Saturday, 28 December 2013

Tadkewaali Masoor ki Daal



Daals and pulses form a very improtant part of our Indian diet and we use them almost every day. Daal chawal is the staple diet of more then 50 % Indian population. Usually tuvar daal ( arhar daal ) is commonly used in our meals but I found that masoor daal too is tasty and make it a point to use this occasionally . 

I got this recipe from one of my friends and tried it . The daal is very simple and yet the flavors come out very nicely. This daal has to be little thick and tastes very nice with paratha or jeera rice.


 Sending this to Srivalli's   cooking from cookbook challenge ( CCC ) .







Ingredients :

1 cup.......................masoor daal
3 to 4 ...................dry red chillies
2 sprigs................curry leaves
1/2 tsp..................mustard seeds
1/2 tsp..................cumin seeds
1 tbsp..................ginger chilly paste
1/2 tsp..................turmeric
1/2 tsp..................amchoor ( dry mango powder )
1 tsp....................sugar
salt
2 tbsp.................oil




Method :

Wash and boil the masoor daal in a pressure cooker till soft .

Mash it and add ginger chilly paste, turmeric, amchoor, sugar and salt to it.

Add some water but don't make it too thin.

Give it a boil.

In a small vessel make a tadka by heating oil.

When the oil is hot add mustard , cumin, hing, dry chillies and curry leaves.

Pour this over the daal and immediately cover daal with the lid.

This ensures that all the flavors get mixed well in the daal.

Serve this daal with paratha or plain pulav.



Lebanese - Falafel with Hummus & Tahini








Since long this lebanese falafel was on  my to do list , but the use of lot of oil in both hummus and tahini made me hesitant to make this dish. But then this month  Rachana of secondhelpinginservice  made this dish for the  potluck-party  where  I too am a member  and  I got paired with her for this month .

So as per our party rule it was my turn to recreate this dish. I was actually happy that finally I got an excuse to make the dish which I so much wanted to make. But I also thought to go the healthy way. Rachana in her post had already given the option to either fry the falafels or make them in the paniyaram maker which I did. 

Then I took some more liberty for making hummus and tahini. As both these spreads are oil rich , I made them with water and added very little olive oil . So here is my healthy falafel  without any compromis in taste .

It tasted just as delicious as it was in a popular Lebanese Joint at Andheri ( Mumbai ) where I had had it previously. So off to my  falafel recipe with hummus and tahini. And once again a big thanks to Rachana .




Ingredients : 

For the Falafel :

2 cup....................chickpeas ( soak overnight and boil for 4 to 5 whistles )
3.........................green chillies ( crushed )
5 to 6 ................garlic cloves ( crushed )
1 tsp..................roasted cumin seeds ( crushed )
1 ......................onion ( finely chopped )
fistful.................coriander leaves ( chopped)
2 to 3 tbsp............maida
2 tbsp.................tahini sauce ( see the recipe down )
salt



Method :

Drain out the water from boiled chickpeas and reserve for making hummus.

Keep 1/2 cup chickpeas aside to make hummus .

Mash the remaining chick peas with a masher till soft without adding water.





Add all the other ingredients and make the falafel balls.






Cook them on slow flame in Erappe ( paniyaram ) maker.





This way you get to eat healthy and tasty oil free falafel.

You may deep fry the falafel balls in oil if you wish.



For the Hummus :

1/2 cup....................boiled chickpeas
3 tbsp  .................olive oil
2 to 3 ...................black olives
1/2 tsp..................roasted cumin seeds
3 to 4 .................garlic cloves.





Method :

Grind everything to a smooth paste.

Add the above reserved water if the hummus is too thick.


For the Tahini :

3 to 4 tbsp..............sesame seeds
1/2 cup .................water
2 tbsp ..................olive oil
5 to 6 ...................garlic cloves
5 to 6 .................pepper corns ( optional )





Method :

Grind everything to a smooth paste and add water if necessary .



