Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Black Channa Gravy / Black Channa Masala

Channa Masala/Gravy is my all time fav with rotis/pooris or even with idly or doas. I dont have any fuss with black or white channa luv both but hubby likes only black for gravies....As its rich in protein and fiber I dont mind when he specifically grabs black channa while shopping.

Now you know another reason why this biriyani was also tried with black channa :) This gravy recipe is from amma and we just luv the taste.....With hot pooris and the gravy with lemony touch the combo is unbeatable!!
Ingredients :
  • Black Channa - 1 cup
  • Cloves - 1
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 2 tsp
  • Garam masla powder/Channa masala powder -1/2 tbsp
  • Onion - 1 medium sized chopped lengthwise
  • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
  • Tomato - 1/2
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Lemon - 1/2 small size
For grinding
  • Tomato - 1 medium sized
  • Coconut grated -1/2 cup
  • Fennel(Sombu) - 1/2 tsp
Grind the above with little water to a fine thin paste.

  1. Pressure cook channa with a pinch of turmeric powder (It took 9 whistles for me) and keep aside.

  2. In a kadai, add oil and temper cloves and cinnamon. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 mins...now add onion, half tomato, curry leaves and fry well till onions turn light brown.

  3. Add boiled channa, chilli powder, channa masala/garam masala powder and mix well.

  4. Now add the grinded coconut paste, saute till all is combined. Allow it to boil and switch off when oil seperates. Squeeze lemon juice while serving.
And I am rushing this to My Legume affair event , brainchild of Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook on Mirch Masala
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Eggless Chocolate Cake - Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe(No eggs no butter)

I googled and googled for a very basic chocolate cake recipe and there were soooo many....But my constraint was no eggs, butter and it should be very simple. Trust me, any beginner can try this and I guarantee it wud turn out perfect without any flaws. But the quantity and mixing need to be noted down very carefully as it may be turn sticky and not cooked inside if inaccurate.The taste is no lesser than a brownie and can be served as such or with a helping of choco / caramel sauce.

Moist Chocolate Cake(With no eggs & butter)
I've recommended this recipe to few friends, cousin they too tried & agreed with me about the taste. And finally it was certified by my niece, she liked it soo much, and when I heard that she took it to school daily till it got over I was on top of the world!! Am waiting for my lil one to taste it too.....though have given her few pinches of this cake, she was licking & didnt leave my fingers :)

Eggless Chocolate Cake Recipe - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 45 mins | Makes : 9 squares
Recipe Category: Dessert | Recipe Cuisine: World

Dry Ingredients:

All purpose flour(Maida) - 1 and 1/2 cups (200 gms)
Cocoa powder - 3 tbsp
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1/8 tsp (optional)
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Granulated Sugar - 3/4 cup (165 gms) [Increase it to 1 cup if you dont use choco chips]
Chocolate Chips - 2 tbsp

Wet Ingredients:

Water - 1 cup (250 ml)
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tbsp
Lemon juice / White Vinegar - 1 tbsp (I used lemon juice)
Oil - 1/4 cup (60 ml)
*I halved the recipe to bake it in my 4X4 inch square pan.
Super Moist Chocolate Cake(With no eggs & butter)


  1. Take water in a mixing bowl, add vanilla essence, sugar, lemon juice and oil. Mix well till sugar completely dissolves . Keep aside.Now take flour, baking soda, baking powder and coco powder and sift together twice atleast to make sure the flour, soda and baking powder and coco powder is evenly spread out.Then slowly add the the sifted flour mixture to the wet ingredients mixture may be in 2 parts.Moist Chocolate Cake - Step1
  2. Gently mix in one direction, break the lumps forming...gently mix it.The batter is runny like you see in the pic.Fold in choco chips and give a quick stir.Preheat oven to 180 deg C for 10mins.Grease the pan with butter, sprinkle maida tap it so that it spreads on all sides.Moist Chocolate Cake - Step2
  3. Pour the batter into the cake pan. Bake it at 180 deg C for 35-40mins check with a fork if a fork inserted comes out clean.Moist Chocolate Cake - Step3
  4. Make sure to cool atleast for 10-15 mins and then invert carefully and cut into pieces and enjoy.
Moist Chocolate Cake(With no eggs & butter)

