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Sunday, 25 October 2015

QUAIL ROAST

Seems like its been ages, since I have been blogging. Absolutely missed it. Blogging, Cooking, photographing, everything. I was much busy and could spare very little time which I liked to spend alone with a cup of tea. This month has been very relaxed with only few cake orders and to keep myself occupied (though I am occupied in household chores) in my kind of time, I thought I will bounce back to blogging. When I cooked it seemed like I have not cooked properly since so long and photography and styling seemed like a forgotten passion. Everything seemed like I have lost touch in it, thanks to my caking.

On post today is Quail roast. Hubby bought fresh Quails from market and he asked me to fry it and make thick gravy like curry. All that clicked me was to make something like this and I gave it a go to have it for dinner.

Here goes the recipe:
Ingredients:
To marinate:

  • Quail- 4 pcs
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 2 tsp
  • turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
  • Salt



  • Oil- 4 tbsp
  • Onion big- 3
  • Tomato- 1
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Green chilli- 3 slit into half
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder- 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Curry leaves- 1 stem
  • Coriander leaves- to garnish

Method:

  • Marinate the Quails with the given ingredients for about an hour.
  • In a deep bottomed pan, heat oil and fry the Quails. Keep the lid closed so that it cooks properly.
  • Once fried transfer onto a plate.
  • In the same oil, add sliced onions and fry till brown. Again keep the lid closed while frying so that onions get well mashed up. 
  • Add Ginger garlic paste and saute well. Add tomatoes, curry leaves and spice powders.
  • Add the fried quails and stir lightly so that pieces do not break.
  • Keep the lid closed and cook for about 3 minute. 
  • Off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with chapati or rotis.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Vanilla Caramel Chocolate Cake with Dulce de leche (DDL) frosting and ganache



Now I feel lucky to be a house wife. When I was in school i was One girl with high ambitions in life. Scoring high in Grad school, then working and earning was my dream. But after I got married, the whole scenario changed. Even though my husband did not have any objection in me working, my priorities changed to being a good home maker. While I waited for kids to grow up and things to settle down, things got out of my calculations and I got confined inside the four walls. And it was late before I realised that being a house wife or home maker is no less than all other paid jobs plus I now feel lucky that I discovered a new passion which I would n't have discovered if I were a working person. I dont make money but I have plenty of time to execute my passion. Not that I have no work at home, of course i run in short of time and that is not rarely and that is the case always with three little kids but I feel atleast I am not bound by work or a boss which would have been otherwise the case if I were an employee. Yes, I am not guilty to admit that I have my house work pending when I find time for blogging. As people ask me how on earth you find time to blog, I simply remain silent and smile. After settling all my house work I will never have time. So I found a new way not to over stress myself with keeping my house perfect. I found out that it is equally important to keep myself happy rather than spend my whole day just doing house work. money isnt everything. As long as you have food, clothing and shelter, money is just a piece of paper. I am saying so because recently I started accepting order for cakes, not in a big way but in a small way. My intentions weren't to make money but to execute my passion without investing my own money in it. This cake thing was always in me. I loved to bake cakes and decorating it but what always kept me away from trying more or continuing it was sometimes cake turned rock hard or sometimes I failed to adjust the oven temperature or sometimes the cake burnt or sometimes the cream wouldnt whip up right or sometimes it curdled. Sometimes my lucky charm worked but there were tons of times my cakes were in a state that couldnt be fixed and thrown to trash. How many times my eyes have teared for my lost efforts were just innumerable. Hubs has always known what was happening with every cakes I tried but he never complained. It was Not just the cakes that got wasted but also money spent for it. Butter, eggs , cream are not free.. you definitely have to pay for it. But nowadays my lucky charm has started working and with Allahs grace people also have started appreciating my work and giving orders. I dont make much profit and I really Do Not bother about it because I am being benefited after each work because with each new experience I am learning new things. And that was my motive too, to learn things and getting to do more projects by accepting orders. Also when I am being paid I do not have to bother about spending from my own money in discovering new styles of cakes. So I am definitely being benefited right. But I am not sure, if such intentions and passion will remain always and if it will turn out to be a money making process alone some time. Or I am unsure even it I will get orders any more. Whatever it may be. Let everything happen for good. Check out my cake page here
Todays post is a  vanilla chocolate caramel cake with Dulce de leche frosting and ganache.
The cake is a rich one with three flavors of cake in one with dulce de leche frosting topped with some ganache. I suggest preparing the cakes and dulce de leche one day and preparing frosting, ganache and assembling of cake second day. The vanilla cake I used here is one already published in the blog as pista cake, but replace pista essence with vanilla. The caramel cake is a soft and spongy one and I recommend in baking two 6 inch cake tin or one 8 inch tin to reduce the baking time.
The chocolate cake I have made here is eggless version and adapted from same source as the caramel cake. All the cakes should be baked in same size cake tin.

