Sunday, September 30, 2012

Anda Paratha - Egg-Stuffed Indian Flatbread

If you don't have enough time to make an elaborate meal, yet want to make sure your family gets their daily dose of proteins, carbs and veggies, this is the dish for you. This is also ideal if  you want to sneak in some veggies into your kids diet. With Aishwarya, my problem is that though she doesn't mind having most of the veggies,she doesn't like to have eggs in most typical forms. So this is one of the ways I can get some of the goodness of the eggs into her.
Wheat flour  -  2 cups
Eggs - 4 nos
Fresh Cilantro, diced - 3 tbsp
Green chilli peppers, diced - 4-5 nos
Fresh spinach - 1/4 cup, optional
Ajwain (carom seed) - 1/2 tsp
Mozzarella cheese - 1/4 cup, optional
Chaat masala - 1/4 tsp, optional
Salt - to taste
Butter - as required

Mix the wheat flour with 1 egg, ajwain, salt, green-chilli and 1 tbsp of cilantro. Add 1/2 a cup of water to this and mix it well. Form it into a dough with the consistency of the usual roti/chapatti dough, by adding additional water as may be required. Let it rest for at least 15 mts.
Beat the remaining 3 eggs along with the spinach and a bit of salt in a bowl. Take a golf ball sized dough and roll it out as thin as possible into a disc shape. Put this roti on a heated tawa (pan). Now take about 3 tbsp of egg mix and spread it over the entire top of the roti. Sprinkle cilantro and cheese over the eggs. Now fold the paratha from 3 sides to form a triangle. Flip the paratha over and roast by applying butter on both sides till done.
Sprinkle a pinch of chat masala and serve it hot. You may serve it with a dollop of yogurt or with some ketchup or mint chutney.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Potato Leek Soup

We were a little too indulgent on fried goodies for the last few days and I was feeling a bit guilty about that. So I wanted to make something healthy for a change. So I made this healthy soup for dinner tonight and it was enjoyed by all.
Recipe source: Food Network
1 lb leek, cleaned and dark green sections removed, approximately 4 to 5 medium
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pinch kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
14 ounces yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced small, approximately 3 small
1 quart vegetable broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon chives/green onion snipped

Chop the leeks into small pieces. In a 6-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and a heavy pinch of salt and sweat for 5 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low and cook until the leeks are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes and the vegetable broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until the potatoes are soft. Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream, buttermilk, and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired. Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately, or chill and serve cold

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Spring Roll

Last few days I had been making sweet dishes and snacks mostly that Jay began to complain. Though Aishwarya and me are both sweet lovers, Jay prefers the savory stuff generally. In fact, he often says that he would have eaten more than the amount of sweets in the first few months of our marriage than he had in his whole life till then ! So to pacify him, I thought of making something savory and crunchy.
Spring rolls gets its name from the season of spring - the time when the vegetables that goes into making this are in abundance and the spring festival when it used to be consumed typically. These days these are almost synonymous with Chinese cuisine. These come in a variety of different ways - fried or non-fried, sweet or savory - but typically would have a wrapper which is filled with whatever you prefer.
What I have here are the fried spring-rolls with vegetable filling.

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, small diced
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 head small cabbage, thinly sliced
4-5  mushrooms, , diced
1 1/2 cups soy granules washed in warm water
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cube of tastemaker
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
 1 egg, white and yolk separated
1 package large (8 inch) spring roll wrappers

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except egg yolk and wrappers.
Brush egg yolk on three corners of wrapper. Add 2 tablespoons of filling in center of wrapper, Fold the spring roll skin from the bottom over the mixture, making a tight tube of the mixture. Fold corners in from the sides, and press to stick against folded roll. Then roll to the other end and stick it shut.  Repeat with remaining egg roll wrappers.  Deep fry the spring rolls in oil at 350°F for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Work in batches. Flip half way through. Remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


In Kerala, where I am from, Lord Ganesha is offered Unniyappam and Neyyappam on special days. Most people think both are the same - the only difference being that one is made in special pans that gives it the unique round shape and the other (Neyyappam) is made in normal pans. But in realty both are not the same. Neyyappam doesn't have banana as an ingredient and is made using ghee (Neyyu) and hence the name. While for Unniyappam banana is a must and is fried in coconut oil. Neyyappam typically would have a crunchier outside and a softer inside.
Today being the Ganesha Chaturthi day, I made this as an offering for Lord Ganesha in the typical Kerala fashion.

Raw rice: 1 cup
Jaggery: 1cup
Coconut pieces: 1 tbsp.
Cardamom powder: 1tsp.
Ghee for frying the neyyappams
Soak rice in water for atleast 3 hours. Drain water and grind rice with as little water to a fine paste.Make a syrup of  jaggery .Add this along with  cardamom powder and coconut to the ground paste,mix well. Final consistancy should be like that of a dosa batter.Set aside for another 5-6 hours.Then heat a kadai or a pan with ghee. When the ghee is very hot ladle out spoonfuls of dough into pan .When cooked on one side , carefully flip to other side.Cook till both sides are golden brown or till a skewer  inserted into the appam come out clean.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Caramel Flan

Jay is a big fan of flan, though he is not typically a "sweet" person :)) . So I make it a point to make flan whenever I want to make him dance to my tunes ;) .  I make different variations of the flan depending on what I have on hand that day. Today as I had only condensed milk in my kitchen, I made this version of the flan. Though it was a creamy and yummy, compared with the flan made with heavy cream, this didn't feel as rich. Looking at the calories, probably this would be a better alternative. But if you don't care about the calories and would rather have a richer, creamier flan, go for this instead.

