Thursday, December 31, 2009

Peanut Butter Banana Moist Cake


Happened to enter the kitchen one evening and felt that I had some time on hand and wanted to bake something different. Saw some bananas waiting to used in something, some peanut butter left in a jar, a couple of eggs and I thought why not try out a cake with these ingredients instead of the usual cookie.

And so started my quest for a moist peanut butter banana cake which ended up successful enough for me to blog about it!! Here goes!!!

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cup flour
2 cup jaggery
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk
2 eggs ligtly beaten
2 bananas mashed
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Method:
1. Add the flour, jaggery, peanut butter, melted butter and mix it either with a wide spatula or best done by hand till it becomes a crumbly mixture.Reserve one cup of mixture for later use.
2. Now make a small well right in the middle of the mixture and add milk, eggs, mashed bananas, vanilla, Baking Powder and Baking Soda.
3. Mix all the ingredients well into a batter.
4. Meanwhile you need to pre-heat the oven to a 160 deg C
5. Grease a pan and pour the batter and then top it with the reserved crumble mixture.
6. Bake the cake for about 40-45 minutes and ensure that the top mixture (crumble layer) does not get burnt.
7. Check if the cake is done by inserting a tooth pick. Enjoy the cake with some Butterscotch sauce. Awesome!!

Tip: If you feel the top of the cake is getting burnt then you may cover the top with Aluminium foil.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Kutchi Dabeli - Desi Burger - Street Food




Hey wanted to share an amazing dish that I bumped across. It goes well as a part starter or a snack.

Originates from the Kutch region of Gujarat from where it migrated years later to the streets of mumbai that have made snacks like Pav Bhaji, Chat, Vada Pav so famous. It got its due here and became quite famous with all the street food lovers.
Don't miss it if you are anywhere there.

Anyways one advantage it is not as famous as the Pav bhaji that anyone will know to make and so this can be "your" introduction to any small party, gathering meet that you are having and trust me "No one can steal your thunder" on this one :)

The recipe follows. I have to say it is a little cumbersome but the praises you will get..well worth it!!

Ingredients:

For the Dabeli Masala

• 2 tbsp Oil
• 2 tbsp Butter
• 3 - Onion
• 3 tbsp Dabeli Masala Powder
• 2- Tomatoes
• Salt to taste
• 3-4 Potatoes Boiled
• 1 tsp Sugar
• 2 tsp Lemon Juice

For Garnish:
• 1 cup Spicy Peanuts( I took the non spicy variety)
• 1/2 Cup Corainder Leaves finely chopped
• 1 cup Nylon Sev
• 1 cup Pomegranate Seeds
• 1/2 cup Chopped Onions


For the Bread:

Any Pav Bun will suffice. Ensure that it is soft and fresh. You will have to split the bun into half just until the end and not completely. This should form a kind of a pocket for us to smear all the masalas.

Method for the Dabeli Masala:

  1. Take the oil and butter in a wok.
  2. Once it is hot add the onion and fry for some time.
  3. Now add the Dabeli Masala (1 tbsp) and saute some more.
  4. Once it is well mixed add the Tomatoes and fry.
  5. Add Salt and fry till the tomatoes are soft.
  6. Once the tomatoes are done then add the boiled potatoes, 1 tbsp of Dabeli Masala and a little bit of sugar and lemon juice and sauté till well done.
  7. Transfer the ingredients into a flat plate so that you can assemble the Dabeli.



Assembling the Dabeli Masala with Garnish:

Pulse the peanuts for a couple of seconds till they are slightly crunchy at the same time are not whole anymore.

Sprinkle the peanut mixture on top of the Potato mixture.

Sprinkle freshly chopped coriander leaves on top of this mixture.

Now sprinkle the Nylon Sev on top of this mixture generously.

Finally add the Pomegrate Seeds on top of this.

Now the mixture is ready to filled into the Pav along with the chutney.




Apply a little butter onto the Pav buns till they are soft.

Now apply little bit of the Sweet chutney inside the Pav and then close it to ensure the chutney has spread evenly inside the Pav.

Now apply the Red chutney and do the same procedure as above.

Scoop a portion of the Dabeli mixture and put it inside the Pav and then add chopped onions, some coriander leaves, peanut and press the pav lightly.

Enjoy your Dabeli.

Spicy Red Chutney:

• 10 Red Chillies
• 15-20 Garlic Pods
• Lemon Juice 2 tsp
• Salt to taste
• Water to blend
Procedure: Pulse everything in a mixie till it becomes a smooth paste.

Sweet Chutney:

• Tamarind – Lemon size ball
• Sugar or Jaggery – ½ cup
• Water - 1 cup
Procedure: Simmer the tamarind and jaggery along with water till the mixture thickens. Sieve and remove the tamarind seeds and skin to get the sweet chutney.


Dabeli Masala is easily available across Maharashtra and some parts of Gujrat. It can be prepared at home and Sia in her blog has given the procedure to make the dabeli masala from scratch. Do check out her version of making this dish too..

Friday, November 6, 2009

Katori Chat - Spicy Salad in a Cup



Its been such a long time since I have got the time to post a good recipe. Something or the other keeps happening. Either I forget to take the snaps or procrastinate when to transfer the snaps from my Nikon to my laptop or too lazy to write the post, some party to attend, some party to host..whew..it just gets into you sometimes..doesn't it. Weekend Mayhem!!


How do we manage to squeeze in so much in just two days. One weekend is never enough for all the things that you plan to accomplish. Yet you eagerly wait for it and its gone in a flash and you again wait for the next one.


Anyway this recipe is long pending and many of my friend out there are eagerly waiting for me to upload it. This is called Katori Chat. Katori is nothing but a cup and chat is a spicy salad so this is nothing but a spicy salad in a cup only difference is you can eat the cup too along with your salad :)


Okay!! It does take sometime to make but this will definetely be a head turner if you make it as a starter in any party. Again I learnt this from my MIL and SIL and am thankful for thier unending support in filling this journal "Melting Pot"


You will need:


  • Green Chana or Garbanzo Beans - 1/2 cup


  • Corn -1/2 cup


  • Flour or Maida - 1 cup


  • Oil - 1 tsp and more for frying


  • Salt to taste


  • Water as required


  • Onions -2 Small


  • Green Chilli - 1or 2


  • Corainder Powder - 1/2 tsp


  • Pavbhaji Masala - 1 tsp


  • For the final garnish you will need:



  • Chopped Onions


  • Corainder leaves finely chopped


  • Curd (Thick)


  • Green Chillies


  • Tomatoes finely chopped


  • Imli ki Chutney i.e Meeti Chutney


  • Salt to taste


  • Procedure:


  • Soak Chana for at least 4-5 hrs. Boil the chana and corn. Drain and set aside.


  • Take the Maida, Oil, little salt and water and make a stiff dough.


  • Meanwhile in a wok add oil, onions, Green Chillies and fry for some time.


  • Now add the boiled chana and corn. Add salt, Coriander Powder and pav bhaji masala.


  • Set this masala aside for later use.


  • Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into the size of a poori.


  • Now take a medium katori (Stainless Steel one) and stick the rolled puri on top of the katori.


  • Deep fry this puri along with the katori. Once fried the katori will come out on its own.


  • Be very careful when doing this though.


  • Once you have all the katoris ready you can assemble the chat.


  • To make the chat put the masala into the katori, add chopped onions, tomato, coriander leaves, Green Chillies, imli ki chutney and Dahi. Add some chat masala if needed.


  • Enjoy your Katori Chat and tell me how you liked it!!!
  • Peeta - Momos Indian Style


    In my quest to collect traditional recipes from my MIL I came upon this one recipe that she really loves and used to enjoy as a child. This is a dish that can be made into a breakfast or as a snack.



    It is quite easy to make and gets my vote since this is high on the "health" quotient. It is what I call the Indian equivalent to the chinese momos or wantons.



    Without getting into too much of details here is the recipe.



