Fresh Orange Juice N Grated Carrot Cake with Mixed Nuts and Flax Seeds

Wish you all Merry Christmas !!!

One of the best cakes I have baked till date. When I started out the recipe, I decided to reduce the ingredient by half so if it does not taste  good, I will not regret wasting the ingredients and electricity.
However, now I am craving for more as it was super moist and came out much much tastier than I had anticipated which was over in few hours.

What You Need for the small cake I made (Gives 8 to 9 pieces approximately)

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup carrot grated
5 walnuts chopped
2 tbsp cashew chopped
1 tbsp raisins
1/2 cup sugar
1/4th cup oil
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 egg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp flax seeds
A pinch of orange rind

Steps To Make:

Preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade for 8 minutes.
Mix everything together in a saucepan.
Whisk for 5 minutes with an egg beater. It does not need more whisking.
Pour the mixture into the tray. I used the tray which I normally use to bake bread.
Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.
Your cake is ready.
Allow it to cool down before you de mould and cut into slices.

Paneer Peshawari

I dedicate this post to the small children of Peshawar whom we lost few days back. I had prepared this
recipe last week and wanted to post it earlier. However, the unfortunate incident had upset me so
much, I just could not get down to blogging. I can call it a bad co-incidence that the day I wanted to
write about it, I heard this sad news.

Life has to continue and I can only pray that God gives the parents strength to bear the heavy loss. A
ridiculous incident which has disturbed the mind and heart of so many . I wish and hope that everybody learns something out of it and pray for the families and hope nothing of this happens again.

Friends, if you have nothing to be grateful for, check your pulse.

What You Need:

1 Capsicum roughly cut into medium size

½ cup green peas

300 grams paneer cubes

2 big onion + 2 tbsp garlic pods + ½ inch ginger

1 tbsp cashew nuts + ½ cup milk + 1/2 cup beaten curd

1 tbsp oil/ghee/butter + 1 tsp oil

1 tsp garam masala + 1 tbsp kasuri methi crushed

Salt + sugar to taste

½ tsp turmeric powder

1 bay leaf + 1 cinamon stick + 2 green cardamom + 3 cloves

Steps To Make:

Fry Capsicum in a pan till its nice and glossy

Soak paneer in water and turmeric powder for 10 minutes. This will treat the paneer if its store bought
and kill all germs.

Next soak  in cashew nuts in warm milk for 10 minutes. Grind to a fine paste along with curd.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Add capsicum and cook till it looks glazed and half done.

Heat water in a saucepan. As it boils, add onion, ginger and garlic to it. Boil for 2 minutes. Drain and
grind to a fine paste.

Now heat ghee in a pan. Add the whole spices to it. Once, the spices start crackling, add onion paste to it.

When you see onions have turned light brown , now is the time to add green peas, garam masala and
crushed kasuri methi.

The paste will cook very fast as we have already boiled it for sometime earler.

Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on low flame.

Onion will turn dark brown . Add Capsicum, Paneer cubes and cashew paste to it. Add salt ans sugar to taste.

Add little water and cook on high.

In 2 to 3 minutes, it will come to boil.

The gravy is ready to be served.

Ridge Gourd Cooked With Prawns |Turai Jhinga ki Sabji | Janhi Chingudi Tarkari

Sometimes over blogging or blogging everyday kind of blocks my mind. I fall short of ideas, words and recipes. I wonder if it happens to other bloggers  as well. I can speak of only myself because I abstain from posting similar recipes . For example, an Uttapam would be an Uttapam, I find it useless to post 5 different types of Uttapam with same dosa batter : eg Onion Uttapam, Tomato Uttapam, Capsicum Uttapam and then Mix Everything to make Mix Veg Uttapam. Though my hubby completely appreciates this idea to increase your blog post, I refrain myself from doing it.
Past few days have been such days when either I find the recipe silly enough to post or find myself repeating from what I have already posted.

Finally, I made something good which can find its way to the post. Also , because it was a combination or Veg and Non Veg, it is something I would find myself making often.

I mixed Ridge Gourd with some Medium Size Prawns and Served with Roti or Phulka. They can be light and make an excellent meal.

