Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chocolate Truffles

If this is to be a Happy New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then, to feel our dependence upon Him!  - Matthew Simpson

Recipe Souce: Joy of Baking

Semisweet or Bittersweet chocolate - 8ounces (227 grams), cut into small pieces
Heavy Whipping cream (double cream) - 1/2cup (120 ml)
Unsalted butter - 2tbs (28 grams), cut into small pieces
Brandy - 2tbs
Coatings for Truffles:
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Keep aside. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil.  Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for a minute or two. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth. (If the chocolate doesn't melt completely, place in the microwave for about 20 seconds, or over a saucepan of simmering water, just until melted.) Add the liqueur. Cover and place in the refrigerator until the truffle mixture is firm which could take several hours or overnight.Place your coatings for the truffles on a plate. Remove the truffle mixture from the refrigerator. Using your hands, or a small ice cream scoop, a melon baller, or a small spoon form the chocolate into round or mis-shaped bite-sized balls.The mixture should yield about 25 to 30 small balls. Immediately roll the truffle in the coating and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or tray. Cover and place in the refrigerator until firm. Truffles can be refrigerated for a couple of weeks or else frozen for a couple of months. Bring them room temperature before serving.

Tip: You could opt to coat the truffles with different coating such as nuts, shave chocolate, confectioner's sugar, toasted coconut flakes. The option of liqueur could either be omitted or a choice between Grand Marnier, Kirsch, Rum, Bourbon, Kahlua could be used.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Isaac and Scout's Christmas Cake

This year I wanted to try yet another Christmas cake something not attempted and that's when this recipe as simple as it is just lured me. This recipe is not only simple but you could involve your kids while making this....

Unsalted Butter - 225gms butter, softened
Caster Sugar - 300gms
Eggs - 4 medium, beaten
Milk - 5tbsp
Self Raising Flour - 450gms, sifted
Rind of an Orange - 1, grated (optional)

To drizzle
Milk Chocolate - 400grms
Dark Chocolate - 100gms
White Chocolate - 100gms
Edible Silver balls

Butter two cake tins, 24cm and 18cm, and line the bases with parchment paper. Heat oven to 180C/160C/gas. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs adding some flour with the last few additions to prevent curdling. Using a metal spoon, fold in the remaining flour and milk. Split the mix between the tins and smooth the tops. Bake the cakes together, 30-35 minutes for the smaller and 40-45 minutes for the larger, until golden and springy. Cool in the tins, then turn out on a rack to cool fully.
Break milk and dark chocolate into a bowl and melt over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Melt white chocolate the same way. Peel the paper from the cakes and sit the largest on a plate. Spread a small blob of chocolate in the middle and sit the smaller cake on top. Drizzle with chocolate, sprinkle with edible silver balls and leave to set. 

This below picture goes to Susan for her event Black and White Wednesday!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Butterscotch Cookies

I totally agree with Nag's verdict on these cookies being fudgy, gooey and down right yummy. A treat over this weekend, we all needed that simple something after two long weeks of going through bouts of illness and the various other things that simply keep you occupied. I had a packet of these morsels lying ready to be used from the batch of recently procured goodies. And I did my justice to them.

White Sugar - 1/4 scant cup (even if it doesn’t quite measure a ¼ cup, its fine, because the cookies could be bit too sweet)
Brown Sugar - 1/4 cup
Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup butter at room temp
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Egg - 1
Flour - 1.5 cups
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
A generous pinch of salt
Butterscotch Chips - 3/4 cup (I used the Nestle butterscotch morsels)

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a bowl, combine sugars with the softened butter until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and the egg and beat well until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt well with a fork. Add this to the wet mixture and combine well. Then add the butterscotch chips. The dough will be thick. Distribute the chips as well as possible. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a baking sheet. Use an ice cream scoop to drop the cookie dough on the baking tray. If you don't have an ice cream scoop, use 2 spoons, one to scoop up the dough and the other to smoothen it a bit and lower it on to the baking tray. Bake for about 15 to 18 minutes until the top turns a light golden brown.