    Ingredients:




    • Chana Dal (1/2 cup)


    • Rice Flour (1 cup)


    • Aesofotida or hing (A pinch)


    • Jeera (1/2 tsp)


    • Ginger Garlic Paste (1/2 tsp)


    • Green Chilli (1-2)


    • Salt (to taste)


    • Haldi (1/4 tsp)


    • Dhaniya Powder(1/2 tsp)


    • Corainder leave (2 tsp)


    Method:





    1. Soak the Dal overnight. If you can not do that soak it at least for 4-5 hrs.


    2. Remove the Dal from water and ensure the water drains out. Grind it into medium fine paste.


    3. Add hing, jeera, ginger- garlic paste, coriander leaves(finely chopped), Green chillies(finely chopped), Salt, Haldi and Dhaniya Powder.


    4. Mix it properly into a paste.


    5. Now take about 2 litres of water and bring it to a boil in a pot.


    6. Meanwhile using a little lukewarm water take the rice flour, salt make a dough.


    7. Make the dough into small balls and roll into small circles about the size of pooris.


    8. Put the paste and fold it into a semicircle and close using water at the ends. And then dip it into the boiling water. Close the lid and let it be on simmer for 5-7 mints.


    9. Once done remove it and drain the water.


    10. Enjoy it with chutney. Recipe follows.


    Chutney:



    You will need:





    • Tomato (2 Small)


    • Coriander leaves ( 1/2 bunch)


    • Green Chillies (1-2)


    • Jeera (1/2 tsp)


    • Salt (to taste)


    • Garlic (1-2cloves)


    • Mint Leaves (a few)


    Grind all the above ingredients into a fine paste. Enjoy Peeta with chutney.

    Friday, October 30, 2009

    Melt in your mouth Doughnuts



    My little one is a crazy fan of doughnuts. Our Apartment complex was having a small fair for Durga Puja and there was this do-nut guy whom my son gave continous business for those 4-5 days. Once the fair was over my son decided it was best to get mamma to make it for him.

    I was flabbergasted. I have never made them. No clue about how to make them. Non-baking recipes is not my forte as you know! But this request had to be met :)

    So I set out and googled, got some good recipes and made them. They were liked both by my hubby and my son alike!! So I want to share this simple recipe for making doughnuts.

    You will need:

  • Warm water - 1/4cup


  • Yeast - 2 1/4 tsp (1 packet)


  • Warm milk - 1/2-3/4 Cup


  • Butter - 2 tbsp


  • Sugar - 2 tbsp


  • Egg - 1


  • Wheat flour - 2-3 cups


  • Oil for Deep frying


    1. For the glaze:


    2. Powdered Sugar - 1 cup


    3. Water - 3 tbsp


    4. Butter - 2tbsp


    5. Vanilla - 2 drops


    6. Method:


    7. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside till froths.


    8. Now take the milk and add the sugar, butter and mix well.


    9. Add the egg and mix again.


    10. Now add the Wheat Flour slowly little at a time and keep mixing.


    11. If the batter is a little watery you may add some more wheat flour.


    12. Once the batter is ready let it rest in a warm place covered with a muslin cloth in a well oiled bowl.


    13. After an hour take this out and knead for a couple of minutes and using a rolling pin make a round circle of the dough. You may need to use dry flour generously before rolling in order to avoid the dough from sticking.


    14. Using a Coffee mug and a small bottle cap shape the dough in to D0ughnuts.


    15. Let them rest for another 45 minutes or so in a flat plate till they are well risen.


    16. Prepare the glaze by dissolving the sugar, water, vanilla and butter in a bowl.


    17. Now fry these in oil on medium heat, in a pan with say 2" of oil till golden brown. Drain and keep aside.


    18. Now dip one side of the doughnut into the glaze and keep aside for the glaze to set.


    19. Enjoy your doughnut with milk, coffee or tea!!
      • Cooking with Leftovers - Part 2 - Bread Pudding


        For all those vegetarians out there here is an easy and quick dessert to cook up and with leftovers. Some cold milk straight from the fridge and some stale bread is what you need to whisk this dessert. By stale I mean the last few pieces that keep lying there waiting for salvation :) not knowing whether they will end up in the dustbin or will be given away to the maid. These pieces tend to be a little harder and are best suited for this recipe.


        Without writing my usual stories this time I just want to get with the recipe for a change :)



        You will need:


        • Bread - 2-3 cups, cut into bite sized pieces

        • Cold Milk - 2-3 cups

        • Sugar - 3/4 cup

        • Raisins - A handful

        • Ghee - 2-3 tbsp

        Method:



        1. Take a pan and rest the bread pieces on the bottom of the pan.

        2. Add the cold milk on top of this bread pieces. Basically the bread peices should be completely immersed in the milk. Else you can add some more cold milk.

        3. Let the bread pieces soak in this milk for an hour or so.

        4. Now turn on the heat and let the milk simmer slowly. This may take some time and you may have to stir it once in a while.

        5. Once the bread and milk are all combined add the sugar.

        6. Keep stirring at this point in time and add the ghee.

        7. Continue stirring and ensure that the pudding does not get burnt.

        8. Finally add the raisins into the pudding.

        9. The Bread Pudding is ready to serve. Although I must say that it is better eaten cold then warm.

        An interesting thing to note that this pudding is somewhat similar to the baked version except that this does not have any eggs. Enjoy your Pudding!!

        P.S: You do not need to cut the sides of the bread.


        Sunday, October 18, 2009

        Urad Dal Laddu



        Diwali is a time when I try Indian sweets!! As you all know I am a baker at heart and do not like the no-baking sweets so much since most of them are laden with ghee or are fried.

        But during Diwali I let go of all my calorie consciousness and gorge on all the yummy sweets!! Once a year I guess its okay to indulge!!

        This year I was contemplating on what sweet to make. Last year I started this blog with the oh-so-sweet Rasgulla and it started my journey in blogosphere. This year I wanted to do something different.

        I finalized on two interesting recipes that I had never tried before. And I must say they were quite a success with my family.

        One of them is the Urad Dal Laddu. My MIL says that this laddu is traditionally made and consumed during the winter season. Since Diwali marks the onset of Winter I thought there can't be a better choice.

        Urad Dal is considered a highly nutricious among lentils and is used in combination with rice to prepare a variety of breakfast dishes like dosa, idli etc. But this recipe breaks the barrier of this lentil into the dessert arena :)

        It is an easy to make yet yummy mithai to adorn your Puja Thali..So here goes the recipe!

        You will need:

        1. 2 Cups of White Lentil/ Urad Dal(split and dehusked)
        2. Fistful of Rice
        3. 1 1/2 cup of sugar (Powdered)
        4. 1/2 cup Ghee
        5. 1/2 cup of Cashews (broken)
        6. 1/2 cup of Raisins

        Method:

        • Dry Roast the Urad Dal and the Rice till the Dal is medium brown. You can see the raosted Dal in the photo below.

        • Now cool this mixture in a plate and grind this into consistency that is not fine but not coarse. Probably like of chiroti sooji or fine semolina consistency.
        • Now take little bit of the ghee in a pan and once the ghee is hot add the broken cashews and the raisins and fry till they are brown.
        • Switch off the gas and remove the cashew and raisins from the pan into a plate. You may coarsely grind this so it can incorporated into the laddu easily.
        • Now in this pan add the urad dal and rice mixture. Add the powdered sugar and the rest of the ghee.
        • Finally add the cashews and raisins and mix well with hand.
        • Try taking fistful of this mixture and test if you can make a round ball out of it.
        • If you can then make laddus of the same size. If you can't you may need to add some more ghee.
        • Once all the laddus are done you need to store it in air tight containers for them to last for a long time. Enjoy!!

        This is my first time making laddus with help from my MIL of course who has the patience to answer all my crazy questions and thanks to her I guess I have to a certain extent mastered the trick to make laddus!

        Saturday, October 17, 2009

        Dual Celebrations - Festival of lights & First Birthday of my Blog


        Happy Diwali to one and all!! May this year bring you closer to achieving your dreams :)

        Diwali is all about celebrating with family and friends
        Over crackers and
        On shopping for gold and silver
        On decorating the home with flowers and rangoli
        On lighting up your home with little diyas
        On making homemade goodies with your family...

        Talking about which I just completed celebrating Diwali with my family. It was amazing. They say reaching a destination is not half as good as the journey itself.