What You Need:
3 to 4 medium size ridge gourd peeled and cut into medium size pieces
200 grams prawns – medium size
2 big onions findely chopped
3 big tomatoes finely chopped or pureed
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 dry red chili
1 tsp kasuri  methi
1 tsp garam masala or curry powder
2 tbsp mustard oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste

Steps To Make:

Marinate prawns with salt and turmeric powder and pan fry till they just turn golden.
Remove from pan and keep aside.
Add remaining oil to the same pan.
Add turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste and dry red chilies.
Add finely chopped onions and cook till it turns brown.
Next add the pureed tomatoes or finely chopped tomatoes however, you like them.
Cook till raw smell is gone.
Add 1 cup of water, red chili powder, crushed kasuri methi and ridge gourd pieces.
Bring it boil and salt to it.
Once Ridge gourd is almost cooked, add prawns and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more
The curry is cooked completely now and you can eat with Rotis.

Andhra Tomato Chutney

Sometimes a table spoon of Chutney increases the apetite level of your meal. My favourite would be coriander green chili chutney during winter season.

My mother would pluck fresh coriander leaves from our kitchen garden and grind some fresh chutney in her mortar and pestel (knows as Silpua or Silbatta)

The taste which it emanates is completely different from the ones made in mixture grinder.
It was only later that I got introduced to other chutney as well. My second best chutney will be teh Andra Style Tomato chutney which goes well with anything.
It is tangy, spicy and goes well specially with Idli and Dosa.

What You Need:

4 to 5 Big Tomatoes
10-12 big garlic pods
1 green chili
4 to 5 curry leaves
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a pan
Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chili chopped
Add garlic roughly crushed
Add tomatoes, red chili powder and turmeric powder
Cook with lid open for 5 minutes
Switch off the flame
Add coriander leaves, salt to taste
Grind using pulse mode of your mixer grind

Sattu ka Paratha

It is a delicious and lip-smacking recipe. However, it tastes best only when served with Chokha or Roasted Eggplant Mashed with roasted tomato and mashed roasted  potato and seasoned with mustard oil, green chili and chopped onions, little salt to taste and roasted cumin powder.

This recipe is native to Bihar and Chhattisgarh. Its the same way Litti is made. Sattu is nothing but powdered roasted channa daal. It is very very filling and few parathas can make you go for long hours.

What You Need for the Stuffing:

1 cup roasted channa dal ground to fine powder
1 onion finely chopped
2 tsp mustard oil and 2 mango pickle mashed
2 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
1 tbsp green chilies chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
Mix the above ingredients together

Wheat Flour to knead into a stuff dough.

Steps To Make:

Divide dough into lemon size balls.
Make a scoop of each ball.
Stuff sattu mixture in each ball and roll out to thin parathas.
Heat tawa on gas.
Cook on tawa by applying oil/ghee/butter on each side.
Serve with aloo chokha/curd/baingan bharta

Lazy Potato and Spinach Latkes

Made by a lazy person who makes her husband have this for lunch, breakfast and dinner. To cover up the guilt factor, she adds some chopped spinach to it. She might replace it with chopped spring onions leaves next time as it  was quick, easy and filling. Hope this lethargicness goes away soon and she steps out of her cozy blanket.

Also please note latkes are nothing but small pancakes. You can have them hot with some ketchup instead of having it as a meal.

What you need :

3 to 4 potatoes peeled and grated
2 eggs beaten
1 cup chopped spinach
3 to 4 chopped garlic
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp corn starch or all purpose flour for binding
Use a fork to whisk everything together

Heat oil in a pan.
Take a spoonfull of mixture and pour at the center of the heated pan.
Cook on both sided till nice golden brown and crispy. Repeat or make 4-5 at the same time in a big pan.
Keep the temperature medium low so the potatoes are well cooked without burning.

A Walk To Remember - The Big Cat Spotted

The Leopard is one of the most shy in the “Big Cat” family. They never come out in open and never ever will walk in front of you. You can either find them sitting on top of tree or crossing the road and sometimes you can see them staring at you from behind an ambush.

Never I had imagined that I am going to have an experience of a life time when I will see the leopard walking for 1 kilometer and hear the mating call at the same time, walking slowly and steadily towards me. It did its routine scent marking, looking towards left and right and then straight towards you until we entered its comfort zone.

It then decided to turn left and entered inside the dense forest.

