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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Blackberry Cobbler

Call me weird but I don't like to eat berries unless they are in some form of a baked dish. Strawberries are an exception though. My share of sweet blackberries were lying in the refrigerator and a one minute online search landed me at 'Food Network' site which featured this baked berry dessert recipe. It captivated my attention immediately as it is an easy breezy kind of recipe besides being made with the every day ingredients found in most of the kitchens.
This is not a biscuit based cobbler but the batter based one, perfect for lazy bodies like me. It is a great recipe to try when looking for ways to enjoy the summer's berry bounty. All it takes is a few minutes to mix the batter, dump the berries and stick it in the oven. In case if you don't have berries on hand, other fruits such as peaches, apples and others will work fine. This is a no fuss dessert made with minimal efforts and great results. One ends up with a beautiful cake like consistency at the bottom and slightly crispy top with fruit embedded in between. A perfect dessert to prepare on a lazy day. I had to scale down the recipe since I didn't have the required amount of berries on hand. 

Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes
Baking time: 1 hour
1 cup self raising flour or 1 cup all purpose flour + 1.5 tsp. baking powder + 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup + 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp. sugar (divided)
1 cup milk (Non-dairy milk can be substituted.)
1/2 stick or 1/4 cup butter, melted + extra for greasing the pan
2 cups fresh blackberries (Frozen ones can be substituted.)

* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Grease a 3 quart baking dish with butter.
* Rinse the berries and pat them dry.
* Whisk self rising flour, 1 cup sugar and milk in a mixing bowl. Add melted butter next and whisk to combine.
* Pour the batter into the baking dish and sprinkle the berries uniformly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup sugar over the berries.
* Bake until bubbly and golden brown, about an hour. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp. sugar when 10 minutes of the baking time remains.
* Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

It goes to Bakeathon  and Blogging Marathon #95 under the theme 'Meal Time Dishes' events.


Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Mixed Millet and Lentil Kadambam

This dish is one of my favorite one pot meals and gets made very frequently in my kitchen. At least twice a week, I should say. Kadambam is a flavorful, spicy and wholesome meal from Tamilnadu, prepared with a medley rice, lentils and vegetables. When I started to incorporate millets into our diet, the first thing I did was converting all one pot rice meals that were being cooked in my kitchen to millet based dishes. No surprise, this one among those is being made again and again for the ease and comfort apart from it being a tasty meal on it's own. 

The kadambam can be cooked with a single variety millet and pigeon peas. This can be pressure cooked for a quicker version and I do so when I am using toor dal aka pigeon peas to cook it faster. I choose to go with masoor dal if I am cooking in a pot over stove-top since the dal cooks in around 20 minutes. The same time it takes for the millet and the vegetables to cook. This dish takes around 30 minutes to go from stove to plate even if pressure cooker is not used.

In this recipe I used a combination of millets and lentils. I used proso millet, barnyard millet and kodo millet. I used toor dal (pigeon peas), moong dal (yellow lentils) and masoor dal (red lentils). Any combination of vegetables that hold shape while pressure cooked can be used here. Sometimes I add a bit of jaggery too to the kadambam. The sambhar powder, tamarind and chili powder quantities I mentioned below can be taken as guidelines since the potency varies from one variety to another one when it comes to those ingredients and we eat somewhat on the spicier side. Taste and adjust the quantities according to one's preferences.

Ingredients: (4 servings)
1/2 cup mixed millets
1/2 cup mixed lentils
1/4 cup peanuts (optional)
1 onion, peeled and diced (optional) 
2 tomatoes, chopped 
3 cups chopped mixed vegetables (1 used 1 big sized potato - cubed, 2 carrots - peeled and cubed, 20 green beans - cut into 1 inch pieces and peas. Vegetables like drumsticks, brinjals can also be used.)
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
Salt to taste (I used about 1.5 tsp. salt.)
1 to 2 tbsp. sambhar powder (The quantity depends upon how spicy and strongly flavored the sambhar powder is. I used homemade sambhar powder.)
About 2 tbsp. thickly extracted fresh tamarind puree
2 tsp. mild chili powder
2 tbsp. ghee and/or oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds (optional)
10 - 15 curry leaves
 2 pinches of asafoetida powder

