Mar 9, 2012

Kesar Elaichi Mawa Cake

Kesar  Elaichi Mawa Cake... name itself suggests how rich this cake is...

If you are keen on aromatherapy, Go ahead and make yourself this cake. Roasting the mawa, grinding the elachi, watching kesar giving orange colour the milk.. All will surly make you feel so relaxed.

Then all aromas combine to give you the ultimate orgasm, when cake starts baking in the oven.. 
Your entire house starts smelling so good...
Then you cant resist biting into this tender sweet cake.....


Ingredients:


  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 cardamom (elachi) powder
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • ½ cup (100 gm) grated mava
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt






Method
  • Coat the cupcake mould or cake tins with butter & flour or  Cake greasing mix.
  • In a bowl, sift flour, baking powder, cardamom powder & salt.
I used Mortar pestle to grind the cardamom seeds... Very very aromatic experience..you could always use grinder to make powder, but using mortar and pestle gives you nice coarse powder & just feels good, as the aroma of elachi makes you feel relaxed. I dropped the cardamom peels in my sugar,, sugar smells great. You could add them to your tea leaves as well to make elachi masala tea.
 

  • Roast the mava in frying pan on slow heat for 3-4 min, just till ghee starts oozing out.
  • I used stand mixer for mixing ingredients, but you could also use whisk & large bowl. Beat together roasted mava, butter & sugar at medium speed until its light & fluffy
 If you are using hand whisk it might take a bit long.. you could rope in your husband to whisk.. After all he’s gonna enjoy the cake too…

  • Now turn the speed to slow on hand mixer & add eggs, one at a time.. beating well after adding each egg.
  • Once the eggs are well incorporated, add the flour mix
  • Add few strings of kesar in warm milk
  • You need to now add the milk & kesar milk
  • Turn the speed again on medium & continue beating till batter is smooth.
  • Preheat the oven to 180 C.
  • I divided the batter in variety of cake moulds, cos I am planning to gift few cakes. I also doubled the recipe.
  • Bake for 20-25 min placing the rake in middle of oven
  • Decorate as you please..


Mar 7, 2012

Parmigiana di melanzane ( Baked aubergine, tomato and cheese gratin)



Wanted to make something different with my eggplant. Usually I make “भारता ”.
Recently I got gifted with a book on international cooking by Karen Anand. So decided to try this simple recipe, making changes to suit my needs. It turned out really well, so here it is...


Ingredients:

  • ½ eggplant
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Cheese
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs

Italian tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 3 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Pinch of oregano
  • 2 basil leaves

Method:
  • Blanch, skin, chop & puree tomatoes. I just chopped & pureed tomatoes to form chunky tomato puree.
  • Cook the puree in a pan ,till the puree becomes thick. It took about 5 min.
  • Add sugar , salt, pepper, oregano & chopped basil
  • Remove from the gas.
  • Heat olive oil in small pan.
  • Fry garlic till its golden brown.. I absolutely love the aroma of garlic cooking in olive oil. Everyone in the house knows.. what you are cooking atleast smells good ;)
  • Pour the tempering into tomato sauce. Stir well
  • Your Italian tomato sauce is ready

Its an amazing sauce. You can use it for pastas, pizza or just serve as accompaniment to fritters. Trust me,, you are gonna love this sauce which is sweet & sour with garlicy bits.

  • Season the eggplant with salt & shallow fry in olive oil.
  • Layer eggplant, tomato sauce & cheese, finishing off with Cheese & herbed breadcrumbs on the top.

Ideally, Mozzarella would be best for this gratin, but I didn’t have mozzarella. So I used 2 cheese slices. I would insist to use Mozzarella.

  • Bake in oven at 120 C for 10 mins or till cheese bubbles
  • Serve hot with Baguette.