Ingredients:
Vanilla cake- I used half of this recipe replacing pista essence with vanilla essence. also skipping the color.
For caramel cake: (recipe courtesy: Lakshmi nair)
  • Butter- 100 gms
  • Icing sugar- 1/2 cup
  • condensed milk- 1/4 cup
  • Eggs- 5
  • sugar - 1/2 cup
  • Boiling water- 1/2 cup
  • All purpose flour- 1 cup
  • Baking powder-1 tsp
  • Baking soda- 1 tsp
Method:
  • First you should prepare caramel by heating sugar in a pan. Once it melts completely and turns brown color keep the flame low and add boiling water. Mix with a spoon and boil for few seconds. Off the flame and cool.
  • Beat room temperature butter and Icing sugar together. Beat well until light and fluffy. You can use hand whisk if you want. Add condensed milk and beat well once again. Keep aside.
  • With another whisk of electric blender beat 5 eggs in a clean bowl. If using the same whisk used for beating butter, make sure its completely clean and free of any grease before beating eggs, else the eggs will not whip up.
  • Beat the eggs till it doubles in volume.
  • Add half of the beaten eggs to Butter, sugar mixture and fold the eggs gently.
  • To this mixture add sifted flour mixture all at once and fold gently using a spatula till well incorporated.
  • Add remaining beaten eggs and fold gently again.
  • To this add the caramel sauce prepared earlier and mix everything till well incorporated.
  • Transfer the cake batter to a greased 8" cake tin.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees for 45 minutes or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
For eggless chocolate cake:
  • All purpose flour: 11/4 cup
  • Cocoa powder- 1/4 cup
  • baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda- 1 1/2 tsp
  • Milk- 1 1/4 cup
  • Powdered sugar- 1 cup
  • coffee powder- 1 tsp
  • Honey - 2 tbsp
  • Sunflower oil- 3/4 cup
Method:
  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees
  • Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder and keep aside.
  • Heat milk, coffee powder, powdered sugar and honey until just warm.
  • Transfer this milk mixture to a bowl and add oil to it and beat using an egg beater till everything gets well incorporated.
  • To this add sifted flour and cocoa mixture and beat well till no lumps are visible and everything gets well incorporated.
  • Transfer the cake batter to a greased  cake tin lined with parchment paper or wax paper.
  • Tap the cake tin on kitchen surface to knock air bubbles out.
  • Bake in the oven for minutes 55 minutes or until skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
For Dulce de leche frosting:
  • condensed milk- 1 tin (unopened can)
  • Butter- 200 gms
Method:
  • Make Dulce de leche(DDL) one day ahead as it takes time to cook and cool completely. Process explained below.
  • Peel off the cover of condensed milk, but do not open the can. Place the can in a pressure cooker completely immersed in water. close the lid of the pressure cooker and keep on high flame. Once you hear the first whistle, reduce the flame to medium low and cook it for 25 minutes. (the condensed milk can be cooked in a vessel other than pressure cooker, but will take 3-4 hours and you need to keep on adding water to keep the can completely immersed). After 25 minutes, off the pressure cooker and do not open the lid or place under water for pressure to dissipate. leave it untouched. Once the pressure dissipates, Open the lid and take out the can and let it cool completely, else it will explode on opening of can.. This is DDL. Now you need to make frosting. So when you are making DDL keep butter outside the fridge at room temperature, so that butter is completely softened by next day when you prepare frosting.
  • For frosting, Beat butter well. Add DDL and beat till everything are well incorporated.

Ganache:
  • Dark chocolate or milk chocolate-100 gms (I suggest dark chocolate)
  • Cream- 100 mls, Little less than 1/2 cup
Method:
  • In a dry clean bowl, add chocolate chopped finely.
Heat cream in a heavy bottomed sauce pan on medium flame till it starts boiling from sides. Do not over heat the cream. Off the flame and add cream to chocolate, the chocolate should be completely covered in cream. Keep it untouched for a while and then mix slowly using a dry whisk. Keep mixing till you get a smooth lump free Ganache.

Assembling:
  • Cut the top of all cakes to attain a flat surface.
  • On a plate place the choclate cake, Put some frosting on top of it. Spread on entire surface.
  • Place caramel cake on top and apply some frosting again.
  • Now put vanilla layer on top. Cut off the sides of cake to get even size on sides.
  • Frost the entire cake in frosting, smooth the side and top using an offset spatula.
  • Pour Ganache on top, Allow it to drizzle on sides.. Make sure Ganache isn't hot while pouring over the cake else the frosting will melt.
  • If you keep the cake in fridge it can be hard, so if refrigerating, before serving keep the cake out at room temperature for one hour.

Monday, 3 August 2015

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES AND MY 'THE CAKE MISTRESS' PAGE ON FACEBOOK






Nowadays my focus is shifting to something else. Not a vague obsession, This time I am investing most of my time for it too.... Its a cake thing.. Cake has always been my weakness, not in terms of taste but in baking it. But recently it has shifted to cake decorating and its only a while back I started getting it right without any mistakes. For months I had this problem of either not getting the cream rightly whipped or over whipping and yielding butter out of it. Now that I have started getting it right, my next look on was for different ways of cake decorating. Now that I have started doing it artistically, I started making it for friends and families. Also I started getting requests from some neighbors and friends in doing it for them. Thus my cake page on facebook  'The Cake Mistress' was born. Click on the link to see some of my works. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cake-Mistress/341317546074465?fref=ts.  If all you people show some love by stopping by my page and pour in your likes, it would be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Posting some of my cake works here.










