Thursday, December 27, 2012

Palmiers/ Elephant Ear Cookies



Palmiers/ Elephant Ear Cookies/Butterfly cookies

This is one of my favorite cookies. It is crispy and crunchy butter cookies. It looks fancy yet is simple and unbelievably easy to  make. It is flaky pastry with slightly caramelized sugar and is a great holiday treat.Serve this with a cup of tea and enjoy!

Ingredients
Puff pastry -1 sheet
Granulated sugar- 1/2 cup
Cinnamon- 3/4 tsp
Cardamon powder- a pinch
Salt- a pinch


Mix sugar,cinnamon powder, cardamon powder and salt and set aside.

Thaw puff pasty as per instruction. Dust half of the mixed sugar on the working space (wooden board or marble)and spread the puff sheet on top of the sugar. Dust the rest of the mixed sugar on top on the pastry sheet. Spread the sugar evenly .Using a rolling pin gently roll on top so that the sugar gets pressed on either side of the pasty dough ( work quickly because sugar will soften the dough).
 Fold the pastry dough starting from the corner towards you to the inside. Continue folding and stop when you reach half way at the middle. Turn to the other side of the pasty sheet and do the same. When both the folds meet at the center bring together, one over lapping the other and slightly press with the rolling pin. Refrigerated this for about half an hour so that the dough becomes firm.


Pre heat oven to 350 degree F. Cut the pasty into thin equal sized slices (I got about 24 pieces). Layer on a greased baking pan leaving some space between, as these will expand. Bake for about four or five minutes and then flip over these cookies( use a spatula) and bake for another two to three minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and when completely cool transfer to air tight containers.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Chocolate Caramel Fudge


Chocolate Caramel Fudge

 This is perfect holiday treat and is so easy to make.Wrap them in candy wrappers and it is a perfect holiday gift which you can share with loved ones and friends.So try this delicious chocolaty caramel goodness this Christmas. I have added some chopped nuts to give a little crunch.

Ingredients
Condensed milk- 1 tin ( 13.4 oz.)
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Mini marshmallows-  1 1/2 cup
Butter- 3 Tbs
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
Dark chocolate- 11 oz.( 311 grams)
Chopped nuts of your choice- 1/4 cup
Salt- a pinch

For the caramel
Condensed milk- 3/4 cup
Brown sugar- 1/2 cup
Butter- 2 tbs
Light corn syrup- 1 tbs
Heavy cream - 4 tbs
White chocolate- 100 grams


This recipe can be made in two stage, first the chocolate and then pour the caramel layer on top or make it together as the recipe below
For the chocolate fudge: Take a heavy bottom pan or sauce pan and add the butter, sugar,salt and condensed milk.Put it in low medium heat,stir occasionally till it comes to a boil. This will take about 5-6 minutes.
Continue till there is rapid boil stage and simmer for another 5-6 minutes stirring in between .If you have a candy thermometer the temperature should reach  230 degree or the soft ball stage. To check whether it reached the soft ball stage drop half a spoon of the mixture into cold water. After a few seconds you will be able to take it out from the water and press into a soft ball.
Switch off the heat and add 1 tsp vanilla, dark chocolate or semi sweet and 1 1/2 cup mini marshmallows. Continuously whisk till all the chocolate and marshmallows gets incorporated and you have a smooth texture and finally add nut. Continue whisking till the mixture starts thickening.

For the soft caramel: While the chocolate fudge is simmering  take another heavy bottom pan and add condensed milk,brown sugar,butter, light corn syrup and cream put it a low medium flame till the butter melts and the sugar dissolves.
Mix every thing together cover and simmer for two minutes or till you see condensation on top of the lid. This will help wash down sugar crystals on the sides of the pan. Remove the lid and continue to simmer  in low heat for another 8 minute. Keep whisking in between. Switch off the flame and add white chocolate and continue stirring till it thickens.
Prepare an eight inch square pan. Line it with aluminum foil or with wax paper. Pour half of the chocolate fudge mixture.Pour the caramel mixture on top. You can use a fork and gently swirl the caramel and chocolate mixture and then pour over the rest of the chocolate mixture. Using and off set spatula spread the mixture and make it even. Allow this to set for about two hours and then chill it in fridge to be able to set completely.Once it is firm to touch  cut into pieces and serve.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Kerala Fish Fry



Kerala Fish Fry

Today's recipe is a basic Kerala fish fry. Fish fry is something that everyone makes and there is not much to blog about. But since this space features some of my favorites, I cannot skip off this all time favorite comfort food. We have it almost once or twice a week and every time, make it with the excuse that I am not in a mood for elaborate cooking :). It is quick and simple and perfect side dish for rice.You can use any kind of fish.Use coconut oil and curry leaves to get the perfect taste of Kerala fish fry.

