Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Che Chuoi

Che Chuoi or Banana Coconut Tapioca Pudding Dessert is a popular Vietnamese dessert . Last month I tried making this but used a different recipe than the one listed below.It used only coconut milk and coconut cream. Even for a person from the land of coconuts the recipe was an overdose of coconut! So this time  when I tried this I made some changes to suit me and I loved the result .But if you're someone who loves coconuts like crazy you can substitute the evaporated milk with coconut milk!
Ingredients:
Coconut cream-2 tbs
Tapioca pearls(small size)-1/4 cup
Tapioca pearls(big size)-1/4 cup
Evaporated milk-2 cups
Banana-1
Cornstarch-1tbs
Food color-Few drops
Salt -a pinch
Honey roasted peanuts-1/4 cup
Sesame seeds-1tbs
Method:
Boil 2 cups of water. Add the tapioca pearls to it.Boil it for a minute then switch off the heat source and leave it covered for 10 minutes. If you want this colorful, you can add 2 drops of food color to this.After 10 minutes bring the pearl mix to a boil again and cook for 2 more minutes and switch off the heat. Leave the vessel closed till it becomes completely translucent ;which typically will be in another 10 minutes.( I used two different sized tapioca  pearls and colored them differently and also cooked them separately. Meanwhile,  mix the coconut cream and evaporated milk and bring it to a boil. Add cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water to it and add it to the milk mix and keep stirring till it thickens. Add sugar and a pinch of salt to this. Add sliced bananas,Vanilla essence and tapioca pearls (which are drained and washed in cold water).Cook for another 3 minutes on low. Serve warm or cold garnished with peanuts and sesame seeds.

Sending this over to  AWED-Vietnam hosted by Priya, event by DK.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Yule Log


Merry Christmas to all my readers!
Today being the Christmas day, I thought of posting something Christmassey!
What better that a Yule Log -  traditionally a large wooden log which was burned in the hearth as part of the Christmas celebrations in European cultures - "Yule" meaning Christmas. Yule log has also came to be referred to log-shaped Christmas cakes - also known as chocolate logs or Buche de Noel.
Basically it is a sponge cake filled with cream and covered with chocolate frosting. I got this recipe for the sponge cake from one of my earlier collections - I don't remember which one. If any of you recognize the source, please let me know so that I can credit accordingly.
Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. cocoa
Filling
1 c.Whipping cream
1/4 c. confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
MOCHA CREAM FILLING:
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
MOCHA BUTTERCREAM FROSTING:
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup baking cocoa
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brewed coffee
2 tablespoons milk
Method:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line jelly roll pan 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1 inch with waxed paper or foil. Grease generously. Beat eggs in small bowl on high speed until thick, about 5 minutes. Pour into larger bowl. Add sugar gradually. Beat in water and vanilla on low. Add flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder gradually. Beat just until smooth. Pour into pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.
Immediately remove cake, invert onto towel that was sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil. Trim stiff edges if needed. Roll cake up with towel. Cool on cake rack, 30 minutes or more.Meanwhile beat the mocha cream filling till you get soft peaks. Unroll cake and spread with filling.In a mixing bowl, beat frosting ingredients until smooth. Frost cake. Decorate it with merigue mushrooms.
Sending this over to Bake off hosted by Champa

Eggnog

Eggnogs used to be an enigma till I came to US but once I got the recipe I realized that this is something I grew up drinking. My mum used to feed us a version of this when we were babies and had just started on other foods apart from milk.There are  lots of eggnog recipes that use raw eggs but this one uses cooked eggs and you can use alcohol or not depending upon your taste. Hence kids need not miss out on this.
Source : Allrecipes.com
Ingredients
2 cups milk
2-1/2 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Method:
Mix together milk, cloves, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat at the lowest setting for 5 minutes till the mixture comes to a boil.
In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. Whisk in hot milk mixture slowly into this. Pour  this mixture into saucepan. Cook  for about 3 minutes at medium heat, stirring continuous until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain out the cloves, and let it cool for about an hour.
Mix in  cream, 3/4 teaspoon vanilla, and powdered nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
Serving suggestions : Stir in 1-1/4 cups light rum and serve with whipped cream or stir in 1-1/4 Kahlua and serve with whipped cream or serve as it is with whipped cream. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Candy Cane Biscotti

For that last minute gift giving here is a simple but festive biscotti that will steal your hearts as well as that of the recipiants.If you're a pepper mint lover you should surely try this.
Source: Land O' Lakes
Ingredients:
1/2 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 Eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4tsp peppermint extract
Coating
1 (14-ounce) package (almond bark) vanilla candy coating
2 drops red or pink food color(optional)
1/4 tsp peppermint extract, (optional)
2/3 cup crushed peppermint candy canes, (optional)
Method:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.Mix butter and sugar in large bowl, until creamy. Add eggs; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour and baking powder; continue beating until well mixed.Add the peppermint extract and mix well.
Divide dough into fourths on lightly floured surface with lightly floured hands. Shape each into 9x1 1/2-inch logs. Place logs 3 inches apart onto lightly greased large cookie sheet.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are cracked and ends just start to turn light brown. Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Cool logs 10 minutes on cookie sheet.
 Cut into 1/2-inch slices with sharp serrated knife. Arrange pieces on same cookie sheet, cut-side down. Continue baking for 12 to 14 minutes, turning once, at about 6 minutes remove the cookies when they are lightly browned and crisp on both sides. Remove to wire cooling rack; cool completely.
Place candy coating in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until melted (5 to 7 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in food color and peppermint extract, if desired.
Dip each biscotti half way into warm coating; shake off excess. Place onto waxed paper. Immediately sprinkle with crushed candy canes, if desired. Let set at room temperature until coating is hardened (about 1 hour).
Sending this over to Bake off hosted by Champa

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sugar Cookies


My daughter was after me to make a ginger bread house for some time. I didn't have the patience for that and didn't wan't to waste food also as since my daughter would wan't to keep it till new year and by then it won't be fit to be eaten any more. So to humor her we baked these sugar cookies and frosted them. She was happy and I was too.These Sugar cookies tasted better than the store brought ones.
Source:Cookies from Annie's Eats
Ingredients:
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ tsp almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
2 ½ c. sifted flour
Method:
Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool. And for my favorite royal icing go to bake at 350.
Sending this to Bake Off

