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First blog post

And, what better than to start off with whole wheat pizza base.. its not 100% whole grain but it is most optimal inclusion of whole wheat and tastes just as good as it’s white counterpart if not better!

Presenting to you, 2/3 whole wheat and 1/3 all purpose flour pizza base.

And guess what! it freezes well too!!!! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Lets get started..

Ingredients

1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour + extra for dusting

If you trust your yeast is in good condition, you can skip this step- Dissolve yeast in water and let it sit for 5 minutes until it turns frothy. If it doesn’t turn frothy it means that yeast is not functional anymore and its time to buy a new pack. Like I said before, if you know your yeast then skip it and mix yeast into the dry ingredients.

Mix all the dry ingredients and honey and mix.

Now add water a little at a time and start kneading. The dough should be quite sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes or until it starts to come together, it will still be sticky but a little less.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover the bowl with cling film. Allow it to rest until dough doubles in size, about an hour.

Gently deflate the dough and divide it into balls 2.5 – 3 inch diameter.

Use a rolling pin to make 1/2 inch thick circle on slightly floured surface. I do it directly on a parchment paper which I then use for baking. Cover it with a cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven @ 230 degrees C.

When the oven is ready, bake each bread for 5 minutes and let it cool.

Your pizza base is ready!

How to store-

Place each bread in separate baking or food wrap paper and then wrap it two rounds of cling film. Stack them up and store in freezer.

To reuse frozen bread-

Let it thaw at room temperature, takes about 3 hours so plan your pizza in advance. I will recommend against defrosting in microwave as it can make the bread dry.

For making pizza-

Preheat oven @ 200 degrees C.

Put your favourite toppings on the pizza base and bake for 12 minutes. If you like extra crispy edges like I do, then bake for another 3 minutes more or less depending on your preference and oven.

My quick fix for pizza includes –

A layer of tomato puree + tomato ketchup + dry italian herbs + fresh basil leaves + salt and pepper. Stir them up in a cup and spread it leaving 1/2 inch around the edge.

ps: Basil is extremely easy to grow at home. In fact you can use the pack of basil that you got from the grocery store. Google and read up online, there are lot of resources out there.

Next, stir fried vegetables or chicken seasoned with salt and pepper or your left over semi dry curry (veg or non veg) or stir fried vegetables or chicken in your favourite sauce such as barbecue or teriyaki. Options are endless.

Shredded cheese goes on top. Go for a mix o

 

 

 

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Grilled sweet potato

Grilled sweet potato – Easy to make and not to forget, healthy too!
I prefer grilled over boiled sweet potato.. and if you haven’t tried it, you should!

Ingredients

Sweet potato (Peeled)
Chilli flakes as per taste
Oregano as per taste
Salt as per taste (Sea salt preferably)
Oil for coating

Make small cuts on potato using knife.
Mix chilli flakes, oregano, salt in oil. Apply the oil on potato.

Preheat at 180 degrees and set the oven in grill mode. Cook sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, check in between, increase by another 5 minutes if not cooked.

If you have an electric tandoor,

Preheat for 5 minutes, grill the potatoes for 10 minutes.


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Mumbai Special Mutton Biryani

One can go on and on about Mumbai food specialities.. sabu dana khichdi, pav bhaji, pani puri, sev, chaat, misal pav, usal pav, samosas.. the list is endless. Mumbaiites can have these dishes everyday yet never get bored of them. I simply admire and adore the city’s love for food. Lately I realised I haven’t been trying them at home, so decided to give mutton biryani a little local touch.

This post is long over due and it is dedicated to Mumbai foodies!

One big difference and only difference according to me is tomatoes, Mumbaiites love their biryani little tangy. Here is the recipe of Mumbai special biryani as conceived by me. Happy to hear your thoughts!





Ingredients (serves 4)
2 cups basmati rice
2 large potatoes boiled and peeled – each cut into 4 pieces
4 onions cut julienne style
1/2 cup mint leaves , finely chopped
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste 
11/2 cup tomato purée
1 cup fried onions
1 tbsp roughly chopped pistachio/almonds
[Cut onions julienne style and deep fry in oil or ghee. Sprinkle salt at the time of frying to make them more crispy]

Spices
2 tbsp raw papaya paste
[Helps in making the meat soft, alternately you can use meat tenderizer]
Dalchini – 2 pieces each 1 inch
Lavang – 5
Tej patta – 1 large
Chakra phool – 1
Shah jeera – 1 tsp
Jayphal – 1/2
Choti elaichi – 5
Badi elaichi – 1
4-5 tiny saffron strands
[Alternately you can use Badshaah saffron milk masala 1 tsp]
Pinch of haldi
1 tsp tandoori masala 
[I use Shaan tandoori masala, its perfect!]
11/2 tsp amchur powder (or 2 tsp lime juice)
1/2 cup milk


Preparing meat marinade
After washing mutton thoroughly, remove as much excess water off the meat as possible.
Make thin and deep cuts on all the pieces.
In a bowl, add papaya, salt, kali mirch, amchur powder, red chilli powder, 1 tsp tandoori masala, haldi and mix well. Add meat and potato pieces and mix well.Set aside for 30 minutes.

