Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Jeera & Atta Biscuits/Whole Wheat Cumin Salted Cookies ....Frontier Biscuits Style

Frontier Biscuits, Delhi. 
Desi Cookies,full of Desi Khyo err... ghee/clarified butter and butter. 
Desi flavours with a Desi cup of Chai.
We, in North Delhi are quite familiar with Frontier Biscuits. An outlet in every local market,very Desi and totally Punjabi flavors ,the icing on the cookie being, Egg less.
All the Mummyji's and Daddyji's love Frontier Biscuits, they are so loaded with Ghee and cardamom and pistachios and almonds.
After all,the Punjabi's love only the best things.
And they do not come cheap. They come with a price tag as high as the Danish Butter Cookies ,with flashy packaging and a long shelf life.
Enough to make all the Delhi- walas and Delhi Wali Auntyji's HAPPY! Any time I pass by the Frontier Biscuits outlets, I always spot a big car and  a nicely rotund person at the counter.
That ,my friend is a factor  deterrent enough for me I do not patronise them. Not that I do not love the taste of the jeera biscuits,I absolutely love them...but they frighten me.
These were made bite sized for Sanskriti's "Nimbling", and she did "Nimble".
They were healthy, and tasty.
Lovely with the Chai ,or Without.
Only thing,they need to be stored in an airtight container.
And the Mummyji and the Daddyji...I am in Delhi at the moment,and our radio station  of choice...
98.3 Radio Mirchi.
The "Ab"sense or the extra long Ad break on Radio Mirchi , where the quintessentially Punjabi trait comes to fore...paihe vi te kamane honde hain (Its important to earn money,so we need the ads).
Well you cant escape that in Delhi.
So for the typically Punjabi tasting ,Frontier Biscuits Inspired

Jeera & Atta Biscuits/Whole Wheat Cumin Salted Cookies ...

you need

1 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour/Atta
1/3 cup Desi Ghee/Clarified Butter
1 tsp heaped jeera/cumin seeds
2 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pinch Baking Powder
Cold Milk to knead

Pre heat the oven to 190C/375F.
Lets start with the Whole Wheat Flour/Atta in a bowl. To this add the jeera/cumin seeds, salt ,sugar and baking powder. Stir to mix all the dry ingredients.
To this add the  Desi Ghee/Clarified Butter. Mix the ghee to get a bread crumb like texture.
 Bring it all together into a stiff dough kneading with as much milk as needed.
You may want to chill the dough a bit,before you start rolling the dough.This was the first batch...the GIB!GIB!GIB!GIB!GIB!GIB! mantra had started. the cookies were hot ,so we had to be careful.
OK, a portion rolled to a thickness of 1/8th of an inch. I ran the tynes of a fork on the rolled dough to give ribs.Just lovingly scratch the surface.
This was how we rolled the first portion....not happening! the best was on the work surface,with a little flour sprinkled on for comfort..
She was super charged after a few COOKAS!....this was supposed to be packing...not rummaging. 

Batches....In the oven for 16-18  minutes. The first batch was given a milk wash, the subsequent ones we forgot. There was absolutely no difference in taste or I vote out the milk wash. Absolute waste of time.
We packed her stuff and attacked the leftovers. And she went viral with the COOKAS!
Baking for the little one was super fun.
Lets hope shes back again soon.
Sweet child is not happy that Sanskriti has gone home...he wants her back, in his home.
Magic,that a little child weaves...
We are ready for dose II already.
Bring it on!

So what are you baking today??? 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

My Sunglasses, My Style!

This entry is a part of the contest at brought to you by GKB Optical Sunglasses
My Sunglasses, My Style!
The Contest on  with relation to

This entry is not food related...although it is food for thought.
And boy,is my appetite whetted.
I'll start at the very beginning the Expensive...thats what they always say "Aim for the stars and the sky will be yours someday!"
I'll choose the BVLGARI- something I've wanted to own for the longest time, not obscenely expensive, no, there is pleasure to be derived from wearing the obscenely expensive...mind you.
This pair is justifiably expensive ...all of INR 27000/-. And justification will have to be given to hubby dear and sweet child ,who would rather buy a home theatre and a PS3 respectively. See, they'll waste even more money.
These bejewelled beauties would look amazing with an elegant pastel coloured outfit. A white silk shirt and pale trousers with a Hermes scarf,even a beautifully embroidered Chikankari Salwar kameez.
Maybe apeach Georgette outfit ,with intricate kaarigari,a typical Abu Jaani??
And I would pair it as an accessory with pearls....and the BVLGARI perched, on my head,as a band ...keeping my gorgeous locks out of my eyes(too much???Never mind- this is wishful thinking,and I have the licence to dream.)
If you are intrigued ,click on the link of the  BVLGARI glasses...and try them on to see for your self and allow yourself to dream.....or just buy them.

