Banana-Chocolate Muffin half loaf, Oatmeal-Raisin-Walnut-White Chocolate Chewy Cookies, Ugadi Pachadi/Bevu Bella and Thali!
Well....last weekend was very rainy, relatively warm but fun too. We did some usual shopping, cleaned up my veggie patch in the backyard and watched few movies. We are expecting 70F+ this weekend, might even scatter some veg seeds on the ground, it's not too early I hope!
Menu this week: I had baked a eggless Banana Chocolate Muffin loaf and few of my favorite eggless Oatmeal Raisin chewy cookies last week for this post before Ugadi last Friday. So here they are along with my addition of Ugadi festival thali (scroll down to see thali and recipes) since I had made those too! :D
Banana and Chocolate chips makes a great combination and very moist Muffins to have as a snack or for breakfast. I added 1/3rd cup sugar as I don't like vary sweet Muffins but you can use 1/2 cup sugar if you like as the recipe form a Betty Crocker book says. My kids ate the whole loaf within 2 days! :P
Banana Chocolate Muffin Half Loaf:
You must be wondering what the heck is Half loaf! I did too until I found the Half loaf pan in Amazon. It's a round loaf but half the size of a full loaf pan, as small as a smaller rectagular 8" pan. It makes a beautiful half round design on top of the cake or Muffin when inverted.
To bake the Muffin loaf:
You can see the Half loaf pan here. It's cute, something diffeent than usual. You can use 12 cup Muffin pan or smaller Loaf pan if you like, doesn't make any difference in taste and texture.
3/4 cup Milk,
1/4 cup Vegetable oil,
2 tbsp Yogurt instead of 1 Egg,
2 cups Plain flour (can use Wheat flour instead too),
1/3 or 1/2 cup sugar (depends on how sweet you want),
2 tsp Baking pd,
1/2 tsp Salt.
1 cup mashed Banana or use 2 large banana to mash coarsely,
1/4 cup semi-sweet Dark Chocolate chips.
To bake Muffin:
Heat oven to 400F. Grease or spray no-stick on a Muffin pan or a half loaf pan or a regular smaller loaf pan, keep it ready.
1. Beat Milk, Yogurt (or Egg) and oil by a whisk or in a mixer with beater attachment.
2. Stir in Flour, sugar, baking pd, Chocolate Chips and salt together and add all at once to the mixer, mix gently without beating too much, just until mixed. A bit lumpy batter is okay too, never beat too much until gooey.
3. Fold in coarsely mashed Banana to it and mix gently again, do not beat too much.
4. Pour into the Half loaf pan or small loaf pan or divide equally betn 12 muffin cups. Tap the pan gently to release the bubbles.
5. Bake for 20-25mins or until the top s golden brown and the center is baked well. Since Banana makes the loaf moist, it takes a bit than usual Muffins, test with a skewer in the center until it comes out clean.
6. Cool on the cooling rack, invert the Muffins and cool thoroughly to store in airtight conatiner or Ziplock bag.
Oatmeal-Raisin-Walnuts-White Chocolate Chewy Cookies:
If you know me by now, you know I don't like desserts or sweets much. I would rather sit and munch on savory snacks than cookies or cakes any day. But if I had to choose one cookie to have, I would love this Oatmeal Raisin chewy (not crispy and crunchy cookies) cookies, which I adapted from a "Taste of Home" magazine recipe called "Grandma's Chewy Oatmeal Raisin cookies".
I love these with lots of Raisins and Walnuts personally but added White Chocolate chips for kids so they can eat them too, worked out well. I made huge cookies but you can scoop smaller portions to bake plumper and smaller cookies.
1 cup dark Raisins soaked in 1/3 cup warm water to soften them and then crush them gently.
1/2 cup vegetable butter flavored (optional) shortening, 1 egg, 1 cup dark Brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla essence. (adding 2 tbsp sweetened coconut will add texture too but optional)
2 cups Plain flour,1 1/4 cup regular rolled Oats, 3/4 tsp Cinnamon pd, 2 tsp Baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 3 tbsp Walnuts and 1/4 cup White semi sweet Chocolate chips or slightly crushed Chocolate squares.
To bake Cookies:
Preheat the oven at 350F.
1. Beat veg shortening, egg, brown sugar, white sugar, and vanilla, until creamy.
2. Add Plain flour, baking soda, oats, Cinnamon and salt. Mix well gently and add soaked Raisins with it's water, fold in until you get a big sticky lumpy dough.
3. Divide into equal portions as big as you want, roll gently to balls and flatten the top. Place them on a cookie sheet 3" apart and bake for about 18-20 mins. Do not over bake to make them too crispy. If the middle is a bit soft after about 20 mins, it's okay. They do cook a bit even after you take them out of the oven and becomes chewy when cooled.
Note: You can skip the Egg in the recipe, expect the cookies to be flatter without the addition of Egg like mine looks. I ran out of Eggs for the first time in my life, can you believe it? I always add 1 egg to this Oatmeal cookie recipe! :P
Yummy chewy cookies are now ready to eat!
Logos and events list:
Banana-Chocolate Muffin Half Loaf, goes to Madhuram's "Egg substitute-Yogurt" event.
Oatmeal Chocolate Chewy cookies, goes to Srilekha's "EFM-Cookies" event.
I am also sending these Chewy white chocolate cookies to Poornima Nair's "For the love of Chocolate" event.
Hulianna, goes to Smitha's "Colors of taste-Flavored Rice" event.
I am sending yummy Mixed dal Ambodes to LG's "Meals on Wheels" event as my second entry as well.
Thanks to all of you ladies, enjoy hosting! :)
About Ugadi/Hindu New Year festival:
As most of you know, we had our Hindu New Year last week. "Uga" means "era" and "adi" means "beginning", in Sanskrit. More info about Ugadi is here in detail. I usually don't cook anything special for Ugadi, but my grandparents grandly celebrate this day in India but this year thought I would add one more to our Shivaratri and Deepavali festival list. I even found a frozen pack of green (well..they were half ripe!) Mango slices to make Ugadi Pachadi. Kids got to learn about Hindu new Year and liked it, so it's all good! :D
A peek at our Ugadi habbada oota/thali we had last Friday:
Here is the menu; Ugadi Pachadi or Bevu Bella, Karnataka style Hulianna, Carrot and Moong dal/Hesarubele Kosumbari, Mixed dal Ambode, plain Yogurt and Sabbakki Payasa/Sago Kheer/Tapioca Saffron Pudding for dessert. You can see all the recipes below.
Ugadi Pachadi or Bevu Bella is traditionally served on Ugadi or New year's to start the day. It has mixed six flavors and tastes like mixed with Tamarind water and chopped green Mango for sour and tangy taste, Jaggary or sugar for sweet, Neem flowers or leaves for bitter, Green chillies or chilli pd for spicy and salt to represent life with it's various stages of joys and sorrows!
Take a cup of Tamarind water mixed with 2 tsp thick Tamarind paste in a bowl, add enough salt, Jaggary or sugar, 1/4 of a Jalapeno sliced, Neem flowers or leaves if you have it (I added 1/2 tsp Kasoori Methi for bitterness, didn't have Neem), thinly sliced green Mangoes with skin. (I used frozen green Mangoes, doesn't have the greatest taste, fresh green mangoes are always better!) Mix and chill to serve.
2. Add 1/4 cup oil in a deep pan, add 1 tsp Mustard seeds, 2 tsp each Chana dal and Urad dal, few curry leaves, 2 red dry chillies and 1/4 cup Peanuts. Roast it until they are reddish. Now add 1tbsp white Sesame seeds and 3 tbsp dry dessicated coconut, stir for 1 mins.
(Traditionally these two, Sesame and coconut, are roasted separately and pounded together coarsely to add to the rice at the end when we are mixing Tamarind paste and rice but I make it the easy way)
2. Add 1 cup of Tamarind water mixed with 1 tbsp of thick tamarind paste, salt and 1 tsp Jaggary. Let it boil until it reduces to half, oil floats on top.
3. Add powdered masala to it, mix well and let it cook on low heat for a while. Now, Huli is ready.
4. Mix rice and enough huli until it's evenly coated, adjust the salt and serve. Serve plain yogurt on the side along with some Papad or crunchy Boondi or Sev snacks.