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nutty Cassava Delight


Last time I had been to the Asian grocery store I bought some Cassava or tapioca powder.Back from the shop I was wondering what to make with it as I bought it without any idea of what to use it for.Then when I was going through many of the food blogs that I usually visit for my cooking inspirations I saw Halwas in many forms from different cultures so I tweaked my maida(all purpose flour) halwa recipe and came up with this.This is an easy and tasty nutty version of Halwa. I already made this twice, that too in one week .If you guys can't find the cassava powder, you just can substitute it with maida or corn starch.
Serves:3
Ingredients:
Cassava or Tapioca powder-1/4 cup
Sugar-1 cup
Ghee-3 tbs
Cardamom-1/4 tsp
Cashewnut -1/4 cup
Almond-1/4 cup
Method:
Make a sugar syrup of one string consistency.To this add 1 tbs of ghee. Make a thin batter with cassava powder and 1/2 cup water.Add this to the sugar syrup and mix well till you get a uniform mix.I like to blend the sugar syrup and cassava batter in a blender.Tranfer this to a heavy bottom non stick pan kept at medium heat and stir well till cassava gets cooked and leaves the sides of the pan and reaches a halwa consistency.Now add the remaining ghee ,cardamom and sliced nuts.Keep stirring till it absorbs all the ghee.Transfer the halwa to individual greased ramkins or dessert bowls.Garnish with more nuts and serve.
Note:This is a transparent glass like halwa,but if you like to have color then you can add a drop of cooking color of your choice when you are mixing cassava powder to the water to make a batter.This halwa tastes good, hot or cold.
Sending this to Manjula's Kitchen December contest and Veggie Huts Winter Warmers

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mushroom Caps

Holidays are here and so are the parties.Here is an easy appetizer recipe you can whip up in no time and tastes good hot or cold.And is finger-licking good! Beware, you may need to make a large batch as you are sure to run out of it fast!
Ingredients:
Mushroom -10
Spring onion/green onion-3
Garlic-1
Mozzarella cheese-1(I use string cheese for ease of use)cut into coins
Bread crumbs-1 cup(As required)
Egg-1
Soy sauce-1/2tsp
Vegetable base-1/2tsp(optional)
Pepper and Salt-As required
Method:
Remove the stalk of the mushroom and slice the stalk into fine pieces.Cut the spring onion/green onion and garlic also into fine pieces.Heat a pan and add 1tsp oil.Add garlic and the spring onion. Saute for 20 seconds. Now add the cut mushroom stalk and saute till done.Add soy sauce,vegetable base,pepper and salt.Saute for another 2 minutes till it is dry. Now take the mushroom tops and stuff it with the filling already made.Top it or cover it with the cheese.Dip the filled mushrooms in beaten egg and roll it in bread crumbs.Place them on a greased tray and lightly coat them with oil(I use cooking oil spray).Bake them at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or till the bread crumbs turn golden brown.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Chocolate N' Almond Biscotti


Biscotti are twice baked cakes that are of Italian origin.This is so much like rusk or milk toast (which are twice baked bread), which are popular in India. I love having it as it is, whereas my daughter loves to dip it in her milk. It is said that biscotti will last for centuries if stored well,but in our house it lasts only a week as it is a hot favorite.
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup baking cocoa
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
Method:
Sieve flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cocoa and set aside.Cream sugar and butter. Add eggs and almond extract to it.Slowly mix in the dry  mixture.Don't worry if the dough is stiff. Stir in the almonds. Divide dough in half make two rectangles and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, and then slice into 1/2-inch slices.Lay slices, cut side down, on cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees, turning once during baking time.Once cooled you can drizzle some chocolate if you wish.
Sending these Biscottis as my entry for the Monthly Mingle- Chocolate Extravaganza hosted by Ria and to Bake-Off hosted by Champa

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

Last week all of us in our house was down with cold and flu and this soup was the only thing that tasted good to our sick taste buds.You should try this soup as this has all the flavors that you would love to have on a day you have a cold or on a cold day.
Ingredients:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 red bell peppers
1 can tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons paprika
1/8 teaspoon white sugar
6 cups vegetable/chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 dash hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Method:
Roast peppers(rub oil on peppers and put them under the broiler until blackened, turn to get all sides). Put into paper bag and seal. Let rest for 15 minutes, then peel will come right off and core and seeds will fall out. Chop peppers. Reserve one chopped pepper; set aside.Take the remaining peppers and the remaining ingredients except butter and heavy cream and blend well in a blender.Transfer the contents to a sauce pan and simmer for 10 minutes.Now remove the pan from the heat source and add the remaining peppers,butter and heavy cream.
Enjoy your delicious soup.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Raspberry, Chocolate and Almond Crumble


This month's SweetPunch Challenge was to make a Pear, Chocolate and Almond Crumble. As pears are not a favorite at our household, I substituted it with raspberries. It was as appealing to the eye as it was tasty - with the bright red sauce oozing out from the crumble when out from the oven. It was a nice dessert to have on cold winter night. It was a dream dessert with the warmth of the raspberry sauce, the crunchiness of the crumble with almonds and the cold vanilla ice-cream to top.

Recipe Source - http://www.lochfyne.com/Recipes/Desserts/Pear-Crumble-with-Chocolate-Chunks-and-Hazelnuts

Ingredients

1kg (4-5) ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped into 1cm pieces (Instead I used raspberries)
50g light brown soft sugar [ Can substitute with regular sugar]
Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon (I didn't use this as raspberries are already juicy and is tart enough)
100g Swiss milk chocolate, roughly chopped
(As I used raspberries, I added 3 tbsp corn flour to thicken the raspberry sauce)
For the crumble:
100g plain flour [ You could substitute this with Whole wheat flour too]
50g butter, chilled and diced
50g light brown soft sugar
50g blanched almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan and roughly chopped
Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Grease 6 ovenproof teacups or ramekins or a pie-dish.
In a medium bowl, mix together the raspberries (pears) , brown sugar, (lemon zest and juice), corn flour (if using raspberries) and half the chocolate. Divide the mixture between the teacups or ramekins, spooning over any juice.
To make the crumble, place the flour and butter in a medium bowl and, with your fingertips, rub together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, almonds and remaining chocolate.
Spoon the crumble over the pears and press down lightly. Place the crumbles on a baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with a scoop of good vanilla ice-cream.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Baked Sweet Potatoes

