Monthly Archives: November 2011

Sweet and Salty Ajwain/Carom Seeds Crackers

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Ajwain/Carom seeds is one of my favourite spice besides cummin seeds. I try to incorporate it in most of my Indian/Nepali cooking – I add it to my roti/paratha dough, in my curries and use it to temper my dal. I should thank Maa (my mom) for making me love this spice so much. She would saut’e ajwain in ghee with onions and temper the dals/lentil soups and ‘quanti’ (a nine-bean soup: a newari dish). The whole kitchen would have the fragrant aroma.

Besides, she would also give us roasted ajwain seeds every time we had digestion problem. Now I swear by ajwain and black salt to cure me of my indigestion.

Back to the crackers. Last Friday, I wanted something salty to nibble with my afternoon tea. I searched  for an easy, tried and tested salty biscuits/crackers. I found this simple recipe and was rewarded with a jar of crispy, carom seed flavoured crackers.

This is how I made it:

Recipe Source:Rak’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

All purpose flour 1& 1/2 cups

Oil 1/4 cup

Butter 1 tsp (I added 2 tsp)

Ajwain/Carom seeds 1 tsp

Salt 3/4 tsp

Sugar 1 & 1/2 tblsp

Milk 6 tblsp

Curd 1 tblsp (I added 2 tbsp)

Directions:
  1. In a bowl mix together the flour, oil, butter, ajwain, salt, sugar and curd until the mixture is crumbly and  resembles coarse meal.
  2. Then add the milk to the mixture and knead it to form a smooth dough.
  3. Roll the dough out to 1/8th-inch thickness directly onto a baking sheet.
  4. Using a knife or cookie cutter, cut the rolled out dough into desired shapes. Prick with fork in the center to prevent it from puffing.
  5. Bake at 180° C for 10-15 minutes or until crackers are golden brown. Watch them after the 10 minute mark.
  6. Store in an airtight jar on cooling.
WARNING: These crackers tastes really really awesome….. and you may not b able to stop at one 😀
Cheers and Happy Baking!!

My tryst with ‘SUSHI’

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I have often wondered why a lot of people like ‘Sushi’ so much.I see people talking about it all over the net. People going gaga over it…sushi this…and sushi that…tweets/fb reading “Goin For Sushi..Yummmm/ Sushi yeahhh’. Never seen anyone say ‘Going to Mc D/Burger King…burgers n fries yummmm’ or ‘Pasta/Pizza …yeah’ 😀 So why is Sushi  so popular and trendy? What’s the deal anyways? 😉

Is it cause it sounds so exotic- raw fish et al…The vinegar-ed rice plus the combination of raw fish and seaweed does make it very pleasing to the eye. Am sure sushi lovers have their own reasons. And me asking the question is the same as people in far off parts of the world asking why is Mc Donalds or Subway so popular. (I am a big fan of Subway BTW)

Well for me the thought of putting a piece of raw fish into my mouth was a huge turn off and so I never gave it a go (Ignorant me wasn’t aware that there is a veg variety of  sushi too). In Bangalore (where I lived for 8 years), I couldn’t do without my bi weekly dose of Chinese 🙂 (and Japanese food was not as popular as Chinese).

Anyways, once we moved to Wellington (NZ), I saw people queuing up to this Sushi takeaway joint during the lunch hour. The queue is so long at times that it spills over to the main road. All this for a bite Sushi!!!

So one not so fine spring afternoon, I decided to try some sushi for lunch while my hubby enjoyed his Burrito. So I picked up few Makizushi and Nigirizushi -all vegetarian with mushrooms, carrots, avocado, lettuce etc. So there I was ready with my soy sauce, wasabi and chop sticks. A mouthful of Nigirizushi with avocado did not impress me neither did the other varieties of makizushi in all it’s colourful glory. I could barely finish it and headed to Mc D for some fries and hot chocolate to fill me up.

Fresh Apple Cake

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Throughout history, apple has been a source of inspiration. Newton, Steve Jobs and now me. One of  my favourite fruit in it’s new form – A scrumptious cake.

I love this recipe because it is a no fail, easy recipe and tastes fantabulous! The cake has a nice moist sweet taste and I am sure that once you have a taste of it, you will want to make it over and over again. A perfect dessert, with its chunks of apples, nuts and raisins, all wrapped in a cinnamon-laced batter.

How I made it:

Source:Grandma\’s Fresh Apple Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup white sugar (I used 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 white as we dont like our cakes too sweet)

1/4 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

A dash of nutmeg

1 Tsp Vanilla

1 and 1/2 cups apple – peeled, cored, and chopped

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins or dates

* I used less walnuts and raisins since I am not a big fan 🙂

Directions:

1. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt (Dry Ingredients). Set it aside.

2. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

3. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Add the egg and beat well. Next add the vanilla.

4. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients and mix well.

5. Now fold in the apples, nuts and raisins.

6. Transfer the mixture to the greased loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

I have baked this cake couple of times and it comes out great every time. This recipe is definitely a keeper. It’s time for you to join the inspired bunch. Cheers and Happy Baking.