Am sending these festive beauties for Suma's event 'Cakes And More Cookie Fest'

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Black and White Wednesday

Photography is only intuition, a perpetual interrogation – everything except a stage set. - Henri Cartier-Bresson

This slice of beautiful Lemon Meringue with a Strawberry Coulis was served at Via Milano at our first Bangalore Food Blogger's Meet. Susan 'The Well Seasoned Cook' Hosts the Black and White Wednesday a culinary photo gallery where the BW and Sepia photos make their way.

And this is my first entry to the event.........

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chicken Makhanwala

I have made this a zilliion times and it has never failed to please the people I have made it for. A nice creamy blend of yogurt, tomato and onions with the spices and finished off with some cream and a fresh squeeze of lime...

Chicken - 1 kg, cut into small or medium pieces
Yogurt - 1 cup, whisked
Coriander Powder - 2 teaspoons
Chili Powder - 2 teaspoons
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Jeera Powder - 1teaspoon
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 teaspoons
Tomatoes - 4 large, blanched
Onion - 5, finely chopped
Cream - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Lime Juice - 2 teaspoon
Coriander Leaves - a handful

Into a large skillet, fry the chopped onions till evenly browned. Meanwhile chop the blanched tomatoes and add to the fried onion. Saute till the tomatoes are softened and mashed. Saute till the oil starts to separate.  Tip in the ginger garlic paste and continue to saute. Then add in the curry powders and fry till the powders are cooked through. Add in the chicken, curd, salt and cook till the chicken is tender on a low to medium flame. Add in the cream and give a good stir around. Allow to cook for 2-3  minutes. Just before serving, add in the lime juice and coriander leaves to finish off the dish.

Coffee Chocolate Pudding ~A Sweet Punch

It's a magical combination of Coffee And Chocolate

Serve this saucey warm chocolate bowl with a good scoop of vanilla ice cream

1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
½ cup milk
1 egg, beaten
50g hazelnuts, chopped
For the topping
½ cup brown sugar
3 tbsp cocoa
1 cup strong black coffee

Preheat oven to 180°C. Sift together dry ingredients. Stir through butter, milk, egg and hazelnuts until well combined. Spoon batter into 4 ramekins. Sprinkle over brown sugar and cocoa then pour over coffee but do not stir. Bake for 16 - 20 minutes depending on how done you want it. I baked it for 18 minutes as my husband and child like it a lot more done than it being saucey, whereas I had mine baked at 16 minutes for a more gooey effect. Finally dust with cocoa powder or cinnamon and sugar; serve with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mum's Kitchen at Miramar - Goa

In our to trip Goa this year one of the noted restaurants was Mum's Kitchen. Well, its my son's hunger that led us there...if not for his inevitable hunger pangs, as we were already enroute to Martin's. In addition to the tantrums and thought process of where to stop and eat, my brother coincidentally did reckon us visiting Mum's Kitchen the same morning via a casual sms, as it was a notable restaurant. So what's all the hullabaloo about was the first thing that went through my head. We reached the place at 3pm, surprising to find that a good crowd was waiting outside the restaurant for a table. We waited a good one hour before we got ours. A quick exchanges of greetings and chitty chat with the waiter on the food and a brief of the menu, the food just worked up onto our table in 15 minutes. I guess my son just had the look "if you don't get me food now, I just may throw something at ya"...

For starters we ordered the Kombdechem Sukhem which are boneless pieces of chicken, marinated in a ground paste of ginger, garlic, corinader, turmeric and tamarind and then shallow fried. These little chicken morsels pieces just disappeared withing minutes of it being served to us. Though the dish was of medium spice level, my 4 year old simple wolfed it down with a smile.

We then ordered a family portion of Pork Balchao to go with the Goan Fat Rice. The gravy though made up of dry shrimps in vinegar and red chilies just exalted our tastes to a next level. The pork meat was done to a melting perfection with a contradicting seafood gravy which somehow did not hinder the taste of the pork meat at all. And of course freshly made bread with butter, with the extra butter for my son.

