Friday, May 30, 2014

Blue Raspberry Cookies - Guest Post by 'Jnr. Musti'

With immense pleasure and excitement, I am posting here a cooking experiment and its outcome by 'My Most Special and Adorable Guest on my Blog', Jnr. Musti!!!

Ingredients she used:

Raspberry Cookie Mix - 1 packet of 17.9 oz (by Betty Crocker)
Soft Butter - 5 tbsps
Egg Replacer - 2 tsps diluted in 3 tbsps lukewarm water
Water - 1 tbsp
Blue Sanding Sugar - 1/2 cup
All Purpose Flour - 2 tsps for dusting

Baking Trays - 2 sheets
Wax Paper - 2 sheets

This is how she did:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180 degrees C.
  2. Prepare the baking trays by lining them with wax papers
  3. In a large mixing bowl, diluted egg replacer, water and soft butter. Mix well with a spatula.
  4. Add the cookie mix and mix until well combined. 
  5. Make large dough ball.
  6. Take the sanding sugar in a small plate.
  7. Lightly dust a surface with some all-purpose flour.
  8. Roll the dough ball into 1/4 inch thick disc.
  9. Using a cookie cutter, cut the disc into desired shapes.
  10. Collect the extra dough between the cut cookies, roll it into a ball.
  11. Repeat steps 8-10 until all the dough has been used up.
  12. Sprinkle the sanding sugar on the cut out cookie and place it in a prepared baking tray.

  13. Bake for 7-8 minutes.
  14. Let the cookie rest in the trays for a couple of minutes.
  15. Serve the cookies.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Moode/Kottige (Screw Pine/Kedige Flavored Idlis)

Moode, also called as Kottige is a traditional Mangalore dish. This is prepared by steam cooking batter similar to that of idli in moulds prepared from Banana leaves or Kedige/Screw Pine leaves. Some people also prepare using Jackfruit leaf moulds. The Kedige/Screw Pine leaf moulds are usually available in some vegetable markets. The banana leaf moulds are usually prepared at home by rolling the leaf in a particular fashion. The batter is poured into the mould and the moulds are then placed in a steamer to cook the batter.
The rice for the batter is ground slightly coarser than that for idli batter.


Idli Rice - 2 cups
Black Gram - 1 cup
Salt to taste

Screw Pine/Kedige Leaf Moulds - 8 to 10 (you can use Banana/Jackfruit Leaf moulds)


  1. Wash and soak black gram and idli rice separately in water. Soak for 3-4 hours.
  2. Grind black gram into fine batter adding little water. make sure you add little water so that the consistency of the batter does not turn runny.
  3. Now grind rice into a coarse batter adding little water. Do not grind for long as the rice might get finely ground and that might lead to harder Moode/Kottige.
  4. Mix the rice batter to black gram batter, add salt. If your grinder is big enough, grind rice once the black gram is finely ground and continue to grind until rice gets ground to coarse texture.
  5. Mix the batter thoroughly.
  6. Let it ferment overnight or for 6-7 hours atleast. Fermentation usually depends on the climatic condition and might at times needs to fermented for a couple of hours more. The volume of the batter will double up.
  7. To steam cook, wash the moulds thoroughly. 
  8. Place enough water in the steamer and place it on high flame.
  9. Gently mix the batter. Do not over beat the batter as the air captured in the batter during fermentation will be lost and this will make Moode/Kottige hard. 
  10. Now pour the batter into each mould, until 3/4rth filled. 
  11. Place the moulds in the steamer.
  12. Cover and cook for 45-50 minutes or until cooked. The duration of cooking depends on the number of moulds placed in the steamer and the size of the steamer itself.
  13. Once cooked, turn off the heat and remove the lid of the steamer to avoid water vapors falling on the cooked Moode/Kottige.
  14. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambhar of your choice. Tastes great with Mango/Banana Rasayana.  Do not forget to carefully peel off the leaf moulds before eating!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bitter Gourd Stir Fry


Bitter Gourds - 2 medium
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind Extract (Thick) - 1 1/2 tsps
Jaggery Powder - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

For Masala:

Garlic Cloves - 4 large
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Chillis - 3
Dessicated Coconut - 3 tbps
Cooking Oil - 1 tsp

For Seasoning:

Cooking Oil - 2 tbsps
Black Gram - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 3/4 tsp
Dry Red Chilli - 1
Curry Leaves - 5


  1. Peel garlic cloves and chop them.
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, add chopped garlic. Roast until slightly brown. 
  3. Add cumin seeds and dry red chillis. Roast until chilli turn crisp.
  4. Now add dessicated coconut and roast on low flame until brown. Immediately transfer onto a plate and allow it to cool. 
  5. Wash and halve the bitter gourds.
  6. Remove all the seeds and discard them.
  7. Slice bitter gourds into 1/2 inch long slices.
  8. Heat 2 tbsps in a pan.
  9. Add black gram, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chilli pieces and curry leaves.
  10. When mustard seeds start spluttering, add bitter gourd slices. 
  11. Saute on medium flame until they brown slightly and turn crisp. 
  12. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, tamarind extract, jaggery powder and salt. Mix well and let it continue to roast for 2 minutes.
  13. Meanwhile, blend the roasted spices into a coarse powder.
  14. Add this masala powder to the sauteed bittergourd. Mix well.
  15. Let it roast on low flame for 10 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally.
  16. Serve with hot steamed rice and ghee or with curd rice.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Vegetable Puffs with home made Puff Pastry Sheets

