Sep 27, 2013

Apple Spice Tea Cake

My last post on this blog was Agu 5 2012!! Sheer neglect!!!
But maybe that should change...

Just dropped in to share the recipe of the Apple Spice Tea Cake that I posted on FB....It is surely delish!!
the one I made was made in half an hour...but believe me, if you measure out things and make it according to the recipe it will be awesome!!

A word of advise from the one who gave me this recipe...Ekta...make this cake one day before you want to eat it...or keep half for next day....the flavors develop better next day...and I can vouch for that!

Here goes the recipe!
 Ingredients -

1cup atta
100 gms jaggery grated
3/4 cup yogurt
1apple chopped n peeled
1/4cup oil
1tsp Bakin pwdr
1/2 tsp baking soda
Walnuts as per taste
1tsp vanilla ess
1/2 tsp cinnamon pwdr
8*4" tin

Mix the jaggery n yogurt,beat wth a beater until lumps gone and its smooth
 add oil n keep beating few mins
Now sift atta, Baking Powder , Baking Soda n cinnamon powder,  add to mixture beat well.

Fold in apple and walnuts
Its a  pretty thick mixture
trasnfer to a greased tin....sprinkle walnuts on top n
bake in a pre-heated oven at160 deg for 35min or till done(mine was done at 25 mins....)

Keep checking with a skewer after 25 mins.

Aug 5, 2010

Batata vada!!

Sorry peeps! 5 months have gone by without a word from me. Finally got my craft stuff and been crafting ever since..This is where you'll find me most of the time - Tejal Creates.

Anyhow, with the rains here, DH has been pestering me for something fried. And you might not belive me, but I have never made any fried food..I do eat it outside, but making it at home!! I generally gag at the thought of so much oil..And then I happened upon Dhivya's recipe (I hope I got your name right, never seen a mention of it, only DK) and therefore was totally inspired to cook hubby some fattening food with less oil..nothing better than batata vada for the true blood mumbaikar!!

I took the process but made it with the stuffing of a batata vada, with loads of garlic and chillies. And please forgive the photos, these are all I could take with DH standing behind me sneaking one vada at a half of them are gone before I could photograph them..

List of ingredients ( made 10 vadas )

  • 4 med size potatoes -boiled
  • 4 large cloves of garlic (you can add more or less)
  • 2 green chillies
  • salt to taste

For tempering
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp urad dal (split black lentils)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • pinch of asafoetida

For the batter :

  • about 2 tbsp channa flour (Besan)
  • 1  tbsp rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder, or as per taste
  • little salt to taste)
Method :

  • Mash the potatoes well.
  • Mash the garlic and green chillies to a fine paste, add it to the potatoes.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • For the tempering, heat the oil, add the urad dal, as soon as it turns pink add the mustard seeds.
  • Let them crackle, then add curry leaves, and asafoetida. add turmeric in the end and take of the flame immediately, lest it burn. Adding the turmeric  in the tempering reduces the raw taste of turmeric which I generally don't like.
  • Add it to the potatoes and mix well. 
  • Shape into small balls, that should fit into the wells of the appe pan.

  • Mix the ingredients of the batter and make a thick batter so that it can coat the vada's well. Add less salt in the batter, since the vada's already have salt 

Add 1 tsp oil into each well of the appe pan, let it heat up. Dip  the vadas into the batter and then drop it into the well of the pan. Let it brown on the underside before you turn it. It should take about 5-6 min for the vada to be done perfectly. Keep turning, so that it cooks well on all sides. And when frying for the next batch, put some more oil in the appe moulds, let it heat up and then add the rest of the vadas to cook.

Sadly this is the only photo I managed of the vadas. The rest were gone!! Enjoy on a cold rainy evening!

Mar 23, 2010

In the mood for some Thai?

I love thai red curry with some steamed is heaven. Haven't yet tried the yellow or green Thai curries. Will do sometime soon.

I am a lazy bum..most of you know that(those who didn't, now you know). If there is a way with a short cut, I will do it. So also with this recipe, I don't make the curry paste. I have a box of ready made curry paste, also don't bother extracting coconut milk..cartons or dehydrated powders to the rescue. There are several traditionalists who believe that everything done from a scratch gives you the best taste..I fully agree, so the next time you make something from a scratch, call me..I'll come over for a bite...As for me..I still love my shortcuts!

I had been over to Pune, to meet my in-law cousins..and there is a very famous shop over there..Dorabjee's. Went hunting there for some herbs, sauces and brought the Pantai Red Curry paste . Its superb. I've had no complaints so far...

