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Monday, March 27, 2017

Baked Sweet Potato Fries


Now whenever your kids demand some snacks to munch, just don’t think too much, cut some sweet potatoes (if you have them) into wedges and throw them in the oven. Within minutes a healthy and nutritious baked fries will be ready, which will be everyone's favorite right from the time they taste these. Sweet potato fries are perfect evening snack which is very addictive once tasted.


Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes have one of the nature’s unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene. Not always the sweet potatoes are orange in color, they can be purple and also white fleshed ones. These sweet potatoes are called one of the healthiest foods in the world.


Just cut them into thick or thin wedges, toss them with olive oil, sprinkle your favorite spices and bake at the required temperature for some time and these lovely golden fries are ready within minutes. After eating these, you won’t ask for any other snack to munch. Try this out and let me know
Ingredients:
  1. Sweet Potatoes- about 3 large ones
  2. Smoked Paprika- 1 tbsp
  3. Garlic Powder- ½ tbsp
  4. Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
  5. Pepper powder- 1 tbsp
  6. Salt- as required
Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Peel, wash and cut the sweet potatoes into thin wedges.
  2. Toss the paprika, garlic powder, pepper, olive oil and salt to the wedges and arrange them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined a baking tray.
  3. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes or until tender and golden brown turning occasionally. Cool it and serve.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Healthy Rosemary Baked Chicken and Vegetables


Healthy, flavorful and tastier is what we call this simple and comforting dish which can be prepared within no time on a lazy Sunday. This dish is very filling and which is loaded with colorful veggies and packed with proteins.


In this dish, the chicken breasts and our favorite veggies are baked together along with a dash of spices and is fully flavored with the Mediterranean herb of rosemary. Last spring I bought a lovely plant of rosemary and it survived through this winter and as I love the flavor of rosemary in my salads or other dishes, I thought of using the fresh rosemary sprigs to this dish. I usually use the dried leaves of rosemary. The distinctive taste of rosemary has taken this dish to another level.


This is an incredibly easy and a satisfying meal, which can be prepared for lunch or dinner.
When you feel lazy to cook, try out some of these delicious and healthier one pot baked dishes rather than calling for a take-out. You can have this without chicken, just add all your favorite veggies and tada an amazingly delicious, the heavenly dish will be ready within minutes to enjoy.

Ingredients:
  1. Boneless Chicken- 500 gms
  2. Paprika- 1 tbsp
  3. Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  4. Pepper powder- 1 tsp
  5. Salt- as required
  6. Garlic (crushed)- 5 cloves
  7. Fresh Rosemary Sprigs- 1 no
  8. Balsamic Vinegar- 1 tsp
  9. Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
  10. Mushrooms- 1 Cup
  11. Capsicum- 1 cup
  12. Broccoli- 1 Cup
  13. Cucumber- 1 no
  14. Spinach- 1 Cup
  15. Salt - a pinch
  16. Pepper Powder- 1 tsp
  17. Balsamic Vinegar- 1 tbsp
Method:

  1. Clean, wash and pat dry the chicken. Make slits and keep this aside.
  2. Mix paprika, salt, pepper powder, turmeric powder, crushed garlic cloves, rosemary leaves, vinegar and lemon juice in a glass bowl. Spread this paste on the slitted chicken well on both the side. Keep this for about 15- 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile slice the capsicum, mushrooms and chop the cucumber, spinach, and broccoli into sizes. Smear little oil on top of the veggies along with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking tray with a parchment paper and arrange the veggies as shown or mix everything together and place them on the parchment paper on the baking tray.
  5. Line another baking tray with parchment paper and place the marinated boneless chicken pieces and bake both the veggies and the chicken for about 20- 25 minutes or until the veggies are cooked and the chicken gets tender.
  6. When done, remove the vegetables and chicken from the oven. Slice the chicken to bite sized pieces and arrange the required amount of veggies and sliced chicken in serving plate, enjoy warm.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Instant Andhra Tomato pickle



Andhra food is known for its spicy food. It consists of mouthwatering vegetarian and nonvegetarian dishes. The scrumptious cuisine consists of palatable biryanis, rice, tempting gravies, tangy pickles and heavenly desserts.


