Monday, December 30, 2013

Apple Crumble and Home-made Custard

                          Wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year
S and me are poles apart when it comes to desserts, he doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all , but me and our boy on other hand can eat sweets any time. One day out of nowhere, he told me that he feel like eating apple crumble or apple pie. I have  made Apple pie before and that’s the only dessert I have seen him eating greedily J But after one episode of apple pie I decided not to make it again, not because it wasn’t tasty, it was super yumm, but super rich too.  The amount of butter that goes in kind of shocks you so I decided to check apple crumble recipes online and they were much much lighter compared to Apple pie, So I decided to make this for him. Its almost ages since this demand came and he even forgot all about it but how can  I forget about a dessert that he demanded first time in 8 ½ yrs  !!

Apple crumble is so easy to put together and tastes great with home made custard. I think cinnamon and apple is a combination made in heaven, I just love it. This is a perfect dessert for cold wintery days, of course it cant be compared with the delicious apple pie, but any day I would prefer this over Apple pie as it’s a great dessert  with less calories.



Ingredients ( serves 4-5 )
Recipe adapted from here

Apple (preferably cooking apples like granny smith ) – 4 nos ( peeled, cored and sliced)
Butter – 2 tbs
Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
Light Brown sugar – 2 tbs

For crumble mix
Plain flour – ¾ cup
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Salt - pinch
Demarara Sugar – ½ cup
Butter – 40 gm ( 1/5 th of a cup)
Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp

Method
  1. In a frying pan add butter when butter melts, add apples, light brown sugar, ½ tsp cinnamon powder and sauté until soft and tender.
  2. Transfer the apples into a small baking tray( right sized ).
  3. In another bowl take plain flour, baking powder, salt and butter and run the flour with butter until it resemble crumbs/ mositened puttu podi
  4. Add the sugar, cinnamon powder and mix well.Sprinkle the crumble mix on top of the apples placed in baking tray till the edge . Press them tighly.
  5. Bake it a preheated oven at 200 degree C for 35 – 40 minutes until the top is crispy.
  6. Let it cool for a little while.


For Home- made Custard
Egg yolks – 3 nos
Milk – ¾ cup
Double cream – ¾ cup
Corn flour – 1 tbs
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Sugar – ½ cup

 Method
  1. In a bowl take 3 egg yolks and add corn flour and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla extract too.
  2. In a saucepan bring milk, double cream to boil and turn off the flame.
  3. Add the warm milk to the egg yolk mixture very slowly with one hand and whisking vigorously with other hand taking care not to scramble the eggs.
  4. Transfer everything back to the saucepan and cook on a very slow flame (takes about 10 minute ) whisking continuously until custard starts to thicken a little bit.
  5. Transfer into a bowl and cover it with a cling film with the cling film touching the surface of custard ( to avoid skin formation ) and then chill it.

Serve the warm Apple crumble with custard and enjoy !!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Kerala Mutton curry


How is holidays going on everyone ? This is the time to eat and indulge and I hope everyone is doing the same like me. This time we had a fabulous Christmas lunch at Suchi’s place, so it was a kind of blogger's Christmas this time. We all ate and ate until our tummy could take no more. That didn’t quite end my indulgence, since this is the time we invite guest/ friends over, we have been having friends  and still has more dinner plans  the following week. I have been cooking crazily and still enjoying the fun of feeding others. 
Here is one Mutton curry I cooked during one of these days . We don't buy mutton on a regular basis thats why my blog has more chicken recipes than mutton. I  clicked the picture of the curry as we all loved it and I thought if I don’t blog about it, I might forget the recipe and won’t get the exact same taste next time. Sounds funny right ?? But seriosly I  keep my blog as a record of my success trials  and follow my recipe to dot to recreate the same taste.


