick.
2. Make a paste of garlic cloves, green chillies and corainder leaves.
3. Marinate the fish with salt, lemon juice, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, tamarind and the above paste and set aside for half an hour.
4. Prepare the mixture for the coating by mixing equal quantities of rice flour, gram flour (besan) and semolina (rava). You can skip besan or rice flour, if you want but rava is an essential ingredient here, as it gives the fried fish, it's crispy outer cover.
5. Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and salt to this mixture and mix well.
6. Heat a pan or tava for the fish to be shallow fried. Add a couple of spoons of oil to the pan.
7. Take the marinated fish piece - 1 at a time and dip it in the flour mixture. Make sure that the fish is coated well from all the sides.
8. Shallow fry the pieces of marinated and coated fish on both sides until they are nice golden brown.
9. Sprinkle a dash of lemon and savor with chapati or rice or Masoor Khichadi.

Seer Fish Fry
Seer Fish Fry