My Notes:

  • When lemon juice reacts with baking soda it helps the cake to rise. The mixing and measurements matters the most for the perfect moist cake. Have updated the recipe again with measurements after 2-3 trials.
  • I added 1/8 tsp baking powder though the orginal recipe did not use it. So It is purely optional
  • Select the cake pan accordingly as the batter should be atleast half of the pan when you pour it. Also I've halved the measurements from the orginal recipe.
  • Using chocochips is purely optional but I recommend adding it. Also if you dont add chocochips increase sugar to 1 cup.
Super Moist Chocolate Cake(With no eggs & butter)
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cracked Wheat/Udaitha Gothumai Rava Upma

I bought this cracked wheat for the first time and was skeptical how it wud taste for upma. I made this a week back and it was a quick and filling breakfast not compromising on the taste. Having tasted it, now I know this would fill in my grocery list often :)

Cracked Wheat Upma
  • Cracked wheat rava - 1 cup
  • Water - 3 cups
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp [optional]
  • Onion - 1 finely chopped
  • Finely chopped carrot and peas - 1/2 cup
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Green chillies - 1 sliced thin
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

NOTE : Cracked wheat / udaitha gothumai rava needs more water than the usual rava. With 3 cups the upma was seperated which is what I liked. If you want it to be a little mashy then add 3.5 cups of water.
Cracked Wheat Upma
  1. First roast rava in 1 tsp of oil on low flame for 3mins or till you can smell the aroma.Keep aside.

  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan/pressure cooker. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chilli and fry well. After the mustard seeds crackle, add gingergarlic paste, onions and fry well.

  3. Add veggies...Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder and fry till the veggies turn soft. Now add the roasted rava and mix well till all is combined.

  4. Add 3 cups of water exactly and pressure cook it for 5 whistles . Serve hot with sambar / chutney.
Cracked Wheat Upma
I got this yellow bowl long back as I liked the color but not using it much becos of the white glare of light on the bowl. But this time made up my mind to click with this bowl however the light reflects back....not bad isnt it?!

Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Valakkai Varuval (Roast) / Raw Banana Pepper Chops

Happy Ugadi to all my readers out there! Hope u r having a great week.Am having a bzzz week here inspite of it...am trying not to miss any updates of those wonderful blogs. Have created a fan page in FB for Sharmis Passions if you r interested, do join me here .

Now coming to todays vazhakai chops, I got this recipe from one of my aunts and it was soo tasty with curd rice. Do try it out and see!
Vazhakai Pepper Chops
Ingredients :
  • Raw Banana/Vazhakai - 1
  • Turmeric powder - a pinch
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil - 1tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Grinding :
  • Coconut - 2tbsp
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
  • Garlic - 4 to 5 pieces
  • Pepper - 2 to 3 tsp

1.First cut the raw banana lengthwise like finger chips. Half boil it in water(It shudnt be mashy hard enough to get roasted), then marinate it with salt, chilli and turmeric powder, allow it to sit for 15mins.

2.Grind the ingredients under grinding to a fine paste with minimum water.

3.Add oil, then mustard seeds let it splutter. Now add the raw banana and saute it for 3mins . Next add the ground paste, little more salt if needed and fry well till all is combined well.

4.Sprinkle little water and leave it closed for 2mins for the veggie to cooked fully.Open and keep sauting until it is roasted well, it may take another 5mins.Switch off, serve with curd rice!

Dont overboil raw banana as it many tend to shred into pieces while roasting.

Vazhakai Pepper Chops
I dont know why it is called chops....it should be roast actually. Whatever the name be, the flavour of coconut and pepper with the veggie is spicy and flavourful making it a apt combo for curd rice.
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Corn Garlic Pizza for Global Kadai Event!

