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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

After Little A started on solids, I have been hunting for a lot of quick and healthy recipes. Specially snacks and quick bites to be in particular. A always loved snatching biscuits from his cousin sis. And since store bought biscuits are not healthy for babies I was searching for some healthy cookie recipes. Was a little unsure in the beginning when I saw this 2 INGREDIENT COOKIE. Yeah you heard me right 2 ingredients. Hence I made a very small test batch of just 5 cookies. Well later I wished I had baked more. 


You need just 2 ingredients to make this cookie and you can add any add on to it. Like nuts, currents, choco chips etc. I made 3 with just the 2 ingredients and added some chopped chocolate on Big A's batch. The cookies were really good and Little A just relished it. He began asking for more pointing at the oven. So easy to make and the healthiest breakfast cookie you can ever have. 


Recipe Makes a Dozen


You Will Need:
2 large overly ripe bananas, mashed 
1 Cup of Oats, Regular / Instant anything

The Baking:
Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with parchment paper / foil. 
Place the mashed banana and oats in a bowl. Mix well until combined. Divide the mix equally into 12 portion and place them on the baking tray and press down. The cookie won't spread when baking you can make it as thicker or as thinner you want. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 mins. Once done remove and cool on a cooling rack. Once cooled store in air tight container. 

NOTE: The sweetness comes from the bananas. So its best you use a very very ripe banana. Those with blackened skin is what i used. And frozen and thawed banana too works perfect. 

CLICK HERE TO CHECKOUT MY EVENT + GIVEAWAY ON THE BLOG 

Happy Baking!  
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Monday, 29 December 2014

Am a novice in Bread Making and this CHEESY GARLIC PULL APART BREAD is my first ever bread I have baked. And guess what? I have been transformed from I love cakes & cupcakes to I love Bread Making. I don't know why I held myself off from bread making. Maybe working with yeast put me off? or I just don't know. But after trying this pull apart I have decided to plunge head down into bread making. The whole process of bread making is actually very therapeutic and much easier than I expected them to be. 

You can make this as cheesy as you want. We actually with a lot of cheese. Since I avoid cheese a lot we tend to go overboard sometimes just to treat our cheese craving. 


And ah I just loved the smell of bread baking in the oven. My entire house was wafting with the smell of garlic and herbs. Big A's face immediately lit up when he came home from office asking "Whats that lovely smell?" I love when he says that. 

Such a wonderful recipe for babies and toddlers too. Freshly baked with no preservatives are a safe bet for babies. Little A loved it too. It can be given as a treat or a one off thing to babies and as a snack for toddlers.    

I tried THIS recipe!

You Will Need:
3 tsp Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup of Warm Milk (Hand hot)
1/4 Cup of Warm Water (hand hot)
2 tsp of Sugar
3 tbsp of Olive Oil
1 Beaten Egg
3.5 Cups of Plain Flour
1 tsp Italian / Pizza / Garlic Bread Seasoning
3 tsp Garlic Powder 
1.5 tsp Salt
200g mozzarella Cheese
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan (Optional, I did not use)
1 Cup of shredded cheddar and mozzarella
1 tbsp Melted Butter
Basting on the top (Optional but Highly recommended):
1 tbsp Melted butter
1 tsp Finely Chopped parsley
1/2 tsp garlic Powder

The Cooking:

Step 1:
Pour the warm water and warm milk into a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast. Then add sugar and olive oil. Stir well and let it proof for 15 - 20 mins till foamy and frothy.

NOTE: If the yeast is not frothy by 30 mins at least you will have to discard the yeast and start with a fresh batch. If the milk is too hot or not warm enough then the yeast will not activate.

Step 2:
In another bowl add the beaten egg, garlic powder, salt, Parmesan cheese (if using) and seasoning.

Step 3:
In a large bowl add the flour. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and the egg mixture. Use your hands to make a dough.It will be a little sticky. Just make sure all the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Oil the insides of the bowl and place the dough. Cover with a cling or a tea towel and let it raise / double the size for 1.5 - 2 hrs. Meanwhile grease a 9 inch round pan with melted butter / olive oil. Cut the mozzarella into 12 cubes and shred the cheddar and remaining mozzarella

Step 4:
Once the dough has doubled punch it down and knead for 5 mins. Then divide the dough into 12 equal balls. Take one dough ball slightly flatten it in your palms and place a mozzarella cube and roll it into a ball. Do the same for remaining dough balls. 

