Bored of trying out the same old curries with Brinjal/ Aubergine. Why not have a go at making this spicy tangy Brinjal Pickle?? more

In a hurry, why not cook up this simple and tasty Tomato Rice. Goes well with any yoghurt raita. more

A nutritious dal, especially with its combination of different lentils. A perfect accompaniment with plain rice. more

Another unusual dessert. This time with bread!. Never thought bread would taste so good, in a sweet dish other than bread and butter pudding! more

A typical Maharashtrian snack, Misal Pav. Both filling and tasty too! more

 

RED VELVET CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

When I was growing up the variety of cakes were so different. I guess with innovations there are always newer varieties. This Red Velvet cake seemed to have gain popularity on the past few years and I had seen a lot of recipes on it. Somehow never thought of making it, until a few weeks back when speaking to a friend the topic about Red Velvet cake came up and I decided to try it out. The recipe I followed was from sailusfood.com. Though her recipe asked for 3 cake tins, I made a double layered cake. Had to make do with the 2 cake tins that I had.

rvc

This is what you’ll need

For the cake

All purpose flour: 2 1/2 cups

Baking powder: 1tsp

Baking soda: 1tsp

Salt: 3/4tsp

Cocoa powder: 2 tbsps (unsweetened)

Eggs: 2

Buttermilk: 3/4cup

Sugar: 1 and 1/2 cups

Vegetable oil: 3/4 cup

Instant coffee powder: 1 and 1/2 tbsp mixed in 1/2 cup hot water

Vanilla essence: 1 and 1/2 tsps

Vinegar: 1 tsp

Red food colouring: 2 to 3 tbsps ( varies depending on the brand

For the cream cheese frosting

Cream cheese: 225 gms (I use Philadelphia brand)

Butter: 1/2 cup

Powdered sugar: 2 and a 1/2 cups, sieved

Vanilla essence: 1 tsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease and dust two 8″ round cake pans.

2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda and cocoa powder. Keep aside.

3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add the butter milk and mix. Keep aside.

4. In a large bowl, add the oil, sugar and beat for 3 to 4 minutes until well combined. Add the vanilla essence, egg-buttermilk mixture, red food colouring and coffee mixture. Mix until well combined.

5. Slowly add the flour, about 1/3 cup at a time and mix to combine. Do not overbeat. Repeat till all the flour is blended into the batter.

6. Mix 1/2 tsp of baking soda with a tsp of distilled vinegar and as it bubbles, add it to the cake batter and mix. Immediately pour the cake batter into the prepared pans.

7. The batter should fill only half the pan and not more since the cake with rise on baking.

8. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 C for 40 to 45 minutes or until done. Check from 35 minutes onwards. Cool the cakes and then invert each onto a plate, then invert again on the right side of cake onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool to room temperature.

9. To prepare the frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter for 3 minutes with an electric mixture. Add the vanilla and mix. Add sieved powdered sugar a little at a time and beat until frosting is light and fluffy approximately 4-5 minutes.

10. To assemble the cake, place one cake layer on a cake plate, level the cake and spread some of the frosting on top. Place another cake layer over it and level the cake. Spread a layer of the frosting on top. Level the frosting on top. You can frost the sides with the remaining frosting.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Serves: 6-8

NIPPAT

With Diwali not too far away, it was time to start making some tasty munchies. I try my best to make something different each year. This time I started with Nippat. Still a lot more things to be made and posted too, but for now enjoy this recipe!

This is what you’ll need

Rice flour: 2 cups

Roasted gram: 3/4cup

Chana dal ( bengal gram dal): 1tbsp

Udad dal: 2tbsp

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Hing (asafoetida): 1/2tsp

Curry leaves: 10-12

Green chillies: 2

Butter: 2tbsp

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Let’s get cooking

1. Soak the chana dal for around half an hour.

2. Dry roast the gram dal and udad dal. When cool grind to a fine powder.

3. Finely chop the green chillies and the curry leaves.

4. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and knead to a dough with water. You should be able to flatten the dough with the palm of your hand.

