Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lemon Pickle

What do you do when life gives you lemons? Well, I made lemon pickles rather than making lemonades as the conventional wisdom suggests! When my friend Loann so kindly gave me a bagful of juicy lemons picked from her yard, I was at a loss initially how to make use of it. Then I came across this easy method of making great tasting pickles by Sanjay Thumma. And this turned out to be simply superb that we couldn't have enough of it.

Recipe adapted from Vahrehvah
Lemon - 15 nos, big
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Garlic -  1 tbs, minced
Chilli powder - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 cup
For seasoning:
Oil - 1/2 xup, preferably sesame oil
Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp
Dried red chillies - 5 nos
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

Take the juice of 5 lemons. Wash, dry and cut the rest of the lemons. Mix all the ingredients along with the juice. Store this in a dry container for 5 days. You need to stir and mix this well every day with a dry spoon.
By the 5th day, once the lemons have become soft and supple enough, prepare the seasoning as below and add it to the pickle and stir it in.
Making the Seasoning:
Heat a pan, add the oil and when the oil is hot enough  add all the ingredients listed under seasoning, in that order. Turn the heat off when mustard seeds stop popping. Let the seasoning cool down.

Since we are not adding any artificial preservatives in this, it is better to keep it refrigerated after adding the seasoning.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Snow Cone

With days getting warmer and warmer, all of us were craving for something cold. I thought of making some homemade snow cones to give ice creams and smoothies a break (less calories you know). Adding condensed milk adds a different twist to the conventional way of making it.
 Crushed/shaved ice
 Condensed milk
 Rose syrup/Fruit syrup
 Put the crushed ice in a cup or glass and drizzle syrup and condensed milk over ice to your liking. Serve.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Italian Cheese Bread

If you are looking for an alternative for garlic bread look no further. This bread is the perfect one for you. This savory bread can be had as a part of your main course,appetizer or snack This is so easy to put together and tastes awesome.  

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup prepared Italian salad dressing/dressing of your choice
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Dash pepper/Chilli flakes
1-2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
In a bowl, add the lukewarm water along with sugar and yeast. After it yeast proofs, add all the other ingredients listed under bread and knead to form a soft dough. Add additional flour if needed. Turn onto a floured surface; knead for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes punch the dough down; place on a greased cookie pan or a pizza pan  and pat into the pan uniformly. Brush with salad dressing. Combine the seasonings; sprinkle over top. Sprinkle with cheeses. Allow the bread to rest for 15 minutes or so. 
Pre-heat the oven to 450*F. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Honey Cauliflower

Happy Father's day greetings to all the dads out here.Today being fathers day I thought of posting a savory and sweet dish: two flavors loved by the dads in my life. My dad loves anything sweet; no wonder I am such a sweet lover. And my husband loves savory over any other flavor. So this sweet and savory dish is for you wonderful dads. I am sure that this crispy cauliflower, coated with Indo-Chinese sauce would be a much  loved appetizer in your next get-together .
1/2 kg cauliflower cut into small florets
8tbs cornflour
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 egg
Water as needed
Oil for deep frying
1 tbsp white sesame seeds roasted
For Sauce1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup clear honey
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs Chilli sauce (or to taste)
2 tbs Tomato ketchup(or to taste)
1tbs Thick Soy sauce (or to taste)
2 tbs minced ginger

Mix the cornflour, salt, pepper, egg and enough water to make a batter of pouring consistency. Heat oil. Dip cauliflower into batter and fry till cooked through but crisp (like a pakora). Remove from the oil and transfer on to absorbent paper. Just before serving mix honey,chilli sauce,tomato ketchup, lemon juice and soy sauce. Heat a sauce-pan and add butter and ginger once the ginger turns slightly brown add the mixed honey mix and  mix the fried cauliflower into it and heat over high heat to heat through. Serve hot, garnished with the sesame seeds.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