BVLGARI BV 8016    Bvlgari BV 8016 Sunglasses set the standard for excellence and present cutting edge designs with styles capable of satisfying the most sophisticated sunglasses wearer.

The second pair of glasses,these I'll pick up as soon as my current pair of Ray- Ban tortoise shell shades give way. 
I absolutely love Ray Ban, absolutely adore the colour and the colour it brings to my face.
Ray Ban makes any outfit, look its best.
These I'll pair with a classy pair of GUESS jeans and my patent leather black GUESS hand bag.
A drive out of town will be super sporting these shades.
And when I dont need to shield my eyes from the sun,they will be perched atop my head.
Acting as usual as a way to keep my hair out of my face.
Always there,never a moments delay...just like a Bodyguard. Akin to Salman Khan hmm...
This is the link to the glasses on 

RAY -BAN RB 4159
Ray-Ban has always been the leader in eye-wear name recognition and brand distinction. Get the ultimate in a fashion wear statement with Ray-Ban RB 4159 sunglasses. 

Goggle or will only win ,with these classy shades.

So what are you baking today???

Chocolate Cookies-Eggless

She's home ensconced in daddy's arms....and according to Sweet Sister behaved like a dream child all through the journey from Delhi to JFK,NY....
Sanskriti is being sorely missed by us. Every time a catchy tune plays on the radio, its aww... she would be dancing in her daddy's arms.
Bro -in-law must be majorly thrilled ,having his angel back where she belongs.
According to  Sweet Sister,Sanskriti loved the cup cakes and the cookies...she calls them COOKA! She's not quiet au fait with her i's and e's yet. But the quick learner she is ,she'll surely pick up the nuances of any language ASAP!
Just heard this on the radio...
Sanskriti dance!!!

These Cookies were perfect for her tiny fists,and her tiny mouth and her tiny teeth. You can make them tiny or teeny or regular-depending on the target audience.

And the sugar crystals-that's just plain laziness on my part. No icing sugar in mum's kitchen,and passing sugar through a blender seemed to be too much effort.
These cookies were virtually made with Sanskriti perched on my hip...almost like a baby monkey...Sweet Sister came to the rescue ...she had to roll out the dough and cut the cookies.
The GIB!GIB!GIB!GIB!GIB!GIB! mantra started soon after the cookies were popped into the oven.
Out ,and cooled...she loves them....aww!
See,quick to make and quick to disappear.
Try them for your baby, or babe...or बेबे or whoever.Another plus point ,they are EGG LESS!

for the

Chocolate Cookies-Egg less...

you need

1 cup plain flour
60 gms Butter
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Cold milk to knead

I used a 100 gms slab of butter. Its always easier to measure the butter,a little more than half.And we're done...
Whipped instead of creaming the butter with the sugar, if I'd had any foresight at that point of time,I would have ground the sugar. You have the option of learning from my mistake, or just carry on for an amazing crunch.
I added the vanilla essence here,as I tend to forget the essence at the end.
Into the mix went the cocoa powder and the flour. 
Brought together with a little bit of cold milk.
Chilled in film till sweet sister condescended enough to roll out the dough and the oven preheated itself to 160C/320F.
Rolled to 3/8 th of an inch and then the cutters. All shapes, clouds,hearts clover al.
On an AL Foil lined baking tray. In the oven for all of 14 minutes.
They seemed a little flimsy while hot, but they hardened on cooling.Quite contrary ,hmm!
Some we ate, some Sanskriti crumbled and some we packed.....
Happy in the knowledge that the baby and sweet child and all of their helpers "hello! the mums and grand parents" were satisfied with the cookies...I encourage you to try them out.

So what are you baking today???

PS - what do you think about these adorable little cups and saucers....been eyeing them like since forever! Mum...what say we trade???

Friday, March 23, 2012

Egg less Whole Wheat/Atta Chocolate Cupcakes

Cup Cakes Again???

This Mini treat was for mini Sanskriti...

Daddy's Cool Little Chick (got this from a T-shirt bro- in- law bought for her) has flown back to daddy...
Just saw her off at the Airport a few hours ago.
Sweet Sister finished her vacation and is headed back home. Me? I re-lived new mommy hood. The diapers, the Farex, the entertaining/dancing ,the finger puppets , the bite sized food , the midnight crying and the pure unadulterated joy only a baby can give to you.
A fight for a bite??
These Cup Cakes formed part of the snack Pack we made for the journey ,so that Sanskriti  has something to "Nimble "(as Nani likes to say) on through her journey.
For Sweet Sister,this journey will be unforgettable!Alone with Sanskriti....from Delhi to JFK,NY.With 2 large suitcases,a car seat ,a strolley, a stroller,a diaper bag and a hand bag! Did I forget Sanskriti??

