Archive for August, 2011


After having successfully made rasagullas at home, I was flying high. Abbas put me back on ground and assigned me another mission of making Mishti Doi at home. I love it when people demand some food to be prepared by me. After surfing a lot of Bengali recipes over the net, I came up with this version. After 2-3 trial and errors, the following measurements worked out best! It’s very easy to prepare, only thing that needs utmost care is the right temperature of milk at which you need to add curd and shut it off to set.
Ingredients:
Milk – 1/2 litre
Curd – 2 tbsp (I used Nestle Dahi)
Sugar – 4 tbsp
Water – 1 tbsp
Method:
1. Heat milk and 2 tbsp of sugar in a heavy bottomed pan till it reduces to almost half.
2. Heat remaining sugar and water in a separate pan till it attains a golden brown colour. Add this to simmering milk and boil for another 10 mins.
3. Strain and pour the milk into a bowl in which you want to set the Doi.
4. You need to add curd as the milk cools down and is luke warm. (If milk is too hot it will curdle, milk is too cold it will not set)
5. Close with a lid and place in a warm place overnight or till it sets. (Refrain from disturbing the bowl to check again and again. You may place the bowl in your oven with the lights on whole night.)



I recently saw this recipe posted by Pree and mesmerized by the minimal ingredients which yielded such a beautiful outcome. It was love at first sight for me. When I actually set out to make it, I realized that Abbas is gonna wrinkle his nose at the sight of chicken dish without potatoes in it. Also, all of us need some gravy in a chicken dish unless it is fried and served along rice and dal. So I removed it from flame when it was in a semi-gravy condition. I had prepared this dish in meager quantity as it was my first time at cooking chicken without red chillies. But the dish got rave reviews by my ‘hard to impress’ critics – Ma and Abbas. Abbas asked me to prepare it again very soon. So I made it again after 2 days. And Ma came into the kitchen and asked me “Are you preparing the same dish that you prepared the other day?” When I nodded, she left the kitchen happily.


Ingredients:
Chicken pieces – about 500 g, cut into medium sized pieces
Potatoes – 3 medium sized, peeled and cut into halves

Onion – 2, finely chopped
Green chilies – 8-10, halved lengthwise
Green chili paste – 1 tbsp (I substituted with green chilli sauce)
Ginger paste – 2 tbsp
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Black cardamoms – 2-3
Bay leaves – 2
Mustard Oil – 4-5 tbsp (Substitute with any other cooking oil, I would highly recommend mustard oil though)
Salt – to taste



Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and salt in the oil. Fry the potato pieces till they are golden brown from the outside. Remove from oil and keep aside.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a until almost smoking and add the onions, bay leaves and black cardamom to sauté till the onions are lightly browned. 
2. Now add slit green chillies and saute on medium heat for 4-5 mins.
3. Add chicken pieces and saute till they are well combined with onions and chillies. Also make sure they get well roasted to attain a light brown colour.
4. Now add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Combine and saute till the raw smell goes off.
5. Add fried potatoes and salt. Combine.
6. Add half a cup or a full cup of water and pressure cook for 1 or 2 whistles.


Note:
1. When I prepared for the second time, I pounded 2 cardamoms, 1/2″ cinnamon and 2 cloves and added before cooking in pressure cooker.
2. I had shared this recipe with one of my ex-colleagues, a good friend, a big time foodie who cooks for pleasure. He made this today and said it was finger biting tasty! Well, he made a few changes like adding a pinch of sugar in mustard oil and Grinding a small bit of cinnamon along with ginger garlic green chillies. I will try these additions next time for sure.



Home Baked Pav Buns

Having bitten by the baking bug big time, I have been successfully making cakes, muffins, cookies and brownies at home. I tried my hand at baking bread too and each time only my hope and expectation doubled up, but the yeast decided to bring them down twofolds. I tried each brand of yeast I could lay hands on in the supermarkets around, but it was as though each of the yeasts were competing with each other in attempts to disappoint me. That’s when I saw Suma posting different varieties of bread at her space. When I personally asked her which brand of yeast she uses, she told me its Gloripan and also told me the source to procure it from.  
Now this shop called ‘General Additivies’ is a small space and you wouldn’t know from its external appearance that it is a treasury any baker would love to loot! I had been there before but I was then a newbee in baking. This shop is located in Sheshadripuram which is more than an hour’s drive from my place. I kept mum as I did not want to face ridicule from hubby at the proposal of driving all the way there just to get a packet of yeast… As the thought occupied my mind, I even dreamt of having been there and asking for Gloripan yeast! They were unable to find it in the shop much to my distress. I then told them that it is the brand of yeast that Suma Rowjee buys from here. They immediatelylocated the packet and handed over to me… I was a happy girl (in my dream).
After a couple of months we visited GA as we had been to a place nearby and first thing I bought was this! First thing I wanted to try was from Suma’s blog, I picked the masala buns which came out well and I came out victorious finally!!! Phew. I have misplaced the pics of those buns somewhere and hence unable to post them first. I chose to bake Pav Buns as my second stint with yeast from Suman’s space. I had my first home baked Pav, straight out of the oven with a blob of butter and it tasted heavenly.