Whenever H comes home grinning having spotted a perfect packet of white mushrooms, I know next day it is going to be Thai Red Curry with rice. And he slurps over every last bit of gravy...

If you have the short-cuts ready, this dish is ready in flat 15 more...

I'm giving you a recipe for Red curry paste for the ones who love making it at home..(its from a nita-mehta book..I've tried it once!)

Thai Red Curry

For the red curry paste

4-5 Kashmiri Red chillies - soaked in 1/2 cup of warm water for 10 min
1/2 onion - chopped
8-10 garlic flakes - peeled
1 1/2 slice ginger - sliced
1 stalk lemon grass or rind of 1 lemon
3-5 stalks of coriander
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin
6 peppercorns
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vinegar

6-8 babycorn - slit lengthwise
1 medium broccoli- cut into florets
5-6 mushrooms - sliced
1/2 red, yellow, green capsicum - cubed 1"
2 small brinjals - sliced (optional)

Other ingredients
3 cups coconut milk mixed with 1 Tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp soya sauce
10 basil leaves - chopped or use coriander leaves
salt to taste
1/2 tsp brown sugar/ regular sugar

Grind all the ingredients of the red curry paste along with the water in which you've soaked red
chillies. Grind it to as fine paste as you can.

1. Heat a non-stick pan, add about 1Tbsp oil, add the paste, fry for a few seconds on low heat.
( you can make this oil-free by omitting the oil and adding the paste straight into the difference in taste). Since I use the ready-made paste, I add about 2 Tbsp of the paste..I like it a bit on the hotter side..

2. Add 3-4 Tbsp of coconut milk (can use fresh coconut milk, straight from the carton or mix water and dried coconut powder-Maggi). Add vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes.

(Love the green color of broccoli in this...and the crunch..yumm..Thank God broccoli is cheap now.)

3. Add the rest of the coconut milk, soya sauce, chopped basil leaves.

4. Cover and simmer on low heat for 5-8 min, till the vegetable are tender (Do not over cook them, they should still have a crunch)

5. Add salt and sugar to taste. Bring to a boil, let it boil for 1-2 min. Take off the heat and serve hot with steamed rice.

These days, this recipe is not so frequent. With the temperatures hitting the 40C mark, its tough to work in the kitchen. So most days food is something cold- Curd Rice, Dahi Vada - which I learnt from Arundati's..made in an appam patra..sometimes its cold pani-puri..some cold salads..

Still searching for some cold foods to make.

Mar 15, 2010

Mushroom Capsicum

One fine day, H came home with a big grin on his face. And then proudly showed me what he got. A packet of button mushrooms. Make something nice for me baby, he croons. I’ve never liked mushrooms and at my mom’s place we never even bought mushrooms. And in this one year of marriage, I’ve had to dig through the net and search and search for recipes. So then I found this one by Nita Mehta. 7am, and I’m digging through my recipe books for a recipe. Confirm that I have all the ingredients and then set out to prepare this for the first time to give it to him in his tiffin.

I applauded my own guts, what if it wasn’t good enough? More on that later.

Here’s how it goes,


A cup full of mushroom- wash, dry and cut into thick slices.
1 big onion- finely chopped
3-4 garlic flakes- crushed
1 green chilli- finely chopped
1” ginger-shredded
2 tomatoes-blanched, peeled and then finely chopped
1 capsicum- cut into thin long strips
1 Tbsp tomato ketchup
¼ tsp chilli pwd
Salt to taste
1Tbsp oil
½ tsp ajwain (carom seeds) can use oregano too.

Heat oil, lower the flame and add ajwain.
Add onion and cook till slightly transluscent.
Add garlic, stir.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chilli and ginger.
Cook on low flame till tomatoes are dry (takes about 5-8 min)
Add mushroom, salt and chilli pwd. Cook till mushrooms are done.
Add capsicums just before the mushrooms are done.
Cook for a few minutes and you’re done.

Things I learned during this process, mushrooms shrink if cooked for too long. My 1” mushrooms became so tiny, I had to search for them. Let the tomato gravy cook well and then add mushrooms.

And then during his lunchtime, H texts me " just had one bite and I love it. "
So much for risk taking at 7 am, It worked. And when the tiffin box came home in the evening, H had practically licked the tiffin clean. I wondered if he’d washed it and brought it back!!

It was the best compliment he gave me, besides some obnoxious loud belches on the phone.