We skipped the dessert for the sake of the lingering taste of the main dish. Though having said that we opted on dessert, we couldn't but help sneak a piece of Bebinca - authentic goan dessert once we got back to our room. The waiters are pretty much well versed and patient with their customers with quick and prompt service. They were also voted the best restaurant in the category of 'Best Goan' by Times Food Guide in association with The Times of India for this year which is just another feather in the cap. All in all, a must visit, even if you'd have to end up waiting...

Mum's Kitchen
854, Martins Building
D.B Road
Panjim-Miramar Road , Goa
Tel:  +91 9011095557 or +91 9822175556

Car Parking Available

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Su's Chocolate Biscuit Pudding

Su brought this over when we had our girlie potluck. This is one dessert which cannot go wrong, and if you are the one who hasn't attempted making a dessert then this recipe is sure to win you some kudos and flattery for your efforts... I had another version of the chocolate biscuit pudding stashed somewhere, but simply couldn't locate that paper. So, with Su's recipe in hand I made this to put everyone at their places for screaming 'DESSERT'. Thankyou Su....your a wonder woman!!!!

Marie or Any Glucose Biscuit - 1 packet (200 gram)
Butter - 100gms (melted)
Amul Fresh Cream - 200ml (or any fresh cream)

Semi Sweet Chocolate - 400gms 

Crush the biscuits and mix in the butter together. Into a greased glass dish, tip in the biscuit mixture and spread onto the base evenly. Into a saucepan, lightly heat the chocolate and cream together. Pour this chocolate mixture onto the biscuit base and keep in the refrigerator to set for at least 4 hours and serve. Keep at room temperature for sometime before serving.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blueberry Coffee Cake for the B'day

The 21st of October calls in for a celebrations - the Mum-in- law's birthday.
MY one cup of fresh blueberries was waiting patiently in the refrigerator to be used. I was look looking for the right opportunity to make use of it and this became the fortuitous occasion....

For mum her joy had no bounds as it wasn't the gift or the cake we went across that brought the brought the gleam and excitement to her, but  the fact her children and grandchild were just there all together just made her beam...

[Recipe Source - All]

Nescafe Instant Coffee Powder - 1 tsp, mixed in 1 tablespoon of hot water
All Purpose Flour -2 cups
Baking Powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Caster Sugar - 1cup
Egg - 1
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Fresh Blueberries - 1cup 
Confectioners Sugar for Dusting - 1/4 cup 

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a bundt pan well with cooking spray. For the cake: Beat 1/2 cup butter or margarine in large bowl until creamy; add 1 cup sugar, and beat until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt; add alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition. Add the coffee mixture and mix well. Spread half the batter in the prepared pan. Cover with berries, and add remaining batter by tablespoons. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, until deep golden brown. Remove pan to wire rack to cool. Invert onto a plate after cake has cooled, and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Prawn Cocktail

Independence day festivity this year at Skyline Solstice saw a lot of events, fun and lots of merry making. Su (the whole event planner) ensured there was participation at every level, right from the toddlers to the boys, the girls and of course 'Us - Women'. So what was it for the women, any guesses on what can get the women excitedly engaged in participation??
Your right it was a cooking competition. The competition saw some fancy dishes being presented to the judges.  More then being a participant, the enthusiasm of the lovely ladies itself was the highlight of the day. So let me get straight to the point and tell you, my entries that were adjudged -  A prawn cocktail, and an Orange ricotta cake...fancy enough eh?!

Serves - 4
Prawns - 2 cups cooked.
Mayonnaise - 4tbs
Sour cream - 1tbs
Tomato Ketchup  - 1tbs
Lettuce - 1cup shredded
Lime - thinly sliced for garnish
Prawns - 4 large ones for garnish
Boiled egg - 1, quartered
Cucumber sticks - 4 for garnish

Mix the prawns, mayo, ketchup and sour cream into a bowl. Ensure the prawns are well coated. Into 4 serving bowls/ glasses, divide the shredded lettuce, then top with the mixed prawns. Add one quarter of the egg atop the prawns and dressing. Garnish the glass or bowl with the lime slice and finally decorate with the large prawn and cucumber stick for the visual appeal. Serve with a slice of bread.

