February 05, 2014

Appam


Appam is one of A's favorites. So that was among the first few dishes I tried making when we were newly weds <3. And thanks to Divya of Easy Cooking for this easy and "made from scratch" recipe which comes out looking beautifully lacy and tasting delicious. A loves it, so do I. Here comes the recipe as it is...  


Courtesy: Easy Cooking 

Ingredients


  • Raw rice – 1 C
  • Cooked rice – ½ C
  • Grated coconut – ½ C
  • Salt to taste
  • Baking powder – 1 t
  • Sugar – 1 T
  • Eno Fruit salt – 1 sachet




Method

  • Soak the raw rice for 4-6 hours.
  • Grind to a smooth batter adding the cooked rice and grated coconut and enough water.
  • Add the baking powder and salt.
  • Mix well and keep it covered for 8-10 hours.[I keep it overnight]
  • Next morning add sugar and mix well,add more water if the batter is too thick-it has to be of pouring consistency.
  • Just before you start making the appam,add eno fruit salt to the batter.
  • The batter will froth up instantly,mix gently.
  • Heat a non stick appa chatti[appam pan] or any non stick kadai.
  • Pour a ladleful of batter into the pan when it is hot and swirl the pan in a clockwise motion spreading the batter to the sides of the pan.
  • Swirling the pan gives the appam the customary pretty lace edges and a spongy centre.
  • Close the lid and cook on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Place the appam into a plate and serve hot with Stew, kadala curry or any non-vegetarian curry.

February 03, 2014

Poori Bhaji Masala




A and me love to try new stuff but there are days when we love to indulge in some of our favorite "not so healthy" dishes. One among that is Poori Bhaji masala. A reminiscence his college days when I make this. Those were days when he used to travel from home to his college in local trains. And those trains used to sell hot and yummy Poori Bhaji masala for breakfast. Good times for sure! So here is our weekend cheat food special for you guys out there.. :) 


Poori 

Ingredients
  • Wheat flour - 2 C
  • Yogurt - a teaspoon
  • Warm Water - 1 C (as needed to prepare the dough)
  • Oil - to deep fry 



Method

  • Knead the dough (with yogurt) by gradually adding warm water. 
  • Keep aside for 10 -15 mins.
  • Roll them into small (not too thin) circles.
  • Heat oil in a pan and wait till it gets hot.
  • Test heat by dropping a lil' piece of dough into the pan, if the dough rises up instantly, it is ready.
  • Drop the pooris one by one into the hot oil.
  • Once you drop, pat the top of the poori lightly until it swells up into a ball.
  • Let the other side cook.
  • Make sure it turns into a golden color on both sides.
  • Yummy poor is are ready to be served hot.

Bhaji

Ingredients

  • Potatoes - 3
  • Onion - 1
  • Curry leaves - 1 T
  • Mustard seeds - 1⁄2 t
  • Cumin seeds - 1⁄2 t
  • Green chillies - 6
  • Turmeric powder - 1⁄2 t
  • Salt - To Taste
  • Oil - 3 Tablespoon
  • Chooped ginger - 1⁄2 t

Method
  • Pressure cook/Microwave potatoes and cut/mash them. 
  • Cut onions lengthwise and slit the green chillies. 
  • Heat oil in a pan. 
  • Add mustard seeds. 
  • When they splutter add cumin seeds.
  • Now add the curry leaves, green chillies and ginger and fry for a while. 
  • Add turmeric powder and mix it well. 
  • Add chopped onions and saute till the onions turn golden. 
  • Now add potatoes and 1/2 a cup of water. Add salt to taste. 
  • When it comes to a boil cover and cook it on a low flame for about 10 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle some lime juice on top.
  • Serve hot with puris.
Note:

I add some garlic (2 pods) at times too since we love the smell of it. You can add it along with the ginger. 