        It holds so good when it comes to preparing for Diwali. It literally tires you out. But once the puja is done and the house is sound asleep the only thing that I can remember is not the Puja itself but the painstaking flower rangoli that we manage to come up with every year, the night out to make those mithais and namkeen that are needed for the Puja..The list is endless..

        I do not want to post any recipe tonight since I am really tired, but just want to wish everyone out there a great year ahead!!

        Although my next post will have the details of the mithai that I made along with my MIL!!!

        Oh!! and also I am so excited to have been completed one year of successful food blogging and am thrilled!! Dual celebrations indeed!!

        Sunday, October 11, 2009

        Amla Pickle



        I have now officially graduated to make more sophisticated stuff that moms are famous for!! I made some pickle and surprise, surprise. It did come out very well to my amusement!


        It all started during lunch time when S had got some homemade andhra style amla pickle made by her aunt. I was smitten!! I told her to give me the recipe and she promised to do so. Little did she know how much adament I am when it comes to getting hold of traditional recipes :) When she was visiting her hometown I called her and got the recipe thanks to her co-operative aunt who told all the little details.


        Next stop was the Supermarket and I was all set. I was warned that this is not the season to make pickle but determined I was!!


        Amla or Hogplum or the Indian Gooseberry is an amazing fruit with extraordinary benefits. You can read all about it here. This pickle made of Amla is very easy to make and tastes so good.


        You will need:




        • Amla - 1 kg


        • Groundnut Oil - 1 1/2 cup (for frying)


        • Groundnut Oil - 1/2 cup (for tempering)


        • Salt - 4-5 tbsp


        • Chilli Powder - 4 tbsp


        • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tbsp


        • Tamarind - 1 ball the of meduim apple


        • Mustard Seed - 2 tbsp (tempering)


        • Jeera - 1 tbsp


        • Methi or Fenugreek Seeds and Mustard seeds- 1 tbsp each (Dry Roast)


        • Chana Dal - 2 tbsp


        • Water 2 cups


        • Garlic - 4 whole (peeled and minced roughly)


        Method





        1. Cut and de-seed the Amla.


        2. Dry it in the sun for about a couple of hours till the moisture has been removed.


        3. Dry roast the methi and mustard. Once done, cool it and powder it. Set aside for later use.


        4. Heat the groundnut oil for frying and fry the amla for 5-10 min till Amla is brown.


        5. Strain and cool the Amla.


        6. Take salt and haldi in 1 cup of water and bring it to boil. Once bubbly, simmer it for about 5 -10 minutes. Set aside to cool.


        7. Take the tamarind and bring it to boil in 1 cup water, simmering when the mixture thickens, for about 10 minutes. Cool it.


        8. Once the tamarind paste is cooled extract the paste through a sieve removing any seeds impurities. Set aside.


        9. Now add the tamarind paste and the salt-haldi mixture in a dry bowl. Add the chilli powder, Amla and the raosted and ground methi-mustard seed powder. Mix well with a dry spatula.


        10. For the tempering, heat the oil. Add Jeera, Mustard, Chana Dal and Garlic and fry till the spices and garlic are well browned.


        11. Cool this mixture and then add it to the amla mixture.


        12. Transfer the amla pickle into an air tight container.


        13. If you find that the pickle is dry, add some oil (boiled and cooled) to the mixture.


        14. Enjoy your pickle with Rice or Rotis!!


        P.S: Mine didn't last for a long since it got over :) I am making some more right now!!!

        Sunday, September 27, 2009

        Daring Bakers Challenge Sep 09 - Vol-au-Vents filled with mushrooms and cream


        The September 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Steph of A Whisk and a Spoon. She chose the French treat, Vols-au-Vent based on the Puff Pastry recipe by Michel Richard from the cookbook Baking With Julia by Dorie Greenspan.

        The thought that I could make this was too difficult for me to digest. But I must say it was an exhilarating experience. The puff pastry sheet that is used to make so many things is something that requires lot of time and patience. So I take this post to salute all the bakers out there who work day in day out on these pastry sheets so we can get these mouthwatering pastries. Seriously it is their labor makes this so light (not on calories :) )and airy that we hardly take a few minutes to gobble :)


        Of all the things that I like made out of pastry sheet I would best relate to "Khari biscuit". This is a Indian version of puff pastry that is made using flour and margarine available widely in Maharashtra and some parts of Karnataka. It is found in most of the bakeries and is usually had with Indian Masala Chai. To enjoy it you need to actually dunk it into the hot Chai and then bite into it. It is yummy!!


        When I saw the challenge I thought that I will definitely bake the pastry sheets just like that which is how they bake the Khari Biscuit. They did come out well and I must say I surprised myself since they did "puff" quite a lot.

        Now after that my second attempt was to make the vol -au-vent. I must say I am more then satisfied with this third entry DB event. My hubby liked them a lot.

        I made a filling of mashed potatoes and stir fried mushrooms in cream with parsley and chives, garnished with grated carrots and fried cashews.


        I know what a combination! But it came out to be really yummy. In fact with the rest of the pastry sheet I made puffs as they are called in India. These are pastries filled with sweet of savory filling.

        Forming and Baking the Vols-au-Vent

        You will need:-


        • Well-chilled puff pastry dough

        • Egg wash (1 egg or yolk beaten with a small amount of water) I used milk instead

        • Filling of choice

        Method:


        Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.


        Using a knife or metal bench scraper, divided your chilled puff pastry dough into three equal pieces.


        Work with one piece of the dough, and leave the rest wrapped and chilled. (If you are looking to make more vols-au-vent than the yield stated above, you can roll and cut the remaining two pieces of dough as well…if not, then leave refrigerated for the time being or prepare it for longer-term freezer storage.)


        On a lightly floured surface, roll the piece of dough into a rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4-inch (3-6 mm) thick. Transfer it to the baking sheet and refrigerate for about 10 minutes before proceeding with the cutting. (This assumes you will be using round cutters, but if you do not have them, it is possible to cut square vols-au-vents using a sharp chef’s knife.)


        For smaller, hors d'oeuvre sized vols-au-vent, use a 1.5” round cutter to cut out 8-10 circles. For larger sized vols-au-vent, fit for a main course or dessert, use a 4” cutter to cut out about 4 circles.


        Make clean, sharp cuts and try not to twist your cutters back and forth or drag your knife through the dough. Half of these rounds will be for the bases, and the other half will be for the sides. (Save any scrap by stacking—not wadding up—the pieces…they can be re-rolled and used if you need extra dough. If you do need to re-roll scrap to get enough disks, be sure to use any rounds cut from it for the bases, not the ring-shaped sides.)


        Using a ¾-inch cutter for small vols-au-vent, or a 2- to 2.5-inch round cutter for large, cut centers from half of the rounds to make rings. These rings will become the sides of the vols-au-vent, while the solid disks will be the bottoms. You can either save the center cut-outs to bake off as little “caps” for you vols-au-vent, or put them in the scrap pile.

        Dock the solid bottom rounds with a fork (prick them lightly, making sure not to go all the way through the pastry) and lightly brush them with egg wash. Place the rings directly on top of the bottom rounds and very lightly press them to adhere. Brush the top rings lightly with egg wash, trying not to drip any down the sides (which may inhibit rise). If you are using the little “caps,” dock and egg wash them as well.

        Refrigerate the assembled vols-au-vent on the lined baking sheet while you pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). (You could also cover and refrigerate them for a few hours at this point.)


        Once the oven is heated, remove the sheet from the refrigerator and place a silicon baking mat (preferred because of its weight) or another sheet of parchment over top of the shells. This will help them rise evenly.


        Bake the shells until they have risen and begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes depending on their size. Reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF (180ºC), and remove the silicon mat or parchment sheet from the top of the vols-au-vent.


        If the centers have risen up inside the vols-au-vent, you can gently press them down. Continue baking (with no sheet on top) until the layers are golden, about 15-20 minutes more. (If you are baking the center “caps” they will likely be finished well ahead of the shells, so keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when browned.)


        Remove to a rack to cool. Cool to room temperature for cold fillings or to warm for hot fillings.
        Fill and serve.


        Michel Richard’s Puff Pastry Dough
        From: Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan


        Yield: 2-1/2 pounds dough


        Note: This recipe makes more than you will need for the quantity of vols-au-vent stated above. While I encourage you to make the full recipe of puff pastry, as extra dough freezes well, you can halve it successfully if you’d rather not have much leftover.



