Monday, 29 December 2014

Jam thumbprint cookies

    Cookies are quite an demand at home.  Though they serve mainly with evening tea or milk, they are also helpful when it comes to noon-time sweet carvings.  This jam cookies is one such type, be it with milk, or an small serving of dessert, it never fails to make an refreshing impact. This recipe is adapted from book, ' The Big Book of Treats' by Pooja Dhingra.



Tastewise, they were similar to butter cookies.  We feasted on them :)  You can also freeze the dough and make them whenever needed.  

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Choco cake bars

    Well, wondering what to do with left-over cake and frosting after an grand baking session?  Well, this might be the answer for all ;)  With an glossy chocolate finish, this choco cake bars, will excite anybody and create an new demand with the left-overs  :)


Yes, after the Rainbow ruffle cake, I had some left-over cake (remember? I had cut the dome part) and the frosting too.  Initially I freezed them both for later use.  Now, when I wanted to make an dessert out of them, all I could think was of some cake pops.



But, with presence of ice-cream sticks all over my place, I could end up with this choco cake bars, ie an cakey version of chocobar.  Initially, cake crumbs were mixed with frosting and shaped over the ice-cream sticks.  This was layered with whipped cream and another layer of hot dark chocolate.  Final touch of rainbow sprinklers were added to glam up.


 Each and every bite was like amazing, the moistened cake with soft cream and cracking chocolate had compensated each other very well.  My man was, like initially startled to find them, when he opened the refrigerator.  Later, I explained him, that it was glamed up cake balls, and he happily reached out to pick one.  :) 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Rainbow ruffle cake

Initially, when I took to baking, I would search all types of cakes available online.  The one cake, which would impress me the most is this rainbow cake.  For long, I had been thinking of making this and surprising my kid, but as routine life goes on -this cake remained as an sweet memory inside my heart.  Now, when Swathi Iyer  and Julie announced this month's challenge, I almost jumped with joy! Yes, the challenge to bake my sweet-heart cake!



This cake needs an lot of patience, to bake each layer and also to assemble them.  I flavoured green layer with pista, red with strawberry  (which went according to the recipe source provided) and orange, yellow went with orange and mango fruit juices.  Rest I made as plain sponge and coloured them.





As soon, I started assembling them, I could see an huge tower of cake, to be feasted.  :)  I used Tropolite cream for frosting.




Each and every slice was delecious with whipped cream frosting.  As expected, my kid was very excited.  :)  At the end, that is all what every baker wants, to get amazed by their pretty hero's and heroine's of their life, isn't it?  :)




All thanks to Swathi Iyer  and Julie , this challenge was amazing and I am eagerly looking forward to another one!


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Chunky chocolate cookies

    Chocolate cookies - who doesn't go gaga over them?  We end up buying some brand or the other once in an week, because we all devour them :)  So, such one week, both mother and daughter took up this project and made them with available ingredients.  Though they were mildly sweet, the aroma was excellant and filled up our home.


 Adding brown sugar instead of regular sugar charmed up the flavour and final touch of milk chocolate chunks/ finely chopped milk chocolate ended  up in rich, delecious cookie that became favourite of all :D


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Pottukadalai laddu - 5 ingredient fix

  Hi.   Anybody watching, '5 ingredient fix' at Fox traveller?  I, surely do.  It is soo amazing how the host prepares an range of dishes with only five ingredients each.  This pottukadalai laddu is dedicated to the same tag :)  Not only this laddu charms us with handy ingredients, but requires very minimal time, making them an stress-free dessert to do.


 This, is my kid's favourite and everytime I make them, she jumps with joy.  Not only this pottukadalai is an good source of energy, but is also advisable remedy for excessive menstrual phase.  An huge batch of them required only 4 tbspn of ghee/ clarified butter.  So, this can be considered an healthier dessert as well.  