Health Fact: Garlic is good for the stomach

December 27, 2013

Super Moist Chocolate Cake



Courtesy: Marias Menu

Maria made 9 inch loaf & 10 standard size cupcakes with the below specified qty



Ingredients
  • Milk – 1½ cups
  • Butter – 100 gms (1/3 cup + 2 tbsp approx)
  • Oil – ¼ cup (I used sunflower oil)
  • Coco Powder – ½ cup ( I used Hershey’s)
  • Self Raising Flour – 1 cup (Refer notes for substitute)
  • Egg – 1 beaten, room temp
  • Baking Soda – ½ tsp (refer notes)
  • Sugar – 1 cup + 2 tbsp (250 gms)
Method


  1. Preheat the oven at 180 C/350-375 F, a few mins before baking. 
  2. Heat together milk, butter, oil & coco powder till the butter melts. Let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, sugar & beaten egg to the cooled wet ingredients. Beat it well using an electric beater or hand whisk till it is mixed well. You can either use it to make cupcakes or cake. 
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15- 20 mins for the cupcake & 25- 30 mins for the loaf cake.
  5. For cupcakes: Line your cupcake tin with paper liners (I use 2 liners per cupcake) & pour 3 tbsp of batter in each case. I’m referring to the standard size muffins here.
  6. For cake: Grease your cake tin well & line with parchment/baking paper. Pour the batter.



For Ganache:
  • Whipping cream – ½ cup
  • Baking chocolate – ¾ cup (Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips work well)
  1. Place the baking chocolate/ chocolate chips in a bowl. 
  2. Heat the whipping cream on low flame till small bubbles start appearing around the edges. 
  3. Pour the heated cream to the bowl with choc chips. 
  4. Let it rest for 5 mins. Whisk it using a manual whisk. 
  5. This will give you a liquid consistency ganache. 
  6. If you want to thicken the ganache for spreading, place the bowl on some ice & whip it. It will start thickening. 
  7. Spread the ganache on cooled cupcakes/cake.

Maria says " The original recipe calls for baking powder. But I’ve read somewhere that for chocolate cake, baking soda is good. The explanation for that is Baking soda will react with coco powder and gives a darker colour to the cake. I used castor sugar for the recipe for easy blending of ingredients. However you can use the regular sugar. Substitution for self raising flour – to get 1 cup self-raising flour, add 1½ tsp baking powder+ ¼ tsp salt to 1 cup all purpose flour. (source: http://www.joyofbaking.com/IngredientSubstitution.html)"

January 01, 2013

Egg Puffs



The thought of egg puffs brings back fond memories of my college days. The bakery near my hostel sold the tastiest puffs in the world. That too, egg puffs. An egg puff and Sharjah shake was always the popular combination at that hangout. It was just fantabulous. I was trying to recreate that aroma and taste. Though I couldn't match that taste, it was pretty close. :)


Ingredients
  • Puff pastry sheets : 1 
  • Eggs : 3 
  • Chopped onions : 2 cups
  • Ginger paste : 1 T 
  • Garlic paste : 1 T 
  • Coriander Powder : 1 t 
  • Garam masala : 2 pinch 
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 t 
  • Red chilli powder : 1 t 
  • Salt as required 
  • Oil : 3 T 


Method

Preparing
  • Thaw the pastry sheet by leaving it out in room temperature for about an hour or so. 
  • Boil the eggs and take the shell. 
  • Cut each egg vertically(lengthwise)into two halves.
For the stuffing
  • Heat oil in the pan. Fry onion until it gets brown. 
  • Then add ginger and garlic paste. Fry till its smell goes. 
  • Then add garam masala, coriander powder and red chilly powder.
  • Add egg halves, fry for 2 minutes.
  • Egg filling is ready now.
Setting everything

  • Slowly unfold the sheet and cut into 6 square pieces. 
  • Roll each piece with rolling pin to make it little thinner.
  • Put egg half in each of them along with onion Gravy, bring two corners into middle and close them with help of little water.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. 
  • Place the prepared puffs on a baking tray and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or till they turn golden brown. 