Feb 23, 2010

A take on the good ol' tomato soup

I'm not a fan of the ready made soups. And I don't have patience to make soups from a scratch, especially if I'm making only for me. But recently, I have fallen in love with the Knorr classic thick tomato soup. Inspite of the fact that tomato soups of any kind give me acidity and reflux. I'm popping antacids after any meal that has tomato gravy. Yet I added a bit here and there and I can tame the acidity of this soup.

I have a confession to make. I love making food, but I hate taking photographs of food. So most of my good recipes end up in my diary. (Yes, I do keep a diary of my favorite dishes, and hope to pass it on to my kids. That is, if in their time, they even learn to cook!) So I have to search for photos off Corbis. Thank God for Corbis.

Here's what you need:

1 packet of Knorr Classic Thick Tomato Soup
2 slices bread (a day old would do great)
1/2 cup milk
a few sprigs of coriander
a pinch of pepper

Make the soup according to directions. When the soup is almost done,add the milk,the coriander leaves, pepper.
Cut the bread into 1" squares, and add half of it to the soup. Give just one boil and take it off the gas.

To serve:
Ladle the soup into the serving bowl and top with the rest of the bread.

For me, the milk and the bread cut down quite a bit of the acidity of the soup. There can be many variations to this.

You can add leftover plain rice to the soup. Makes a filling meal.
Add some cheese on top while serving.

I got this idea from Suganya of Tasty Palettes. I have had her recipe for Tomato bread soup bookmarked for a long time. I figured this was a shortcut for me.

In my last post I mentioned I was going to meet Arundati, a fellow food blogger. It was fantastic to meet her. It is always a pleasure to meet someone so confident and assured of themselves. Their positive outlook on life leaves a mark on you, that confidence rubs off onto you. She is all that and more.
The funny part of it all, we did not talk of food! It did weave itself into the conversations but not recipes or methods or ingredients. How that one hour went by, I just didn't know.

It was the best girl time I had in ages! Here's hoping you visit soon, or I make a trip down south.

I just whined about being lazy to take pics of my food, and the web-surfing Gods brought me to this page..Is there such a thing as web-surfing Gods?

Jan 28, 2010

Mushroom Matar Malai

H loves mushrooms and I can't stand them. But Ido my best to make some for him. Scouring the net, the books for something to make for him. Recently my MIL had bought a book by Nita mehta. Saw something interesting and so decided to make it for him.

And on a completely different note, I'm meeting a fellow food blogger Arundati of Escapades in Ahmedabad. will let you know how the madness goes. Talking food and shopping .. what could be a better combination.
The weather is losing its chill now..last few days before we can savor hot soups, hot biryani's before the heat becomes unbearable. And then it shall be time for cold curd rice, cold soups.

Getting ready for some more food. My younger brother's wedding is in two weeks. Food and more sweets..outfits for me are going to be re-cycled. I've just worn my wedding outfits once, that too just a year why waste money on something new. Its the age of recession, the age of spending wisely. Will def post some photos of that..

Here's the richest recipe for mushrooms..with butter, cashews, cream and some more cream...good for when you want something rich once in a while..

you will need :

200 gm small mushrooms
1 cup peas - boiled or frozed
4Tbsp kasoori methi (this is a must, gives it fabulous flavor)
1tsp ginger-garlic paste
pinch of pepper
1 Tbsp butter (I used one tsp)
2 onions - ground to a paste
1/4 cup malai -mix with 1/4 cup milk and blend or 1/2 cup thin cream
salt to taste
1/2 tsp chilli pwd
1/2 tsp garam masala
pinch of dry mango powder (amchoor)
1/2 cup milk (use as needed)

Dry masala
1/2 stick cinnamon
seeds of 2-3 green cardamom (chhoti elaichi)
3-4 cloves
4-5 pepper corns
2 tsp roasted cashew nuts


Trim the stem of mushroom. If they are big, cut into two, else leave them whole.
heat 1Tbsp butter in a kadhai and add mushrooms. Stir fry on high flame till mushrooms are dry and golden. Add 1tsp ginger-garlic paste, 1/2 tsp salt and pinch of black pepper. stir for another minute and remove from flame. Keep them aside

Grind all the ingredients of the dry fragrant masala to a powder in a mixer..

Heat 3 tbsp of oil, add the onion paste and cook on low heat till oil seperates. Don't brown the onions.

Add the ground masala powder. cook for a few seconds.

Add kasori methi and malai and cook for 2-3 minutes till malai dries. keep on low heat.

Add salt, chilli powder, garam masala, dry mango powder. stir for a minute.

Add the boiled peas and mushrooms.

