Thursday, April 30, 2015

Oats Upma

Oats Upma is a quick and healthy, savory breakfast dish made with oats, vegetables and nuts.  


Oats is not a part of our traditional Indian food but is being widely accepted due to its health benefits and over time has become an integral part of our diet. It is considered as a healthy food which is rich in fiber and nutrients which help in lowering cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart diseases as well as helps lower blood pressure and is good for regulating blood sugar levels, basically a food grain which helps us fight against numerous lifestyle disease. Besides all the other benefit we cant overlook the fact that its low in calories hence making it a great choice for weight watchers too.


Traditionally oats is consumed as a porridge, which is usually sweet, trust me nothing can beat a bowl of warm oats porridge on a cold winter morning topped with fruits and nuts, some seeds sprinkled with cinnamon and a dash of  honey replacing the sugar, its heavenly.
But some how a lot of us just cannot do without our morning cup of tea and that's when we need something savory, what better than Oats Upma which tastes great and is healthy too.

Here is a simple and easy to follow recipe for Oats Upma.

Ingredients

Oats - 1 cup
Carrot, diced - 1/2 medium size approximately 1/4th cup.
French beans,chopped - 5-6 pcs
Green peas, shelled - 1/4th cup (I used frozen ones)
Capsicum, diced - 1/2 medium size.
Onion, chopped - 1 medium
Ginger, grated - 1 teaspoon
Green chilies, chopped - 2
Lemon juice as per taste (I used half a lemon)
Green coriander, chopped - 2-3 tablespoons
Cashew - 8-10
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Split white urad dal - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 7-8
Salt
Oil - 2 tablespoons

Method

Dry roast oats until they start releasing there aroma, transfer into a dry plate and keep aside, heat oil in a kadhai and fry the Cashew till they turn slightly golden brown, drain n keep aside.




Add the white urad dal, mustard seeds and curry leaves to the hot oil, once the mustard seeds start popping add the chopped onion and green chilies, fry until the onion starts turning golden brown.



Add the grated ginger along with the chopped carrots and beans together mix well and add the green peas along with salt. Mix well add some water cover and cook until the carrots beans and peas are tender but not mushy. (I added around 1/4th cup of water)




Once done add the chopped capsicum, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes as we dont want the vegetables to be mushy. 



Add the roasted oats and fried cashew, mix well n fry for a minute or two, add 1/2 cup of water n cook if needed just sprinkle some more water n cook till the oats are soft.




Add lemon juice and chopped coriander, mix well n serve hot.


Enjoy


Notes:

This is a very simple and easy to follow recipe, the only thing we need to keep in mind is that oats need very little water to cook. So please ensure that all the vegetables are well done before you add the oats and nuts. For 1 cup of oats I have used 1/2 cup of water, and a little more maybe a tablespoon or so, I prefer keeping the lemon juice handy and add it after adding water and if needed then just sprinkle some water. 







Monday, April 27, 2015

Scrambled Egg Fried Rice.

 Scrambled Egg Fried Rice is a very quick and easy preparation which goes well with with most Chinese side dishes or can be enjoyed on its own with some spicy sauce too.

Scrambled Egg Fried rice.
There are days when you are in just no mood of cooking an elaborate meal but crave for something quick and nice, that's when this comes really handy. Oh not to forget you should have some leftover rice in the fridge and a couple of eggs which I guess is usually available
If you also love eggs and rice I am sure you would love it too, here is a simple and easy recipe for a quick meal which I call comfort food,

Ingredients

Eggs - 2
Cooked rice - 2 cups
Green onions,chopped - 2 tablespoons
Black pepper, freshly crushed - 1/4th teaspoon (Optional)
Salt to taste
Oil - 4 teaspoons

Method 

Heat oil in a wok or kadhai,  Crack two eggs into the hot oil, add salt and quickly whisk until it starts to cuddle and forms lumps, don't let the eggs dry up. (I like to do this with a fork)



Once the eggs are done add the cooked rice and mix well,
 


Season with salt and freshly crushed pepper, chopped green onions, Mix well fry for a minute or two and turn off the flame.



Serve hot with your favorite side dish or just enjoy with a dash of soy sauce and chilli sauce or just have it with some spicy schezwan sauce.


