Monday, September 25, 2006

Oatmeal Raisin Pistachio Scones

Oatmeal Raisin Pistachio Scones
Ever since our last visit to the doctor, we have made a conscious effort to analyse our food habits and the result was an even more conscious effort to cut down on cholesterol rich and sugary foods. Since then, whenever I wanted to bake, I found myself hunting for recipes which don't require much sugar or butter. Even if a recipe calls for such forbidden ingredients, I have been reaching out for healthy ones.

Last weekend, on a regular visit to the library, I chanced upon one such recipe in a cookbook. I did tweak it a bit to suit my restrictions or rather resolutions, but the end result was great. The recipe is for a scone. Scone as per the dictionary is a small biscuit, a type of quick bread. My brush with scones was through Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series 'A Pocket Full of Rye', where young Adelle Fortescue is discovered dead over a meal of scones and honey.

Let me cut short the story and get to the recipe...

Oatmeal Raisin Pistachio Scones:

All Purpose Flour - 1 Cup
Quick cooking Oats - 1 Cup
Brown Sugar - 3 Tbsp
Cinnamon Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Baking Powder - 11/2 Teaspoons
Milk - 1/4 Cup
Egg Whites - 2
Oil or Butter - 1/3 Cup
Raisins - 1/4 to 1/2 Cup
Chopped Pistachios - 1/4 Cup

Mix all purpose flour + baking powder + cinnamon powder. To it, add brown sugar and oats. Next add the oil or butter and bring the mixture to a crumbly state. To this, add raisins and pistachios. Beat the egg whites and milk together in a separate bowl. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix just until all the ingredients are combined. Do not knead.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and pat the dough into a 7 inch circle. Using a knife, cut into 12 wedges/triangles. Or you could use some unwaxed dental floss to get a neat cut. The dough tends to be a little sticky. If using a knife, flour the knife before using. Brush a little milk on each of the 12 wedges.

Transfer the wedges to an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 400 degree Fahrenheit or until the scones turn golden brown. My oven took 20 minutes to bake the scones.

Instead of raisins and pistachios, any dry fruit or nut can be used. Scones can be eaten as such or could be had with honey, butter or jam. They are a good accompaniment for tea.
Hope you enjoy your tea! :-)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Besan Dosa & Coriander Chutney - Kothamalli Chutney

Besan Dosa With Coriander Chutney
Yesterday, our dinner was Besan dosa with coriander chutney. Coriander chutney is a favorite of mine and was very often made at home. Besan dosa was something which I found in a weekly long time back, didn't give a try till yesterday. Together they made a good combination. These dosas are to be made a little thicker than normal dosas. Hope you like them too...

Another version of Besan Dosa can be found at Revathi's Blog.

Let me get to the recipe:

Besan Dosa:

Ingredients:

Besan Flour - 1 Cup
Wheat Flour - 1/2 Cup
Sour Curd - 1 Tbsp
Ginger Paste - 1 Tsp
Salt - As per taste
Chilli Powder - 2 Tsps or Green Chillies - 5 (Finely Chopped)

Mix everything together with enough water to attain a dosa consistency batter. I used around 1 1/4 cup water. Pour a little thicker than normal dosas. Serve with coriander chutney.

Coriander Chutney:

Ingredients:

Coriander - 1 Bunch
Jeera - a little
Onion - 1 medium
Garlic flakes - 3 medium
Tamarind - A little bigger than a gooseberry size
Salt - As per taste

Chop the onion into big pieces. Slice the garlic. Fry coriander, onion and garlic seperately in oil. Fry till onion and garlic turn light brown and the coriander is wilted. Grind everything together with tamarind, jeera and salt. Coriander Chutney is ready.
Addendum: I forgot to mention dry red chillies in the recipe. Dry red chillies ( 2 or 3) are to be fried in oil and added to the rest of the ingredients during the grinding process.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jeera Chutney - Jeeraga Chutney - Jelakara Chutney

Jeera Chutney
One of my friends was down with a severe bout of indigestion. I came to know if it pretty late, after about 10 days and she was still not ok. In an effort to bring her back to normalcy, I made Jeera Chutney.