        There is a wonderful on-line video from the PBS show “Baking with Julia” that accompanies the book. In it, Michel Richard and Julia Child demonstrate making puff pastry dough (although they go on to use it in other applications). They do seem to give slightly different ingredient measurements verbally than the ones in the book…I listed the recipe as it appears printed in the book. http://video.pbs.org/video/1174110297/search/Pastry



        Ingredients:



        • 2-1/2 cups (12.2 oz/ 354 g) unbleached all-purpose flour

        • 1-1/4 cups (5.0 oz/ 142 g) cake flour

        • 1 tbsp. salt (you can cut this by half for a less salty dough or for sweet preparations)

        • 1-1/4 cups (10 fl oz/ 300 ml) ice water

        • 1 pound (16 oz/ 454 g) very cold unsalted butter

        • Plus extra flour for dusting work surface

        Mixing the Dough:



        Check the capacity of your food processor before you start. If it cannot hold the full quantity of ingredients, make the dough into two batches and combine them.



        Put the all-purpose flour, cake flour, and salt in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse a couple of times just to mix. Add the water all at once, pulsing until the dough forms a ball on the blade. The dough will be very moist and pliable and will hold together when squeezed between your fingers. (Actually, it will feel like Play-Doh.)



        Remove the dough from the machine, form it into a ball, with a small sharp knife, slash the top in a tic-tac-toe pattern.


        Wrap the dough in a damp towel and refrigerate for about 5 minutes.



        Meanwhile, place the butter between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and beat it with a rolling pin until it flattens into a square that's about 1" thick. Take care that the butter remains cool and firm: if it has softened or become oily, chill it before continuing.



        Incorporating the Butter:



        Unwrap the dough and place it on a work surface dusted with all-purpose flour (A cool piece of marble is the ideal surface for puff pastry) with your rolling pin (preferably a French rolling pin without handles), press on the dough to flatten it and then roll it into a 10" square.


        Keep the top and bottom of the dough well floured to prevent sticking and lift the dough and move it around frequently. Starting from the center of the square, roll out over each corner to create a thick center pad with "ears," or flaps.


        Place the cold butter in the middle of the dough and fold the ears over the butter, stretching them as needed so that they overlap slightly and encase the butter completely. (If you have to stretch the dough, stretch it from all over; don't just pull the ends) you should now have a package that is 8" square.


        To make great puff pastry, it is important to keep the dough cold at all times. There are specified times for chilling the dough, but if your room is warm, or you work slowly, or you find that for no particular reason the butter starts to ooze out of the pastry, cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it . You can stop at any point in the process and continue at your convenience or when the dough is properly chilled.


        Making the Turns:


        Gently but firmly press the rolling pin against the top and bottom edges of the square (this will help keep it square).


        Then, keeping the work surface and the top of the dough well floured to prevent sticking, roll the dough into a rectangle that is three times as long as the square you started with, about 24" (don't worry about the width of the rectangle: if you get the 24", everything else will work itself out.)


        With this first roll, it is particularly important that the butter be rolled evenly along the length and width of the rectangle; check when you start rolling that the butter is moving along well, and roll a bit harder or more evenly, if necessary, to get a smooth, even dough-butter sandwich (use your arm-strength!).


        With a pastry brush, brush off the excess flour from the top of the dough, and fold the rectangle up from the bottom and down from the top in thirds, like a business letter, brushing off the excess flour. You have completed one turn.


        Rotate the dough so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Repeat the rolling and folding process, rolling the dough to a length of 24" and then folding it in thirds. This is the second turn.


        Chilling the Dough:


        If the dough is still cool and no butter is oozing out, you can give the dough another two turns now. If the condition of the dough is iffy, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes. Each time you refrigerate the dough, mark the number of turns you've completed by indenting the dough with your fingertips. It is best to refrigerate the dough for 30 to 60 minutes between each set of two turns.


        The total number of turns needed is six. If you prefer, you can give the dough just four turns now, chill it overnight, and do the last two turns the next day. Puff pastry is extremely flexible in this regard. However, no matter how you arrange your schedule, you should plan to chill the dough for at least an hour before cutting or shaping it.



        The filling:



        • 1 cup Milk

        • 4 tbsp of Cream

        • 8-10 Button Mushrooms

        • 1 tbsp dried Chives

        • 1 tbsp dried Parsley

        • 1 Mashed Potato

        • 1 tbsp of Butter

        • 4 tbsp of grated carrot

        • 1 tsp of lime juice

        • 2 tbsp of cashews lightly sauteed in butter till browned

        • 1 tbsp of cornflour

        • Salt and Pepper to taste

        Garnish: Cucumber cubed, Tomatoes de-seeded and diced, Onions chopped, mint leaves


        Method:



        1. Melt the butter and saute the mushrooms till done. Add the parsley and chives and fry for some more time.

        2. Now add 3/4 of the milk and let them cook for a minute or so.

        3. Add the cream and let it simmer for a while. Add the salt and pepper.

        4. Add the cornflour into 1/4 cup of cold milk and mix well.

        5. Now slowly add this milk and keep stirring.

        6. Once the mixture thickens turn off the heat.

        7. Add the mashed potato and grated carrots and lime juice.

        8. Once cooled scoop it into the baked Vol-au-vent shells and top with the cashews. Cashews give a certain crunchiness which beats the meaty taste of mushrooms.

        9. Warm it in the oven before serving with the suggested garnish. Enjoy!!

        Saturday, September 26, 2009

        Cooking with Leftovers- Part 1 - Dal Parata - Unleavened Bread made of Lentil and Wholewheat

        What do you do with the leftovers?


        It is a question that every woman is constantly needs to ponder on before pushing it into the fridge saying "Oh well, Ill eat it tomorrow" and sometimes the tomorrow never comes :)


        As always these leftovers then come out as a part of the weekly or fortnightly fridge cleanup and are usually thrown. Aren't you giving me that smile now.. okay..may be there are some of you who really utilize leftovers effectively. I personally try my level best but do sometimes end up the way I explained above.


        Now I thought I will start a series of sort. You know what I mean where I will post some recipe that can be made from leftovers. This is the first in the series and I do promise to continue this.


        Okay, now just a note before I start for all the mothers out there who constantly try to ensure that their kids have "Dal". I know it can be very difficult. So even though this post is about leftover for all those who have children complaining of "No Dal Mom" this is a great way of giving them their daily dose of proteins without them knowing :) Ready to go into the Lunch Box!




        I am talking about masking cooked lentils i.e the Dal into the whole wheat rotis or paratas that you prepare. You can use any Dal that is leftover. It could be Masoor Dal or the Red Lentils, Toor Dal or Yellow Lentils or Moong Dal.


        You will need:
        • Left over Dal -1 Cup
        • Whole Wheat Flour - 2 cups
        • Salt
        • Oil - 1/2 tsp
        • Water - 1/2 Cup approx (to knead the dough)

        Method:

        1. Take the dal and the Flour into a wide bowl.
        2. Add Salt and slowly add water little by little kneading the dough by hand. That's how we traditionally do it here in India. You can use a Food Processor /Kitchen Aid.
        3. Knead for some time till you get soft pliable dough. Adjust the water based the dough consistency. It needs to soft to touch. At the same the dough should not stick to your hand.
        4. At this point you can either add a few drops of oil and knead some more till you get a soft dough.
        5. Once done let it rest for some time.
        6. Take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a ball.
        7. Flatten it on some flour and then using a rolling pin roll into a neat round.
        8. Heat the Griddle or Tawa and once it is hot put the roti on the tawa and fry on both the side using oil of your choice.

        Alternatives:

        1. You can fill this roti with mashed potatoes seasoned with some salt and make it into a stuffed parata as you see in the picture above. Enjoy!!

        Friday, September 18, 2009

        Almond Date Cake (Eggless)



        Finally it has arrived!! Egg less baking in my blog. For all my dear vegetarians who have been patiently waiting to this day thank you so so much.