Assembling the Meal :

2 ..................onions ( finely chopped )
2 ................tomatoes ( finely chopped )
1 dozen ......laadi paav ( use pita bread if available )
4 to 5 tbsp....garlic chutney (recipe here)





Method :

Apply hummus, tahini and garlic chutney to the paav.

Spread some chopped onions and tomatoes .

Keep two to three falafels and press the paav.

Enjoy this healthy , filling lebanese meal at the leisure of your home.







Linking this entry to  Jagruti's Potluck Party



Thursday, 26 December 2013

Jewish Vegan Challah


Made this challah ( a type of Jewish Bread ) with onion soup and that was our lunch  few days back . As many must be knowing that  I am part of a group called HBC ( home-bakers-challenge)  an event started by Priya Suresh . In this event for the month of December we were given many interesting options by  Priya Ranjit  host of this month's .

 One of them was this Vegan Challah .  I have already made these lovely american-sugar-cookies  for the event and just couldn't resist trying out this Vegan Challah because it was made using Chick pea flour. This sounded very weird and interesting at the same time .

So planned to give it a try and I was really surprised with the resulting bread. The challah was perfectly soft very tasty.

 This Challah is the perfect entry for today's vegan-thursdays  where few of us bloggers post a Vegan recipe on the first and last thursday of the month .






 Original Recipe From : thesweetlifeonline

Ingredients :

1/2 cup.................. besan ( gram flour ) + 1/2 cup water
4 cups..................maida ( all purpose flour )
1/4 cup .................sugar
1 cup.....................water
1 n 1/2 tsp ..............dry active yeast
1/4 cup...................ground nut oil
salt







Method :


In a bowl mix yeast, 1 tsp sugar and 1 cup warm water and let it rest for 10 minutes.

The yeast mixture will rise and become foamy.

If the mixture doesn't rise means the yeast is not active and you will have to start again with new yeast.

Meanwhile in a blender blend besan and water till very frothy.

Add oil to it and continue to blend.

Now add the foamy yeast mixture and blend well.

Take this in a big bowl and gradully add maida to this mixture.

Continue kneading till all the maida is over.

Now knead for 8 to 10 more minutes till the dough is soft and non - sticky.

You may add some more maida to get the right texture. ( I had to use 2 to 3 extra spoons)

Oil the dough and keep it in a greased big bowl and let it rise for one hour .

Use a very big bowl and the dough rises considerably.

After one hour punch the dough and again let it rise for 30 minutes.

Now make three equal parts of the dough and roll them into 12 inch long strands.
Lay them straight and make a braid shape with these three strands.


Lift this braided dough and keep it in greased tin .

Brush the surface with milk and let the dough rise again for 45 minutes.






Bake in a preheated oven for half an hour or till the surface is firm and golden in color.

Serve with jam , chutney or even with a warm soup like I did.










Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Bienenstich Kuchen ( German Bee Sting Cake )

From this month I have become a member of a very adventurous  group called We Knead To Bake a brainchild of Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen  in which the members bake a different bread every month.

This month being the christmas month Aparna has chosen this special German cake which uses yeast in its preparation and so can be called a fusion between bread and cake. This is a very traditional cake and I enjoyed a lot making this lovely cake.

Though the cake requires some time to make as you have to make custard, topping and the main dough it does take some time . But then good things always come the hard way and the cake was not just good it was amazing . The process was very therapeutic and I loved the journey of making this cake. I made the cake with just half the measurements given below .

The original recipe called for one egg and so I replaced it with 1 tbsp of sour curd which was perfectly fine.

Thanks Aparna for this delicious cake and also for including me in the group.




