Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ripe Mango Curry ~ Pazha manga Curry

Mangoes in season and this is is a side dish you've would love to have for an afternoon. A sweet and sour curry which is an excellent combination with rice.

Ripe Mangoes - 5nos.
Green Chillies - 5-6nos chopped (some reserved to be ground)
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Water -500ml
Salt - 1tsp
Grated coconut -150gms
Shallots - 10-15 (some to be reserved for tempering)
Cumin seeds - 1/4tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Dried red chillies - 2nos.(broken into 2-3 small pieces)

Peel the mangoes. Cook the mangoes turmeric powder, a little salt, 250ml water and some green chillies for about 10minutes. Grind the coconut, reserved chillies, reserved shallots, cumin seed and the rest 250ml water to a fine paste. Add this to the cooked mangoes.Add more salt and heat the curry for about 5minutes taking care not to boil. Remove from the fire. Temper the mustard seeds, curry leaves, shallots and red chillies and add to the curry. Serve hot.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake ~ Appa's 60th Birthday

Appa's 60th birthday! It's a perfect birthday wherein my folks have landed in Bangalore from Kuwait on holidays. The timing is just perfect and to savor the special moment I ensured I made this cake right before we got caught with all the family chit chatting and outing. My brother took a day off, my husband worked from home and we had the whole day chalked out. Got mum to make String-hoppers and Egg curry for breakfast, lunch being a Mutton Biriyani, and the evening to be spent at the movies....

Plain Flour - 175gms
Castor Sugar -175gms
Butter - 175gms
Eggs - 3 beaten
Baking powder - 1tbs
Vanilla Extract - 1sp
Rind of 1 whoe lemon
Cream to serve
Cinnamon powder to sprinkle

Toffee Apple Topping
Unsalted butter - 55gms
Castor Sugar - 100gms
water - 1tbs
Apples - 3
Lemon Juice - 2tbs

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 9 inch baking round cake tin. For the apple topping, place the butter and sugar in a heavy saucepan with water and heat gently until melted and then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, stirring until it turns a deep golden caramel colour. Pour quickly into the cake time tilting to cover the base evenly.Peel, core and thickly slice the apples and spread evenly onto the base of the cake tin.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract and combine to a make a smooth batter. Stir in the lemon rind. Spoon in the mixture over the apples and then smooth the surface with a palette knife. Bake for 40-50minutes till golden brown. Leave to cook in the tin for about 2-3minutes and then carefully turn onto a warmed serving plate. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder. Serve with cream.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

This is one muffin I have been wanting to try like since I have tried my hand at baking. For starters blueberries are almost quite an adventure to get here in Bangalore, if you do manage to get a can then it's like you have struck a pot of gold. My husband happened to go to Singapore on work and I had my devilish mind working, rubbing my hands in glee, simply thrilled at what he could bring me. Now that's when, my good friend Lesa just totally shocked me and surprised me with a whole bag of goodies from Singapore. From blueberries to raspberries,golden syrup to fancy muffin liners, to a pack of fresh vanilla hot chocolate, white chocolate's a whole bag of baking goodies. I was overwhelmed at the sight of my goodie bag, totally enthralled at the stuff she bought for me and all I could think was - What did I do for her to deserve her bigheartedness and love?. It's something that is difficult to be comprehended. Never the less I got to baking my first batch of blueberry muffins and only wished that I could have given Lesa something to savor too. Lesa this is to you - I owe it to you...

Butter - 150gm at room temperature
Caster Sugar - 1cup
Eggs - 2
Plain flour - 2cups
Baking powder - 2tsp
Milk - 115ml (warm)
Blueberries - 100gm (I used the canned and strained it off the syrup)

Sift the flour and baking powder and keep aside. Beat the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs one by one until well combined. Using a spoon alternatively mix the sifted flour and milk between each other. Gently stir in the blueberries. Spoon mixture into the muffin liners or into greased muffin moulds. Bake into a preheated oven of 180C for 15-20minutes till the muffins turn golden.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


A tried recipe from my aunt's collection. Traditionally these are Christmas cookies in Scandinavian countries. But Christmas season or not who can resist these buttery goodies...

Ingredients: (Recipe Courtesy: Freeda Ipe)
Butter/ Margarine - 2 sticks
Sugar - 1/2cup
Flour - 2 1/4cups
Salt - 1/2tsp
Egg - 1
Almond/ Vanilla Extract - 1tsp

Mix margarine/ butter and sugar. Mix in the remaining ingredients to form a soft dough. Place cookie dough in cookie press form desired shapes and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Bake into a preheated oven of 400F until set, but not brown. which is approximately 6-9minutes. Once baked remove the cookies from the cookie sheet immediately.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Sweet Punch~Tiramisu

Tiramisu is something I thought I'd never attempt. One the length of the recipe itself is intimidating and more so I just don't know how to frost, ice and do any of those wonderful intricate things. But then what's a sweet punch without a challenge? It's all about taking each step at a time following the recipe word to word...and I tell you....what you'd end up with is something not just delectable but a definite score on your baking repertoire. Not only did my family and Jeny girl love it, I think I managed to cheer up a sulky friend...who needed a sweet indulgence to lift his spirits up..

