How to make popcorn at home!

Popcorn is everyone’s favourite. Hey! but why do we eat popcorn while watching movies?*just thinking* I don’t know, but what I know is that the market is flooded with lots of instant popcorn options these days. They are double the price and half the nutritional value to the one we can make at home. Then why not to make it at home only? Here is how:

Ingredients:
Corn kernels-1 cup
Veg. oil-1 tbsp
Melted butter-1 tbsp
Black pepper-1/4 tsp
Salt-to taste

Method:

-> In a wok take corn kernels and oil. Mix well.
image1

-> Now cover it with the lid and keep it on the smallest burner of your stove at the lowest flame.
image2
-> The corns kernels will start popping. Just keep an eye on it, it shouldn’t burn. Generally it takes about 10 minutes.
image3
-> Now switch off the stove, mix melted butter, salt and pepper.
image4

Enjoy homemade popcorns-any day, any time 🙂

PS: Never use butter in place of oil for popping up the corns kernels as butter has the tendency to burn. Always add butter at the end, same applies to salt!

Advertisements

Gatte ki Sabzi..

Gatte ki sabzi

Gatte ki sabzi

Gatte ki sabzi is one of the famous cuisines of Rajasthan and I love it to the core. It has many versions, some like it with onion-garlic while some without it. Here is one of the versions!

Ingredients for gatta:
Gram flour-1 cup
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder-1/2 tsp (or as per liking)
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Curd-1-2 tbsp (we have to bind it without water, so adjust accordingly)
Baking soda-a pinch
Coriander powder- 1-2 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste- ½ tsp (optional)
Oil- 2 tsp (+ for frying of gatte, optional)
Salt-to taste

Ingredients for gravy:
Cumin seeds-1/4 tsp
Bay leaf-1
Onion paste/puree-4-5 tbsp
Garlic paste-1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder- ½ tsp
Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
Coriander powder-1/2 tbsp
Salt-to taste
Curd-2-3 tbsp
Gram flour-3 tsp
Oil-1-2 tbsp
Coriander leaves-for garnishing

Method for making gatte:

-> Mix all the ingredients of gatta well.
-> Now make a soft dough.
-> Cut the dough into 10 pcs.
-> Now apply little oil on your palms and fingers and roll each dough to make cylinder of 4-5 inches.
-> Boil water in a deep-pan and dip these cylinder into the pan.
-> When the cylinders start floating, lower the flame and cook for another 5 minutes.
-> Now switch off the stove and take these cylinders out (don’t throw the water, we will use it in making gravy).
-> Cut the rolls into pieces (approx. 1 inch each).
-> Shallow fry and keep them aside.

Method for making gravy:

-> Heat up oil in a skillet or wok.
-> Add bay leaf and cumin seeds.
-> When cumin seeds start crackling add onion paste and garlic paste.
-> Cook till it turns light brown.
-> Now add all the dry spices (coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder).
-> Cook till oil separates.
-> Now in a bowl beat curd and add gram flour to it. Beat till there is no lump.
-> Now add this curd-gram flour mixture into the gravy and stir for 1-2 minutes.
-> Add salt and the leftover water.
-> When water starts boiling add the gattas into it.
-> Cover it with a lid and let it simmer for atleast 5 minutes.
-> Turn off the stove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with roti, paratha or rice!

PS: Thanks Neha Sharma Vyas for your inputs 🙂

“10 Tips for working moms to cut-down their kitchen time”

image15

A working mom is mostly loaded with so many responsibilities. She has to go to work, look after her kid(s) and also has to do the household chores. She can spend 1-2 hours extra in the kitchen during weekends to save her “kitchen time” during weekdays. Below are the tips even you can follow!