After getting into this whole cake thing, Its cake all around. Dreams of it every time, even during eating, chatting, sleeping and so on. So now I am having less time for blogging, I decided to devote one or two days in a week for it. Yes, I need one or two days to make one post up to the blog, since my kids always get in between whatever I am doing. They barely sleep and drive me nuts when I am not able to finish my plans on time.
Ok so lets get back to todays post, Its chocolate chip cookies. Being a part of the fondbites group compels me to try their bake-along recipes, which is why I have at least a post today on blog. The choco-chip cookies was something I always wanted to try, but was lazy. This was an apt situation to try this recipe and it came out divine. I think I under-baked it and loved the doughy center which kept me going for having more and more. But if you follow the instructions right you will get perfect cookies.



Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients:
  • Unsalted butter – 200 gms
  • Granulated white sugar – 1 cup
  • Dark brown sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Eggs – 2
  • Vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
  • All-purpose flour – 3 cups
  • Baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chocolate chips – 1 1/2 cups ( mix of your favorites )
  • Mix of toasted nuts – 1 cup ( optional – I didn’t add)
Method:
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degree C. Line a baking tray with butter paper or silicon mat. Sift together all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Keep aside.

2. Melt the butter in microwave until it is liquid. It should not be hot. Just in liquid form. Using melted butter is one of the key aspects here. Add the melted butter into the bowl of your electric beater and add in both the sugars.

3. Beat the butter and the sugars on medium high speed for about 5 minutes until the mixture becomes thick.

4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat on medium speed for 10 to 15 seconds only. Do not over beat the eggs. This is another key aspect.

5. Add pure vanilla extract to the mixture and beat just until combined. Remove the bowl from the beater.

And that’s how the mixture looks at this stage.

6. Add the entire flour content into the mixture, use a rubber spatula to mix the flour gently.
7. You will get a crumbly mixture first. Now use your hands to gently mix up the dough to combine.
8. Check for the consistency. If the dough is sticky like how it is in the picture, you need to add a little more flour. This is the next important key factor. The dough should have enough flour to keep it just dry and not sticky.

9. I added about 3 tablespoons of flour to the dough. Mix it very roughly using your hands.
This is how it looks after the addition of the flour

10. Add the chocolate chips. If using toasted nuts, add them in now. Use your hands to gently fold in the chocolate chips evenly across the dough.


11. Make balls of 1.5 inches diameter. Place them in the prepared baking tray with a spacing of 2 inches. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 11 minutes. Here is the final key factor to the best cookies ever. Do not bake more than this time and do not change the temperature either.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Classic Pancakes


Ever since I was introduced to this large group on fb, all my heart-bookmarked recipes has been coming to implementation which i delayed solely due to my busy schedule. The group demands bake along by every member of the group in which a recipe is posted every week. I always wanted to try a classic pancake, but with so many recipes on internet and failing to settle on one and also doubting if that would turn up good, I always hesitated to give it a try.


But being part of the group left me with no choice other than giving it a try and fasting hubby meant I had to prepare breakfast only for kids who would love to have this even as lunch. And so did I tried and came out awesome.


Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • Baking powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar – 2 tablespoons
  • Egg – 1
  • Pure vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Milk – 1 1/4 cup
  • Butter – 75 gms
  • Honey – to serve, optional
Method:
  • 1. Add all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  • 2. In another bowl, break the eggs using a fork. Add pure vanilla extract and beat until combined using the fork.
  • 3. Add warm milk into the egg mixture and stir using fork until combined. Melt the butter and let cool down to warm. Add butter into the egg-milk mixture and mix well just until combined.
  • 4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the entire wet ingredient into the well.
  • 5. Use the fork to mix slowly and gently by folding motion. Do not over mix. Few folds and the batter will be ready with few lumps. Just stop there, do not attempt to make a smooth batter. Few lumps are definitely fine.
  • 6. Heat up a griddle/tawa on medium heat. Rub with butter or spread over some ghee. Add about 1/4 cup of batter quantity in the center of the tawa. Use a flat spoon to spread it out slightly.
  • 7. With flame on medium low, it will start bubbling on the top.
  • 8. Spread around some butter/ghee.
  • 9. Using a flat ladle, gently flip over the pancake and let cook on the other side for few seconds on medium low speed. Once both sides are cooked well, use the ladle to transfer onto serving plate or into a box that retains heat.
  • Continue making pancakes to the rest of the batter. You can pile them up one on top of the other. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Green Peas Mushroom Curry



Up on post today is one of my favorite veggie curry. Very less do I experiment veggie curries. I usually make any simple curry with veggies and repeat the same stuff when it is a vegetable meal day in my house. And so it turns out boring and is always a left over. Veggies do not excite me much and so I do not make much variety with it. This time also in a mission to make my family feed with more veggies, I decided to try something new and found this recipe. As the recipe mentions, I did not use fresh mushrooms, instead I used tinned ones and replaced the frozen green peas with fresh ones.
This curry once tasted turned out to be my favorite and whenever now I find a chance to make Vegetable curry, I make this.