Friday, 28 November 2014

Yellow polka dot cake / Mango fudge cake/ Vegan cake

   Hi everyone :)  This special cake,  is one I made for hubby's birthday.  I wanted this cake to be very special, and designed them visually,  therefore,  this has also given me many sleepless nights with regards to flavour, essence and ingredients.  Since, mango was favourite with him and kid, I went by this yellow polka dot cake :)


I prepared this  mango cake with Tang - mango powder. They were easily available in the nearest super-market.  Also, I wanted this cake to be eggless - hence made an vegan cake which was fudgy as well.  But, this fudgy mango cake, was very well compromised with vegan whipped cream. I have prepared mango cream, using the tropolite cream for polka dots.   You can also have the plain cake as tea-time snack, if you wish to have them without cream.   So, all thanks to Tang, mango powder - they infused such an amazing mango flavour.



Every slice of this cake, quite easily melted in mouth.  All thanks to the turn-table and palette knife I got recently, they made the frosting part easier and quite professional.  I will also, recommend you guys to buy the same for an neat finish.  

Saturday, 22 November 2014

How to make vegan whipped cream - from Tropolite

    Hi guys, today we are going to see a 'vegan version' of whipped cream in our post.  I have also posted dairy whipped cream, and instant whipped cream before.   Now, with a more prevailing vegan culture at our place, this cream not only makes a huge reach but also restores same delicious taste as any regular dairy cream.



There are many brands of non-dairy whipped cream, but Tropolite is best.  At Hyderabad, I bought them at Balaji grand bazaar.  The best feature with Tropolite is that you need not flavor them with essence nor do you need to add sugar.  Everything is pre-packed and all you need to do is to whip them up!  Isn't it cool?   And yes, just like instant noodles, you need only TWO  minutes to whip them up.  Let's get started :)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Chocolate rocks , an sweet come-back :)

Hi guys :)  Happy children's day :)  So, this sweet/dessert is for those tiny-tots.  You don't require any fancy tools for making these.  They are very simple and can be made by juniors themselves as well :)  So, why not make this interesting project for them?  Well, the best part of candy-making is that you can always monitor what goes in.  Here these chocolate rocks, are an combination of dark chocolate and almonds, making them healthier option not only for kids, but  for adults,as well.



These crispies can be served with tea.  I have made them using Morde branded dark compound, (I bought them  at Q-mart, Hyderabad) which is used in making  home-made chocolates. If not dark compound, you can use your favourite dark or milk chocolates as well.  And almonds can be replaced by an mixture of dry nuts or any of your favourite.  You can store them in air-tight container, and keep them refrigerated. 

Monday, 28 July 2014

Chettinadu chicken gravy

Chettinadu gravy is known for its flavourful and aromatic spices, in addition to their tantalizing taste. Here, I have made chettinadu masala, from scratch and this is followed by the gravy.  You can also make the masala in huge batch and store them for later


They were absolutely fabulous and would go divine with dosa/rice/idiyappam.  I am planning to make them furthur...

Monday, 21 July 2014

Sage & lemon chocolate shots

    Hyderabad is sensing an chilly climate of late.  And, due to ramzan fasting, one could find lots of mirchi bhajji & samosa stalls in evening.  I tasted few and they were awesome :) an real treat with respect to weather, isn't it?  Yet, chilly treats need not be savoury everytime, afterall, what are hot chocolate drinks for?   :)



And this time, hot chocolate shots,  is infused with sage and lemon rind for an additional herbal treat.  Sage added the pungent-ness and stood as an bittersome company with dark chocolate.  Lemon rind, beautifully attributed to flavour, and I must say that this holy combination left me completely speechless.


