Homemade Churros

churros

Just like the Deep Fried Oreos, I learnt about Churros on my favourite food show Carnival Eats. Since then I have been itching to try some.

My brother is currently in Spain and I have been coaxing him daily to try Churros. I don’t know if he tried them yet but the very thought of Churros made me make some in my kitchen.

Churros are essentially a Spanish – Mexican dessert popularly sold as street food. Outside these countries they are treated as a dessert and served with lip smacking dips or accompaniments. But the chocolate sauce happens to be its best pal.

mexican churros

Churros is made using Choux Paste – a flour dough consisting of eggs which is extremely difficult to get right. When I found this eggless easy recipe of Churros here, I got excited and tried it the very next day.

The Churros originated in Spain and then brought to Mexico by the colonists. There is a slight difference between the 2 versions (not sharing here due to ambiguity in reasons I found) but both are deep fried and look and taste the same. These are thick, 3 to 4 inch long strips of fried dough, coated with sugar and served with a sweet dip. They are always served warm and fresh; never fried and kept beforehand.

homemade churros

⇒Churros work great as a party snack or when friends get-together.

⇒The dough can be made in large quantity and frozen to be used as and when required.

⇒Try serving Churros with variety of sweet dips or sauce.

⇒You can also try flavouring the dough to have a burst of flavours in your mouth when you bite into this flaky goodness!

 

Homemade Churros Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1.5 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
Oil for frying
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Chocolate Sauce to serve

Method
Step 1 – Take water, sugar, salt and oil in a thick bottomed pan. Place over medium heat and bring it to a boil.
Step 2 – Take off flame and add flour to the pan. Mix vigorously using a whisk, till everything comes together to form a ball.
Step 3 – Take a piping bag and attach a star shaped nozzle to it.
Step 4 – Put half of the flour mixture into the bag and test by piping some of the dough onto a plate.
Step 5 – Heat oil, about 3 to 4 inches deep, in a wok / kadhai. Pipe out 3 inch long churros and fry over medium heat till they are crisp and light brown on the outside.
Step 6 – Remove on an absorbent paper and slightly cool.
Step 7 – In a bowl, mix powdered sugar and cinnamon powder well. Toss the churros lightly in the sugar- cinnamon mix. Pick each Churro, tap off extra coating and place on a serving plate. Serve immediately along with Chocolate Sauce.

This recipe makes makes approx 20 to 25 Churros

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Pizza Dhokla

pizza dhokla

I love Gujarati Snacks (well, who doesn’t?) but have never made any of them at home. Always devoured the readymade ones from the likes of Bikaner and  Haldiram. My attempt at making these snacks is only limited to borrowing recipes, so recently when a Gujarati friend’s moms passed on a tried and tested recipe of Khatta Dhokla I made it the very next day. It turned out really nice and Nabeel lapped it up in no time. Great, I had now found my new Tiffin recipe.  Since Nabeel picked the curry leaves and mustard seeds from the dhokla (tempering) I thought of eliminating them completely and came up with a version of incorporating pizza flavours in the humble dhokla.

Pizza Dhokla is basically a sandwiched dhokla with a filling of pizza toppings. It’s really simple and quite wholesome. It is a dry snack and apt for school tiffin, as a travel snack or even as a gourmet snack for parties and gatherings. Pizza Dhokla is meant for the entire family, kids and adults alike. Give it a try.

Pizza Dhokla Recipe 

Ingredients
1 cup Rawa (fine semolina)
1 cup curd (yoghurt)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup chopped capsicum
¼ cup chopped corn niblets
¼ cup chopped tomatoes
¼ cup chopped mushrooms (use raw but can be sautéed if you wish to)
¾ cup grated cheese
3 tablespoons pizza sauce (use tomato ketchup if not available)
Oregano, as per taste
Chilli Flakes, as per taste
Salt, as per taste

Method
Step 1 – In a separate bowl, mix together rawa, curd and water. Keep the dhokla batter aside for an hour.
Step 2 – In another bowl, mix together capsicum, corn niblets, tomatoes, mushrooms and cheese.
Step 3 – Add in pizza sauce, oregano, chilli flakes and salt. Keep this vegetable mixture aside.
Step 4 – After about an hour, add melted butter, baking soda, salt, oregano and chilli flakes in the dhokla batter.
Step 5 – Once the batter starts to froth add half of it in an oiled round container and steam*. This is the bottom layer.
Step 6 – After about 5 minutes, check if the bottom layer of dhokla is 90% done. Spread half the vegetable mixture gently over it.
Step 7 – Pour the reaming batter over the vegetable mixture and continue to steam till the top dhokla layer is cooked.
Step 8 – Remove the entire dhokla like one big cake and cut into wedges similar to pizza slices.
Step 9 – Serve immediately along with a dipping sauce of your choice.