Over to the recipe,
Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients:
  • Oil- 2-3 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Green peas (fresh or frozen)- 1/2 cup
  • Mushroom-1/2 cup chopped. (I used tinned mushrooms)
  • Tomato- 3
  • Ginger- 1 inch piece
  • Chilly- 3
  • Cream- 1/2 cup
  • Asafetida- a pinch
  • Dry fenugreek leaves/ kasoori methi- 1 tbsp
  • salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves- 2-3 tbsp.
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Red chilly powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
to coarsely grind:
  • Black cardamom- 2
  • cinnamon stick- 1/2 inch
  • black pepper corns- 5-6
  • clove-2

Method:
  • First coarsely grind the spices.
  • Puree the tomatoes along with chilly and ginger.
  • Heat a deep bottomed pan, Add oil to it.
  • Once the oil heats, add the cumin seeds and asafetida.
  • Once the cumin seeds splutter, add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder and tomato puree and cook till oil starts appearing.
  • Add cream, coarsely ground spice, kasoori methi and salt.
  • Cook for few minutes.
  • Add green peas and cook again for few minutes.
  • Then add mushrooms and cook till done.
  • Add coriander leaves and throw chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot and enjoy with battora, Ceylon paratha, pulao etc. 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bread pockets



Thinking about  blessed holy month of Ramadan already fills me with chills when people are so much around, mosques crowded, streets busy, everything seems so special. Especially being in an Islamic country like UAE, I enjoy the benefit of husband returning from work early, due to short working hours for all companies and then roads during night time is so lit up and busy, anybody can roam around safely no matter even if you are alone. Its definitely a month of devotion and religious commitment, which is only why you can still fast in full spirit no matter how long the fasting hours are and that too when summer is at its peak. Its a month when Quran was sent to our Messenger Muhammad S.A. and we give so much importance in spending our time in recitation of Quran and that is mostly how I spend my time of worship or Ibaadah apart from obligatory prayers during Ramadan.

Ofcourse apart from religious commitment, we are supposed to cook for the Iftar (fast breaking time) but taking care you do not get carried away and spend so much time in cooking.
Speaking of today's post, this is my third guest post and second guest post for Lubnas blog. When she requested to do a post for her Ramadan series, there was no thinking twice, it was definitely a yes from me. But as I mentioned earlier, I do not appreciate spending too much time in the kitchen during this blessed month as every moment is precious and should be carried in the remembrance of Allah, I was really scratching my head for me to come up with a recipe which was less time consuming  at the same time, I was stubborn it should be an Iftar special. Then did this recipe of Bread pockets clicked in my head. Its not my invention but I came out with my own filling. After all, I come from a place where people especially women are so obsessed and passionate about cooking and feasting
. I am talking about a coastal part of Kerala, the Malabar. Every Ramadan I come across some new recipes from family or friends, which would mainly serve as Iftar (fast breaking) snack during Ramadan. And so was this recipe. How people back home are so talented!
Its super easy to make.. all you need is ur filling ready. You can go free with your ideas and use any filling as simple as some mix of veggies or some shredded chicken alone or you can get a bit fancy like I did. The main part is the crunchy bread. To attain it, all you have to do is cut off the crust of Bread slices. Flatten 2 slices of bread together with one overlapping other, using a rolling pin. Then cut the bread into round shape  about 3 inches in diameter using any lid or cookie cutter. Then coat the circles in egg mix and then bread crumbs and deep fry by doing which it will puff up like pooris and cut into half to get half moon shapes and fill with your favorite filling. The bread turns so crunchy and yummy and the filing I used here turned out to be really yum that it reminded me of chilli chicken you get from restaurants. So if you find time, try this filling for sure.

INGREDIENTS:
FOR BREAD SLICES:
  • Bread crumbs
  • 1 Egg, beaten
FOR FILLING:
  • 2 Onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 1/2 Tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. Kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp. Tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp. Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Chicken, boiled and shredded
  • 1/2 cup Green peas, i used frozen ones
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Salt
PREPARATION:
TO MAKE FILLING:
  • Heat a pan and heat a tablespoon of oil.
  • Saute onion in it. Add ginger garlic paste. Saute till onion turns golden brown.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, saute till tomatoes turns mushy.
  • Add Kashmiri chili powder and turmeric powder. Mix well.
  • Add tomato ketchup and mayo. Mix.
  • Add frozen green peas and saute for few seconds.
  • Then add chicken. Mix till the masala coats well on the pieces of chicken and off the flame.
  • Keep the filling aside.
TO BREAD SLICES:
  • Take the bread slices. Cut off the crust.
  • With two slices, one on top of the other, using a rolling pin flatten the slices.
  • Using a cookie container or any lid big enough cut circles out of the bread slices.
  • Reserve the the remaining portion of bread to make bread crumbs.
  • Repeat the same with other slices. Approximately 10 slices will be required.
  • Dip the circles in beaten egg and coat in the bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a wok.
  • Deep fry the circles till it puffs up and changes color to golden brown. Transfer the fried circles onto a paper towel.
  • Cut the circles from center to get pockets. Fill the pockets with filling.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes.
  • Serve hot and enjoy.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Home made puffs with home made puff pastry sheets