In our house I do a lot of baking during the winter months; the reason behind this is that I don't like using the heater.The heater always gives me a headache so I try to use it minimally.So on cold days I bake something that gets the temperature up.This method works for me because we are in California,were the temperature doesn't go so low.This is one dish that I made on  a cold rainy day to keep us warm and full.
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large sweet potatoes
2 pinches of dried oregano
2 pinches of salt
2 pinches of ground black pepper
Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat the bottom of a glass or non-stick baking dish with olive oil, just enough to coat.
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into medium size pieces. Place the cut sweet potatoes in the baking dish and turn them so that they are coated with the olive oil. Sprinkle moderately with oregano, and salt and pepper (to taste).
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 60 minutes or until soft.
Source courtesy: allrecipes.com

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Mexican Rice & Almond drink

This as the name suggests is a Mexican  drink made of rice, almonds, cinnamon, cloves and sugar.Even though the drink has a milky appearance it is completely dairy-free.I had tried instant Mexican drinks that you just have to mix in water but the real one tasted so much more better and refreshing.
Ingredients
6 tablespoons rice
6 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) blanched almonds
1 inch cinnamon stick
5 cloves
1 cup white granulated sugar

Method:
Combine the rice with the almonds, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in 2 1/4 cups hot water then cover and let the mixture stand overnight (minimally 6 hours).

Place the mixture in the blender jar and blend for at least 3 - 5 minutes until the mixture is smooth . Add 2 cups of water and blend again for just a few seconds.  Place a large sieve over a mixing bowl.  Line the sieve with 3 layers of damp cheesecloth.  Pour in the rice mixture, a little at a time and keep stirring to help the mixture go through the sieve.  Once all the liquid has passed gather the cloth together at the top, give it a twist and squeeze out any additional liquid.

Now add 2 more cups of water and stir in as much sugar as you'd like, to taste. If the mixture is too thick, add some additional water

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nacho Casserole


Here is an easy recipe to use up your tortilla chips thats taking up your cupboard space.This is so easy that a nine year old can put it together in no time and tastes restaurant style.
Ingredients:

2 cans of 15oz chili
1/2 a bag of Mission (or any brand plain)tortillas
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese or cheese of your choice
Cooking oil spray

Method:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave the chili till it's  hot and bubbly. Spray a medium-sized casserole dish with cooking oil. Make a layer of crushed tortilla chips at the bottom of the dish. Next, add half of the heated chili. Then add a layer of shredded cheese. Repeat these 3 layers: chips, chili, cheese. Make sure each layer covers the previous layer completely. When you finish with the last layer of cheese, if you desire you can garnish with a layer of peppers or tomato slices. Bake  the casserole in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes .Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pecan Pie

Happy Thanksgiving! In our house we get into the Thanksgiving mood only when we make this Pecan Pie (not that we are thankless people without it :-). This is that dish that I make only for Thanksgiving ; not because its a dish that requires lots of effort or anything but because I wanted my daughter to associate something  with each celebration. And as vegetarians we since can't have a turkey, I choose Pecan Pie to embody the Thanksgiving spirit.This recipe is originally from  Food.com and I have been using this recipe for the past 4 years with a few minor changes.
Ingredients:

3 eggs
1 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups pecan halves
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown Sugar
1/3 cup butter (melted)
Pie crust(I use a 10 and 1/2 deep dish pie pan)

Method:
Beat eggs lightly with an electric mixer or fork until combined.Stir in corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla extract.Chop the pecans.Pour chopped pecans in an even layer on the bottom of the unbaked pie shell.  Pour the syrup mixture over the top of the pecans.  Allow to stand about 20 seconds to let pecans float to the top.Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven, for 50minutes or until knife comes out clean. Cover edge of pie crust with aluminun foil for first 25 minutes of bake time, then remove for remaining 25 minutes, to prevent the crust from burning.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sweet-n-Savory Haricot Verts

This is a recipe I got from Ocean Spray. I loved this recipe as it had the right combination of spiciness and sweetness that we all liked. Another point I liked about this was that it had all the ingredients like almonds, cranberries and beans that my daughter likes and is very attractive to the eye with the combination of green and red. If you want a change from the routine cranberry or bean dishes, you should definitely give this a try.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup Cranberry Juice Cocktail
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted
10 ounces fresh or frozen green beans
1 small onion, sliced
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon curry powder
4 ounces Dried Cranberries

DIRECTIONS:

If using fresh green beans, cook in salted boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes or until just tender. Drain; rinse in cold water.

Combine onion, water and salt in large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until water evaporates. Add beans, garlic, butter, cumin and curry powder; stir to coat beans. Stir in dried cranberries, sherry, juice cocktail and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with almonds.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cheese Straws

'Global Kadai' by Cilantro is a food blogging event, showcasing Global Flavour in an Indian version'I made these cheese straws with an Indian twist adding cumin,sesame,chilli and onion powder.My family loved this Indian version.Try this cookie and I am sure you would get hooked to this crunchy cookie or straws .
Ingredients:
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature, grated
4 oz salted butter, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
1 tsp sesame seeds
Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Add all the ingredients to a food processor except  sesame seeds pulse till everything is mixed together.Mix in the sesame seeds.
Transfer the cheese-butter mixture to a cookie press or as I did to a murukku press
Pipe the mixture directly onto a large baking sheet; average 3 to 4 inches in length.
Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly tanned.
Cool on a wire rack.
Serve as is.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Coconut Cookies

This is one of my Mom's recipes.This is a very easy recipe to make. My brothers and I used to make this when we were little elementary schoolers. If I were to rename this cookie I would call it a quick cookie or something like that. It would take around 3 minutes to prepare this and 15 minutes to bake. And another nice thing about this cookie is that its an eggless cookie. This cookie is for those of you who wants something quick & eggless.
Ingredients:
All purpose flour-100gm(approx 7/8th cup)or( 3/4 cup +2 tbs)
Sugar-60gm(1/4 cup)
Butter/Margarine -100gm(7 tbs)
Dry coconut powder-50gm(1/2cup)
Cardamom powder/Vanilla essence-1tsp
Method;
Knead all the ingredients together to a smooth and soft dough. Divide the dough into small equal portions( I made 24 cookies using this recipe). Arrange on a baking tray .Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Let the cookies cool and then serve.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yogurt Parfait with homemade Granola

Yogurt Parfait can be had as a breakfast,snack,or as a dessert.This is such a versatile dish you can use any fruit or any type of granola with this.Granola recipe below is from Allrecipes.Its an easy recipe that can be made even on a busy days.

