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


  • 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


        • 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 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


        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!!