Category: Microwave Cooking

The Follow Up to The Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake

Yes, I know I missed another GMT this week. And I also know most of you would have not noticed, but I will still give an explanation for the absence!

I have such a backlog of recipes, that I thought I would attend to those first. Also, I was waiting for WordPress support to answer a query of mine before posting anything. But since they do not seem to be replying anytime soon (Hello, WordPress support, are you listening?), I thought I will post anyway.

And I am not lying when I say I have a backlog of recipes- there’s today’s post, Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl Copycat recipe, Tomatillo Salsa, Bbq Chicken Tacos, Apple Pie Tartlets and a Cottage Cheese Cake recipe in the pipeline. Not to mention a zafrani chicken recipe one of V’s colleagues requested me to try. Yes, some one has been busy in the kitchen.

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The Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake. Just For one.

So I have been strumming my fingers on the keyboard for a while now.

I am in a dilemma about the recipe I am posting today.

Should I share this recipe

or

spare you from the depression

the knowledge of this recipe would cause.

In case you have resolved to get back in shape this new year,

I warn you to NOT read any further.

Nothing can be done about me.

I have been in on this knowledge,

but

there is still saving grace for you.

Stop reading.

Now.

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An Indian Treat, Camelback Hike and a lost ring- Exciting Start to 2011

After a year, 2011 is finally here!! (didn’t know I can be corny and rhyme at the same time!) Happy New Year every one! Welcomed the new year partying with our friends in Phoenix. Lots of fun. 🙂

I stopped making new year resolutions long back, mainly because they used to revolve around one theme- my weight. And well, most of you know, how such resolutions end up- being broken. But, this year I decided to give the theme another try with a slightly modified resolution. I am not resolving to lose weight, (with my love for all things baked and fried -don’t think that would be a practical resolution)– so I resolve that out of the 7 days in a week, 5 days I will try to get some form exercise– it could be yoga, running or time spent in the gym. I can almost hear myself saying “yeah right, all the best” in a mocking tone, but this time I am determined! Again I hear the voice: “haha, we will see”. To it I say, “Yes, we will!”

Fortunately, the first day of the new year was spent doing just that- showing my inner self that yes I can do it. Even though we had a late night (slept at 4 in the morning), and slightly hung over from the New Year party, I was up on 1st morning (well it was almost noon 😉 ), ready to hike the Camelback mountain in Phoenix.

Camelback Mountain, the best-known feature of the Phoenix skyline and the city’s highest point, is an irresistible lure to hard-core hikers, fitness fanatics and tantalized tourists. Both routes to the summit, Echo and Cholla, though fairly short, are among the steepest trails in Arizona, guaranteed to leave even the fittest of the fit huffing and puffing as they slog their way to the top. The first mile and a half of the Cholla trail, though steep in places, is easy enough for the most casual of hikers to enjoy. But the final quarter-mile is rather nasty, requiring a fair amount of scrambling along a bouldery ridgeline to the top. It is a 3.5 miles round trip for the Cholla Trail.

I managed to complete the trail, exceeding V’s expectations (he thought I would give up half-way. But I didn’t!) , and all was going according to plan! Good start to the new year.

The next day though, things went from good to bad. Woke up with a sore body, feeling pain in muscles I never knew existed in those parts of my body. That was still fine. It turned bad when, on our way back from Phoenix, I realised my yellow sapphire gold ring missing! I knew I had it in the morning before we left our friends’ house but somewhere on the way, the ring slipped from my fingers (well, the positive: I lost weight from a one day hiking trip! The negative: at the cost of a very expensive ring!) Anyways both V and I were very upset, but then things like this happen. I never wanted to wear the ring but V told me to, because he believes that the stone would be good for my overall prosperity and good luck. Since I don’t believe in such things, I wasn’t too keen. On his insistence I wore it. The irony is that once lost, I feel its a bad omen and my prosperity would be affected ( well, not that I was working or anything, but still, any chance of finding a job would get lost). Well, ok, I am not THAT superstitious but I would have felt more sure of my prosperity and my luck if the ring was in my fingers. Anyways, that too, we shall see!

Coming to today, I decided on treating V and myself to some real Indian comfort food: Poori, sookhe kale chane and Sooji ka Halwa .

Poori is a deep fried unleavened flat bread eaten in India. The dough is made of whole wheat flour, water, salt and a little ghee (clarified butter). One can also add carom seeds (Ajwain), like I did, for an added flavor.

Sookhe Kale chane is a north Indian dish, popularly made during Ashtami, (a Hindu festival) as part of Kanjak puja ( a ceremony performed for little girls). Generally, it is made sans salt (it is a fasting period and salt is not allowed). The salt is replaced with black salt (kala namak). Also, traditionally, ginger and tomatoes nor onions are used, but I have added them in my recipe (well, since we are not fasting!)