It is quite an surprise, as my daughter loved it, I was taken back, because though these shots were rich & creamy , their nil-sweet component would make her to resist them.  Fortunately, she liked the bitterness and rich chocolate flavour and gulped down the shots.  :)  Personally, I feel that this is an better way to introduce herbal content in her diet.  So, guys ready for shots?  :)


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Fruity shortcake


According to wiki, Shortcakes are crumbly bread that is leavened by baking powder.  Not only do they differ in size to regular cakes, but their method of preparation resembles like that of an bread/muffins.   The liquid ingredients used to moisten the dry ingredients are milk/cream,  resulting in crumbly-textured dough, which is shaped as desired and baked.  The baked ones are then, garnished with whipped cream along with fruit & fruit juices.  


So, when such gorgeous short-cakes were, suggested as this month's Baking partners challenge, I could hardly resist myself from trying them.  All thanks to Reeni and Swathi Iyer, for this awesome challenge.  I made this, and my family relished whole-heartedly. 

How to make whipped cream - from commercial powder

     Yes, in this post, I will explain how to whip up an delecious cream, from instant powder.  One magic of this whipped cream is not only that it is instant, but, requires exactly three minutes to prepare.  You can even prepare them the day before, trust me, this can  do wonders to your cake.

All you need is Whipped cream - instant topping (I used BLUE BIRD - 50 gm) and 90ml of ice-cold water.




Refrigerate the vessel (into which you are about to whip) and blender blades for atleast an hour.  Dissolve powder with water and begin to whip.  First minute the liquid will slowly rise to top.  Second minute, you can see lovely curls which swings according to the direction you are whipping and by the end of third minute, you can detect soft, fluffy frosting which has expanded almost, thrice in volume, forming stiff peaks over the blender




As soon as you get  this stage, cover them with cling wrap and refrigerate atleast fifteen minutes, before you use them for frosting.  This will yield you 11/2 cups of frosting.


Happy cooking :)



Sunday, 13 July 2014

Butter biscuit

      My routine life, with incoming guests had cornered my blogging to an standstill factor.  But, now, am slowly picking up my pace :)   Yes,  so, for an refreshing start, let me introduce you this butter biscuit.  :)  With an incoming monsoon, we all are forced for an lot of  masala chai accompaniments, aren't we?  And this treat, which is also my childhood- driven inspiration, impressed all.



Special mention goes to the nutty texture, yes, I had sprinkled some coarsely chopped nuts along with cardamon powder.  Tricky part lies in baking them, this biscuit barely needed ten minutes and were super-crispy when cooled to room temperature.  



So, guys, do try them and let me know....




Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Baingan phobia - My total recall

 Holding the hand of my grandfather, I was enjoying  my evening walk one sunday.  Being the first granddaughter, I was apple of his eye.   We went for a walk in our farm house and were nearing the garden.  The garden, appeared colourful with almost every vegetable one could find on market.  I was deeply enthused by one brightly coloured vegetable, and shedding away his hand, I tried to lean into the plant. By this time,  grandpa had warned me to be more careful, and then suddenly, the wicked thorny-stemed vegetable had stung me deep into my little finger.  I, cried an lot and ran into my grandpa, who by this time had hugged me and cursed the plant for its evil deed.


    For those, who by now wonder, what this dramatic flashback has to do with my post, yes, that thorny, wicked, totally gross  and evil-minded vegetable was none other than brinjal.  :D  :D    That terrible incident, shook my life away ( This itself shows how adament I am, ain't I?) and thereafter, I heavily refused to consume that vegetable.  My grandfather, tried to convince me an lot, but, in vain.

Twenty years after, now, I am still the same sarcastic, home-maker, who never hesitates to remove brinjals out of my plate, be it vaangi baath (delecious brinjal pulao), Kathirikkai masala (Brinjals cooked in spicy onion-tomato gravy), Baingan bharta (Brinjals stuffed with peanut-sesame seed masala and sauted)  Nevertheless, fate has an other side, isn't it?   :D   :D

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Chunky vegetarian delight

      With cloudy day today, we need to take an preferable break from summer-delights, isn't it?   Well, these tikkis are made from chunky vegetables, spinach, cheese and are baked.  Out of the oven, these were completely gorgeous with an cheese burst surface and full of flavours.  All loved it and my little daughter showed her  not-so-bumpy biceps and said, 'mommy, I am getting lot of strength now'  :)  :)    These cute, cheesy and iron-rich tikki's are best served hot with tomato & fig flavoured sauce.



