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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Cheera Choru | Red Amaranthus Rice

Red amaranthus rice or cheera choru is a healthy one pot meal that you can prepare for all. The leaves cook in no time and so it is a quick meal preparation too. My kids love simple one pot meals for lunch box. And so I plan a wide variety of one pot meals, each of which should be healthy and nutritious. I think most of the moms would love their child to eat a nutritious meal rather than relying on junk foods. 
Red amaranthus or chuvanna cheera is usually made cheera thoran at home, or prepare dal with spinach or this red amaranthus. I had also posted a sprouts cutlet that has red amaranthus which is another healthy alternative for kids. Try this simple quick lunch box meal and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 15 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4-5
basmati rice 2 cups
water 5.5 cups
salt 1/2 tsp

cheera (red amaranthus) chopped 2.5 cups
onion 1, small chopped
ginger-garlic paste 2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
chilly powder 1 tbsp
coriander powder, 1 tsp
tamarind extract 1 tbsp
peanuts soaked 1/4 cup
salt 1/2 tsp
oil 3tbsp
ghee 2tsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp (chopped, optional)

Watch on YouTube -

  • Wash & soak the peanuts for 30 minutes.
  • Snip off the roots if present and wash the cheera under running water to remove mud/ dirt 3–4 times. Check all the leaves for insects, discard any rotten ones. Cut the stems thin and chop all the leaves evenly. Keep aside.
  • Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for 20 minutes. You can use leftover regular cooked rice too. In that case, use approx 5 cups of cooked rice for this measure. If you have lesser cooked rice left, modify all the listed ingredients accordingly.
  • If you are using fresh basmati rice, then start by cooking the rice first. In that case, add water(4.5 cups) to a pan and add salt(1/2 tsp). Boil the water and add the soaked rice. Cook till done, or cook for 10–12 minutes. Fluff with a fork, switch off the flame and keep aside till use.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. When oil is hot, slide the onions followed by ginger-garlic paste.
  • Add the soaked peanuts and sauté on high for 2–3 minutes. Add in the spice powders on low flame. Add the tamarind extract, give a quick mix.
  • Add the chopped cheera and mix with the spices. Don't add salt now, add the salt as the cheera leaves are wilted and half cooked. Else, you may end up adding more salt. Cook on low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Once the leaves are wilted, add salt and cook covered again for 3–4 minutes. The leaves will leave out water once salt is added.
  • Finally, toss in the cooked rice. Adjust salt if needed (I haven't added any). Mix well, add the ghee and chopped coriander leaves. Simmer on low flame for another 2 minutes. 
  •  Then the rice is ready to serve with cut cucumbers and raitha/salad.

* I used a mix of both chilly powders (1 tsp of hot chilli powder and 2 tsp of kashmiri chilli powder).
* You can use cashews instead of peanuts if your kid has peanut allergy. But this definitely adds a nice crunch to the rice.
* Tamarind adds a mild tangy flavour to the rice, omit if you don't like.
* You can use green amaranth also to prepare this rice, but you may not get this colour to the rice.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Cheese Corn Dosa | After School Snacks under 30 minutes

Cheese Corn dosa is a simple to make dosa that kids love a lot. The sweetness of corn along with the melted cheese tastes delicious as a filling. I have added the mixed herbs of pizza seasoning, but you may always add the Indian spices. Give this a try and enjoy !!

Here is a YouTube #shorts to the recipe.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 dosas
Author ~ Julie
corn kernels 1/4 cup
onion 1 small or 1/4 cup
mixed herbs 1/3 tsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp (chopped)
salt to taste
oil 1 tbsp
cheese 5–6 cubes or 6 tbsp grated

  • Heat a pan and add oil. Add the chopped onions and sauté. To this, add the corn kernels and add salt lightly as cheese has salt too, cook covered for 4–5 minutes. Add in the coriander leaves. Add mixed herbs and switch off the flame.
  • Heat a dosa griddle, pour a ladleful of batter. Spread the batter and add a tbsp of filling. Grate the cheese and add on top. Fold in half and cook till the cheese is melted and dosa is crisp.
  • Enjoy !!
* You can add grated carrots too in the filling.


Friday, January 12, 2024

Bread Moong Dal Balls | Bread Sukhiyan

Bread moong dals are quick snacks that you can prepare at home, and the protein packed filling of green moong dal with jaggery tastes delicious. If you are looking out ways to finish off left over bread slices, then this is a great option. The filling is similar to sukhiyan, but the cover is crispier than sukhiyan. Give this a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 12
Author ~ Julie
bread 12 slices
for filling
cherupayaru /whole moong /green gram 1 cup
grated coconut 3/4 cup
jaggery 1/3-1/2 cup
cardamom powder/elakka podi 1 tsp
dry ginger powder/chukku podi a pinch (optional)
salt a pinch

Watch on YouTube -

  • Melt the jaggery with 1/ cup water and strain the impurities.
  • Wash the dal and add to the pressure cooker. Add a pinch of salt and pressure-cook on high for 2–3 whistles, depending on the quality of the dal.
  • After the pressure is released, add grated coconut, melted strained jaggery syrup. Cook again till the moisture is absorbed. Add in the cardamom powder, dry ginger powder (if using). Switch off flame and leave to cool lightly.
  • Make lemon size balls of the filling when warm and keep aside.
  • Trim the edges of the bread, dip the slice in water, and immediately remove the bread. Squeeze out all the excess water and place one ball of the filling, seal the edges of the bread making a ball shape.
  • Similarly, make all the balls and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a wok and check if oil is hot enough to deep-fry the balls.
  • Drop in each of the balls and fry on medium flame till it's evenly browned on all sides.
  • Drain from the oil and place on paper towels. Similarly, fry all the balls and serve warm with black tea.

