Thursday, 5 March 2015

Rasgulla

Rasgulla - makes me nostalgic about the good old Hyderabad days. I think I have mentioned before too that Hyderabad is the place from where my food journey actually started. Lots and lots of yummm food! Back then I had lot many colleagues who came from kolkata. They used to bring pots full of those white, spongy, yummy rasgullas when they came back from vacation. Good old days!

Recently I visited KC Das in Chennai, the name synonymous with Bengali Sweets, and bought some sweets including rasgullas. In the blink of an eye rasgullas were gone!!

That's when I thought maybe I should try making it at home. First time I made around 20 of them. I made at night and by next day it was over! Next day I made again and again it was over in a jiffy :).

My dear friends have been asking for the recipe and look at me, lazy me! Ok so this one is for you Appu (Aparna). Here we go!



Ingredients

1l full cream milk
1/2 cup curd or 2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups sugar
3 cups water
1 tsp cardamom powder

Method
  • Place a sieve lined with muslin cloth over a vessel and keep it aside.
  • Boil the milk stirring occasionally to avoid burns. 
  • Add the curd little by little to the milk stirring it well. 
  • The milk will curdle, add the curd fully and continue stirring until the greenish whey separates completely.
  • Strain it using the sieve we have set aside.
  • Wash the chenna well in a big bowl of water or the running water from the tap.
  • Squeeze gently to take out the extra water and hang it to drain for around 30 mins. 
  • After 30 mins the chenna will look like this, slightly crumbled.

  • Knead the chenna to get a soft dough for about 5-6 mins.

  • Once you get a smooth dough, make small smooth balls out of it.
  • In another big vessel, mix the sugar, cardamom powder and water and bring to boil. Make sure the sugar is dissolved completely.
  • When the syrup is boiling, drop the balls and cook covered in high heat for around 4-5 mins. 

  • Reduce the flame to medium and cook covered for another 15 mins and switch off the flame.
  • You can see that the rasgullas have doubled in size.

Yummy rasgollas are ready. Best served chilled overnight :) but we didn't have the patience so started eating right away!


Notes
  • I have used curd for curdling, you can use lemon juice as well.
  • Washing the chenna is to remove the sourness of the lemon juice.
  • Adding ice cubes after the curdling is done stops the process further. 



Friday, 27 February 2015

Kadai Paneer

Paneer Paneer and more Paneer :). Yet another easy paneer dish - Kadai Paneer. This turned out to be much more easier than Malai Paneer. This goes well with roti and pulao.


Ingredients

1 Capsicum
1 Onion
1 Tomato
5 Baby corns
1 tsp Fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of kasuri methi
oil
salt

Method
  • Cut paneer into small cubes or triangular pieces. Shallow fry and keep aside.
  • Cut all veggies into small cubes.
  • In a frying pan, add oil and splutter Fennel seeds.
  • Add all veggies and saute. Add salt to taste.
  • Add all masalas and kasuri methi and mix well. Cover and cook on low flame for 2 mins.
  • Add half cup water and cook on low flame for 3-4 mins.
  • Add the paneer cubes and mix well so that the masala coats the paneer and cook for another 2 mins. Yummy kadai paneer is ready to be served.
Serve hot with roti or pulao.

Note:
  • Adding 1/2 tsp of kitchen king masala adds a nice touch to the dish :).


Friday, 20 February 2015

Malai Paneer

I have started experimenting with Paneer now a days. The hubby loves paneer,  now me and kids too have started liking it :). Lot of friends are asking for veggie recipes, so I thought I should start trying out some veggie recipes other than my usual kerala sytle ones. So my next few posts will be paneer based mostly. I hope you will enjoy it. So let's get started.


Ingredients

200gm paneer
1 onion finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 -1/2 cup fresh cream
5-6 cashews
5-6 almonds
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp coriander powder
A pinch of kasuri methi
Oil
Water
Salt to taste

Method

  • Soak the cashews and almonds in hot water for 15-20 mins. Grind it and keep aside.
  • Cut paneer into long strips and shallow fry until light brown and keep aside.
  • Add the finely chopped onions to the same pan with little more oil and salt. Saute until light brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and saute in medium flame.
  • Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and mix well.
  • Add the ground paste of cashew and almonds to the masala and mix well.
  • Add half cup of water and let the mixture boil.
  • Add the paneer, kasuri methi and garam masala and mix well. Cook in low flame for 3-4 mins.
  • Add the fresh cream and mix well and cook for a min. Do not allow the curry to boil. 
Yummy malai paneer is ready to be served with roti :).

Note: Recipe adapted from foodviva


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Banana Apple Almond Smoothie

Here's one of my favorite smoothie which I make frequently.  We all enjoy having this yummy, healthy smoothie.

Ingredients

2 Bananas
1 Apples
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup yogurt
1 tbsp honey

Method

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses. Serve immediately.



