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The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.
I have done Panna cotta couple of times before.. and we love it. Its rich and creamy dessert which melts in your mouth. Here is the another Panna cotta recipe of both Chocolate and Vanilla which I have posted long time back.  But I followed the below recipe this time using Honey which came out so delicious as well.  I usually do Florentines using almond meal but this is the first time I am making using Oats, it was just awesome.  This Recipe is sure a Keeper and will keep doing it often, it came out lacy, crispy and it was so yummy :)

Creamy Dreamy Crunchy Sweet challenge...



Ingredients :

Whole milk - 1 cup
Unflavored powdered gelatin - 1 tablespoon
Whipping cream - 3 cups
Honey - 1/3 cup
Granulated sugar - 1 tablespoon
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp


   1. Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk (make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
   2. Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage).
   3. Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, and pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn't boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved 5-7 minutes.
   4. Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
   5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.


For the Green part I Used the Green Apple Jell-O mixture and to give the Kiwi effect just I sprinkled with Black Poppy seeds, the tart of this Jell-O and the Creamy Panna cotta tasted awesome.


I just quartered this recipe.


Unsalted butter - 2/3 cup
Quick oats - 2 cups (But I used Rolled oats)
Granulated sugar - 1 cup
Plain (all purpose) flour - 2/3 cup 
Liquid Glucose - 4 tbsp
Whole milk - 1/4 cup 
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Pinch of salt
Dark or milk chocolate- 1½ cups



Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

   1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, and then remove from the heat.
   2. To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon, or use a spatula.
   3. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
   4. While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).
   5. Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).
   6. Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.

This recipe will make about 2 1/2 - 3 dozen sandwiched Florentine cookies. You can also choose not to sandwich yours, in which case, drizzle the tops with chocolate (over your wax paper).

I just drizzled chopped Pistachio before baking and drizzled some white chocolate after the cookies are cooled completely.



Wheat Rawa which I am posting today is Roasted upma Sooji that is widely available here.  This is also known as kathak rawa which is different quality of wheat.  This looks like cross between white rawa(sooji or semolina) and wheat rawa.  But the cooking method is exactly same like wheat rawa.  This tastes great for upmas, pulao or pilafs, Biriyanis.  When cooked this comes so fluffy with grains seperated.  This is a wholesome meal with lots of veggies.  The little spices make this so aromatic.  It can be had with any kind of raita but I usually make with Eggplant raita which tastes so so delicious.. This is a wonderful combo and makes a hearty comforting meal.  If you’re not having this kind of rawa you can do this with normal wheat rawa or broken wheat which tastes equally good. Other than  Upma I do make Wheat Rawa Briyani just take a look here which I have posted long back. 




Broken wheat or Wheat Rawa - 1cup
Mixed vegetables - 1 1/2 cup chopped to equal size (carrots, peas, potato, beans, and corn)
Onions - 1 cup finely chopped
Tomato - 1/4 cup (optional) If you like the flavor of lemon you can add instead of Tomato, if you’re adding lemon then add 1/2 tsp at the end
Ginger+ Garlic - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Coriander leaves - 1/4cup chopped
Salt - as Required
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon 1" stick
Jeera - 1 tsp
Curry leaves
Cashews few (optional)
Ghee for frying cashews
Water - 2 1/4 (the amount of water depends on the size of rawa and variety you are using; as this is roasted upma sooji which is Kathak rawa this requires 2 1/4 water, if using regular samba wheat rawa use 2 1/2 cups of water).


1. Heat oil in a pan; add the tempering ingredients like cinnamon, bay leaf, Jeera one by one.

2. Next add the Onions and ginger sauté until the onions are translucent. If you are adding Tomato add at this stage.
3. Add the mixed vegetables.

4. Add all the powders, Turmeric, Hing sauté well for a 2 min or so.

5.Add water and bring to a boil. 

6. Add Salt, Now reduce the flame to medium add the Rawa; cook till the wheat has absorbed all the water and the vegetables are cooked well. If you are adding Lemon juice add in this stage.
7.  Fry the cashew in the ghee. Garnish with coriander and fried Cashews. 

Eggplant Raita 

Small Eggplant - 5 or 6 diced into small cubes. (If you are using big eggplant just 1 is enough)
Onions - 1/2 cup chopped finely
Green chillies - 3 sliced
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup finely chopped
Tumericpowder - 1/4 tsp
Chilled yogurt - 1 1/2cup

For Tadka:

Mustard seeds 1/2tsp
Jeera seeds 1/2tsp
Chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder 1/4tsp
Oil for eggplant and tadka - 1/2 tsp 



1. In a glass bowl, add oil, turmeric powder and the chopped eggplant. 

2. Microwave for 5 minutes or until the eggplant is soft or cooked.
3. Remove and keep in a serving dish. Let it cool.
4. Add the chopped salt, onions, coriander leaves, and green chillies and mix well. Keep aside for 1/2hr. 

5. Before serving, add the chilled yogurt, more salt if needed and the tadka/tempering.
6.Heat 1/4 tsp of oil add mustard, jeera, coriander powder and Red chilli powder.. add this to the yogurt mixture.

Serve with hot rotis, pulao, or Kichidis....