*Note: To steam dhokla, you need a big vessel with simmering water. Place a stand in the vessel and keep your batter filled pan on it. Cover the big vessel with a lid and let the dhokla batter cook by way of steaming. I used an 8 inch round pan for this recipe.

 

dhokla

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Beat the Heat – Tender Coconut Milkshake

Tender Coconut water or Nariyal ka paani, is considered to be a very healthy drink for it is a natural source of electrolytes, calcium, potassium, magnesium, amino acids and sodium. During hot weather, tender coconut is something you should make a part of your daily diet because it is beneficial in maintaining the water levels of the body and regulating the body heat.

tender coconut milkshake

After water, tender coconut water is the purest form of drink found and is highly beneficial for the skin and body. Due to its purity and zero side effects the drink is highly recommended to babies and pregnant ladies. 

I have sipped ample of coconut water during both my pregnancies right from the beginning, but honestly its been more out of compulsion. Consuming something so bland and tasteless on a daily basis is really not my thing. That’s why I came up with this idea of whipping a milkshake using Tender Coconut;  it’s a fantastic drink that has the goodness of tender coconut water and meat, both.

A lot of people find the taste of tender coconut water to be quite bland and this delectable drink called Tender Coconut Milkshake is definitely a way of upping its taste quotient. 

Tender Coconut Milkshake makes an amazing thirst quencher for kids. Serve it for breakfast or at parties. It can fit anywhere you please. Use fruits to make a variety of combination.


Tender Coconut Milkshake Recipe
Makes 1 glass of milkshake

1 cup fresh coconut meat (malai)
1 cup tender coconut water
¼ cup vanilla ice cream or milk cream (malai) or fresh processed cream or milk
2 tablespoons Honey or sugar, as sweetener
Ice cubes

Step 1 – Finely chop tender coconut meat (malai). Reserve a spoon for garnish and put the remaining in the blender jar of a mixer – grinder.
Step 2 – Pour the coconut water, honey or sugar, ice cubes and ice cream.
Step 3 – Blend the mixture on a high speed till you get a smooth and creamy milkshake.
Step 4 – Pour in a glass, top with reserved coconut malai and consume immediately.

Notes:
• This is NOT a make ahead drink. Please extract coconut water minutes before making the milkshake because the water tends to get sour on storing for a long duration.
• 1 medium sized tender coconut’s water and meat is ideal to make 1 serve of the milkshake.


Disclaimer: This article was originally written for and published on BabyChakra.

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Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream

homemade strawberry icecream

I don’t know why I have always shied away from making ice-cream at home..especially, when it’s one of the preferred dessert of the family. I guess it’s always about getting the perfect texture – only creaminess and no ice crystals that made me run away from the thought of making ice-cream at home.

I always knew whenever I plan to make ice-cream at home it will definitely be using the below given easy-peasy recipe which many ladies of one of my recipe communities swear by. It is a no-cook, 10 minute recipe calling for just 3 ingredients; fresh cream, milkmaid and fruit puree/pulp.

strawberry icecream

Husband is an ice-cream lover and that’s how I got hooked to it. Obviously, Nabeel followed suit and now, it’s a fortnightly ritual post dinner to walk down to the nearby ice-cream parlour, known for its fresh hand churned ice-creams, for a quick treat.

We usually like eating Strawberries on their own or once in a while I whip up a Strawberry milkshake but this year the berries are not in their best form – very tart and sour, making it impossible to eat them raw. That’s how I decided to use them to make an ice-cream.

Did you know Strawberry is one of the top 3 flavours of ice-cream along with Vanilla and Chocolate?

The Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream Recipe shared is jhat-pat (jiffy) kind and I love the fact that it’s so convenient –  you just decided to make ice-cream and within 30minutes the mixture is ready and sitting in your freezer. I must admit this was not a 100% crystal free ice-cream I mainly suspect that’s because of the sugar and water that goes into making the sauce. If you use natural pulp then the ice crystals are nil. However, we enjoyed the luscious ice-cream which was creamy and full of flavour.

easy strawberry icecream

Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream Recipe
Makes 400ml

200ml / 1 cup milkmaid
250ml fresh cream
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 tbsp sugar (this may vary as per the tartness of the strawberries)
Red food colour, only if you desire

Step 1 – Start by preparing the Strawberry sauce. Mix strawberries with sugar in a thick bottomed pan, add about 1/4th cup water and cook till the berries are soft and sugar has melted to a sauce consistency. This may take about 10 minutes or so. Once done, keep aside and cool. The batch of strawberries I used to make the ice cream was very sour so I had to cook them with sugar. If your berries are sweet you may omit this step and roughly mash the strawberries.

Step 2 – In a big bowl, whip cream till frothy.

Step 3 – Pour in the milkmaid and mix well.

Step 4 – Add in the Strawberry sauce and whip for a minute to mix well. Do not over whip, as all the berries will liquidize. An ice-cream with fruit chunks tastes much better than a smooth one in my opinion.

Step 5 – Pour the ice-cream mixture in a container. Add few drops of food colour, if using. Mix well.

Step 6 – Cover the container with a tight fitting lid and keep in freezer for 4 hours.

Step 7 – Remove the ice-cream and mix using a fork. Place the ice-cream back in freezer till frozen completely.

Step 8 – Scoop and serve as desired.

fresh strawberry icecream

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Other Strawberry Recipes you should try

Berry Lollies

Strawberry & Guava Juice

Real Strawberry Pops

 

Party Shake Ideas for KIDS

party shake ideas

Planning a menu for a kid’s gathering is a mind-boggling task. While the food items are somehow easier to think of and finalise, what gets most of us is what drink to serve the kids.

I know the most common and easiest drink served at kids parties is the “fresh n juicy” mango drink but let’s admit it is as unhealthy and inappropriate as any soda-based or tetra pak drink.

For a few parties, I too served it to my son’s friends with guilt of course. That changed one day when I had a ‘Eureka’ moment of whipping up yummy shakes. Tried, tested and loved by Nabeel and his friends too!

Sharing below some recipe ideas of shakes you must try for your child’s next birthday party


Almond and Banana Milkshake (Makes 1 glass)

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon honey or more as required
  • 4-5 nos almonds
  • ½ cup chilled milk
  • Honey for garnish
  • Crushed ice, if desired

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • For a fancy presentation, drizzle honey along the rim of a tall glass and freeze it for a few minutes for honey to harden. Pour the milk shake and serve.

Chocolate and Coconut Milkshake (Makes 2 glasses)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup vanilla ice-cream
  • 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Crushed ice, if desired
  • Desiccated coconut for garnish
  • Chocolate chips or vermicelli for garnish

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • Dip the glass rim in milk and then in desiccated coconut, pour the milkshake and top with chocolate chips or vermicelli.

True Berry Milkshake (Makes 2 glasses)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup assorted berries (strawberry, mulberry, cranberry, blueberry), pitted and slightly crushed
  • ½ cup mashed frozen banana
  • 1 cup chilled milk
  • Honey or sugar as per taste
  • Crushed ice, if desired
  • Cocktail paper umbrella for garnish
  • Some chopped berries to top

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • Insert the cocktail umbrella in the glass, top with chopped berries and serve.

Orange and Carrot Shake (Makes 2 glasses)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • Crushed ice, if desired
  • Cocktail paper umbrella for garnish
  • Orange slice for garnish

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • Insert the cocktail umbrella in the glass, place the orange slice on the rim and serve.
  • Note: The drink has bits of carrot which might go well with older kids. If serving to young kids its best avoided as straining the drink might rob it of its goodness and texture.

Dates and Vanilla Milkshake (Makes 1 glass)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream
  • 3–4 seedless dates
  • 1/4th cup chilled milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or as required
  • Crushed ice, if desired
  • Chocolate wafer roll for garnish

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • Insert a chocolate wafer roll in the glass and serve.