Ingredients
Fish- 1 lb
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek powder- a pinch
Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp
Rice flour- 1/2 tsp (optional)
salt to taste
Coconut oil for frying
Curry leaves- 2 springs
Whole garlic crushed-2


Clean fish and squeeze some lemon juice,rub on the fish and then give a final rinse. Make a few gashes on the fish and keep aside.
Mix chilly powder, turmeric powder,pepper powder,fenugreek powder, rice flour,ginger garlic paste and salt. Sprinkle little water and make a smooth paste. You can add a few drops or vinegar or lemon juice instead of water to make a paste. Apply this on the fish and inside the cavities and let it  marinate for three or four minutes.
Heat coconut oil in a pan and add curry leaves and crushed garlic (take whole garlic and smash one time with the back of a knife). Rotate the pan just for once and then place the fish.Fry in medium flame.After two minute gently move the garlic to the edge of the pan or take it out of the pan. Let the fish  get browned for two minutes on one side and then flip over and fry the other side till it is done. Serve warm with rice.

Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kinnathappam ~ Bringing back a childhood snack~A Guest Post from Dhyuthi of Melange





Today I am extremely delighted to have as my guest, my sweet friend and best buddy in blogging world Dhyuthi. She is the author of Melange!. We became friends right from the beginning and Dhyuthi constantly encouraged and supported me in this virtual blogging world. We never met each other in person, but each time she writes to me there is affection and genuine love. I am glad that I, got this wonderful friend through blogging. Her blog is refreshing and a space you must visit if you are a foodie. It features all those wonderful nostalgic taste and flavor of Kerala food along with recipes of modern taste. I adore her passion and love for cooking and efforts to record those traditional recipes,that would otherwise be easily forgotten. Today's recipe itself is an example. Dhyuthi is bringing back memories of a childhood snack- Kinnathappam. It is an authentic recipe and her Dad's specialty. I thank both of them for sharing this wonderful recipe with us.

Thanks so much Dhyuthi, I am so happy and honored to have you here.

Now let's hear from Dhyuthi..

 Suja's Kitchen corner-try it ,was one of those first blogs I stumbled upon while I was new to this blogging world.And you can see at my blog-space that she was one of the first bloggers who came there,appreciating what I have been doing.She constantly encouraged me with her usual friendly feedbacks.It was the beginning towards a unique friendship.I am lucky to get accustomed with some genuine souls like Suja here in this virtual world.

So when Suja offered me to do a guest post here at her space,I was more than ready.She gave me complete freedom to select the dish myself which left me with lots of thinking, head breaking for days.I wanted something very dear to me,to be posted here. Suja is such a valuable friend to me.Finally I have come up with a childhood delicacy, Kinnathappam. Hope I won't disappoint you Suja,for giving me such a precious opportunity.

Kinnathappam was a special childhood snack I remember.It is very clear in my memories since it was my Daddy's speciality. He was an elaborate cook who was not ready to compromise with the original flavor.Applying shortcuts to the real recipe for him was the lack of enthusiasm.Today,I can relate myself to what he was saying.We are humans,bound to get bored with certain things in life.It's for us to maintain the interest in anything if we really want.Isn't it ?

Kinnathappam literally refers to an appam (pancake) made in a kinnam (plate made with bronze that time). With three main ingredients and spices,it's very easy to prepare if you have the patience to soak and grind the rice on your own.So,prepare your 'kinnam' (plate) this week to steam a nostalgic Kerala specialty !