December 30, 2012

Fruit Punch


This drink is perfect to serve to guests at a party/get-together. Not only is it a refreshing drink but also a beautiful one. Really! Just look at the pics :) Dont you think so? I have to say thanks to my friends for introducing us to this drink. We had it a couple of times and fell in love with it. So when we had guests this time we thought this would be a winner. And it was.. Everybody loved it..  :)

Ingredients
  • Pina Colada non alcoholic frozen fruit mix - 1 can
  • Dacqri  (red color) - fruit/strawberry mix - 1 can 
  • Pineapple flavor fanta soda - 1
  • Ice cubes - 2 C
  • Oranges, sliced -  2
  • Mint leaves - a sprig
  • Cold Water - a cup

Method 
(Prepare the drink right before the guests come - max15 mins before)
  • Mix Pina Colada and Dacqri fruit mix in a large bowl or a beverage dispenser (as seen in the pic).
  • Add the Pineapple soda to it and mix.
  • To this, add the rest of the ingredients and give it a quick stir.
  • Close the dispenser with the lid.
  • Your fruit punch is ready to be served.

December 22, 2012

Parippu Vada (Lentil Fritters)



Ingredients

  • Chana dal (split bengal gram/kadala parippu) – 2 C
  • Onion – 1, finely chopped
  • Green chilli – 3, finely chopped
  • Ginger – 2 t, finely chopped
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Kayam (asafetida) – 1/8 t
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil for deep frying




Method
  • Wash and soak chana dal in water for 2 hours. 
  • Drain the water completely and make sure that the dal is dry.
  • Coarse grind the drained dal (do not add water) for a few seconds. Make sure not to grind it to a smooth paste. 
  • Add rest of the ingredients except oil to the ground mix and gently mix together. 
  • Make small balls with the ground mix.
  • Heat oil for deep frying pan on high flame. 
  • While the pan gets hot, flatten the balls in your palm.
  • When oil is really hot, reduce the flame to low-medium and add the vada/fritter. 
  • Fry till the vadas (fritters) become golden brown or if you like it extra crispy, fry till you get a darker shade. 
  • Drain excess oil on a tissue paper. 
  • Serve hot
Notes: Its always better to flatten the fritters just before you fry it. This will help it from getting broken.

September 06, 2012

Paneer Pizza




Ingredients

Pizza Dough: Makes enough dough for two 10-12 inch pizzas

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast (check the expiration date on the package)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Pizza 



  • Olive oil
  • Cornmeal (to slide the pizza onto the pizza stone) 

Pizza Sauce  

  • Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
  • Onion - 1/4 chopped
  • Green bell pepper - 2 T, chopped
  • Tomatoes, crushed - 10/14 Oz can
  • Italian seasoning (dried Basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano) -1 t
  • Tandoori Masala - 1 t
  • Red chilli flakes - to taste
  • Pepper - 1 t
  • Sugar - 1/4 t
  • Salt - to taste
  • Basil Leaves - Fresh

Topping

  • Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Bell peppers, stems and seeds removed, thinly sliced
  • Onions, thinly sliced
  • Cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Paneer 
  • Corn
  • Italian seasoning
  • Jalapeno peppers



 

Method

Pizza Dough
  • In a large bowl, add the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 10 mins and rise.
  • Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar and knead for about a minute.
  • Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
  • If the dough seems a little too wet, sprinkle on a bit more flour.
  • Place the dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil.
  • Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets coated with the oil.
  • Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours (or several hours longer, a longer rise will improve the flavor). 
  • If you don't have a warm spot in the house you can heat the oven to 150 degrees, and then turn off the oven. Let the oven cool till it is just a little warm, then place the bowl of dough in this warmed oven to rise.
  • If you want to make ahead, you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Pizza Sauce

  • Heat a pan with a tsp of olive oil.
  • Add the garlic, onion, bell pepper and saute for a few mins.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper and italian seasoning along with the tandoori masala, sugar and red chilli flakes.
  • Lower the heat and simmer cook for 30 mins.
  • Add water (less than 1/4 of a cup) little by little if the sauce becomes too dry while cooking.
  • Add a tsp of julienned basil leaves and mix.
  • Keep the sauce aside.

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