I am very happy to tell you my friends that Aishwarya has returned to school after her surgery. She was so happy to be back in school after a 6 weeks break ( She was given a royal welcome back by her friends and teachers, even I was a bit surprised by how much she was loved). She attended 4 days of school and the school closed for summer on Tuesday. Next academic year she would be attending a different school as she has graduated to the middle school.  My little girl was a sad girl on the last day and insisted on staying back a little longer at her school. As I stood watching her take a last look at her school of 6 years, I remembered her first day in Kindergarten. She was so anxious to start school and didn't want me to linger back like most parents were doing. So she called me aside and told me to go home and bake a cake (1st day of school was her birthday too). Even at the age of 5, she knew that baking would soothe me from worrying about her. So on her last day of elementary school I thought I would take that advice and bake a cake with her to soothe her and to celebrate the occasion.This one is for you my dear who from a little timid caterpillar has morphed to a  well loved beautiful butterfly. This being the week of Blog Hop I decided to make a cake from my partner  Ruchira Hoon 's blog and as chocolate is Aishwarya's favorite I chose this cake. As usual, I adapted the original recipe to suit me and changed the frosting to peanut butter frosting as I had been wanting to try this combination for a long time. The final outcome turned out to be quite delicious - according to my tasters, this cupcake tasted like Reeses peanut butter cups.
Recipe Adapted from :Cookaroo and Allrecipes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour,
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Ingredients for frosting:
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place the confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium-low speed until creamy, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as you work. Add the cream and beat on high speed until the mixture is light and smooth.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Kadai Paneer /Sauteed Cottege Cheese

Kadai Paneer is a sauteed Indian cottage cheese side dish. I presume it got its name  because its a paneer (Indian cottage cheese)  sauteed in a Kadai (Indian wok). It's an easy dish unlike other paneer dishes.And goes well with any Indian  bread or rice.
Recipe source:Rak's Kitchen
Paneer ,cubed 1&1/2 cups
Onion 2,cubed
Tomatoes 3 (small),chopped
Green and red peppers 1,cubed
Ginger,finely minced 1 tbs
Green chillies 2
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tbs
Garam masala powder 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/8 tsp
Salt As needed
Kasoori methi 1 tsp
Cilantro leaves, chopped 2 tbs
Oil 3 tbs
Coriander seeds slightly crushed 1 tsp

Heat oil in a pan/kadai and season with the coriander seeds.   Add ginger and saute for 30 seconds. Now add chopped onion,  slit green chillies  and saute till onion turns transparent.
Add the  tomatoes and add salt,add all the masala powders.Saute till tomatoes turn mushy and oil start to ooze out. At this point add bell peppers and saute for a minute, see that it reatins the colour and crunchiness
Add the paneer cubes (paneer cubes should be kept immersed in hot  slightly salted water till use) and crush the kasoori methi within you palms to powder it and add it to this. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water and mix well.
Cook till the masala coats paneer well and the gravy is thick and  almost dry.  Finally add cilantro leaves and transfer to the serving dish.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Black Forest Trifle

We all would have had our share of mishaps in kitchen. For me today was one such day, I baked a chocolate cake and when I tried to turn it on to the cooling rack my cake pan slipped and instead of  a square spongy cake I ended up with a rectangular fudgy cake. This reminded me of a similar incident while I was baking a brownie. That time I forgot to grease my pan and ended up with the brownies stuck on the pan. The worst thing was that I had guests coming over that day and I was short of time. Some quick thinking and this is how I salvaged my brownies.
24 ounce jar of Morello Cherries in syrup
Chocolate Pudding
Whipped Cream
Take the brownies and cut them into small bite-sized pieces. Place a small handful of brownie pieces (about one brownie) at the bottom of each glass. Next, place a tablespoon of pudding on top of that followed by a spoonful of the cherries, and its juice. Place a large dollop of the whipped cream on top of the cherries. Repeat the layers, starting with the brownies.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Milk Soda

This is a simple recipe for the summer months. I first heard of this from a friend of mine. This offers immense possibilities of experimentation with whatever flavor of soda or milk as you like. You could either go with plain soda and flavored milk or vice versa - or go crazy with flavored varieties of both.

Chilled Soda - 1/2 glass (I used ginger ale)
Chilled Milk - 1/2 glass (I used plain, whole milk)

Pour soda slowly into the milk (never pour milk to soda as it will curdle the milk). Mix it well. Voila!
Your milk-soda is ready.
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