Ingredients :


For the Dough :

2 cups................maida
1 tbsp ................sour curds ( to replace egg )
2 tbsp.................sugar
1/4 cup...............milk
1 tsp...................dry active yeast
a pinch.................salt


For the topping :

1/2 cup .................almonds ( sliced)
2 tbsp....................honey
50 gm....................butter
2 tbsp...................sugar
1/2 tsp.................vanilla essence

For the pastry filling :

250 ml ...................milk
200 gm ..................cream ( whipped till stiff )
5 tbsp....................vanilla custard powder
5 tbsp...................sugar
1/2 tsp.................agar agar ( to thicken the custard )







Method :

For the Pastry filling : ( Do this the previous day )

Dissolve the custard powder in 1/2 cup milk uniformly.

Boil the remaining milk and sugar.

Now add the custard dissolved milk slowly .

Continuously stir keeping the gas low , so that no lumps are formed.

Let the mixture become very thick.

Add the agar agar dissolved in some warm water ( say 2 tbsp )

Remove it from gas and allow it to come to room temperature.

Now chill it in fridge for 3 to 4 hours.

Add whipped cream and fold gently.

Again keep in fridge till further use.

Actually make the custard the previous day , so that it become enough thich to be filled.

For the dough :

Heat milk ( not boil ) and add butter to it.

When butter melts switch off the gas and let the milk become warm.

In a processor blend flour, salt, sugar, yeast till mixed properly.

Now add curd and again blend well.

Now add the warm milk butter mixture and blend.

Knead the dough loose and soft .

Now keep it in a big greased bowl and plastic wrap it.

Let it rise for 2 hours . ( This dough doesn't rise as much as bread dough )

Now line a spring form cake tin with parchment .

Punch the dough and keep it in the tin.

Press it to fit it in the tin.




Again keep the tin covered and let the dough rise for 1 hour.

For the topping :

Heat butter , sugar, honey and vanilla till the mixture bubbles.

When the mixture is brownish in color add sliced almonds.






Stir till the almond slices are well coated and mixture thickens.

The mixture will be like thick fudge.

Spread this on the pressed dough in the tin evenly .





Bake the bread in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

Cool it completely and slice it horizontally into two equal layers.






This can be beautifully done with a thread. See the picture.

In between the two layers spread the thick chilled custard evenly.

Again chill till further use.







Sunday, 22 December 2013

Pineapple Raita

On Sundays people usually prefer meals which are satisfying and yet give them enough time to enjoy the weekend. This Pineapple Raita that I am posting today is perfect of  a Sunday lunch with some pulav or paratha .

 For this I have used fresh pineapple but if you want you can use canned variety and in that case just omit the sugar in your recipe. This  raita is very simple to make and hardly takes any time.

 Since some of us blogger friends post a recipe for an event called lets-brunch-on-sundays  started by Priya  and Veena I am sending this raita recipe for the event.



Ingredients :

2 cups.....................medium sized pineapple cubes
2 cups....................thick curds
2 to 3 tbsp.............sugar
1/2 tsp...................chilly powder ( optional )
1/2 tsp..................cumin powder ( optional)
salt





Method :

Whip the curd and add sugar to it .

Keep it aside for some time for the sugar to dissolve.

You can add powdered sugar also.

Then add the pineapple cubes and salt and chill till serving time.

You can serve it as it is or sprinkle chilly powder / cumin powder and serve.


Banoffee Pie

Yesterday I posted the recipe of one of the very popular bengali sweets Chum-Chum for Sweet Fantasy Club ( SFC ) a group started by Preeti Garg of Simplytadka.Com . And today it is the turn of yet another popular and easy dessert called Banoffee Pie .

This is a very easy dish. The only time consuming part being cooking the milkmaid tin in boiling water for almost 2 hours. But then when you open the tin you understand that your efforts were worth the wait. If the toffee inside was not meant to be used in this dessert my husband and son would have happily finished off the whole tin, as the toffee which gets prepared inside is so delcious. I literally had to keep the toffee away from their hunting eyes so that I could use it in the dessert . Off couse they did manage to eat few spoonfuls of it anyways.