Ingredients
Mutton – ½ kg (diced)
Shallots/ Cheriya ulli – 300 gm / ( 2 cup sliced)
Tomato – 1
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Curry leaves
Water – 1 cup

To marinate
Ginger garlic paste( Inji veluthulli paste) – 1tsp
Corainder powder – 1 tbs
Redchilly powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Pepper powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Curry leaves

To powder
Poppy seeds / Cuscous – 1 tbs
Cinnamon stick – ¼ inch stick
Cloves -2
Cardamom – 2
Fennel/ Perum jeerakam – ½ tsp
Pepper / Kurumulaku – ½ tsp
Star anise/ Thakolam – 1

Method

  1. Marinate the mutton with ingredients listed under ‘ To marinate’ and keep it aside.
  2. In a wok/ Cheena chatty add coconut oil and sauté the sliced shallots until soft and light brown.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute.
  4. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are soft.
  5. Transfer this masala into a pressure cooker, add the marinated mutton, curry leaves and add water. Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles or until done.
  6. Open the lid of the cooker when pressure goes off .
  7. Meanwhile powder the indredients listed under ‘ to powder’ and add this to the mutton curry.
  8. Turn on the flame again and bring the curry to boil for 3-4 minutes and turn off the flame.



Before I sign off let me wish you all a Fabulous Newyear !!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Katharine Hepburn Brownies and Happy holidays !

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year
 

With Holiday season just around the corner I wanted to do this post  before it was  too late ! Whole food blogging world is full of Christmas bakes and I was feeling a bit left out and wanted to whip up something quick for you all and this Katherine Hepburn Brownies fitted the bill perfectly. It is literally a one bowl brownie, just stir everything together in a bowl and pop it an oven and a delicious brownie will be ready is less than 1 hour. They are perfect to gift for friends or to munch on with a cup of milk. I have to say, for a chocoholic like me, this brownies were kind of addictive. I made this cookies for giving it to a friend and good that I packed half of it to her or else I would have ended up eating whole lot of it in a single sitting.

Those who are wondering about the name of this recipe, its named after Katherine Hepburn (actress) who contributed this awesome recipe to us. I gave a little twist to the recipe by adding cashewnuts instead of walnuts and I think that lifted up the taste to a new level, I absolutely loved the cashewnuts in brownies and even my hubby who is not chocolate lover ate quite a lot !


Recipe source – Joy of baking

Ingredients
Dark Chocolate ( 70 % cocoa ) – 60 gm
Unsatled butter – 113 gm / ½ cup   
Granulated White Sugar – 200 gm /  1cup
Eggs – 2 large
Vanilla extract – ½ tsp
Plain flour/ Maida – 30 gm / ¼ cup
Salt – ¼ tsp
Chopped cashewnuts / walnuts – 100 gm

Method
  1. Take butter and dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl and place them over a simmering pan of hot water until its melted.
  2. Add sugar and stir in.
  3. Break 2 eggs,add vanilla extract and stir in.
  4. Add the flour, chopped nuts and stir in.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased 8 inch square cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 165 degree Celcius for 30-35 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.  


Monday, December 9, 2013

Chuggington cake


I have been asked by many of my friends to consider cake decoration more seriously from a business perspective but since my cakes were far from perfect / professional standard I was never confident and was not ready for such a commitment and moreover deep inside I felt that  if I do it on a daily basis I wouldn’t have enjoyed it like I do now and the truth is as much as I enjoy it,  it is  time consuming and very tiring. Now that I have moved onto to a new  role in my sons school and has different set of goals, my hubby asks me why am I still  clinging on to this passion for which I don’t have  an answer ! I can’t really blame him for asking that as its he who suffers when I am busy with a cake, I don’t get time for my usual cooking so end up cooking something very simple for us or sometimes go for  takeaways or even frozen back up options in freezer or  sometimes he is forced to take up cooking :)

Coming to todays cake, I made this for my friend's son who is a chugginton fan. It was a vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream for 30 servings. The  birthday boy was so  happy to see the cake and afterall  that’s what  make all the effort really worth while ..that innocent smile on their face is priceless !!