Ingredients for Puff Pastry Sheets:

All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 400gms
Cold unsalted Butter - 100gms
Salt - 1 1/2 tsps
Cold Water - 220ml
Soft Unsalted Butter - 300gms

Ingredients for Vegetable Stuffing:

Potatoes, peeled and chopped - 1/2 cup
Carrots, peeled and chopped - 1/2 cup
French Beans, chopped - 1/2 cup
Beetroot, peeled and chopped - 1/4 cup
Dried Peas, soaked overnight in water - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Onions - 2
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 3 tbsps


Preparing Puff Pastry Sheets:

  1. Sift all-purpose flour and salt together.
  2. Take the sifted flour in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Instead you can grate the butter quickly using a grater but make sure the butter does not get soft.
  4. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter cubes into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. If you do not have a pastry blender, use a potato masher.
  5. Now make a well in the centre of the mixture.
  6. Pour all the cold water at once.
  7. Bring in the mixture into the centre and gently mix until the flour is incorporated . Do not knead the mixture. The dough will be sticky.
  8. Lightly flour the kitchen platform or any other surface that you would like. Place the prepared dough and knead well using your fingers.
  9. Make a big ball of the dough, put a cross mark on top to get four quarters.
  10. Wrap it with a cling film or plastic wrap.
  11. Refrigerate overnight.
  12. On the next day, soften the butter by placing it between two plastic wraps. Rock a rolling pin on the plastic wrap to soften the butter. The butter and the dough should have the same consistency. To adjust the consistency, place the dough at room temperature or refrigerate the soft butter for some time.
  13. Using a rolling pin roll the butter into a rectangle of approx. 5x8 inches.
  14. Place the dough ball on a lightly floured surface.
  15. Using a rolling pin, roll through each quarter of the dough ball. Lift the dough sheet and dust the surface if required. Be quick so that the butter in the dough does not start melting.
  16. Brush off any loose flour from the dough sheet using a pastry brush.
  17. Place the prepared rectangle sheet of soft butter in the centre of the rolled dough sheet.
  18. Bring the opposite sides of the dough sheet together.
  19. Now bring the other two sides of the dough sheet together and seal such that the soft butter sheet is completely covered.
  20. Wrap this in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  21. Remove the plastic wrap and place the dough on a lightly floured surface.
  22. Using a rolling pin, gently roll it along the longer edge of the dough. Do not roll with force; gently rock the rolling pin on the surface of the dough to form a rectangle sheet with even surface.
  23. Dust off any loose flour from the surface.
  24. Bring the shorter edges of the sheet such that the two egdes meet at the centre.
  25. Now fold from the centre like you close a book. Make sure you dust off any loose powder.  
  26.  Wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  27. Again remove the plastic and repeat steps 21-26. These steps must be repeated 6-7 minutes. This is time consuming as you need to refrigerate for 20 minutes everytime. When you roll the sheet, be quick enough to not let the butter soften and do not apply too much force on the rolling pin.
  28. After you have repeated this for 6-7 times, wrap in a plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  29. If you do not want to use it up the next day, you can freeze the puff pastry sheet tightly wrapped in a plastic wrap. Or if you want just a portion of it, freeze the remaining sheet.
Preparing the Stuffing:
  1. Boil chopped carrots, potatoes, beetroot, french beans and green peas with just enough water until they soft. You can pressure cook these vegetables to cook them faster. 
  2. Heat oil in a pan.
  3. Add chopped onions. Saute until it turns translucent.
  4. Add garam masala powder and salt. Mix well.
  5. Strain out any water from boiled vegetables. Store this water (broth) for later use to make soups etc.,
  6. Mix the cooked vegetables to the sauteed onions.
  7. Cook until all the water content dries up.
  8. Turn off the flame, add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.
  9. Let it cool down to room temperature.
Preparing Vegetable Puffs:
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Grease and lightly dust two baking trays.
  3. Take the pastry sheet from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap.
  4. Place the sheet on a gently floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll along the longer edges to form an even, rectangle sheet of 1/4 cm thickness.
  5. Divide the sheet into 12 small equal sized rectangles.
  6. Take one such small rectangle.
  7. Place 3-4 tbsps of stuffing vegetable mixture in the centre of the small rectangle, perpendicular to the longer edges.
  8. Smear little water along the edges of the small rectangle.
  9. Bring the smaller edge from top and place it on the smaller edge at the bottom
  10. Using a fork gently press along the edges to seal all through the edges. 
  11. Place it on a baking tray.
  12. Repeat steps 6-11 for all the remaining rectangles.
  13. Bake for 15 minutes.
  14. Remove the trays from the oven and quickly smear little oil on each puff.
  15. Place the trays back in the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the pastry sheets turn crispy and golden in color.
  16. Remove from oven, serve hot.