Thursday, 22 January 2015

Pot Roast (Mutton)

Again a long break. This time it was really really long. Lot of changes happened in between, the biggest one was shifting from Singapore back to Chennai. Feels great to be back home. It took me months to settle down, I should say still settling. But of course the cooking and experimenting went on. I just couldn't find time to sit and type them all down. But now I will. Friends have started asking for recipes when I post pics in my FB page. So here we go, a new beginning and fresh new year. Wishing each and everyone a wonderful new year 2015.

Now today it's Pot Roast. Frankly I would have preferred beef for making this. I had only mutton with me so Mutton Pot Roast it is!!


It's like a long time dream come true. I didn't know it was this easy. The cooking time is over 2 hours but still worth the wait :).

Ingredients
1/4 Kg Meat
2 carrots
2 onions
2 potatoes
1 celery stick
5-6 garlic cloves
Thyme
Rosemary
Parsley
Bay leaves
Pepper
Olive oil
Rock Salt
1 Lemon
1 cup wine
water

Method
  • Marinate the meat with freshly ground pepper, rock salt and lime juice. 
  • Heat a pan over medium flame. Pour a tsp of olive oil. Brown the meat for around 10 mins on all sides.
  • In a deep heavy bottom pan, add 1 tbsp of oil. Add all veggies, herbs, some more pepper and salt as needed. Crush the garlic and add to the veggies. Mix well. Fry until a nice golden colour.
  • Add the wine at this point if you prefer to use the wine, else skip this step.
  • Add lil bit water or stock, just enough to submerge the veggies. 
  • Place the browned meat in the middle of the pan. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Close the pan and cook for 2 hours. At the end of one hour you may want to turn the meat once.
Yummy mutton pot roast is ready to be served!

Note
  • If you have veg/beef stock you can use it for a better flavour.
  • When the meat is ready it will be very tender and easy to pull apart. 
  • If possible marinate the meat and keep in refrigerator overnight for better results.








Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Poached Egg Curry

Made this poached egg curry for breakfast with idiyappam. Usually at my home we have potato stew  or potato curry for idiyappam. At my hubby's home they have idiyappam with coconut milk. I prefer it with curry since I like the spicier version.



Ingredients
4 eggs
2 potatoes- cut into cubes and cooked
2 onions, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
Same amount of ginger as garlic, minced
2 green chilly, slit
4 tsp Coriander Powder
2 tsp Chilly Powder
½ tsp Fennel Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
1 cup grated coconut
Water
Oil (I used coconut oil)
Curry leves

Method
  • Grind the coconut to a smooth paste using very little water.Set Aside.
  • In a pan heat the oil, saute the ginger  and garlic adding one after the other.
  • Add the onion and little salt and saute. Stir well and cook covered in medium heat stirring occasionally until it turns golden brown.
  • Remove lid, add the green chilly and curry leaves and stir well.
  • Add the chilly powder, turmeric powder. Fennel powder and coriander powder. Stir well and cook on low heat until you get a nice aroma.
  • Add the water and adjust the salt if required and boil.
  • Add the ground coconut paste and stir well and simmer.
  • Add the cooked potatoes into the curry and stir once.
  • Crack the eggs one at a time into a bowl without breaking the yolk.
  • Add the eggs into the curry very slowly one at a time taking care not to break the yolk.
  • Do not stir the curry. Cover and simmer gently till the eggs are cooked well.
  • Turn off flame and serve with idiyappam/ appam/ roti.
Note
  • While adding the egg, make sure that the eggs do not overlap. Leave some space after each addition.
  • Adjust spice according to taste

Friday, 22 November 2013

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Butter cream Frosting

Do you like cupcakes? What a question right? :) I don't think there will be many people around who don't love these little beauties. We, at home, can sit and finish one complete batch at one go!
This recipe is adapted from 'Joy of Baking'. The butter cream frosting is slightly different here. The moment the cupcakes were out of the oven, sonny dear started asking, "Mamma can I have one, pleaseeee?". So I didn't melt the cocoa as in the original recipe, just added them as is for the frosting. 



Ingredients
50g cocoa powder
240 ml boiling hot water
175 g all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
200 g white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla essence

Chocolate frosting:
3 tbsp cocoa powder
100 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
160 grams icing sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence



Method
  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.
  • Put the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Add the boiling hot water and stir well to get a smooth mixture. Let it cool to room temperature.
  • In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer. 
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add the vanilla essence and continue beating.
  • Add the flour mixture and mix well. 
  • Add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
  • Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16 - 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. 
  • Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. 
For Frosting
  • Beat the butter until smooth and creamy using an electric mixer. 
  • Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. 
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and the cocoa powder. 
  • Beat until frosting is smooth and glossy. 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Garlic Chicken

When you need a quick fix, try out this super easy Garlic Chicken. You can have it as is with some salad or make a sandwich out of it.




