Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cook With Red Event 1 And Giveaways

Christmas and New Year is around the corner. Everywhere in London I see sparkling trees, snowy decorations and glowing lights- so jovial isn't it? Don’t you just enjoy witnessing the beautiful red- Santa caps, socks, jingle bells? I personally love red- the colour of passion, love and energy. So let’s follow the red trend in the blogging world as well and celebrate Christmas and New Year with red as themed colour this time.

Yes! all you have to do is cook with red ingredients’.  Some of the examples of red food are apples, red lentils, pomegranate,strawberries, red onions, carrots, red chilies, cherries, beetroot, tomatoes etc etc. Yup! Put on your thinking caps and cook anything red. Here is the collection of my recipes which were cooked with red things- roasted tomato soup, red lentils tadka, chocolate strawberry cake, nutty carrot salad, red onion paratha, Spaghetti in Arrabiata Sauce .

Rules for the event-
  • Cook with anything red. Red ingredient must be the main one and not just used in garnishing.
  • Looking for fresh entries thus try out new recipes. So, no archived posts will be entertained. Your post has to between November 2013- Janruray 2014.
  • Multiple entries are welcome and appreciated.
  • The event has to be linked back as Cook With Red Event announced at Merry Tummy. (Compulsory)
  • Usage of logo is optional but I would be happy if you could use it, as it helps spread word.
  • You have to like Merry Tummy's Facebook Page and Follow Merry Tummy. (Compulsory)
  • Follow me on Twitter
  • Only after your first entry, share the event details at facebook page.(I want more people to know about the event). Keep your this post public in Facebook so that I can see it.(Compulsory- have to do only once)
  • Please use the linky tool to link your recipes below. (Mention the name of the dish you make and not your name.)
  • Else Send a mail to agrawal.shweta.n@gmail.com with the subject line as Cook With Red  and with the following details:
    • Your Name
    • Recipe Name
    • Blog Name
    • Recipe URL (Please send the Recipe URL and not the blog URL)
    • Pic of the recipe (If it is not on the blog)
  • Non bloggers are most welcome to participate. Just send me the recipe details with a click of the recipe to the above mentioned email.
Lucky Giveaway - Yes there is one giveaway. I will choose one lucky person through random.org. I will then ask the winner to choose from cookware, bakeware, cook books or kitchen accessories as prize. Once again, the giveaway is open for people who can give Indian address :) There will also be certificates for top contributor, best innovative recipe, best recipe, best click and participation award. 

Surprise Giveaway- I am also keeping one surprise prize. Anyone who comes with beautiful decorated cake will get one special prize. So keep baking. (This is valid for my friends in the UK and India both)

Here is a glimpse of what I have send so far to the winners of the events.

Cookware-Non Stick Frying Pan; Bakeware-Butterfly shaped 3 silicon cake moulds; Cookware- Branded pigeon cute small frying pan.

You all lovely people have made my events- Cook With white and Cook with Yellow a mega success. I have seen some amazing recipes and spotted passionate bloggers-kudos to you. Again, thanks very much- means a lot.

Hope you all will like the theme. Red is in the air :-). Send in the tasty dishes ladies :)

(Image Source: logo, Cutchi kicthen, babitha Costa and Spicy Foood)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Roasted Tomatoes Garlic Soup With Baobab Fruit Powder

When most of the people are still cooking and enjoying pumpkin, I must say I am totally bored with them. I am so drained seeing and reading about pumpkin soups and dishes. No, soup is not the trouble; in fact I must mention that I am a soup devotee.  I read somewhere-“Worries go down better with soup” and I agree with this statement entirely.

Rainy day or a cold night- my husband and I wish to have a warm cup of soup. Now, we can’t have soups that look pale or colourless, we need spicy, rich and creamy ones. Tomatoes soup which is so common is also not our cup of tea; we find it very artificial in flavours and not up to the mark. So here is a makeover of the old boring tomato soup. Why not roast red plum tomatoes with garlic pods, black pepper, mixed herbs and bay leaf –sounds nice, isn’t it? Trust me when all these ingredients roasts with good dash of olive oil the whole kitchen oozes with aroma.  A perfect comforting soup!

No doubt that this is a very healthy soup, but another jewel in the crown is Baobab fruit powder from Eden Projects. I read a lot about Baobab fruit powder before accepting this product to review. Based on my research I can sum up that baobab fruit has six times more vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than a glass of milk. Baobab also benefits from having three times more iron than red meat, six times as much as potassium than in bananas and more than three times as much antioxidant than blueberries. Impressive- I thought in my mind and agreed to review it.

Eden Projects Baobab Fruit Powder is tangy in taste and thus makes it suitable for sweet and savory dishes. I used it in the soup as a tang booster and thickening agent. I always have used corn flour to thicken the soup, but this alternative proved out to be blessing, as it not only uplifts the taste but also increases its nutritional value. am so very much going to use this healthy supplement and enjoy the virtues of this wonderful African super fruit.You can use it in to so many dishes, some of the suggestions from my recipes are:
  • Add a teaspoon in paratha dough for enhanced nutrients.
  • Zap up your salad and chutney by adding a sprinkle.
  • Add to curries and soup to enhance the flavour and consistency.
  • Simply muddle up in the patties for more zingy taste.

4 tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
5 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
10 Coriander sprigs
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
2 tablespoon baobab fruit powder
1 cup water

Preheat the oven at 200C. Take baking tray and lay silver foil on it.
Chop tomatoes in 4 parts and keep aside.
On the baking tray mix garlic, bay leaf, black peppercorns, coriander sprigs, tomatoes, oregano, basil olive oil, salt.
Roast everything together for 15 minutes. Once cooled, blend in the blender with 1 cup of water and keep aside.
Heat a pan and sieve the above blended mixture to it.
Take Baobab fruit powder and mix in 2 teaspoons of water and add with above mixture. Let it boil.

I like the creamy soups, so I sieved it but this step is optional.
Add corn flour instead of Baobab fruit powder to adjust the consistency.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiasedThanking Eden Projects for sending Baobab Fruit Powder for review.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mixed Sprouts Paratha- Healthy Indian Flat Bread

So how do you ladies decide what to cook?  Is your cooking based on ingredients ready in the kitchen or do you take pain to buy things to prepare a particular dish? I am the one who falls in first category. I look in the kitchen, in the fridge and then think what to cook.  When the fridge is empty, I go and buy grocery. Lazy? Yeah...I am :-)

So, lately I saw a box of mixed sprouts that I picked up from Indian store lying in the fridge. I am always keen on making healthy dinner and hence sprouts are an inviting buy. The quality of the protein in the beans, nuts, seeds, or grains improves when it is sprouted.  Proteins change during the soaking and sprouting process, improving its nutritional value. Sprouts are also very rich in fibre which is needed for weight loss.

Making a salad out of it is easy but so boring to consume and that’s why, when I made Sprouts Dosa a month back and it remained in popular post for a long time, it in fact became well-liked among my south Indian fellow bloggers. I have also made spicy curry using sprouts called as Missal Pav in the past- another must try recipe.

I wanted to make another attempt of preparing something innovative with sprouts. Without thinking much I planned to make parathas using sprouts. I remembered  mom used to make dal paratha for me and I was sure creating same parathas with sprouts will be nice and interesting. I added curry leaves, green chillies, garlic and ginger to enhance the taste and to let it ooze out with flavors.

The parathas turned out to be very soft and massledar. You don’t even need any pickle or chutney to enjoy with it. It itself is enough to for your taste buds to dance. All you ladies must try this recipe and fulfill the nutritional needs of your family. There are so many ways to serve it. It can be eaten plain or serve with chutney, raita, any side dish or  pickle. This is perfect for breakfast; in fact for any time meal. Do try :-)

Mixed sprouts- ½ cup
Curry leaves -5-8
Garlic- 8 cloves
Green chilles-4-5
Onion -1 medium size
Ginger- ½ inch piece
Salt to taste
Asafoetida- a pinch
Turmeric powder- ½ teaspoon
Garam masala- ¼ teaspoon
Whole wheat flour- 1 cup
Oil to make parathas
Water as needed to knead


  1. Wash sprouts 2-3 times and strain water.
  2. In a food processor pulse ginger, garlic, onion, sprouts, curry leaves, green chilles to  make a coarse paste.
  3. Finally add the above mixture with flour, salt, asafoetida, ½ tablespoon oil and turmeric. Mix well.
  4. Take little water and knead to form a soft dough. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. After 10 minutes, divide dough into equal parts and give them a round shape of ball. Take 1/2 cup dry wheat flour in a plate for dusting. Take one dough ball, flatten it like Pattie and dust dry wheat flour over it. Roll out the paratha.
  6. Place it on a hot tava/griddle and cook over medium flame. When tiny bubbles starts to rise on the surface, flip it and reduce the flame to low.
  7. Spread 1/4 tsp oil around edges and spread over the paratha. Flip it again and spread 1/4 tsp oil around over it. Press it with spatula and let it cook over medium flame. Cook until golden brown spots appear on both sides. Follow the same process for remaining dough balls. 

For more healthy option, you can omit the use oil, simply use a napkin to roast the paratha.
I like it spicy please adjust the amount of green chilly as per your taste.
If you don't have food processor  just use the mixer to grind. Remember not to over blend it- you need coarse paste.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Gulab Jamuns With Kelly's Of Cornwall

I am sure most of you have already started mourning over weather. No more bright sunny days, no more barbeques, no skirts....its fall time *sad*sad*. I hate these gloomy depressing days. A cup of hot tea or a bowl of dessert is must to uplift my mood. Well someone has said it right- ‘You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy ice-cream and that’s kind of the same thing.’

Recently I was sent vouchers of Kelly’s of Cornwall and I picked the clotted ice-cream. Let me tell you, it deliciously rich and creamy ice cream. This ice-cream is not very sweet and thus I loved it even more. It is made with lashings of clotted cream to give it a smooth, velvety texture and which is why it melts in your mouth.

My husband is very fond of ice-creams, be it summers or winters, he can have ice-cream anytime. He really feels sad for those who do not have ice-cream in winters. Actually, even I don’t understand why will anyone ignore having ice-cream in any season. Why not pair cold chilled ice-cream with lemon cake, brownie, banana pancakes, or simple chocolate sauce and nuts and find that missing comfort in eating *dance*dance.

With festive mood and chilly days in my mind I accompanied the ice-cream with Gulab Jamuns. Gulab Jamuns are so famous and I must declare it as national sweet of India. These little balls are fried and coated in sugar syrup- ah! drops of heaven. And when these hot beauties are matched up with chilled ice-cream, they perform perfect twosome in your mouth *grin**grin*.

Phew! Just stop sulking about the weather and pick up this ice-cream and relish with this hot dessert. I am sure it will boost your mood. Recipe below :)

For Jamuns:
Milk Powder : 1 cup
All purpose flour : 1/4 cup
Sugar : 2 cups
Baking Powder : 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter : 1 tbsp
Cardamom Powder : 1/2 tsp
Oil for deep frying
For Syrup:
a few saffron strands (optional)
3 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder

For the Sugar Syrup:
In a large pan, combine the sugar with 1 liter of water and bring to a boil.
Simmer over a slow flame till the syrup is 1 string consistency.
Add the saffron and cardamom powder and keep the syrup warm.

For the  Jamuns:
Mix the milk powder with baking powder, flour, unsalted butter and little water, make a smooth dough. Cover it with a lid and set aside for 15 minutes. 
Divide the dough into small smooth balls.
Deep fry in ghee over a medium flame till the jamuns are dark brown in colour (for approx 10 to 12 minutes).
Drain and immerse in the warm sugar syrup. Soak for 30 minutes.

Remember softer the dough, softer will be the Jamuns.
If the dough doesn’t come together keep adding few drops of milk.

(Thanking Kelly's of Cornwall for sending vouchers) 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

And the winners are...

How is the festive season keeping you all?? I m sure you all are very busy cooking this and that. Keeping in mind the festive mood I organised Cook With White Event and I received 96 entries. Each entry was special in its own :-). You all send it recipes of all the genres- vrat dishes, sweet delights, traditional meals. Thanks everyone for making this event a grand success. *happy dance*

I loved the response from you all and I am very mush encouraged to host other interesting events in the future. I was very busy these months, so I am so sorry for not leaving comments on your entries. I promise I will do that next time- please forgive me for now :-)

The success of the event would not have been possible by the contributors. I am very grateful to each participant who linked the recipes. Thank you for your support at my FB page, Twitter account. As a token of appreciation and support- here is your Participation Certificate. Please grab and show off to your readers.

Best Recipe Award goes to Partha’s Rhapsody for Dahi Kebab. You all know how much I love kebabs and I am always looking for vegetarian kebabs recipes. Step by step pictures made me eager to try it myself and I loved it. Thanks, please grab your award. Hope you will like it :-)

Top Contributor Award goes to Cooking With Sapna. I express gratitude for all the lip-smacking dishes that you shared at my event. You did wonderful job with your contribution. Below is your award- show it off :-)

Best Innovative Recipe’s winner is Just Not The Cakes for Sri Lankan Chocolate Cake. Cake as it was unique and I never even heard about this cake. You must also check the way she decorated it. Just pop at her site and see what innovation she has done with a cake. Also, to mention she was second in contribution after Sapna.Thanks please collect your award.

Finally for the Giveaway Winners I used randorm.org and the lucky numbers were 22 and 79. Huge congratulations to Babi’ Recipes for Barley Pongal and Spicy Foood for PaalKozhukattai. Please mail me your complete Indian postal address. Also mention what will you like to have as prize -cookware, bakeware, cook books or kitchen accessories. Please mail me within 24 hours else I will choose another winner.

Once again, thank you all. New event coming soon. 

Cook with white round up HERE
Cook with yellow roundup HERE
Cook with yellow winner announcement HERE