* You can even make a thick batter with rice flour and water. Dip each of the balls and fry.
* Adding a pinch of salt to the dal enhances the sweetness.
* Don't overcook the dal else the balls may absorb more oil and the filling may not taste good.

For all evening snacks from this space, click here.

Monday, January 01, 2024

Chocolate Mirror Glaze Cake ~ Happy New Year wishes !!

Wishing all my readers and friends a very Happy & Prosperous New Year !!
Hope everyone had a great start. May the day start with new hopes, new beginnings and newer opportunities knocking at your door. May all your wishes come true and 2024 be a great milestone in your lives.

Frosting cakes are rarely made at home except for kids birthdays, and I go for very simple when frosting cakes as am naive in frosting skills and I lack patience to learn that too. However, this mirror glaze cake looked stunning when I saw many posting this up, so was the wish to try this cake sooner.  This cake is a similar easy to go one for people like me to quick fix a frosting cake. 

Baking has always improved for me over a period of time, from pre packed cake mixes to trying out new trial and error cakes. But frosting has always taken the back seat. As the number of frosting cakes made in a year are less, and so I don't try improving the learning too. 

This was made for my son's birthday, who is an avid chocolate lover, and so he totally loved the cake and frosting. The chocolate mirror glaze, when poured over the cake, gives an elegant smooth finish. Don't you feel so ? I was quite happy with the outcome. This can be prepared with all basic cake ingredients and frosting also needs fewer ingredients compared to other frosting cakes. Give this a try this holiday season and enjoy.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Baking time ~ 40 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 6' cake
for chocolate sponge 
all-purpose flour (maida) 3/4 cup
baking powder 1/2 tsp
baking soda 1/4 tsp
salt 1/8 tsp
cocoa powder 6 tbsp
sugar 3/4 cup (6 tbsp)
veg oil 6 tbsp or 1/3 cup + 2 tsp
yogurt or curd 1/2 cup
milk 1/4 cup
vinegar 1/2 tsp
vanilla essence 1/4 tsp

for chocolate ganache 
fresh cream 3/4 cup
dark chocolate compound 300 g

for sugar syrup 
granulated sugar 1/3 cup
water 3/4 cup

for mirror glaze 
water 3/4 cup
granulated sugar 3/4 cup
cocoa powder 1/3 cup
dark chocolate compound 60g (1/3 cup chopped)
unsalted butter 1 tbsp 

Watch on YouTube -

  • Sift the dry ingredients twice, keep aside.
  • Mix the milk with vinegar and keep aside for 10 minutes until curdled.
  • Add the granulated sugar and oil in a bowl and mix. Add the curd and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
  • To this add the milk-vinegar mixture. Also, add the dry ingredients in batches & mix. Add in vanilla extract.
  • Prepare a 6' pan with parchment paper and pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the batter in the tray and bake in the oven for 35–40 minutes. Remove from oven and check with a tooth pick if done. Cool on a wire rack for 10–15 minutes by covering with a towel and remove the cake from the tray, cool completely and store by wrapping in a cling wrap till use.
  • Heat the cream and chopped chocolate using a double boil method until the chocolate melts and is smooth.
  • Cool and refrigerate by covering with a cling wrap till use.
  • Heat the sugar and water in a pan until the sugar dissolves. Switch off flame and leave to cool.
  • Mix the cocoa powder, water and sugar in a pan without lumps. Put this on flame and let the mix thicken till it coats the spoon. Then add grated chocolate and give a quick mix. Finally add in the butter, mix.

  • Cut the dome and then level cut the cake in three rounds. Keep aside.
  • Thaw the chocolate ganache before use. Apply a small layer on the cake board. Place the first layer of cake.
  • Pour the sugar syrup to soak the layer. Apply the chocolate ganache and spread as a single layer.
  • Place the second layer cake and pour sugar syrup followed by chocolate ganache layer.
  • Finally, add the final layer of the cake and add sugar syrup & chocolate ganache.
  • Apply ganache over the top and sides of the cake. Level the cake and refrigerate for 30 minutes -2 hours.
  • Finally, pour the chocolate mirror glaze all over the cake. Add decorations and cover the border using chocolate sprinkles if using, or leave just like that. Refrigerate another 30 minutes, cut and serve.

* You can make the base cake as chocolate cake with eggs too. I did an eggless base.
* Adding sugar syrup to soak the cake is to be used as needed. You can even omit that step if you don't want so much sugar in the cake.
* The chocolate ganache after applying needs refrigeration for the ganache to set. It becomes easy to level the cake after refrigeration.
* Adding chocolate sprinkles to the border is strictly optional in this cake, as the cake looks beautiful without borders.