Tip: The prawns can be cooked in salted water for two minutes and then immediately placed in chilled water so as to retain the colour.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hard Rock Cafe - Mexican Fiesta, A taste Review

If your looking to rock in style this season, then visit the Hard Rock Cafe situated on bustling St Mark's Road, Bengaluru. HRC brings to you a burst of colour, spice and flavors from Mexico. The cuisine dishes out Burritos, toastanas, tacos, and the legendary burger served with a spicy Mexican Bean mix. Anyone not having tried their hand at Mexican food, then this is the place to hit while it lasts.
Since the girls (Mads, Suma and Geetha) and I made our visit to HRC in the afternoon, the music was slow and gentle, whilst the focus became the food and not the music. We had a quick chat with Chef Vikas Pathak who gave us a run through of the menu. And he promised to give us the best of what HRC kitchen crew skills.
Spicy American Corn and Danish Mozzarella Samosette
The luncheon started off with the 'Spicy American Corn & Danish Mozzarella Samosette' which is a must have on your appetizer list. As cheesy as it can get, the samosette's are crispy phyllo parcels stuffed with sweet corn mix, spices and gooey cheese all in a bite. Served with a roasted tomato salsa, and a pesto mayonnaise which is truly a 'cannot get enough of it' sort of dip.

Seasoned Paneer and Corn Tortilla Tacos
We then moved onto a two dishes, one being the 'Seasoned Paneer & Corn Tortilla Tacos' for the vegetarians. A must try mix of crisp corn tortilla shells brushed with tangy Bbq sauce, stuffed with grilled seasoned paneer, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, olives, pinto beans, seasonings and spring onions.

Bahama Mana Chicken Tender Burrito
Then the Bahama Mama Chicken Tender  Burrito for the only non vegetarian being 'moi'. It's loaded with roasted chipotle chilli  ranch, smoke infused spicy bakebean and corn ragout, chicken tenders, shredded lettuce, mix cheese and jalapeƱos. One portion of this Big Mama was enough to keep me all good for my lunch!!

HRC Special Texas Beef Chili Toastadas
The next try out dish was the HRC Special Texas Beef Chili toastadas, which is a scrumptious bite of baked thin crust brushed with tangy chilli paste topped with cilantro infused bean and beef chilli mix finished with cayenne pepper, sweet corn, and cheddar cheese. Of course the veggies had their option of the Albequerque Cottage cheese & Veg Burrito and  a BBQ Paneer Toastana.

With dishes being laid out, and our bellies being loaded, the throats required something to slightly ease it all down, so the bartender concocted up some sassy cocktails. The menu hosts 11 cocktails, specific to the Mexican theme, and the stand outs to the cocktails we sipped were the Diablo -  a blackcurrent monin and tequila and the Payback - Kiwi and Tequilla with the JalapeƱo pepper hit coming right through.

The other two cocktail were sort of a edgeless in comparison but have subtle personalities of their own, if your not looking for something to have a high, but rather wanting to have a leisured savour; then the Ginger Fiasco- Ginger Syrup, Guava Juice with Teqilla Gold and the Chapala - Watermelon and Tequilla would do some justice.

The legendary burgers then made their glorious way through whilst us Gurls were busy clicking away pictures.  A 10 ounce burger patty patty grilled and topped with smoke infused tangy bake bean mix, chipotle puree and cheddar cheese, with some Spicy Cajun fries. And this became The Meat Lover's Crave for the day - The Legendary Beef and Smoked Bean Burger.

