May 25, 2012

Devil's food cupcakes with chocolate ganache


         If you love chocolate, you are going to love this chocolate cupcake with chocolate ganache frosting topped with chocolate curls.
          Ya, its completely chocolaty dessert but not overly sweet. The cupcake is super moist with intense chocolate flavor, which is not too much nor too less, just perfect. Just be careful not to over bake the cupcakes. The cakes are moist and rich because of cream.
        I usually don’t frost my cupcakes to add on calories and I m not fond of buttercream frosting. So if I have to frost my cakes and cupcakes, it has to be whipped cream frosting which is mildly sweet. But this time I used chocolate ganache for the frosting and I have to tell you. it was the ((((BEST)))) chocolate frosting that I have ever made and eaten. It was simple to make without any hassles for overheating the chocolate and making grainy mess outta chocolate. It hurts my soul to waste even a tiny piece of chocolate. If you are afraid of melting chocolate in a right way, try this method, it involves heating cream and then pouring over the chocolate pieces. The ganache is rich chocolate which can be used to coat cupcakes and cakes. If you chill the cupcakes in the fridge, the ganche hardens and forms a nice coating over the cakes. I would suggest warming the cakes for few secs in microwave before serving them.
           I have tried variety of toppings here, the special one being popcorn cupcakes. They look so cute and are easy to make… they are perfect to carry to your friends place for a stay over. You can enjoy these popcorn cupcakes watching movies while chatting and having fun all through the night..
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup scant all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup cream
Method:
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  • Put butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and cocoa in a large bowl and using electric hand mixer or balloon whisk, beat together until just smooth for about 1-2 min.
  • Fold in cream using rubber spatula till no white streaks are left.
  • Place 6 paper cups in muffin tray and spoon the batter in paper cups.
  • Bake the cupcakes in preheated oven for 20 min. Check with skewer, once skewer comes out clean, transfer the cupcakes to wire rack to cool.
  • I made some chocolate ganache to frost my cupcakes. I heated ½ cup of cream in a nonstick pan (I used tadka pan) and heated the cream till bubbles started forming near the edges. Then I poured this cream over ½ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate and mixed together to form a smooth mixture. Then I dipped the cooled cupcakes in this creamy chocolate ganache.
For decoration I used some silver balls, cut mini marshmallows to resemble popcorns and brushed some yellow color for butter. I decorated some cupcakes with chocolate curls made by shaving chocolate with knife.

Mango-Tango

Mango season is about to end and here is one special drink with mangoes with mosambi. The simple drink has sweetness of mangoes and tartness of sweet lime. It’s a perfect drink to serve your family and friends for some special occasion.. This drink is also great for small kids..

Ingredients:
·        400 ml sweet lime juice
·        100 ml water
·        2 tbsp lemon juice
·        1 cup Alphanso mango pieces
·        1/4 cup chopped mango pieces
 
Blend sweet lime juice with water and 1 cup mango pieces to form smooth juice. Add lemon juice and water and blend for 10 sec.
Serve in glasses topped with cut mango pieces



May 16, 2012

Fresh Mango Pickle



Here's a one more simple jhatphat recipe which can add flavor to any meal.. Fresh mango pickle. It can be prepared instantly and tastes amazing with parathas and can also add zing to your daily meal.. 
I had to make this pickle and enjoy last few days of enjoying raw mangoes.. Thinking about this fresh raw mangoes marinated with mix of spices, sitting in my fridge waiting to be devoured, makes my mouth water.....
                  I have vivid memories of me and my cousins running around our home in our native places hunting for the mangoes. When we used to hear  loud "thump",we used to run across the courtyard trying to find the ripe mango and eat it. Our home in Konkan is the most peaceful place I have ever been to.. Its a typical konkani village with laid back people and people ever willing to help you. 
               Summer vacations are the perfect time to be there, you will be blessed with loads of mangoes, karvanda, and fresh fruits. Nothing beats the pleasure of lying down on the terrace of the home and staring out at the black sky which is sparkling with lots n lots of stars against the silhouettes of tall coconut trees moving in rhythm with cool breeze. If you just stand still and listen, you can hear a veritable symphony of crickets and other night insects with all the buzzing, chirping, whirring and humming. We barely get to see few stars in the polluted skies in our cities.. But there, one can experience complete darkness with only moonlight to guide you in the nights. Sometimes, its good to feel complete darkness around you, you can then feel the light inside you...
Ingredients:
  • 1 mango
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil 

    Method:
  • Clean and dry glass bottle or ceramic jar with an air-tight lid
  • Wash the mangoes. Cut it into tiny pieces
  • Grind the mustard, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chillies to fine powder.
  • Add this ground spice mixture along with the oil to the mangoes in the bottle
  • Mix well with a dry spoon and close the bottle with an air tight lid and you can enjoy the pickle after 3 hours or if you are impatient like me, you can eat some immediately, it still tastes great.
  • This pickle should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 3 weeks, since it is a fresh pickle and has no preservatives. I have made this pickle using just 1 mango which is makes ¾ cup of pickle.

