Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vanishing act with the Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Eggless)

All, thanks for the support for my disastrous day last week. Well my Nanny is back and life is back to normal. I am posting this sweet post to announce my short trip home. I am so excited - 2 weeks in India after full 2 years. I also have a cousin's marriage to attend too, so it is a super duper exciting time for me. This will be the 1st Indian marriage my daughter will attend and she is so excited, all plans being made about Mehndi and jewelery and dresses and lehngas. I wonder what all I have to worry about when it is her turn!

So to celebrate my shorting vanishing act from this blogoshere, here are these yummy vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. You can find the original recipe here. I got the recipe from the lid of the Oatmeal box and I have tried it several times. The key change to the original recipe is that I didn't use eggs and instead some milk and it still turned out yum. It was my son's idea to add the M&Ms. My son eats it hot off the oven.  My daughter who neither likes the raisins nor the oatmeal loves this cookie too...


1/2  cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
3/4  cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2  cup granulated sugar
1  cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
2  teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2  cups old fashioned Oats
1  cup of raisins
few M&Ms
1/2 cup milk

How To

Heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, mix butter and sugars well until creamy.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
If the mixture is too stiff, add milk. I added about 1/2 cup milk.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake  10 - 12 minutes or until light golden brown.
Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; add the M&Ms if you want and bake for 1 extra minute.
Remove from oven and cool completely.

Enjoy the cookies hot off the oven with a nice cup of tea!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Comfort Food - Aloo Bharta with Curd Rice

It was one of the days when you feel you have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. I was already late to drop my daughter to school, when my Nanny said she was feeling really unwell and needed to take off. I called the backup care and there was no slot available. And of course I had back to back calls from 9 AM. Hubby had already left for work and was 2 hrs away, so there was no point asking him to come back. Frantically called back the daycare and pleaded and called the boss left him a message, then daycare guys call back and agree to take him in in. I quickly get my son ready and the nanny ready and drop them all off and attend few meetings, when I get a call from the daycare. They had beef in the menu, and so I had to get him something else for lunch. So I picked him, fed him lunch and when I  was dropping him off again, he throws up - on me! I guess you get the thread of the story - yes it pretty much  was a stressful day for me. Finally at 3, I have to leave to get home in time to pick up my daughter from school.

While kids played, the focus shifted to food and I needed some comfort food. I had food in the refrigerator from the weekend, but no that wouldn't work. I needed something different. So thats when I made this ultimate comfort food, Curd rice and Aloo Bharta (Mashed potatoes - I guess!)
You must be thinking that she is crazy to have clicked pictures when the day was so crazy. The pictures were taken earlier, when the day was not so crazy but the food was the same.

So enjoy the food and wish that I remember to get off the bed on the correct side next time...

There is not much to these recipes, they are more of comfort food. Make sure you add enough salt and don't burn the seasonings and it tastes good...

Ingredients for the Aloo Bharta (Mashed potatoes)
2-3 large potatoes boiled with the skin
2-3 green chillies chopped finely
1 large onion chopped
spoonful of punch phutan
1 tea spoon of mustard oil
Salt to taste

How To
Peel the skin of the potatoes and mash well.
Take the oil in a pan and heat well. (use regular oil if you like. I like mine in mustard oil)
Add the panch phutan and chillies and onions. Mix well.
Add the potatoes and the salt and mix well.

Serve hot with cold yogurt rice - yum!

Ingredients for the curd rice
1 cup of Cooked rice
1/2 cup yogurt
1/4 inch of ginger - grated
few green chilies
1 tea spoon of oil
handful of curry leaves
1 tea spoon of mustard seeds
Salt to taste

How To
Beat the yogurt with salt and then mix well with rice.
Take a small pan. Heat oil in it. Add mustard seed, curry leaves, green chillies and grated ginger.

Pour on the rice and serve!

Enjoy my comfort food and tell me about yours....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lau Pachadi

When I was growing up, there were quite a few vegetables that I ran from. Lau (or Bottle Gourd) was on the top of the list. Then I had radish and green papaya and plantain and bitter gourd. Over the years I have developed a taste for most of the vegetables. But I still can't eat Lau or karela (bitter gourd). Of course my mom has ways of sneaking in these vegetables into my mouth and this preperation is one of them. She made this when she was here and I ate it heartily until she said it was made of Lau... Too late I had already said it was yummy!

And while I dislike Lau, my husband loves it. So we have quite a few preparations of Lau at home. This lau pachadi is a quick win for both of us.

Lau peeled and then grated - about 2 cups
1 cup of yogurt
1 tea spoon of mustard seeds
2-3 green chilies
handful of curry leaves
1 inch of ginger grated
salt to taste
1 tea spoon of oil

How To
Take the bottle gourd peel the skin and grate it to get about 2 cups.
Take a pan and heat oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, green chilies, grated ginger and the curry leaves.
Mix well and add the bottle gourd and salt and cover and cook for 7-8 minutes until the water from the lau evaporates.
Take off the heat, add the yogurt and some water and serve.

This goes well with rice and lasts well in the refrigerator.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kancha Kadali bhaja or plantain fry

Plantain Fry or Kancha (unripe) Kadali bhaja in Oriya is one more in the back to basics series like the 'Muga Lau Dalma'. Again it is super easy to prepare and can be done very easily within 1/2 hr and with very less ingredients. The key here is not too over cook the plantain, else you have a nice mashed plantain dish.

Plantain is a dish that you need to develop taste for. As a kid I ate it in disguised forms like in cutlets. But slowly over time I have started enjoying it.

2-3 Green Plantain cut into round slices
Red chillies
Punch Phutan
Salt to taste
1 tea spoon of Turmeric powder
1 table spoon of Oil

How To
Boil the plantain in a water and salt and turmeric powder for 10 minutes. Keep an eye, so that plantain is nearly cooked through. This process helps make the cooking faster and allows the dish to use less oil.
Throw the extra water out or use in curries, it has loads of vitamins.
Take another pan. Heat oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add red chillies and punch phutan and the plantains.
Fry for 2-3 minutes to brown the edges and you are done!

Isn't this a life saver in terms of time ? If you don't like plantain, you can cook potatoes in the same way too - uses much less oil.

On another note, the picture in the background is a Patachitra painting from Orissa. These painting are done on special cloth called "Pata" and usually depict Krishna leelas and other folk stories.