Any meal is incomplete without dessert. So finding some space in our voracious appetite is the Black and White Dessert - Two tone chocolate wafer pyramids spiked with roasted cinnamon and coffee with chipotle sauce and Good Vanilla Ice cream which of course just meltingly and givingly appeased our palates. We enjoyed our feasty fiesta at HRC, thanks to Prachi from Avian Media and Gitanjali the Marketing Officer at HRC for having hosted us bloggers. So for all those who love the spice, the meat, the drinks and the music!!! You'd know where to head to....

Legendary beef and smoked bean burger
My verdict: The samosette's, non - veg burrito, the burger and the beef toastana's get the thumbs up. The vegetarian options are limited to just paneer, making the options minuscule. The play of other veggies in this cuisine is just not seen and done. The cocktails are sharp yet subtle!  The music is all out rocking, but during lunch hours the decibel levels are sort of low, then at 4pm its pumped up to get you in the groove. Don't just wait, just go and get the season's best till September 18, 2011.

Hard Rock Cafe  - 40, St.Mark's Road,  Bengaluru
Tel: 080- 41242222

Working Hours - 12 noon to 11:30pm (Kids Menu and colouring kit on request)

Car and Bike parking available

Black and White

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Anyone for a Plate of Pav Bhaji?

I totally agree that this is a wholesome hot meal served in a jiffy right out from the hands of the chat waalla, or the chat kiosk. During my night shift working hours, this meal used to be the smart option available. Me and TJ had to be ready for work at 4pm for our cab to pick us up. We would have just woken up at 3:15pm just in time to get ready, so where is the time to think of a meal? So once the cab drops us to work, we would have this bracket of 20minutes before we sat at our workstations to log in which is 6:30pm. My constant option would be the pav bhaji and a hot cup of tea, while TJ would resort to a nice ghee masala dosa and tea. We would gobble down our food and just make a run that used to be a our late lunch, and evening snack.

Cauliflower - 1 cup,  finely chopped
Carrots - 1/2 cup, chopped
Potatoes - 1 1/2 cups, boiled and mashed
Green peas - 1/4 cup
Onion, chopped - 1 cup
Tomatoes - 2 cups,chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Pav bhaji masala - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 2tsp, finely chopped
Black salt - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 2 tbsp
To be served
8 pavs
2 limes cut in halves and a small bowl of finely chopped onion

Put all the vegetables into a pressure cooker, and let off at least 3 whistles until the vegetables are very soft (cauliflower, carrots, potatoes and peas). Alternatively, those who are not using the pressure cooker, boil the vegetables in salted boiling water till very soft, drain the water and keep aside. Into a large frying pan, saute the onion and garlic in butter till soft. Add the tomatoes and continue to saute till the tomatoes have become soft. Add the pav bhaji masala and saute till the oil starts to separate. Add the vegetables and mix well. Sprinkle in the black salt and continue to saute on low heat, using a potato masher, mash down the vegetables. Use about 1/4cup warm water if required to break the vegetables and get it all incorporated with the masala. Once the vegetables are well combined take it off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Cut the pavs horizontally and into a another frying pan, drop in a 1/2tsp of butter and toast the pavs on both sides and serve along with the bhaji

Tip: You could even grate some cheese over the bhaji and make it a cheesy affair. The paneer lovers may also crumble paneer whilst making the bhaji too. The more the paneer the merrier.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fish Mango Curry

This dish is much more subtler in terms of spice and when the season of mangoes is galore, there's nothing like it to cook it up for lunch. A pappadom and pickle with rice and fish curry will do just fine...