As I grew up in Andhra, I love  Andhra cuisine to the core. My mom prepares different varieties of tasty and spicy pickles, which we all like to have along with our daily rice, roti, dosas, idlis and so on. Every time the glass jars are filled with one or two varieties of pickles. If one pickle gets over she is ready with some different variety of pickle. Always the jars are filled with delicious assortments of pickles. Likewise, I have become like her. I love to prepare and also eat pickles. Whenever I get raw mangoes/ amlas/ lemons, I  grab the bag and prepare pickles and store them in different glass jars. Now my daughter is also a big lover of pickles. She loves to eat the pickle along with rice. I won’t make them spicy, as she loves to eat them.



This tomato pickle I am trying for the first time.Traditionally in Andhra, tomato pickle is made by using sun-dried tomatoes. This which I made is an instant pickle, can be stored for about 3- 4 months in a clean and sterilized glass jar. Everyone has their own version of making pickles. This is my version of a delicious, mouthwatering, long lasting, tasty and tangy tomato pickle. Just try this out and let me know.



Ingredients:
  1. Tomatoes- 1 kg
  2. Tamarind- a lemon size
  3. Oil- 1 Cup
  4. Mustard seeds- 2 tsp
  5. Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
  6. Dry Red Chillies- 5 nos
  7. Garlic cloves- 1 no
  8. Curry Leaves- few
  9. Red Chilli Powder- 5 tbsp
  10. Turmeric Powder- 2 tsp
  11. Salt- as required
  12. Asafoetida- a pinch
Method:

  1. Wash and roughly chop all the tomatoes, meanwhile heat ½ cup of oil in a nonstick pan and drop all the roughly chopped tomatoes.
  2. Stir on a medium flame till all the moisture from the tomatoes is evaporated. This will take almost 20- 25 minutes. In the middle of the stirring, the process adds the lemon sized tamarind and let it boil along with the chopped tomatoes.
  3. When all the moisture is evaporated from tomatoes, switch off the flame and let it cool.
  4. When tomato and tamarind mixture is completely cooled, grind this to a fine paste using a hand blender.
  5. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and grind to a fine powder. Keep this side.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Splutter the mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves, dried red chilies, and garlic cloves.
  7. Stir for about a minute or 2. Lower the flame and add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, roasted fenugreek powder and adjust the amount of salt.
  8. In the above, add the ground tomatoes and tamarind mixture along with a pinch of asafoetida. Taste and adjust the salt accordingly. Cook the tomato mixture till the oil starts to float on top. Turn off the flame. Let it cool completely and transfer in a clean and sterilized glass jar.



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Eggless Honey Cake



This eggless honey cake I have seen in many blogs and wanted to try the unique taste of honey which in cakes is new to me. I have never tasted a honey cake before, but this cake is most popular in almost all the bakeries across India.
Basically, it is a vanilla sponge cake, soaked in honey syrup which is spread with mixed jam with a sprinkle of desiccated coconut. This cake is so moist, juicy, soft and cool. The cake absorbs all the honey syrup and gets soaked well. Though this cake has condensed milk and honey, we won’t feel the cake to be sweeter. It is just perfect.



Today for my husband’s birthday I baked this honey cake and as he is not a big coconut lover, instead of desiccated coconut I sprinkled slivered almond, which also tasted yumm. This cake turned out perfectly delicious and so they got finished as soon as the cake is cut.


Usually, this cake gets the red color because of the mixed jam, but for my cake, as I didn’t have the jam at home, I prepared the strawberry jam instantly and when it is cooled, I spread it on top of the cake. So everything is freshly made and I am sure that this will be a show stopper in any parties or birthdays. Just serve them cut into squares and this cake will be enjoyed by all and kids will love this as the cake is soaked in honey and spread with jam which is sprinkled with almonds or coconut. Try this out and let me now.


Ingredients:
For Syrup
  1. Water- ½ Cup
  2. Sugar- 2 tbsp
  3. Honey- ¼ Cup
For topping:
  1. Slivered Almonds- As needed
Method:

  1. Prepare the eggless vanilla cake. When the cake is cooled down, prick the whole cake using a toothpick.
  2. Prepare the sugar syrup by boiling the water along with sugar. When the sugar dissolves, mix and switch off the flame.
  3. When it is slightly warm add the honey and mix till it dissolves. Pour this all over the pricked cake.
  4. Over this cake, spread the jam using a spoon and cover it fully. Sprinkle the slivered almonds on top of the cake and cut into required pieces and enjoy.



