Category Archives: instant

Chai masala – Tea Masala powder

A sip of warm tea in any season spiced with a good dash of masala propels me through the challenges of the day. As much as I like the tea, I also like the masala chai.

Freshly ground masala at home is usually a culmination of leftover cardamom peels mixed with some more spices. Most tea brands are also bringing their own masala chai versions which is good as you are saved of mixing this and that but the cost of it is not worth the taste. I wont name brands here but being an ardent tea lover I have followed every new variant that comes to the market. 

I eventually settle down to regular black tea with my own added masala. 

For the final week of cooking carnival, I am sharing dry powders which you will almost always find in my kitchen round the year. These are few things that come handy when I have to deal during the rush morning hour. My kiddo loves tea once in a while, and I insist on giving him a light herbal tea infusion using the masala alone when he is under the weather….

1 cup dried  ginger powder
1/4 cup green cardamom
1/8 cup cloves 
1/8 cup black pepper
1″ inch cinnamon stick (optional)
1 tbsp dried tulsi leaves (optional)
1 tbsp dried mint leaves (optional)
1) Lightly roast the cardamom pods with peel, cloves, black pepper and cinnamon stick on slow flame until it is aromatic
2) Now pulse them together with the dried ginger powder.
3) Store in airtight container

Use as required.

Usually 1/4 tspn works well for 1 cup of tea. 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68


Chocolate Biscuit Cake

When your kid watches doraemon again after a break, you wonder what attracts them back to older cartoons. As adults we love to watch some cartoon series as it brings back older memories but if a 6 year old craves to catch up on something he liked as 3 year old, you wonder about the reasons. He explained that during summer vacations he has been watching more TV than other days so he picked a channel that runs longer running series for continuity- and here I expected some miracle for an answer.

Never mind the rant, but the dora cakes gave me the idea to make a quick snack for my own gadget freak

1 packet monaco biscuits/ salty crackers
1 cup peanut butter chips / peanut butter
100 gms dark chocolate 
1) Melt the dark chocolate on double boiler or in microwave and set aside
2) Take 2 biscuits and sandwich the peanut chips or butter between it
3) Using a spatulae secure the biscuits by covering chocolate on the sides.
4)Dip the sandwich in chocolate bowl to coat it completely
5) Let it rest on greased baking tray
6) Repeat for rest
7) Store in air tight container and refrigerate for few hours
8) Remove and store at room temperature 

Watch it disappear

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Sweet Bread Toast

French Toast is the simplest form of breakfast if you like eggs and bread and sweet. While you can see my regular version  this one is even simpler. I have aversion using the store bought tutti frutti breads offlate…alas life was simpler as a child when you did not know the hazards of food, anyway, so I have used dry fruit bread which is a cousin of tutti frutti bread but stuffed with raisins, cranberries and pistachios.

The plain bread did not fit my 3 ingredient theme so it had to humbly dropped. So much for my creativity!

Tutti Frutti Bread/ Dry Fruits Bread – 2-4 slices
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1) Mix the egg and milk with the help of a fork in a bowl
2) Take the bread carefully , as this is very fragile and dip it in the egg mixture. Leave it for 2-3 min.
3) On a non-stick pan carefully place the coated bread and let it cook for 3-4 min on each side.

When done serve hot 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Microwave Pizza from scratch under 30 min

Placing an order for a quick home delivery and waiting anxiously for the pizzas to arrive can prove futile for few reasons.

Pizzas may not be the very fresh out of oven steaming hot.
The amount of money you need to shell out for something that ends as soon as it arrives
It makes you feel guilty for the fat proportions which otherwise could be very well controlled , had you been cooking
Fret no more, I have been making these easy peasy pizzas , with no compromise on flavors many times off late. The only reason I make the laborious baked pizzas otherwise is when I have time on hand and would like to fill the house with aromas of baked goodies.

Ingredients (for 4 personal pan pizzas)
for base
2 cups wheat flour (2 brownie points extra)
1 tspn baking powder
a pinch of baking soda
salt to taste
1 cup water
2 tbsp Olive oil
for topping1 onion
3 tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato ketchup (hot spicy preferred)
1 tspn salt
1 tspn Olive Oil
1 tspn red chilli powder
2 tbsp mixed Italian herbs
½ cup corn nibbles (or any other quick to cook vegetable, broccoli, baby corn, paneer)
½ bunch spinach (optional)
1 capsicum
1 block of cheddar cheese (use as needed only)
1 block of mozzarella (use as needed only)
1 block of gouda (use as needed only)
Clock timer Set at 30 min – 

1) Assemble all the ingredients, pizza pan, rolling pin, vegetables strainers, knife etc on your kitchen platform. 28:00 
2) Wash all the veggies under tap water. 27:00

3) In a large bowl, take the flour, baking powder, bakind soda, salt and water and knead a firm dough. Grease your hands and knead again for 30 seconds rigorously. 26:00
4) Chop the onions in thin slices, tomatoes roughly. 25:00

5)In a microwave safe bowl, pour 1 tspn oil, add the onions, tomatoes, red chilli powder, salt and a tbsp of water. Stir and microwave on high for 3 min. 21:00

