Monday, April 20, 2015

Home Made Strawberry Jam with 3 Ingridients

Home Made Strawberry Jam with 3 Ingredients ( without Artificial Color/Flavors or Preservatives?

Who Doesn't Loves Jam?? Though I know there would be many who don't, but I am talking about majority.. :D

Before we Bid Adieu to yummy, juicy and flavorful Strawberries, I finally tried my first ever jamming process and the results were super Awesome. I have referred to the basic jam from ( Jam without Pectin)

Trust me there can be nothing better than home made jams, especially if you have kids at home and they love having a bread toast or parantha with jam, this home made easy version of Jam recipe is a blessing. I love this recipe even more for the fact tat it uses no preservatives no Food Colors. Yes, you read it right, A Home made Jam with goodness of Fresh Fruits and no artificial color or flavor and no preservatives too :)

With this first trial of Jam making I am literally loving the process of Jam making, and would be doing lot more of Jam making from now.. Its easy, its Natural, Its Healthy and Its Homemade.. We all want to eat such food right???

So lets begin with the Ingredients then Things required to make Jam and Finally the Process..

- 3 Cups of hulled and roughly chopped Strawberries
- 3 cups of Sugar
- 4 tbsp of Lime/lemon juice

Things required
- Masher to mash Strawberries
- a big bowl
- a big and heavy bottom Pan
- a wooden spoon or any other ladle/spoon
- very imp. sterilized bottled to store jam

1. Take a bowl and dump in the chopped strawberries in it.
2. using a masher, mash the strawberries nicely.
3. Now put the pan on high flame on the gas.
4. pour all the mashed?pureed strawberries in the pan.
5. Add lemon juice and sugar to the pan.
6. Continuously stir the mix till all the sugar is dissolved.
7. Once sugar is dissolved, let the mixture come to a boil on high flame.
8. once the mixture comes to a boil, put the flame on medium and let the mixture cook stirring every minute or so.
9. As the sugar caramelizes the jam will thicken up. On medium flame it will take anywhere between 8-10 minutes to cook the jam.

Ways to check if the jam is done
a. ) Drop Test- Take a spoon full of jam and drop it from little height, if its too runny you need to cook it more, if its taking little time to drop, that means jam is done.
b.)  Checking from back of the spoon/Ladle - when a spoon is dipped in jam mixture and you see the jam is sticking to the back of the spoon and not flowing back to the vessel immediately the jam is done.

10. by checking from any of the above methods, you can determine when the jam is cooked and needs no further heating.
11. Once cooked, turn of the flame and let the jam cool completely before you put it in jar.
12. Ensure to use ONLY STERILIZED BOTTLES to store the jam.

Enjoy this homemade jam over a toast, desserts, flat breads it will definitely satisfy your taste buds... :) :)

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Individual Serving Shahi Vegetable Casserole

Individual Serving Shahi Vegetable Casserole

In a recent food competition I was given a list of ingredient and challenge was to prepare a dish with those ingredients without using any other ingredients apart from basic ingredient like oil, onion garlic and seasoning ingredients.

I had an absolute peculiar list of ingredient which constituted:
-          Cashews
-          Fresh Mint Leaf
-          Cottage Cheese
-          Radish
-          Brinjal
-          Spring onion
-          And I was allowed to use some basic ingredients mentioned above.

After scratching my head and exploring hell lot of combinations, I decided to do a vegetable casserole with available content.  So I made these 4 layered Individual Serving Shahi Vegetable Casserole with layers of Tangy Radish Dip, Spicy Brinjal Fries, Spring Onion cooked in  Makhni Gravy ( creamy Cashew and Tomato Gravy) and top layered with toasted Cashew and Minty Masala Cottage Cheese/Paneer.

The Experiment was super successful, and the 4 bowls of Individual Serving that I made was gone in a glance. . J The best thing about this is you can serve it as Starter and main course too. Serve it with rice, parantha or naan, I am sure you will definitely please your guests..:)

Sharing how I made this super yummy and easy gorgeous looking vegetable casserole-

Ingredients Used
·         2 Radish Medium Sized
·         1 Medium Sized round Brinjal, Sliced as per the serving bowl
·         3-4 Spring Onion sticks Roughly chopped
·         100 Grams Cottage cheese
·         Approx. 25 Cashews
·         Mint Leaves 6-7
·         Oil 2 Tbsp
·         Salt to taste
·         Kashmiri red chilli powder 2 Tbsp
·         Tumeric powder 1//2 Tsp
·         Dry Mango/Amchoor powder ½ Tsp.
·         Onion 1 Medium size
·         Tomato 2 Medium Size
·         Garlic Paste 1 Tsp
·         Cumin Powder  ½ tsp
·         ¼ tsp mustard seeds
·         1 Tsp. garam Masala
·         1 Tbsp coriander powder
·         Few mint leaves to garnish
·         Few Diagonally cut  Spring onion for garnishing
·         1 tbsp of Chat Masala/Piri Piri seasoning