Step 5:
Now place the balls inside the greased pan and stuff shredded cheese in between each balls and simply wherever you want. Let the dough raise for another 30 - 45 mins. And meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare the baste by mixing together the butter, parsley and garlic powder.

Step 6:
Once the dough has raised again. Brush the top generously with the flavored butter and sprinkle some more any left over cheese if you want. 




Bake in the preheated oven for 30 - 35 mins until the top is golden brown and the cheese is a bubbly. 

Serve hot immediately straight out of the oven with a final brushing of flavored butter! 

Happy Baking! 
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Thursday, 25 December 2014

Hey there, Welcome to my event + giveaway page. I am so excited to announce my first ever event in accordance with celebration of Shobskitchen's Facebook Page reaching 500 likes mark. I wholeheartedly thank all my readers for your support. Now coming to the event. This event will be based on a theme. You will all be submitting posts on that particular theme and I will be choosing one winner based on the creativity and authenticity of the dish.




WHAT THE WINNER GETS?
I was thinking a lot of options but something what I have always loved and treasured are cookbooks. Hence the winner gets this lovely cookbook A PINCH OF THIS A HANDFUL OF THAT by food writer Rushina Munshaw - Ghildiyal. Such a lovely book. Its not just measurements and step by step direction but a food diary with fab recipes and stories behind them. The book features both vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes. Any passionate foodie would treasure this book.



THE THEME OF THE EVENT:
I call it "Tradition with a Twist". I want you guys to tell me a little about yourself. Where you are from and something about your tradition and culture. So you need to blog/mail me any of your Traditional Dish/Dishes with your own innovative twist to it. Isn't that a nice way to meet varied cultures and get to know about their cuisines?


COMMENCEMENT & DEADLINE:
The event will run through the month of January 2015. You can start submitting your post from January 01, 2015 till January 31, 2015 Contest Closed and winner is announced!


The winner of the event will be announced on February 05, 2015 on the Facebook page as well as in this event announcement page.


WHO CAN PARTICIPATE?
The event will be open to all bloggers & non bloggers in India.


THE RULES:
  • The recipe should signify your cultural background. Both Vegetarian and non vegetarian recipes are allowed.
  • Multiple entries are allowed.
  • All fresh entries & archived post, must have the event logo and link it to this event page. Entries without logo & link back will not be considered.
  • Use the Inlinkz tool at the bottom of the post to link your recipes. If you have problems linking your entries, email me your recipe with "Tradition with a twist" as the subject to the given address below and I can link it for you.
  • A Mandatory Follow on any one of the following social networks
            # Facebook
            # Twitter
            # Google+

Non bloggers can send your entries via email to shobs.shobana@gmail.com in the following format.

Your Name:
Your Post URL: (For Bloggers)
Name of the Dish:
Something about you and the dish:
Ingredients:
Direction:
Attaching a picture of the dish.  

So, are you all ready? I am so waiting to see you all post your wonderful recipes. If you have any further queries you can email me to the above mentioned address or drop me a message on my Facebook page.

WINNER OF THE CONTEST:

Congratulations, SOORIYA KASIRAJH of DELECTABLE FLAVOURS for Foxtail Millit / Thinai Sakkarai Pongal. Please email me or message me your address on facebook to receive your prize!

I personally thank all the participants for participating on this contest and I really loved all the recipes you submitted. Keep cooking and Keep Blogging! Cheers.



Happy Cooking!

Disclaimer: This giveaway is self sponsored.

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Thursday, 18 December 2014

I have always been mesmerized by herbs. There are so many of them and each one have their unique scent and flavors they give to a dish. My favorites are mint, coriander, thyme, basil and chives. But I rarely buy non Indian herbs and when I do I generally dry / freeze them to use later. I actually like freezing more than drying the herbs. Freezing keeps the freshness and flavor intact and its much easier than drying. Few simple pointers to remember while freezing is to use a ziploc bag. Air tight / plastic containers will just spoil the herbs in a day. And the air dry / pat dry the herbs before you do the first freezing. Don't place them in dripping wet.

I froze parsley and basil this time. There will a slight discoloration after freezing but thats ok. 

You Will Need:
Some Fresh Herbs
A Baking Tray / A Large Plate
Ziploc Bags

The Freezing:
Step 1:
Simply pluck the herbs from its stems. Place them in a colander and run under water. Let them sit on the colander for few mins.


Step 2:
Place the washed herbs on a cloth and gently pat them dry. Or you could leave them under a fan.