Preparing Rice
Pour 6 glasses of water, 1 tsp of ghee in to the vessel and bring to boil. Add 1 tsp of salt,1 inch dalchini,5 cloves(lavang) to boiling water. 
Now add the basmati rice. Boil the rice for 5 minutes.
[Rice should not be completely cooked.Turn off the gas when you find the texture bite like.]
Drain rice using a strainer. Now place the stainer on top of the empty vessel so that excess water will drip away. 
[Remember not to leave the strainer on the kitchen platform or on a plate directly because it will make the bottom rice soggy.]
Rice for biryani is ready.

Preparing masala

Grind choti elaichi and nutmeg in a mortar.
Take a pressure cooker for cooking meat. Pour 1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp oil in it.Once it is hot,add tej patta,badi elaichi, choti elaichi and nutmeg powder,1 inch dalchini,1 tsp shah jeera,1 chakra phool and fry for 2 minutues on low flame.Now add chopped onions and fry.
When onions turn golden brown, add ginger garlic paste and fry.
Add marinated meat and fry on high flame by stirring occasionally for about 8-10 minutes.
Close the lid and leave it to cook till 6-7 whistles.
Keep aside till pressure drops.

Heat a big frying pan. Add mutton curry to this pan and mix well.
Add tomato purée and mint leaves and mix well. Cover the lid and let it cook for 10 mins(till oil separates).

Dissolve saffron or any kesar milk masala in 1/2 cup of warm milk and add pistachios.
Turn off the stove and move the masala to another vessel. Brush the bottom and sides of biryani vessel with little bit of ghee.
Add half of the semi-boiled rice. Pour 1/4th cup of milk on the rice with a spoon so that it gets equally distributed.
Add half of the mutton masala and spread it evenly over rice. Now add rest of the rice and spread evenly.Pour rest of the milk and masala, spread evenly.
Add fried onions on top, spread
evenly.
Cover the lid and put the vessel on low flame (on smallest burner).
[If the lid seals well, its good. Otherwise, seal the lid with the help of atta dough so as to preserve the aroma inside.]
Leave it to took for 25 mins.
Mumbai special mutton biryani is ready!

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Fruit splash!

Dying for a fruit kick, well here it is!!

I have always been a fruits lover.. specially fruit salad,  but too darn lazy to go buy an assortment of fruits and then cut them, but whenever I go out, my favorite dessert turns out to be a fruit salad with a dollop of fresh cream or a fruit syrup or a scoop of ice cream.
As it turns out with most of us, there is always something in outside desserts that you are left asking for morreee…   One fine day I decided to pull my socks up and make that perfect fruit salad which has all the things I love and in EXCESS!! haha

Mixed fruit salad - rainingfood.com


So this is my favorite fruit concoction, you can try different combinations, but hey! don’t keep it a secret! go ahead and share!!
I would love to receive a comment or two you know  :))

These are some of my favorite fruits(preferably chilled) and other ingredients

Pieces of Papaya, Musk melon, Mango( there is still time, go grab), Pomegranate seeds, Strawberries (pieces or as it is). To give it a little tangy twist you may add Kiwi too.

Fresh cream (I use Amul, simply delicious), strawberry pulp (or any fruit you like)


Mix all the fruits in a bowl and gently mix part of the cream using a spoon.

At the time of serving, pour in some more cream on top along with a teaspoon full of fruit syrup.

Have a big bowl of salad with fruit juices bursting in your mouth. 🙂



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Prawns Pulao

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-36452076-1’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

A simple and yummy recipe of Prawns Pulao. This is one of my favourite prawns recipes, try it!

Ingredients

500 gms cleaned prawns

2 cups rice (Basmati or any other)
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 onions cut julienne style
2 onions finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk
4-5 green chillies
1 heaped tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp Nutmeg powder
5 cloves
1 cinnamon stick( 2 inches)
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
4 small green cardomoms
2 heaped tsps garlic
1 heaped tsp ginger
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste


Heat oil in a non stick vessel (big enough to cook pulao).
When oil is hot, add prawns and stir fry on hig flame. When they turn transparent/white add salt and chilli powder.
After 2 minutes, empty the vessel into a plate.


Put the vessel on flame again and add ghee.
When ghee is hot, add all the spices and fry for 10 seconds. Add finely chopepd onions
and fry on medium flame till they turn transparent.Add green chilly and ginger and garlic paste and fry for another 3 minutes.


