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Friday, July 27, 2012

Palak Rice / Spinach Flavoured Rice – Is A Must Lunch Box Idea

Working Moms sure do have a lot to worry about when it comes to cooking a healthy meal for every member of the family! From fixing breakfast for their hubby, picky eating kids, dieting In-laws and fixing her own lunch box to work…..Ufffff the list goes on! And to keep up with all these demands in the morning rush hours must be really giving her a headache! At least it gives me a head ache for sure!!!

To beat all the stress, I have discovered some worthy recipes to please these taste buds and in a healthy way too.  Palak Flavoured Rice is one of them and I am glad it saves me from the morning headaches!  Palak Rice is a very healthy and simple rice dish to prepare any time of the day!  I usually prepare this to pack our lunch boxes.  To top it all, I save some Palak / Spinach for the Raitha to go with it.  They go well together and gives us some needed nutrition.  Thank God my little fella likes these flavoured rice dishes as long as it smells like Biryani J

Here goes the pictures and simple recipe ……..

Ingredients required for Palak Rice:

Rice 3 cups/ 500 grams approximately
Water 6 cups / double the amount of rice
Palak / spinach – a large bunch
Onions chopped  2
Green chillies 3-4 ( increase if you like more spicy)
Cloves 4-5
Cinnamon sticks – 2
Bay leaf – 2
Ginger/garlic paste 2 tbsp
Oil 3 tbsp
Juice of one lime
Cilantro/Coriander leaves a handful
Turmeric powder – a pinch ( I omit this usually to get a natural green colour)
Salt to taste

How to prepare Palak / Spinach Rice:

1.      Wash rice and soak it in water.  In the mean time clean and wash spinach leaves 
         and  chop, spinach, onions, and slit green chilies into two.
2.      Heat a cooker and add oil.  Add cloves, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaf one by one.
3.      Add chopped onions and green chilies, sauté till onion browns a bit and ginger- garlic
         paste and give stir.
4.      Add chopped spinach and sauté till the raw smell goes away (remember to save ¼ of
         it for Raita)
5.      Add the soaked rice, salt to taste and chopped cilantro, mix it well.
6.      Now add water and squeeze in lime juice. Taste and add little more salt if needed.
7.      Pressure cook it for one whistle or cook in an open pot till rice gets done.
8.      Serve with Spinach Raita (any Raita) or pack it for your lunch box

J …Simple isn’t it? Now off we go to Palak Raita…………

Ingredients required for Palak Raita:

Palak / Spinach ¼ bunch cleaned and chopped
Onions finely chopped 1
Green Chillies 2
Yogurt 1 cup / 250 ml.
Salt to taste

How to prepare Palak Raita:

1.      Sauté the palak in a spoon of oil ( I like to use it raw to retain the cruch)
2.      Beat yogurt / curd and combine chopped onion, green chilies and salt together.
3.      Serve with any rice dish to make it more healthier J

Kindly bear with me because I have received one more award to flaunt on my blog :D  Dear Preeti from Indian Kitchen has once again showered me with this favulous blog ribbon.  I am truly delighted to have this award.  Thanks much make me happy everytime you pass an award to me.


Points to Ponder:

The scripture verse below speaks of A Wife Of Noble Character.  You must read it fully to understand how beautifully it describes the woman of good character.  I have quoted a very small portion of it here!

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family.
And portions for her female servants
Proverbs 31: 14-15

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Microwave Banana Bread / Muffins

I had been baking a lot of chocolate cakes since my family loves chocolate in any form,   but was longing to try something different. Finally settled for Banana Bread/Cake since had some ripe Bananas at home, but sadly did not have a recipe! The closest I could find was Banana and coconut Cake which is actually my cousin’s recipe that I have adapted to bake this bread.  The recipe called for Coconut and bread crumbs but I omitted them and just used Bananas and added cinnamon powder since I remembered the distinct taste of cinnamon in Banana Bread that I had tasted long time ago.

Lo behold, the Bread turned out so soft and moist…the house was filled with the sweet aroma of Cinnamon, Banana and Baked Bread!! Someone has rightly said …..baking really has a soothing effect on our minds!! My Mum in law declared, that was the best bread she had ever eaten J  The bonus point was, I let my little boy taste it for the first time and I felt, it was all worth the try, when I saw his little dance after taking his first bite J.  Ever since it has become a frequent tea time snack at home and breakfast menu for my little bunny! 

Moreover it’s a healthy recipe with the goodness of Bananas, eggs, and a dash of spice which really calmed my senses!! I have replace the bread crumbs with wheat flour and butter with cooking oil J.  So here goes my first attempt in baking my first Banana Bread / Muffins J

Ingredients required:

1 ¼ cup sugar
½   cup butter or oil
3 eggs
1-2 cups mashed bananas ( I used 2 cups)
1 tsp vanilla essence
¾ cup soul milk (yogurt)
1 tsp cooking soda
1 cup Maida/All purpose flour
1 cup Wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup cashews / walnuts finely chopped
1 ½ tsp Cinnamon powder


1.      Pre-heat oven at 350 F or 180 C. Beat eggs and add sugar and oil and cream together.
2.      Mix in mashed banana, Vanilla essence.
3.      Combine sour milk with soda, once it rises in volume, add it and mix well.
4.      Sift together all purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder and Cinnamon.  Add this to the creamed mixture and blend it well.
5.      Stir in the chopped walnuts/cashes and pour into a greased and floured cake/loaf pan.
6.      Bake for 40-45 minutes in moderate oven or until the bread is done.