Though these tikkis are made of finely chopped vegetables, baking them  released not only their flavour, but also chunkyness is reduced to mushy, soft, grainy texture and paalak is like dissolving in your mouth.  This delightful tikki not only kids-friendly, sure to appeal adults too.  You must cool tikkis completely before peeling them from butter paper, as they might disintegrate when they are removed hot.  

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Tomato & fig flavoured sauce

    My kid is tomato sauce-aholic, yes, I think she might be the only kid on earth to have one regular pack of french fries with almost two cups of tomato sauce :D :D   Sometimes, I do worry, what goes into the sauce, but when you have the option of making your own sauce with customized taste - I say, 'Why wait, darling?'

 Tomato sauce makes an great option along with appetizers, but, with dozen of dried figs lying around the corner, I decided to hit on an combo-treat. :)  Suprisingly, the sauce/spread didn't taste like there were any figs on them.  They can go absolutely fabulous with tikkis, cutlets, stuffed parathas, chips etc.  You could also eat them with figs :)



Also, one other special mention is that this sauce is full of flavours- starting from caramelised onions to red wine (optional), there is an subtle sweetness, and tangyness felt towards the end.   This sauce, being iron-rich, can  also boosts up your health.  After an intial taste-check with your folks, I better suggest you to make an huge batch for an healthier you & your family.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Cheddar and sage scones

       Scones are quick-bread, usually leavened by Baking powder.  They are tea-time snacks, and had preferably with butter/cream and sometimes with Flavoured jam too.  As part of this month's Baking Partners challenge, Archana has suggested these scones.  Cheddar and sage scones, were highly aromatic, crumbly-cake like textured with an cheesy twist.  Topped with butter, these scones can be an absolute kid-pleaser and an hearty tea-time treat.


They were super-quick with an handy ingredients.  Once baked, they filled up my entire home with an strong aroma.  All this magical credit goes to sage, which imparted an light pungentness, when paired up with mustard.  Sage is better known to many, as, 'Karpooravalli' an medical plant at South India.  Since my childhood, these raw leaves were suggested to us, for an excellant cure of cold, cough etc.  Not only in scones/muffins, these scones can impart in various dishes like chicken, lamb, turkey etc.  Since, I didn't have fresh leaves, I went on to use dried sage.  All thanks to Archana and Swathi for introducing this exotic herbed scones to us.




For those, who would love to have spicier, don't hesitate to add an heavy pinch of chilly flakes.  
Next time, I am opting for those...  These scones, can be stored in an air-tight container over an week.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Chocolate macaroons

Macaroons are lightly baked confectionery.  Remember the ones, we used to avail at Adayar Bakery, Chennai?  Similar to them, yet imagine them with an hint of  chocolate....... Imagining sooo, replace the crunchy cashew pieces with chocolate vermicelli, wonderful them, aren't they?   Any kid would drool over these and by the time, my kid opened her snack-box, everything was gone.... :)  :)  Next time, I am planning to bake an huge batch of these.....


 These macaroons are made from egg whites, which are stiffly beaten and folded with sugar and required essence.  Then, these are piped with foil/ parchment paper lined tray and baked for 100 degree celsius, for about an 80 minutes.  This baking at an slower temperature helps macaroons in gaining an crusty top with crunchy body.  You can skip few minutes, if you wish to have an gooey centre (Like marshmallows).  These macaroons, are best made at summer as humidity or an rainy day would introduce moisture into them, and would make them soggy....