Step 3:
Arrange the herbs on to a baking tray and place them in the freezer compartment for approx 45 mins.

Before Freezing

After Freezing

Step 4:
Take the herbs out and transfer them into the ziploc bags immediately. Do not try to compress or squeeze together the herbs. The must be loosely placed in the bags.


Step 5:
Stick them back in the freezer. When you need the herbs you can simply take as much you want and place the rest back into the freezer. 

Basil Leaves Frozen
Happy Cooking!
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Monday, 15 December 2014

Pardon my terrible picture. It was close to midnight and I was in the middle of packing to travel the next day. Little A has been self feeding for the past 3 months now and its impossible to sneak a snack in front of him without him crying and asking for it. We had to train travel to our hometown the next day and I wanted to make some snack to carry with us so that we can have our train meals in peace. I polish off my fridge before every travel and I had nothing to make except couple of apples and some carrots. After Googling for what looked like an eternity I came across this Eggless Butterless Whole wheat carrot Muffins.....and I simply call them SKINNY CARROT MUFFINS!


I have never baked eggless before. I love my eggs. And am a fan of white flour. But since it was for Little A I had to go with Whole Wheat. There is ZERO Fat in these muffins and I was amazed at how moist it turned out. The snack was meant for Little A but since it was Eggless and Fatless Big A jumped right in. Healthy muffin baked in no time.  

Baking powder and baking soda are generally to be avoided for babies and toddlers but as a on off thing its fine. 

You Will Need:
Makes 12
1.5 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Clove
1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Cup White / Brown Sugar
1.5 Cups Unsweetened Applesauce
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Large Carrot, Peeled and finely grated

The Baking:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray with cupcake liners or just grease them or spray cooking oil.

In a large bowl sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ground clove, and  ground nutmeg. Then add the sugar, applesauce, vanilla and shredded carrots. Mix until everything is moistened. DO NOT over mix.

Fill each muffin cup 3/4th full and bake for 18 - 25 mins or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the muffin pan for 10 mins before turning them over to a cooling rack to cool further. 

Recipe Source: Simply Daily Recipes

Happy Baking!
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Sunday, 14 December 2014

Ah I love my granny's cooking. There are few recipes of her's which I love and one of them is her FISH FRY! Its just salt, chili powder, turmeric and lemon....easy peasy lemon squeezy! And I prefer tava frying the fish rather than deep frying them, thats another version of my mum's! Now about the chili powder used, we always always use Homemade Chili Powder. Never the Kashmiri ones. Because the home made chili powder is less hot and it gives a lot of masala which when fried with fish is super tasty. The kashmiri ones are hot hence you can use them in excess thus giving you no masala. But its not mandatory to the homemade chili powder. I have used Seer fish / king fish / vanjaram meen for this but you can use any type of fish actually. 


And I don't have a pic of beautifully presenting one large slice of fried fish with pickled onions and a wedge of lemon on the side. Oh hell with it I was already salivating and who needs a final picture! 
My granny's Fish fry coming straight from the frying pan!!!

My granny massaging the fish with masala



You Will Need:

A kilo of Thinly Sliced fish, Cleaned and pat dry
Oil required for shallow frying
For the Marination:
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
2 heaped Tbsp of Homemade Chili Powder (Adjust according to your spice requirement)
Juice from 1 Lime
Salt to Taste

The Cooking:

Mix together all the ingredients for marination. Rub the marinade evenly over all fish slices. Let them marinate for an hour at least. Heat oil for shallow frying on medium. Once hot place 2 slices at a time and gently shallow fry giving 2- 3 mins per side. Fish cook faster hence frying them long will make them tough.

Serve with a squirt of lime juice!

Note: There will be a sediment of masala in the bottom of the frying pan after you fry each batch. Do not throw away the masala. Serve them along with the fish fry.

Happy Cooking!

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Saturday, 13 December 2014

I fell in love with this one! Egg toasts are my favorite breakfasts but I have no idea why I did not spice it up all these years. The flavors were just amazing and the aroma was just wafting through the house when I made those. I used a whole grain bread, you can use any bread you like. 

To make this baby / toddler friendly, I suggest you omit the salt (Substitute with lime juice) and green chilies. 