1.       For Radish Dip –
a.        In a pan , heat ½ tbps of oil
b.      Add mustard seeds and let splutter
c.       Add ½ roughly chopped onion and cook till light golden brown
d.      Once done, add roughly chopped radish and few tbsp of water.
e.      Cook covered, till radish is soft, this will take approx. 4-5 on medium flame.
f.        Once done, add salt to taste, ½ tbsp red chili powder.
g.       And grind till smooth paste in a grinder/blender
2.       For Makhni Gravy-
a.       In a pan heat ½ tbsp of oil
b.      Add roughly chopped remaining onion and tomatoes
c.       Add salt to taste along with 7-8 cashews
d.      Add few tbsp of water and cook covered, for 3-4 minutes on medium flame.
e.      Once done, in a grinder make smooth paste of the mix.
f.        In a pan heat few drops of oil and add this onion paste along with 1 tbsp of red chilli powder, ½ tsp of garam Masala, ½ tbsp of coriander powder and cook for another ¾ minutes on low flame.
g.       Add chopped spring onion and cook for another minute and turn off the flame.
3.       For Brinjal Fry
a.       Slice the brinjal not too thick nor too thin approx. ½ inch ( one bowl would need 2 slices, so you can slice accordingly)
b.      In a plate add Salt, Garam Masala, Coriander powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and Turmeric powder and mix well.
c.       In a pan heat 2 tbsp of oil and fry brinjal till tender and soft from both the sides
4.       For Minty cottage cheese and cashew crumble –
a.       In a grinder jar add the remaining Cashew and 2-3 tbsp of water and make a coarse paste
b.      To this ass crated cottage cheese and give a pulse or 2, just to make a homogeneous mixture.
c.       Add seasoning Masala and mix well

Assembling of Casserole
1.       Take a bowl, small glass
2.       Add a scoop/2 tbsp of radish dip followed by a slice of brinjal Fry
3.       Press it very gently to settle it
4.       Now add 2-3 tbsp of Makhni Gravy
5.       Add another slice of Brinjal Fry and again press very lightly
6.       At the end, add generous amount of Paneer crumble and microwave the bowl for 30 seconds.

Tada, your amazing bowl of yumminess is ready…

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cream of Spinach Soup

Cream of Spinach Soup

After the super success of my Tomato Soup,  I who was an absolutely non soup person promised My self to try more. And more soups.  What better can be a bowl of piping hot soup in winter evenings... :-)
My kiddo is an extremely fussy eater..  So me as mommy needs to every day find a new way to make him eat healthy food.  I made this spinach soup for the first time and we all loved it..  Yes,  my 1.5 year old kiddo loved it too... :-)
I searched and found many spinach soups on the internet but every soup had cornflour or APF used as thickening agent,  Which obviously I wasn't very keen in using..  So the trick of Tomato Soup worked here too... :-) ;-)
No Flour no corn Flour still thick, creamy and yummy soup... :-)
Ingredients ( Serves 3)
- 1 bunch of spinach. Approx.  2 cups of roughly chopped spinach leaves.
- salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/4 tsp.  Black pepper powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp fresh cream
- 1 medium sized potato (washed. And cubed)
-2-3 Garlic cloves
-1 medium sized onion
- 1 cup water
1. In a pan heat butter.
2. Add onion and saute till they sweat a little.  We do not want to cook them till brown.
3. Add chopped garlic And saute for another minute.
4. Now add,  Potato and cover the pan with lid.  And,  cook the Vegetable for 2 minutes.
5. Once done add,  chopped spinach along with a pinch of salt And 1 cup water.
6. Now let this mixture cook  for about 7-8 minutes in low flame.
7. Once done,  let the mixture cool.
8. Strain the mix,  and vegetable need to be grind ed in a grinder.  So not discard the water.  In fact u can use 2-3 Tbsp of this water to grind the veggies.
9. Now,  strain the vegetable puree thoroughly.  Make sure to take all the thick pulp And there will be very little residue to discard.
10. Now take a pan and add the water drained from step 8 along with spinach pulp. 
11. When this mix gets little warm,  add warm milk.  ( at this stage while adding milk,  ensure the milk is little warm. And not cold.  Else,  the milk will curdle in soup).
12. Bring the soup to boil and add Cream and mix well.
13. Add seasoning,  salt and black pepper powder.
14.Cook the soup till desired consistency is achieved. 
15. Turn off the flame, and Serve the soup hot garnish with/ without Cream or bread croutons on the top.
For me,  this soup will be a regular affair.. As this was I can feed spinach to family and myself... :-) :-)

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