Fish  - 450gms (I used Black Pomfret, which was skinned off and cut into fillets)
Dry red chillies - 5
Coriander powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2tsp
Red button onions - 6, thinly sliced
Ginger - 1tbsp, julienned
Plum garlic cloves - 2 sliced
Curry leaves - 3sprigs
Salt to taste
Raw mango - 2tbsp, chopped roughly
Coconut gratings - 1 1/2cup

Grind the coriander, turmeric, cumin powders along with the dry red chillies with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Combine the fish, ground masala, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and salt in a pan. Add 3/4cup of water and bring to a boil and then simmer for another 15minutes. Add the raw mango to the fish curry, simmer again for 5 more minutes. Meanwhile grind the coconut gratings with 1/2cup warm water as fine as possible an add to the curry.
Temper 1tsp mustard into a pan, add a sprig of curry leaves and 3-4 button onions sliced. Fry till the onions are golden brown and add a couple of dry red chillies and pour this over the fish curry and serve.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Breakfast at the Square - The Menu Review

The Square brings you a refreshingly new Rise and Shine menu. The menu has options from waffles to eggs of your choice and some neat muffins, not to mention, the Square specialty – the Single brewed coffee.
Single Brewed coffee is traceable to the area the coffee bean is grown and picked up from. Thus characterizing the coffee bean to a sensory experience. The Square estate hosts 7 such single malts of coffee from around the globe (Priced at INR167 + local taxes extra).
The quintessential Rise and Shine menu is designed to have your day power packed with all the goodness and spreads from the world (Priced at INR139 - INR 219 plus local taxes). We (my husband, son and myself) were promptly greeted by Mr. Ramachander Raman, head of Food and Beverages CCD. Mr.Raman graciously  took us through the menu, as well suggested at what we should have, along with the coffee to compliment. I promptly ordered the 'Wealth in Health' which is an egg white cooked to my choice, served with a bowl of fresh fruits and a choice of flavored yogurt and a cup coffee. My coffee to go was the Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold, indeed a wakeup Java served with a curlicue of whipped cream on chocolate chip cookie as a dainty accompaniment. We also had a try at  the Spicy potatoes, a dish which is saucy and spiced not leaving you sweltering, but spiced to a palatable perfection.

My son and husband had the 'Good Morning America - which is a choice of eggs and potatoes, a side of sausages and a coffee to go. My son and husband polished their plates clean - leaving my mind to decipher their contentedness?!!

Mr. Raman then showed me around the Square and what the Square has is this rather stylishly set conference room called the 'Huddle Room'.  Available for business meetings, interviews or even a brain storming session open to all with prior bookings, and endless cups of coffee and snacks whilst the meetings are in progress.
The Tariffs: 1 hour -  INR999 plus taxes.
The INR2499 plan offers the room for 3hrs with 9 Cappuccinos and cookies along with 9 Internet cards (each card is limited to 60minutes of internet browsing).

Want to share your experience of the Square by gifting a CCD merchandise to a friend or someone special? 'Cafe Exclusiva' has it all from Coffee Powders, to exquisite mugs, Coffee Filters and much more.

My Verdict: You would want to go to this Mecca of Coffee for a conversation that never ended, a catch up with your friends, or I'd go there for a good solitary time of coffee and a good book in hand. The Breakfast menu is worth it, if your not calorie counting and wouldn't mind being indulgent for a meal. Our meals were pleasantly nice, I would prefer more seasoning but hey I'm not complaining.

The Square - Vittal Malya Road, Diagonally Opp to UB City.
Tel: 080- 40012101

Working hours - 8:30am to 11:30pm (breakfast menu available on weekdays from 8am to 12pm, weekends - 8am -2pm)
Car Park Available
Spicy Potatoes
The Huddle Room - Conference Room
Mysore Nuggets Extra Bold

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beef Ball Curry in Coconut Milk

You could have this served hot with rice, chapathy or any variety of bread. It's rather different from the usual kerala dish one is used to eating. An ingredient list which I find long has a rather shorter method of cooking. So don't get panicked on seeing the ingredient list, and not have a go at this meaty dish.

