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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.

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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.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Ladies finger/ Okra Raita



This is one of my favorite side dishes for rice. A day when there is some short of curries or if there is curry but in little quantity, I love to prepare this. I love most of the yogurt based side dishes, especially this one with my favorite veggie. It is very easy to prepare and pairs awesomely with rice. This is definitely the 'Sadya' type curry or Raita.
All you have to do is first dry roast some spices and powder it with yogurt so that yogurt get the flavor of these spices and then roast ladies finger till all the the stickiness and gooey texture vanishes. Combine the veggie and yogurt and then final thing is tempering. As easy as that.
Over to the recipe

Ingredients:
  • Ladies finger- 10 medium peices
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Salt
  • Dried red chilli- 1 or 2
  • Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
  • Yogurt- 1 cup
  • Coconut Oil- 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- 1 stem

Method:
  • Dry roast dried red chilly , coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a pan till it releases its aroma. Transfer to a bowl and cool before powdering them.
  • Slice the ladies fingers into horizontal slices. 
  • Heat a pan, add very little coconut oil and add ladies finger and roast them with salt and turmeric powder till its sticky glue like liquid disappears.
  • Powder the dry roasted spices in a food processor or mixer grinder.
  • Add yogurt to these crushed spices and pulse them once again in the mixer, so that all are well blended.
  • In a pan, heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Once the mustards splutter add the yogurt spice mix and off the heat immediately. Do not let the mixture boil.
  • Adjust salt.
  • Add the ladies finger to the yogurt.
  • Serve hot.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Beef roast, beef ularthiyathu




Beef is our family favourite , especially when cooked in an array of spices. My hubby is a fan of Beef and spicy recipes and particularly when prepared in a thick and minimum gravy, the bowl is always wiped clean.
Shema's wonderful blog and recipes always left me in complete awe with her lip smacking dishes and photographs. And thanks to her description about this dish in this post which left me drooling throughout the read. I gave it a try the very next time I bought fresh beef and it turned out to be a family favorite. Every time there is a family gathering or any other occassion, this dish is sure to find its place on the menu. This is definitely the best of beef recipes and I am sure once you taste it, you will never give up trying it over and over again.
The only drawback I would like to mention here of this recipe is that it is extra spicy hot even for a person like me who can really tolerate pretty much hot and spicy dishes, even though it is the heat that adds to extra taste of this dish. And therefore I cut on the chillies mentioned below in the recipe while cooking for us and while cooking for other relatives who cannot tolerate even less spicy dishes I cut off the pepper powder as well, mentioned in the gravy part. So adjust the spice level according to your taste. 
And a quick mention on the water content required for the gravy, the original recipe calls for evaporating entire water content after cooking beef where I like this dish to be served semi gravy type. I feel the taste is just awesome this way.
Over to the recipe,
Ingredients:
To pressure cook:
  • Beef- 1/2 kg
  • Vinegar- 2 tbsp
  • Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder- 1 tsp
  • Salt- to taste

For the gravy:
  • Onion-2
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Green chilly- 1 or 2
  • Kashmiri chilli powder- 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder- 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder-  a pinch
  • Asofetida- a pinch
  • Tomato ketchup- 2 tbsp
  • pepper corns - 1 tsp
  • Dry coconut peices( thenga kothu)- 1 tbsp
  • Coconut oil- 3 tbsp
Method:
  • Cook beef with vinegar, pepper powder, oil and salt with very little water in a pressure cooker. 
  • After first whistle, reduce the flame to medium low and cook for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, off the flame and keep the lid closed till pressure dissipates. 
  • Open the lid and return back to stove if water remains in the cooker. Heat till all the water evaporates or leave some water if you like to have some gravy.
  • In a heavy- bottomed skillet, heat coconut oil and fry coconut peices and transfer to a plate.
  • To the same oil, add peppercorns. Then add Onions, ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves and saute till the onions are golden brown. 
  • To this add all the spice powder and saute well. 
  • Add tomato ketchup and mix well for a few seconds.
  • Add the beef along with the stock required for your gravy and cook till it reaches the desired thickness .
  • Add the fried coconut pieces and some more coconut oil and curry leaves. 
  • Off the flame and serve with Rice, Chapati, Naan etc.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Mango Pudding with Pineapple Jelly


Although I am sweet tooth, its been long I've been into pudding. This time I decided to try a pudding with the mangoes hubby bought which wasn't sweet enough to be eaten as it is. Usually such Mangoes end up in the juicer and drunk as milkshake or Lassi. This time, I had already prepared hung curd in hand, which I was planning to use for any cheesecake filling. But as a blogger, mango cheesecake being already on blog, I wanted to have a new recipe for blog to feature, so I give it a go for this one. The pudding tasted awesome and despite mangoes being not so ripe, the mango part particularly tasted really good and my doubt if the pineapple jelly flavor would go well with the mango pudding, was all vanished once I had it.