1) Instead of cutting tomato daily, you can do the following-cut each tomatoes into four pieces, pressure cook it with little salt and sugar. Make its puree/paste and freeze it in the ice tray. De-mold it and keep it in a zip-lock bag. It will be all handy(for making dal, curry, soups etc) and can be used within 15 days.
2) You can also do that with ginger-garlic paste and can store for 15 days in freezer.
3) You can also make “bhuna masala” and store for a week. Just fry ginger, garlic and onion in little oil and refrigerate it in an air-tight container.
4) You can also boil potatoes and can refrigerate for 4 days.
5) Make sugar syrup which is very handy and do last long. Mix water and sugar, keep it on a stove just to melt the sugar. Let it cool down. Now transfer it in a bottle and refrigerate.
6) You can dry roast semolina, peanuts etc which can be used easily for making halwa, upma etc.
7) If you are also so fond of spinach, like me, you can make its paste and refrigerate it in an air tight container. And can use it in making curry, dal, soup, raita etc.
8) If you are fond of cardamom tea and have to grind cardamom daily(be it in mortar-pestle), just grind its peel and mix it with the tea leaves/tea grains. When you’ll make your tea it will have the flavor of cardamom, just make sure to store the tea-cardamom peel powder in an airtight container.
9) You can keep frozen paneer, peas and corns handy in your freezer.
10) If you drink coffee daily and have to beat it every day, you can try this one-just beat coffee powder and sugar with little water(just to help mixing). And keep it an air-tight container. You just have to heat up milk and add this mixture and your coffee will be ready in no time. (Also find: How to make cappuccino at home).

Few days back, I was going through a site where maids were supplied. I loved its tagline to the core. It was something like this “you are not born to spend your life washing or cooking”, so true! We spend so much of our time FOR our near and dear ones in the kitchen; now we should try spend time WITH them. :)

Mushroom Masala..

Mushroom Masala

Mushroom Masala

We had this curry few months back in a veg. thali and we really loved it. I tried to imitate the curry at home and it turned out to be quite similar to the one we had in that thali. And since then it has been added in my kitchen’s menu 😛 Here follows the recipe.

Ingredients:

Button Mushroom-2 cups (each cut to 4 pcs.)
Onion-1 small (diced)
Bell pepper-1/2 cup (diced)
Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp
Onion paste-2 tbsp
Tomato puree-1 tbsp
Cumin seeds-1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder- 1/2 tbsp
Cumin powder-1/4 tsp
Black pepper powder- 1 pinch
Fennel seeds-1 pinch
Kasuri methi-2 tsp
Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp (or according to your liking)
Salt-to taste
Oil-2 tbsp

Method:

-> Shallow fry mushroom, diced onion and bell peppers till tender (don’t overcook). Keep aside.
-> Heat up oil in a wok. Add cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
-> Add ginger garlic paste. Fry till its raw smell fades.
-> Add onion paste and fry till golden brown.
-> Now add all the dry masalas (turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder and black pepper powder)
-> Fry for 1-2 minutes. Now add tomato puree and salt.
-> Fry till it leaves oil.
-> Add crushed kasuri methi.
-> Now add the fried onion, mushrooms and bell pepper.
-> Add little water. Give it a boil.
-> Turn off the stove.

Serve hot with chapati (or whatever you’d like it with) 🙂

Hair mask for dry and frizzy hair.

Hair mask for dry-frizzy hair

Hair mask for dry-frizzy hair

Dry and frizzy hair is very tough to manage. And sometimes it looks so untidy too. If you are also having dry-frizzy hair do try this mask.
You just need to mix curd and fenugreek seed powder. You can also make fenugreek paste by soaking it overnight in water and then blending it in the morning. I buy fenugreek powder from an indian store as generally we can’t make that fine powder at home. The amount obviously depends upon your hair length and volume.

-> Take the curd and fenugreek seed powder in the ratio 2:1.
-> Mix them well.
-> Take small sections of hair and apply over it generously.
-> Keep it for about 30-45 minutes.
-> Rinse it off (no shampoo).
-> Let it dry on its own.
-> Now warm up olive oil (you can microwave it for 20 seconds).
-> Apply on your hair roots spreading towards the hair length.
-> Now take hot towel (atleast twice).
-> Keep the oil on for about 2 hours and then shampoo your hair.

