Friday, December 16, 2016

Gingernuts ~ Ginger Biscuits


The festive season is in full swing at my place. Been trying out various Christmas recipes this week and I am so excited to share them with you. I do hope you have been enjoying the 'Best of RR' ~ Christmas Series. If yes, do come back daily to check for more recipes. The recipes that I post in this series have been tried and tested and loved by thousands of readers across the globe and they are perfect for the season too so you can confidently give them a try :) In this series I will post recipes that are part of the traditional Mangalorean 'Kuswar' platter (Kuswar is a collective term given to homemade Christmas goodies that include sweets and savouries) and also Christmas favourites that I've been making over the years and lots of contemporary ones which I have recently discovered. So do come back daily for more recipes won't you?  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Barley Pulao ~ Diabetic Friendly Recipe


I was introduced to the health benefits of barley when I was expecting my son. I had edema of the feet and was asked to cut off salt completely from my diet. The days that followed weren't fun. Eating seafood especially without salt is terrible for the taste buds but then it was a small price to pay considering that I could have had many other complications like other women were faced with during their pregnancies. God was merciful. My mum fed me a lot of barley water during that time as it is supposed to be very good for overall health especially for those with high blood pressure. 

Now if you're wondering why I came up with a health recipe in the midst of all the festive posts, well, the reason is this. Over the past few years as a food blogger I have been inclined towards all things food even on social media. It is almost impossible to dodge the festive posts that bombard one's news feed. In some way I have contributed to this deluge too. However, this time I decided to post as many healthy recipes as possible during the festive season in order to help people with several dietary restrictions and special needs enjoy the season just as well as the rest of us do. Nobody should be deprived of good things to eat especially during the festive season cuz 'healthy' doesn't have to be 'bland and boring'. So here's today's recipe for you. A simple yet delicious pulao or a one pot meal made of an assortment of veggies and barley cooked to perfection in homemade chicken stock (you may use regular water, vegetable stock or coconut milk too!)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Marzipan ~ Cashewnut or Almond Confection


Marzipan is a quintessential Christmas sweet prepared in Goa and Bombay. It is nothing but a thick paste of ground almonds (traditionally) or cashew nuts (in most tropical countries) which is used in the preparation of sweets (using molds of different shapes or free hand molding) or rolled up to drape cakes (similar to fondant covered cakes). 

However, during Christmas in Goa and Mumbai the term 'marzipan' is synonymous to molded and coloured sweets that often take the shape of many Christmas symbols such as wreathes, bells, holly leaves, Santa's face, reindeers or a variety of berries. The sweets are bite sized and most times extremely sweet. Food colouring may or may not be added although the latter results in attractive sweets suitable for the season. 

Although I have tried to make it over the past few years the result was never up to the mark. Getting the consistency of the sugar syrup and then cooking the paste of ground cashewnuts in it was such a tricky thing for me! I eventually gave up as I was in no mood to slave over recipes that weren't accurate. This is when my dear Aunt Rosette came to my rescue and shared her lovely recipe with me. Thank you so much Aunty!! Her recipe is not just easy, the taste of the sweets is just right - the sweetness is not tooth tingling! The taste is velvety, creamy, nutty and it makes you want to eat one more and another one and another after that!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chocolate Truffle/Crinkle Cookies


Last Christmas I tried out the chocolate crinkle cookies and they were a super hit with kids! The  fact that they crinkle/crack on top is definitely the USP. My kids love to pull up their little chairs and sit in front of the oven and watch the science of cookies baking unfold before their very eyes. They can't seem to wait until the cookies are out of the oven and cool a bit before they dig into the slightly soft, brownie-like cookies with a molten chocolate centre (thanks to the choco chips sneaked inside!). These cookies are so irresistible that you won't be able to stop at just one! I love the fact that they are soft, crumbly and melt in the mouth unlike regular cookies! I have tried several recipes - most of them were complex and over the top but in the end I stuck to the good ol, simple and fool proof recipe that I found in a cookbook years ago. I have slightly tweaked it to add chocolate chips as they help give u gooey centers but you can leave them out.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Homemade Chicken Stock



With Christmas around the corner I am sure that most of us will be cooking several pots of biryanis and pulaos to celebrate. The best way to cook your rice dishes is to use chicken or vegetable stock which adds a great depth and flavour to them, something that plain water cannot achieve.  Since we are huge fans of biryanis and pulaos at home the use of bouillon cubes (stock cubes) was always a part of my grocery list until I discovered homemade stock. I never went back to using bouillon  cubes to flavour my rice dishes after that. I do keep a couple of them for emergencies (yep! guilty of that) but I almost always have a box or two of frozen stock. 

Trust me, the effort is almost nil and you have beautifully flavoured stock that is sans preservatives and excess salt. When you make your own stock you have full control over what goes in it. You alter the ingredients according to what you have in your fridge and pantry and ofcourse, you add only as much salt as you require. Most times I add very little salt to the pot and prefer adding salt to the dish that I am preparing using the stock. This is helpful if you are trying to cut down salt intake especially those who have high blood pressure and other health issues. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Marbled Mocha Whoopie Pies


There are days when I just want to bake something but its not a cake or cookie that I am craving for. On a gloomy day these pies helped satisfy my sweet tooth and also my baking obsession! Actually it was my son who was after me to bake these for him. I made them twice in a row and they were gobbled up in no time! The pies which look like large cookies are actually soft like cake and go very well with the filling sandwiched between them. I think they are a real treat for little ones. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gingernuts ~ Ginger Biscuits