This might sound long and difficult. But it isn't. I love the buttery flaky texture of puff pastry sheets and I always felt that making those at home are really not worth when lots of them are available in stores. But after having tried and failed a few times those store bought sheets, which I found hard to separate and did not puff up in the oven, I decided to give it a try at home. But it took me ages to find the courage to really give it a try. The steps are simple. U just to have fold it three or four times but keeping intervals and refrigerated between each folds which was the real annoying thing for me as I couldn't finish the work when my kids were fast asleep. But I was happy with the out come. It was really easy to make. Far better than I imagined. Tasted exactly like the bakery ones.
Over to the recipe
Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour- 3 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup
  • Butter- 450 gms+ 100 gms
  • Cold water
  • salt 
  • Chicken filling of your choice
Method:

  • First mix 3 1/2 cups flour,salt and 100 gms butter.
  • Add just enough cold water and work the dough with your hands until a smooth dough is formed. This will take about 5-6 minutes. Once the dough is formed keep it refrigerated for about 20 minutes.
  • Be sure to cover rthe dough with a cling or plastic wrap
  • Now take the room temperature butter.
  • Mix in the remaining flour and little salt if the butter is unsalted. Mix well with hands.
  • Take a large plastic wrap, place the butter on it and flatten the butter to a square shape about 1/4 inch thickness, with your fingers.
  • Wrap the butter with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
  • After 20minutes, take out the dough and roll it to a rectangle with 1/4 inch thickness. Ensure that you use enough flour while rolling.
  • Unwrap the butter from fridge and place the butter square in the center of the dough.
  • Wrap the butter inside the dough from four sides and seal the edges well so that butter do not show out.
  • Roll it gently to form a rectangle and fold from both ends of long side of rectangle towards center.
  • Flip it and roll gently again to form a rectangle and fold from both ends again. Keep this refrigerated in  a plastic wrap again for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes again take the dough out roll, fold, flip, roll and fold.
  • Refrigerate once more and repeat roll, fold, flip, roll and fold.
  • Refrigerate for one last time and roll to get a rectangle and cut into squares. You will get about 16- 20 square sheets.
  • Use it immediately or store separated by plastic sheets in freezer for about 20-30 days or more.
  • To make chicken puffs:
  • place the squares on a cookie sheet or baking tray lined with wax or parchment paper. place the filling towards one half of the pastry sheet and fold the second half over it. Seal gently from the sides and bake for about 20 minutes in a medium oven till lightly golden brown. 
  • You can brush the puffs with butter or beaten egg before baking to get golden finish.

Note:
If you are using frozen sheets, place the sheets on baking tray and wait them to come to room temperature before you fill and fold. Or else while folding the sheet will break.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Blueberry Mojito




Oh berries! How much I love them. But  here in desert, we hardly get berries.. Now that's a false statement. You get berries here throughout the year but you need to pay twice as much as its quantity. I mean it. I am not boasting. Its about 15 Aed for a small pack of blueberry with only 10 or 15 of them. Every time I admiringly gaze at those beauties in super market, take them in my hand and then return them to fridge. This is the case with all the berries so buying a berry and having them is like my distant dream except for strawberries which are affordable at least during winter. And to take my cravings to extreme, my fellow bloggers in west have their blogs loaded with lots of berry recipes and without able to try them, I put my cravings to sleep. This one I found for pretty good deal. When i found those, though they were still quite expensive, there was no second thought and i bought those, calculating to try loads of berry recipes when i was still aware that i had only a few of them .. When I returned home, there were so many recipes in my mind and unaware of when I will be able to buy berries next and wanting to try something really worth, my mind failed to settle on any one particular recipe. Then, these berries saw days of boredom for next two days in the fridge and then still unable to figure out what to be done with it they were promoted to freezer. This is what happens when you over treasure something and finds them unexpectedly and you want to make best out of it.

Blueberry syrup with ice cubes without adding soda

That is when a strawberry mojito recipe on Internet came to rescue and it looked so refreshing that I wanted to try it for sure. So I decided to replace strawberries with my blueberries and give it a go. It tasted good, except that I wanted it bit more sweet. The mentioned quantity of sugar in the recipe is only approximate and please check to the sweetness before adding soda. Soda is unsweetened so be sure to add enough sweetness to the blueberry syrup.