I am very very glad with this dish. It’s a keeper, gonna be baked lots more times in my kitchen




Mar 5, 2012

Viennese Biscuits


Viennese Biscuits, Also called as "Whirls" are made of butter, sugar & cornflour to give wonderful melt in mouth texture. Dip them in chocolate & enjoy. They also make perfect gifts to people you love. Grab a piping bag & start making these light buttery Treasures

Ingredients
·         1 ½ cup unsalted butter
·         ½ cup powdered sugar
·         2 cups flour
·         ½ cup corn flour
·         ½  tsp baking powder
·         1 cup chocolate (dark)

Method
  • Melt the butter till it softens (about 30 secs) in microwave or keep butter out of fridge for ½ hour
  • In a large bowl mix sugar, flour, corn flour, baking powder & butter with the help of wooden spatula taking cake no to incorporate more air in the paste.
  • Choose a star nozzle for piping bag. Fill the piping bag with paste
  • Pipe out the paste on non stick baking mat / greased baking paper / silpat which is placed on the baking tray, in which they will be baked.
  • Traditionally, the biscuits are piped in “S” or “W” Shape, but you could also pipe Rosettes. 
  • Pipe the biscuits away from each other atleast 5 cm, as they will expand while baking.
  • Bake the biscuits at 150C for 10 – 15 minutes, till they are light brown in colour
  • Now cool the biscuits on wire rack. Taste a biscuit & enjoy warm biscuit melt in your mouth. If you feel you have reached heaven, wait till this biscuit gets coated in chocolate
  • While the biscuits are cooling, melt the chopped dark chocolate in microwave in 15 sec interval. It took 45 secs in my microwave. Mix after every 15 sec. overheating the chocolate will burn it. 
  • Dip one half of the biscuit or the entire biscuit( if your waistline permits) in melted chocolate.Shake off excess.
  • Place the chocolate coated biscuit on nonstick baking mat & let them set.
 
          I made few sticks for neil to enjoy & drizzled them with chocolate

Mar 4, 2012

Egg in a Basket


Love eggs & toast..
Wanna try something different….
It tastes good & looks great

Ingredients
  • 1 egg
  • 3 slices of Bread
  • Butter/ olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mayonnaise/ mint chutney
  • Cookie cutter

Method:
  • Heat Non stick frying pan. Add butter / olive oil & let it sizzle
  • Cut a hole with cookie cutter or simply tear a hole out from the middle of a slice of bread.
  • Place the bread on the buttered pan. Keep the heat medium, such that egg cooks along with bread. If its too high, bread will burn before eggs cook.
  • Toast other 2 bread along with egg/bread combo.
  • Break an egg into the hole
  • Sprinkle some salt & pepper
  • Fry it on a pan
  • Wait for the egg to cook.
  • Flip the bread & egg
  • Cook on other side 
 






Serve it with other two toasts covered with mayonnaise / mint chutney
Now what I did with the piece of bread left behind was, covered it with delicious layer of orange marmalade.
Some Glucose to start your day with a Zing!!!
Enjoy this Scrumptious breakfast

Our marmalade toast was licked by Neil... had sugar high and was jumping all over the place. While we enjoyed the egg toast, he had gala time licking the marmalade and touching everywhere with his sticky hands...
 

Mar 3, 2012

French Fries Tadka ( Potato vegetable)



French Fries Tadka ( potato vegetable)



Sounds weird!!!
But that’s what I made. When I have no vegetables in home, my dearest potato never fails to help me to make quick and tasty meal. We are a family of potato lovers. So बटाटा भाजी in any avatar is always a big welcome.

Trust me & try it

Ingredients:
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp mix spices( mustard, sesame, ajwain, kalonji, jeera, badisaunf)
  • Pinch of asafetida
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 ½ tsp chilli pwd
  • Salt ( to taste)

Method:

  • Heat oil in non stick frying pan
  • Once oil is hot, add in asafetida and mix spices.
Let me tell you a secret, Neil often plays with my kitchen boxes, last night he shook my फोडणीचा डब्बा (spice box) and some of my spices got mixed. I used that spice mix in this recipe. But I found that little amounts of various spices made interesting mix which went along with this meal.