Pizza is my favourite........the one from Pizza Hut.....I havent tasted a better one anywhere else....The soft and crunchy base, the melted cheese on top hmmm tastes divine!! Let me stop here and move on to todays recipe.....corn garlic pizza. When I saw the event, the first thing that came to my mind was to use corn and garlic so got the base while shopping monthly groceries last weekend. Should I mention abt the taste....just luved the flavour of garlic with capsicum, onion and corn.
Corn Garlic Pizza
NOTE : Dont search for cheese in mine.....I've added but a very meager amout, yes u r right lil guilty :) I have made bread pizza many times but this is the first time I m trying out with pizza base.Here goes the recipe:

  • Pizza base - 1
  • Capsicum - 1/2 finely chopped
  • Corn - boiled from 1 small cob
  • Garlic roasted - 5 to 6 sliced thin
  • Onion - 1 medium size chopped lengthwise
  • Cheese - 1 small cube grated
  • Tomato sauce - 2tbsp
  • Pepper - as required to sprinkle
  1. Spread the tomato sauce on the base, now add the chopped onions. Next is the capsicum .

  2. Now add roasted corn and garlic mixed with a tsp of pepper powder , sprinkle grated cheese on top and that should cover it.

  3. Preheat oven at 175deg C for 10mins. Bake the pizza at the same temperature in toast-pizza/grill mode for 10mins or till the cheese slightly melts. Sprinkle pepper on top...ur pizza is done, Serve Hot!
Corn Garlic Pizza
And I made this to send it to the Global Kadai event hosted by Lavi, orginally started by Cilantro
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Poha Peanut Fudge / Aval Kadala Burfi

Again a recipe from our cook at office, where he served this as a evening snack a few weeks back....it was soo tasty that I wanted another plate ;) But the variation I made was to use poha instead of steamed rice flour as the lazy me found poha instant still not much difference in taste.
Poha Peanut fudge
  • Poha - 1 cup thick or thin [The orginal recipe was to use steamed shredded rice flour - the puttu flour]
  • Peanuts - 1/2 cup
  • Jaggery - 4 tbsp powdered or syrup[just mix with water]
  • Coconut - 1 tbsp [optional I didnt use]
  • Elachi powder - 1 tsp
  • Ghee- just to shape them

Method :
  1. Soak poha in water for 5mins, drain water and keep poha aside.

  2. Dry roast peanuts in a tawa until they turn light brown. Peel of skin and blend it with poha to a coarse mixture resembling breadcrumb texture. Add jaggery, coconut,elachi powder and grind it once again just to combine everything. NOTE: Add jaggery water little by little to avoid the dough to become watery.

  3. Make them into small balls or any of your preferred shape. Add ghee for shaping them to avoid stickiness.
Poha Peanut fudge
Its easy and a tasty snack!!!
And I am sending this to Divyas Healthy Sunday snacks
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Shortbread Cookies

A year in blogging or bonding should I ask?! Yes this blog has been a part of my life these days.Little did I expect this when I started sharmispassions?! Definitely a noooo!!!
Shortbread Cookies
This blog has
1.Earned me so many new friends and few are even close now.
2.Made me learn so many things about food photography.
3.Made the lazy me cook good food and venture even the baking world.
4.Made me aware that there are so many innovative recipes in world which can tempt you to taste even which u hate the most.
5.Made me learn a bit of design and photoshop(though I was reluctant when this was given to me to take up as a career).

And thanks to all of you who have made this blog lively by your motivating and lovely comments.

Now coming to todays cookies...On Vday, made up my mind to corner all the health factors for a while and went ahead with this shortbread cookies from here. Gave a variation of adding cornflour as suggested and they turned out a bit crispy and melt in the mouth texture.I did reserve few to check if the crispiness was maintained the next day too and yes it was exactly the same.
Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients :
  • APF - 150 gms
  • Cornflour - 50 gms
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Unsalted butter - 100 gms
  • Powdered sugar - 50 gms
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Method :
1. In a separate bowl sift the flour with salt. Set aside.