        I will be posting cooking tips to all my previous recipes which had eggs as to how they can be prepared without eggs. As you know this blog consists of recipes that are tried and tested. A dear friend A has taken the pains to convert many of my recipes into egg less versions and she claims that they taste as good as the ones with egg.

        The first in this list is the now famous Moist orange cake that can be now prepared without egg. You will find the updated post here!

        Okay now back to the main post. Hmm..Where should I start. I remember this one colleague of mine S who always used to ask for egg less cakes whenever I used to take my baked goodies to the office. She was very patient since it has been close to a year and I never ever tried egg less baking even once.

        The main reason that I used to stay away from egg less cake it in order to substitute the egg (which to a certain extent I do consider extremely healthy no offence) the egg less version used loads of butter, cream etc. etc.

        My search for a healthier egg less versions has taken me to a number of sites, places, people but none of the recipe got me so intrigued that I immediately wanted to bake it. Till I chanced upon this amazing post by Shilpa called Date Cake @ Aayis Recipes

        I have changed the ingredients to suit my taste. So here goes the recipe:

        You will need:
        • 20 Dates (I used Lion Dates)
        • 1 Cup Wholewheat Atta (I used Ashirwad)
        • 1/2 Sugar
        • 3/4 Cup Milk
        • 1 tsp Baking Soda
        • A pinch of salt
        • 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
        • 1 tbsp of vinegar
        • 1 fistful almonds (powdered roughly)

        Method:

        1. Pre-heat the oven to 160 deg.
        2. The dates should be soft enough to be ground into a fine paste. If not you may need to soak it overnight. I used the "Lion" brand of dates that are extremely soft and de-seeding them took 5 minutes hardly.
        3. Grind the dates, milk and sugar into a fine paste. Add the oil, vinegar and set aside.
        4. Sift the Wheat flour along with the Baking Soda and salt. Twice is very good if possible.
        5. Now just add this into the date paste and mix with a spatula carefully little by little.
        6. Add the almonds and mix into the batter carefully.
        7. Once well mixed pour it into an oiled baking tin and bake for about 25-30 minutes. The time may vary depending upon your oven.
        8. Check if your cake is done by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake.
        9. Enjoy your egg less cake with your favorite ice cream.


        P.S: I found that this cake is a little fudgy and dense may be because of non-existence of egg, may be due to the dates. Nevertheless it was yummy!!Eggitarians try baking it with an egg and omit the vinegar, use 1/2 tsp of Baking Soda.









        Saturday, September 12, 2009

        Punjabi Dal Makhani - Maa Di Dal - Black Lentils Cooked in Creamy Gravy


        It was a lazy afternoon and I was browsing for some good shows to watch. That is when I happened to watch this Madhur Jaffery’s cookery show where she was visiting Amritsar. I was totally glued and for the next hour or so I thoroughly enjoyed the way she enthralled the viewers by showing the real Punjabi cuisine visiting houses, colleges, gurdwaras and even a river bank to cook up some scrumptious dishes..

        One such dish caught my attention for the simplicity in which she portrayed it. That was the Maa di Dal or Dal Makhani that was served as a part of the Langar at the Gurudwaras.

        Langar is the term used in the Sikh religion for the free, vegetarian-only food served in a Gurudwara. Langar is a community meal that is open to all irrespective of caste or creed.

        This simple meal is prepared by hundreds of volunteers, consists of mounds of Roti or unleavened Bread and Dal or creamy legume based side dish to go with the Bread.

        It is a simple recipe but is so delicious to make. For once you may need to forego the calorie calculator and enjoy this yummy dish with bread of your choice.

        You will need:


        • Black Lentils or Ural Dal (whole) - 1 Cup

        • Rajma or Red Kidney Beans-1/2 Cup

        • Tomatoes -3 Medium, finely chopped

        • Garam Masala- 1 tsp

        • Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 1 tsp

        • Garlic Minced - 2 tsp

        • Ginger Minced - 2 tsp

        • Onion finely chopped -1 Medium

        • Salt to taste

        • Ghee - 1 tbsp

        • Fresh Cream -1 tbsp

        • A dollop of Butter

        Method:


        1. Wash the Dal and Rajma and soak it overnight.

        2. The next morning change the water, add some salt and pressure cook the Dal and Rajma.

        3. Once the dal gets cooked well, add the tomatoes, Garlic, Ginger, butter and 1/2 tsp of the chilli powder and let it cook for some time till the tomoatoes are well cooked.

        4. At this point in time add the fresh cream, salt and the Garam Masala and let it simmer for a while.

        5. Now take the Ghee in a small pan for tempering. Once it is hot enough add the chopped onions and fry till the onions are brown. Add the rest of the chilli powder (1/2 tsp) and then add this tempering into the simmering dal.

        6. Close the lid and switch off the flame. At this point the dal would have attained the creamy thickeness desired. If it too thick you may add a little water though.

        7. Serve the dal with Roti or Nan. Try it when you have guests to impress ;-) Enjoy!!


        Friday, September 4, 2009

        Chana Masala -Garbanzo Beans-Chick Peas-Indian Style

        Susan, a lovely blogger and splendid photographer behind the delightful blog called The Well Seasoned Cook and Sia from the amazing blog called Monsoon Spice have invited bloggers to participate in this event called "My Legume Love Affair-Fifteenth Helping"

        MLLA15Logo375
        I choose the so-so famous "Chana Masala". It is one of those dish that you will find in all the North Indian restaurant menus as well as in most of the North Indian weddings, parties and gathering.

        Even though it is a famous dish there is so much mystery surrounding what goes into this dish.
        That is because there are so many different ways of making this dish given the amount of diversities that we have within North Indian cuisine.

        I have simplified this dish to a great possible extent and I am sure as you read this post you may be tempted to try it. The twist here is I have added some boiled chickpeas to the ground masalas to give the thickness or creaminess that is so important to this gravy at the same time ensuring that the calorie factor is very low unlike using dry fruits or heavy cream to get the same creaminess.

        This dish is:


      • Easy to make
      • Quick to make
      • Uses less ingredients
      • Healthier

        Now to speak a little more on the legume in the limelight the Kabuli Chana or the Chick Peas or Garbanzo Beans as it is called world over is used to make so many amazing dishes world wide. It is definitely the most versatile in the legume family. Apart from the Chana Masala that is made in India the one dish made out with this that I love is the Hummus that is made in the Middle eastern Cuisine.
      • Now moving back to our "Chana Masala" the Ingredients are very simple:

      • Chick Peas – 1 ½ cup (soaked overnight)
      • Garlic Pods – 4-6
      • Ginger – 2” piece
      • Tomato Puree - 3 Tbsp (Can be replaced by 1 Medium sized Tomato)
      • Onion – 2 Medium sized
      • Turmeric Powder or Haldi – 1 tsp
      • Coriander Powder or Dhania -2 tsp
      • Kashmiri Chili Powder or Cayenne Pepper – 1 tsp
      • Salt - to taste
      • Garam Masala – 1 tsp
      • Oil – 2 tbsp
      • Coriander or Cilantro Leaves for Garnish

        The Method:
        1. Add salt to the soaked Chick Peas and cook them till they done.
        2. Take half cup of this cooked chick peas and reserve the rest of the Chick peas along with the water aside for later use.
        3. Now chop the onions roughly into four pieces.
        4. Add the half cup of cooked chick peas, onion, garlic, ginger and grind into a fine paste.
        5. Take the oil in a wok and when it is hot enough add this paste.
        6. Fry this paste till the paste turns into a light brown color. This may take 15-20 minutes and does require constant monitoring.
        7. Now add the Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt, Chili Powder and fry for some more time.
        8. When the masalas are well incorporated in the mixture add the Tomato puree and fry for a couple of more minutes.
        9. At this point in time you will notice that the masala will give out oil and this is a good indication that it is done.
        10. Add the cooked chick peas along with the water.
        11. Stir and simmer this for some time till done. It may take 5-10 minutes. You may add more water if needed depending upon the consistency that you need.
        12. Garnish with Coriander leaves.
        13. Enjoy with Nan, Roti, Bread or Rice!!


        Tuesday, September 1, 2009

        Fish Fry - Express Indian - Party Dish

        This is my entry to another blog event that is taking place at Mad Tea Party called "Express Indian".