1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
HEAT oven to 350°F. Combine sugar and 1 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.Working quickly, carefully pour into an 8-inch oven-safe ring mold or 6 custard cups. Using potholders, tilt mold to completely coat bottom and halfway up sides of mold.
WHISK eggs in large bowl. Whisk in sweetened condensed milk, milk, vanilla and salt. Set prepared ring mold pan  or custard cups in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Pour egg mixture into mold or cups over caramelized sugar. Fill larger baking dish with 1 1/2 inches boiling water. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until custard is set. Carefully remove mold from hot water. Cool on wire rack  for 1 hour. Cover and chill several hours, preferably overnight.
To serve: Invert onto a serving plate after running a knife around the inside of the mold to loosen the flan. Spoon caramel sauce over flan.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

General Tso's Tofu

All three of us like tofu dishes. Though I make a variety of different dishes with tofu, this one is the most loved tofu dish in our household ever since I tried it the first time couple of years ago. This one goes well with   any of the Chinese rice preparations, with plain rice or even with any of the Indian breads.
Recipe source:
1 (16 ounce) box firm tofu
1 egg
3/4 cup cornstarch or all purpose flour mixed with salt and pepper
vegetable oil (for frying)
3 chopped green onions
1/2 chopped onion
2 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoon minced garlic
2/3 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
red pepper flakes
3 tbs of worchester  sauce
1 tablespoon white vinegar
 Drain, dry and cut tofu into one inch chunks-You can freeze the tofu the night before to get a more"chicken-like" texture, if desired.Mix egg with 3 Tbs of water.Dip tofu in mixture.Sprinkle cornstarch over tofu to completely cover.Heat oil in pan and fry tofu pieces until golden brown and set aside. Drain oil.
 Heat 3 Tbs vegetable oil in pan on medium heat and add onions, ginger and garlic, cook for about two minutes (be careful not to burn garlic).Add vegetable stock, soy sauce, sugar, red pepper flakes and vinegar.
Mix 2 Tbs of water and 1 Tbs cornstarch and pour into mixture, stirring well.Add fried tofu and coat evenly.
Serve immediately with steamed broccoli over your choice of rice.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Waffle Iron Hash Browns

Last time I did grocery shopping,  I had bought a big bagful of potatoes. I wanted to use them up and was thinking of trying newer recipes. When I told that I was planning to try something new with potatoes, Aishwarya wanted the hash browns itself instead.  So I ended up making hash browns, albeit differently than I used to make.
The advantage of this method is that once you put it in the waffle-maker, you can just relax till it is done- no need to watch it over, flip it when done on one side or any of those things if you were to make it on a pan. And the end product tastes as wonderful as the real deal.
I would recommend this for turning up a quick break-fast when you are in  a hurry.
1 medium potato
salt and pepper, other seasonings, to taste
1/2 tsp Butter
Wash, peel and shred the potato. Preheat waffle maker to the highest heat.Liberally salt potatoes  after 5 minutes place it in a  towel and squeeze the water out. (This is imperative for crispy hash browns!)
Put potatoes in a bowl and top with salt, pepper, and any seasonings you like (I added some paprika and garlic powder) and butter cut into little pieces
Spray the pre-heated waffle iron with cooking spray, and layer the potatoes on the iron, about 1/4 inch thick.
Close the lid and let them cook, checking on them after about 12-15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pineapple Cream Cake

Jay turned one more year younger today ;) He just wanted a biriyani for his special day, but the baker in me could not let go another chance to bake a cake. Since this was to follow a heavy meal, I wanted to make something light and thought of this pineapple cream cake. I haven't made this in a long time and I knew Jay loves it. For anyone looking for a light and refreshing cake, look no further.
Happy Birthday, Hubby Dear :*

Ingredients for the cake:
3 cups sifted cake flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup  unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups  granulated white sugar
6 large egg yolks
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease two 9 x 2 inch  cake pans.
 Sift or whisk the flour with the baking powder, and salt.
 Beat the butter until soft and creamy (about 1-2 minutes). Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add egg yolks, in two batches, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in three additions), and milk (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour.
Evenly divide the batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops with an offset spatula or back of a spoon. Bake 22 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake just comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center.

Place the cakes on a wire rack to cool, in their pans, for about 10 minutes. Then invert the cakes onto a greased rack. To prevent cracks, reinvert cakes so that tops are right side up. Cool completely before frosting.

Ingredients for the frosting and filling:
Heavy whipping cream – 400ml
Icing Sugar – 3-4 Tbsp
Pineapple Extract – 1 tsp
Pineapple cut bite size –1 cup
Beat the heavy whipping cream,pineapple extract and sugar together until it forms stiff peaks.

Final assembly of thecake.
On the first cake  sprinkle some pineapple sugar syrup(Prepare pineapple sugar syrup by mixing pineapple juice and sugar).
Spread whipped cream and top it with pineapple pieces.Put the second cake on top of first and sprinkle with pineapple syrup.Now frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining  cream. And decorate with pineapple slices and cherry.Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.
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