I made them using an single egg white, (as my oven had moderate capacity).  Remember stiffly beaten egg whites cannot be stored and piped again, these macaroons must be baked as soon as they are done with batter.  Exact trick lies in obtaining stiff peaks, also folding other ingredients into stiffly peaked egg whites.  And, after done they can be stored in air-tight container for almost an week.  This hot temperature was easing the macaroons, don't miss them out for an perfect climate.  :)



Sunday, 8 June 2014

Kolhapuri masala

    Kolhapur, city from South-west Maharashtra, has been blessed with delecious cuisine.  From, taambda rassa, pandra rassa to  sukka, they have also been entrusted with loads of vegetarian dishes like Misal, bharleli vaangi and ghavachi kheer as well.  What makes Kolhapur additionally special is largest production of jaggery owing to massive sugarcane fields around.  Not only on culinery terms, they excel in Jewellery, leather chappals and wrestling.  Relegiously, they have also been termed as, 'DAKSHIN KAASI' due to presence of Goddess Mahalakshmi.

    Though they multi-excel, our key point to note would be the entire soul for Kolhapuri cuisine - Kolhapuri masala.  The unique combination of dry roasted spices like sesame seeds, coconut,  garlic along with garam masala like cinnamon, cloves, star anise flavours this masala in an wholesome way.  Special regards to the chilly used here - Bedgi mirch (dark in colour, mildly spicy), Jawari mirch (lightly toned, but highly spicy)  So, when I saw an recipe by Prachi Joshi from GOOD FOOD Magazine (May 2014), I could hardly resist myself from preparing them.



So, here they are.  The given recipe yields 250 gm of Kolhapuri masala (You could half them, for an small batch also).  At room temperature, this can be stored in an airtight container, for almost ten months.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Chocolate conecakes - My anniversary treat

    First I saw them on an random google image search, I was stunned.  These cute conecakes were simply amazing to look, and would definitely be an 'hit' dessert for any occasion.  I decided that I will bake my own version someday.  And when that 'someday' turned out for my anniversary, I was completely excited.



I had baked these few weeks back, for my daughters's summer camp party.  At first, my other half mocked me, by saying, 'Can you do those, all by yourself?'  This, itself was like, enough to trigger the 'baking' fire on me.  But, unfortunately he was right and I flopped first time.  But, second time, I tried keeping in mind, all my flaws, I got them perfect.  Don't worry guys, I will share all my flaws with you, so that you need not suffer any, 'first loss'  as I did.  Just keep yourself hooked till the end of the post for all kind of tricks and tips.




These conecakes, usually are baked from short-bottomed cones.  But, here I have used normal cones, we can see at every ice-cream parlour.  The batter I have filled is chocolate sponge cake, with whipped white chocolate ganache and an dark chocolate ball, to top with.  Overall, these triple chocolate conecakes, were an delight to watch, delecious to eat, everything I have imagined them to be....

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Whipped ganache

 I had plans to bake an awesome cake for my wedding anniversary, and so inspected my refrigerator for my available ingredients.  With cream and white chocolate lying around, I happily proceeded to make ganache sauce...  Later, I was shocked to realize that instead of planning an icing for my cake, I had settled for an sauce :/  sigh..... So, as I started browsing around, I had,  understood that this ganache sauce can be whipped up to form an icing.  OMG, that was sooo close, an blessing in disguise, actually :)

Ganache, an sauce is used as sinful filling in truffles.  Dark chocolate and cream are usually added in 2:1 ratio, but milk and white chocolate can alternatively used too.   It is an myth to refer white chocolate as an, 'chocolate' because they have an lot of cocoa butter content in them than the actual cocoa iself.



Care should be taken that ganache should be an smooth pudding-like (ie, an thick sauce) before whipping, if they harden after refrigeration, they must be brought under room temperature till they become saucy.   Alternatively  overwhipping might also result in grainy textured output.  So, whipping till they increase in volume and become fluffier might be suggested.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Karahi chicken

   'Karahi Chicken', an Pakistani dish, derives its name from the round, circular shaped wok (called as karahi) they are cooked with.   Prepared with tomatos and green chilly as its base, this gravy is not only flavourful, but also was delecious.  