If you don't want to use the whole tin then make the toffee and keep the remaining  in fridge in an airtight container for future use - i.e if you have the guarantee that it would stay safe from the eyes of your family members.


Thanks Preeti once again for this amazingly wonderful dessert. In fact we loved it so much that I made it thrice on different occasions .






Ingredients :

( makes 10 to 12 medium sized bowls )

2 packs..................Digestive Marie biscuits
1/4 to 1/2 cup.........melted amul butter
1 tin .....................milkmaid
6 ........................bananas ( peeled and sliced)
6 cup.................whipped fresh cream
3 to 4  tbsp.................chocolate shavings
few.......................walnuts
2 tbsp..................cocoa powder


Method :

Take a big vessel filled with water and boil it.

When water starts boiling immerse the milkmaid tin completely in it .

Continue boiling for almost 2 hours or more.

After 2 hours take the tin out and let it cool completely to room temperature.

Open the tin and you will find that the milk inside has become golden brown and thick like caramel .

This is called toffe and we are going to use this as a second layer for our pie.





Now let's start making our  first i.e the bottom most layer .

Put the marie biscuits in a plastic bag and crush them coarsely with a rolling pin .

Now add the  butter and mix both with your finger tips.






The texture of the  mixture should resemble bread crumbs.





Take 10 bowls or ramekins if you want to bake .

I did not bake the base and still the dessert was equally sinful.

Distribute the crumbled mixture evenly in all the bowls and press with the back of the spoon.

Actually your fingers do the job better.

Now if your are going to bake then put the ramekins in oven and bake at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.

Or else just keep the bowls in fridge and chill for 2 hours.

After two hours take out the bowls and distribute the milkmaid toffee equally in all the bowls.






Spread it evenly and then arrange the sliced bananas on it.





On top of the slices put spoonful of fresh whipped cream and chill till serving time.





While serving sprinkle cocoa powder , chocolate shavings and decorate with walnut halves.









Saturday, 21 December 2013

Chum Chum ( Bengali Sweet )

This is the first time that I am posting a recipe for Sweet Fantasy Club ( SFC )  a sweet group started by a sweet blogger friend Preeti Garg of Simplytadka.Com . In this we members post 2 sweet recipes given by her every month. One is an Indian Sweet and another an International Dessert .

 So for this month we had to make a very popular delcious bengali sweet Chum Chum , and the next dessert in the series is Banoffee Pie about which I will be posting tomorrow. Chum Chum can be prepared easily if you use readymade rasgullas  for this . But if you have enough time in hand than do think of making the rasgullas at home as well .

 So when this challenge was declared I first made the rasgullas which were equally tasty   ( See the recipe here ) . So off to the sweet delcious Chum Chum....

Thanks Preeti - its just because of you that I ventured to learn making bengali sweets .








Ingredients :

6 to 8 ..................readymade rasgullas ( I used homemade ones )
1/2 litre..................full cream milk
2 tbsp...................milk powder ( can use mawa instead)
1 tbsp..................sugar
1 tbsp.................fresh cream
2 to 3 ...............almonds ( peeled and slivered)
2 to 3 ...............pistachios ( peeled and slivered)
1/4 tsp.............cardmom seeds crushed
few .................pomegranate seeds ( optional)





Method :


Boil the milk and reduce it to less than half .

Add sugar and let it dissolve.

Now add milk powder and boil till the milk is thick.

Take the rasgullas and squeeze them to remove the sugar syrup inside.

Drop them in the above milk and let them absorb the milk.

Chill them in the fridge till serving time.

At the time of serving arrange them on a plate.

Put fresh cream on top and spread it.

Also sprinkle slivered nuts and cardamom and serve.

Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve chilled.






Friday, 20 December 2013

Rajasthani Mini Ghevar

For the south-vs-north-challenge   group started by Divya Pramil  this is a celebration  month and we the members are posting the recipes we have missed .