2. Cream butter,add sugar and beat until its smooth - it takes about 5mins. Add vanilla essence and mix well.

3. Now add APF to the butter sugar mixture and bring it to a dough. Flatten the dough into disk shape, wrap in a plastic cover and refrigerate for an hr.

4. On a flat surface roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into your desired shapes and place these cookies on the prepared baking sheet and again refrigerate it for 10-15 minutes.This will firm up the dough for the cookies to maintain their shape.

5. Meanwhile u can preheat the oven to 175deg C for 10mins. Bake the cookies for 12-15 mins The actual recipe says 8-10mins but my cookies took exactly 15mins to bake.

NOTE: If you feel like bread crumble texture after mixing the flour, sugar and butter, you can sprinkle few drops of milk to form the dough like texture for easy rolling and cutting.

This makes 20 shortbreads. This kept in an airtight container will go well for a week.
Shortbread Cookies

I often had this mind : What are shortbreads and how they are different from normal cookies? Here is the description from wikipedia

Shortbread is a type of biscuit which is traditionally made from one part white sugar, two parts butter, and three parts of flour. Shortbread is so named because of its crumbly texture (from an old meaning of the word short). Shortbread biscuits are often associated with normal egg-based biscuits, but they hold their shape under pressure, making them ideal for packed meals.

Shortbreads are baked at low temperature to avoid browning. When cooked, it is nearly white, or a light golden brown.

They may be sprinkled with more sugar while cooling. It may even be crumbly before cooled, but will become firmer after cooling. Hmm the taste was heavenly and just melts in ur mouth!!

Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Close to Restaurant style Vegetable Fried Rice!!

My usual order in restaurants wud be roti/naan, Its like if I dont take roti/naan my aim of going to a hotel/party/reception is not complete.I'm telling this becos anyday when I get to meet any of u....dont forget to serve with any of these, Okies?! :0
Veg Fried Rice
Hubby loves fried rice either veg, egg or chicken...So have tried them in many ways, hve already posted egg fried rice here but this recipe is from our cook at office, It was almost the same as restaurants so nagged him for the recipe.You should see the smile & happiness on his face when I ask him for recipes. One of my friends Thames asked for veg fried rice recipe so this one is for her.

However I tried, I felt one main thing was missing which was there in restaurants...I tried soya sauce, ajino motto etc but cudnt get it.
Finally when I went to Wangs kitchen once, I had a peek into the kitchen where they were making fried rice. I closely watched the secret ingredient
in a bottle that was nothing but olive oil so the main flavour comes from this. Have updated my recipe here with olive oil. But still I have to master the making of fried rice till then I am not going to take the 'close to' tag from the headline :)

  • Basmati rice - 1.5 cups [Cook rice as grains seperated]
  • Carrots - 2 small finely chopped
  • Beans - 1/4 cup finely chopped
  • Onions - 1 medium sized chopped
  • Spring onions - 1/4 cup
  • Capsicum - 1 [I used green & yellow]
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Soya sauce - 1 tbsp
  • Pepper - 2 to 3 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Veg Fried Rice
1.Rinse rice twice and pressure cook till rice grain is seperated with required water [I used 3 cups of water].

2.Heat oil and olive oil in a kadai, add onions saute for 2mins and then add ginger garlic paste and fry well.

3.Now add carrots, beans and keep frying till the vegetables are half cooked....may be sprinkle water to get it done soon.Dont add too much water as the veggies will become soft instead of crunchy.

4.Next add the capsicum and fry well with other veggies.Add pepper and mix well.

5.Increase the heat to maximum and add the soya sauce, stirring continuously for 8-10 seconds.

6.Now lower the heat and add the cooked rice with required salt add spring onions and mix well. Let the rice fry for another 3-4 mins and then remove. Garnish with spring onions.
Veg Fried Rice
And I need to mention about this bowl....Got it in a exhibition just for the reason its brown!! Though the design is not nicely captured in the pic its soo pretty. Have I mentioned already?! I go mad abt anything browny....!! :)

I totally forgot about Mahimas cooking event so my previous post bread upma and this simple fried rice goes to her cooking basics event .
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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