        I know what you may be thinking. That I am enrolling into so many events around the food blogosphere :) Why not? It is amazing.. This new hobby of mine..Blogging and sending entries to Blog events.


        Okay so much for the introduction. Now the rules of this event are that we need to come up with a party dish which needs not more than 6 ingredients and takes less then 30 minutes to make barring the time taken to chop and marinate etc..etc..you know what I mean.

        Now I have chosen a good old dish that we normally make as a starter most of the times. This is so easy to make and so so delicious.. And yes! it does fall within the event rules.


        It is the good old fish fry. I use Seer Fish, Mackerel for making this. This is the way my mom and my moms mom used to prepare this dish.

        And yes this has been a hit at all the parties that we made this. That is with the non-vegetarians!!

        Ingredients:

        • Fish -4 Pieces
        • Red Chilli Powder - 2 tsp
        • Salt - To taste
        • Hing or Aesofotida - A pinch for every piece of fish
        • Lemon Juice (1-2 tsp)
        • Oil (for shallow fry)

        Marination Time: 30 minutes

        Preparation Time: 20 minutes

        Method:

        1. Clean the fish and pat it dry using a kitchen towel or napkin. Note that the fish should be realtively dry after this and should not be leaving any water. You may need to thaw the fish well in advance if using frozen fish.
        2. Now mix the Red Chilli Powder, Salt and Aesofotida in a dry bowl.
        3. Now sprinkle the prepared mixture onto the fish and pat gently. Turn the fish onto the other side and sprinkle on the other side.
        4. Let it marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes.
        5. Now take some oil in a flat bottom pan.
        6. When the oil is just at the right temperature shallow fry the fish.
        7. Bring it a simmer and let it fry in low heat turning when necessary.
        8. When completely done remove from the pan and transfer it onto a plate.
        9. Garnish with a few drops of lemon juice and your fish is ready to be served at your party. Enjoy!

        P.S:

        1. For all those who make this, try having this with Rice and Plain Dal. It is an amazing combination.

        2. For all the vegetarians who have managed to read so far (I know I have many of them out there) thanks for bearing with me on this one :). A tip is you can make the same thing with any vegetables such as Brinjal, Potato, Raw Jack Fruit etc. Only thing is you may need to add a little bit of Rice flour and water to coat the batter onto the vegetable.

        Thursday, August 27, 2009

        Dobos Torte - Daring Bakers Challenge - Aug 09



        This is my second entry to the Daring Bakers Challenge and it has been an exciting journey so far and I do want to continue participating.


        The August 2009 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar and Lorraine of Not Quite Nigella. They chose the spectacular DobosTorte based on a recipe from Rick Rodgers' cookbook Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caffés of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague.


        Dobos torte is a famous Hungarian cake, famous also in Slovakia, invented by and named after a well-known Hungarian confectioner, József C. Dobos (1847-1924) in 1884. It is a five-layer sponge cake, layered with chocolate butter cream and topped with thin caramel slices. The sides of the cake are sometimes coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts or almonds but the original cake is without coat, since it was a slice of a big cake. Dobos's aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries, in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The caramel topping helps keep the cake from drying out. The cake is also often called 'Dobos-torta' or 'Dobostorta'. Source: Wikipedia


        This is an amazing dessert to present for a gathering, party or just on a special occasion. I have tweaked this recipe based on my comfort infact made it much easier.



        Cake:
        · 6 eggs, separate yolks from whites
        · 2/3 cup sugar
        · 1 tsp vanilla essence
        · 2/3 cup Whole Wheat flour + 1 tbsp
        Chocolate ButterCream:
        · 1 cup sugar
        · 2 tsp water
        · 1 cup butter
        · 3 tbsp cocoa powder
        Caramel :
        · 2/3 cup Sugar
        · 1 tsp of sugar
        · 1 tsp water





        Method:

      • Beat the egg yolk and set it aside.

      • Now beat the egg white along with the 1 tbsp of Wheat Flour.

      • Now add the sugar (Powdered) into the egg white mixture till stiff.

      • Slowly incorporate the egg yolk mixture into the egg white mixture.

      • Add the vanilla essence.

      • Pour this mixture into a flat baking tray in a thin layer.

      • Bake it in a preheated oven (150 Deg C) for about 8-10 minutes. You can use butter paper for better results.

      • Now prepare the chocolate buttercream by melting the butter, water and the sugar together. Once they melt let cool and then add the cocoa powder and combine to a smooth consistency.

      • The cake needs to sandwiched between a layer of this chocolate buttercream.

      • Now reserve the top most layer of the cake since this needs to have the carmel topping. You may need to cut in trainagular shapes and arrange it on a flat tray.

      • Caramlize the sugar with a tsp or two of water on medium heat. You may need to add a few drops of lemon juice to stop the sugar from crystallizing.

      • Now when the sugar is caramelized this mixture needs to be poured on to the top most layer.

      • You can serve the cake immediately or may be keep it in the refrigerator for sometime before serving it.
      • Sunday, August 23, 2009

        Modak - Food of Gods


        Today we celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi or Chavati with great love and devotion towards the most intellectual of Gods among the Hindu Gods and Godesses.

        Now everyone makes different types of sweets to entice him and each part of India has a special sweetmeat made for him. For he is supposed to be one great foodie among all the gods :)
        As kids we used to wait for this day and would enjoy it thouroughly and feast on all the delicacies made by our aunts and grandmas.

        In Western India there are mainly two sweets prepared as an offering. One bieng Appo and the other being Modak.

        Appo is more like the Indian version of the Danish Æbleskiver made with Wheat Flour, Jaggery, Coconut and Cardomom. I will post the recipe to make this soon. Oh! there is a savoury version of this Appo too but that is made for breakfast and not for offering.

        I usually prepare Modak as offering. So that is the story behind this blog post.

        Now there many different variants for preparing modak. One is the steamed version prepared with rice flour and the other is the deep fried version which is what I made this time.

        The ingredients are as follows:


        • Wheat Flour - 1 1/2 Cup
        • Chiroti Sooji (Semolina) - 1/2 Cup
        • Grated Coconut - 1 cup
        • Jaggery - 3/4 Cup
        • Cardomom - 1 pod powdered
        • Clarified Butter or Ghee - 1 tbsp
        • Water - 1/2 cup
        • Cashewnuts -5-6
        • Raisins -10-12
        • Oil for frying

        Method:

        1. Mix the Wheat Flour and the Semolina along with water and make a stiff dough.
        2. Add some oil to this and knead till it is pliable dough. Set aside.
        3. Now take the Ghee in a wok and one it is how add the coconut, Jaggery and the cardomom mixture to this and fry till the jaggery melts.
        4. This may take a while. Once done add the broken cashewnuts and raisins and mix well.
        5. Turn off the heat and let this mixture cool.
        6. Now take a small portion of the dough and roll it into a poori. Basically you need to get the round shape which will fit in your palm.
        7. Take a little bit of the coconut mixture and keep it right in the middle and now seal the ends by pulling the edges towards you. The photograph above may help you decipher that.
        8. Once done you will need to take oil in a wok and once the oil is hot enough fry these modaks in oil till they are light brown.
        9. Modaks are ready to be served or offered.

        P.S:

        Kids really love this. Try it ;-)

        Friday, August 7, 2009

        Peanut Butter Cookies

        I found that preschoolers have a keen sense of what is new, always relate the adverts with stuff on sale on the supermarket shelf.

        In fact even though they are all in the process of learning to read, anything that has "Free" written on it gets their attention first and they are bent upon convincing us to buy these freebies. Again I blame all the ads for their liberal use of "Free" for this phenomenon.

        Now one such item that came up in recent time was the introduction of peanut butter by a very popular oil brand. The advert showed a child with lot of strength enough to pull huge table. Okay so much for that. Now this is the precursor. Since this kind of prompted by son to get me into buying this thing.

        We ended up buying it and after a couple of weeks into it I found he just got over this advert and his interest to eat it as well. Sadly it was only available in medium jar only leaving me with lot of peanut butter to eat. As I am not one of those gifted with amazing metabolism I was not keen on having it anyway and thought of various alternatives that can be possible.

