Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blini ~ Russian Pancakes

This month, as a part of the International Food Challenge, our host Sara bought us some delicious Russian cuisine along. Russia is a country that we have learned so much about in our history classes, from how once it used to be called USSR, and the split, and so on and so forth... believe me, I would not like to sound like a history teacher now! When I say history, I just remembered my teacher back in school. I used to be the only one wide awake in her class, while everybody used to sleep, since I used to love history and was never able to understand how all others could hate it! Hehe... Due to this reason, I was her favorite till I completed school - obviously!

From the list provided, as usual, I went for something that was really easy to make. These Russian pancakes, called Blini, is usually served during the Maslenitsa festival before Lent, with a filling that can range from sour cream, caviar, jam, etc. I had these pancakes just like that, without any accompaniment - that good these were! I devoured them with a mug of hot chocolate over a lazy Friday morning and ended up with a happy tummy. :) Off to the way I made it...

Blini ~ Russian Pancakes
Makes 5
Recipe adapted from here

Monday, September 29, 2014

Cauliflower Masala ~ Version #2

I know I have been continuously writing about some moves in my life. InShaAllah, we are moving to a new flat in the coming week after Eid. We were not thinking of a move when the kids and I came back from vacation. But then as His plans may have it, HD suddenly found a flat closer to his convenience and finalized the move all of a sudden. I was actually wanting a move, however had resigned to the fact that if we don't move out of our current apartment, I would be happy with it. So what I initially wanted, Allah has given it to me as of now. I am a bit jittery of getting adjusted to the new surroundings, since the area is quite away from the town and we will need to use a vehicle to move out for every single need. Nevertheless, the one fact that I love about the place is that it is so close to a Masjid, that literally the Azaan - call for prayer - would resonate inside the house five times a day, Alhamdulillah! Our current house also had a mosque close by, but the call was not that loud. So very soon, I leave behind me almost 28 years of my life behind in that apartment - all my childhood, my ups and downs, my highs and lows and a lot of my demons into this brand new place of ours. InShaAllah, I am sincerely hoping that this will be a new start to a lot of new things in my life, though I am not being over expectant. As usual, always reminding myself of the below verse from the Qur'an:

" Man was created of haste. I will show you My signs, so do not impatiently urge Me." 
(Surah Anbiya: 37)

Off to today's recipe - cauliflower is not a vegetable I like. I wrote - not! But my B likes it. The kids and HD are so-so with it. Since B loves it, whenever I make, I make sure he eat half of the curry and the remaining half is shared between the four of us. Hehe... his favorite is always the manchurian, but somehow I don't make it that way all the time, especially since I hate the deep frying saga - I guess I have to look for buying an air fryer - pst, yes, it is in the plan of things for the future! ;) Normally, I cook my cauliflower this way, but then wanting a change, I twisted and tweaked a bit and came up with this version. Sometimes you need some variety in the serving, right? :)

Cauliflower Masala - Version #2
Serves 4

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Eggless Wholewheat Coffee Muffins

Since this blog is like my collection point of quotes and reads that attract my fancy, here is one that I would love to store to read for the days to come, InShaAllah... :)

Since there is a mention of coffee in the above little poem, what better recipe to share today! I would vouch for these muffins for breakfast. Seriously... Wanting to be free to rack my head as to what to make for breakfast, I baked these beauties at night, but then in the morning, they just tasted delish. I packed them for the kids, I bought some to the office and duly enjoyed them with a cup of warm milk. Definitely, I would bake these again and again when I crave for the coffee flavor in my muffins than in my mug... :) Just my type - eggless, whisk and mix types! As usual, this recipe was one of those Google searches that I mixed and matched while making.

Eggless Wholewheat Coffee Muffins
Makes 9

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Snapshots #4 ~ Whole Spices

I had already mentioned in my pizza post of last week, that I have become a part of this exciting challenge put together by Siri and Shweta, in the name of "Saturday Snapshots". I joined the group with a lot of apprehension as to how much effort and time I can put into their projects, but let's see how things go, since I do want to learn and improve my food photography. Whenever I ask my good blogger friends, who are awesome food photographers themselves, the advice they give me is "practice, practice and practice". I know that's the main thing required, and I also know that I am plainly lazy to invest my time into it...

If I tell you that I don't get a moment to rest and my whole day, including weekends are packed with something or the other, you all would believe but there is one thing - if you love to do something, you would somehow find time for it. I love to cook, so I find time for it. I more than that love to bake, so I find time for it. Since I know I want to blog about it, I take out some time painstakingly and go ahead and click it, though my clicking time is hardly 15 minutes maximum. Spending more time than that somehow does not interest me nor do I have the leisure to do so. Now what I am trying to learn is to maximize my output within the time I have. Let's see how much I succeed... :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Kozhi Masala Vada/ Chicken Bengal Gram Patties

India has been celebrating the successful launch of Mangalyaan to Mars. It is definitely a big achievement considering that our country has done it without any help from the developed countries and at a budget that no other country could ever imagine. I am not a person who likes to watch news or follows world happenings closely, but just for the sake of it, try to keep in touch with whatever is happening so that I don't feel lost! Interestingly, it only goes to show the Almighty's Strength and is proof of His existence even more. Indeed, when man - Adam - was created, Allah tells the angels, "Did I not tell you that I know the unseen of the heavens and the earth? And I know what you reveal and what you have concealed." (Surah Baqarah: 33) It just means that there is so much more to discover in this vast universe, much more that what our little brain can comprehend. Every phenomena on this earth is a lesson for men of understanding... just a beautiful article I would love to share with all of you, and for myself to read again when I wish to later, InShaAllah...

Today's recipe is a delicious snack, which is an updated version of a masala vada. Umma had learned this from a cookery show on TV and became something that used to feature on our chai breaks now and then till she lost her interest in making them. Last Ramadan (not this one, in 2013!), when we had gone for Iftar at my aunt's place, she had made this. I asked for the recipe and got it from her. At least, she was better than umma regarding measurements, hehe... One day, wanting to make something spicy for tea, I went ahead and made them. I loved the chewiness the chicken gave and the crunch the chana dal gave this awesome vada. Off to the way I made it...

Kozhi Masala Vada/ Chicken Bengal Gram Patties
Serves 4