5. Take a plastic sheet and grease with oil. Spread some dough on it and flatten it with your hand, taking care that it doesn’t break. Cut into rounds using a cutter. Make slits so the nippat remains flat when frying. (The flatter you make it the crispier it becomes)

6. Carefully slide each nippat into the hot oil and deep fry well on both sides until golden brown.

7. Once cool store in an air tight container.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4-6

 

 

 

AMBUR BIRYANI

A lot of newspaper articles in the recent past seem to talk a lot about Ambur Biryani as one of the must have Indian style biryanis. A recipe on kannammacooks.com caught my eye and I decided to try it out. A very easy biryani to make, with easily available ingredients. This one was an instant hit!

Ambur biryani

This is what you’ll need

Mutton: 500gms

Seeraga Samba or Basmati Rice: 500gms

Refined Oil: 1/2cup (125ml)

Garlic paste: 50gms

Ginger paste: 50gms

Onions: 2 (sliced)

Tomatoes: 2 (chopped)

Dried Red chillies: 8-10, ground to a paste

Cloves: 3

Cardamom: 3

Cinnamon: 1″ piece

Coriander leaves: 1/2 vati/ katori (finely chopped)

Mint leaves: 1/4 vati/ katori (finely chopped)

Yoghurt: ¼ cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon

Juice of 1 Lime

Salt to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Soak the rice in lots of water. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add a table spoon of yoghurt. Add in the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Fry for 10 seconds. Add in the garlic paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.

3. Add in the ginger paste. Fry for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell of the ginger goes off.

4. Add in the chilli paste, mutton, the mint and coriander leaves, onions, tomatoes, salt, yoghurt and lime juice. Add in a cup (250 ml) of water. Mix well to combine.

5. Cover and pressure cook everything for 10-12 whistles on medium flame. Switch off the flame and wait for the pressure to release naturally.

6. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the soaked rice. Add in the salt. Cook until the rice is half done.

7. Drain the water and add the rice to the mutton pan. Mix well to combine. Empty into an oven proof dish. Cover the dish with foil and cook the biryani in the preheated 200 deg C for 30 minutes. If you don’t have an oven, heat a dosa pan on the stove and put the mutton biryani pan / vessel on top of the dosa pan and allow it to cook on low flame for 15 minutes.

8. Once the dum cooking is over, open the lid and gently fluff up the rice to mix. Serve mutton biryani hot with raita.

ambur biryani1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hr 15 minutes

Serves: 4

* The mutton can be substituted by chicken

 

STUFFED BREAD PAKODA

I came across this recipe on Sia’s blog monsoonspice.com. I have always made bread pakodas, but this idea of making them with a stuffing was different to me. The chutnies along with the potato filling and bread give this pakoda a nice flavour. Perfect for a rainy day with a hot cup of Chai!!

This is what you’ll need

Bread: 6 slices

Green coriander chutney: 1/4 cup

Sweet chutney: 1/4 cup

Oil for deep frying

For the Filling

Potatoes: 2 (boiled)

Green chillies: 3 (finely chopped)

Ginger: 1/2″ piece (grated)

Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp

Cumin seeds: 1tsp

Coriander leaves: 2tsp (finely chopped)

Salt to taste

For the batter

Besan/ Chickpea flour: 1 1/2 cups

Rice flour: 1/4 cup

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Ajwain (carom seeds): 1/2tsp

Curry leaves: Few (chopped)

Hing (asafoetida): A generous pinch

Salt to taste

 

Let’s get cooking

For the filling

1. Mash the boiled potatoes.

2. Mix the rest of the ingredients along with the potato and mash well. Keep aside.

For the batter

1. Sift the flours to remove lumps and mix together.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water mixing well. Make sure no lumps are formed.

3. The batter should be of pouring consistency, not very thick.

To prepare the Pakodas

1. Take the bread slices and trim off the crust if you do not like it.

2. On one slice of the bread spread the sweet chutney and green chutney on the other slice.

3. Spread around one and half to two table spoons of the potato mixture on one slice of the bread and cover it with the other.

4. Cut diagonally into half and then each triangle into half again.

5. Dip each quarter into the batter and deep fry on a medium flame until brown.

6. Drain on a kitchen roll and serve hot with chutney or sauce.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

 

 

 

PANEER TIKKA MASALA (COTTAGE CHEESE IN A THICK GRAVY)

It had been a long time since I made paneer and it was only when my older son brought it to my notice that I realised. Being his favourite I decided to make Paneer Tikka Masala and Ghee rice to go with that.