Friday, November 29, 2013

Coffee Walnut Sponge with Chocolate Buttercream icing

Wishing Happy Thanks Giving and Wonderful Holidays to all friends in US !


Grey sky, rain, wind, Chill ... that’s pretty much the weather here these days and moreover the sunset at 4 o clock makes matter worse, for all these reason and other reasons I find it hard to get  into kitchen for cooking. My kitchen is really cold and there is no heating in kitchen. So I even dread the thought of cooking but on the other hand I am in full mojo for baking, after all its Christmas and holiday season soon. Shops and streets are already decorated and people are busy buying Christmas gifts for loved ones, so it’s lovely atmosphere expect the weather part. When the weather really gets to me I always tend to bake and it really helps, baking and winter goes hand in hand for some reason and that’s why I guess I have more tendency to bake during the winter!
Coming to today’s post, I would have never made this cake if I haven’t tasted it, so when a friend made this cake and gave it to me I couldn’t stop eating it, it was just so yumm. I did some googling and also got hold of her recipe book and all the recipes were pretty much the same so I made this cake adapting all those recipes. Coffee and walnut combination is a combination made in heaven, if you still haven’t tried it you are missing out a great flavour. I have baked this cake and taken it to India for my cousins and family this summer and they all loved it and they have asked me take the same cake next time as well, in fact when my parents visited us they asked to send one through them when they were going back !



Ingredients (serves 8-10)
( Cup measurement given is in a 200 ml cup)

Plain flour – 150 gm ( 1 1/3 cup)
Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp
Salt - pinch
Butter – 175 gm ( ¾ cup)
Sugar – 175 gm (  roughly ¾ cup) + 2 tbs
Coffee powder – 1 ½ tbs
Boiling water – 50 ml ( ¼ cup)
Walnut – 75 gm ( 50 +25 )
Eggs – 3 large

Method
  1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and keep it aside.
  2. Dissolve 1 tbs of coffee powder in 50 ml of boiling water and keep it aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy for about 5 minutes.
  4. In a bowl break three eggs and lightly beat them with a spoon or whisk.
  5. With hand mixer or electric mixer running add the beaten eggs gradually to the creamed mixture adding a tbs of sifted flour in between(to avoid curdling) .
  6. Beat until eggs have been mixed well into mixture.
  7. Blitz 50 gm of Walnut with 2  tbs of sugar into a nutty powder ( if you  do not add sugar you will end up with a  paste !) and add this to the creamed mixture and beat in.
  8. Add the sifted flour, fold in.
  9. Add the coffee and  25 gm of chopped walnut pieces to the batter and fold in.
  10. Pour the  batter into a two 8 inch prepared/ greased cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

 Chocolate buttercream Icing

Ingredients
Butter - 100 gm - (approximately 1/2 cup )
Icing sugar - 200 gm ( 1 1/2 cup )
Double cream - 50 ml
Meringue powder - 1tsp
Coffee liqueur / Vanilla extract  - 1tsp
salt - pinch
 Dark  chocolate - 40 gm (melted )

Method
1.In a mixing bowl add 1/3 of the sugar, salt and meringue powder and mix.
2.Add cream to it and beat it for 5 minutes in an electric mixer with paddle attachment 
3.Add remaining sugar and beat for 3 minutes.
4.Add butter little by little and beat for 5-7 minutes.
5.Add coffee liqueur, melted chocolate and beat for 1 minute.

Assembling the cake
Once the cake is cool, place one cake on the cake stand/ board and spread the buttercream to top. Place the second layer on top and spread the remaining buttercream on top and decorate it with some walnut pieces or as you wish ! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Corn Flake Cookies, A guest post for Rekha of " Foodolicious pictured "




It was during one of my lazy afternoon browsing session that I stumbled upon Rekha’s blog Foodolicious pictured accidentally. I was totally impressed by her blog, her beautiful pictures and superb collection of recipes. I immediately became her FB fan and  left few comments and  it led to  the beginning of a new friendship ! The one  good quality that  I really like about Rekha is the way she support and encourage other bloggers. I have seen Rekha sharing fellow bloggers recipes on  her Social media platform. It is indeed really sweet of her to do that and support other blogs.