Now add tomatoes and fry till fat separates.
[Always fry tomatoes on low/medium flame. If fried quickly on high flame, they tend to turn acidic and the taste gets spoiled.]
Add coconut milk and turmeric and mix well. Add some salt (add extra keeping the rice in mind).

Add 4 cups water and bring to boil. Simmer the flame completely and add rice and prawns and put the lid. Cook for 20 minutes and check to see if rice is cooked. If its not cooked, leave it for appropriate amount of time.

Meanwhile, put some ghee in small frying and heat it. Add onions cut in julienne style and fry continuosly on high flame till they turn brown.

When rice is cooked, sprinkle fried onions on top for serving.

Prawns pulao is ready.

Hope you like this recipe.
Please do leave your comments/suggestions/feedback!! would love to hear from you..













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How to make dosa batter

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-36452076-1’]); _gaq.push([‘_trackPageview’]); (function() { var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true; ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘.google-analytics.com/ga.js’; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })(); Very simple and handy recipe for most Indian households.. how to make dosa batter

Dosa and coconut chutney


It takes some time to prepare the batter, but once it is ready, you can make a lot of things with it, dosa is just one of them. I will soon be sharing different preparations using this batter, some of which have already been part of this blog such as Plain Uttappam , Oats Uttappam. So lets get started!

Ingredients ( for 15 dosas)
2 cups rice
1 cup Udat dal
1 cup soaked puffed rice (murmur)
[for later use, at the time of grinding]
1/2 tsp methi seeds
1 tsp salt

Wash rice and dal in two separate bowls and pour just enough water so that the ingredients are completely immersed in water.
Add methi seeds to the udat dal bowl.
Cover both the bowls and leave them to soak overnight.
The following day, soak 1 puffed rice 20 minutes before you start grinding.
Grind rice and dal nicely until no pieces are left when you rub some batter between your fingers.
You can add puffed rice to dal while grinding.
While grinding rice, make sure you are not using too much water. Only use just enough water so that the grinder keeps spinning smoothly.

Take a large container, large enough such that the mixture occupies only half of the container.
Mix rice and dal mixture and 1 tsp salt thoroughly.

Cover the container with lid and leave the mixture to ferment for at least 9 hours.

After 9 hours you will notice that the batter has puffed up with lot of bubble formation.
Mix it again with a spoon, the batter will sink in a little bit.

The batter is ready to use, store it in fridge for future use.
You can pair the dosas with Tomato chutney or Coconut chutney.

[Note: Don’t leave gap between each step. The whole process should be complete in a matter 18 – 20 hours, soaking overnight + fermentation]




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My First Car – I will miss you

Writing for my car, my first love, the night before giving her away.

She taught me how to drive, she helped me discover myself, made me realise the love for driving in me. Moreover, she was my big buy as soon as I started working.

I am just glad she is going to a person whom I don’t know because I don’t think I can deal with the fact that someone else is driving her now and I would always feel, she is not being taken care of properly, not that I did anything great in particular , but still..

More than that, I think that I am betraying her. I feel as if she says, “In spite of you not taking good care of me, I have always been a good gal and carried you around without giving any problems and now you are giving me away?”

The reason its hurting me so much is because, she hardly gave me any trouble in 5 yrs. I am not someone who is finicky and time bound about car servicing, in fact I am the opposite kind, but still! she never gave up on me.

Also, I think, she brought along with her, a lot of good luck for me.

And now, To the car which will soon enter my life, there are a lot of expectations riding on you! no matter how much power/torque/displacement you boast about as compared to my gud old Santro, you have to win my heart!

We(my husband and I) had been postponing our plan to buy me a new car because the idea of giving away this one was difficult.
After almost an year, we have come to this point that I am just a day away from giving my car away.

I know it sounds all too freakish!!! but I cant help it! 😦

My hubby and frnds tell me, its just momentary and I will forget everything and rejoice when I see new car.
Well, for now, I don’t have any anxiety of new car. Hope it changes when I get it finally.

Finally playing the song that I love listening to the most when am with My First Car 

“Take It Easy”

Well, I’m running down the road
tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on
my mind,
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me,
One says she’s a friend of mine
Take It easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
and take it easy
Well, I’m a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin’ down to take a look at me
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me
We may lose and we may win though
we will never be here again
so open up, I’m climbin’ in,
so take it easy
Well I’m running down the road trying to loosen
my load, got a world of trouble on my mind
lookin’ for a lover who won’t blow my
cover, she’s so hard to find
Take it easy, take it easy
don’t let the sound of your own
wheels make you crazy
come on baby, don’t say maybe
I gotta know if your sweet love is
gonna save me, oh oh oh
Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy