Chilled Mango Cheese Cake

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School time is soon going to restart for my kids!

With summer around and loads of mangoes available, I thought it was a good idea to bring the vacations to a sweet end by giving into the sweet tooth of my little Angels.

 Here’s an easy recipe to a great mango dessert. It’s indeed an awesome feeling to just sit back and see the little ones enjoying and pampering their little “sweet taste buds”!

Chilled Mango Cheese Cake

chilled mango cheese cake

Ingredients:

  • 400 grams sweetened condensed milk
  • 400 grams mango (chopped)
  • 200 grams grated cottage cheese (paneer)
  • 3 table spoons gelatine
  • 200 ml cream
  • 4-5 drops of mango essence
  • ½ cup water

For Decoration:

  • Chopped mangoes (keep some aside from above)
  • 2 tablespoons cream (keep some aside from above)
  • Decorative yoghurt gums (optional)

chilled mango cheese cake

Method:

  1. Dissolve the gelatine in water over a double boiler (a pan of hot water) by stirring continuously.
  2. In a blender; blend together the condensed milk, grated cottage cheese, dissolved gelatin and mango essence.
  3. Add the chopped mangoes to this and blend again for just a minute. (Do save some pieces for decoration).
  4. Whip the cream well and gently fold into the above mixture.
  5. Pour into mould rinsed with water (still wet – this would make unmoulding easy).
  6. Leave to set and chill in the refrigerator for about 1hr and 15 minutes (approx.) When set unmould onto a serving plate.

mango cheese cake

Decoration:

  1. Apply an even layer of cream and sprinkle some chopped mango.
  2. Decorate with yoghurt gums as shown in picture and serve.

Kiddie Tip: you may also freeze the cheese cake and serve as a frozen dessert.

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Hearty Meal (Paneer/cottage cheese in tomato base gravy with basmati rice)

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The recipe mentioned below has been an all time favorite with my kids and “myself”. For them coz it tastes yum everytime and for me coz “its an amazingly simple and easy to make kids meal!” A must try and hope your kids and you also enjoy it as much as my kids and me do! (well for different reasons of course!!!)
Bon appetite to a HEARTY MEAL! 
A Hearty MealHearty Meal (Paneer (cottage cheese) in tomato base gravy with basmati rice)
Ingredients for Paneer gravy preparation:

  • 200 gms Paneer chunks (cottage cheese)
  • 3 red tomatoes (medium size, chopped)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • ½ inch piece of ginger (chopped)
  • 1 cup milk (or more for desired consistency of gravy)
  • 1 table spoon butter
  • A pinch of kashmiri red chilli powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon Roasted cumin (zeera) powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • A pinch of garam masala powder
  • A few strands of saffron
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for basmati rice preparation:

  • 1 cup Basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tea spoon whole cumin (zeera)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 table spoon oil
  • Salt to taste

For garnishing:

  • A few pearls of green peas.
  • 2 slices of tomato

A Hearty MealMethod:
Paneer (cottage cheese) gravy preparation

  1. Place the pan on medium heat .Put butter, allow it to melt a bit, add ginger, garlic, sauté them till just golden and add the tomatoes. Sauté further till tomatoes become nice and soft (ideally for 5 mins). Keep aside for a few minutes, for it to cool.
  2. In a blender; blend the cooled mix of ginger, garlic and tomatoes to a puree consistency.
  3. Then place a pan on medium heat. Pour the prepared puree and slowly pour in the milk for desired consistency, while stirring continuously (this is very important, if not stirred continuously the milk will tend to curdle in the tomato base).
  4. Once the desired consistency of the gravy is obtained, add garam masala powder, roasted cumin powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, sugar and salt to taste. Sprinkle some strands of saffron and leave some for garnishing.
  5. Stir in the cottage cheese (paneer) chunks. Give the paneer gravy a boil and remove from pan to serve.

Basmati Rice Preparation

  1. In a rice pot pour oil and add cumin seeds. When these start to sizzle, add chopped onion and sauté till the onions appear a bit glossy.
  2. Now add rice along with water and salt to taste. Cover tight and cook on low heat, until the rice gets cooked (15-20 mins approx). If using a pressure cooker, turn off the heat after 2 whistles and allow it stand (without opening the lid).

Dish in the rice and paneer gravy on a serving plate as shown in picture.
Garnishing:

  1. Garnish by sprinkling some saffron strands on the paneer gravy.
  2. Decorate further with green peas and tomato slices as shown in the picture.

Serve hot.
A Hearty MealKiddie Tip: Add a tablespoon of fresh cream just before adding the cottage cheese to the prepared gravy. This would make it creamier.

Soya Hedgehog!!!( Soya and gram flour pops)

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Its actually a great challenge that I have taken up… T.G.FRY.DAY!. Coz its extremely difficult to come up with something that’s tasty, healthy, nutritious (despite being fried) and most importantly appeals to kids. After putting in a lot of thought into the all the factors mentioned above, i came up with this recipe….Hope your kids enjoy it as much as mine did!

Soya Hedgehog (soya and gram flour pops)

Ingredients:

  • 50 grams Soya chunks
  • ½ cup Gram flour
  • 1 level teaspoon Turmeric
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • A pinch of Kashmiri red chilli powder (optional)
  • Water (for desired consistency)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

For garnishing

  • Medium size egg plant (aubergine)
  • Aluminium foil (to cover the egg plant)
  • Tooth picks (10-12 nos.)
  • Fresh coriander (a small bunch)
  • Chopped tomato (few pieces)
  • Black olive.

Method:

  1. Boil two cups of water in a pot, remove from flame and soak the soya chunks for about 10 minutes.
  2. Now drain the excess water and squeeze the chunks gently to get rid of the remaining water. The soya chunks obtained would be nice and soft.
  3. Take a bowl, put in the soya chunks and add half teaspoon turmeric along with salt to taste. Allow to marinate for another 5-7 minutes.
  4. Now in another bowl, mix gram flour, half teaspoon turmeric, red chilli powder (optional), asafoetida and salt to taste.
  5. Slowly pour in water to get a slightly running consistency batter (similar to that of tempura mix. Too runny batter would not coat well and too thick batter would not cook well).
  6. Place oil for frying in a frying pan and heat on medium flame.
  7. Roll the marinated soya chunks in the batter and fry till golden in colour.
  8. Place the prepared pops on a kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
  9. The soya pops are now ready.

Garnishing:

  1. Cover the egg plant completely with aluminium foil.
  2. On a serving plate spread fresh coriander and place the silver egg plant.
  3. Insert two pops in each toothpick (approx 10-12) and then insert them on the silver egg plant as shown in the picture.
  4. Make the eyes of the hedgehog with tomato and black olives.
  5. The soya hedgehog is ready. Serve immediately.

Kiddie Tip: Serve it with mint sauce or tomato ketchup. You may also sprinkle some chaat masala for an extra punch.

Apple Crumble

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Apple crumble

Ingredients:

For crust

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1½ table spoon butter (cold)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ tea spoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar (brown sugar preferred)
  • 1table spoon milk

For Filling

  • 1½ Apple (medium size, peeled and chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 20 gms walnuts
  • 20 gms raisins

For Garnishing

  • Walnuts and raisins
  • Fresh cherries

Serve with:

  • Fresh Cream

Method:

  1. Stew the apples with sugar and cinnamon stick in water, on medium flame.
  2. Drain the excess water, and keep aside. Don’t forget to remove the cinnamon stick.
  3. Now on a plate, mix the flour, cinnamon powder, cold butter, and powdered sugar. Mix to form crumbs (this should be done gently with finger tips. DO NOT KNEAD).
  4. Beat the egg and pour half of it on the prepared mixture. Add baking soda and continue to form crumbs by mixing gently with your fingertips.
  5. Grease a baking dish. Evenly spread the stewed apple. Add walnuts and raisins and sprinkle lemon juice.
  6. Now cover the apples with a layer of the crumb mix. Do not flatten.
  7. Now in a small bowl add the remaining beaten egg and milk and glaze the top layer of the apple crumble.
  8. Garnish with walnuts and raisins as shown in picture.
  9. Bake in the microwave for 5-7 mins.

Garnish:

  1. Once ready, cool a bit. Garnish with cherries and serve warm with fresh cream.
Kiddie tip: Serve with vanilla ice cream instead of fresh cream.

Traffic Light Sandwich (an interesting cucumber sandwich)

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Hi there! We’re back in Mumbai, back to our home sweet home…and back to a regular diet with little space for junk! After over filling ourselves with the yummy n not so healthy Delhi food….thought it was a good idea to make something light for my kids to eat.  Guess what came to my mind first………. A sandwich!!! And kids promptly said “NO”.

Then got them into a bit of storytelling on traffic rules….got them involved in making the sandwich…..and then…..what do I get to hear….. An excited YES for the traffic light sandwich!!!

Yummm! Is what they said after polishing it all off!!!

Traffic light sandwich

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of Brown bread
  • 1 small cucumber (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon sandwich spread
  • 1 small tomato (sliced)
  • ½ slice cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon mint chutney
  • A pinch of pepper (optional)
  • Salt to taste

For garnishing:

  • Bread circles (a few cut outs of the bread slice used above)
  • Chopped tomato (left over of the above used)
  • Cheddar cheese (left over of the above used slice)

Method:

  1. Take a slice of brown bread and cut out three small circles vertically.
  2. On the second slice, apply the sandwich spread evenly and place the cucumber slices. Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
  3. Now Place a slice of tomato (for the red light), below this, place half of the cheddar cheese (for yellow light) and below the cheese, place some mint chutney (for green light).
  4. Now place the first slice of brown bread on the prepared second slice such that the traffic light appears.
  5. Cut out the sides and place them to complete the traffic light signal, as shown in the picture.
  6. Place the sandwich on a serving plate and garnish.

Garnishing:

  1. Place the bread circles along with tomato slices and cheddar cheese as shown in the picture.
  2. The traffic light sandwich is ready to serve to your little ones.

Kiddie Tip: you may also use peanut butter instead of sandwich spread for a nutty flavour.

***Preparation of mint sauce: 20 grams of mint leaves, 20 grams of fresh coriander leaves, a clove of garlic, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp sugar, salt to taste and some water for saucy consistency. Blend all the ingredients in a blender to a saucy consistency. The mint sauce is ready to use. ***

Turtle Surprise (Pasta in spinach sauce)

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Never realised how passionate I was about this little ebaby of mine…….MY BLOG. Coz for the first time ever…and to my mum’s surprise….I was cooking n trying out new things in her  kitchen ….while on a lazy lazy yearly vacation at my parents place in Delhi!

  Yup! Never before had I cooked while vacationing here….after all “being thoroughly pampered” is what describes MUM’s HOME BEST!

So, Here I post yet another yummy kiddie recipe……Hope you enjoy it!

TURTLE Surprise -Pasta in spinach sauce

Ingredients:

  • 200 gms spinach (boiled in a bit of salt water and then pureed)
  • 300 grams pasta (shell shaped)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (medium size, finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • A pinch of pepper
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • Salt to taste

For garnishing

  • A cheese slice
  • 2 pepper corns

Method:

  1.  In a pan take olive oil and sauté the cumin seeds along with garlic till golden brown in colour.
  2. Pour in the spinach puree and bring to a boil. Now add pepper and oregano and simmer.
  3. Gently pour in the milk. Please keep stirring until the milk mixes well with the spinach. Add the cream and stir well.
  4. Now add salt to taste. Bring the spinach sauce to a boil and keep aside.
  5. In a pot add pasta to about 1 litre boiling water and sprinkle ½ tsp salt. Let it boil for about 20 minutes. Check, if the pasta is just about done then strain.
  6. Now add all the cooked pasta to the spinach sauce and gently stir. Mix until all the pasta is coated well with the spinach sauce.
  7. Fill a medium size bowl with the pasta in spinach sauce. Press a bit from the top.
  8. Turn the bowl full of prepared pasta upside down on a flat plate (for the turtle back).
  9. Garnish well and serve.

Garnishing:

  1. Cut out hexagonal and a few other pieces of a cheese slice as shown in the picture.
  2. Place them on the turtle along with the pepper corns as shown in the picture.
  3. The turtle surprise is ready to serve!

Kiddie Tip: You could use  green and black olives and place them on the cheese to further decorate the turtle’s back !!!

Rainbow Crisps (savoury snack with beetroot and spinach)

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Rainbow Crisps (savoury snack with beetroot and spinach)

Ingredients:

  • 30 grams of boiled and pureed Spinach
  • 30 grams of boiled and pureed Beetroot
  • 60 grams whole wheat flour
  • 20 grams semolina (roasted)
  • 3 tsp cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking oil (for frying)

For Garnishing:

  • A Few sticks of carrot
  • A few sticks of Cucumber
  • Sour cream dip (optional)

Method:

  1. In a big plate, mix the whole wheat flour and semolina. Add salt to taste and divide the dry mix into three equal parts.
  2. Take one part of the dry mix in a bowl; add 1 tsp oil, and spinach puree (enough to knead into stiff dough).If puree is not enough; you could sprinkle some water to get stiff dough. Cover and keep aside.
  3. In another bowl, take the 2nd part of the dry mix add 1 tsp oil, and beetroot puree (enough to knead into stiff dough). Cover and keep aside.
  4. To the 3rd part of the dry mix, add 1 tsp oil and water (enough to knead into stiff dough). Cover and keep aside.
  5. With the help of a rolling pin, roll out the prepared dough’s separately. Make sure each dough is evenly rolled out. Flatten as thin as possible.
  6. Now tightly begin to roll (similar to sushi roll) the beetroot dough.
  7. Place it on the edge of the flattened whole wheat dough. Roll into a log (like a sushi roll) again.
  8. Yet again place this log (beetroot and whole wheat as prepared in step7) on the edge of the flattened spinach dough. Roll into a log (like a sushi roll).
  9. Now gently press the prepared log (containing beetroot dough, whole wheat dough and spinach dough). Make sure the log is smooth all over.
  10. Cut the log into 1/2 cm thick pieces. Roll out finely to flatten the pieces and fry till golden brown.
  11. Take them out on a kitchen towel first and then serve immediately.

Garnishing:

  1. Garnish the serving plate with a bowl of sour cream dip.
  2.  Place some sticks of carrot and cucumber in the dip.
  3. Place the rainbow crisps and serve immediately.

Note:Consume immediately. Not suitable for storing as the spinach and beetroot would make the crisp moist in sometime.

Kiddie tip: Ask your little chef’s (kids) to help you prepare the colourful dough. It would be a great activity for them and they would be proud of helping mom in the kitchen!

Loaded muffins (cup cakes with Oats, Zucchini and Carrots)

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Loaded Muffins (cup cakes with oats, zucchini and carrots)

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 3 table spoons whole wheat flour
  • 3 table spoons oats
  • 3 table spoons ground almonds
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup shredded zucchini
  • ¼ shredded carrot
  • 1 banana (mashed)
  • 2 table spoons grated apple
  • ¼ cup plain yoghurt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 table spoons honey
  • ½ tea spoon vanilla extract
  • 2 table spoons cooking oil 

For garnishing:

  • A few pitted dates
  • A few carrot rounds
  • Sparkle gel for cake toppings

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius. Lightly grease 8 muffin cups. In a bowl, mix together all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.
  2. In a separate bowl, blend in the mashed banana, cooking oil, apple, yoghurt, sugar, honey and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix all this into the flour mix. Now fold in the zucchini and carrots until well blended.
  4.  Pour into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes in the preheated oven. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
  5. Cool, garnish and serve.

Garnishing:

  1. Decorate the serving plate with dates as shown in the picture
  2. Place the muffins and garnish with carrot and sparkle gel.

Kiddie tip: Serve warm with a dollop of fresh cream!

*muffin recipe courtesy a dear friend Karishma Jasra

Hidden treasure cutlets (Veggie Patties)

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Hidden treasure Cutlets (veggie patties)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size boiled potatoes
  • 2 slices of brown bread (remove crust)
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 small carrot (finely chopped)
  • 30 gms cauliflower (finely chopped)
  • 30 gms of peas
  • A few leaves of fresh coriander
  • ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • A pinch of pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Salt to taste

For Garnishing:

  • 2 cabbage leafs or iceberg lettuce
  • 1 medium size tomato (chopped)
  • A few sliced black olives

Method:

  1. Heat a pan on medium flame and add 1 tablespoon oil. Now add cumin seeds, when they start to sizzle add chopped onion and sauté for about a minute. Sprinkle turmeric, salt, pepper and lower the flame.
  2. Now add chopped carrots, peas and cauliflower. Sprinkle some water for cooking and cover with a lid. Let it cook for about 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally. Make sure the vegetables are well cooked and not too moist (If so cook on open flame for a while).
  3. Uncover the lid and add fresh coriander. Quickly toss all the vegetables and remove from pan to cool.
  4. Wet the slices of bread with water and squeeze. In a bowl finely mash the boiled potatoes and moist bread. Add salt to taste and kneed into smooth dough.
  5. Make medium size balls. Flatten them a bit in your palm. Place some amount of cooked vegetables in the centre. Fold your palm a bit begin to join the corners and gently press to form a cutlet.
  6. Now heat a flat pan on medium flame and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Place the cutlets , pan fry and cook till golden brown on each side.
  7. Remove the cutlets from the pan and first place them on a kitchen towel so that extra oil is absorbed.

Garnishing:

  1. On a serving plate put the cabbage leaves and place the cutlets on them.
  2. Garnish with black olives and tomatoes as shown in the picture.
  3. Serve warm.

Kiddie Tip:  Make the kids to cut the cutlets (with kid safe knives). Discovering the hidden veggie treasure would be of great fun!

Nutrilicious oat and nut yoghurt

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Nutrilicious oat and nut yoghurt

Ingredients:

  • 100 gms plain yoghurt
  • 1½ tablespoon oats (slightly roasted)
  • 20 gms almonds (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 pitted dates (finely chopped)
  • A few raisins (optional)

For Garnishing:

  • A few Froot loops

Method:

  1. Blend all the ingredients together.
  2. Pour it out in a bowl and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.
  3. You may serve with honey loops or corn flakes for a complete snack.

Garnishing:

Sprinkle a few froot loops as shown in the picture.

Simple, yummy and very nutritious!

Kiddie Tip:  To beat the heat this summer, serve as FROZEN YOGHURT!