I have to say Rekha  is a versatile blogger as she contributes a variety of recipes, some of them are very unique and innovative. Picking few favourites from her blog would be a tough job but few pictures which left me drooling are Gongura Mutton, Bread Gulab Jamun, and Mediterranian Meat balls .
Thanks you  Rekha for inviting me for a guest post, its indeed a pleasure to do a guest post for friends.

Coming to todays post, it’s a melt in mouth kind of cookies with crunchy cornflakes coating. I tried this recipe from MyKitchenatics and it was a hit expect that it was a  bit less sweet to our liking, so the second time I made this I added a bit  more sugar to adjust to our liking and it was perfect. If you would like to check out the recipe head over to Foodolicious pictured and while you are there don’t forget to check her blog for more J




Sunday, November 17, 2013

Mango Shrikhand/ Amrakhand



I maybe get some odd looks for posting this recipe now as its almost winter and mangoes are wayyyy out of season, but since mango pulp  are easily available in tins here, I make and enjoy mango based desserts throughout the year. Its a light dessert which you can enjoy after a heavy meal and the best bit is it is so easy to put together  (less than 10 minutes)  if you hang the yogurt in muslin cloth overnight. Even though I love this dessert and have enjoyed it several times, I got the inspiration to try this at home after tasting this at a friend’s place, it was so delicious and creamy and one of the best shrikhand I tasted. Her's was a pineapple shrikhand made from tinned pineapple with bits of pineapple but since I was more of mango fan  I decided to try mango shrikhand, but I got to say I liked pineapple shrikhand better than my mango one, so next time when I try shrikhand I am going to make  pineapple one .


Ingredients (serves 4 )
Thick yogurt / Curd – 3 cup
Mango Pulp – 1 ½  cup
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Saffron  Milk – 2 tbs ( Add  ¼ tsp of Saffron strands to 2 tbs of warm milk for 15-30 mins )
Crushed Nuts / Pistachios/ Almonds -   2 tbs
Sugar – 1/4 cup or as required 

Method
  •  Strain yogurt in a muslin cloth overnight.                                                            
  • Beat the thick yogurt for 1-2 minutes until creamy.
  • Add mango pulp, Saffron milk,sugar, cardamom powder and mix well and chill for 2 -3 hours
  • Serve them in individual bowls or cups with crushed nuts on top.                                                                                               


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kerala Pathiri / Rice pancake



Pathiri and chicken curry/ Meat curry is an absolute favourite of most of the Mallu’s, but I have to confess that I was never a Pathiri fan even though I eat it when I am given some. For the same reason I never bothered to make it myself, maybe it’s an acquired taste or maybe I was a picky eater back then. But last year when I visited my sister in Dubai she made some pathiri and Beef curry for us and I was surprised that I quite liked it and enjoyed the pathiri’s for the first time. Like many other things, trying Pathiri was on my agenda after that day. But since pathiri podi is not readily available in Asian shops where I go, I never got around in making them or maybe  I should believe that there is a right time for everything. This time when I came from India, I got so homemade rice flour/ pathiri podi and I used most of it for making idiyappam and before I finished the last bit of it I decided to give Pathiri a try. I asked my sister for her recipe as she is a kind of pathiri expert as she makes it every now and then. Before going to the recipe let me tell you something ,to make some good pathiri you need experience and  little practice, even though I followed my sisters recipe, my pathiri’s were not as good as hers and I know what exactly  went wrong and the next time when I make I won’t make those mistakes again( refer notes). I guess that’s how we learn to make good pathri’s !! I served pathiri with chicken curry and some coconut milk. I have eaten pathiri dipped in coconut milk along with chicken/meat curry  from my muslim friends and coconut milk makes pathiri soft and gives a nice flavour,  it’s a gourmet style of eating them, but you can go ahead and  eat them just with some curry.