Disclaimer: This article was originally written for and published on BabyChakra

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Till then, Love Being a Mommy!

Creamy Mushroom Crostini – Iron Rich Recipe

creamy mushroom crostini

Iron deficiency is a common problem in women. As per statistics, every second women in India is Iron deficient which causes a lot of serious mental, social and economic issues in her life.

The most simplest and effective way of overcoming this problem is to start early with an Iron rich diet made of foods and supplements that supply enough nutrient to the body.  Being pregnant myself, I have devised a daily diet which includes Iron rich ingredients like mushrooms, dates, leafy vegetables, chicken, etc that ensure a good supply of Iron to the fetus for its right development.

Here is an Iron rich recipe – Creamy Mushroom Crostini using mushrooms and whole wheat bread, both excellent sources of Iron, which I regularly whip up for its nutrition quotient as well as the ease in which it can be prepared. The recipe is a equally savored by my 5 year old child making it the perfect dish to prepare for the entire family.

mushroom starter

 

Creamy Mushroom Crostini
Makes 8

Ingredients
8 Wholewheat bread slices
2 cups thickly sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon cream
2 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon pizza seasoning or oregano
Salt & Pepper
1 cup Grated cheese
2 – 3 cloves of peeled garlic
Olive oil to drizzle

Method
Step 1 – In a non-stick pan heat butter and sauté the mushroom slices for 5 minutes.
Step 2 – Add in cream, water and all the seasonings. Give a stir, cook on simmer for 2 minutes and switch off the flame.
Step 3 – Toast the bread slices. Rub garlic on hot toast and drizzle with little olive oil.
Step 4 – Spread the creamy mushroom mixture and top with grated cheese.
Step 5 – Place in a hot oven for few minutes till the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

mushroom on toast

I am submitting this recipe for the Livogen Iron Chef Contest. You too can submit your favourite Iron rich recipe here.

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Kaju Katli

kaju katli

Kaju Katli the much loved cashewnut based Indian sweet needs no introduction!

Every month Nabeel has a show n tell activity in school. As per the given theme, children are asked to get objects / images and talk about them in class. This month’s theme was Diwali. Kaju Katli was the first thing that came to my mind for Nabeel has this undying love for the sweet he relishes year round. And, instead of buying the sweet I decided to make it at home.

Now, Kaju Katli is also known for how difficult it is to make, atleast that is what I have heard. So, after a lot of mental debate I decided to give it a try. Trust me this sweet is as simple as it can get. With just 3 ingredeints required I can say it is instant in comparison to any other Indian sweet. I have already made a couple of batches and the product keeps getting better. If you are holding back because of all the myth surrounding kaju katli then please don’t. This Diwali treat your family and friends with some Homemade Kaju Katli.

indian sweet

 ***********************Happy Diwali*****************************

Homemade Kaju Katli

Ingredients
Cashewnuts / Kaju – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/3rd cup
Water – 1/4th cup
Cardamon (elaichi) powder – ½ teaspoon
Ghee / Clarified Butter – ½ teaspoon
Powdered or slivered nuts for decoration

Method
Step 1 – Grind the cashew nuts to a fine powder. As you grind them they tend to release oil and get lumpy, which is ok as long as the powder is spread out to dry, after grinding. You can spread over a tray for few hours before using. Spreading is not a vital step but in order to have a smoother and softer product this is advisable.

IMG_20171010_111832
Step 2 – Put water and sugar in a non stick pan and let the mixture boil on medium flame till it converts to 1 string sugar syrup.

IMG_20171010_112340
Step 3 – Immediately add in the cashew nuts powder and mix continuously till all the ingredients come together.

IMG_20171010_112558
Step 4 – Add the cardamom powder and ghee, mix vigorously.

IMG_20171010_112842
Step 5 – Remove the mixture on a greased surface and cool by spreading it with a spoon. Keep mixing and spreading till the mixture comes together like dough.

IMG_20171010_113142
Step 6 – Take a greased tray / thali and spread out the kaju katli mixture, keeping a thickness of ½ cm. Using a greased knife cut into diamond shape, sprinkle nuts and refrigerate till set.
Step 7 – Remove Kaju Katli pieces from tray and serve or store.

kaju barfi

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