May 15, 2012

Kairichi Amti (raw mango in coconut curry)


Mango is a seasonal fruit and there are so many amazing dishes to make with the raw mango as well as ripe one, one falls short of time. I love the raw green mango as much as love the sweet ripe mango. Raw green mango tastes great as it is and even better when sprinkled with some salt and chilli powder.
Kairichi amti

The recipe here is a curry made with raw mangoes simmered in coconut gravy. Its a Konkani dish and it vegetarian version of fish curry which is made in Konkani houses. My hubby loves this version, so its commonly prepared in summer. 

This recipe is handed over to me by my mother, who in turn learnt it from her mother in law. My granny was an amazing cook when it came to fishes n seafood.. She was born n brought in Goa before getting married and later shifting to Mumbai. So she had some really amazing seafood recipes..

       You must try this simple recipe before mangoes are out of season.. it tastes great with rice and  fried papad. Don't forget to eat some of the marinated mangoes while preparing this curry.

Ingredients:
  • 1 large raw green mango
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 2 tsp jaggery
  • 12 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rice
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 8-10 black pepper
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp jeera


Method:
  • Peel the mango and cut into slices. discard the seed. apply salt, turmeric, chilli & jaggery.
  • Dry roast rice, mustard, fenugreek seeds and black peppercorns
  • Grind roasted rice, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns and coconut to make paste
  • In a frying pan, heat oil and cumin seeds
  • Once the seeds start spluttering, add the marinated mangoes along with the spices and coconut paste
  • Cook on slow flame for 30 min till mango cooks and starts to get mushy.
    Serve with hot steamed rice...

May 9, 2012

Scrambled Egg Pies

     The best way to wish someone good morning is with nice warm cup of coffee and some warm breakfast...  What could be a better breakfast than eggs... Eggs are filling and packed with loads of proteins and nutrients...
     These egg pies are simple and easy to make and will be ready in the oven while you get ready for the day... They are also ideal for your kids tiffin box..

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup  frozen corn
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • sliced half onion
  • 6 bread slices
  • salt
  • pepper
  • grated cheese


  • Method:
    • Spread corn out on paper towels to thaw and dry completely or defrost for 2 min in microwave.
    • Preheat oven to 350-deg. F (180-deg C).
    • Brush a 6 cup muffin pan well with oil. You can also use small bowls/ ramekins instead of muffin pan.
    • Using a cookie cutter or small glass or small bowl , cut the bread into rounds and place them in muffin pan. 
     
    • Whisk together eggs, milk, salt & pepper.
    • Place thinly sliced onions and corn over teh bread.
     
    • Pour egg mixture into muffin cups, dividing evenly
    • Place cheese on the top of muffins.

    • Bake about 15 minutes until set. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. 
    • Run a knife around edges of muffin cups; using a small spoon, carefully scoop out each cupcake.
    • Let cool completely on a wire rack. 
    Serve warm with tea or coffee...

    May 7, 2012

    Bruschetta with tomato & basil

              Bruschetta is a fresh, simple, easy to make Italian appetizer which is made of toasted bread topped with tomato and basil. its ideal to make any time of the year.
             Its a prefect choice when you have guests over for dinner.. Simple to make and is loved by both adults and kids..
           Tomatoes should be sweet and firm. You can either use cherry tomatoes ans slice them in half or use large roma tomatoes and chop them into small pieces..
                  As you know by now, Neil has started to talk and has his own language which by no means will he change... there is this one argument which we have daily. I show him a tomato and say TOMATO.. he looks back and says very firmly POTATO... He goes on saying POTATO till I finally give up. But when I am not around, he wont call it POTATO... It reminds me of the HAMBURGER incident from pink panther movie.... And btw, he calls potato BATATA- marathi word for potato...


    Ingredients:

    • 2 large tomatoes chopped
    • 15-20 lemon basil chopped
    • 2 large cloves of garlic chopped
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • salt
    • pepper
    • 8 thick slices of french baguette bread

    Method:

    • In a small mixing bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, chopped basil, olive oil. season with salt & pepper. Let them sit in fridge for about an hour to let the flavors mix and intermingle. I substituted lemon basil for Italian basil. Its much smaller in size as compared to Italian basil and is sweet with a lemon tang... Smells fresh and citrusy...
    • Now for the baguette! You can cut straight, round-ish slices of the bread if you’d like the pieces to be on the small side. Or you can cut extreme diagonal pieces like the way i cut them, to allow for more surface area and hence more topping. So go for the diagonal cut and loads of topping
    • Now take 1 garlic, chop it in 2 pieces and rub the cut end all over the bread.
    • You can toast the pieces of bread in the oven. But why would you want to do that when you can toast them in a pan on stovetop..
    To serve, arrange the bread pieces on a large platter and heap the tomato mixture onto each piece and top with a leaf of fresh basil...
    Enjoy !!!