Ingredients ( serves 2)
Roated rice flour/ Pathiri podi  – 1 ½ cup
Water – 1 ½ cup
Salt
Oil – 1 tbs
Method
  •          In a thick  bottom saucepan boil some water adding salt and oil.
  •      Once water boils, gradually add the rice flour  stirring continuously with other hand. Once all the flour has been added and mixed, remove from fire.
  •        Now the next step maybe be intimidating as you have to knead the dough while it’s hot, use wooden spoon if you find it hard to knead it with hands until its warm. Knead well until you get a smooth dough.
  •       Pinch out small balls from the dough, roll it out with a rolling pin by dusting some rice flour as needed.
  •     Heat a non stick pan on medium heat and place the pathiri on pan. Cook on medium flame by flipping sides in between for about  2 minutes. The pathiri will puff up.
 Notes
When I made pathiri’s the first half came out really well and it puffed up but the second lot didn’t, as I rolled out all pathiri’s  together and by the time  I reached the second half the rolled out pathiri’s were little dry (maybe it was  because I was slow in rolling out ! ). So next time I am going to cover the pepared dough in cling film or damn cloth. I won’t roll out whole pathiri’s together and will pinch out balls and roll it out and cook at the same time covering the rest of the dough in damn cloth every time as believe that it  will retain the moisture in dough which will help in puffing up.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pressure cooker Vegetable Pulav ( step by step ) and Autumn in Pictures



Eventhough autumn comes as a warning of the next horrible 4-5 months of chilly weather, I love the season for its beauty ! For us its almost like a ritual every year going out to enjoy the season to  capture the  fall colours. This year we went to a nearby park and the park was so beautiful with a big carpet of yellow leaves scattered all over. We walked through the crunching leaves watching squirrels rushing off with Acorns storing up for the harsh winters. They seemed very dedicated and hardworking ! Lil A wanted to help the squirrels as well, so we picked up few acorns and kept it outside the squirrels little cosy house ! I tried hard to take a look inside the house, but it was way too dark inside for us to see :)




Coming to todays post, its such an easy pulav anyone can make in less than 30 minutes if you  soak basamathi rice beforehand. This pulav finds it way to my hubbys lunch box often and he loves it.




Ingredients ( serves 2-3 )

Basmathi rice - 1 1/2 cup
Fennel seeds/ Perum jeerakam - 2 tsp
Cinnamon stick/ patta  - 1 small stick
Cloves/ Grambu - 2-3
Cardamom/ Elakka - 2-3
Star Anise/ thakkolam - 1 ( optional)
Bay leaf - 1-2
Chopped beans - 1/2 cup
Chopped carrot - 3/4 cup
Fresh/ frozen Green peas - 1/3 cup
Potato -1 ( chopped)
Green chillies - 3 ( optional, I didnt use it )
Boiling water - 2 3/4 - 3 cup
Ginger - garlic paste(Inji - veluthulli paste ) - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/ 2 tsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp or as required
Ghee/ oil - 2 tbs

Method

  1. Soak Basmathi rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile chop beans, carrot, potato and keep it aside.

  1. In a pressure cooker add ghee/ oil and add the whole garam masala's ( cinnamon, fennel, cardamom,star anise, cloves, bay leaves  ) and saute until it releases nice smell ( for a minute or so).                                            

  2. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute until raw smell goes.                                       

  3. Add chopped carrot, beans, potato and Green chillies (if using ) and  saute for 5- 10 minutes.                                                      

  4. Add Green peas, turmeric powder  and stir.                                                                                                                                                                                                               


  5. Finally add soaked rice and stir for a minute.                                                                                      

  6. Add boiling water, salt and mix. Cover the pressure cooker and put the weight on. Turn off the flame when the first whistle comes.
  7. Open the cooker when the pressure releases and serve immediately.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Caramel Panacotta with Strawberry coulis, A guest post for Avika