Egg less-as today is the first Navratra -no eggs for the next nine days.
Whole Wheat as there was a loads of stuff using plain flour.
Chocolate does something to every one...its attraction is universal and all powerful. The little baby recognises the aroma of baking chocolate and goes Ballistic....Gib!Gib!Gib!Gib!Gib!Gib!....
And she also learnt Ouch...because the oven was HOT!
Food does improve your vocabulary. Really.
All in 6 muffins.

for the

Egg less Whole Wheat/Atta Chocolate Cupcakes ...

you need

1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour/Atta
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Yogurt
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Instant Coffee
1/4 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
2-3 tsp hot water
1/4 cup Vegetable oil (I used Canola Oil)

Start with the oven.Pre heat to 180C/350F.
Just as I started to post ,I realised that in all the hurry,I forgot to take some I'll write off the absence of the pictures and blame it on vicarious maternal love...
I PAM"med" or sprayed the muffin tin and just to be safe ,floured them too. Muffin paper cups are not so easily available in Shalimar Bagh, Delhi .
Easy,just mixed the cocoa powder with the coffee with the hot water . I'm always struggling with the cocoa powder and the oil yogurt emulsion. this time I placed the cart before the horse. Started instead with this first. Worked well ,so my cart will always come first.
Into the cocoa slurry, I added the sugar ,the yogurt, the oil and the vanilla essence.
This I mixed till the sugar was almost dissolved. You must notice that I so love the stage of almost. I allow God his way half the time. After all, it is he who gives wings and air to the cakes.
Since I was using Whole Wheat Flour/Atta I sifted it with the Bicarbonate of Soda twice.
A pinch of salt added to the flour would have been a good idea.So you can add the salt at the sifting stage.
Now all you need to do is to fold the sifted dry ingredients into the wet.
Now fill the muffin tin.Not FILL, just halfway there. I love the jelly moulds-so I stretched the batter to 8 cupcakes.

OK, truth be told, my muffins are always almost wanting to just fall out ,so I was a little apprehensive.
A little went a long way.
Into the oven for 13 minutes,and popped out after 2 minutes.
Firm and inviting...
Less pictures of the food and more of the kids.

These last 20 days with both cousins and sweet sister have been awesome.
20 days seem like crumbs, but we are so grateful for them too.
I was so taken with the situation at the airport ,what with a visibly upset sweet sister and mum and dad and even sweet child, a few tears did creep past ,smudging my Kohl and dislocating my contact lens.
It was a sight, suddenly the tears turned to giggles, me trying to stuff that bit of plastic into my eye...
Well,There's always a silver lining.
I hate goodbyes...even the Bengali's do. Their Au revoirs are not "I'm going", but "I'm coming"!
Hmm... "I'm coming"!
That I like!
Who doesn't???
Before someone takes offence...

So what are you baking today???

PS coming up,the bits of baby food -before sweet child protests about the attention given to Sanskriti on blogosphere. He can only be so generous...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Chocolate and walnut cupcakes

Chocolate and walnut cupcakes
In Delhi, the two parents are dealing with two daughters and two grandchildren (yup, the sons-in-law are off at work). Not to mention two cantankerous maids. What a vacation this is turning out to be. One baby has five dedicated helpers. The moment she cries, she has 5 options to pick and she goes with the vertical. Who ever picks her up,wins!

Her favourite is the Nani (grandma) who takes her to do “Jai, Jai” to the little temple so that she can get a tiny bit of mishri-small bit of crystallised sugar into her tiny mouth. She dances and wiggles her tiny waist in happiness. Such small things bring us so much happiness.
We also realised that she loves chocolate and chocolate cake. So chocolate cake it had to be- I’ve been scouring the markets for a mini muffin my disappointment, have not been able to find any.

So this was simple muffins and one extra small cake.
Been trying to get little Sanskriti to say give me instead of dede.... (Hindi for give me) but she ended up screeching GIB! GIB! GIB! A little in her mouth, a lot on the floor. But after the GIB! She was happy.
So try this happiness, you can frost them, if you want to. But this much mess was enough to clean. If you don’t have a toddler who loves to crumble and then eat the cake, feel free to frost!

For the

Chocolate and Walnut cupcakes...

You need

½ cup /50 Gms cocoa powder
240 mils hot water (I used half milk and half water)
1 1/3 cup /175 Gms plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ cup /115 Gms butter
2 eggs
1 cup /200 Gms sugar
¼ cup or more chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla essence-which I forgot to add to the batter...

Pre heat the oven to 190C/375F.

In a bowl, add the sugar to the butter. The butter was hard as ice, so I nuked them for 30 seconds and whipped them up with a blender.