Ingredients:
2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 cup granola
Fruits of your choice
Method:
In a large glass, layer 1 cup yogurt,fruits and 1/2 cup granola. Repeat layers.
Ingredients for Granola
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins

Method:
In a large bowl, combine oats and coconut; set aside. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, oil, honey and cinnamon; bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over oat mixture; stir to coat. Spread in a large shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool. Add raisins. Store in an airtight container.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Idiyappam or String Hoppers or Noolappam

Though some call it Idiyappam,in our part of Kerala we call it Noolappam, maybe because it resembles a string ("noolu"). Its usually taken for breakfast or dinner along with a spicy curry. It is also served with sweetened coconut milk. This is Kerala's take on noodles or Pasta.

Ingredients:
Roasted rice flour-1 cup
Warm Water-1and1/2 cups
Ghee or oil -1 tsp
Method
Boil 1 and 1/2 cups of water along with salt and ghee.Mix the rice flour with the water
Knead into smooth dough. Insert the dough into the idiyappam press.
press it on  greased plate or idly moulds. Add grated coconut on top of the idiyappam.
Steam this in a steamer for 8-10 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Kerala Egg Roast

This is a simple egg curry usually made in our house as an accompaniment to Pathiri,Appam or Idiyappam. Since typically these are taken with sweetened coconut milk, having this curry along with that adds a spiciness to the otherwise sweet overall taste - making the mix of sweet and spiciness that we all love.

Ingredients

Hard-boiled egg – 4
Onion (sliced) – 2 cups
Green chilly (sliced) – 5
Tomato (sliced) – 1
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Coconut milk -3 tbs optional
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
Salt
Oil

Method

Heat three teaspoons of  oil to it add curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste. Stir and when it gives a cooked smell add sliced onions. Sauté till the onions turn brown. Add green chillies. Saute for a minute. Add coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and garam masala mixed with a tablespoon of water. Stir well for a minute. Add 3 tablespoons of water or coconut milk.  Now add salt and the sliced tomatoes. Cook for three minutes or till tomatoes are cooked.Add boiled eggs and cook for another three minutes.

Garnish Egg Roast with coriander leaves and serve hot.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Microwave Baked Potato

This is a quick fix snack that you can have without much guilt.This is a healthy hot snack which can be had at any time.All three of us love this .Take my word this will be loved by both young and old .
Ingredients:
Russet Potato-1 large
Salt
Pepper
Chilly flakes
Method:
Scrub the potato.Cook on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes. When the potato is soft, remove from the microwave, remove the skin and  cut into little cubes. Season with salt and pepper,if you want it little more spicier you can also add chilly flakes.Your healthy 5 minute snack is ready.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tomato Souffle

For this month's sweet punch challenge we were given a sweet and a savory dish to choose from. With Navrathri,Halloween and Diwali around the corner I thought it would be better to cook the savoury dish  over the sweet one. I did tweek this recipe a bit. Instead of 3 tbsp of tomato paste I added only 2tbsp and it was sour enough to my liking. Then I  added 1 tsp of vegetable base along with the egg yolks. Another thing that I would do next time would be to reduce the bread crumbs that is packed in the ramkins as they were still dry and not to my or my family's liking. The recipe didn't mention about the oven temperature so I baked at 350 F but had to bake for 35 minutes. The final verdict I got from my tasters is a double thumbs up and that this recipe is a keeper. 


Recipe source : Australian Woman's Weekly via Maria's Menu


Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup, firmly packed
Butter – 45 gm (I used 2 tbs) 
Onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
Plain flour (maida) – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 cup
Tomato paste – 3 tbsp
Basil – 1 tbsp, finely chopped (optional)
Eggs – 3, separated
Grated Cheese – a handful ( I used mozzarella)
Grease 4 souffle dishes (1/2 cup capacity), sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Melt butter in small saucepan, add finely chopped onion. Stir over low heat for 2 mins ( or MW on HIGH for about 2 mins). Cook until onion is soft, it doesn’t have to become brown. Stir in flour and stir over medium heat for a minute. (or MW on HIGH for a min). Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, bring back to heat and stir over high heat until mixture boils & thickens & reaches a thick sauce like consistency. (or MW on HIGH for about 3 mins).
Transfer to large bowl, stir in tomato paste & basil leaves. Cover the dish & let it stand for 5 mins. Beat egg whites in a small bowl until soft peaks from. Add egg yolks to the onion & milk mixture & mix well. Fold the egg whites into the mixture in 2 batches. Pour the mixture evenly into the prepared dishes. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top. Bake in the preheated oven for 20- 25 mins or until lightly browned. Serves 4.


Healthier version: use brown bread crumbs & low fat milk. Also use yolks of only 2 eggs & white of 3 eggs. Use only lesser qty of butter, I used only 15 gms of butter.


Notes: The above qty serves 2 adults (main course) served with garlic bread or soup. You can use any oven safe dish to prepare this. The consistency  of this dish is more like a pudding. I didnt have basil with me, so I didnt add. The original recipe doesnt add any spices, but you can add crushed pepper while cooking onion, if you wish.
Substitute for tomato paste: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/312148

Friday, November 5, 2010

Besan Paare (Spicy Crackers)

Happy Diwali to everyone. For this Diwali I made Besan Paare, but this is not my recipe but taken from Manjula's Kitchen -
We had it along with Gulab Jamuns which I made using the Gits Gulab Jamun mix.
Happy Diwali Everyone!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cauliflower 'N Pea Korma

Cauliflower,potatoes and peas are very versatile vegetables.These vegetables go well with any type of cuisine.This is a curry using all these vegetables in an Indian style.This Korma goes well with rice and Indain flat breads.
Ingredients:
Cauliflower-1medium size
Peas -1cup
Potato-1/2 cup
Onion -1
Tomato -1
Green chilli-2
Ginger&garlic paste -1tsp
Chilli powder -1tsp
Garam masala-1/2tsp
Corriender powder 1tsp
Turmeric-1/2tsp
Oil -1tbs
Coconut -3tbs
Cashew nuts -3tbs
Fennel -1tsp
Cumin -1tsp
Curry leaves-few sprigs
Cilantro few
 Method:
Cut the cauliflower into small flowerets. Pressure cook the cauliflower,potatoes, peas together with salt & turmeric for 1 minute.
Heat a kadai, add oil and cumin and when it splutters add onions,ginger and garlic paste. Saute till it turns to a light brown.
Then add tomatoes & slit green chillies.Meanwhile make a paste out of coconut, cashewnut and fennel adding 1/4 cup of water.
When the tomatoes are cooked add the chilli powder ,corriender powder and garam masala powder & saute it for another 2minutes & then add the cooked vegetables.Check the salt and add more if needed & add 1cup of water along with the ground coconut and cashew paste. Cook for another 5 minutes in medium heat.Garnish with Cilantro and serve hot.
 .