With an toddler around, I decided to go with moderate amounts of green chilly (If you wish this dish to be highly spicy, you can add more amount of green chillies) Remaining amount of green chilly, was substituted with capsicum slices to give an sweet touch.  This dish, is cooked as an one pot meal and traditionally was cherished till late nights.  Simplistic approach, with easy-peasy ingredients and no-oil cooking complements this dish an lot.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Araichu vitta sambhar

Running out of sambhar powder?  Or often wondering the secret-ingredient for restaurant-styled thick sambhar??   Don't worry.... this, araichu vitta sambhar comes to your rescue :D  'Araichu vitta' in tamil means freshly grounded, accordingly this sambhar utlizes an medley of spices from your kitchen, that are freshly dry-roasted and powdered.  This powder, not only comes in handy when your sambhar powder goes out of stock, but also acts as an, 'thickening agent', thus making the latter more fragrant, more tasty and restaurant-styled.


And, one other difference from sambhar is that, in araichu vitta sambhar, tempering is done by the end.  Since, we add no spices other than dry-roasted ones, we may not be sure about the spice- content of sambhar.  Hence, tempering accordingly with number of red chillies might yield you an perfect, balanced output.  This is really, an blessing in disguise, isn't it? 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

KHUMB DOPYAZA - Mushrooms cooked in double onion masala

   'Dopyaza' meaning for double onion masala, actually originated when an cook (from Mughals), accidentally added lots of onions into mutton curry.  This  dish was much favoured by the kings, and hence the name originated.  For such an delicate curry, and an blessing for onion-lovers, why can't we drag them around and play with our veggies ;) Yes, they paired up excellantly with mushrooms and my other half couln't be happier than that. (I, really wasn't surprised, for an man who loves to eat raw onions, cooked ones must have pleased far...)


Onions, at first, used for usual sauting and  finally used as an garnish too (garnishing ones were deep-fried).  Apart from accompanying spices like black cardamon, bay leaf, cloves and peppercorns, they also pair with souring agent (curd/mango/tomato puree).  So, let us move to this delecious curry at once.  


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Tiffin sambhar / Moong dal sambhar

We plan a lot for our life, isn't it?  Physical work-out, an brisk morning walk, gardening, trying out new interiors or exotic classes like Yoga, embriodery... my list goes on :)  But, time constraint hardly cuts down our options to one out of ten.  Though we plan an lot to do, plenty of our time goes into kitchen, thus sparing none.  Yes, this dish is dedicated to such constraints.... an sambhar, which is more delecious (than traditional) and more easy to make within little time is all I can start with... :P


This sambhar, is my hubby's favourite.  Using moong dal (instead of tuvar dal), tunes up the taste and also reduces the time of cooking.  This sambhar does not need pre-soaking of tamarind, since we are using country tomatos to achieve the same.  They can be aptly prepared for breakfast and served piping hot with idly/dosa.  Well, my husband grew an lot fond of it, that he wants them to replace the normal sambhar made for lunch.  Does that doubt? Well, try for yourself and be surprised with an overwhelming response.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Rainbow cupcakes

    CUPCAKES.......those wonderful, tiny delights topped by an gorgeous swirl is my all-time-inspiration. I love to experiment with cupcakes, but running almost an nuclear family, restricts me to bake  twice an month.  And with not-so-cream loving hubby, I had to opt for an minimal or no-creamed cupcakes.  So, once when I came through sour rainbow strips in an super-market, I really knew what to make from them.... :D  :D  Do check out my other cupcakes collection.... Dairy cupcakes, Butterfly choco cupcakes, Orange cupcakes, Panda cupcakes  Vanilla cupcakes with white chocolate icing. 