Add 1/2 cup milk to get a thick gravy. Add few tbsp of water if the gravy is too thick. Boil for 2-3 minutes and serve hot.

If you omit the mushrooms, and add more kasoori methi and increase the amount of peas, you can make matar methi malai. Tastes great..

More later about when Tejalcooks met Escapedes...

Dec 5, 2009

Fast to cook : Chilli Beans Sandwich

Sometimes you need something that can cook fast and is tasty. Quite often I'm bored to cook full fledged meals..H also finds them too heavy in the evenings..

I love watching Tv cooking shows and one of them is the show on Etv gujarati. I saw this sandwich yesterday and I was ready to cook it today...

I did end up modifying the recipe to my liking..and before I could get any good pics of it..the sandwiches were eaten.. talk about yummy!

photo courtesy Corbis

I loved this pic. Since I did not have any pic of the sandwich..lets say this is how H looked while eating...

List of ingredients.

8-10 slices of bread (I used garlic bread, use white, brown, multi-grain whatever works for you)
1 onion - chopped
1 capsicum - chopped finely (use a mix of green, red, yellow)
1 tsp garlic - chopped finely (5-6 cloves)
1 cup baked beans with sauce
1/2 cup paneer - diced (this wasn't in the original recipe)
1 cup boiled sweet corn (I didn't have corn, so added paneer)
some olives.

salt to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp tomato ketchup
processed cheese

Butter the bread slices and keep aside.

In a pan, heat 1 tbsp oil, add onions, garlic. Saute till onions turn translucent. Add capsicum, corn, paneer and saute for 2-4 min.

Add the baked beans, tomato ketchup, oregano, paprika and mix well.

Add salt at the end after tasting (beans have some salt, plus cheese will have some salt too)

Put 2-3 tsp of this bean mix in between the breads, add cheese. Add olives if you wish over the cheese.

Place the second slice of bread over this, apply a bit of butter and cheese on top and grill in oven for around 5-7 min till the cheese melts.

Or you could toast it on a tava on the stove. Tastes as good.

There was some mix left over in the morning, so I tried using burger mayonnaise instead of butter, added the mix and toasted to a crisp brown on the tava...tasted awesome!

Mix and match and see what you come up with!!

Nov 26, 2009

Paneer in Yogurt gravy

As soon as I read that JFI for Nov was Paneer, I was elated. I'm not an accomplished cook, but I love to experiment with whatever ingredients that I have. An paneer is something I love. DH loves it.
Besides, paneer is the vegetarian's meat. If you go to any restaurant that serves non-veg food, the veg menu will have paneer in the largest number. Sure, they can make 20 dishes with meat, but in veg there is only paneer. Did all the vegetables rot in their kitchen?

I love reading cookbooks, and trying stuff from them. Sometimes, they're even under my pillow coz I fall asleep while reading them. My DH can't figure out why I read mini cookbooks as bed time reading!

Here's a recipe I made last week. It was one of my nightime readings that made me notice this. It turned out to be a nice spite of the milk and yogurt, there is the zing of green chillies and ginger, and kasoori methi. I think its from nita mehta's book. I need to find some more cook-books...suggest some good traditional ones if you can. I'm a gujju by birth but andhraite by palate.

Here's the recipe for Paneer in yogurt gravy.

200 gm paneer - 1x1" pieces
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp shahi jeera (black cumin)
1/4 tsp red chilli pwd, salt to taste
1 1/4 cups milk
ginger and coriander to garnish

For the yogurt paste
1 large onion
1 tomato
2 green chillies
2" ginger
3/4 cup yogurt
2 Tbsp kasoori methi

The how-to
put all the ingredients of the yogurt paste into a mixer and grind to a smooth paste. as smooth as you can get it.

Heat oil in a vessel, add shahi jeera. Let it release the flavor. then add yogurt paste and cook till the water from the yogurt evaporates. the masala should thicken slightly and oil starts leaving the paste.

add salt and chilli pwd, stir well. At this point, take the vessel off the fire. add just about 1/4 cup milk and mix well. also all the paneer pieces and stir so that the masala coats the paneer.

Return the vessel to the fire and on low heat add the remaining milk. Keep stirring continuously till it comes to a boil. Continue cooking on low heat till the gravy is to the consitency of your liking.

serve with ginger juliennes and fresh cut coriander.

This is my first ever entry into any event. This goes to JFI with the theme Paneer, hosted by The spice who loved me.

This event was started by Indira of Mahanandi, and it has been 3 yrs since she started this event.