Monday, November 1, 2010

Acorn Squash Soup


On days I  am feeling not so well and not in a mood to follow a recipe I just put few ingredients together and come up with something .Today was one such day, but the final outcome was so good that I thought I should write it down before I forget about this.
Ingredients:
Acorn squash - 1 medium sliced 
Onion-1/2 
Vegetable broth-2 cups
Garlic powder-1/2 tsp
Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
Green chilli-1
Pepper-as required
Salt -as required
Milk -1 cup
Basil leaves-4 to 5
Method:
Saute the onion in a heavy bottom vessel using 1 tablespoon oil or butter along with the green chilli and squash. Add the broth to this and cook till the squash is well cooked. Puree the squash and return to the vessel. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.Garnish with basil and serve hot.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candy Corn Cookies


Today is Halloween.Here is a fun cookie for satisfying that sweet tooth of the little goblins,witches or monsters in your family.Wish you all a happy and safe Halloween.
Ingredients:
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

Orange paste food color
2  oz semisweet chocolate, melted, cooled
Method:

 Mix the butter, egg, vanilla and almond extract together in one bowl with electric mixer or hand mixer
 In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients, together combine the wet and Dry ingredients. On work surface, place 3/4 cup dough. Knead desired amount of food color into dough until color is uniform. Press dough evenly in bottom of pan.Divide remaining dough in half. Gently press one half of remaining dough into pan on top of orange dough. On work surface, knead chocolate into remaining dough until color is uniform. Press over plain dough in pan, pressing gently to edge of pan. Refrigerate 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until firm.
Heat oven to 375°F. Remove dough from pan. Cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice into 5 wedges. On ungreased cookie sheet, place wedges 1 inch apart.
Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are set and edges are very light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet. Cool completely. Store in tightly covered container.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Boiled Peanuts


Peanuts were a favorite of mine while growing up. Generally we had this as plain roasted peanuts, masala peanuts or the candied peanuts. Once when I was young, I had these boiled peanuts and I always wanted to try this. So when my daughter wanted to have the shelled peanuts from the grocery store, I thought of making this. And when I was looking this up, I realized that this is a simple preparation popular around the world. This is how to make boiled peanuts as done in China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, USA, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan.

Ingredients

Raw Peanuts - Enough to fill your pot
Water - Enough to cover the peanuts
Salt - 6-8 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water used

Method:

If your raw peanuts are in the shell then rinse them several times in cool water to remove debris.
Put the raw peanuts into a pressure cooker. Leave at least 4" room at the top.

Add water (measure as you fill) until it reaches no more than 3" from the top of the pressure cooker.

Add Salt to the cooker (6-8 tablespoons per gallon of water used).

Stir the contents and bring it to a rolling boil.Put the weight and pressure cook on low for 35 minutes .To check whether they are done, pull 1 or 2 peanuts out and crack them open. When they are soft, they are done. If they are still slightly crunchy, they are not done yet, If they are not salty enough, leave them in the salted water and turn off the heat. When they are done, drain and serve immediately

Monday, October 25, 2010

Kichadi




This is a very easy one pot meal .And this is that dish I cook on days I have an asthma attack ,I think now  you people can guess how easy it is.Though its easy it doesn't compromise on taste or nutrition,you will understand when you read the ingredients used.This tastes well when its still warm.I like to have this with some mango pickle.
Ingredients:
Basmati rice or Jasmine rice-1 cup
Mung Dhal-1/2 cup
Cut vegetables(carrots,peas,beans,potato)-1& 1/2cups
Cumin-1 tsp
Ghee-2 tsp
Asofoetida -1/4 tsp
Turmeric-1/4tsp
Green chilli-2
Salt as required
Method:
Heat a pressure cooker and add ghee. When the ghee is hot add the cumin,asofoetida and turmeric.Immediately add the vegetables, dhall,rice ,salt and 2 1/4 cups of water .Close the cooker and when steam comes put the weight and reduce the heat and pressure cook for 5 minutes.After the 5 minutes and when the pressure is released open the cooker stir all the contents well.Now you have your warm tasty and nutritious meal ready .

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tiramisu


Two days back it was my birthday and my husband and daughter surprised me by making me a Tiramisu. I was surprised because they both had a bad history when it comes to desserts. Even though they could make some passable savory dishes they had proved to be bad pastry chefs in the past. The reason behind their success this time may be their love for this Italian wonder.Whatever it be I was one happy birthday girl! So  for those of you out there who are not so experienced as pastry chefs, this is one easy recipe you could try. And thank you my dears for this yummy treat.
Ingredients:
1cup vanilla pudding
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups mascarpone cheese or (8oz of cream cheese, one-fourth cup heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of sour cream mix these together well)
1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 (12 ounce) packages ladyfingers or pound cake or yellow cake cut into two layers
1/3 cup coffee flavored liqueur(1/2 cup water and 2 tbsp of coffee)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate or in this case M&M's
Method:
Combine vanilla pudding,mascarpone and sugar. In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks. Gently fold into the mixture and set aside.
Split the lady fingers in half, and line the bottom and sides of a large glass bowl. Brush with coffee liqueur. Spoon half of the cream filling over the lady fingers. Repeat ladyfingers, coffee liqueur and filling layers. Garnish with cocoa and chocolate curls. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.
To make the chocolate curls, use a vegetable peeler and run it down the edge of the chocolate bar.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

French Beans 'N Potatoes


Last Sunday, I was feeling rather lazy to cook. Usually when we have rice  I would make a curry and some stir fried vegetables to go with it. But this day I was not feeling like doing much. But still, I didn't want to disappoint my Hubby. I was thinking of what I had in the refrigerator - I had some green beans in there and some potatoes. Then I thought of something I had some time back at a restaurant - something with green beans and potatoes in it. Though I had no clue as to how to make it, I thought of trying it out my special way. And as it turns out it was a hit!

Ingredients:
Potatoes - 4 medium
French beans - 1/2 lbs
Onion - 1
Ginger - 1/2'' piece
Garlic - 4 cloves
Tomatoes - 1 small
Butter - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp

Method:
Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes and cook them. Slit the french beans in the middle and cut them into 1" long pieces. Cook this separately in water with salt. Saute the onion with ginger, garlic and tomatoes in 2 tbsp of oil. When the oil starts to separate, add all the powders, and saute for another 2 minutes. Now add the cooked beans and potatoes and saute them together till it dries up. Now add the butter and mix it. Optionally, you can add curry leaves to it. Serve hot.