        That's when I came across these cookies. I have tweaked the original recipe slightly. This cookie I found to be more of a cross between the granola bar and the normal cookie. It is healthy, tasty and chewy. My son unknowingly had to have it anyways and he did enjoy having them.
        Now for the ingredients:

        o 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
        o 1/2 tsp baking powder
        o 1/2 tsp baking soda
        o 1/4 tsp salt
        o 1/2 cup Jaggery Powdered
        o 1/2 cup sugar
        o 2 tbsp Ghee
        o 1 large egg
        o 1/2 cup peanut butter
        o 1/4 cup mashed banana
        o 1 1/2 -2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
        o 1/2 Cup Raisins


        Method:

        1. Preheat the oven to a 175 Deg C.
        2. Mix all the dry ingredients first.
        3. Now one by one add the wet ingredients and fold it into the dry mixture. This can be done by a spatula and you do not need any other kitchen aid.


        4. Once done you may need to check the consistency of the batter. It should be good enough like a Puri Dough. If it is liquid add more oats or Flour. If it is very dry add a few drops of milk till it binds well.
        5. Now make it into small balls and drop them onto the baking sheet flattening it slightly.
        6. Bake it for about 10-12 minutes or till the edges are brown.
        7. These cookies I found will not be so crisp as the rest of them but will have a certain chewiness about them.
        8. Perfect as a munch. Healthy and tasty! Enjoy!


        Sunday, August 2, 2009

        Mint Tomato Chutney


        I seriously did not get any time to post leisurely as I usually do and hence this entry. This is a quick chutney that I came across sometime back and is a instant success within my family and friends.

        The ingredients are easy to find and voila there you have it!! A quick fix to "what should I be having with chapati or rice". Since it goes well with both.

        Not to mention that you can use it as a dip for any of your veg or non-veg starters. So much for its introduction.

        Now for the ingredients:

      • 1 tbsp til white (dry roasted)

      • 1 bunch of mint leaves

      • 8-10 garlic pods

      • 1-2 red chillies

      • Salt

      • Jeera (2 tsp)

      • Tomatoes (2- Medium sized)

      • A marble sized ball of tamarind or equal amount of Yogurt

      • Oil (1 tsp)

      • Method:


      • Heat oil in a wok. Add the jeera and once it splutters add the garlic pods and the Red chillies. Fry for some time.

      • Now add the washed,chopped mint leaves. Fry till they wilt. Add the tamarind into this and fry for some time.

      • Once done add the tomatoes and fry till they are cooked. That will take a few minutes. At this point in time you may add some salt. It is always advisable to add some more later after tasting the chutney.

      • Now let this mixture cool.In the meanwhile grind the dry roasted til into a fine powder.

      • Add the cooled mixture and pulse for a couple of minutes. Your Tomato mint chutney is ready
      • Monday, July 27, 2009

        Milan Cookies - Daring Bakers Challenge Jul09

        This is a special entry to the Daring Bakers Challenge for Jul 09.



        The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.




        I chose to bake the milan cookies.... it is an art to bake such amazing cookies..mine did taste amazing.. the proof was the empty box the next day.. my son actually did the honour of completing the last scrumptious bit of it..



        But it was not a picture perfect cookie I must say compared to some of the posts..Well I know most of them are from professional bakers.. And I am amateur when it comes to baking.. So with all the guts that I could gather I am posting this photo of the cookie...not exactly like the original milan cookie..but nevertheless i tried..



        The recipe that I followed is as given here


        Although I must say I did my own tweaks to it in terms of reducing all the measurement by half...since I did not want that many cookies..


        I will be revisiting this post at a later date with more details on the measurement that I used to bake this cookies since my son loved it so much.. So Long..

        Saturday, July 25, 2009

        Kashi Halwa

        Okay.. Now that I have become a regular blogger I decided to take the next step. It is a big one for me. Come to think of it a person who couldn't manage to cook forget baking a few years ago to a full blown cook cum baker (only on home grounds) plus now a blogger on food.

        This entry is very special since by this entry I am participating in my very first blog event. And it happens to be Regional cuisines of India initiated by Lakshmi

        The RCI for the month of July’09 is RCI-Udupi & Mangalorean Cuisine!

        RCI-Udupi & Mangalore

        So I have a sweet entry here literally! This is Kashi Halwa.. Seriously I have no clue why it is called so.. But it is an amazing dessert..Combine some hot Kashi Halwa with some plain Vanilla Ice cream. Mouth watering. You must try it to believe it.

        Konkani cusine forms an integral part of what is called "Mangalorean" cusine, hence this entry.
        This is one of the many desserts that is part of most of the Konkani marraiges and functions. I have tried to tweak it in my own way.

        Now for the main ingredients that is Ash Gourd. This is one of those Gourds that has high water content so you need to be very patient while grating this.

        Now for the ingredients:
        1. Ashgourd grated - 3-4 cups

        2. Sugar - 1 - 1.5 Cup

        3. Ghee or clarified Butter - 2 Tbsp

        4. Cardamom Powder - 1/2 tsp

        5. Dry Fruits for Garnishing


        Method:

        • Cut the Ashgourd into medium sized pieces and then grate them individually.

        • Once this is done, transfer the grated ashgourd into a Kadai and let it simmer till all the water evaporates.This may take a long time since this gourd does have high water content.

        • When you see that the water has evaporated add the sugar. The color of the halwa changes immediately.

        • Continue frying for some more time and then add the ghee.

        • After adding the ghee you may need to keep stirring till the halwa is done.

        • Add the cardomom powder mix well.

        • Lastly garnish with dry fruits of your choice. Ususally cashews are added since they are found in abundance along the coast of Mangalore. I have used Badam instead.

        • Enjoy your halwa as I earlier said with some good old Vanilla Ice Cream. A twist to the traditional recipe I must say. A good one at that!

        Friday, July 17, 2009

        Chicken Tikka Masala

        I truly love this dish every time I have it in a restaurant out with my family. At the same time I used to wonder how can I prepare this dish on my own? Will it turn out as good as it does outside.

        It was our anniversery that day and I wanted to make something special so I finally picked up enough courage to try this dish. I do not say it is a easy recipe to make. But if you want to try out something special for your family which is different from the usual stuff you prepare then this is something that you can try out. Have this along with home made nan and the result, trust me is fabulous..You might as well have a table set to make the set up for this to complete the picture.

        You will need the following for making the tikka:


      • 2 lbs Boneless Chicken

      • Salt (to taste)

      • 1 tsp Chilli Flakes or Chilli Powder

      • 2tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste

      • 1 tsp Coriander Powder

      • 1 tsp Jeera Powder

      • 1/2 Cup Yoghurt

      • 2 tbsp of Broken cashews (Use a rolling pin to do this)

      • 1/2 tsp Lime Juice

      • 4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

        1. For frying:


        2. 6-7 Tbsp of Vegetable Oil

          1. Procedure:



            • Clean the chicken thourougly and arrange it on to the cutting board. Cut it into cubes.

            • Transfer the chicken into a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and combine the mixture well.

            • Let it rest for at least an hour to upto four hours before use.





            • Now take some oil in a shallow bottom pan and fry the marinated chicken cubes till well browned.


            • You can alternatively use an oven to do this. Pre-heat the oven to 180 Deg Celsius. And arrange the chicken cubes on a oiled baking sheet. Pop it into th oven for about 12 - 15 minutes till the cubes are well browned. You may need to turn the cubes from one side to the other in between though. You can use this as a starter too if made in excess can work two ways. Can be added in gravy and used as starter.




            For the Masala you will need the following:


            • 2 tbsp Oil
            • 1 tbsp GInger Garlic Paste
            • 3/4 -1 Cup Tomato Puree
            • 1/2 Cup Cream
            • 1/2 tsp of Garam Masala
            • 1 tsp of Red Chilli Powder
            • 1 inch Cinnamon or Dalchini
            • 2-3 Cardomom or Elaichi
            • Salt to taste

            Procedure:

            • Heat the Oil. Splutter the Cinnamon and Elaichi in Oil.
            • Add Ginger Garlic Paste. Fry some more.
            • Add the Tomato Puree and let it simmer for a while.
            • Now add the Garam Masala and Chilli Powder and stir well.
            • When you see the oil oozing out of the corners add the cream and stir well.
            • Add the salt and simmer till the gravy looks done.
            • Now add the chicken tikka to the masala and you are done. Enjoy with Nan, Roti or plain Rice.