  • Add potatoes which have been cut long & thin , as you would cut for French fries.
  • Cook with the lid , under the steam till potatoes keep almost cooked
  • Add salt,turmeric & chilli pwd

Serve with rotis & dal

Mar 1, 2012

Vegetable Chow Mein (Noodles)




             Yesterday, when we went grocery shopping, I was thrilled to see pack of Snow peas. I knew what I was going to do with that bright green fresh pack of goodies, I was going to cook Chow Mein. It’s first time I was able to get snow peas in India.Yes,they did add extra crunch to my regular noodles.

What are snow peas?
Bright green snow peas – often used in Asian stir-fries –are edible peas with the best features of snap beans (tender and crispy) and garden peas (sweet and meaty). Snow peas are flat with tiny seeds that are barely visible through the pods. Low in calories and high in Vitamins A and C, snow peas are a great addition to a healthy diet


 Ingredients :

  • 200gm hakka noodles
  • Water
  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 cup onion
  • ½ cup carrots
  • ½ cup capsicum
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • ½ cup mushrooms
  • ½ cup snow peas
  • ½ cup babycorn

For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp chilli sauce
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp water



Method:
  • In a large pot boil 4-5 cups of water, once water tarts boiling add noodles & cook for 2-3 mins
  • Drain hot water from noodles, pour cool water over them to stop further cooking. Drain all the water and add 1 tbsp oil and toss the noodles so as to coat the noodles with oil and prevent sticking
  • Place a large wok( biggest frying pan you have) on high heat.
  • Add sesame oil ( you could use any cooking oil, sesame oil is used in traditional Chinese cooking) & wait till its smoking hot
  • Add ginger & garlic which are finely chopped. Saute for a min


  • Add onions & vegetables. You can add any vegetables of your choice. The vegetables need to be sliced thinly almost of equal shape. I used slicer to cut onions, carrots, capsicum& baby corn. It’s faster. Snow peas were sliced into 2/3 strips.
  • Saute vegetables for 2-3 mins on high flame
  • Mix all the ingredients for sauce in a small bowl. I added water so that all sauces mix together & sauces don’t get burnt. Usually everyone has chilli sauce, soya sauce & vinegar. Hoisin & oyster sauces enhance the taste, but could be avoided. Vegetarian oyster sauce prepared from mushrooms, often oyster mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms can be used.
  • Add the sauce, mixing well so that sauce coats all the vegetables & noodles
  • Cook covered for 2 min.



Voila,, your vegetable noodles are ready

Note:
  1. You could add eggs after vegetables are sauted. Keep the vegetables on one side of wok and crack open eggs and scramble eggs. After they r cooked mixed with vegetables
  2. You could also add boiled chicken to vegetables


Jowar Khajur Sheera ( Sorghum& date porridge)


I use all kinds of grains while cooking for Neil, Jowar being of them. I have been feeding him this porridge since he was 7 months old. 

Jowar is rich in carbohydrate, proteins, iron & vitamin B complex. Dates are again good source of tannins, iron, potassium & many essential nutrients.  I added dates as sweetening agent instead of adding refined sugar. This porridge is very simple to make & nutritious feed for your baby right from 7 months.


Ingredients:
·         3 tbsp jowar flour (sorghum flour)
·         1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
·         1 cup milk
·         1 cup water
·         3 tbsp date paste

Method:
·         In small frying pan, roast jowar flour with ghee till it turns light brown
·         Lower the heat & add the milk & water, stirring continuously with a whisk so that no lumps are formed. It very essential to whisk continuously while adding milk & water to get smooth consistency of porridge.
·         Add in date paste.
For the date paste. Mix 1 cup of dates( without stones) with 2 cups of water & boil them till water in reduced to 1 cup. Puree the mix in blender. This stays for 2-3 weeks in fridge
·         Serve lukewarm. You can adjust the consistency as per age & liking of your child