Ingredients

2 cups or 250 gm raw rice
200 gm jaggery or karippetty (palm jaggery which can bring better color)
1/2 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
3/4 cup chopped coconut
1/4 tsp cumin powder or cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cardamom powder


Method

Wash and soak raw rice in normal water for at least two hours.Drain the same and grind it to coarse powder.It will be almost three and half cups of coarse powder now.Remember not to over grind and convert to fine powder.If it's powdered fine,it will loose the texture.Meanwhile bring half cup water to a boil and drop the jaggery or palm jaggery to this.Boil and melt this stirring with a spoon.Once it's melted allow it to cool.This jaggery syrup will be thick and almost 3/4 cup in volume.Now bring the coarse rice powder to a large bowl and pour the jaggery syrup little by little.Mix well and pour the coconut milk as well.Check the sweetness and adjust according to your taste and requirement.The batter should be medium thick.Add the chopped  coconut,cumin and cardamom powders and mix well.Let it sit for ten minutes so that the flavors may blend well.Prepare a steamer by boiling water first.If you want the real authentic taste,you may drop piece of banana stem along with leaf in this boiling water.This will bring that additional flavor to your kinnathappam.

Meanwhile grease a kinnam/plate with oil.Coconut oil will be the best.Pour the prepared batter into this plate and steam.The first five minutes steam in full flame and then reduce it to medium and steam for 15 to 20 minutes.You may insert a toothpick to check it's cooked well.If it's coming out clean,it's well cooked.Switch off and allow the appam to cool for a while.Cut into desired shapes and serve with steaming black coffee or tea.





Saturday, December 15, 2012

Neapolitan Christmas Cake~ Baking Partners Challenge# 5



Neapolitan Christmas Cake

 Baking Partners fifth challenge post- Neapolitian Christmas Cake. Baking partners is the brain child of  Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen. It is a wonderful group of enthusiastic blogger who try something new in baking every month. Keeping the holiday spirit in mind Swathi suggested Christmas cake.So for this months challenge theme we had three cake recipes. Among the three I selected and tried the Neapolitian Christmas cake. It is a beautiful tricolor cake which soft,spongy cake layers made with egg whites. The filling is  layers of whipped cream frosting. There is a whole lot of flavors in each layer~coconut,ground almond and strawberry jam together makes this a very tempting and delicious cake . This cake is a sure winner and you will surely love it.

Recipe source: Susan Kelliher Ungaro (ed.)Family Circle-Best Ever Cakes and Cookies, p. 214.

Ingredients
3/4 cup cake flour(not self rising)
1/3 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp almond extract
Green and red food coloring

Filling and topping
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 cup heavy cream
3 tbs confectionary sugar
1/4 cup strawberry jam
3/4-1 cup coconut flakes, sweetened


Pre heat oven to 350 degree F. Coat three 8 inch loaf pan with non stick cooking spray and line with wax paper
Whisk together flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl beat egg whites and when it becomes glossy add cream of tartar and whip until it is foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar( one tsp at a time) in medium high until stiff peaks are formed. Shift in the flour mixture little by little over the beaten egg whites and fold in gently. Repeat till all the flour is incorporated and fold in almond extract.
Measure and divide your batter into three separate bowls and mix one with green food color and another with pink and keep the remaining as white. Pour this batter into three separate pans  and bake for about 12 minutes. The center of the cake layers springs back when lightly pressed with finger tips. Invert cake into wire racks and allow to cool completely


To prepare the filling
Sprinkle gelatin over ¼ cup of cream and let it stand for one minute to soften. Stir over low heat until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat.
With a mixer on medium speed whip the remaining 1 1/2 cup cream and confectionary sugar till it thickens and is frothy. Add gelatin mixture. Beat until stiff peaks form.
Place green cake on a platter and spread two tablespoons of jam over the cake and then spread 1/3 cup of whipped cream on top. Sprinkle two tbs of coconut flakes. Repeat layering with white cake and finally place the pink cake on top. Spread the rest of the frosting on top and sprinkle the remaining coconut on top of the cake.
Refrigerate the cake for 45 minutes or till the whipped cream is firm.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fish Puttu/Fish Stir Fry



Fish Puttu/Fish Stir Fry

Fish puttu is a delicious comfort dish. It is scrambled fish stir fried with onions and spices. I often make scrambled fish with caramelized onion,but this is a more healthier version and tasty too. I tried this recipe for the first time at my aunts house in Chennai. It looked very similar to meen thoran, but had a different taste and I love this dish.Any meaty fish can be used to make this recipe like shark,salmon or king fish. Here I have used Tuna.Fish puttu tastes delicious with rice and rasam.