Rainbow-themed cupcakes, which can also be smeared by blue coloured buttercream, topped with white buttercream swirls with rainbow crossing over, is an perfect party food and would please any kid with an summer boredom :)  I avoided blue buttercream, and replaced it with an blueish cake batter, thus my icing-usage was reduced, an fact to satisfy my hubby's soul :D


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

How to make an small batch of buttercream?

     There is always an need to stay in shape, isn't it?  Most of us are foodies and we try to explore with high-calorified contents, forgetting about their impact with our waistline:P  So, what happens when we make more than needed buttercream or any other sinful delights? We try to consume them someway or the other, adding more fat to our peaceful life.  So, as an extra-cautious tip, let me start my post about making an small batch of buttercream for your delicious bakes.


And, what is extra special about this batch is that, it has cornflour, which stabilizes the cream from high temperature. Also, due to hot summer, I prepared them with an touch of 'icebath'.   The resulting buttercream was super-creamy and delecious.  They can be cling-wrapped and stored in refrigerator, for upto two weeks.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Sambhar

    Hi all.... back from my short vacation.  And since my daughter leaves to her summer camp, my routine life is almost back... Filling up my refrigerator with freshly brought veggies and fruits, cleaning up my partially-messed home, ... list goes on.  Going on vacation sounds much easier, but when it comes to post-vacation work, I always save an huge 'sigh' :/   Yesterday, day went quite interesting watching over election results.  Victory was predicted, as usual, but winning by 1:6 ratio (Congress: BJP) was quite an 'whooping result'.  Similarly goes with Tamilnadu where ADMK gained 37 out of 39 available seats.  Fabulous, isn't it?  Let us see if this decision solves our stagnating economy and deals with the price rise as well....

   Yes and coming back to our post, born and brought up at Chennai, I could'nt miss this special SAMBHAR prepared by my mom.  Infact, this is my favourite and same with my husband too.  Sambhar is south-indian dal preparation, mostly tuvar dal (yellow pigeon peas), with sambhar powder (an aromatic powder made out of chana dal, dried red chillies, curry leaves, whole cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds, asafoetida, few peppercorn etc), tamarind, assorted set of vegetables (like brinjal, drumstick, snakegourd, pumpkin etc), finished with an sweet touch of jaggery.


The trick in preparing an perfect sambhar lies in perfect balance of spice-sour and an sweet taste.  As an first-try, I have messed up by adding more sourness (more amount of imly/tamarind) into my sambhar.  So, I strongly recommend you to add only half of prescribed tamarind during cooking, other half you can wait till you complete the cooking, check the sambhar and add accordingly.  Also, kindly note that this 'sour' factor depends on tomatos you are adding.  Since, I have added hybrid tomatos, I have included tamarind.  In case, I am going with country tomatos ,(which has an higher sour content) I would prefer not to add tamarind as the former itself gives out required 'sour' effect.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Boti kebab

   Boti kebab, traditionally refers to chunks of mutton, marinated overnight with yoghurt and other spices.  This, the next day was grilled to perfection.  The name, boti is from sanskrit language which means, 'small chunks of meat'.  The following recipe is adapted from Morphy richard's recipe guide, where both chicken and mutton were given sited, I proceeded with former one.


One interesting fact with the guide was that they used wine for basting the marinated pieces, in between their grilling period.  I was very curious with this, and yes, used wine (first time in my blog :D ) for the same.  I could foresee an sweet- sour taste from the wine.  Minced onions gave an added sweet touch and with other spices, the dish appeared spicier too.  Finally such an sweet-hot- sour combination brought out an mesmerizing yield and all thanks to my recipe guide.  