Recipe Courtesy: From the book 'Sadya' by Remani
Chilly Powder - 1tsp
Coriander Powder - 3tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2tsp
Anise seeds - 1tsp
Cumin seed powder - 1/2tsp
Cloves - 6
Cinnamon sticks - 2
Cardamom pods - 4
Garlic paste or grated garlic - 1/4tsp

For the beef masala balls:
Minced beef - 375gms
Onion - 1tbsp finely minced
Ginger - 1/4tsp finely minced
Green chiilli - 1/4tsp finely chopped
Salt to tatse

To temper and saute
Mustard seeds - 1/2tsp
Curry leaves - two whole sprigs
Onion - 1cup finely sliced
Sliced ginger - 2tsp
Green chilies - 2 finely chopped
Coconut Milk - 3cups thin and 1cup thick
Vinegar - 1tsp
Salt to taste

Finely powder all the masala ingredients except the garlic paste and water in a dry grinder. Then mix with garlic paste and water. Take two teaspoons of masala and mix with beef onion, ginger, chilly and salt and form 12 beef balls.
Heat oil in a pan, splutter the mustard seeds and fry the curry leaves. Saute the onion, ginger and the chillies till soft. Reduce the flame and fry the remaining masla unto the oil starts to separate. Pour the thin coconut milk into the pan along with the vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil and immerse the beef balls in it. Cover and simmer for 25minutes. Finally add the thick coconut milk and stir until heated through. Serve hot.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Mutton Cutlet

A mutton cutlet from Indian Coffee House with your choice of eggs is a must-try dish. It simply compliments your eggs, or rather goes with simple buttered toast and a strong cup of freshly brewed Kaapi. Mine is no attempt of the restaurant version, but my thoughts are rested at Indian Coffee House for the moment...

Mutton (you could use beef mince too) - 1/2kg
Pepper - 1/2tsp
Salt - to taste
Potatoes - 1/4kg
Big Onion - 1, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 4, finely chopped
Minced Ginger - 1tsp
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1
Cardamom - 1
Aniseeds - 1tsp
Poppy seeds - 1tsp
Garlic - 8
Egg - 1
Bread crumbs - 1cup
Oil - 1cup

Cook the meat pieces with salt and pepper and then mince. Pressure cook the potatoes. Peel and mash them well. Grind all the ingredients from cloves to garlic into a smooth paste. In a frying pan, heat 2tbs oil and saute the onion, chillies and ginger. Add the ground paste and fry till the oil separates from the spices. Switch off the flame, then add the minced meat and mashed potatoes. Knead this into a smooth dough and shape into cutlets. Beat the egg. Dip each cutlet in the egg and roll over breadcrumbs. Deep frying hot oil until golden brown.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lemon Pound Cake

It had been long since a cake had been baked, and since it was long overdue this truly divine delicacy with hints of lime pleasantly satiated our tea time today. A tight crumb indeed as promised by Rose, following the traditional path of cake making.

Perfect Pound Cake Recipe
[Recipe courtesy: The Cake Bible]

3 tablespoons Milk
3 large Eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups sifted cake flour (150gm) -  recipe for cake flour below
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
13 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (184 gms)
Zest of a lemon - 1tbs
Lemon Juice - 2tbs

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Butter an 8 inch by 4 by 2.5 inch loaf pan, or any six cup loaf or fluted tube pan. Lightly whisk together milk, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Using your fingertips, mix together the zest of the lemon and sugar till fragrant. Place dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix on low speed for 30 seconds, until blended. Add the butter and half the egg mixture, and mix until dry ingredients are moistened. On medium speed, beat for one minute. This will aerate and develop the cake’s structure. Scrape down sides. Add the lemon juice. Add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds between each addition. Scrape down sides. Pour batter into prepared pan. Smooth surface with a spatula. Bake for 35-45 minutes if baking in a fluted tube pan, until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cake cool on a rack in the pan for 10 minuets before inverting onto a greased wire rack. If using a loaf pan, flip the cake over so the top is up.

For making cake flour at home - Take 1 cup of all purpose flour and remove 2 tbsp from it. Replace the 2 tbsp flour with custard powder/ cornflour and sift together 2-3 times. Your Cake flour is ready to be used.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Amma's Mango Chutney

Mum has arrived on holidays and is here with me, so I'm enjoying every bit if her as long as stays. It's awesome to have her stay, because she is in charge of the kitchen, and then people in the house can now ratify themselves with her cooking, than give their valuable opinions on mine. So while she is here, she taught me a mango chutney, slightly different from the regular I know. It goes well with a biriyani.