Ingredients
Fish- 1 1/2 lb
(here I used fresh Tuna)
Onion- 1 medium
Chopped Ginger- 2 tbs
Chopped garlic- 1 tbs
Grated coconut- 3 tbs
Green chilly- 3-4
Cumin- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder- 1/3 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/3 tsp
Asafotida- a pinch
Urad dal-1 tsp
Curry leaves- a few
Chopped coriander- a hand full
lemon juice- a few drops

 

Cook fish with turmeric,salt and pepper powder. Sprinkle a few drops of water and cook. Allow this to cool. If the fish has skin and bones take it out and using a fork scramble it and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and when they splutter add urad dal and let it get golden brown. Add hing, curry leaves, ginger, garlic and green chilly and stir fry for a minute. Next add onion and saute till golden brown. Add chilly powder, a pinch of turmeric,cumin powder, coconut and the shredded fish. Stir fry this for two to three minutes and add chopped coriander and lemon juice. Serve with rice.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Kaara Vada~ A Guest Post for Dhyuthi's Melange



Kaara Vada

Today I am very excited and happy to be a guest at Dhyuthi's Melange. I am fortunate to find this sweet friend through this virtual blogging world. Our friendship started two years back,but when we write to each other its just like two old friends. We talk  about everything..food,blogging,nostalgic memories of childhood,our family,hobbies,etc.,etc., :)
Dhyuthi's blog is a space that I visit every time and each time I see a new post here, I will have something to relate to. In this space I often comment 'this post makes me nostalgic', 'my grandmother used to make this'.. ... I know this may sound  cliche. But  Dhyuthi understands me better than any of my blogger friends.Many of the post here rekindles those found memories of  the readers, the flavors and taste of good home food. I adore Dhyuthi's passion for cooking and blogging. So when Dhyuthis asked me to do a guest post I did not wish to lose such a wonderful opportunity. Dhyuthi wanted kaara vada,a Trivandrum special snack.It is my favorite too, so today's post is Kaara vada,a spicy and yummy vada


For the recipe pls hop over to Dhyuthi's space click here

Love
Suja

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bread Cups with Tangy Spicy Corn



Bread Cups with Tangy Spicy Corn

Bread cups is a quick snack or appetizer. This is a fun filled recipe and kids will love this. You can be creative and use any kind of filling-vegetables, spinach,egg, meat or tuna stuffing. I usually make this with less spicy meat filling for my kids lunch box.Here I used a tangy and spicy corn and it is baked in a muffin tin.
The crust is bread dough, but for a quicker version you can cut bread slices into rounds and press down into muffin tins to make the cups.
Ingredients
For the bread

Flour - 2 cup
Yeast - 1 1/2 tsp
Warm water- 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Sugar- 1 tsp
oil - 2 tsp
melted butter- 2 tsp

For the filling
Frozen Corn kernels- 1 cup
Chopped onion- 1/2 onion
Chopped tomato-1 medium
Garlic- 2 clove
Egg yolk-1
Pepper and salt as per taste
Butter- 1 tsp
Parmesan cheese- 2 tbs
Chopped coriander or parsley




For the bread mix in sugar and warm water and add yeast and set aside for 5-6 minutes till it is frothy. Mix together flour and salt,yeast, oil and butter to knead to form a smooth soft dough. Cover with damp cloth and let it rest to raise for one hour or till it doubles its size.

To make the filling: Heat a pan and add butter followed by chopped garlic and onions.Saute for a minute till the onion slightly changes color. Add tomatoes and saute till  it gets soft. Toss in corn,pepper and salt and mix well and if there is liquid allow it to dry. Remove into a bowl and allow to cool. When it is time for the filling add parmesan cheese, one beaten egg yolk,chopped coriander leaves and mix.