This goes well with rice and chapathi.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Bubble Tea



My daughter wanted bubble tea when we went to our local Asian store.But as it was almost closing time, they were out of their bubble tea stock.I had a very disappointed girl who was almost in tears; so I promised her that I would make her the bubble tea myself.I recreated it based on what I remembered it to taste.As per my tasters my bubble tea tasted better than the store bought one.My secret ingredient was love ;) 


Ingredients:

Evaporated milk-1 can
Sugar-6 tbs
Tapioca pearls-1/4th cup 
Tea bags-4

Method:
Caramelize 3 tablespoons of sugar. Add 1 1/2 cups of water to the caramel, add the tapioca pearls to it and cook for 3 minutes.Turn the fire off and keep it covered for 45 minutes.Meanwhile, heat the evaporated milk with 1 cup of water and when it starts to boil turn off the fire and add the sugar and tea bags. Remove tea bags after a few minutes and refrigerate the tea. After 45 minutes check on the tapioca pearls; they would be almost translucent. Add to it 1 more cup of hot water and boil this for 2 more minutes, take it off the fire and close it with a lid.The pearls would be ready in 10 minutes. Now refrigerate this till it is cool enough.When you are in a mood to have bubble tea take 4 tbs of tapioca pearls in a tall glass and fill it with the cold tea made earlier. Add a cube or more of ice and stir.Your bubble tea is ready to sip.



Saturday, October 9, 2010

Neypayasam (Ghee Payasam)


Neypayasam or ghee payasam as we call it at home is usually made in the temples or even at home on special days as offerings to Gods. I made this as an offering for our pooja today.
Ingredients:
Jasmine Rice/Basmati rice: 1cup
Jaggery: 2 cups
Cashew nut: 1/4cup
Raisins:1/8 cup
Ghee: 2 tbsp.
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp.

Method:
Wash the rice and cook in a pressure cooker using 2 cups of water for 5 minutes. Dissolve the jaggery in one cup of water. Strain the jaggery and pour the strained syrup to the cooked rice in the cooker .Add ghee ,cashew nuts and raisins to this. Pressure cook further for 1 minute more and then open the cooker. Keep stirring until all the liquid is evaporated. Add  cardamom powder and now your ghee payasam is ready.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Molten Lava Cake


Sweet Punch for October was this ooey gooey wonder .This is an easy one to make, with very few ingredients.I mixed the batter a few hours before baking ,and left it in the refrigerator as I made this to serve for a dinner party.As this was refrigerated I had to bake an additional 10 minutes.Everyone who ate it was bowled our by its taste.
Recipe source - showmethecurry.com

Ingredients:

Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate – 4 oz (113g)
Butter – 4 oz (113g)
Eggs – 2
Sugar – 1/3 cup (75 g)
All-purpose Flour – 1/4 cup (40g)
Butter – for greasing ramekins

Method:

1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, beat Eggs and Sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Once chocolate is melted, remove pan from heat and add in butter. Mix until the butter melts fully.
4. Add chocolate/butter mixture into the eggs, add all-purpose flour and mix until well incorporated.
5. Butter bottom and sides of ramekins (small glass/porcelain bowls) and pour in mixture about 3/4 way full.
6. Place ramekins on a baking tray and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 C) for 10 – 15 minutes. Shorter for gooey (molten) inside, longer for stiff inside.
7. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Mango Popsicles


You all will be wondering why Popsicles, that too now,when its already fall.Though its officially  Fall  now  we had a very hot week.The.temperature went up as high as 98 degrees Fahrenheit .I thought it as a good opportunity to finish up some mango puree and yogurt that I had.So I mixed them both and voila.I have a yummy Popsicle.Its so easy and yummy at the same time so give it a try.
Ingredients:
Mango Puree-2 cups(I used store bought mango puree)
Yogurt (plain)-1/2 cup
Sugar -to taste
Method:

Pour mango puree into a medium bowl with the yogurt and sugar, whisk until smooth.
Divide into popsicle molds and freeze, for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Dip popsicle molds in hot water to release the pops before serving.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Steamed Eggplant

This is one dish I like as this requires no oil and on the days that I feel like having something healthy this is the dish I go for.This goes well with just plain jasmine rice or with Indian flat breads.
Ingredients:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon light-flavoured vinegar (try rice vinegar or white vinegar)
2 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoon caster sugar
2 teaspoon Chilli paste
1 eggplant (a big one)
2 tablespoon Cilantro
Method:
Combine soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and sugar in a bowl. Set aside. Slice eggplant into thin slices and place on a heatproof plate. Place plate in a steamer, cover with lid and steam for 15 minutes. Pour over sauce and steam for another 5 minutes. Garnish with 1 finely sliced small red chilli and chopped cilantro.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quick Enchilada with Chili filling

As I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, at our home we all love Mexican cuisine. This is one recipe I turn to if I am pressed for time, yet want something tasty and wholesome to eat.
Ingredients:
Corn Tortillas
Vegetarian chili:1 can ( you can use the fresh ones that you find in the hot deli section)
Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Colby or Monterey Jack)
Chopped Onions
Enchilada Sauce:1 can (Mine was so spicy that I mixed some sour cream to reduce the heat)

Method:

Preheat Oven to 400F/204C Spray an oven proof pan with Oil and spread a little Enchilada sauce to coat the bottom. Wrap Corn Tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes or you can warm the tortillas on a nonstick pan smearing a bit of oil on either side.  Spread each Tortilla with 1-2 tablespoons of Sauce. Place 2-3 Tbsp of Chilli along the center of the Tortilla.. Sprinkle Cheese and Onions on top of the Chili. Roll the Tortilla and place it seam side down in the pan.. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Spread remaining Sauce over the rolled Enchiladas.Sprinkle Cheese, and Onions Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes at 400F/204C in the oven. Serve immediately.
"Disfrutar de su comida"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Pathiri


Pathiri is a traditional North Kerala food, usually served for breakfast or dinner. My memories of this is connected with our visits to my grand-mom, who was an expert in making these delicacies. This is dedicated to her, the best cook I had ever known.