You would see the instant difference in the frizziness of your hair 🙂

Butter paneer masala..

imagebutter

Although the pic is not looking so appealing, but the taste was super yum. In fact, it was made for 6 people but got finished off among 4 only 😛

Ingredients:

Paneer-1 cup(cut into pieces)
Tomato-1 cup(diced)
Onion-1/2 cup(diced)
Cashewnut-1/4 cup
Green chilli-2 nos.
Cinnamon-1″
Cardamom-2 nos.
Clove-2 nos.
Bay leaf-1 pc.
Kasuri methi-2 tsp
Garam masala-1 tsp
Tomato puree-3 tbsp
Curd- 2 tbsp
Honey-1/2 tsp(optional)
Fresh cream-2 tbsp
Garlic paste-1 tsp
Salt-to taste
Butter-1-2 tbsp
Oil-1 tbsp

Method:

-> In a wok take tomato, onion, cashewnut, green chilli and 1½ cups of water. Cook for about 7-10 minutes. Let it cools down and then make its paste.
-> Now in a skillet or a wok, take oil and butter(oil prevents burning of butter).
-> Add garlic paste let it turn light brown.
-> Now add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, crushed kasuri mehi and garam masala.
-> Add tomato puree and the blended paste. Cook till oil separates.
-> Add salt and curd(beat it well before adding).
-> Now add paneer(either dipped in warm water or fried, however you like it). Cook on slow flame for another 2-3 minutes.
-> Switch off the stove and add cream & honey (optional).

Serve hot with roti/paratha/naan! 🙂

My post pregnancy weight loss story!

My post on a fitness site: http://fitness.makeupandbeauty.com/weight-loss-story/

Losing weight post pregnancy is a huge challenge. There is a general notion that it is nearly impossible to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight, but I think when one is determined to lose all those extra kilos there is no point she will not. I gained so much of weight during pregnancy 17 kg to be precise. All my relatives used to say that I won’t get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. They even used to gift me big-sized dresses But there was not even 0.0001% doubt in my mind that I will not be able to lose the extra fat.

A bit of history:

I was always “not so thin, not so fat” type of girl. Who used to eat what she liked and never gave much thought of what is going inside her. I never had weight issues until I joined college. I started gaining weight and it was merely because there was no physical activities like the way, I had it in school. But never mind, I start avoiding fatty foods and was never ever overweight any time in my life, even in college. After completing my engineering and working for few years I got married in 2010 and got pregnant the same year. I gained hell lot of weight during my pregnancy.

I delivered my baby in August 2011 and my sis wedding was finalized for feb. 2012. I wanted to lose weight before her wedding. So here is what led me lose those extra flab. FYI, I had a c section.

Mind make up:

This would sound so stupid to you, but believe me mind has an important role to play in whatever we do, even in losing weight. Once you are determined no one in this world can stop you from achieving it!

* Never ever doubt that you won’t be the same, be 100% confident you will be.

* Every morning just feel that you got a bit lighter today (irrespective of your body weight).

* Feel that you are getting thinner with every passing day even though you are not.

Eating habits:

Be vigilant of what are you eating throughout the day. I used to munch on fruits in between meals. I am not so fond of fried food or packed food. I don’t like biscuits, chips, puri, pakoras, french fries etc. I am also not a big fan of sweet foods. In fact, I dislike it completely. But when I was pregnant and even during nursing period, I used to crave for it badly.

I could very easily eat down 10 jalebis or 2 big packets of chocolates or 3-4 pastries. And was really tensed about my this weird sweet tooth. Finally I came up with these two tricks to curb my craving.

* I kept on delaying. If suppose I want to eat pastries right now, I would delay it for ½ hr. or 1 hr. And will keep on delaying till there is no more craving.

* Suppose I want to have it really badly, I would have a very small portion of it and would eat it the slowest I can.

Other points:

* I used to sip lukewarm water just before going to bed. It helped me in reducing the tummy size.

* Whenever I used to get time or was feeding my baby I used to do tummy squeeze (Breathe in as you relax your abdomen, then breathe out as you suck your abdominal muscles into your spine. Hold till the count of 10). I saw this exercise in some fitness program on TV by some doc.

* I used to wear a tummy belt all through the day. That was given in the hospital only.

* I wanted to do yoga as I used to do it before. But time did not permit it so I used to walk daily for 1 hour. I read somewhere that walking has also some way of doing it properly. It was suggested to start walking slowly and then gradually increasing your speed. After achieving the peak gradually decreases it to the speed at which you started. So I followed it.

I got back to my pre-pregnancy weight in 9-10 months. But all those lactating moms please eat healthy as you have to feed your baby. Take Care!
xoxo
Shivani

Stuffed Tomatoes!