I tried this recipe once with little changes with strawberry mousse and strawberry jelly and topped with whipped cream and strawberry slice. Being not happy with the pictures I took, I left it aside and decided not to post on blog. Nowadays, I think I am getting more crazy with food photographs than actual recipes. However, I do not post any recipe, which wasn't tasty enough for my tongue only because pictures are good.

Over to the recipe,
Ingredients:
  • Hung curd- 1 cup
  • Mangoes -2 chopped into cubes
  • Condensed milk- 1/2 tin
  • Cream/ fresh cream/ whipped cream- 1/2 cup
  • Sugar- 2 tbsp
  • Gélatine- 3 tbsp
  • Water- 1/4 cup
  • Pineapple jelly- 1 sachet

Method:
  • Prepare pineapple jelly as per instructions given on the box.
  • Dividé the jelly into 6 stemmed glasses and put some mango cubes in it. 
  • Keep these glasses tilted inside cups of cupcake tray or in a loaf pan.
  • Place inside the fridge, until set. I kept overnight.
  • Meanwhile, add sugar in a bowl with remaining mango cubes and keep in fridge covered for few hours, preferably overnight.
  • Add gelatine to cold water, wait till it blooms.
  • Melt gelatine in double boiler or microwave at 80% for 30 seconds.
  • Blend the mango cubes, hung curd, sugar, condensed milk and cream together. Add the melted gelatine and mix everything together.
  • Divide and pour this mixture to glasses that were previously set with jelly.
  • Refrigerate and serve chilled.





Sunday, 10 May 2015

Srilankan Seeni Sambal Buns





Ever since I became a member of Home Bakers group, I always take the pledge to do the monthly challenge, but every time I failed to do it... The host, Priya, chooses wonderful recipes from different blogs every month, this time she chose buns for the monthly challenge.
I was so much touched by one of the recipes, Mozarella stuffed buns, Mozarella being my favorite of all cheeses, but due to unavailability of other ingredients mentioned in the recipe, I opted to skip it.
The second recipe was of Srilankan Seeni Sambal Buns, which again caught my attention, as it was another form of stuffed buns. I love buns with filling in it. But however, I was unsure of the taste, doubting wheather sweetness of Jaggery and sourness of Tamarind will go well with each other. But I knew, more I keep thinking, the more will be the chance that I'll skip this months challenge too. So, there was no second thinking and I sticked to Srilankan Seeni Sambal Buns and jump started with the baking. And yes, the buns tasted awesome with wonderful tasting filling. It was definitely worth trying.
Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients:

Bread dough: (makes 15 mini rolls)
  • Plain flour -2 1/3 cups 300 grams
  • Wheat bran -1/4 cup
  • Sugar -2 tbsp
  • Salt -3/4 tsp
  • Yeast- 3/4 tsp ,4 grams
  • Milk pwd -10 grams
  • Water roux - cook 1 tbsp flour with 125ml water to form a custard. Cool completely and use it.
  • Water- 100ml
  • Butter -30 grams
  • Oil -2 tbsp
  • Fresh milk- 3 tbsp (to brush on the buns before baking.
For the Seeni Sambol Filling: (Fills 10 buns)
  • 5 large red onions, sliced 
  • 4 -5 garlic, grated1 small piece ginger, grated 
  • curry leaf, a few
  • 3/4 tablespoon chili powder 
  • 3-4  teaspoons jaggery 
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind extract (or use a small lime sized ball with minimum water to extract the pulp) 
  • 3 teaspoons oil 
  • salt, as needed



Method:

For the filling:
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the curry leaves, onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until the onion starts to brown. Add the chili powder, salt, tamarind extract andllll continue to cook on low heat until the onion comes together 20-25 minutes. 
  • Add the jaggery at the end when your required consistency is reached.  
  • Continue to cook for a few more minutes until the jaggery is incorporated well. 
  • This condiment can stay for at least a week refrigerated.


For the buns:
  • Mix everything except butter.
  • When the dough comes together add butter and knead well.
  • Apply oil and keep aside until it double in size.
  • Punch down the dough and divide the dough into 15 balls.
  • Flatten each dough a bit and place 2 tsp of the filling in each.
  • Pinch the ends to seal it.
  • Place in the parchment paper and cover with a cling foil until double in size.
  • Towards the last 10 minutes,
  • preheat the oven to 180 degree C.
  • Brush the buns with milk and bake for 18- 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Transfer to wire rack and serve while still warm. (I covered the buns with a clean cloth for about half an hour. This step ensures the buns stay soft).
  • These buns remain soft until the next day.
  • If you plan to keep for more than a day, place them in the fridge and reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds.
  • Serve and enjoy.