In my family, I was the one who was prone to indigestion troubles. It would start with a mild stomach pain and go on to fever... The first thing my mom used to make during these days was Jeera Chutney. Jeera chutney along with soft white idlies used to taste like amrutham! And jeera chutney is much better than bitter kashayams... It aids in digestion, is easy on the stomach and definitely tastes good...

Recipe:

Jeera - 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Onion - 1 + 3/4 of a medium onion
Garlic - 2 medium flakes
Dry Red Chillies - 4
Dhaniya Seeds- 2 teaspoons
Tamarind - 1 lime sized ball
Curry Leaves - 6 to 7
Salt - As per taste

Heat the jeera lightly. Roast red chillies and dhaniya seperately. Fry onion and garlic in a little oil. Grind everything together with tamarind, curry leaves and salt.
Jeera tends to become bitter when roasted for a long time. So, just heat it lightly. I tend to use a bit more tamarind in this recipe. Adjust the quantity of tamarind according to your taste.

Meme Time : About Me...

Beauty At Its Best
First, my thanks to Nandita of Saffron Trail for tagging me for this meme... It has been quite some time, since I wrote a post and I felt this would be a good one to start with... This meme did force me to do some soul searching...Hope you would enjoy reading this insight into my mind, as much as I enjoyed writing it...

I am thinking about tomorrow and what it will bring with it....

I said to myself I would keep the house clutter free...Am still trying to do it...

I want to learn classical music, all my grandma's recipes, write a book, open a restaurant, start a s/w business, do my higher studies...the list is endless...

I wish I could have a little more patience, a little more energy to do all the things I want to...

I regret nothing...really nothing...I believe that whatever is bound to happen will happen...

I hear A.R.Rahman's magical touch in the latest Tamil movie..It warms my heart, calms my mind and takes me on a beautiful dream...

I dance with my dearest hubby...

I am with my hands designing a s/w solution, cooking my hubby's favorite recipes, crocheting a shawl for my mom, writing about things which touch my heart, watering my plants, cleaning my house....so on and on and on...

I sing all the time and my people don't seem to mind...

I cry when I am hurt and angry and out of sheer frustration...

I am not a calm and quiet person as I seem to be :-)

I write when I am happy and sad, when I am hurt and confused and when I have to..

I confuse my sister and my parents... :-) And of late, my husband..

I need lots of affection and moral support and by God's grace, I have people who really love me....

I value my culture, heritage, traditions and my personal space..

I think of God and count my blessings everyday...

I hope to become a writer someday...

I laugh at myself when I lose my temper over silly things...

I tag Indira, Balaji and Shilpa...

Friday, September 01, 2006

Nutty Delight

Nutty Delight

When Vineela of Vineela's Cooking announced the topic for JFI#5 - Milk, I was delighted and went off on a trip down memory lane reliving all my "milkilicious" memories...! This is my entry to the event.

I love milk...I really love milk. My mom used to say that even as a child, when kids my age made their moms run after them to make them gulp down a glass a milk, I would finish mine and ask for more !! Even my little sister would drink milk only if a couple of drops of coffee is added to it. Quite funny, isn't? Well, my love for milk continued well through adulthood and I realise that I play a very important part in emptying the gallons of milk in our refrigerator!

Back home, plain milk had quite a good flavor. But I somehow do not like the milk which we get here. So, I have to mix it with something like Complan, Horlicks, Rose Syrup and anything which would add some flavor.

Coming to today's recipe, this is a beverage I make quite often, when I get fed up with the store bought products. It's a refreshing and maybe a little heavy drink, given the fact that lots of nuts go into its making.

Let me get to the recipe:

Milk - 1 Tall glass - Approximately 450 ml

Broken Cashew Nuts - 3 Tablespoons
Blanched Almonds - 6
Raisins - 1 Tablespoon
Pitted Dates - 4

Vanilla Extract or Almond Extract (Optional) - 1/4 Teaspoon

Except the milk and the extracts, grind the rest of the ingredients to a fine paste, adding a little milk. Mix this paste with the rest of the milk. Chill and serve.

The vanilla or almond extract is optional. Instead a little cardamom powder can be used. Added to the cashews and almonds, pistachios can also be used.