Friday, April 30, 2010

Sinful Indulgence - A Chocolate Making Workshop

It was an instant decision for me and Nithya to go for the workshop, and boy are we glad we did go for it. I haven't ever tried making chocolates, but after watching Jayashree demonstrate the process of chocolate making. I'm all set to head straight to buy my fancy moulds, my ingredients and make this a whole hearted indulgence..

Tempering the chocolate is the most important step to successful chocolate making.

A hardshell of chocolate filled with a variety of centers - a Hawaiian Surprise, Honey dew, Caramel Eclairs, Butterscotch, Chocolate Crispies, Almond delight.or even with a Day and Night Filling...the list just goes on and on and on...let your creativity do its wonders!

After filling the chocolate moulds, tapping the moulds will release any tapped air bubbles, again an important pointer for that perfect little look.

Our beauties once they were refrigerated and released from captivity

Care for your chocolate by keeping the chocolate sealed. Store the chocolate in a cool place and not in the refrigerator.

We wrapped these lady loves and cased them for our keeping!!!

..........And now for the Liqueur-Filled beauties...........

Get the cocktails mixed and ready..

Using a dropper fill the ladies up.........

A good aftertaste should leave positive chocolate flavors in the mouth for two minutes or more.
Thus  presenting an alcoholic cordial with chocolate flavoring....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Honey Chicken Wings

Chirag's 4th Birthday party and the Nutties brought her culinary skills to create some awesome snacks for her kiddo guests. This recipe she said is straight out from Farida's blog...I checked it out..tried it out...and  I tell you...the breadcrumb dredged wings just disappeared.....any guesses where to??...I remember my son screaming in excitement..."mama made kfc chicken dada"...and all I see is the plate laden with the wings being handled by a three year old not to mention a 31 year old's brain scheming the whole drama (i.e.hubby dearest)....

Chicken wings - 16
Tomato Ketchup - 2tbs
Mayonnaise - 2tbs
Honey - 2tbs
Crushed black pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Into a mixing bowl, combine the chicken wings with ketchup, honey, mayo, salt and pepper. Toss to coat the wings well. Leave in the refrigerator overnight. Remove the wings from the marinade, dredge them in breadcrumbs and bake them into a preheated oven of 160C for about 40minutes till they turn a nice golden brown and juices run dry.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fruit 'n' Nut Pulao ~ Veal Stir Fry with Cold Cucumber in Yogurt

My brother loves home cooked food, and he looks forward to his weekends with me only because I'd always have something cooked keeping in mind that he'd be over. Veal is his favourite be it veal chops, a biriyani or stir fry.

Fruit and Nut Pulao

Long grain Basmati Rice - 500gm cooked
Dates - 100gm de-seeded and chopped
Raisins -50gm soaked in warm water
Almonds - 100gm
Onion - 2 large finely sliced
Salt to taste

Fry the alomnds in butter till golden brown. Remove and keep aside. Add the sliced onione to butter and fry till just turning brown. Add raisins and dates and gently stir fry over the flame for about 2-3mins. Add 3/4cup water and simmer gently till the dates are tender and the water is absorbed. Melt 11/2tbs butter in a large heavy saucepan. Add half the cooked rice and spread almonds, raisins, onions and dates over it. Add the remaining rice and dot with butter. Cover with the lid, steam for about 20-30minutes. Serve warm

Veal Stir fry


Veal cubes - 1kg
Coriander Powder - 2tbs
Chilly Powder - 1tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Ginger garlic Paste - 1tbs
Coriander Leaves - 4tbs chopped
Mint Leaves - 1tbs chopped
Onion - 2 large finely sliced
Cumin Powder - 14tsp
Garam masala - 1tsp
Salt to taste
Black Peppercorns -  10-12 crushed

Saute the onions till evenly browned. Add in the ginger garlic paste and then sauté for a minute. Then add in all the powders, and saute till the fat separation happens. Then add in the veal and fry till the veal is cooked. You could spoon in some warm water time to time to allow the veal to cook. Then add in the chopped coriander and mint leaves leaves and continue sauteing for 2-3minutes till the flavors are imparted. Add salt to taste, sprinkle in the crushed peppercorns. Serve with pulao and enjoy!

Cucumber Raita


Lebanese Cucumber - peeled and cubed into small pieces
Yogurt - 4cups
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste

Whisk the yoghurt well. Add the chopped up cucumber and add salt and sugar to taste (depending on either of the salt or/sugar to be empowering~ personally we prefer the sweetness over the saltiness). Serve with pulao.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Honey Spice Cake

I happened to text my friend on what's baking today and the next thing you know I have my door bell ringing with BJ at my as if the smoky arm attached to a beckoning hand, reached out to the unsuspected nose of the fortune and helplessly lead him to my kitchen. Did BJ like it? did he savor it?...I'm yet to get a response....even if he didn't..the rest of us (my husband, son and of course myself) did....