6) While the sauce is cooking, roughly chop up all the vegetables as per your choice. 21:00
7) Remove the bowl from mw; add all the vegetables, some more salt, ketchup, herbs stir and mw again for 1 min.   19:00
8) In parallel, start rolling out small pan size pizzas of the dough. Keep the thickness as preferred.
9) Brush some oil on both sides of the rolled pizzas and let it stand until the vegetables are being cooked. 
9) Remove the bowl and set it aside. Place the pizza base on non stick pizza pan, microwave on high for 30 sec each side for 1 pizza 16:00
10) Remove the base, pop the other base in mean time. Spread the sauce on one side (well cooked or crisp side top), add the vegetable toppings, spread the cheese  15:00
11) Remove the 2nd base , place the topped pizza for 3 min on high. Top the second base similarly in parallel 
12) Remove the first pizza, cook the 2 remaining bases for 1 min each (while family devours the first one). 10:00
13) Microwave the 2nd topped pizza for 3 min, while you top the remaining two pizzas.7:00
14) Give half of the second pizza to family, while you eat the other half 6:00
15) Mw the remaining two pizzas for 3 min each. 0:00
Enjoy the last 2 along with the family. Wash down with a cola like I did.
If the distance between your refrigerator, sink, microwave, kitchen shelf is more than what I am used to, you may take a little longer. I will not forfeit any charges if the pizza takes more than 30 min. Appreciate it is still a better alternative

For more variety of sauces , check the recipes here – Pizza Sauces 

Green Peas Pulav

Living a superwoman’s life is a pressure too difficult to handle especially when you are determined to bestow all towards making it a reality. Microwave was invented particularly to help me live this being. Ha ha! If you would have asked me to talk about it during the last few semesters of my engineering days, I would have given you a far different opinion. Opportunely those days are behind letting me now enjoy the benefits.

It is difficult not getting addicted to microwave cooking for the sheer convenience it provides for urban chics (ahem ladies) especially.
I am not advocating its practice daily but those days when you are in real hurry or do not want to settle for a basic dal chawal or bread butter dinner you got to put use your friend.
Like the other day, when I reached home, well past the dinner time to learn that cooking activity was left to my skillful hands. I was not in a mood to eat anything ordinary by my standards. DH suggested pulav , raita and papad

Ingredients (for 2.5 people)
1 cup long grained basmati rice
½ cup green peas (frozen or fresh)
1 tspn curd
2 tspn cumin seeds( use only 1 if you don’t like it much)
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
3-4 cloves
3-4 black pepper whole
1 tspn ginger garlic paste
1 red chilly/ green chilly slit
1 tspn oil
salt to taste
Regular pan (20 min)
1) In a sauce pan, heat oil, add the cumin seeds, bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, pepper and sauté for a min or until the cumin seeds splutter
2) Wash the rice under tap until it is well rinsed. Mix it with ginger garlic paste and set aside.
3) Add the green peas, chilly to the pan and sauté for a few minutes.
4) Add the rice, salt and about 2 cups of water .
5) Stir in the curd and cover for about 15 min or until rice is cooked.
6) Fluff with a fork and serve with curd or raita.
Microwave (10 min)
1) In a microwave safe large bowl, put some oil and cumin seeds. MW on high for 30 seconds.
2) Wash the rice under tap until it is well rinsed. Mix it with ginger garlic paste and set aside.
3) Now remove the bowl from the microwave, add the rest of the spices, chilly and green peas.
4) Cover the bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds on high.
5) Remove the bowl, add the rice, salt, curd and water and stir well.
6) Microwave on high for 7 min.
7) If required microwave on 70% for another 2-3 min.
Serve hot with raita and papad

Tips – Do not use ground garam masala for green peas pulav as that will change the color of the rice. If you wish, you can discard the whole spices before serving.

The rice from microwave will be less soggy and fluffs up better than the pot cooked.

Garlic Pot Noodles

Garlic Pot Noodles is an instant , palette pleasing dish which is always appreciated at home. I had to do justice by dedicating a post to this and recreating it with a better picture quality. With BM 23, I got this opportunity so I quickly picked it….this one goes with chinese style gravy as told you earlier here.

1 packet Noodles (Use Instant if you like)
1 tspn garlic paste
1 tbsp butter
1) Cook the noodles as per the instructions on the packet. Do not add any additional flavorings
2) When the noodles are cooked, strain the water.
3) Add the garlic paste and butter and quickly stir with a fork.
4) Cover the pot with a lid until it is served.

Tomato Soup (instant)

Pleasures of cooking in a pressure cooker are something one needs to experience on first hand basis…mine is working well for the kind of hurried life I am living off late.
This one was made last night for a quick late evening snack that ended up being my dinner as well. This is going to stay around for many days to come..

Ingredients (for 2 servings)
4 medium tomatoes (roughly chopped)
1 medium potato (peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion roughly chopped
3-4 garlic cloves crushed
1/2 inch ginger 
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
1 tspn red chilly powder
1 tspn maggi masala cube (optional)
1 tspn black pepper
1 tspn sugar
salt to taste
1 tspn oil
1) In a pressure cooker, heat some oil, saute the chopped onions , garlic and ginger
2) Add the chopped potatoes and saute 
3) Add the chopped tomatoes and rest of the ingredients and about 2.5 cups of water
4) Cover the pressure cooker and let it cook for 5-8 min (2 whistles)
5) Open the cooker after it cools down and mix the well.
6) Pass this through a sieve or mesh to strain the mixture. Mash the potatoes as much as possible to get some texture and thickness for the soup.
7) Serve garnished with coriander/ parsley or bread croutons