One at a time, blend the eggs into the sugar and butter mix.

Sift the cocoa powder, the flour and the baking powder once. I don’t have my measuring cups or spoons here, so used a Borosil glass which measures 240 mils.

Put the half milk, half water to heat. You don’t need to boil the mix, just heat it up.

Place the paper cups in the muffin tray, and the jelly moulds and one small tart tin. So that makes approx 16 cup cakes. We had 12 muffin cups and the extra went into the small tart tin.
OK, now the batter again. The flour mix and the hot liquid alternately, don’t blend too much.
In the end just fold in the walnuts. You can add up to a cup of walnuts. Me, I made a concession for mum as she loves them.

Right, all of it into the oven.

In 15 minutes the muffins are ready.
For the extra large size...about 6-9 more minutes.

while the Cup Cakes were baking , madam decided to raid the refrigerator...and she chose Tabasco!

Then the only thing left, just pop them out. The PAM spray worked well on the pie tin. I’d had my doubts...but PAM didn’t disappoint.
The kids were not ...disappointed, I mean. Neither were the moms nor were the grandparents!

Yes, we took advantage of the fact that the hubbies were nowhere in the see....face pack anyone!

Imagination! What do you see?I see a BIG happy Smile,crying for frosting-but we believe in restraint. Who has the time to burn off the calories these days...

So what are you baking today???

Ps, we’ve been making tons of Kadam, Rogan Josh, Almond Soup-Baby Food, breads, vegan Noodles and Chilly Chicken...all coming up...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sabudana (Sago) Khichdi

A new day, a new beginning.
A little bit of restraint, a lot of faith.
The belief that good will endure and that fasting will make your blood pure.

Every so often comes a day marked by the Hindu calendar when just levitating yourself above the simplest of worldly pleasures can elevate you to a level that most people have no access to.
That happened last on Maha Shivratri. The festival when lord Shiva the destroyer gets up from slumber, marries goddess Parvati, and also lovingly lets go of all the four legged or six legged or eight legged and more critters who had snuggled up to him to hibernate.
No I’m not making this up, I’m sure there are many other legends that are not as interesting. These are just the popular ones.

And of course as on other festivals of spiritual nature, we fast.
Loads are fasting for lent nowadays too. So we are not alone. Only the variety of food stuff that can be partaken during a Hindu fast boggles the mind. We eat salt and savoury. We eat fried foods and fruits. We eat curries and even bread...albeit made with“non” flour and no onions and garlic. No these pariahs are banished from the pantries for these spiritually special days.
That is why we believe that Hinduism is not a religion; it is a way of life.

This is my first post written while travelling on a train. The Rajdhani express from Ranchi to Delhi. After being fed and watered and after having watched a disgustingly gross movie with blood and gore being splashed on poor unsuspecting townspeople by sir Anthony Hopkins in the form of WOLFMAN.
The gut wrenching sights that we saw just brought back thoughts of the maker and decided to post the recipe of the Saboodana khitchdi that I made for Maha Shivratri.
For the

Saboodana khitchdi...

You need

1 cup Saboodana (tapioca pearls-these are pure carbs)
1 large potato-finely diced
1 tbsp ghee
½ tsp mustard seeds
A few curry leaves
2- 3 tbsp peanuts
salt ,red chilli flakes to taste
a pinch of turmeric
2 green chillies finely chopped
A little fresh coriander/cilantro finely chopped
Yogurt to serve with

Wash the Sabudana/tapioca pearls (these are pure carbs, no fibre, proteins or minerals whatsoever)
This is how fine I cut the small as the sabudana.

Soak the tapioca pearls in just enough water as to cover the Sabudana for a couple of hours. This is what it looks like before you soak the Sabudana...

The ghee in the pan.

 To this add the mustard seeds and after they splutter add the curry leaves.
The peanuts...Now the turn of the peanuts which you must fry till the peanuts a little dark.

Add in the potatoes and stir and cook till the potatoes are cooked.
Now season, salt-if you are a purist use send salt (I use regular Tata salt)

Now the red chilli and the pinch of turmeric.
Drain the excess water out of the Sabudana, the pearls will be opaque by now.
When the potatoes are done then add the drained Sabudana, and quickly stir to mix well. 

The heat will cook the Sabudana and they will again change colour. A milky colour will emanate from their depths and indicate that the khitchdi is done.

Sprinkle the chopped coriander/cilantro on and mix it in.

The best way to enjoy this khitchdi is Hot! Served with two scoops of fresh yogurt.
Pray to god Shiva to give us respite from the ginormous critters and have a wonderful meal.
Om Namah Shivay!

Soon we'll be in for the next two weeks, I may get a little lazy with the posting. but dont get to spend time with siblings very often.
So what are you baking today???

Until the next

Until the next


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