Stop your stomach from growling!

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Cooking is such fun at times. But it can also be a stressful affair keeping in mind the other daily chores that are often lined up. The hunger feeling at such times can prove dreadful leaving you with no choice but to look for some unhealthy snacks to fill your stomach on an instant basis.

Not always you have fruits or other quick food to prepare and calm down your growling stomach.

The saviour to all such situations has always been RICE! The white grains cook up with so much ease and so quickly that ‘delight’ is what you feel.  The added advantage to rice is it can be eaten with anything as basic as salt and red chili powder mixed in small quantity. To add to it you can always have curd and jeera mixed in right proportions giving you a heavenly taste.

So next time you are in hurry or your stomach is, think of nothing but these angels in disguise 🙂

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Baked Cheese Rice Cake

Before Baking and Cheese addition

The Final Look

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of cooked rice (any rice is okay, but prefer Raindrops Basmati Rice)
100g bacon, chopped
50g ham, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1tbsp Olive oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1tbsp honey
230g Mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/4tsp black pepper
1/2tsp Parsley flakes,( optional or use any other fresh herbs )

METHOD:

1. Lightly grease a 8” round springform pan. Line base with baking paper.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan, stir fry chopped bacon and ham till slightly golden brown.
3. Add chopped onion and garlic, stir fry for a while.
4. Add parsley flakes and stir well. Remove from heat, stir through honey.
5. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked rice, bacon and ham mixture, 1 cup of grated Mozzarella cheese and egg. Season with salt to taste.
6. Spoon mixture into prepared pan, pressing down firmly so there are no gaps.
7. Bake at preheated oven at 180c for 25mins.
8. Remove from oven, set aside to cool. Remove the rice cake from baking pan.
9. Sprinkle the balance of grated Mozzarella cheese on top of the rice cake, and bake again at pre-heated oven at 200c for 15mins or until golden brown.

Source link: http://nasilemaklover.blogspot.in

Modak for Ganesh Chaturthi

What other day than today can be most appropriate to cook these devouring sweet dumplings, lovingly and famously called MODAK. Today on the special day of Ganesh Chaturthi, offer your dear lord and loved ones with one of the most cherished delicacies.

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Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour (chawal ka atta)
1 cup water
1 tsp oil
Oil for greasing
A pinch of salt

For the filling:

1 cup grated jaggery (gur)
1 cup grated fresh coconut
½ tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder

1 ½ tbsp ghee

Method:

  • For the filling, in a non-stick pan, add grated coconut and jaggery and cook over a slow flame till the jaggery melts and the mixture comes together. Add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  • In another non-stick pan boil the water. Add 1 teaspoon oil and a little salt in the boiling water and stir. Reduce the flame; add the rice flour while stirring continuously.
  • Whisk well so that no lumps remain. Cover with a lid and keep aside for about 5 minutes.
  • Grease your palms with a little oil and knead the dough while it is still warm; if the dough cools it will get lumpy, if it is not kneaded. You could even use a hand blender to knead the dough.
  • Make even size small balls of the dough (2 inch in diameter) using oil. Then roll each of them into a round shape, 3½” in diameter.
  • Make 8 to 10 folds in rolled dough with 1 cm. distance in between. To make a fold pinch the outer line of rolled dough a little bit ahead making 1-2 mm thick fold.
  • Add a spoonful of the filling into the dough.
  • Bring all the ends together and press to seal. Prepare a steamer by adding water, a teaspoon of oil and heat it till the water comes to a boil. While the water is simmering, place the modaks on a greased steamer plate and steam for 6 to7 minutes.
  • Once the modaks are cooked they will turn translucent. Serve hot drizzled with pure ghee.

 

Image and Recipe Source: TarlaDalal.com

Kolam- Art made by Rice

If you thought art was restricted to only drawing and painting on a canvas that too with only paints, pencils and colours, then you must correct yourself.

Kolam is a form of painting or a rangoli that is drawn on the floor using rice powder, which is popular in the south of India and many other Asian countries. These are generally geometrical patterns, worked out with matrix of dots and mathematical line drawings. In simpler words, it is like joining the dots to bring out creative and more complex patterns on the floor. Joining all the dots with lines, closing and completing the pattern is important for it symbolically prevents the evil spirits from entering the house.

Kolams bestow prosperity. In the south of India, it is the first thing that women make before sunrise. It is not just a way of decorating the entrance but are also made so that ants don’t walk much long for a meal. It also invites birds and other small critters, thus sharing a daily tribute to other living beings and inviting all into their home, along with Goddess Lakshmi.

Here’s a glimpse of the art and technique behind making a Kolam

So now you know joining the dots is not just a part of child’s play but also to great form of art made by rice.

Rice in Salt Shaker

Whether the climate turns humid or you move into a city with humid climate, you can find the salt in the shaker crumpling every now and then. In spite of using many types of best variety containers and shakers, nothing seems to work well for long.

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To help you in such a tricky situation Rice can be of great help. Add a few grains of rice to your salt shaker and see it work like a charm. You must have also spotted rice in salt shakers at quite a few restaurants and eating outlets, this is done so that all the moisture is absorbed by rice instead of salt. Thus avoiding rice to crumple.

Crispy Rice Loops or Kodubale

If you are bored of the usual pakodas and want to try your hands on South Indian Karnataka snack then here’s how to go for it.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • Milk, as required to make dough
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking Oil

Method:

  • Wash rice and spread them on a cloth until they dry completely.
  • Once the rice are dry, grind them to fine powder.
  • Knead the rice flour with butter, salt and milk into soft dough.
  • Take small portions of dough; roll then on your palms into long string like shapes over 2 to 3 inches long.
  • Now make both the ends meet to form loops.
  • Press and join the ends so that they stick together and don’t open up when frying.
  • Prepare such loops and make batches.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
  • And fry the first batch in low flame, stirring continuously till the loops turn crisp and golden brown.
  • Drain excess oil in the loops by placing them on a paper towel.
  • Repeat the procedure for rest of the batches.
  • Let them cool.

These crispy loops are now ready for snacking and can be stored in an air tight container for almost week’s time.

Once you get comfortable with cooking these loops, you can also get creative with its ingredients and shapes.

SPOONful facts

We generally don’t pay much attention to the different spoon types and utilities. If we were given a normal spoon that we have at homes, we’d eat almost anything with it from fruits to main course to desserts. But there’s quite a variety of them.

For the time being, we’re introducing to only 6 types of spoons, which are as follows:

Demitasse Spoon:

A very small spoon, even smaller than a teaspoon. This tiny spoon is used to often in coffee drinks for spooning froth.

Grapefruit Spoon:

Serrated from the front edge, similar to a teaspoon, grapefruit spoon helps in separating its flesh from the rind. Also called orange spoon, it is used for other citrus fruits like kiwi, melons or even mangoes.

Teaspoon:

It is a small spoon, generally used to stir the content of tea and coffee. Also a teaspoon is used as a unit of measure, while cooking and is abbreviated as tsp.

Table Spoon:

Bigger than a teaspoon, table spoon is used in serving. Like teaspoon, it is also used as a unit of measure, while preparing a recipe and is abbreviated as tb, tbs, tbsp, tblsp or tblspn.

Soup Spoon:

As the name suggests, these spoons are used when eating soups or stews. The soup bowls are large, deep and circular, so these thick handled, deep and extending spoons go down till the base easily. Also with typically higher sides, these hold the liquid and other ingredients of the soup well.

Bouillon (or broth) Spoon:

It is a spoon with a rounded spoon head, though smaller than a soup spoon but is used for light meals like clear soups.