Here are some pictures which I am sharing with you all. I am not sure if I am ever going to have a sighting of what I had this time. It will always remain special and one of the best moments of my life.

It’s a majestic animal and very few of them are left . I consider myself lucky to have witnessed it with naked eyes. I was not sure whether to take a video or capture the moment through lens or simply see the entire walk capturing it through my eyes and store in heart.

I shall call it a miracle.

The King And I

It was a very chilly morning in the month of November when 6 Puneites started theirmorning safari. No tiger sighting so far. All of us closed our eyes to pray our respective God/Gods or remember what we believed could be our lucky charm and we entered the Zone B of Nagarhole Tiger Reserve. Our guide was Ravi who himself was a very lucky person with amazing spotting capabilities.

The jungle was cold and silent. All our cameras were inside our bags. Face, head and nose all covered. Since, the jeep was open, we could still feel the shivering of hands and legs in spite of the warm clothes we had wrapped ourselves with.  We reached the end of the jungle from where we had to take a U turn. No sighting of even a Wild gaur or Elephant till then. We waited for 5 minutes . It was so silent that we could even hear the dropping of leaves.

Suddenly few Jungle fowls started flying and three peacock flew and climbed up the branch of a tree one after another. All of a sudden there started alarm call.

Our naturalist asked driver to stop the vehicle engine so we could hear the sound more clearly. Suddenly he started shouting in a whispering tone “Tiger Tiger Tiger.. Look to your right..” We all were standing by now, Our Lenses already zoomed in and then we see this huge male tiger coming out. There were heavy bushes and it was far far away, near the water body ,coming out after drinking water. We could see the contour of the body moving slowly and steadily. We decided to move our vehicle ahead without starting the engine so we can take a close up when it will cross the road.

However, we see another vehicle coming in front of us. Out guide and driver show hands asking them to stop and also make a T sound to indicate it’s a Tiger. The purpose was to not make any vehicle sound or else the Tiger could change its course. But no, the other vehicle could neither see us nor understand our intensions. Instead it kept coming. So we had to start our vehicle and moved ahead till they could see us. Now both of our vehicles were standing at a good distance, silently waiting for the Tiger to come out.

But then a 3rd jeep came. We lost all hopes. All 3 jeeps standing in a T waiting for it to come out of the bushes. We waited for 15 minutes. The tiger was in no mood to show itself. We thought it might have gone far far away from there in opposite direction. So we all moved. Now instead, we started hearing a leopard mating call and monkey alarm call. Our hopes of seeing the Tiger had died. At least we can see the leopard. We again waited 15 minutes. No luck. The other two jeeps moved ahead tracking the leopard sound. We were upset as we had lost the chance to see the Tiger again.

But our Driver and Guide took the decision to come back to where we were standing initially and suddenly as we approach near the junction, our driver again started whispering loudly..”Hey Tiger Tiger…Look its crossing the road. Keep Quiet Please…”.. What a luck man. How is it possible. The Tiger had not changed it course. It was just waiting for all jeeps to leave so it could cross the road.

But again as it heard us coming, it moved into the bushes. We lost him 2nd time. We moved a little ahead and decided to wait. And all of us were silent. Sometime back, we were all shivering. But now , we could not even feel the cold air. The Aura of Tiger is such that it makes you forget everything. There was only hope and silent prayers. Suddenly the tiger came out of bushes, It moved ahead, It scent marked all the trees which came its way and crossed the road. It looked at us twice. It was right behind us, a huge male tiger, beautiful and strong and ferocious and simply mesmerizing. I have never had a sighting of Tiger in Nagarhole Tiger Reserve I had this time.

We were all so content and so happy that day that even if we had 1 hour left inside the park, we had all kept our cameras on the side. We just decided to enjoy the park. We didn’t click any pictures any more. The Jeep moved inside the jungle blissfully . We enjoyed the Kingfisher flying from one branch to another, the wood pecker playing hide and seek with us and the Sambar happily grazing away. The Tiger show had ended but it stayed on our face and mind for a long long time.

This was a non-tourism tiger, It lives in core area called Bisalwadi and hardly comes out to the Tourism Zone, hence it is called Bisalwadi Male I was really lucky and thanked God to let us spot it and get some shots to share. This was an experience and sighting of a lifetime.