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Homemade Almond Nutella/ Chocolate Almond Spread


From so long, I was planning to make this chocolate almond spread and was not so daring to try this at home,  because I was not sure how this spread will turn and whether this will taste like the store bought Nutella or not. I was wrong, the texture and the flavors were exactly the same as the store bought ones. I am really happy with the outcome, though it is made of almonds this tastes just like the hazelnut spread.I wanted to experiment using almonds and so the chocolate almond spread is ready within minutes.


Nowadays we are hearing a lot about store bought chocolate spreads with high sugar content and the oil used (palm oil) in these are harmful in the long run. So I was thinking of making this spread without compromising the taste or flavor. I googled a lot and got the recipe from various websites and I was thinking of making this for so long, but as I said before, I was not confident enough. But I decided to finally have a go at it as soon as I saw this month’s MFB challenge. In this month’s challenge, we can prepare any recipe which we were longing to prepare.



My daughter, who is a big Nutella fan will daily have her toast and Nutella, before going to school. After reading the drawbacks of Nutella, I stopped giving that instead, I tried giving peanut butter with toast. But as she was not ready to eat peanut butter, she asked me to give only the toast without any spread. Then itself I decided to try this at home so that she will be happy and without any tension, we can give. Surprisingly she liked it. I thought this is the perfect post for MFB challenge. Using only four ingredients, an amazing spread is ready, which the kids will love a lot.Try this out and let me know.
Ingredients:
  1. Almonds- 1 Cup
  2. Chocolate Chips- ⅓  Cup
  3. Coconut oil- 1 tbsp
  4. Honey- 2 tbsp (optional)
Method:

  1. Roast the almonds slightly. When it is cool, blend them in a food processor til they break down into a fine powder.
  2. Add the coconut oil and process until it forms a smooth paste. At this stage add the chocolate chips and process well till everything is perfectly blended and smooth.
  3. Taste the above made paste and add honey accordingly. No need of adding honey if you feel it is sweet enough. Process a minute or two, till it gets the perfectly smooth and silky texture. Enjoy homemade Nutella/ spread along with toasted bread/ crepes or scoop just like that...



Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Karachi Biscuits


Karachi biscuits are the most popular and famous biscuits of Hyderabad, which is loaded with full of tutti frutti and which is enjoyed with a good cup of tea and if it is a masala tea then nothing to beat the combination. These are quite addictive. In my house, a box full of this biscuits is finished within no time. These biscuits will always be refilled in my house as soon as this is over. In my house, everyone including my 2-year-old is a big fan of these biscuits.



These biscuits are made with a combination of all-purpose flour along with custard powder and are fully loaded with tutti fruitty, which are candied raw papaya pieces and cashew nuts, which is infused with the lovely flavor of rose by adding the rose essence. Nothing can beat these biscuits in texture, flavor or taste. All the ingredients are well blended and the finished product will be perfectly baked biscuits.


Everyone, from small kids to adults will love this and no one can eat just one. Just follow the recipe and you will get exactly the taste of the store bought biscuits, just that when you cut the dough after taking out from the refrigerator, make sure that they are thin, not thick biscuits. Try this out and let me know.
Ingredients:
  1. All Purpose Flour- 2 Cups
  2. Custard Powder- ½ Cup
  3. Butter- ½ Cup
  4. Sugar- 1 Cup
  5. Baking powder- 1 tsp
  6. Milk-3 tbsp
  7. Salt- a pinch
  8. Tutti Frutti- ½ Cup
  9. Cashews- ½ Cup
  10. Rose Essence- 1 tsp
Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cream the butter and sugar, till light n fluffy.
  2. Sieve the flour, custard powder, baking powder, and salt. Add this to the above butter, sugar mixture along with milk.  If you feel the dough is too dry, just add enough milk.
  3. Mix the tutti frutti and cashews well without any lumps. Roll the prepared dough to form rectangular logs or any other desired shape and cover it using cling wrap and freeze it till they are firm. Once firm, remove the dough and cut into even sized biscuits and arrange them on a parchment paper lined a baking tray with a 1-inch gap.
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes. When done, cool them and store in airtight container.



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