Like most of the girls, I dint cook much before my wedding. And after I got married, I had to move to the US with my husband. In order to help the son-in-law, my mom wrote a few ‘must-know’ recipes in a notebook and gave it to me. And one such ‘must-know’ recipes in that recipe book was this Tomato Sambar. This sambar was one of my favorites from my childhood. This goes awesomely well with Idli and Dosa. And the flavor gets enhanced even more with a few drops of ghee. This sambar will be in our menu atleast twice a week, either for idli or dosa. And whenever I make this sambar, I get to think of those days of my childhood.
Serves : 2
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
- Chana dal – 1 tsp
- Urad dal – 1 tsp
- Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
- Red Chillies – 3 nos.
- Grated coconut – 2 Tbsp
- Roasted gram – 2 Tbsp
- Tomato, roughly chopped – 3 nos.
- Onion, finely chopped – 1 no.
- Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
- Green Chillies, split lengthwise – 2 nos.
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Oil – 1 ½ Tbsp
- Salt – to taste
- Water, as required.
- Coriander leaves, to garnish.
- Heat a pan and add ½ tbsp of oil and roast chana dal, urad dal, coriander seeds and red chillies for two minutes and transfer to a mixer jar. Add the coconut and roasted gram to this and grind well. Then add the roughly chopped tomatoes to this mixture and grind to a smooth paste. Sprinkle water in between grinding if needed. Set this mixture aside.
- Add a tbsp of oil in a heated pan and add ½ tsp of mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the green chillies and saute for few seconds.
- Add the finely chopped onions and saute, till they are soft and moist.
- Now add the tomato/coconut puree, turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
- Add the required amount of water to bring it to a sambar consistency (about 1½ cups).
- Cook covered on medium heat for about 10 mins or until the raw smell of the tomato/coconut puree is gone.
- Adjust salt or water at this point and boil for 3 more mins.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot, with idlis or dosas.
This week is crazy busy at work. And I had to do something to relax myself and to keep it going for the rest of the week. And the immediate thing that came to mind was baking. It is definitely my stress buster and makes me happy. So I browsed my notes to check for some recipes, I had been wanting to try out. And I found the recipe for Snickerdoodles cookies, that I noted down from a youtube video from Dzung of Honeysucklecatering. These are so easy to do. My little peanut tasted the very first cookie, and she seemed to enjoy it. I saved a few cookies for her and sent the rest of them with my husband to share it with his lunch bunch at work. But looks like he couldn’t resist opening them during their coffee break and the box was empty in no time. I hope you guys like them too 🙂
Recipe : Honeysucklecatering
Yield : 12 – 14 cookies
Prep Time : 12 – 15 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
For the dough:
- 1 1/3 cup of flour
- 1 stick butter (room temperature)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup of granulated white sugar
- 1 tsp cream of tartar (This keeps the cookies moist and fluffy)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt (I used regular salt)
For the coating:
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- Beat the flour, egg, butter and vanilla extract using an electric/hand mixer.
- Whisk the rest of the dry ingredients for the dough together in a separate bowl.
- Now mix the dry ingredients and the flour/butter mixture together until well combined.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In another small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon together, for the coating.
- Line a cookie/baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take the cookie dough and roll them into 1 inch round balls and coat them with the sugar/cinnamon mixture.
- And place them in the lined baking sheet 3 inches apart.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 8 – 10 mins.
- Do not over bake them.
- Take them out and let it cool for about 5 mins.
The cookies should be puffy and chewy, with their signature cracks on top.
Breakfast is the best way to kick start your body’s metabolism. We usually try not to skip breakfast. But who has time to prepare breakfast on weekday mornings? So we try to keep it simple and healthy at the same time. Smoothies are always our go-to breakfast choice next to eggs and cereals 🙂 Here is my version of Very-Berry Smoothie that can be quickly whipped up on a busy morning.
Yields: 2 glasses
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cooking Time: 2 mins
You can use your choice of berries as well.
- Almond Milk (or any milk of your choice) – 1 cup
- Quick Oats, powdered – ½ cup
- ½ a frozen Banana, cut into small pieces
- Blueberries – ½ cup
- Strawberries – ½ cup
- Honey – 1 tbsp (or sugar or any substitute for sugar)
- Water – ½ cup
Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend approximately for 45 seconds or till everything is well combined and smooth.
Yesterday, after my step class, I returned home very tired. No energy to cook, but was very hungry. And so was TheDad. And he already took care of feeding Peanut and tugging her to bed. And I wanted something good, healthy and at the same time easy to make. So I quickly checked my ‘to-try’ bookmarks and guess what ? I seemed to have saved a very easy recipe, for times like this. Who can say no to Dosa, when it is healthy and instant? I decided, Instant Oats Dosa it is !! As the name says, its quick and easy to make. I hope you guys try and enjoy it !! Perfect for those lazy days 🙂
Instant Oats Dosa
Adapted from: Rak’s Kitchen
Yield: 6 to 8 Dosas
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time : 5 mins
Quick/Instant Oats – 3/4 cup
Rice Flour – 1/3 cup
Wheat Flour – 1/4 cup
Onion, chopped – 1
Green chillies, chopped – 1
Ginger, chopped – 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
Black Pepper, powdered or whole – 1 tsp
Coriander leaves, chopped – 2 tsp (optional)
Salt – to taste
Water – as required.
- Mix all the ingredients well, except water.
- Add water to this mixture until you get a nice thin batter.
- You could reduce the amount of water if you want thicker and soft dosas.
- Pour the batter on a heated griddle/pan to make crisp and thin Dosas.
Serve hot with Chutney or Sambar.
Last Christmas (2012) my community activities director organized a cookie exchange party for us. I was very excited when I saw that email from her, and immediately signed up for the fun of it and in the anticipation of meeting my neighbors. And when it comes to cookies, Martha Stewart is always the lady to go to, at least for me. I love how simple her directions are. And if you follow them exactly, you will never fail. Her website is full of gorgeous pictures. You just cant avoid clicking on the next button on her site. While I was doing just that on the cookies gallery, I found these cute lil cookies. The caption said ‘Chocolate Thumbprints’. And the ingredients were all in my pantry, and I thought why not give it a try. They came out pretty good. Smooth yet crisp, sweet yet salty. These little guys were the crowd pleasers on the party. They can also be an amazing tea time snack. Give them a try 🙂
Recipe: Martha Stewart
Yield: 20 – 24 cookies
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons light corn syrup
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 stick butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in flour, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium high.
- Roll dough by teaspoonfuls into balls, and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and press thumb into tops of cookies to make indentations. Return to oven, and bake until light brown on the edges, 7 to 9 minutes more. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
- Combine chocolate, 4 tablespoons butter, and corn syrup in a small heat-proof bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water; stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly. When cookies are cool, fill the thumbprints with the chocolate mixture.