Ingredients:
Roasted rice-powder - 2 cups
Water - 2 cup (if using un-roasted rice powder, use 1 1/2 cups of water)
Salt - to taste
Cooking Oil / butter - 1 tsp
Method:
Heat water, along with salt and oil and when it starts to boil, add rice powder and stir well. Take this off the fire and knead it well when it becomes bearable to touch. Make a smooth dough, as for making chapattis.
Make lemon sized balls  and roll them out using a press pan or the rolling pin, just like making chapatthis. Heat a non-stick pan and put the pathiri on it, turning it after 20-30 seconds.
Before serving, you can apply fresh coconut milk on this to enhance the flavor and taste.
This goes well with any spicy curry. I typically serve it with egg masala.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Flan


Today is a special day for me. It is the 10th anniversary of my marriage -  a major milestone, but miles to go still :-). For this special occasion, I wanted to share with you something sweet and special which both my husband and I like very much. The original recipe courtesy Tyler Florence, of course with some little changes by me.
Flan is the Spanish name for vanilla egg custard, topped with caramel sauce.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Pinch salt
Directions
To make the caramel: have ready a 2-quart round flan mold or individual ramkin molds. Combine 1 cup of the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. Place over medium-high heat and cook until the sugar begins to melt. Swirl the pan over the heat until the syrup darkens to a medium amber color, about 10 minutes; don't stir with a spoon. Remove from the heat and immediately add the lemon juice, swirl the pan again to combine, and then pour into the flan mold. Tilt the dish so that the caramel evenly coats the bottom and a bit up the sides, place in the roasting pan and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, bring a kettle of water to a boil for the water bath and keep it hot.

Combine the cream and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-low flame. Bring the cream to a brief simmer, stirring occasionally. Take care not to let the cream come to a full boil to prevent it from spilling over.

In a large bowl, cream together the whole eggs and yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar; add a pinch of salt. Whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Temper the egg mixture by gradually whisking in the hot cream mixture; don't add it too quickly or the eggs will cook. Pass the mixture through a strainer into a large measuring cup to ensure that the flan will be perfectly smooth. Pour the custard into the caramel-coated mold.

To create the water bath: pour the hot (not boiling) water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the side of the mold; be careful not get water into the custard. Carefully transfer to the middle oven rack, and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the custard is barely set and just jiggles slightly. Let the flan cool in the water bath, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to serve, run a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Place a dessert plate on top of the flan and invert to pop it out.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Modak

Yesterday was Ganesh Chaturthi and what better dessert to make than Modak right .So Modak I made to please Lord Ganesh as well as the little one in our family.
Ingredients:
Stuffing
Fresh grated coconut: 1 cup
Jaggery: ¾ cup
Cardamom powder:1/4 tsp
Ghee:1tsp
For the outer shell:
Rice flour: 1½ cups
Water:1 cup
Ghee 2tsp.
Salt: a pinch

Method:

The stuffing:

Make a syrup using th jaggery now strain this syrup and add the coconut to it this Keep stirring and cooking until all the water is absorbed at this stage add the ghee and stir till  the contents leave the side of the pan. Remove from fire and add cardamom powder.

For the outer shell

Boil 1 cup of water, add salt, ghee and rice flour. Stir continuously for a short while and remove as soon as it is well blended. When cool enough to touch knead into a dough and divide into equal portions

Putting together the Modak

Make a nice dent in center of each portion of the dough. Fill one by one with a little coconut mixture and close dough neatly around the filling.I have used a mold. Steam for about 1/2 hr Please don't pressure cook the Modak. Steam them. (i.e. don't use the cooker weight).


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

GOLDEN ONION QUICHE


This month for the Sweet punch challenge we had a savory dish as Ria thought that something savory would be good after a series of sweet stuff. For once I was glad instead of upset for not getting a chance to bake something sweet; the reason being its raining birthdays in our house.
This quiche was soooo.. good! I am not saying this for no reason. My family which includes my 9 year old daughter  my husband and me finished this whole quiche in one sitting. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in eating.... The last time I tried making a quiche I had left overs for a few days. But this time I already have requests from my family to make this again.The original recipe given by Ria used chicken which I substituted with potatoes. The caramelized onion and potatoes tasted so good together and I also added a teaspoon of chilli paste in the filling.

Serves 4
Ingredients:

For the pastry:
Maida -200g
Butter (frozen) -100g (preferably unsalted)
Baking powder-1/4 tsp
Salt-to taste
Beaten egg-1
Ice cold water-as required ( which will be a few drops)

Sieve maida ,salt and baking powder together. Grate in the butter and mix it with the flour with your fingertips till it resembles coarse sand.
Add in the beaten egg and water and gather it into a soft dough.
Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and lift it up carefully and line the tin that you will be baking it in.If it breaks up and you need to do a patch work, big deal! It wouldn't be seen outside! ;)
Which ever tin you are using, make sure the dough comes a little way up the sides, so that it can hold the filling in.

Filling:
Boiled and sliced potatoes-1/2 c
Onion-250 g ,chopped
Milk-1 c
Cheese-100g (cheddar will work fine)
Beaten eggs-3
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil- as needed.
Chilli paste-1 tsp
Heat oil and add in the onions and fry till onions have caramelized then add cubed potatoes and  slightly fry  till it is golden brown
Switch off the flame.
Add milk, cheese, beaten eggs, salt and pepper and mix well.
Pour into the pastry case and bake for 25 mins or till golden brown .
 Let it cool in the tin completely . Serve it in wedges.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

All Chocolate Cake


My daughter turned nine yesterday and this is the cake I made for her birthday.She asked for an all chocolate cake.I made a the cake using Duncan Hines cake mix and made the chocolate frosting using a recipe I got from AllRecipes.com.  I just tweaked it a bit to suit me and made the chocolate roses using candy mold.
Ingredients:For a  2-layer 9-inch cake
1 1/2 cups softened butter
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups PLUS 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
6 3/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup milk
1tbs canola oil
Method:
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa,oil and vanilla. Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency (The oil will keep the frosting soft even after keeping in the refrigerator).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Semiya Payasam


Yesterday was Onam the biggest  festival of Keralites.This is the dessert that I made to celebrate Onam. My Mom and Grandmother makes the best Payasams that I have ever had .Only thing that I don't like about their payasam is the long stirring and cooking time it takes to make it. So I thought for a while for a way to get nearly the same taste with little effort and came up with this.
Ingredients:
Semiya (Vermicelli) :3/4 cup
Milk: 4cups
Condensed milk:1
Ghee: 2 tbsp.
Cashew nuts: 1/4 cup.
Raisins: 1/4 cup.
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp.