            Saturday, July 11, 2009

            Matar Ki Kachori

            The other day I was watching a daily soap along with my family. Though not an ardent fan of these soaps they never the less grab your attention if any one of your family member is hooked on to it.

            I didn't quite follow the story. So relied on the information given to me by my sister-in-law. It is quite natural then to look at the brighter part of the soap rather than the story itself. After all they are the ones that should be watched out for. The latest saris, jewellery..seriously i do not understand if the story is just a byproduct and main attraction is the gaudy showcase of jewellery and saris on screen..not to mention the ghastly makeup..so much for my hatred towards daily soap.

            Now coming to the point, as I was watching I heard the protagonist's dad mentioning about the amazing "matar ki kachori" that his lovely wife prepares. That kind of caught my attention since I had not had a kachori made up of green peas. My sister-in-law immediately promised that she and my mom-in-law will teach me how to make it. So goes the story of how I learnt to make this amazing kachori. This is unlike the crunchy dal ki kachori that you may have often had.

            You will need:

            For the filling:



            • 1 ½ - 2 cup green peas (thawed)

            • 8-10 cloves garlic (Crushed)

            • 1 tsp Jeera

            • A pinch of Aesofotida (Hing)

            • 2-3 Green Chillies

            • Turmeric (a little)

            • 1 tsp of Coriander of Dhania Powder

            • 1/2 tsp of Garam Masala

            • 1 Tsp of oil

            Method:



            1. Pulse the Green peas roughly in a mixer until it is almost minced.

            2. Crush garlic and green chilli in a mortar and pestle.

            3. Add this to the Green peas mixture.

            4. Heat some oil in a kadai. Put Jeera and hing.

            5. Put the green peas mixture and fry for some time.

            6. Add Turmeric, Salt and Coriander powder, garam masala powder. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

            7. Fry for a few more minutes. Don’t let the mixture dry entirely. It should be a little soft.




            Now for the Puri you need:



            • 1 ½ - 2 cup maida

            • ½ cup Atta

            • 1 tsp salt

            • ½ cup oil

            • Water


            Mix all the above ingredients and make a dough using little water. It should be a little harder then the chapatti dough. Keep aside for ½ hr before use.

            Now make small balls and fill the mixture a little at a time and then flatten the balls into a small puri either by hand or roll lightly with a rolling pin.



            Deep fry in oil.

            Serve the kachori with Dahi ki chutney and Pudina chutney.

            Pudina Chutney:



            • 1 bunch of Fresh Pudina

            • A few Coriander Leaves

            • 2 Green Chillies

            • 1/4 tsp jeera

            • Salt

            • 1/2 tsp Amchur powder

            Mix all the above ingredients into a fine paste. Your chutney is ready.



            Dahi Chutney:



            • 1/2 - 3/4 cup thick Dahi

            • 1 tsp Bhuna Jeera powder

            • 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

            • Black salt to taste

            Mix all the above ingredients into a fine paste. Your chutney is ready.



            Enjoy the Kachori with Garama Garam Chai and along with your friends and family!!

            Wednesday, June 24, 2009

            Methi Mushroom Matar Delight

            This is not a traditional recipe. But something that I came up with when I was pressed for time. This is so easy to cook and tastes so delcious. I have a good friend who when I had got this subzi in my lunch box requested me to post the recipe since she really liked it.

            I know I keep repeating that this is so easy to make. But trust me I do not like to cook dishes that take a long time to cook. Seriously. Talks apart this dish is very versatile. You can use any vegetable for your choice. Here I have used fresh button mushrooms, Green peas and fresh fenugreek leaves or methi.

            Ingredients:
            • Mustard Seeds-1 tsp
            • Red Chillies - 2
            • Vegetable Oil - 1 1/2 tsp
            • Button Mushroom - 1 packet (15-20 mushrooms)
            • Fenugreek Leaves - 1 bunch
            • Coconut paste - 1/2 cup
            • Jeera - 1 tsp
            • Green Chillies - 1-2
            • Haldi - a pinch
            • Garlic - 5 cloves
            Method:

            1. Cut each mushroom into four pieces. Wash the fenugreek leaves thoroughly in water and chop them fine.
            2. Heat vegetable oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds and red chillies.
            3. When they splutter add the mushrooms, methi and the green peas(I used frozen) and salt and stir.
            4. Close the lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
            5. Meanwhile blend coconut, green chillies, Jeera, Haldi and Garlic into a fine paste.
            6. Open the lid and add this masala and without stirring let it cook with the lid closed for 3 more minutes.
            7. Now open and stir till all the masala is blended well and then let it cook for an additional 5 more minutes.
            8. Check if the mushroom and methi are well cooked. Serve it hot with roti or nan. Enjoy.

            Friday, June 19, 2009

            Yummy easy-to-make Nan

            The whiff of freshly baked nan is so awesome!! When I made nan last time I got a compliment on this from my FIL who usually doesn't prefer any bread made out of maida. He said this is the first time he had such a great tasting nan. That is enough to keep me going for a long time now :)

            I need to share this with all my readers :) Especially the ones who wait for my easy to make recipes. Seriuosly this is so easy to make and you will love all the compliments that you will get when you serve it. One good tip is that you should be serving it with any cream based gravy items. Good combinations are palak paneer, chicken tikka masala, methi malai etc. I will be giving you a simple recipe in the next post that you can use with this Nan.

            In the meanwhile the here are the ingredients:
            • 4 cups of Maida
            • 2 tsp of Active dry Yeast
            • 1 cup Warm Water
            • 4 tbsp Dahi
            • 1 tsp Sugar
            • 1-1.5 tsp Salt
            • 2-3 tsp Oil
            • A pinch of Baking Soda
            • Butter or oil for frying

            Easy method:

            1. To start with mix the warm water and sugar and then stir in the yeast to this mixture. Let the yeast froth. This will take 3-5 minutes.
            2. In the meanwhile take the maida and mix the dahi, salt, baking soda and oil into it. Now gradually add the yeast mixture into this and make a dough. If the mixture is a little sticky you can add a few drops of oil till the dough is comes to the desired consistency.
            3. Now set this aside covered in a wet cloth in a warm, dark place to rise. After an hour remove it and knead the dough again to remove air sacs that get formed.
            4. Let it rise for the second time in the same manner. After well risen you can take it out and shape it into a ball and roll it into the desried shape. Since the dough is made of maida it is easy to strech it into a traingle shape that the nan usually are in hotels.
            5. Heat the tawa till it is really hot.
            6. Now put the nan on the tawa and let it cook on one side. Turn around and let cook on the other side. You can apply oil or butter as you turn from one side to the other.
            7. Serve hot with a blob of butter melting on top of it. Yummy isn't it..



            Alternate method:

            1. Now there is an alternative method too. This method actually imitates the tandoor in the restaurants. It is a little cumbersome compared to the previous method but will give you nice results. Try it when you have time. You will need an iron girdle for this the non-stick version will not do.
            2. Follow the instructions till step 5.
            3. Hold the nan in your palm . Now take some water and rub it on to the top surface of the nan.
            4. Note that the water shouldn't be dripping but the entire nan should be now wet.
            5. Now in one stroke put the wet end of the nan on the hot (i mean really hot) tawa.
            6. Hold the tawa and now turn it upside down directly facing the flame. Because of the water the nan would be sticking to the tawa and you will need to hold it in this fashion ensuring you cook the nan gradually, without taking it too close to the flame and mannouvering to cook entire nan slowly.
            7. At this point in time the nan will blow up slightly and when you see light brown spots come up on the entire nan you know that it is done.
            8. Now keep the tawa back on the flame and after a minute remove the nan from the tawa.
            9. The nan if cooked properly will not stick on to the tawa and comes out easily with a thin spatula.
            10. I know it sounds very complex but it isn't try it you'll not regret it :)
            11. You can also make nans in a gas tandoor if you have one following the regular instructions.
            12. Enjoy your nan with some creamy curry. In the photograph I have the nan (made this in the alternate method) beside this yum chicken tikka masala that prepared. I will post about it soon.