  Over to the recipe.
Ingredients:
  • Blueberry - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar- 1/2 cup
  • Water- 1/4 cup
  • Mint- 1/4 bunch
  • Lime juice- 2 tbsp
  • Ice cubes
  • Club soda
Method:
  • Puree the blueberries, water and sugar together. Strain through fine sieve and keep aside.
  • In the bottom of a jar muddle mint leaves pour the blueberry syrup and lime juice and chill in refrigerator until required.
  • To serve. Pour the blueberry syrup upto 1/4 th of the glass. 
  • Put some ice cubes. And pour soda over it to fill the glass.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Idli Masala


This is a life saver and also saves your left over idlis. In my home, my daughter and me are great fans of Idli, but my hubby and son are the opposite. Usually I make Idlis for my daughter and me and with some batter, I prepare Dosas for Hubby and son. But when Idlis are left over, they are hardly used up just because I am lazy to prepare chutney to be eaten with, just for a few idlis or warming or heating it up. I'd rather stay hungry, so much is my laziness. But when it comes to feeding the family, its actually worth making something, if they are sure to enjoy it. So I transform the left over idlis this way and hubby happily eats all of it when served this way. Its quite easy to make and makes a good tea time snack or even breakfast
Over to the recipe.
Ingredients:

  • Idli- 5 or 6 cut into 4
  • Butter- 2 tbsp
  • Garlic minced- 2 cloves
  • Onion chopped finely- 1
  • Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup- 1 tsp
  • Pav Bhaji Masala - 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice- 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves- 1/2 cup chopped finely

Method:

  • Heat butter in a pan.
  • Add minced garlic. Saute for a while.
  • Now add chopped onions and saute till translucent.
  • Add all the spice powders and mix well. Add ketchup and mix.
  • Add lime juice and 2 tbsp water. 
  • Add coriander leaves and then add idlis.
  • Off the flame and serve hot.




Thursday, 4 June 2015

Kerala Roast Chicken



Up on post today is a chicken roast. There are already many chicken roast on the blog.You can check it here and here. Its my kind of curry and also my hubby loves anything of that sort. Its best with Chapati, Nans etc. Or it is best accompanied as side dish with any other curry along with rice varieties as well. As the name, Kerala Roast chicken, it depicts Kerala's own taste with the coconut oil flavor and smell. Over to the recipe.
Ingredients:
  • Chicken- 1 cut to medium peices
  • Lime juice- 1 tbsp
  • Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Onion chopped-7 medium
  • Ginger chopped-2 1/2 tbsp
  • Garlic chopped- 2 1/2 tbsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
  • Kashmiri Chilli powder- 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Tomato- 3 cut into slices
  • Tomato ketchup- 2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves- a stem
  • Coconut oil for deep frying

Method:
  • Marinate chicken in pepper powder, lime juice and salt. Keep aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix Chilli powder and Turmeric powder with very little water to form a paste.
  • Mix this paste onto marinated chicken and marinate the chicken well and keep aside for 15 minutes.
  • In a wok, heat oil for deep frying the chicken. Fry the chicken in two batches if required. The flame should be on medium to cook the inside of the chicken and not to burn outside. This takes about 10- 15 minutes. The outside of the chicken should turn golden brown. Once done, transfer the chicken onto a paper towel.
  • Meanwhile the chicken is frying, take another pan and add 2-3 tbsp of the frying oil from the wok, Heat it.
  • Add chopped onion, ginger and garlic. Saute till onion turns golden brown.
  • Add Turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, Coriander powder and Garam masala powder. Mix.
  • Add Tomatoes, curry leaves and mix
  • Add tomato ketchup and chicken. Mix all together and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Off the flame and serve hot with chapati, nan, ceylon parathabattoora etc.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Chickoo Caramel Icecream


Why is this emptiness..?? Mind is blank even with all beautiful things around. Life is going on perfect and nothing to complain about. Yet something wrong.
 Having a healthy, happy mind is also an asset. Its not just a blessing but something someone should develop himself/herself. Feels like I have lost it, lost the skill to develop a happy mind.


Life is full of ups and downs, yet most of us complain about the downs and never appreciate ups, just like now I complained about not having a happy nature.


Its into my nature, digging into sadness with no reason. It must be some kind of unnecessary mentality or illness.
I don't know, I really don't know. Feeling down and don't know why?




Yet there is light of hope left, left in us by God. That's his love for us that He never leaves us in complete darkness. Sometimes, its his way of drawing us closer to him, by putting us in dark. And then gives us light of hope, again to draw closer to him. His ways are always so good. All we need to do is just to place our trust in Him.


Today's post is a Chickoo/sapota Ice cream. Just like Mangoes, Chickoo is one favorite fruit of Indians. If ever I am in a cool bar in India and decide to order something, there is only one choice for me which is Chikkoo milkshake. I never ever get enough of it.  It is definitely the best of all milkshakes.
This recipe was developed by me for my husband. Although he is not a sweet tooth , he is an Ice-cream lover. If ever there is a fight for food between us, its for Ice-creams. We are so greedy about it that, we feed ourselves straight from the tub. So chikkoo being our favorite fruit and Ice-cream being favorite dessert, this ice-cream will surely serve both our greedy factors. In this recipe, I added caramel sauce adding which gave a unique taste to the Ice-cream, you can omit it if you do not have that in hand.