Paneer tikka masal2

This is what you’ll need

For the marinade

Paneer: 300gms

Yoghurt: 4tbsp

Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp

Kashmiri chilli powder: 2tsp

Garam masala powder: 1tsp

Salt to taste

For the curry

Onions: 2 (grated)

Tomatoes: 1 (big, finely chopped)

Tomato puree: 1tbsp( I used ready made puree)

Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp

Chilli powder: 1 1/2tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Yoghurt: 2tbsp

Cream: 3tbsp

Kasuri methi: 1tbsp

Garam masala: 1tsp

Cloves: 3

Cinnamon: 1/2″ piece

Cardamom: 3

Cumin seeds: 1/2tsp

Sugar: 2tsp

Salt to taste

Ghee: 2tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Mix all the ingredients listed under marinade and keep aside for half an hour.

2. Pour it in a wide pan and shallow fry until the mixture is dry and the paneer is well coated keep aside.

3. In another pan heat the ghee. Add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and cumin seeds.

4. Mix in the grated onions and saute until brown.

5. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes.

6. Add the tomatoes and tomato puree. Fry until pulpy.

7. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and fry for another minute.

8. Add the kasuri methi, garam masala and continue frying.

9. Pour in the yoghurt, and cream. Add the sugar and bring the mixture to a boil.

10. Add the paneer pieces and salt. Add a glass of water to the gravy and boil once again.

11. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Paneer tikka masala

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4

paneer tikka masala1

 

 

 

DAHI ARBI (COLOCASSIA IN A YOGHURT GRAVY)

Even though Arbi is one of my favourite vegetables, I rarely buy it because at home nobody relishes it as much. After a very long time decided to buy it and made this easy kalvan (gravy) that goes well with rice.

This is what you’ll need

Arbi: 200gms

Dahi (yoghurt): 1 cup

Cumin seeds: 1tsp

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/4tsp

Dhania jeera powder: 1tsp

Hing: 1/2tsp

Amchur (dry mango powder): 1/2tsp

Oil: 1tsp

Rock salt: As required (or use regular salt)

Coriander leaves: To garnish

Let’s get cooking

1. Pressure cook the arbi for 2 whistles. Peel, cut into roundels and keep aside.

2. Whisk the dahi along with a glass of water and keep aside.

3. Heat the oil in a pan and season with cumin seeds and hing.

4. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, dhania jeera powder and amchur. Mix for 30 seconds.

5. Toss in the arbi and stir fry till the powders coat it well.

6. Gradually add the whisked dahi stirring continously, taking care that it does not curdle. Bring the mixture to a boil.

7. Add the rock salt and chopped coriander leaves.

8. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2-3

DOODHPAK (SWEET RICE PUDDING)

Every time I ask my son what dessert he would like to eat it’s always “Amma Doodhpak”! He absolutely loves it!

This is what you’ll need

Basmati rice: 1/2 cup

Milk: 2 cups

Condensed milk: 1/2 tin

Saffron: Few strands dissolved in 2tsp of warm milk

Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp

Cashew nuts and Raisins: Few (My son doesn’t like raisins, so I used only cahsew nuts)

Let’s get cooking

1. Clean and wash the rice well. Roast the cashew nuts and raisins in a tsp of ghee and keep aside.

2. Drop it into a pan along with the milk and once it comes to a boil, lower the flame and let the rice cook until done. Stir at regular intervals.

3. Once  done add the condensed milk, saffron and cardamom powder. Mix well and boil once.

4. Garnish with the nuts and serve warm or cold.

Approximate preparation time: 45 minutes

Serves: 3-4

* If you like it sweeter, add more condensed milk.

 

 

DOODH PEDA (MILK PEDA)

Was in the mood to make something sweet and remembered about this recipe which I had wanted to make ages ago. Finally made it today. Adapted the recipe from jeyashriskitchen.com and it turned out quite good.

Doodh peda

This is what you’ll need

Milk powder: 2 cups

Condensed milk: 1 tin (397gms)

Butter: 2tbsp

Ghee: 2tsp

Everest Milk Masala: 1tsp (optional)

Saffron: A pinch (dissolved in 1tbsp of warm milk, optional)

Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp

Let’s get cooking

1. In a wide non stick pan, pour the condensed milk and milk powder. Mix it into a smooth paste taking care no lumps are formed. It should be like a thick idli batter.