Notes:

I like to make this with leftover rice but if by any chance you want to make it with fresh cooked rice then do let it cool down to room temperature.
I usually like to use one medium sized egg per cup of rice which actually works out quite well but you could always adjust the eggs as per personal preference, after all its comfort food which is not only for the tummy but for the soul too :)
While cooking the eggs just leave it a bit under cooked, once we add the rice and fry it will be nice n fluffy but if we cook it 100% then once the rice is added it tends to get a bit chewy.
Adding crushed pepper is optional, if you don't relish it then just omit it.   



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Eggless Orange N Yogurt Cake

Eggless Orange and Yogurt cake is a very simple and easy to bake cake. I have used fresh orange juice along with orange zest for the flavoring and have omitted any artificial colouring or flavoring for this cake. 

"Eggless Orange N Yogurt Cake"
Most of the cakes which I bake are with eggs but this one was for a friend who was visiting us and is a pure vegetarian and avoids eggs. Couple of days ago while watching one of the episodes of  "How its made" on television I came across this Canadian factory who made Vegan and Organic carrot cakes. They replaced eggs with a mixture of flax meal and water, this sounded really interesting as well as healthy too, I wanted to try it but...they never disclosed the ratio :(. So what, we have Google for all such needs, and I finally got the proportion which was very simple, replace one egg with a mixture of one tablespoon of flax meal and three tablespoons of water.


The cake was soft and moist and the flavors of orange is just refreshing, the best thing is while you bake this cake the whole house is filled with the aroma of orange and if you love oranges its just hard to resist.
Here is the simple and easy to follow recipe for Eggless Orange and Yogurt cake.

Ingredients

All Purpose flour / Maida - 2 cups
Granulated Sugar - 1 cup
Baking powder  - 1 teaspoon
Baking Soda - 1 teaspoon
Salt  - 1/4 th teaspoon
Flax Meal - 1 tablespoon
Oranges - 2 medium size
Yogurt / Dahi -1/4th cup
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cups (I used Sunflower oil)
Water - 3 tablespoon
Milk - 2-3 tablespoons (optional)

Method

Pre heat oven to 185°C / 365°F. Grease a 9 inch round cake tin with oil or a non stick cooking spray, dust with flour and keep aside.

Mix the flax meal with 3 tablespoons of water in a bowl and let it rest. By the time you are done with the other steps the flax meal and water mixture will form a pouring gel like consistency and would be ready to use.


Using a cheese grater,grate the zest from the oranges, avoid getting the white part of the peal as it has a bitter unpleasant taste.


After you have removed the zest of the oranges, cut it into half, discard the seeds if any and squeeze the juice. I got approximately 3/4th cup of juice from 2 oranges.


Add baking powder, baking soda and salt to the all purpose flour, mix well and pass it through a sieve ensuring that all are mixed well. Add granulated sugar to the sieved flour mixture, mixwell and keep aside until we prepare the wet ingredients.



To prepare the wet ingredient mix, place the cooking oil in a large mixing bowl along with yogurt, flax meal and water mixture, orange juice and orange zest, mix well. (I used a regular wired whisk to blend the wet ingredients however you could use a hand held mixer or stand mixer to do the same.)



 Once the wet mix is ready add the dry ingredients mix around a little at a time and mix well.



Keep scraping the sides and continue until all the flour has been mixed. 



Once all the flour has been incorporated and at this stage if you feel that the batter is thick then add some milk or orange juice 1 table spoon at a time and mix well until you get the desired consistency. (In my case I have added approximately 3 tablespoons of milk as I ran out of orange juice) Once the batter is ready transfer it to the prepared cake tin, tap it on the kitchen table to get rid of any large air bubbles.



Bake in pre- heated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. I usually use a toothpick for this purpose. 



Once the cake is done remove it from the oven, let it cool on a rack for 15- 20 minutes before  removing from the cake tin. 


Enjoy :) 

 Notes:

I have used freshly squeezed orange juice and using a wooden hand held juice extractor so some amount of orange pulp also came along which I used as it is without straining. However you could use a store brought orange juice, in that case please adjust the sugar accordingly as most juices off the shelf contain added sugar.
Also I have used Sunflower oil for this cake but you could replace it with canola oil or any other oil which don't have a dominant smell.
My cake was ready in 40 minutes but this time may vary depending on the make. I suggest after 35 minutes of baking you check the cake with a tester and accordingly bake further.
Once the batter for the cake was done I felt it was a bit tight so I added milk but you could always add orange juice.
By any chance if you don't want to use flax meal then just replace it with yogurt.