Over to the recipe,
Ingredients:

  • Milk- 500 mls/ 2 cup
  • Corn flour- 3 tbsp
  • Sugar- 1/2 cup or more if the whipping cream is unsweetened (you can also use condensed milk instead of sugar)
  • Caramel sauce- 1/2 cup (you can use Hershey's caramel syrup, I used home-made)
  • Chikkoo- 6 medium, chopped and pureed
  • Whipping cream- 1 cup, whip to stiff peaks.
  • Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
Method:

  • Heat 1 and 1/2 cups of milk with sugar, till it comes to boil.
  • Mean while, mix remaining milk with cornflour to form a paste.
  • Add chikkoo puree and caramel sauce to the boiling milk and stir for few seconds.
  • Add the cornflour mixture to the boiling milk and stir till the milk thickens to a custard consistency.
  • Off the flame and cool completely.
  • Whip the whipping cream to stiff peaks
  • Fold the whipping cream to cooled custard, till well incorporated.
  • Transfer the Ice-cream mix to air tight container and freeze for about 2-3 hours.
  • Take out from the freezer and beat the partially frozen ice-cream mix with an electric beater and refreeze them in an air-tight container for about 6 hours.
  • Scoop them to a bowl and serve, enjoy!
Note: Keep your ice-cream out of freezer for few minutes before you scoop.


Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Badam Kaachiyathu/ Almond milk

The health benefits of Almonds are never ending.
I love the versatility of Almonds and when infused into milk, it serves as best warm drinks that can be served.
This drink is easy to make however the peeling part is so time consuming for me. Also it requires to be planned ahead as Almonds takes time to soak. If you want to make it immediately, you can still do it by soaking in hot water or simply by microwaving with little water, so the skin peels off easily. But I really do not like it that way as I feel the flavor somehow becomes a little vague by doing so.































Over to the recipe,
Ingredients:

  • Almonds-20, soaked for about 2 hours and peeled
  • Milk- 2 cups+ 1/4 cup
  • Sugar- 3-4 tbsp
  • ghee- 1 tbsp
  • cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp
  • saffron- 1/2 tsp
Method:
  • Soak the Almonds for two hours and peel the skin.
  • Grind with 1/4 cup of milk to a smooth paste.
  • Heat a pan on medium low heat and add ghee.
  • Add the Almond paste to it and saute for a few seconds.
  • Now add milk and sugar and increase the flame.
  • Add cardamom powder and saffron to the boiling milk and off the heat.
  • Give it a good stir and serve warm.






Saturday, 23 May 2015

TEA FLAVORED CARROT DATES CAKE

I am never out of obsessions. Its always there in me. I am pretty obsessed with all the beautiful things around and it keeps changing with time. My recent obsession is this page. What wonderful photographs and recipes!!. Whats amazing is that author has wonderfully composed delicious recipes with awesome twists. Otherwise would you ever imagine of Carrot Halwa Ice cream? And the best part is he is Indian. Indian recipes got a superb dimension and International status in his page. There are so many awesome recipes which I have already bookmarked to try in future. Also I have committed to go through all his recipes, not missing a single one, everyday or whenever I find time. Now that is called a sincere obsession.
Speaking of his photographs there is something noticeably magic about it and it has some signature style. There is no need of adding any copyright watermarks as anyone familiar of that space can guess to whom those photographs belong.

When I came across this recipe, I did not even want to look at the ingredients and procedure, it was a definite thing I promised myself to try. The original recipe is called Masala Chai Carrot Cake (Named masala chai carrot cake as the cake batter is infused with strongly brewed tea), with the goodness of spices, tea and Carrots. Also it gives you the bonus of having tea at any time of the day.


 I made slight variations cutting off almost all the spices except Cardamom as I still cannot adapt to the idea of adding ginger to cakes and Cinnamon is something I cannot stand at times as its quite heady for me. So this recipe cannot be called Masala Chai Carrot Cake, instead its just Chai Carrot Cake.
Also, the original recipe calls for raisins which I did not have in hand and instead substituted it with Dates, which is definitely a lovely combo to Carrots in cake. So , Dates here served double purpose.

\
Over to the recipe,
Ingredients

  • Strongly brewed tea- 1/4 cup ( I added approximately 4 tbsps to one cup of boiling water and let the water boil for about 2 minutes. Strain and measure 1/4 cup)
  • Carrot- 2 big
  • Dates- 1 cup, pitted and chopped
  • cardamom powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Oil- 1 1/2 cups
  • All purpose flour- 2 1/2 cups
  • Baking powder- 1 1/4 tsp
  • Baking soda- 1 tsp
  • Eggs- 4, room temperature
  • Granulated sugar- 1 1/2 cups
  • Packed dark brown sugar- 1/2 cup
  • salt-  a pinch
Pistachio cream cheese frosting:
Hung curd- 1 cup
Whipped cream- 1 cup (Beat whipping cream till stiff peaks form)
Icing sugar- 3 tbsp
Pistachio essence- 1 tsp
Pistachios- crushed- 1/4 cup, to garnish

Method:

  • Dry whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  • In a food processor, grate the Carrots. Transfer the Carrots to another large bowl.
  • Wipe the bowl of processor clean. Fit the metal blade and add sugar, brown sugar, tea and eggs. Turn on the processor and blend everything for 30 seconds.
  • With the processor on, add oil in a steady stream. Run the processor till the mixture is emulsified. This takes about 20-30 secs. (The result is a satiny smooth mixture).
  • Add the chopped dates to the flour and mix well. This ensures that dates do not sink to the bottom while baking.
  • Pour the egg-sugar mix over Carrot and fold using a silicone spatula.
  • Fold in the flour till no speck of flour is visible.
  • Pour into a greased pan. Place the pan in the middle rack of a preheated oven.
  • Bake for about 35-40 mins or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. (I divided the batter into two and baked seperately to get two layers . Do not slice the cake into 2 to get 2 layers, as the cake is soft it can break)
  • Cool the cake completely.
  • Mean while prepare Pistachio cream cheese frosting.
  • In a bowl, beat hung curd and icing sugar well. 
  • Add pistachio essence. beat.
  • Using silicone spatula, fold in the whipped cream.
  • Apply half of the frosting over one layer of cake. 
  • Place the second layer of cake on top.
  • Again spread remaining half of frosting over the cake.
  • Garnish with chopped Pistachios.
  • serve and enjoy.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Bavarian Cream

Bavarian cream, a new name I came across just a few days back when my one of my blogger friends, +Rafeeda AR  made a mention of it on her fb post. I was curious to know what it was and when the blog post on this wonderful dessert  appeared which was a combo of many desserts along with Bavarian cream, I decided to try Bavarian cream, alone which can be had as a dessert itself. Having said that, Rafee's blog is one of the wonderful blog with a wide range of recipes and Rafee is a consistent blogger and  Masha allah, she manages to do atleast 3 posts a week. I love reading her write-ups and every time her posts appear on blog, its like a new movie release for me.


The recipe is made with egg yolks, basically its a kind of custard and it tasted so very delicious. I added some nuts on top and praline powder, which added more to the taste.









Ingredients:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 pack (10 gm) gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Method:

  • Sprinkle the gelatin into the cold water and set aside for it to bloom.

  • Boil milk with the sugar and salt. Keep the egg yolks ready in a bowl. Slowly pour in the milk into the yolks, while continuously whisking. Since the milk is hot, there are chance of the egg curdling. Whisk vigorously so that the eggs don't curdle.

  • Return back the mixture to the stove and cook on low flame till the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Switch off the flame. Add the gelatin water and mix till the gelatin melts into the custard. Allow to cool.

  • Meanwhile, whisk the whipping cream along with the vanilla essence till medium peaks form. It doesn't need to be stiff. Fold in the custard using a spatula till well incorporated.
  • Pour this mix in a large pudding tray or several mini ones. 
  • Refrigerate until set.
  • serve chilled and enjoy.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Mango Pannacotta



When Mangoes are in season, it cannot be a coincidence that I am posting second Mango recipe in a week. My favorite childhood fruit and still is, Mangoes, are so versatile. However, if it wasnt't for the awesome bake along by this wonderful group, Fondbites in which I joined recently, where every week the admin posts wonderful step by step recipe, I would not have given this recipe a try.


 A Panna-cotta recipe always caught my attention, but never got an opportunity to try them. The dessert turned out to be super delicious and was incredibly easy to make too. The Mangoes gave a nice lift in taste to this dessert. After all, anything made of Mangoes is impossible to go wrong.


Ingredients:
  • Mangoes – 2 Big & RipeFresh 
  • Cream – 600 ml
  • Coconut Milk – 400 ml
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Gelatin – 2 tablespoon
  • Warm water – 1/4 cup

Jelly Top -
  • Mangoes – 1 ripe
  • Sugar  1/3 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Gelatin  1 tablespoon
  • Water – 2 tablespoon

Method:

  •  Remove skin of mangoes. Slice them into medium sized pieces.
  •  Process mangoes in your food processor.
  • Mix together fresh cream, coconut milk, sugar and vanilla extract. Bring it on medium flame and let it come to a boil. Keep stirring.
  • Mix together gelatin and water and let it soak for about 1 minute.
  •  Microwave or double boil the gelatin mixture and melt the gelatin completely.
  •  Add mango puree into the cream mixture that is heating up. Stir and mix well. ( I liked the texture of mangoes into my dessert. So when it didnt mix completely I was pretty much happy. If you want your cream to be silky and super smooth, you can add coconut milk to the mango slices while processing in your food processor and make it a shake and add it into the cream mixture that is heating up)
  • Mix the mango puree well and also add the gelatin that is melted and hot into the liquid mixture. Stir well and remove from fire.
  • Now pour the mixture into dessert cups and set in freezer for about an hour.

Jelly -
  • Process mango slices, sugar and 1/2 cup of water in food processor. Soak gelatin in 2 tablespoons of water and melt in microwave / double boiler and add it to the processed mango puree.
  • Mix well until completely combined. Pour 2 tablespoons of this jelly mixture on top of the panna cotta that has been set in the freezer. Set it back again in freezer for 30 minutes and transfer the set dessert into the refrigerator until you want to serve it.