For the cake layers:
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

For the espresso extract:
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
2 tablespoons boiling water

For the espresso syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy

For the filling and frosting:
1 8-ounce container mascarpone (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon amaretto, Kahlua, or brandy
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, or about 1/2 cup store-bought mini chocolate chip
Chocolate-covered espresso beans, for decoration (optional)
Cocoa powder, for dusting

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9×2 inch round cake pans, dust the insides with flour, tap out the excess, and line the bottoms of the pans with parchment or wax paper. Put the pans on a baking sheet. 
To make the cake:
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes. Add the eggs one by one, and then the yolk, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla; don’t be concerned if the mixture looks curdled. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk, adding the dry ingredients in 3 additions and the milk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients); scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and mix only until the ingredients disappear into the batter. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes, rotating the pans at the midway point. When fully baked, the cakes will be golden and springy to the touch and a thin knife inserted into the centers will come out clean. Transfer the cakes to a rack and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them, and peel off the paper liners. Invert and cool to room temperature right-side up.

To make the extract:
Stir the espresso powder and boiling water together in a small cup until blended. Set aside. 

To make the syrup:
Stir the water and sugar together in a small saucepan and bring just to a boil. Pour the syrup into a small heatproof bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the espresso extract and the liqueur or brandy; set aside.

To make the filling and frosting:
Put the mascarpone, sugar, vanilla, and liqueur in a large bowl and whisk just until blended and smooth.
Working with the stand mixer with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream until it holds firm peaks. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir about one quarter of the whipped cream into the mascarpone. Fold in the rest of the whipped cream with a light touch.

To assemble the cake:
If the tops of the cake layers have crowned, use a long serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion to even them. Place one layer right-side up on a cardboard round or a cake plate protected with strips of wax or parchment paper. Using a pastry brush or a small spoon, soak the layer with about one third of the espresso syrup. Smooth some of the mascarpone cream over the layer – user about 1 1/4 cups – and gently press the chopped chocolate into the filling. Put the second cake layer on the counter and soak the top of it with half the remaining espresso syrup, then turn the layer over and position it, soaked side down, over the filling. Soak the top of the cake with the remaining syrup.
For the frosting, whisk 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of the remaining espresso extract into the remaining mascarpone filling. Taste the frosting as you go to decide how much extract you want to add. If the frosting looks as if it might be a little too soft to spread over the cake, press a piece of plastic wrap against its surface and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or so. Refrigerate the cake too.
With a long metal icing spatula, smooth the frosting around the sides of the cake and over the top. If you want to decorate the cake with chocolate-covered espresso beans, press them into the filling, making concentric circles of beans or just putting some beans in the center of the cake.
Refrigerate the cake for at least 3 hours (or for up to 1 day) before serving – the elements need time to meld.
Just before serving, dust the top of the cake with cocoa.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

My husband's grandmother along with his aunt and little cousins decided to make a visit to Bangalore. Amidst all the eating out, mall hopping, window shopping and shopping there's no place like home at the end of the day. The kitchen in the least week were full of too many good cooks right from my mother-in-law to my aunt to my grandmother to my father-in-law. So I took a backseat from my share of kitchen duties for  the morning and afternoon meals and ensured tea time is where I'd contribute. A cake for consumption along with masala chai.

Plain flour - 175gms
Baking powder - 1tbs
Caster Sugar-175gms
Butter - 175gms softened
Eggs - 3 beaten
Egg yolk - 1
Lemon/Lime - 1 finely grated
Lemon juice - 2tbs
Strips of lime/lemon zest.

Icing sugar- 85gms
Lemon Juice - 3tbsp

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 1.2liter loaf tin. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the butter, caster sugar, egg yolks and yolk. Beat well until the mixture is smooth. Then stir in the lemon rind and juice. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with a palette knife. Bake for about 40-50minutes until golden brown/ or skewer inserted comes clean. Remove from tin and set to cool on a rack.
For the syrup, place the icing sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and heat gently without boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Prick the top of the loaf several times with a skewer and spoon the syrup over. Scatter with strips of lemon zest and cut into slices.

Pork Fry

More than me and my husband, my father- in-law is a lover of pork. The day he has bought pork, we leave the kitchen to him to make the pork to his liking. The same can be done with beef and should be eaten as an accompaniment with rice...

Pork - 750gms cleaned and cut into cubes
Ginger -  20gms julienned
Garlic - 20gms julienned
Onions - 200gms finely sliced
Coriander Powder - 6tbs
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Chilly powder - 2tbs
Fenugreek Powder - 1/4tsp
Aniseed Powder - 1/2tsp
Vinegar - 1tbs
Water - 100ml
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Curry leaves - two sprigs
Salt to taste

Keep aside half the quantity of sliced onions. Mix all ingredients except mustard seeds, and the onions kept aside. Cook the pork for about 30-40minutes, till the pork is cooked. Into a frying pan, heat oil, crackle the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add in the onions and saute till brown. Then add the cooked pork and saute till dark brown. Serve with rice.
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