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Chocolate babka muffins

Chocolate babka muffins are yeast-raised muffins, that have an delecious chocolate filling, topped by streusel (an mixture of butter-flour-sugar, topped over bread in order to get an 'crumbly' effect)





 The word, 'Babka' is derived from word, 'baba' also known as grandmother in Polish (from Poland).  The original derivative of this sweet yeast-raised bread were known to be stout and round, hence the name.  Lateron, these were twisted and baked on loaf pan with an filling of cinnamon flavoured chocolate.  Slowly, this muffins originated from traditional loafs.   Instead of baking them as loafs and slicing them,  an effective method of slicing the dough (before baking) and transferring into individual muffin trays was done.



The rich taste of flaky, buttery dough combined with delecious chocolate filling, did win many hearts back at home. To my surprise, my not-so-chocolate-lover hubby, loved them totally.  I couldn't have asked for more :)  All thanks to Tamy and Swathi Iyer for this wonderful challenge.  

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Watermelon-look alike cake/ fondant sponge cake

     I love to bake.... baking, not only ends up with an beautiful, gorgeous end-product, but also relaxes my mind and eases the day. (Now, let us forget about the sink getting loaded with lots of dirty vessels.... and the overall messy work, LOL) Though, I would love to bake all the time, my regret is not on the cost I had spent, but on the consumption part.  Since, we are an family of three (I would say, two and an half :D ) I can't proceed to my next bake, untill and unless my previous one got completely out of stock.


So, when my sambhar cake disappeared, I was wondering what to proceed.  So, when I explored my refrigerator, my eyes shined gloriously over the cling wrapped fondant.  Yes, this fondant is very special to me, since I experimented myself, with stocked on condensed milk.  Isn't that exciting?  I, dragged this fondant and along with icing colours played an little to create this magical watermelon look-alike cake.  Basically, there is no watermelon(Beleive me, not even an drop of essence or juice),  but an sponge cake topped with fondant to create an fake look.  Though I am not uploading details of fondant here, I promise to get back soon with an detailed post :)


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Cheesy sambhar cake

This is an savoury cake, sandwiched between an layer of cheese and an layer of potato, seasoned with sambhar spices.   The taste was heavenly, and for an savoury-lover like me, every bite was mesmerizing.  Hubby, being an sambhar-aholic, thumbs uped this one.



This is, like, one crazy experiment which turned an best shot.   Yes, though, I wanted to bake buns with aloo masala filling, I settled for this one.  One advantage is that you can add any filling you want.  I made two fillings with the yeast-raised dough.  First one was cheese and second was potato.  I could'nt forsake this vegetable as this had its closest proximity with sambhar.  So making an sambhar flavoured potato was an better idea and sandwiching them between cheesy layers got the taste right.  

Monday, 7 April 2014

APPETIZER

SOUPS
·        Kekadacha soup/ Crab soup
·        Mysore rasam
·        Kollu rasam
·        Kaalan rasam
     

STARTERS
·        Grilled pomfret
·        Piri piri chicken
·       Tangdi kebab
·       Gobi aur oats ki tikka
·       Paneer tikka
·       Cabbage rolls
·       Roasted phool makhana
·      Misal
·       Kothe momo
·       Soya vade
·       Peanut masala
·       Handvo
·       Idly ka tikka

·         Meal-maker tikki

SWEETS & DRINKS

 DESSERTS:

·            Milk aur badami ladoo

·            Phool makhana ki kheer

·            Watermelonice-cream

·            Chocolaty sandesh

·            Motichoor laddu

·            Chocolate modak

·            Custard

·            Choclatey custard baskets

·            Bhopla aur dal ki kheer

·            Chocolate pudding

·             Choclatey pop sticks

·             Lauki ki halwa

·           Carrot halwa

·               Strawberry trifle shots

·               Coco-chocolate bars/ Bounty bars

     
BEVERAGES / SMOOTHIES/ MILK-SHAKE/ JUICE

·             Ginger tea

·             Masala tea

·             Coco-carrot milkshake

·             Butterscotch milkshake

·             Chickoo and banana milkshake

·             Banana and dates smoothie

·             Aam panna

·                Lemon salt soda


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