Oct 28, 2009

Fast to cook : Chinese style potatoes

An absolute favorite of H. Mine too. I generally boil some extra potatoes and keep. H comes home in the evening ravenously hungry. And if there isn’t something to munch, he goes food hunting in every shelf he can find. I make it a point to make some appetizer or some salad or starter ready for him.

Barely takes 10 min if you have the potatoes ready. It’s a Tarla Dalal recipe.


Boiled potatoes -4
Finely chopped garlic-1 tsp(abt 3-4 cloves)
Chopped ginger-1/2 tsp
Green chillies-1 chopped finely
1 tsp tomato ketchup
2 Tbsp soya sauce
½ tsp chilli sauce
2 tsp cornflour
4 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

Peel and cut the cooked potatoes into medium fingers

Heat oil in a pan, on a high flame, add the potatoes and cook on the high flame for few minutes, till they turn slightly brown. Remove from the pan and keep aside.

In the same oil, add ginger, garlic, green chillies and stir fry for couple of seconds

Add the potato fingers, tomato ketchup, soya sauce, chili sauce and salt.

Meanwhile mix cornflour in ½ cup of water, and add to the mix. Cook for 2-4 minutes.

Garnish with spring onions or coriander. (whatever you have. I never seem to have spring onions when needed)

This dish also fulfills my cravings for Chinese food. Simple easy and no MSG. The rest of the Chinese is a pain. All that tiny chopping kills my fingers. I’m hoping to get my hands on a great kitchen tool that will slice, grate and chop things finely without hassle. Anyone invented one of these?

Aug 31, 2009

My Vegetarian 100

I've seen this on Nupur's blog a long time ago, wanted to try this. And at the end of it, my score is a measly 85%. Bad for someone who calls herself a foodie. I need to make more friends who are from south so that I can try all the Andhra, Chettinad, Malyali cuisines.

Your challenge, should you take up this meme is to:

  • Copy the entire list, along with these instructions, into your blog post

  • Bold the foods that you have tried

  • Strike out the foods you would never try

  • Tell us your score in the comments :)

  • If you wish to, make your own list or add to this one
1. Ripe mangoes
2. Curd rice
3. Chaat
4. Phulka
5. Puran poli
6. Boiled peanuts
7. Samosa
8. Stuffed baby eggplants
9. Aviyal
10. Stuffed paratha
11. Masala chai
12. Tirphal
13. Murukku
14. Curry leaves
15. Banana chips fried in coconut oil
16. Jaggery
17. Vada pav
18. Tender coconut water
19. Paneer
20. Madras filter coffee
21. Boondi laddoo
22. Boondi raita
23. Navratan korma
24. Kokum
25. Masala peanuts
26. A home-cooked Indian vegetarian meal
27. Sugarcane juice
28. Sabudana/sago in any form
29. Horsegram
30. Maggi noodles
31. Podi with rice and ghee
32. Roomali roti
33. Bitter gourd
34. Nylon sev
35. Vegetable biryani
36. Thali at a restaurant
37. Plantain flower
38. Undhiyu
39. Nimbu pani
40. Papad
41. Kotthu parotta
42. Panch phoran
43. Drumsticks
44. Indian "French toast"
45. Sarson ka saag
46. Bhakri
47. Pav bhaji
48. Sitaphal
49. Glucose biscuits
50. Sprouts
51. Chole-bhature
52. Amla
53. Tomato "omelet"
54. A wedding feast
55. Grilled corn on the cob with lemon juice, salt and chilli powder
56. Cadbury's fruit and nut chocolate
57. Sai bhaji
58. Solkadi
59. Indian-Chinese meal
60. Jalebi
61. Black forest cake
62. Bharwa bhindi
63. Kashmiri saffron
64. Misal
65. Ripe jackfruit
66. Idli-chutney
67. 'Tadgola'
68. Bhut jolokia
69. Baby mango pickle
70. Meal off a banana leaf
71. Falooda
72. Moong khichdi
73. Bebinca
74. Daal baati
75. Methi greens
76. Basundi
77. Gunpowder
78. Appam-stew
79. Sweet lemon pickle
80. Ridge gourd
81. Bisi bele bhath
82. Coconut burfi
83. Caramel custard
84. Thecha
85. Rasam
86. Baingan bharta
87. Mysore pak
88. Punjabi wadi
89. Chhunda
90. Dal makhani
91. Paper dosa
92. Gongura
93. Hand-churned butter
94. Pakoda
95. Curd chillies
96. Mustard oil
97. Fresh cashews
98. Tomato pickle
99. Rajma-chawal
100. Chaas
101. Paani-puri