    May 5, 2012

    Patra ni Macchi



                 The tag line of the blog talks about a Carnivorous dentist, but there isnt a single non veg dish on the blog yet.

      WHY !!!!
           Because I dont eat that much non veg.. Wrong, I eat loads of nonveg.
           Because I dont cook non veg at home.. Nah I regularly make it.
    But because I love cooking for someone. Its fun to cook when you are cooking for someone you love.. My hubby is a pure vegetarian,, So if I cooked non vegetarian food, it was just for me, so I didnt make lots of specialty items... 

               BUT BUT BUT 
     Now I have a FOREVER FISH hungry Kiddo for whom I love cooking :)

    Here's my first recipe for my dear kiddo.. 
    A recipe he loved..
               Patra ni machhi is a steamed fish coated in green chutney, wrapped in banana leaves. Its a Parsi delicacy, most common on menu in Parsi weddings.. I love Parsi and Bengali weddings... cos these are only weddings which serve non veg. ;) 


    Ingredients:

    • 6 boneless salmon fillets
    • 6-7 garlic
    • 1 ½ cup coconut
    • ½ tsp turmeric
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 cup coriander
    • 2-3 green chillies
    • 1 tsp jeera
    • juice of 1 small lemon
    • 2 banana leaves / parchment paper
    • lemon wedges(to garnish)
    Method

    • Grind coconut, garlic,green chillies, turmeric powder, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, lemon juice and salt to a coarse paste. Taste and check the taste of chutney and adjust salt and lemon.

    • Marinate the fish in the green paste ,refrigerate for 30 minutes.
    • Place the steamer with water on medium heat. I used a bamboo steamer which I placed on pot of boiling water. The steamer should fit exactly so that no steam leaks out. You can use normal steamer or idli steamer or gas cooker without whistle. 

    • Place the marinated fish on the banana leave and fold. I found later that its easier to fold the leaves if you just steam them for half a min. You can use toothpics to secure wraps. Now if you cant get banana leaves, use parchment paper for make fish parcels..
      .
    • Place banana leaves wrapped fish packets in the hot steamer and steam for 15minutes.

      Serve hot with rice.. I made kairichi amti to go along with it,,,

    Now if I make something non veg, I also make veggie version for my hubby...
    I made some extra chutney and coated it on paneer pieces and shallow fried them.. they turned out great.. next time I am going to try steaming in banana leaves for 5 mins..




    May 2, 2012

    Foccacia with tomatoes & olives

                   Foccacia is an Italian dimpled flatbread (cousin of pizza) which can be topped with herbs and other ingredients. Its simple to make and makes a great alternative for garlic bread.. 


        
              It can be just served with olive oil. It could also be used to make sandwich or used a side dish. You could add any toppings you want. I added sweet cherry tomatoes with oil cured black olives and also added few jalapenos with spice.. 

     You can use this basic recipe to make lots of different varieties of focaccia: leave it plain and just sprinkle with coarse sea salt, add  caramelized onions, cumin. Use your imagination! 


    Ingredients:

    • 3 1/2 cups flour
    • 2 tsp instant yeast
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 warm water
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 20 cherry tomatoes
    • 10 pitted oil cured black olives
    • 10 jalapenos slices
    • 10 basil leaves
    • coarse sea salt (to taste)
    • pepper (to taste)
    • 3-4 tbsp olive oil 


      Method:
    • Place the flour, dried oregano, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl. Combine the warm water and oil and mix with dry ingredients to form a soft dough, adding more water if dough appears too dry.
      I have used instant yeast, so it can directly be mixed with the flour. If you are using active dry yeast, it needs to be dissolved in warm water with sugar and wait for 10 min till it froths..
    • Knead the dough for about 10 min till its smooth, kneading also aids in gluten formation which is essential for nice bread. Place this dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with damp wet kitchen towel.
    • Let dough stand for about 1 hour till it doubles in size.
    • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead again briefly.
    • Shape the dough into a rectangle and place it on your oiled baking tray, turning the dough over to oil both the sides. I used cookie sheet for getting a rectangular foccacia. You can also divide the dough in half and make 2 round foccacias.

    • Make some rough indentations on the dough to avoid air bubbles forming. In these indentations, place cherry tomatoes, black olives, jalapenos. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
    • Preheat the oven to 220 C/ 425 F.
    • Let the dough stand in a warm place for 10 mins for the dough to rise again
    • Bake for 20-25 min until golden brown and cooked through..
    • Drizzle some olive oil and top with fresh basil and serve warm.....