2. Add the butter and ghee to this. Start mixing them on a low flame.

3. Add the saffron milk to this and mix well without getting it burnt.

4. The recipe asked for some Everest milk Masala to be added for enhanced flavour. If using add it now.

5. After 7 to 8 minutes the mixture will come out like a soft ball without sticking to the bottom.

6. Turn off the flame and allow the mixture to become warm.

7. Grease your hands with ghee and also the rolling pin.

8. Grease the base as well and knead the mass of peda. Roll it into a circle of your desired thickness.

9. Using a cookie cutter cut into desired shapes or roll into small balls and flatten slightly.

10. Store in a jar when cool. Can be refrigerated for up to a week.

doodh peda1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes roughly 30 to 35 pedas.

doodh peda2

 

 

 

 

LOADED POTATO SKINS

We tried out this starter Italian Potato Dippers at one of our favourite restaurants Frankie and Benny’s. The American version of this usually has bacon in it, but I prefer the vegetarian version. Made it at home today and was quite pleased with the outcome. A great starter.

lps1

This is what you’ll need

Medium sized potatoes: 6

Cream cheese: 4tbsp

Green chillies: 2 to 3 (finely chopped)

Cheese sauce: 3tbsp

Spring onion green: To garnish

Chilli flakes: To garnish (optional)

Olive oil: 1tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Prick the potatoes with a fork all over a few times. Coat with olive oil and bake in an oven at 180deg C for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the potatoes)

2. Prepare the filling by mixing the cream cheese until it is smooth and soft.

3. Add the finely chopped green chillies. Mix well and keep aside.

4. You can top this mixture either with grated cheese or cheese sauce. I used cheese sauce. (Prepare the cheese sauce by melting 1tbsp butter. Add 1tbsp flour and mix to a smooth paste on a low flame. Add 1 cup of milk and mix making sure no lumps are formed. Stir until thick. turn off the flame and add the grated cheese to it. Mix well until it is smooth. Add salt and pepper as required and use as required)

5. Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

6. Cut them into half lengthwise and scoop out the centre pulpy portion, leaving about a cm of it all around. Do this with all the remaining potatoes. (The centre pulp can be kept aside for use in making parathas, mash or even cutlets.)

7. Bake the potato skins (skin facing up) in an oven at 200 deg C for another 5 to 7 minutes.

8. Remove and fill them with the cream cheese mixture. Top with cheese sauce or grated cheese and bake again for another 7 minutes.

9. Remove and serve hot garnished with spring onion greens.

loaded potato skins2

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 and a half hour.

Serves: 3 to 4

loaded potato skins3

 

loaded potato skins1

CHICKEN BEZULE

I remember bookmarking this recipe from Sadia’s blog savoryandsweetfood.com. Inspite of being a complete foodie and a regular visitor to Mangalore, this recipe was completely new to me. When I saw how easy it was to make, there was no way I was going to miss trying this one out! Though I have used chicken in this recipe, I am sure it will taste just as good with fish, and for those who are looking for a vegetarian option, why not try it with cauliflower?

chicken bezule

This is what you’ll need

Chicken: 500gms (cut into bite sized pieces. I used boneless chicken)

Chilli powder: 1 1/2tsp

Garam masala: 1/2tsp

Lemon juice: 1tbsp

Yoghurt: 1tbsp

Rice flour: 1tbsp

All purpose flour (maida): 1tbsp

Kashmiri chilli powder: 1/2tsp ( The original recipe asked for red food colouring, which I substituted for kashmiri chilli powder)

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

To be ground to a coarse paste

Coriander leaves: A handful

Ginger: 1″ piece

Garlic: 4 cloves

Green chillies: 4

Curry leaves: 2 sprigs

Let’s get cooking

1. Take the ground paste in a bowl.

2. To this add the chilli powder, garam masala, lemon juice, yoghurt, kashmiri chilli powder and salt. Mix well.

3. Marinate the chicken pieces in this mixture for at least 4 hours preferably over night.

4. Just before frying, add the rice flour and all purpose flour. Mix well.

5. Deep fry in hot oil and serve immediately.

chiken bezule1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes (excluding marination time)

Serves: 4

 

 

 

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