Ingredients:

AP flour / Maida – 3 cups

Dry yeast – 2 ¼ tsp

Sugar – 2 tbsp
Warm milk – 1 cup + ¼ tsp
Butter – 2 tbsp
Salt – ¾ tsp
Warm water – ¼ cup

Method:

1. Mix sugar and yeast in luke warm water and let it sit for 5-7 minutes, until it begins to bubble.
2. In another bowl, mix together the salt and all-purpose flour.
3. In a small pan, combine milk and butter, and microwave the same for 45 seconds or until milk is lukewarm.
4. Remove 2 tablespoon of milk mixture and keep it aside.
5. Add the yeast mixture to milk and mix everything together.
6. Pour into bowl of dry ingredients, using a mixer with dough hook, or by hand, knead dough until smooth but not sticky..
7. Coat a big bowl with the tablespoon of oil, drop in the dough, and coat with oil all over. Seal the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.
8. Punch air out of dough. Divide the dough into 10-11 equal sized round balls.
9. Place on baking sheet almost touching, about 1/4 inch apart.
10. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
11. Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees. When rolls have risen, brush them with reserved butter and milk liquid.
12. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

13. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool to serve.

Vanilla Cupcakes

I was looking for cupcake recipes as I wanted to do away with the pack of muffin liners that I got bored of. I’m gonna a buy a new set of them soon! While hunting for recipes, I landed in Divya’s space. Made  2 batches of Molten Center Chocolate Cupcakes and 2 batches of Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocochips. It’s a very easy peasy recipe that yields addictive vanilla cupcakes. I added a handful of chocolate chips to the batter. 
Recipe Source: Easy Cooking – Divya Kudua

Ingredients

Flour – 2cups
Baking powder – 2 tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Butter – ½ cup
Sugar – 1 ¼ cup
Milk – 1 cup
Vanilla Essence / extract – 1 tsp
Eggs – 2


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190C. Line muffin tin with liners.
2. Sift flour, baking powder & salt 3 times.
3. Cream butter and sugar well.
4. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well.
5. On low speed, beat in flour mix & milk alternatively in 3 lots.
6. Fill each muffin pan to ¾ th depth, and bake for 20-25 minutes till done.
7. Remove from muffin pan immediately & cool on racks.

I am ultra late in posting for this month’s Sweet Punch. The recipe chosen for this month was Strawberry Banana Muffins and I was clueless as to what could be used as a substitute to strawberry. Finally I decided to use mangoes as the king of fruits is about to disappear soon only to come back next year… I made these muffins eggless because I made them early morning when I was rustling and hustling in the kitchen to leave for office and I did not have the time to bring eggs to room temperature and luckily I had forgotten butter on the kitchen deck the previous night. What a co-incidence!!! My kitchen was filled with a beautiful aroma when these were getting baked. My kids did not like the muffins much but I loved them not only for the taste but also for the fact that they got done super quick.
Recipe source: Sweet Punch via Joy of Baking
Ingredients:
Unsalted butter – 1/4 cup, melted
Eggs – 1 large, lightly beaten (I did not add this)
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Ripe bananas – 2 large (I used 4 Yelakki variety as they are small) – approx 1 cup
Mango pieces – 1 cup
Maida / AP Flour – 1 1/8 cup
Demerara sugar – 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp
Baking powder – ¾  tsp
Baking soda – ½ tsp
Ground cinnamon – ½ tsp (I used a pinch of nutmeg powder)
Salt – ¼ tsp (Omit if using salted butter)
 Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line muffin tray with liners.
  2. Melt butter and bring to room temperature.
  3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the egg (if using), vanilla extract and mashed banana. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. 
  4. In another large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Gently fold in the mangoes, making sure they are coated with flour.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until the ingredients are just combined. Do not over mix the batter.
  7. Pour the batter into lined muffin molds. Bake until a tester inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