Since few days back I posted a delcious recipe of    green-peas-kachori-with-dum-aloo  by   Sanoli Ghosh    so today I decided to chose this Rajasthani sweet Ghevar which was challenged by Manjula of Desi Fiesta in the month of January . As I was not a member that time I did not get the chance to make this delicious sweet. So decided to grab the opportunity and try out this sweet for celebration month.

 Though at first I thought that the recipe was very complicated and tricky I must admit that Manjula has explained it in such details that if you follow all the instructions by her you will never go wrong. These ghevars though need lot of patience while frying as they are very fragile and careless mishandling will yield you nothing but pieces of ghevars which too were equally tasty.


The only different thing that I have done is adding ice cubes while whisking the ghee. I also added some milk and reduced water by that much amount. This tip I read in www.vahrehvah.com  a blog by a well known chef  Sanjay Thumma .  I find this blog very helpful and the tips given by him have never ever failed me.

The end result was just mind blowing and I was mighty satisfied at myself for successfully recreating this delicate sweet.






Ingredients :

5 tbsp.....................maida
1 tbsp...................solid ghee ( used homemade)
2 ..........................ice cubes
1/2 cup ...............milk
1/4 cup..............water
few drops.............liquid saffron essence
oil or ghee for deep frying


For the sugar syrup :

2 cups ..................sugar
3/4 cup ..............water
1/4 tsp.................cardamom powder

Boil sugar and water till the mixture is semi thick ( 1 string consistency ) . Sprinkle cardamom powder and keep the syrup aside.

For Garnish :

few.....................almond slivers
few....................pistachio slivers
1/2 tsp..............crushed cardaomoms
edible silver foil






Method :

In a vessel take 1 tbsp solid ghee and add to it 2 ice cubes.

Now with your hands mix both very well for five minutes.

The ice cubes will melt and mixture will become very white and fluffy.

Now start mixing maida in this ghee one spoon at a time along with some milk.

Keep on mixing with your hands.

At first it may seem that the mixture is curdling , but don't worry.

Keep on mixing to avoid lump formation.

When all the maida and milk is over you will get smooth mixture like that of pancake batter.

Now add water 1 tsp at a time to get pouring consistency .

Take a tall vessel and fill it 1/4 with oil or ghee.

When the ghee is smoking hot pour a ladle full of the batter from as high as possible.






It will fall in ghee and spread out to the sides of the vessel.

Pour till the surface of vessel is covered with batter.

Lower the flames and fry till golden in color and crisp.

Now slowly and very carefully  lift the ghevar with a skewer and let the ghee drain out .






Then dip it gently in sugar syrup.

Spoon some syrup of top of the ghevar without turning it.

These ghevars are very delicate and may crumble while turning.

After few minutes take them out of the syrup carefully with a large perforated spoon.

Lay them on plate and spread the edible silver foil on top.

Garnish them with almond and pistachio slivers.

Serve these melt in mouth ghevars to all your near and dear ones.








Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Chicken Kaa Bharta

Chicken is one of the most popular  non vegetarian food used in Indian cooking and is liked by everyone.You can make so many varieties with it like snacks, starters, pulavs and main dishes.

In my family too we  all love it and so I try to make it at least once in a week as it provides good quality protien.  This chicken bharta which I recently made is an easy side dish to have with naan or pulav .





Ingredients:

250 gms ...................boneless chicken
2...................onions chopped finely
2.................tomatoes chopped finely
1tsp................mustard seeds
2tsbp.................finely cut mix of ginger,
2 tbsp..................garlic and green chillies
2 sprigs ...............curry leaves
1 tsp..................red chilly powder
1/2 tsp...............turmeric powder
1/2 tsp...........cumin - coriander powder
1 tsp..................garam masala
1 tsp.................amchur(dry mango powder)
fistful...............chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp.............oil
salt


Method :

Pressure cook the chicken for 10 to 15 minutes and shred it .