* Wash lentils and millets in two exchanges of water and drain. Add millets, lentils, peanuts, vegetables, turmeric powder and 2 cups of water to a 3 ltr. pressure cooker directly or to a container that fits into a big pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 3 whistles and turn off the stove.
* When the valve pressure is gone, remove the lid and add salt, sambhar powder, tamarind puree, chili powder and 3 cups of water to the millet - lentil mixture. Bring the mixture to a boil. Taste and adjust the seasonings if preferred. Also add water if it appears too thick. Please note that the kadambam thickens once it cools down.
* If using a pot to cook kadambam, follow the same procedure but keep adding the water as needed.   
* Heat ghee / oil in a small pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds start to sizzle and pop, add curry leaves and asafoetida to the pan and turn off the stove. Add it to the kadambam and stir well to combine.
* Serve warm with papad / chips.
This post goes to Blogging marathon and check out the page to read what other marathoners are cooking.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Eggless Applesauce - Oatmeal Bread

This applesauce based bread is one delicious, moist and flavor filled one that can be served as a breakfast or brunch item or even as a dessert if you ask me. Even after cutting the sugar by half from the original recipe, this quick bread tastes really awesome and is filled with the goodness of oats, wheat, apple, dry fruits and nuts. I got to clear one more bookmarked recipe from KAF with this bread and it was rich and yummy even after making substitutions and omissions to suit my preferences. 

2 flax eggs*
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole white wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon*
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 cup sugar*
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1.5 tsp. vanilla or boiled cider
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce* 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts*

* The changes I made:
I substituted eggs with flax eggs. 
The original recipe used a cup of sugar. I used half of it and it was still perfectly on the sweet side.
I substituted all purpose flour for wheat flour.
The original recipe has 1.5 tsp. ground cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. nutmeg as well which I left out.
I used homemade applesauce that was prepared with about 3 apples and increased it's quantity from 3/4 to 1 cup.
I added  sweetened dried cranberries and raisins along with walnuts.

* Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Lightly grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. (The specified loaf pan is bigger for this bread and the loaf filled about 2/3rd of the pan.)
* Combine 2 tbsp. flaxmeal and 6 tbsp. warm water in a mixing bowl and keep it aside for about five minutes. Then add sugar, oil and vanilla to the flax eggs and mix well.
* Combine flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder. cinnamon, all spice, and nutmeg (if using) in another bowl. 
* Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix in the rolled oats, applesauce and walnuts. 
* Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake it until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes.
* Remove the bread from the oven and let cool.
* The bread can be stored well wrapped at room temperature for few days or can be frozen for later use.

It goes to Bakeathon  and Blogging Marathon events.


Friday, December 7, 2018

Eggless Zucchini Cranberry Scones

These zucchini based scones are inspired from KAF website and can be a great addition to your tea time / breakfast / brunch table. They are quite easy to make and quick to put together like any other scone recipe and a good one to try when one needs to put that zucchini in surplus to use. Zucchini adds moisture to the otherwise dry dough and the cranberries add a pop of color along with that welcoming sweet - tart flavor. The recipe yields tender and flavorful scones. Double the recipe for big sized scones or make rounds using tablespoon scoop if smaller scones are preferred. The smaller scones may take less baking time and check them around 12 to 15 minutes into baking.

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 flax egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 to 4 tbsp. milk (I added 1/4 cup.)

* Combine 1 tbsp. flaxseed meal and 3 tbsp. water in a small bowl and keep aside.
* Peel and grate zucchini.
* (I usually) Freeze the required amount of butter beforehand and then grate it while mixing the ingredients. If not using the frozen butter, cut the cold butter until it's the size of peas.

* Preheat the oven to 400 deg F / 200 deg C. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a greased aluminum foil or grease the moulds of a scone pan.
* Whisk together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Add the butter that is grated or cut into small bits and stir in the dried cranberries. Next add the zucchini and the lemon zest but don't stir them yet.
* Whisk the flax egg, vanilla and milk in another small bowl. Add it to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough is moistened. The dough will appear quite dry at first but zucchini will start to release water as you keep stirring.
* Stop stirring when the dough starts to hold together. Scoop it onto the prepared baking sheet and gently pat it into a circle of about 1/2 inch thick or scoop into the greased wells of a scone pan.
* Cut the dough wedges into 8 wedges. 
* Bake the scones until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean, about 22 to 25 minutes. 
* Remove the scones from the oven and serve them warm. 

These scones go to Bakeathon event.