You Will Need:

4 Whole Wheat Bread Slices
2 Large Eggs, Beaten
1 tbsp Finely Grated Carrot (Optional)
Couple Of Shallots / Spring Onions, Finely Chopped
1 Small Tomato, Chopped
Some Chopped Coriander Leaves
1 Green Chili, Finely Chopped
A pinch of Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Chaat Masala (Can also sub with salt)
1/4 tsp Cumin Powder
1. 5 tsp of Thick Yogurt (Weird ah) / Double Cream 
Butter / Ghee for toasting

The Cooking:

Heat a Non stick pan on medium with butter / ghee.

Mix all the ingredients into the beaten eggs and beat well. Dip both sides of a bread slice and place it on the hot pan. Scoop out little onions and tomatoes from the beaten egg and spread them on top (since they will be in the bottom the bread wont pick up much onions and tomatoes)

When one side is done flip to the other side and cook for couple of mins. Serve hot!!!

Happy Cooking!
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I love fries, but who wouldn't! We must have seen crisp fries in lot of chip shops and wondered how they achieve that crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside texture. Homemade fries are always soggy. Well if your's is not then well congratulations! So I bring you THE PERFECT FRIES you can make at home. Long time back I remember watching Heston Blumenthal's Cook like Heston on Tlc. Wow that's an amazing program I tell you. The guy is a genius! He cooks like he is in a science lab. So methodological and very accurate. And he made this TRIPLE COOKED CHIP on one of the shows and since then its been on my long list of "Recipes to try before you die". Hmm actually that list is getting endless! 



So, you cook the potato three times to achieve that crisp outside. Well its quite a ling process but actually easy and you can make a batch of it and stick it in the freezer and deep fry when you have guests around. According to Heston you will need a kitchen thermometer.But I don't own one and the chip turned out absolutely fine. Just make sure you use long variety potato for this like shown in the pic below. 

Stock Image

You Will Need:

1 kg Potatoes, Peeled and cut into chips (2cm x 2cm x 6cm)
Oil to Deep Fry
Salt to Season

The Cooking:

Step 1:
Place the cut chips into a bowl and wash under running water till the water runs clear. 

Step 2:
Place 2 ltrs of room temperature water in a large saucepan and add the cut chips. Place on medium heat and simmer untill the chips are falling apart (they will be cooked through but still hold the shape) approx 30 mins depending on the potatoes. 

Step 3:
Drain the potatoes carefully and place them on a tray to dry out. Then stick the tray into the freezer for 1 hr.

Step 4:
Pour oil in a deep frying vessel and heat the oil to 130 degrees. If you do not have a kitchen thermometer its fine. To check if the oil is heated to 130 degrees simply put a potato chip in it. The chip will sink to the bottom and you can see teeny tiny bubbles appearing from the drowned chip. Fry them in small batches for 5 mins apprx until there is a outer crust formed.

NOTE: No Need to defrost the chip. It must be frozen while deep frying

Step 5:
Remove from the oil and place them in a kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Put the potatoes on to a tray and freeze for another 1 hr.

NOTE: If you dont want to cook the chips immediately then it can be kept in the fridge for 3 days

Step 6:
After an hr take the chip out and heat the oil to 180 degrees (To check put a chip into the oil and it immediately sizzles like crazy). Deep fry the chips in batches until the chip is crisp and a nice golden brown colour approx 7 mins. Place them on a kitchen paper and season with salt.

There You have the perfect chip you can ever make. So crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

I suggest you serve it immediately.....1

Happy Cooking!  




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Tuesday, 2 December 2014


IMAGE SOURCE

When you read any cookbooks, food blogs or watch a cooking TV show you will come across a lot of cooking terms that define a particular technique in cooking. Amateur cooks or beginners sometimes find it hard to understand what the terms exactly mean thus making it hard for them to figure the whole process of the recipe. Hence, I have come up with this post which briefly explains some very commonly used cooking terms. Understanding the basic cooking terms will make you to understand a recipe better. 