Stuffed Tomato

Stuffed Tomato

My mom-in-law makes super-tasty stuffed tomatoes. And since she is here, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to learn this dish from her. So we made it yesterday :). Here goes the recipe.

Ingredients:
Tomato-8 nos. medium size(if you are in India, try local ones. They soften up fast.)
Potato-2-3 nos. medium size(boiled and roughly mashed)
Peas-1 cup(frozen one)
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Onion-1 big or 2 small(make its paste)
Ginger-garlic paste-1 tsp
Coriander powder-1 tbsp
Red chilli powder-½ tsp(or as per your liking)
Garam masala-1 tsp
Bay leaf-1 no.
Cumin seeds-½ tsp
Salt-to taste
Oil-2-3 tbsp

Method:

-> Scoop out the middle of tomatoes vertically so that there is sufficient space in it for stuffing (don’t throw the scooped out part of the tomatoes, we will use it in the gravy).
-> Now in a skillet or wok heat up oil.
-> Add peas and mashed potatoes in it.
-> Add turmeric powder, salt and ½ tsp of garam masala in it.
-> Fry for 1-2 minutes and then turn off the stove.
-> Now fill this into the tomatoes.
-> Heat up oil in a pan and put in these stuffed tomatoes.
-> Toss them and let them cook till they are soft.
-> Take them out.
-> Now in the same skillet pour a bit of oil and let it heats up.
-> Add cumin seeds and bay leaf.
-> Now add onion paste and cook it for a while.
-> Add ginger-garlic paste, cook till the raw smell fades.
-> Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
-> Now add tomatoes’ part(which you got from scooping them).
-> Add salt and garam masala.
-> Cook till it leaves oil.
-> Now add little water and the stuffed tomatoes.
-> Give it a nice boil. And then turn off the stove.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or as a side dish 🙂

Masoor Dal (Red lentil) pack for pinkish-glow!

If you have to attend a wedding in a week’s time or you have a get together next week or a grand & important party in your office, you want to look near to perfect, don’t you? But what if your skin is ditching you big time and is all dull? Don’t worry, in this post I would like to tell you how you can bring glow to your face in a week’s time.

First, if you have any pimple on your face you need to clear it off. For that the best remedy I have come across is, taking a bit of sandalwood powder and equal quantity of fullers earth and adding 1-2 drop of clove oil (please be alert when you use clove oil since it is very strong and if used much can even backfire by burning your skin). Mix them well and add a bit of rosewater to make a paste. Apply it on your pimple(s) every night (clean your face before applying it). Wash it the next morning. Just in 2 days you’d find that the pimples are drying up. Now coming to the masoor dal pack. Make a powder of masoor dal in the grinder. You can make a powder of approx. 100-200 gm. of it and store it in a container so that you can use it throughout the week. Make a mixture of masoor dal and milk. If your skin is very oily you can use water or rose water instead of milk. Keep it aside for ½-1 hour.

masoor 2

Now apply it on your clean face, let it dry and then rinse it off with warm water followed by cold water. Dry your face and apply moisturizer. I would advise to do it in the evening. You can see the change from the very first day. Try it and let the people guess the secret of your glowing face 😉 

Eggplant/Brinjal Fry (baigan fry)

DSCN2924

Had invited one of my relatives for lunch last weekend. Made baigan fry as a side dish. In the pic you can also see “bharwa karela” made by my mom-in-law. Will ask her the recipe and will post that too. But for now, it is “baigan fry”.

Ingredients:

Eggplant-4 (medium size)
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder-1-2 tbsp
Salt-1/2-1 tsp
Dry mango powder (amchur powder)-1/2-1 tsp
Red chilli powder-1/4 tsp
Oil (tastes best in mustard oil)-2 tbsp

Method:

-> Wash eggplant properly and cut into half (vertically).
-> Now make atleast 9 slits in the exposed side of eggplant (vertically and horizontally).
-> Mix all the masalas including salt in a bowl.
-> Now fill up the slits with the masala and also apply a bit of it on the surface.
-> Heat up oil in a skillet or pan.
-> Put the eggplants’ exposed surface on the pan and cover it with a lid. Cook on a low flame.
-> Now turn it on the other side.
-> Fry/cook till the masalas are cooked properly and the eggplants are tender.

All ready to be served as a side dish in your lunch or dinner 🙂