Grated coconut - 1/2cup, generous
Raw green mango - 1 medium sized
Dry red chillies - 3
Curry leaves - 1 stalk
Onion - 1 medium, finely sliced
Salt to taste

Heat a pan over low fire. Add the coconut, curry leaves, dry red chillies, onion, salt and continuously stirring, simply roast till the coconut turns evenly brown. Once the coconut is browned evenly, into a food processor, add the mango and pulse till the mango is well chopped. Then add the coconut and blitz till the mango and coconut are well combined. Do not add water to the chutney. Scrape the sides of the bowl timely to well incorporate the ingredients. And there you have it, a chutney ready, to be served with rice or biriyani.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nargisi Kofta ~ A desi version of the Scotch Eggs

The Food lovers Magazine had this specific article on Saad Bin Jung a former cricketer, cricket commentator, wildlife conservationist and even a resort owner, he dons the avatar of a cook too. Nargisi Kofta, his version of a recipe from experience and generations of cuisines meshed together. I cooked up this dish when our dear friends had come over only to leave them fully satisfied.

Beef Kheema - 1 1/2kg
Chana dal - 50gms
Ginger garlic paste - 2tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4tsp
Green Chillies - 4
Chopped Mint and Coriander Leaves - 1tbs
Egg - 1
Boiled Eggs - 10
Maida - 1 1/2tsp
Salt to taste

Pressure cook the mince with all the ingredients except the eggs and maida. Cool and grind it in the mixer to form a paste. Mix one egg and maida in the paste for binding. Cover the boiled egg one by one with the paste gently. Heat about 1/2ltr oil in a kadai and deep fry the koftas till golden brown. Cut them in half and serve hot.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hot dosa with Brinjal Sambhar & Mint chutney

My chechi (domestic help), made this combination during the time I was sick and was literally bedridden for a week. She said "acca try this combination, don't know if you'd would like it, because you're used to the regular chutney and sambhar. I tell you this is in tamil style "romba nallathe" combo. I tried this today after having tasted what I was served atleast 5 months words echo"mein khush or tummy bhi khush"!!

Brinjal Sambhar

Brinjal- 2 small quartered.
Green gram  - 1/2cup
MTR Sambhar powder - 2tbs
Tamarind paste - 1tbs
Jaggery or sugar - 1tbs or more
Onion - 1
Coriander leaves to garnish

Soak the green gram in water for about 5hours. Cook the green gram till it is soft and keep aside. In the meantime fry the sambhar powder and then add the onion and quartered brinjal and saute. Add tamarind paste  to the brinjal and a cup of water. Add salt and the cooked green gram and cook till the brinjal becomes soft. Once cooked, add chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Mint Chutney

Mint leaves - 2 bunches
Green chilly - 1
Salt to taste
Water as required

Grind all the ingredients together. Serve with dosa and sambhar.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Honeyed Apple Slices~ for a Rainy Day

A GOD above sends the rain down below to wash his earth clean, to cut stones and chisel the grandeur bring us refreshment in every season.

[Recipe Source 1 Mix 50 Cakes, Pg 84]
Plain flour - 175gms
Unsalted Butter softened - 175gms
Caster sugar - 175gms
Vanilla Essence - 1tsp
Baking powder - 2tsp
 Red Apples - 4, cored and sliced
All spice powder - 1/2tsp
Honey warmed - 3tbs
Apple juice - 2tbs

Grease and line a 12 by 9 inch tray. Proceed to sifting the flour, baking powder and allspice into a large bowl and keep aside. To that add the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla. Beat really well till you get a smooth mixture. Then stir in the apple juice. Spoon the mixture into the greased tray. Arrange the sliced apples on top of the batter overlapping them without pressing them. Bake into a preheated oven of 180C for about 30minutes. Leave to cool in the tin and brush with honey before serving.

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