When the dough is ready press down to release the air and smoothen it. Using a rolling pin flatten it into a square. Cut equal 4 1/2 inch  circles.  Grease muffin tin with butter and place each circle and press this one the bottom and up the sides of each muffin cup. Place spoonfuls of filling and  bake in 375 degree f  for about 20 minutes. Allow this to cool for a few minutes. Slightly run a knife along the edges and slowly lift out of the muffin tin.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Chocolate Rum Balls~ Guest Post from Priya Ranjit




Chocolate Rum Balls~ Guest Post from Priya Ranjit



Today I am extremely delighted to share with all of you this wonderful guest post-A perfect chocolaty treat for Christmas.
It is an honor to have as my guest, my cute and bubbly friend Priya Ranjit, who is the author of Cook Like Priya.  There is no need of an introduction, Priya is everyone's favorite. She lovingly calls me chechi and for me she is my little sister in this virtual blogging world.She started blogging in July this year and we first came to know each other through the group- Baking Partners.
Priya lives in UK with her husband. She is a great cook with innovative ideas and is a passionate blogger.Her space features versatile recipes which are delicious and easy to cook and the highlight is her photography and presentation. You cannot stop visiting her space and every time you go there, you find an inviting fresh look. Some of her recipe which I really admire is her Rose Cake, Rose flavored Coconut ladoo,  Hyderbadi mutton Biryani and her recent 100th post,Chocolate Beetroot cake. Priya has shared a lot of recipes and there are even more wonderful recipes to come, this Christmas. I wish my friend all success and joy!

Thanks Priya, I am so happy to have you here :)

Now let's hear from Priya..

When Chechi asked me to do a guest post I was so thrilled and excited  since it is my very first guest post. Ever since I started blogging I have been following Chechi and her lip-smacking recipes. I am so happy to share your space Chechi with this wonderful chocolate treats for Christmas. Christmas is very close to my heart and from my younger days I used to get really excited about this season right from buying new clothes, putting up the star (In India Christmas have the tradition to put paper shaped stars fitted with a light bulb inside as a sign of Christ's birth), decorating the Christmas tree and not to forget the yummy sweets, cakes done by amma. But Christmas is not just all these things its a little bit more, its about giving. So today's post is all about little treats that can be given to others as an expression of love



Chocolate Rum Balls

Chocolate Rum Balls are made with crumbled chocolate cake, filled with rum, cherry juice and centered with a glazed cherry, coated with chocolate and topped with dessicated coconut/ cocoa powder. This is a very versatile recipe that can be tweeked as per your taste. Nut lovers can use nut centers and even chopped nut chocolate coating too. Its simple and can be done with any cake/ brownies. It has a lovely crunch on the outside and soft inside with a surprise of the cherry in the center. The store or upto a week in an air-tight box or for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


Makes - 10 small- medium balls

Ingredients

Chocolate cake pieces - 8 squares, crumbled
Cherry juice - 1 tbsp
Rum essence - 1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Glazed cherry - as needed (for center)
Dark Chocolate chips - 1 cup
Dessicated coconut/ cocoa powder - to garnish


Method ( please follow the picture above)

1. Keep ready the brownie/ cake pieces and make sure it is in room temperature
2. Glazed cherry also should be in room temperature
3. Crumble the cake and pour the cherry juice, vanilla extract and rum essence and mix well, if its too wet freeze it for 20 mins/ add more cake crumble and continue
4. Take little of the mix and center the cherry and roll it into a ball
5. Arrange it in a plate and freeze for 20 minutes
6. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute and mix well. You can also use double boil method and melt the chocolate chips. Give it 30 seconds to cool down a little then roll the balls in the chocolate with the help of two spoons and place them on a plate with butter paper
7. Top them with cocoa/ dessicated coconut and let them harden/ refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm

Wrap them as goodies and give as Christmas gifts/ treats.


Cooks Wisdom

- chocolate cake recipe is taken from here
- make sure that the climate is cool else the completed chocolate balls would melt
- alternate centers could be nuts, raisins, dry fruits or even gems
- alternate juices could be orange, apple or even milk/ condensed milk
- rum essence can be replaced with vanilla extract only
- original rum can be used instead of essence
- using butter paper helps in removing the set balls easily

Love
Priya Ranjit

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mutton Vindaloo



Mutton Vindaloo

Today's recipe is the hot and spicy Goan favorite, Vindaloo. It is usually made with pork or beef,but in this recipe I have used mutton.This dish has a history of its own. It was inspired from Portuguese culture but slowly adapted to Indian tastes. My husband loves mutton vindaloo,but the Cochin style beef vindaloo is his favorite.Cochin was a onetime Portuguese strong hold and their influence can be seen in the local cuisine.This dish is a must among Christians of the region,especially during Christmas. This dish is made ahead of time and tastes best the next day.The sauce is chilly based,which gives it a firery red color along with garlic,mustard and vinegar. Try this,you will surely love it.