COOKING TERM
DEFINITION
Barbeque
To cook foods on a rack or spit over coals
Baste
To moisten food with marinade / fat for added flavor and to avoid drying while cooking
Batter
An uncooked pour-able mixture
Beat
To stir rapidly to make a mixture smooth
Blanch
To cook briefly in boiling water to seal in the color and flavor.
Blend
To thoroughly mix two or more ingredients by hand / whisk / mixer
Bone
To remove bones from poultry / fish / meat
Braise
To cook first by browning, then gently simmer in a small amount of liquid over low heat covered till tender
Bread
To coat with breadcrumbs before cooking
Broil
To cook on a rack or spit under or over direct heat, usually in an oven
Brown
To cook over high heat usually on a stove
Caramelize
To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a syrup ranging from golden to dark brown colour
Core
To remove the seeds and tough woody center from fruits and vegetables
Cream
To beat ingredients usually sugar and fat
Cube
To cut food in ½ inch piece
Cut - In
To distribute fat into flour in a cutting motion with a pastry blender untill divided evenly into tiny pieces, usually in pastry making.
De - glaze
To loosen brown bits from a pan by adding a liquid, then heating while stirring and scrapping the pan.
Dollop
A spoonful of soft food such as cream or mashed potato
Dot
To scatter bits of butter over a food

Dredge
To cover or coat uncooked food food with usually breadcrumbs, eggs etc
Dress
To coat foods such as salads with sauce
Drippings
Juices and fats rendered by meat or poultry during cooking
Drizzle
To pour melted butter, oil, syrup, melted chocolate or other liquid in a back and froth motion over a food
Dust
To coat lightly with confectioners sugar or cocoa powder or another powdery ingredient
Fillet
A flat piece of boneless meat, poultry or fish. Also to cut bones from meat, poultry and fish
Flambe
To drizzle liquor over a food while it is cooking, then when the alcohol has warmed ignite the food right before serving.
Fold
To combine light ingredients like whipped cream or beaten egg whites with a heavier mixture, using a gentle over and under motion with a spatula.
Glaze
To coat mixture with glossy mixture such jellies ot sauce
Grate
To rub food against a serrated surface to produce shredded or fine bits.
Grease
To rub the interior surface of a cooking dish with oil / butter / shortening to prevent food from sticking
Julienne
To cut into long thin strips
Knead
To blend dough with hand or in a mixer to form a pliable mass
Macerate
To soak in a flavored liquid, usually refers to fruits
Marinate
To soak in flavored liquid usually referring to meat, poultry and fish
Mince
To cut into tiny pieces , usually with a knife
Parboil
Parcially Cook by boiling
Poach
To cook in very low heat bearly simmering liquid just to cover
Puree
To mash or grind food untill completely smooth
Reduce
To thicken a liquid to concentrate the flavour by gently boiling


Roast
To cook a large / whole piece of meat, poultry or vegetable uncovered in dry heat usually in an oven
Saute
To cook food in small amount of fat on a pan over high heat
Sear
To brown the surface of the meat quickly by cooking over high heat to seal the juices
Shred
To cut in a narrow strips with a knife or a grater
Simmer
To cook in low heat just below the boiling point
Skim
To remove surface form or fat from a liquid
Steam
To cook food on a rack over boiling water covered
Steep
To soak under the liquid just below the boiling point to extract flavor
Stew
To cook covered over low heat on liquid
Stir Fry
To quickly cook small pieces of food over high heat
Whip
To beat food with a whip or mixture to incorporate air and produce volumn
Whisk
To beat ingredients such as heavy cream, eggs, salad dressing with a fork or whisk to encorparate air.
Zest
The outer color part / peel of a citrus fruit
FlakeTo gently separate into small pieces usually with your fingers or fork. Most commonly refers to cooked fish because of its flaky texture.
LeavenTo add an ingredient such as yeast, baking powder or baking soda that adds gas to the dough or batter, causing it to expand, or rise, and lighten the texture of a finished product 
PareTo remover skin/peel from fruits and vegetables with knife or a peeler
PitTo remove a seed from a piece of fruit by cutting around the sides of the fruit and pulling the seed away from the flesh
PreheatTo heat the oven to a specified temperature before baking.
ProofTo activate yeast or other leavening agent before using in a recipe


Punch Down
To deflate a raisen dough with your hand to help escape gas
Pulse
Pressing the start button of the blender or mixer on and off rapidly several times until the appropritae texturer is achieved
Score
To cut slits on to food before cooking for decoration / ease of cutting after cooking / tenderization / to allow flavours to penetrate the surface
Sift
To pass dry ingredients through a fine mesh screen to loosen the particles, incorporate air and lighten the resulting product.
Strain
To pass moist mixture through a colander, seive or cheese cloth to remove solid particles
Sweat
To cook foods, usually chopped vegetables, over medium heat until they excude some of their moisture which in turn , steams and softens the food without browning


Toss
To combine ingredient by gently turning over until blended
Source:
teriskitchen.com
goodhousekeeping.com

Happy Cooking!
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