Ingredients
1 Chicken breast - cut into small pieces
2 tbsp Olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves
Oregano (optional)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Method

  • Crush the garlic and mix with the oil.
  • Add the garlic-oil mixture to the chicken and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Keep aside for half an hour (the more the better!)
  • Heat a pan, place the chicken pieces in the pan and cover and cook in medium heat.
  • Remove the lid and turn the chicken pieces to cook the other side.
  • Sprinkle little bit of oregano on the chicken. Stir it well.
  • Cook again until the water from the chicken dries out and the chicken browns a little.
  • Serve with some salads or use as sandwich filling.



Monday, 18 November 2013

Home made Beef Lasagne

We had some friends visiting us for my Amma's birthday, some very close friends with whom we can take the risk of trying out new dishes ;). The hubby has been telling about making Lasagne for a long time so we decided to make Lasagne, or rather hubby to make Lasagne and me to eat it ;). As a backup, I made Pathiri, chicken curry with coconut milk, rice and daal too :). The lasagne was soo yummy that the backup dishes went straight into the refrigerator he he he.
I always thought Lasagne was packed with cheese in every layer but I was wrong! Try it out people and decide for yourself :).



Ingredients
Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce) - Recipe here
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper
Lasagne sheets
Cheese (I have used a mix of Parmesan, cheddar and mozzarella)

Bolognese sauce - ingredients are given below

To Marinate
500g minced beef
2 tsp dried Oregano
a small bunch of fresh basil or dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary

To Grind
2 tomato
2 cloves of garlic

To chop
2 onions
2 celery sticks
1 small carrot

Method

  • Marinate the minced beef with the ingredients under the label 'To marinate'. Add freshly ground pepper and salt to taste and keep aside.
  • Puree the tomato along with the garlic. Keep aside.
  • In a chopper, chop the ingredients under the label 'To chop' or you can cut it using a knife into small uniform cubes.
  • In a pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and saute the chopped onion, carrot and celery sticks with a little salt in medium heat.
  • Saute for around 15 mins or until the veggies are softened, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the marinated beef to the pan and mix well. Cook covered for about 10 mins. Water will start coming out from the beef hence additional water is not required.
  • Take the lid off and add the tomato puree, salt and pepper and cook covered for another 20 mins stirring occasionally.
  • Take the lid off and cook for another 30 mins stirring occasionally making sure that the sauce doesn't dry up. Add a little water if you think its drying out. Switch off the stove and keep the Bolognese sauce aside.
  • Take an oven proof dish and grease it with olive oil.
  • Spread the Bolognese sauce in the dish. Spoon in a layer of white sauce. 
  • Follow with a layer of lasagne sheets. Spoon another layer of Bolognese and white sauce and followed by a layer of lasagne sheets.
  • Finish with a layer of bolognese sauce and white sauce. Sprinkle the cheese over the top layer.
  • Cover the dish with an aluminium foil and bake in oven at 180 C for 30 mins.
  • After 30 mins, remove the foil and bake it for another 20 mins until it starts bubbling and the top layer is a nice golden color.
Yummy lasagne is ready :). We were so eager to taste the lasagne that we forgot to take snaps right after we took it out of the oven :). But before we finished it, took the below pic :)

Note

  • Follow the instructions on the lasagne pack for cooking it. The one we used did not require any pre cooking. If the lasagne sheets need to be cooked, then bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagne sheets in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain lasagne, and rinse with cold water.
  • You could add cheese in each layer, we didn't want it to be too heavy hence added it only on the top layer.
  • You could try the recipe with chicken or veggies.
  • You can do away with the cheese also.


Sunday, 17 November 2013

Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)

Bechamel Sauce or White Sauce is one of the classic French sauces and is used very commonly in French Cuisine. It is prepared using a mixture of butter and flour (the French call it Roux) and is cooked in milk.

Ingredients

1 litre milk
100 g butter
100 g plain flour
grated nutmeg
salt to taste

Method
  • Melt the butter in a heavy bottom saucepan in medium heat. Do not let it brown or else the taste and color of the sauce will change.
  • After the butter is melted completely, stir in the flour.
  • Cook the mixture in medium heat for 6-8 mins until it turns into a golden color. Do not let the mixture turn to a brown color.
  • Add little bit of milk and stir well to loosen the mixture.
  • Pour the remaining milk and keep stirring continuously using a wooden ladle until the mixture thickens. You will get a smooth ,glossy, creamy sauce.
  • Add a generous pinch of salt and little bit of grated nutmeg
  • Cook in low heat for another 5 mins stirring occasionally and turn off the heat.
Use this delicious sauce to make your favorite dishes. We used it for making lasagne. It could also be used as a base for souffle, pie etc.