Dry roast 2 tbsp Coriander seeds,1 tbsp Cumin seeds, few dry red chillies, 2 tsp Peppercorns, 1 tsp Mustard seeds, and few curry leaves until reddish, cool all of them, add 1/4 tsp Hing/Asafoetida and powder it until fine powder. Use it as much as you like to add to Tamarind paste to make Hulianna paste.
Kesari Sabbakki Payasa/Sago Kesar Kheer/Tapioca Pearl Saffron Pudding:
2. Add 3 cups pf milk (2% is okay) and simmer this for 30-40 mins until milk is reduced to half.
3. Add enough Jaggary or sugar to your taste, 1/4 tsp Saffron strands and simmer again for 10 mins.
4. When Sago is cooked soft and milk is like thickish, add 1/2 tsp Cardamon powder, mix and take off the heat.
5. Serve chilled or warm. Adjust the thickness of the sauce, should be like pudding or very thin.
3. Heat oil to 375F or hot, take a small lump of dough in your hands, flatten and drop it in the oil.Repeat with others and fry until golden and cisp both sides. Drain on the paper Towel and serve.
1. Soak 2 tbsp Moong dal for 2 hrs and drain the water. Grate 3 carrots to a bowl. Add 1 tbsp Lemon juice, salt, Moong dal, chopped Cilantro.
2. Mix well and adjust the salt. You can add finely chopped red onion to this but I didn't add this time.
3. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan, add 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds, 1 sliced green chillies, curry leaves. When they pop, add to the bowl with carrot.
4. Mix well and serve.
Lastly, Movies I watched last week:
Most beautiful film to watch, saddens you but keeps you glued to the movie. It involves Roman Catholics, Spanish and French revolution. Francisco Goya, who was a painter for Royal family witnesses the life of a young Catholic (whose ancestors were Jewish) girl who was arrested for being a "Judaising" because she doesn't eat Pork. Tortured, manipulated and raped by a Spanish priest Lorenzo in prison for years, Goya and her family tries to rescue her but fail. What happens after that very interesting and tragic. Click on the link for the full story. Beautifully acted by Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman, a must see film if you can get it on DVD.
Colin Farrell won the "Golden Globe" best actor award for this movie. It's about 2 hitmen who are hiding in Bruges after a killing. While killing a priest as his "Hit", Ray kills a little boy as well who was praying in the church, so he flees the country to Bruges. But the death of that child haunts him and tries to kill himself. In the end, when his own people want him dead, he wants live desperately! Anyway, he does get shot in the end and survives! JOY! :P
Two more additions!
Kids didn't have school on last Monday, so they went to "Monsters VS Aliens 3D" . It was good, as my kids said and they told me that in one the scenes in the movie, they say "We need our best scientific minds NOW, somebody please call India!" :D
I went to "Knowing" (Thanks for suggesting SJ!) in the same movie theater. Knowing was a surprisingly good movie, riveting and non-stop action/thriller. Gets a little silly in the end with Aliens and their "Akasha Vahana" (:D) ie aircraft sucking up 2 kids along with 2 Bunnies to "restart" the World but overall very entertaining movie to watch, loved it.
A very funny thing happened last Sunday, one of the joys of raising mixed culture kids in good old US of A with some Indian "Hinglish movie" culture thrown in!! :D
Trisha and I were relaxing on the sofa watching TV. I switched to Zee Cinema channel and they were showing "God Tussi Great Ho" (copy of "Bruce Almighty!") movie with Salman Khan, AB etc. Trisha suddenly says, "Mom, I can't believe they are calling GOD a great HO!!" and I just fell off the couch laughing. I never saw that coming and she was staring at me like I am a crazy woman!! ;D
(Indians living in USA know what she meant! Okay, I will tell you...."Ho" is an American slang for "Whore" here! She didn't know what "tussi" meant but read everything else in English and then to top it all, she asks me "is that the "Salmon" guy? He looks weird!" too!! I will surely miss her when she leaves for college in August! :P)
That's all this week, see you all later!