Method:
Heat 1 tbsp. of ghee in a wide mouth, thick bottom pressure cooker. Add cashew-nuts and raisins. Fry them in the ghee till cahews turn a golden color and raisins turns to little balls, then remove them and keep aside. Add the remaining ghee and fry the vermicelli to a golden brown. Add  1 cup of milk along with 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 5 minutes. After the pressure subsides add remaining milk and condensed milk. Boil for some more time until the payasam is thickened. Remove from the stove and add the cardamom powder. Garnish with fried cashew nuts and raisins. Enjoy your 8 minute payasam.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mushroom Fry Kerala style


Being vegetarians, mushrooms are something that I often substitute with in a meat or chicken recipe. This is one such recipe in which I have used mushrooms instead of the normal chicken, of course, with my own twists - and it turned out simply delicious. My husband wanted me to blog it immediately, before I forgot it!

Ingredients:
Button Mushrooms - 16 oz, sliced
Onion - 1 1/2 medium size, diced
Green chillies - 1
Ginger - 1'' piece
Garlic - 3 cloves
Cardomom - 3 nos, powdered
Cloves - 3 nos, powdered
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp (or to your level of spiciness )
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Tomato - 1, diced

Method:
Saute 1 onion till it tuns translucent. Set it aside. Now saute the remaining 1/2 onion till it turns almost brown in color; then add the tomatoes and saute them till it turns almost dry. Now add the ginger and garlic(made to a paste) and saute for a minute more. To this, add all the other powders and the curry leaves till the smell turns to a well cooked one. Turn the heat to medium, and add the mushrooms and salt to taste. Saute for a couple of minutes till the mushrooms are done. Now add the onions kept aside and saute for another minute. Your delicious mushroom fry is ready.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Carrot cake with cakemix


Necessity is the mother of invention - how true! I wanted to bake a cake, but found that I had ran out of the all purpose flour. When I searched my pantry, I found out I had some cake mixes left, but I was in a mood for a carrot cake. I googled for some options of making a carrot cake with the ingredients that I had, and mixing and matching the many recipes out there, I made my own version of this carrot cake using a cake mix. The result was a soft and yummy cake.

Ingredients:
1-cake mix (yellow)1/2 cup-Veg Oil

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2tsp.ground all spice
1/4tsp ground nut meg
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk or yogurt
1 1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
Method:
Beat all the wet ingredients for a minute and then add the dry ingredients and whisk well till all the ingredients  are mixed well. Then transfer it to greased baking pan or muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bitter Gourd - Potato Fry


This is a variation of the recipe I got from a North Indian friend. My husband and me both like almost any of the preparations of bitter gourd (karella), and when I tried out this one, it was predictably a big hit with both of us. This goes well with rice and Moong dal curry (posted earlier).

Ingredients:
Bitter gourd - 4 nos, grate or make shavings of the skin and the fleshy part
Potato - 4 medium sliced
Onion -1 chopped
Green chilli -1
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 3/4 tsp
Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 8 cloves chopped
Curry leaves
Oil - 4 tbs

Method:
Heat oil in a flat bottom pan, add the onion, green chilli, chilli powder, asfotida, cumin powder and saute. Now add the potato to this and when the potato is done, add the bitter-gourd shavings and garlic to this. Stir fry till it is well-done, adding more oil as necessary.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Moong Dal


This is a variation of a recipe I got from a north-Indian friend. This can be had like a soup or goes well with rice or chappathis. With rice, it is best taken along with bitter-gourd and potato fry. The recipe for which I'll will post in the next post.

Ingredients:
Moong dal -1 1/2 cup
Tomato - 2 medium
Ginger - 1'' piece
Green chillies - 2nos
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaf - 3/4 cup, chopped
Garlic - 8 cloves, chopped
Ghee - 1 tbs
Cooking oil - 1 tbs

Method:
Cook all the above ingredients (except for the garlic) in a pressure cooker, adding salt to taste for 5 minutes. Then heat a mixture of oil and ghee. Put some cumin seeds and when it splutters, add the chopped garlic to that. Sauté till it turns brown and add this to the cooked dal and mix well.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Black Forest Roulade


It's time again for yet another Sweet Punch and the challenge for July was selected by Maria and it was a Black Forest Roulade or Swiss rolls  as it's commonly known.This was an easy and tasty Roulade .The only differance I made was using my own preserved cherries in lesser quantity as my daughter is not a cherry fan .And another change that I would do the next time I  make this would be to spread the whipped cream first, and then add the cherries as I think that would make spreading the cream easier.

Ingredients:
Dark chocolate - 200gm, chopped coarsely
Hot water - 1/4 cup (60 ml)
Instant coffee powder - 1 tsp
Eggs - 4, separated (room temp)
Caster sugar - 1/2 cup (110 gms)
Caster sugar - 1 tbsp, extra
Thickened cream - 3/4 - 1 cup
Kirsch - 1 tbsp

Cherry filling:
Seedless black cherries - 425gm can
Cornflour - 3 tsp
Kirsch - 1 tbsp

Position oven shelves; preheat oven to 180 C. Grease 25 cm/30 cm swiss roll pan; line base with baking paper. Combine chocolate, water and coffee in large heat proof bowl; sit bowl over saucepan of simmering water. Using wooden spoon, stir until chocolate melts then immediately remove bowl from fire.
Beat egg yolks & sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until thick & creamy; this will take about 5 minutes. Using large metal spoon, fold egg mixture into warm chocolate mixture. Beat egg whites in small bowl  with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Using metal spoon, gently fold egg whites into chocolate mixture, in two batches. Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven about 10 mins.

Meanwhile, place a large sheet of baking paper on board; sprinkle with extra sugar. Turn cake onto sugared baking paper; carefully remove lining paper, cover cake loosely with a tea towel. Cool cake to room temp.

Beat cream & kirsch in small bowl with electric mixer until firm peaks form. Spread cake evenly with cooled cherry filling then spread Kirsch cream over cherry mixture. Roll cake from a long side, using paper to lift and guide the roll; place on serving plate. Dust with cocoa powder. Cover roll; refrigerate 30 minutes before serving. You can also dress up the roulade  with cherries or by piping some cream on top.

Cherry filling

Drain cherries, reserving 1/4 cup (60ml) of syrup. Using knife, chop cherries coarsely. Using wooden spoon blend cornflour and reserved syrup in a saucepan. Add cherries; stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, cool to room temp
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