Butter - 2/3cups, plus extra for greasing
Brown sugar - 1/2cup generous
Honey - 1/2cup
Water - 1tbs
Self raising flour - 1 1/2cups
Ground ginger - 1/2tsp
All spice - 1/2tsp
Seeds from cardamom pods - 8 ground
Eggs - 2 beaten
Icing sugar - 3 1/2cups (I used only 1 1/2cups because I ran out of it)

Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F. Grease a baking tray. Place the butter, sugar, honey and water into a heavy bottomed pan. Set over a low flame till the butter and sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool for about 10minutes. Sift the flour into a large bowl, mix in the ginger, all spice, cardamom. Make a well in the center and add the honey mixture and the beaten eggs and beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 40minutes till done, or till the skewer inserted becomes clean.
Sift the icing sugar and stir enough warm water to make a smooth flowing frosting. Spoon over the cake allowing it to flow down the sides. Let it set.

Suma Rowajee of Cakes and More has passed on this award for the day, thank you Suma for passing it on. The last two days have been ecstatic especially with the win from The Best Chocolate Cake event hosted by Divya Kudua. Once again Divya, thankyou for having hosted the event.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter lunch - Vegetable Pulao and Beef fry

Easter lunch was at my inlaws house, and the spread was as elaborate as my mother-in-law could cook. My father-in-law being the mutton expert, of course got his hands into making a mutton stew to be combined with hot appams, a veg pulao to be had with beef fry (again a dish done Daddy's ishtyle). I guess the only person missing at the table was my Ratish (my bro-in-law)....we caught him online all the way from New Zealand.... only to be a baddie and tempt him with an exceptional account of what lunch was like at 'Home'

Vegetable Pulao

Long grain basmati rice- 2cups
Carrots - 1/4cup julienned
Beans - 1/4cup diagonally cut
Peas - 1.4cup
Capsicum - 1/4cup diced and cubed
Fried Onions - for garnish
Salt to taste

Boil the carrots, beans and peas till al-dente . Fry the capsicum in a 1tsp of oil into a non-stick pan for a minute and keep aside. In the mean time cook the rice separately till nice and fluffy . While cooking the rice you may want to flavour the rice with 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 cardamom pods, 2 bay leaves, 4 cloves and salt. Once the rice is drained of all the water the spices too can be removed. Into a frying pan, add ghee and simply toss the boiled vegetables for a minute or two and then gently combine with the boiled rice. Garnish the rice with fried onions and serve warm.

Beef fry

Beef - 500gms
Button onions - 1/2cup
Coconut slivers - 1/4cup
Ginger-2tbs julienned
Garlic - 4 plum sliced
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon sticks - 2 sticks broken
Dry red chillies - 5 broken into pieces
Peppercorns - 10-12 crushed
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Tomato paste - 1tbs
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs

Cut the beef into bite size pieces. Crush onion, ginger and garlic onto a chopping board and add into a non stick pan along with the beef. Add rest of the ingredients. Pour enough water to cook and cook for 30minutes till the beef is well cooked and the pan juice is coated on the beef. Heat oil onto a non-stick pan and fry the curry leaves, then add the tomato paste, coconut slivers and cooked beef. Sauté till browned on medium heat.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday - Rice Gruel/ Rice Kanji

Good Friday is the victory over man's failure to death and sin; while Jesus exchanged sin and death for redemption and grace.

Rice Gruel is the typical Keralite lunch on Good Friday accompanied with greem gram, spiced buttermilk, pappad and pickle....

Greem Gram Thoran
Green Gram - 1cup
Coconut Gratings - 1/4cup
Button onioins - 5sliced
Garlic - 2 cloves crushed
Cumin powder - 1/2tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/4tsp
Curry leaves - 2sprigs
Dried Red chillies - 2 broken

Cook the greem gram in 2 cups of water until it becomes soft and the pan juice dries up (If additional water is required add water inermittently to cook the dal). Grind the coconut gratings, cumin powder, garlic, a couple of button onions to a coarse paste and place into the cooked gram. Cover and cook until the masala is cooked through. Temper the mustard seeds, curry leaves and button onions to a golden colour. Fry the red chilli and turn the tempering into the cooked dal. Stir well and serve.

Spiced Buttermilk
Yogurt - 1cup
Water - 1cup
Green chilli- 2 thinly sliced
Button onions - 2 thinly sliced
Ginger - 1/4tsp
Few curry leaves 
Salt to taste

Blitz yogurt in a bowl until smooth, add water and rest of the ingredients and stir well. Chill until serving time.

Mango Chutney
Raw mango - 1 whole peeled, de-seeded and cut into smal pieces
Coconut gratings - 1cup
Button onions - 4
Green chilly - 2
Cumin powder - 1/4tsp
Salt to taste

Grind all the ingredients to a paste adding water little by little. Serve immediately with the kanji.

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