This is going to be very long post with 3 recipes and stepwise pictures.  It’s been long time I did not post any Dosa or Idli.  Even though I make it often I feel lazy sometime to take pictures of those.  Like normal dosa using  Rice+Urad dhal, I used to make Barley dosa, Horse gram (which i have posted long back) very regularly.  Not only it tastes awesome but it also adds nutritional value in our regular diet. Try this Barley dosa it tastes great and comes out so crispy and tasty like normal dosas and you never feel guilty of taking so much rice in your Daily menu.  The masala which I am posting today is not regular masala which we used to make for masala dosa, this is a slight variation and absolutely delicious which my mom and grand mom used to make.  The Left over masala can also be used as a stuffing for bread toasts which is so so yummy.  Every time when I make this masala, I make more so that it can be used 2 times.  The garlic chutney is optional.  I have posted the recipe for garlic chutney earlier but today I am posting with step pictures.  Hope you all love this healthy Menu and enjoy the visual treat.  Before going for the recipe let’s know about Barley....

Barley is a type of whole grain. It originated in Ethiopia and Southeast Asia, where it has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years. Barley was used by ancient civilizations as food for humans and animals for the longest time.  In addition barley water has been used for various medicinal purposes since ancient times. This not only adds a unique delightful flavor to dishes, it also adds nutritional value to the food we eat. It is also used to make alcoholic beverages. 

Health Benefits of Barley:

Intake of barley is very likely to help you maintain your overall health in the long term. These whole grains are rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential for our health. It is a source of B vitamins, vitamin E and Folic acid.   More importantly, barley is one of the richest sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber.  Barley’s soluble fiber content, along with its naturally low-fat content and zero cholesterol make this grain a wise choice for heart-smart dining. Barley is also seen to be rich in tocotrienols, which is an antioxidant which helps lessen risk for contracting heart disease and cholesterol problems. Barley is available in several forms (pearled, flour and flakes), so it may be used in many different recipes and for all eating occasions – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  


Since I use blender for grinding, the ratio I am using is 3:1 of Barley and Urad dhal... But if you are using grinder, use 4:1 of Barley and Urad dhal .


Barley - 3 cups (If using grinder use 4:1 ratio)
Urad dhal - 1 cup
Methi seeds - 1/4 tbsp
Salt as needed
Water for grinding the batter


1. Wash and soak the barley for 5 to 6 hrs.
2. Wash and soak the Urad dhal + methi seeds for an hour.
3. Grind the urad dhal finely and foamy.
4. Grind the Barley to fine batter.
5. Mix both the batter (consistency should be normal dosa batter) by adding salt and ferment it overnight.
6. Pour ladle full of batter in the middle of hot skillet the go towards the edges of the skillet.
7. Put tsp of oil when it gets slightly brown at the bottom flip over the other side.
8. Add tsp of oil and make crisp.

You can serve this Barley Dosa with your favorite chutney or sambar.  



Red chillies -20
Garlic pods - 10 normal size
Tamarind extract - 3 tbsp (adjust the sourness according to your preference)
Salt as needed- 1 tsp approximately
Curry leaves
Mustard - 1 tsp
Gingelly oil (Nallennai) - 3 to 4tbsp this is a must , gives wonderful flavor to chutney.
Water as needed.


1. First dry powder the red chillies. Add garlic, tamarind and salt grind to fine paste.

2. Check for sourness and add little more if u need it.
3. Season it with mustard and curry leaves with more oil.
4. This can be kept in fridge for more days.

Here is an idea for Barley Masala Dosa.

The masala tastes great for Dosa, poori, chappathi and for bread toasts too....



Potato - 2 large
Coconut - 1/3 cup
Roasted gram dhal - 1/4 cup
Ginger - 1 inch
Jeera - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 7 or 8
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Onion - 1 chopped finely
Tomato - 1 chopped finely
Urad dhal - 2 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Water - 2 cups
Lemon juice - 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt and oil


1. Boil the potato, cool, and mash it.

2. Grind coconut, roasted gram dhal, redchilli, turmeric, red chillies, Asafoetida,Jeera,ginger to paste by adding little water( the consistency and texture should be like coconut chutney like not too fine or too coarse)
3. Heat oil in the pan, add mustard once it splutters add urad dhal, onion and curry leaves.

4. When it is slightly brown in color add the tomato, when it is mushy add the ground paste.
5. Boiled and mashed potato, add 2 cups of water and now add salt.

6. When it comes to nice boil and thickens, add the lemon juice.
7. Mix well and garnish with lot of coriander leaves.
8. Let the masala cools down, it thickens when it cools down.
9. Now Pour ladle full of batter in the middle of hot skillet the go towards the edges of the skillet.
10. Put tsp of oil when it gets slightly brown at the bottom flip over the other side.
11. Apply the garlic chutney on one side and Masala on other half. Fold the dosa press it softly apply 1/4 tsp of ghee serve hot.

Note :
Same Dosa batter can also be used for making Idlies.



Happily ever after is one perfect bite of chocolate after another !!! So here is a perfect bite of chocolate for your visuals.  

Wish you all "Happy Valentines Day"

A simple classic chocolate mousse filled in chocolate cups with hearty chocolate and delicious valentine fruit(Strawberry).  Hope you all enjoy this !!!



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