Sooji ka Halwa is a sweet dish very,very popular in most Indian households. It is also one of V’s favorites. Unfortunately for him, my first few attempts at the halwa have been disastrous. Its a tradition for newly weds to cook halwa for the husband’s family. Now, before marriage I had never entered the kitchen to cook, to bake-yes, but to cook, never. Well, probably once or twice, but that’s it. So, when I decided to make something for V’s family, I had no idea where to begin! Luckily, my in-laws had gone out of the house and the cook helped me making the halwa. Actually, I tried once, but it was a mess. So, had to take the cook’s help! Surprisingly, its very easy to make but also very easy to mess up. Fortunately, this time I found the microwave version of the recipe and thought to myself, I can;t goof up with this. And what would you know- I did! But, only slightly and because I had to third the recipe as I only had 2 cups of milk in the fridge. I also burnt the almonds in the microwave (I knew something was burning- but multi-tasking to prepare food in time for V’s lunch just ended up burning the almonds- but luckily, only a few!) The end result, though, was unexpectedly, pretty good. Actually very good!

Update: Just spoke with my mother-in-law and it turns out that losing a stone ring is good if it happens in the natural course of your day. It means all the bad energies leave you with that stone. Hmm.. 2011 looks promising! 😉

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RAVA IDLI

Ok…I just can’t get enough of microwave cooking. It’s probably how Archimedes felt in his bath tub when he discovered that the water displaced is equal to the weight of the object immersed. Well, ok, that’s an exaggeration but its quite close to how I feel. I mean things are so much more easy now, with lesser clean up and so so so so quick!!! Today’s lunch was a snap to make thanks to the book. It also gave me ample time to make samosas and rolled fruit cookies for our coffee group Christmas party tomorrow!

Today’s task for the microwave was Rava idli. The origins of Rava Idli date back to World War II, when rice which is the staple item used in making idlis (a South Indian savory cake made of fermented rice and washed black lentils) was in short supply, so a popular restaurant chain MTR experimented in making idli using semolina and created Rava Idli (Rava in Kannada, the native language of Karnataka, stands for semolina). Serve it with coconut chutney, a bit of ghee and sambhar, and you have a scrumptious meal!

It would pay to get these microwavable idli containers. Best when you have unexpected guests and you need to cook up something quickly.

I increased the recipe 1.5 times and as such I was left with some mixture which I poured into the idli frying pan that my mom sent. Isn’t it cute? I just love it. And its great for making a quick snack of cocktail idlis!

I made plain idlis but you can add cashews, carrots, tomatoes, curry leaves, peanuts and the likes if you want.

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INSTANT KHAMAN DHOKLA

Khaman Dhokla is a very tasty Indian snack made from gram flour. It is a dish typical to the western state of Gujarat in India, but enjoyed all over India. Traditionally, chickpeas, or gram flour in some recipes, are soaked overnight. This paste is fermented for four to five hours, then is spiced by adding red chilli powder, ginger and baking soda. The dhokla is then steamed for about 15 minutes on a flat dish and cut into pieces. Once done, mustard seeds, green chillies are tempered in oil and along with a little sugar and water, poured over the dhokla. Garnished with fried green chillies, coriander and sometimes grated coconut, it is best served with tamarind and mint-coriander chutneys and a hot cup of tea!

Now, we don’t have the luxury of buying freshly made Dhokla from the local sweet shop here. We had been getting our doze of Dhokla off frozen boxes available in an Indian store in Phoenix. I know! The horror! hate frozen stuff but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and when it came to no Dhokla Vs. Frozen Dhokla, the latter won. Sigh!

But things are gonna change from now on- thanks to my in-laws who gave me these amazing books on microwave cooking. I made the Dhoklas at home today! And I still can’t believe what a snap they were to make. I mean, I made it for V’s breakfast- they were that quick. While he took a shower to get ready for work- I was done with making the Dhoklas! Half groggy and sleepy at 6.30 in the morning, the Dhoklas came together in under 15 minutes! Woop woop! And they taste so good- so much better than the frozen kinds! Double woop! 🙂

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ANJEERI GOBHI

The weekend was a lazy one. V and I spent it at home mostly. Last few weekends have been very hectic, so both of us enjoyed this one by just sitting it out and watching movies the whole day.

I also managed to clear my inbox- from 7000 unread messages to 0 unread! Do not ask how I managed to have 7000 unread messages- thanks to all the needless subscriptions I was tricked into keeping =/ but, finally, I am down to zero unread messages! And believe me, its a great feeling to open your inbox and see just 1 or 2 unread messages!! 🙂

 

We did get out of the house though during the weekend. Our microwave broke down last week. So we had to get a new one and thus, had to make a trip to Home Depot.

Now as the proud owner of a new microwave, I thought of making today’s lunch completely in it. My in-laws gifted me these two books on microwave cooking and both are wonderful books. This also is the start of a new section on the blog solely dedicated to microwave cooking. Microwave cooking is not only fast, but since food  gets cooked in its own juices, it is full of natural aroma, texture and colour.

Another plus, which according to me is the biggest one, is that one ends up using only one dish for the cooking and the serving! I have always been apprehensive about using the microwave too much because of the radiation but the book guarantees no such evidence of it being harmful, especially since todays health standards limit the amount of micro waves that leak from a microwave oven to a safe level. So you have quick, healthier cooking with negligible clean up!

Today I made anjeeri gobhi. Its basically cauliflower cooked in a yogurt and dry figs paste. The end result was a pretty tasty dish and thanks to the microwave a snap to make!

This was my second attempt at microwave cooking. The first time I tried kadhai paneer with quite good results ( I do have to say that kadhai paneer made conventionally tastes better, but this wasn’t bad either. Plus, cooking in the microwave was really quick and clean!)

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