Ingredients

Mutton- 1 1/2 lb
Onion finely chopped- 1 large
Kashmiri chilly whole- 10- 12
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder- 1/2 tsp
Ginger- 2 inch thick peice
Garlic- 10- 12 pods
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon- 2 peices
Clove- 4
Vinegar- 1/4 cup
(or you can use coconut vinegar or
red wine vinegar)
Thick coconut milk- 1/3 cup (optional)
Sugar - 1 tsp
Oil and salt



Take off the seeds ( if you want it less spicy) from the dry chilly and soak it in vinegar and coconut milk for about half an hour.
Make a fine paste of this along with ginger and garlic,mustard seeds,cumin seeds, clove and cinnamon.
Combine pepper powder,turmeric powder, salt and  sugar. The marinade is ready.

Pour this marinade over the mutton, mix well, cover and refrigerate for about four to five hours or preferably overnight.

Drain and squeeze the excess marinade liquid into a separate pot. Do not discard it add enough water and simmer this gravy separately in a low medium flame.
Heat oil in a pan and add the marinated meat and stir fry it for about four to five minute till it gets slightly browns. Add chopped onion and continue to fry for another two to three minutes till the onion becomes golden brown. Pour the simmering sauce over the mutton and adjust consistency. Cover and cook till the mutton is soft and tender and till the oil separates. Serve this with rice or naan or chapati.



Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cake



Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Cake


A chocolate mousse cake with a burst of raspberry filling gives this cake a unique chocolaty fruity flavor. It tastes even better when the flavors blend for a day or two. This is a rich and delicious cake and chocolate lovers will love this cake. For the filling I have used instant chocolate pudding and raspberry cake filling. But if you want to make home made chocolate mousse check earlier cake recipe here





Ingredients
Recipe adapted from: Family circle -Best ever cakes and cookies

Chocolate cake layer
All Purpose flour- 1 1/2 cup
Egg- 2
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Coco powder- 4 Tbs
Baking powder- 1 1/3 tsp
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Salt- 1/3tsp
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
Buttermilk- 1/2 cup
Butter-3 tsp

For the filling
Whipping cream-1 1/2  cup
Milk-1 cup
Vanilla essence-1 tsp
Raspberry extract- 1 tsp

Chocolate instant pudding- 1 box ( 5 oz.)
Raspberry cake filling- 1/2 cup (Seedless)



Preheat oven to 350 degree and geese and prepare an 8 inch pan
In a bowl whisk flour, cocoa powder,baking powder,baking soda and salt
In another bowl beat butter and sugar with a medium speed mixer until creamy,and add in egg one at a time and beat till light and fluffy. Slowly add the dry ingredients  little by little along with the butter milk fold in the ingredients.Pour into prepared pans and bake for 35 - 40 minutes in 350 degree f .Test whether completely cooked by inserting a toothpick in the center.The top will spring  back when lightly pressed with finger tip. Cool in pan for fifteen minutes and then completely cool on a cooling rack. Slice the cake into two.

To make the filling :Combine milk,pudding mix and vanilla extract in a medium sized bowl and whip till it slightly thickens.
In another bowl whip cold heavy cream for about three to four minute till there are medium peaks. Fold into the chocolate pudding mixture in little adition. Refrigerate for about 15 minute.
Place one slice of cake on a plate. Spread half of the raspberry filling and a layer of chocolate mousse. Place the second layer of the cake and spread mousse filling and decorate the cake. Refrigerated for an hour before serving.

1)Sending this to 60 Days to Christmas event at Priya's space

2) Favorite recipes event Christmas event at Swathi's Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ottada



Ottada

Ottada is rice parcels with a sweet coconut filling and is very similar to elaada.But what makes ottada special is that it has the smoky charred flavor of plantain leaves and is roasted on a hot griddle or a shallow clay pot. This also makes it a little crispy in the outside.You can make it with rice flour or with wheat flour and the filling can be either coconut and sugar or coconut with jaggery.As a kid the jaggery version was my favorite.