In kadhai heat 2 tbsp oil and add mustard seeds and curry leaves.

After they splutter add chopped ginger, garlic, green chilly mix.

Add onions and stir fry till soft.

Add tomatoes and stir fry for five minutes.

Then add all the dry masalas and stir till oil separates.

Add shredded chicken and salt and further stir for 2 to 3 minutes.

Garnish with coriander or mint leaves.

Serve this chicken bharta with naan or rotis.


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Nicaraguan Christmas Cake

As we all know that the month of December brings fun and joy along with it and the atmosphere is so festive that you just don't feel like being left out .

 This month for baking-partners-challenge  too we were given such delicious options like Traditional Yule Log and Nicaraguan Cake by Swathi  which were perfect to bring in this festive mood . Nicaragua is a country in Central America and corn is extensively used in their cuisine. In this cake too the custard as well as the cake makes use of cornstarch and so decided to give it a try.

 I was also fascinated by the unusual method of custard making in which we had to boil the custard instead of being gentle and careful. In normal custard if you overheat it then the custard curdles . Whereas in this you actually had to boil the custard for 2 minutes to make it thick. So here I am finally with this beautiful cake . We enjoyed the cake thoroughly.

I have actually used half the measurements given below.

Thanks Swathi for this lovely recipe.





Original Recipe : seriouseats

Ingredients :

For the Cake :

1 cup.....................cornstarch
1 cup....................maida
1 tbsp...................unsalted butter ( I used homemade loni)
4 tsp....................baking powder
2 tsp...................cocoa powder
1/2 tsp................cinnamon powder
6 eggs...............yolk and white separated ( at room temp)
1 n 1/2 cup ........sugar
1/2 cup...............milk
1/2 tsp................salt
1 tsp...................vanilla essence


For the Sopa Borracha Syrup :

6 cups ...................water
3 cups ....................sugar
2 " ........................cinnamon stick
10 to 15 ...............cloves
1 tbsp.....................lemon peel ( remove the white pith)
3 /4 cup................rum
1/2 cup ...............raisins
12 .....................prunes


For the Manjar Custard :

4 cups .................milk
2 tbsp..................cornstrach
1 cup.................sugar
1 ".....................cinnamon stick
4 ....................egg yolks
2 tbsp.............chilled n cubed butter
1 tsp................vanilla essence
1/8 tsp..............salt






Method :

For the Cake :

In a pan dry roast cornflour till fragrent and aromatic ( for 5 to 8 minutes )

Blend together cornflour, maida, baking powder and cocoa powder in a processor .

In a bowl beat the egg whites and salt till soft peaks form.

Now gradually add sugar and beat till stiff .

Add  yolks to whites and beat till just mixed.

Now add flour mixture in 3 to 4 parts alternating with milk .

Add Vanilla and mix till just combined don't over do the mixing part.

Put this in a greased tin and bake at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes in a preheated oven.

Cool the cake completely.






For the Syrup :

In the meanwhile prepare the syrup .

Boil water, sugar, cloves, cinnamon and lemon peels .

Let the water reduces to 4 cups . ( takes about half an hour )

Strain and discard the solids .

Add rum, raisins and prunes and let the syrup cool.

Again  strain it and keep raisins and prunes aside.






For the custard :

Boil milk along with cinnamon .

In another pan take sugar, cornflour, yolks , salt and mix very well.

Add 1/4 cup hot milk while beating vigorously .

Then add remaining milk beating all the while but not vigorously.

Again add the cinnamon and boil ( while continuously beating ) till mixture thickens .

It should be the consistency of yogurt.




Boil for some more time and switch off the gas.

Add butter and vanilla.

Take it in a bowl , plastic wrap it and chill for 2 to 3 hours


Assembling the cake :

Poke the cake on all sides with a fork.

Pour the prepared syrup uniformly and let it absorb completely.

Spread the chilled custard evenly on the top .

Decorate with raisins and prunes.

Chill before serving.