The festive season is in full swing at my place. Been trying out various Christmas recipes this week and I am so excited to share them with you. I do hope you have been enjoying the 'Best of RR' ~ Christmas Series. If yes, do come back daily to check for more recipes. The recipes that I post in this series have been tried and tested and loved by thousands of readers across the globe and they are perfect for the season too so you can confidently give them a try :) In this series I will post recipes that are part of the traditional Mangalorean 'Kuswar' platter (Kuswar is a collective term given to homemade Christmas goodies that include sweets and savouries) and also Christmas favourites that I've been making over the years and lots of contemporary ones which I have recently discovered. So do come back daily for more recipes won't you?  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Barley Pulao ~ Diabetic Friendly Recipe


I was introduced to the health benefits of barley when I was expecting my son. I had edema of the feet and was asked to cut off salt completely from my diet. The days that followed weren't fun. Eating seafood especially without salt is terrible for the taste buds but then it was a small price to pay considering that I could have had many other complications like other women were faced with during their pregnancies. God was merciful. My mum fed me a lot of barley water during that time as it is supposed to be very good for overall health especially for those with high blood pressure. 

Now if you're wondering why I came up with a health recipe in the midst of all the festive posts, well, the reason is this. Over the past few years as a food blogger I have been inclined towards all things food even on social media. It is almost impossible to dodge the festive posts that bombard one's news feed. In some way I have contributed to this deluge too. However, this time I decided to post as many healthy recipes as possible during the festive season in order to help people with several dietary restrictions and special needs enjoy the season just as well as the rest of us do. Nobody should be deprived of good things to eat especially during the festive season cuz 'healthy' doesn't have to be 'bland and boring'. So here's today's recipe for you. A simple yet delicious pulao or a one pot meal made of an assortment of veggies and barley cooked to perfection in homemade chicken stock (you may use regular water, vegetable stock or coconut milk too!)

Monday, December 12, 2016

Marzipan ~ Cashewnut or Almond Confection


Marzipan is a quintessential Christmas sweet prepared in Goa and Bombay. It is nothing but a thick paste of ground almonds (traditionally) or cashew nuts (in most tropical countries) which is used in the preparation of sweets (using molds of different shapes or free hand molding) or rolled up to drape cakes (similar to fondant covered cakes). 

However, during Christmas in Goa and Mumbai the term 'marzipan' is synonymous to molded and coloured sweets that often take the shape of many Christmas symbols such as wreathes, bells, holly leaves, Santa's face, reindeers or a variety of berries. The sweets are bite sized and most times extremely sweet. Food colouring may or may not be added although the latter results in attractive sweets suitable for the season. 

Although I have tried to make it over the past few years the result was never up to the mark. Getting the consistency of the sugar syrup and then cooking the paste of ground cashewnuts in it was such a tricky thing for me! I eventually gave up as I was in no mood to slave over recipes that weren't accurate. This is when my dear Aunt Rosette came to my rescue and shared her lovely recipe with me. Thank you so much Aunty!! Her recipe is not just easy, the taste of the sweets is just right - the sweetness is not tooth tingling! The taste is velvety, creamy, nutty and it makes you want to eat one more and another one and another after that!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Chocolate Truffle/Crinkle Cookies


Last Christmas I tried out the chocolate crinkle cookies and they were a super hit with kids! The  fact that they crinkle/crack on top is definitely the USP. My kids love to pull up their little chairs and sit in front of the oven and watch the science of cookies baking unfold before their very eyes. They can't seem to wait until the cookies are out of the oven and cool a bit before they dig into the slightly soft, brownie-like cookies with a molten chocolate centre (thanks to the choco chips sneaked inside!). These cookies are so irresistible that you won't be able to stop at just one! I love the fact that they are soft, crumbly and melt in the mouth unlike regular cookies! I have tried several recipes - most of them were complex and over the top but in the end I stuck to the good ol, simple and fool proof recipe that I found in a cookbook years ago. I have slightly tweaked it to add chocolate chips as they help give u gooey centers but you can leave them out.  

Monday, December 5, 2016

Homemade Chicken Stock



With Christmas around the corner I am sure that most of us will be cooking several pots of biryanis and pulaos to celebrate. The best way to cook your rice dishes is to use chicken or vegetable stock which adds a great depth and flavour to them, something that plain water cannot achieve.  Since we are huge fans of biryanis and pulaos at home the use of bouillon cubes (stock cubes) was always a part of my grocery list until I discovered homemade stock. I never went back to using bouillon  cubes to flavour my rice dishes after that. I do keep a couple of them for emergencies (yep! guilty of that) but I almost always have a box or two of frozen stock. 

Trust me, the effort is almost nil and you have beautifully flavoured stock that is sans preservatives and excess salt. When you make your own stock you have full control over what goes in it. You alter the ingredients according to what you have in your fridge and pantry and ofcourse, you add only as much salt as you require. Most times I add very little salt to the pot and prefer adding salt to the dish that I am preparing using the stock. This is helpful if you are trying to cut down salt intake especially those who have high blood pressure and other health issues. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Marbled Mocha Whoopie Pies


There are days when I just want to bake something but its not a cake or cookie that I am craving for. On a gloomy day these pies helped satisfy my sweet tooth and also my baking obsession! Actually it was my son who was after me to bake these for him. I made them twice in a row and they were gobbled up in no time! The pies which look like large cookies are actually soft like cake and go very well with the filling sandwiched between them. I think they are a real treat for little ones.