Avika who blogs at A Day through my life has been so patient with me giving me nearly 3 months time for doing this guest post for her. She was really sweet and very supportive when this post got dealyed. So when I got a chance to make a  dessert for taking it to a  friends place for a dinner party I made up my mind to send it over to Avika. What I like about her blog is her step by step instruction which is very easy to follow for any novice cook. Her rescent post, hotel style kuruma with paneer cubes seriously left me drooling :)

Coming to the recipe its Caramel Panacotta with strawberry coulis, an elegant Italian desssert. Usually when I post desserts I click two pairs of them in plates or bowls for the food styling sake, but this time I have only one, wonder why ? Since I knew that I wont get time to take  picture of the dessert before taking it to my friends place I made one extra bowl for clicking picture next day. The next day morning was not different as I had to leave house in the morning for a whole day, so I had to click the pictures in a hurry before leaving the house and as I knew  that by the time I come back daylight will be gone. Even though I couldnt do justice to the pictures, this dessert is  very delicious. I made one simple mistake by adding one extra teaspoon of gelatin as I was worried whether it might not set which made by panacotta slightly hard but if you  try the recipe with one teaspoon less it will be soft and perfect. I have corrected the recipe accordingly,  please  head over  to Avika's blog for the recipe and do try it out too, it so easy to put together and taste yumm too !



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Photo shoot at Farmers market and Chocolate fudge brownie recipe




Last weekend was a very productive one for me, it was Bloggers Buzz BBPC session 3 and this time it was outdoors in a busy sunday market to capture the fall colours. This time it was a group of six of us, Manjiri, Nisha, Nupur, Suchi, Gayatri and me.  The market was very colourful that day with all colourful pumkins around and we had fun shooting the coloured beauties. Smell of amazing food was all over the market and it was really hard to control all the tempatations while shooting the pictures. The Whole experience of going to market is really wonderful, seeing all the fresh local produce and the are comparatively cheaper to the supermarket ones and the great thing is they are local and organic too !I am definitely going to go often to farmers market  and get hold of some fresh local organic produce :) I am not going to talk more about it, let  the pictures speak more about it ! 













Coming to todays post its Chocolate fudge brownies I took  for a Halloween party at my friends place. Halloween is only tomorrow but we already  had a dressing up party  at my friends place. It was indeed fun to watch kids enjoying themselves, probably they were all sugar high after all the candies they ate. We had  great party, the food were contributed by all mums and this brownies were my contribution for the party. It was so chocolatey, yumm and  very rich too ! I had book marked this recipe from Rias space a long time back but since it was rich I was waiting for an occasion to try it and this party seemed like a perfect occassion . If  you are chocolate lover like me, I am sure you will love it and its perfect for taking to a kids party !

Ingredients ( makes 25 brownies )

Recipe adapted from Rias collection
(The cup I use for measurement is  a 200 ml cup)

Plain flour/ maida - 175 gm/ 1 1/2 cup
Cocoa powder - 2tbs
Instant Coffee powder - 1 tsp
Dark chocolate - 300 gm (70 % cocoa )
Eggs - 5 (large )
Granulated sugar - 200 gm/ 1cup 
Light Brown sugar - 100 gm / 3/4 cup
Unsalted Butter - 200 gm
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp

Method
  • In a big bowl take 300 gms of chopped dark chocolate, coffee powder and 200 gm butter and place them over a simmering pan of water until butter and chocolate melts. 
  • Meanwhile in mixing bowl measure plain flour, cocoa powder, salt and mix with a spoon and keep it aside.
  • Add both the sugars to  the chocolate mixture and stir until dissolved.
  • Break 3 eggs into the bowl and whisk until combined.
  • Break 2 more eggs, add vanilla extract and stir in ( donot over mix)
  • Finally add the flour mixture and fold in with a rubber spatula.
  • Pour the batter into a prepared cake tin and bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degree celcious for 35-40 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out with moist crumbs
  • Let it cool completely in the tin and then cut them into squares.