Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A day at Museum

Yesterday lilA's daycare was closed due to President's Day. I too took a day off and stayed with her. We woke up a little late than usual. Instantly I felt good as I saw the bright sunlight flooding our apartment. It was very sunny compared to this time of the year. I decided to bake something. I am not at all good at baking but was planning to make this garlic-cheese pull apart rolls (recipe here http://www.cookingandme.com/2010/11/garlic-pull-apart-rolls-recipe-step-by.html ) as soon as I saw it. It looked so appealing to me.  So I decided to bake it today to make both mother and daughter happy. 

Here are the different steps. I started with 1.5 cup of all-purpose flour and used butter, garlic, thyme and coriander as a filling along with mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

I baked it for 35 minutes at 375F. It looked like this. Towards the end I sprinkled the cheese mixture on top.

It was so sunny yesterday that while baking I decided that instead of sitting in the house, lets go to a museum. I actually wanted to have fun outdoor but could not because it was very cold and chilly. So off we went to Natural History Museum some 3 miles away from where I live. 

Lil A said "tirap" when she saw giraffe, and most of the other animals were "dog" to her, even the zebra. Skeleton of dino was also a "dog" to her. But she knows tiger, lion and elephant and identified them.
LilA really enjoyed a lot. She was very happy and giggly. She was happy doing the puzzles and reading the books.

She played in the discovery center and even made friends. 

We spend the entire afternoon having fun and came home to wonderful smell of baked garlic-cheese pull apart rolls (Yes, I did bake it before we left). The rolls tasted so good.

And most important, my lil one was so happy that she ate the rolls without any fuss.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gota Sheddo

Growing up I never had gota sheddo, or at least not as a part of Saraswati Puja, the puja of Goddess of Learning. This I later came to know is a ghoti tradition, and being bangal I never got a chance to eat gota sheddo. Much later I had gota sheddo once at a friend's house and I really liked it. So, this year when I decided to do gota sheddo, I had no clue of where to start. All I know is that it consists of few whole or "gota" vegetables  and boiled with dal. So I called both my mother and mother-in-law to help me out. And then I made a version of mine (Neither my mother or mother-in-law ever made it themselves, so what they said was from their friend's version). So, here you go.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes


Green moong dal- 1/2 cup
Matar dal- 1/4 cup
Baby red potatoes-5
Small raddishes-4-5
Green Beans-10-12
Peas with pods-10-12
Green chillies-2-3
Mustard oil- 2tbsp
Salt and sugar to taste

Wash and soak the dal for 15-30 minutes.
Wash the vegetables and keep it whole with skin on.

Put everything in a pot and cover it up with water. Start to cook in low medium heat.

Add salt and sugar to taste. You can also add ginger paste (1 tsp) to it. But I didn't add ginger as it is supposed to be niramish. It looks like this when almost cooked.

When the dal and vegetables get cooked, do a taste-test and drizzle the mustard oil on the top.

The gota sheddo turned out to be really nice. Instead of eating the next day with bashi bhaat, we ate it with garam bhath and totally loved it.

I am going to make this gota sheddo more often now, what about you?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Minced Chicken Ball Curry a.k.a. Kofta Curry

Have you ever got tired of eating keema curry out of minced meat. No!!! then you are a one lucky girl. Trust me, last week when the husband brought chicken keema from grocery, I was like, please give me a break. All I did for past few months with ground meat was to make a keema curry and now got so bored up. So, I wanted to try something new but has to be easy. I liked the Kofta curry recipe from Bong Mom Cookbook, http://www.bongcookbook.com/2009/06/kofta-curry-and-then.html and wanted to give it a try. Trust me, it is not that difficult and time consuming as it looks. I followed the recipe with few modifications, actually I meant more short cuts. But it turned out to be real delight. So go ahead and give it a try.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes


Minced or Ground Chicken - 1lb
Onion- 2 medium coarsely chopped
Tomato-1 medium chopped
Ginger and garlic paste- 2 tbsp
Cashews- 10-12 (Ground to powder)
Garam masala powder- 1 tsp
Cilantro- small bunch chopped
Green Chillies- 4-5 (finely chopped)

How to make it

Mix the chicken with onions, ginger-garlic paste (1 tbsp), cashew powder, garam masala powder (1 tsp), cumin powder (1 tsp), coriander powder (1 tsp) and half of the chopped green chillies and mix well. Make balls out of it (I did 20 balls). Leave it for about an hour.

Heat oil in a pan and temper it with dry red chilli, whole garam masala, add the onions and fry till transluscent. Add the chopped tomatoes, saute for a minute, add turmeric (1/2 tsp), cumin powder (1tsp),  add the remaining ginger - garlic paste (I grated it directly into the pan). Saute for few minutes. (I was in real rush so I did not make the paste of spices in yogurt, you can do it. But it tasted good nonetheless).

Add 1 cup of milk+ 1 cup of water to the mix. Bring it to boil and then let it simmer. Add the koftas or meat balls and let it simmer for 8 -10 minutes. (Again, I did not fry the balls but I don't think the taste was compromised. It tasted really well. Also, without frying you can make it a tad more healthy).

Add salt to taste and a bit of sugar. Towards the end of the 8-10 minutes cooking time, add the chopped cilantro. The gravy I made was little runny, but if you want to make it more thick, you can remove the meatballs at this point and reduce the gravy to your desired consistency. It will look like this. 

Cover the pan and let the steam settle in.

Enjoy your delicious yet simple kofta curry with pulao, naan or roti. I had mine with white rice and it was a total bliss for a saturday lunch. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bread Pizza

These days I start to get stressed out  as the dinner time comes closer. As I sit down everyday with my cup of afternoon coffee (must have) I start to think what to make for dinner so that we can have a peaceful eating time. All because of lil A who is turning into a fussy and picky eater. Something that she loves today turns into an absolute no-no the next day. So I am in constant search for easy and nutritious recipe to feed my 18-month old. I came across the recipe of bread pizza and decided to give it a try. Every recipe that I saw used either white or brown bread for pizza base but I choose to use pita breads. Bread pizza turned out really well and can be made for an easy evening snacks too. Whether lil A liked it or not is a whole another story.

Preparation time: 12 minutes
Cooking time: 20 - 25 minutes

Ingredients: (Makes 6)

Mini Pita Bread: 6
Ricotta cheese- 5 tablespoon
Shredded mix of mozzarella and american cheese- 1 cup
Green Pepper-1
Yellow Pepper-1
Red Onion- Cut into slices

Spread ricotta cheese on the pita bread and toast the other side slightly on a pan. (You can avoid the toasting part if you like).

Cut the peach and peppers in slices, and the grapes in halves. You can add any vegetables or fruits of your choice. Roast the fruits and vegetables in oven for 10-12 minutes. It will look like this. Then cut them into bite sized pieces.

Add tomato ketchup on top of the ricotta cheese spread and then add these vegetables and fruits. Top it up with a generous amount of mozzarella and american shredded cheese. They look like this before they go into the oven.

Bake the pizzas for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese melts and spread at 375F. 

The delicious and yummy bread pizza is ready to eat.