How to bake in Microwave: If you are using a microwave, set the micro power to 480 Watt (which is a moderate power setting to bake in my Microwave model) and bake it in greased and floured borosil dish for 20 minutes on the rotating tray.  Once done, insert the round steel stand used for grilling and place the cake dish on top of it. Bake for 3-5 more minutes under Combi Grill mode in the medium setting to brown the top. Please do go through user manual of your microwave if you are not too sure about the power settings. It differs in each Microwave model. The objective is to keep the temperature setting in moderate power.…not too low or too high to get best results.

If you are using small cupcake molds made of silicon, it will be done in 8-10 minutes under 480 watts. I did not use silicon cupcake molds in the combi- grill mode, since I was not sure if they would be safe under excess heat!  Use your best judgment and bake in short durations in order to avoid any kind of burning! That’s what I do J

Will come up with more updates about the microwave baking as and when I discover the secrets! Till then take care and bake some healthy banana bread/muffins and enjoy!!

Points to Ponder:

You must be aware of verities of bread that can be prepared in your kitchen. But you would be delighted to know few more verities which you may have never heard before!! Read on to know more………….

Genesis 3:19 – Bread of sweat (hard work)
Proverbs 31:27 –Bread of Idleness
Proverbs 4:17 –Bread of wickedness
Psalms 127:2 –Bread of Sorrows,
Psalms 80:5 –Bread of Tears
Isaiah 30:20 – Bread of Adversity

The Bible references mentioned above talks about people who eat bread according to their deeds. But the best of all is Bread of Life who is Jesus himself. As eating bread is so essential for us to sustain physically, Jesus the Bread of life is also very essential to sustain us spiritually, emotionally and eternally!!!

John 6:35 – Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life, Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Methi Chicken / Chicken cooked with Fenugreek leaves & my 2nd and 3rd Awards!

This post is long overdue though I was supposed to work on it few weeks ago.  As the famous saying goes, It is better late than never to have posted at all…isn’t it?

I sincerely want to Thank Preeti from Indian Kitchen for her sweet gesture in sharing with me the Liebster award.  She is such an enthusiastic girl that every day I see her posting so many recipes…I keep wondering where in the world does she have the time to do it?  Because I know it takes hard work and dedication to do so much and keep at it at the same time without getting bored or tired of it.  That shows how passionate she is about her blog! Please do check out her blog and see yourself!

Thanks Preeti  a.k.a PT for your wonderful recipes and your tireless attitude J

I am really honored and humbled by the kind gesture of my new blogger friend Tisa from Blessings from my Kitchen for showering me with my third award …i.e., AWSOME BLOGGER AWARD!  I know it takes a lot to deserve such an appreciation and am bowled over to receive this award for my little space.  In fact Tisa’s blog is such an inspiration to me that I adore her Blog from her title and her style of writing and her versatile recipes with amazing pictures.  Please do visit her blog and I am sure you will love all of it too!

Thank you Tisa Maam for sharing this award with me J

According to the blogging rules, I would like to share the awesome blogger award with five of my favorite bloggers who are doing an awesome job at their blogs! I know there are  too many out there but I will list five of them for now J

1.      Naughty Curry by Deepti - for her friendly spirit.
2.      Tasty Appetite by Jay – for her appetizing menus
3.      Foodelicious by Pari – for her amazing creativity in the kitchen
4.      Plateful by Nashi – for her awesome photography
5.      Good Food Ends with Good Talk by Faseela – for her purely Good Food blog

I absolutely love these bloggers for their enthusiasm and love for food!!

To celebrate the award ceremony I would like to present this delicious Methi-Chicken which is one of my favorite combinations.  I usually experiment with different combinations to make our mealtime enjoyable so that it does not get boring J. I love the taste of Methi leaves cooked with chicken. It makes a perfect combo with hot rotis/chapattis. So without much ado, here goes the recipe ………….

Ingredients required:

Chicken 500 grams
Methi / Fenungreek leaves ½ bunch – cleaned and chopped
Pudina/Mint leaves a handful – cleaned and chopped
Ginger / garlic paste 1 tbsp.
Onions 2 finely chopped
Tomatoes 2 finely chopped
Red chili powder 2 tsp – adjust according to your taste
Green chilis 2-3 slit (omit if you don’t like it too spicy)
Dhaniya/Coriander powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Cilantro/Coriander leaves a handful
Salt to taste

How to prepare Methi Chicken:

1.      Clean and wash the chicken pieces
2.      Heat a thick bottomed pan/Kadai, add oil. Once hot, add chopped Methi leaves and sauté for a minute to remove the bitterness.
3.      Then add onions and sauté again till they turn translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and stir and don’t let it burn.
4.      Now add Mint leaves, turmeric powder, chili powder and dhaniya powder and give a stir.
5.      Add washed chicken pieces and little salt and cook covered for 10 minutes. You can add a cup of water if you need more gravy.
6.      Add chopped tomatoes, garam masala powder and chopped Cilantro to the half cooked chicken and add little more salt if required, stir again and cook covered for another 10 minutes or till the chicken is cooked well.
7.      Garnish with Cilantro and serve hot with steamed rice or some hot rotis/chapattis.

So take good care of yourself and ponder over few lines given below! J

Points to Ponder:
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language;
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens, He has pitched a tent for the sun,
which is like a bridegroom, coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens, and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.
Psalm 19 : 1-6

This is the description of just one of God’s creations by the Psalmist. Look around; and see the beauty of his creations!! Each one of it, is so unique in its own kind. The plants, flowers, birds, sea creatures, our whole universe…all of them speak of his awesomeness.  But what are we human beings doing to proclaim the awesomeness our creator in spite of being created in His own image???

See Whats Cooking!!


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