My team mates at work have been bugging me to get something home made before I bid farewell to them soon. I made 2 batches each of vanilla cupcakes with chocolate chips and molten center choco cupcakes both adapted from Divya’s blog. I made minor modifications to this recipe. My batter turned out to be quite stiff and I had to add more amount of milk (than mentioned in the recipe) to loosen it to dropping consistency. I substituted butter with oil. Also do serve them by warming in microwave for the chocolate at the center to melt. Post with vanilla cupcake recipe would be up pretty soon.
Ingredients:
(I got 18 cupcakes with the quantity mentioned)
Butter – 55 gms (I replaced with oil)
Castor Sugar – 55 gms
Flour – 85 gms
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
Egg – 1
Vanilla – 1 tsp
Milk – 1-2  tbsp (I added half a cup of milk)
Chocolate – 100 gms, chopped into small cubes (I used morde dark compound)
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 190C. Line a muffin tin with liners.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Keep aside.
3. Beat oil and sugar till light and fluffy.
4. Mix in egg and vanilla, beat for one more minute.
5. Fold in the dry ingredients and beat until the last trace of flour disappears. If the batter seems too stiff, add milk to ‘loosen’ the batter. The final batter should be of dropping consistency.
6. Pour half of the batter into the cupcake molds. Place chopped chocolate pieces in the center. Pour the other half of the remaining batter and cover the chocolate. Molds should be filled to 3/4th of its height to let the batter space to raise.
7. Bake for 20-22 minutes or till the cupcakes have risen and firm on top.
Let it cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the tray and cool on a wire rack.
  

Sending these to Bookmarked Recipes every Tuesday event hosted by Aipi and Priya

Mango Smoothie

My office cafeteria has a juice corner. They have many variations of mango based drink on offer. This is the one that I love to order. In comparison with Mango shake, this has a thicker texture and uses curd instead of milk. There is no recipe as such. Simply blend together pieces of mango, curd and a little bit of sugar to adjust the sweetness of mango being used. Drink it or eat it, any which way, it is delectable.

Chocolate Almond Brownies

No words today as I’m having a really really bad head ache but wanna post this as it’s lying in drafts for quite some time. Would just like to mention that these brownies made chocolate hater Ma, go bananas over them!!! The crunchy nutty top and chewy chocolatey base made us all go head over heels…
Recipe Source:
Ria’s Collection, she adapted it from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy by Alice Medrich. Pg 225

Ingredients:Unsalted butter – 4 tbsp
Chocolate chips – 11 oz (approx.300g) – (I used morde milk compound of same quantity)
Sugar – 2/3 cup
Salt – 1/4 tsp
Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp (original recipe says optional but I would say mandatory)
Eggs – 2 large,cold
Unbleached all purpose flour – 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp
Almonds – 1 cup, chopped 

Method:
1. Melt the chocolate and butter together, till smooth.
2. Stir in the sugar, salt and vanilla.
3. Add 1 egg, stirring until it is incorporated. Repeat with the second egg.
4. Stir in the flour and beat with a wooden spoon or spatula until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the bowl; it is critical that the batter pulls away, so do not stop mixing until it does.
5. Line a baking tin with foil. Pour batter into the prepared tin, spread it evenly but with lots of raised swirls and ridges and top with almonds.
6. Bake for 30-35 mins, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs, not totally gooey.
7. Cool on rack, lift the foil ends to transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares.
 
 

Sending this to Bookmarked Recipes every Tuesday event hosted by Priya and Aipi

I love the red Amarnath leaves more than the green variety. When we were in Chennai, never found the red ones. So Ma had sent a few bunches of red Amarnath with Abbas, I made this stir fry and ate to heart’s content. But red ones are abundant here in Bangalore. Combo of greens with garlic is a match made in heaven and I add extra doze of garlic than perhaps required coz I am a fanatical garlic lover.
Ingredients:
Amarnath leaves – 2 cups packed, cleaned and chopped
Potato – 1 small, cut into 1″cm squares
Garlic cloves – 8-10, finely chopped
Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Onion – 1 small, finely chopped (optional)
Red chilly – 1, broken into 3-4 pieces
Nigella seeds / Kala jeera – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan. Add nigella seeds and red chillies. Add chopped garlic and saute till light brown.
2. Add garlic paste and saute till raw smell goes away. Add onion and saute till transparent and pinkish.
3. Add potato pieces and stir till they turn slightly golden.
4. Now add chopped greens, turmeric powder, salt. No need to add water. Greens will release lot of water. Reduce flame immediately and cover with lid.
5. Stir once in 5 mins and cook till greens and potatoes are cooked.
6. Once cooked, remove the lid, increase flame to high and cook till excess water is evaporated.
Note:
1. Along with leaves, tender stems can also be used.
2. Wash greens thoroughly atleast thrice to remove any sand particles from them.
3. I always soak the greens in a big vessel full of water and then remove leaves and put in a colander. Repeat same atleast thrice until the water u soak greens in comes out clear.