Ingredients
Rice Flour- 2 cups
Water- 1 1/2 cups
salt- 1/3 tsp
Sugar- 1 tsp
Coconut Oil - 2 tsp

For the filling
Grated coconut- 1 cup
Jaggery-  1/2 cup
Cardamon powder  - 1/3 tsp
banana leafs-for wrapping



Grate jaggery or powder it and mix with  coconut and cardamon powder and keep aside.

Boil one and one half cup of water along with salt and sugar. When it comes to a rolling boil add in the coconut oil.

Take the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Gradually mix in the water little by little and mix with a wooden spoon and make a soft dough. When able to handle knead into a smooth dough and make small balls. If the dough is too thick sprinkle little more water and make it smooth and moistened .
Wash banana leaf and cut into small pieces. Grease it with a little of oil. Place dough in the center of the leaf and with your fingers slowly push and spread the dough on the leaf. Place spoon fulls of the coconut jaggery mixture and fold the leaf and press the edges of the leaf along with the banana leaf. Place it n a hot griddle or manchatti. Allow to cook on both sides. The leaves will brown up and when done the leaves will lift off easily and it will be slightly golden brown on the outer. Enjoy with tea.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy..



Monday, November 26, 2012

Chicken Onion Pakoda



Chicken Onion Pakoda

Chicken onion pakoda/chicken fitters is spicy and yummy starter and is great for get-together's. It is crispy and deep fried snack with chicken and sliced onions.There are variety of pakoras and you can add any type of vegetables, but the plain onion pakora or onion bajji is my favorite.Adding chicken to usual onion pakoda makes it more delicious.You can also serve it as a tea time snack  with chutney,plain yogurt or ketchep.


Ingredients
Chicken- thinly sliced- 1 cup
Onion thinly sliced-2 cup
Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
Green chilly finely chopped- 2
Gram Flour- 1 cup
Rice flour- 1/3 cup
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Gram Masala- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Coarsely ground whole coriander- 1/2 tsp
Chopped coriander
Curry leaves - a few
salt to taste
lemon juice- 1 tsp
Oil for deep frying- 1 1/2 cup


Cut chicken into thin long peices. Marinate with turmeric powder, chopped green chilly,ginger garlic paste salt and lemon juice and keep aside for about an hour.
Into this add sliced onion and the rest of the ingredients except oil and mix well.
Do not add water,try to keep it thick. Sprinkle a few drops of water if you feel that flour, chicken and onion is not coming together. Drop spoon fulls in hot oil and fry in medium heat till crispy and golden brown.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Meringue Cookies



Meringue Cookies

Meringue cookies are crispy, light and is everyone's favorite. Kids will love this melt in mouth cookies.These are small mini versions and is raspberry flavored. There is no flour in this cookies and key ingredient here is egg whites and sugar and it is baked in a very low temperature so that the moisture of the egg whites dry out completely.

Recipe source from here

Ingredients
Egg whites-4
Raspberry essence- 1/2 tsp
Caster sugar-1 cup
Cream of tartar-1/4 tsp
vanilla essence a few drops
Permitted food color - 2 drops (optional)


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper

In a large bowl beat egg whites till it is frothy. Add cream of tartar and beat till soft peaks are formed. Continue running the mixer and slowly add sugar one tsp at a time
Add food coloring and essence continuing beating until stiff peak form.

Transfer mixture to a pastry bag or large zip-top bag fitted with decorating tip. Pipe shapes on prepared baking sheet or just scoop spoonfuls and place on the baking sheet.

Bake for about one and half hours rotating once from front to back.They will become crispy and will be easily released form the parchment paper once done Turn off oven and slightly open door. Leave it there for about an hour.Take out from oven remove parchment paper from baking sheet and let meringues cool completely. Cover and store in room temperature.

Sending this to 60 Days to Christmas event




Try this..
Hope you will all enjoy..

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fried Chicken Biryani



Fried Chicken  Biryani

Today's recipe is yet another chicken biryani. I have already posted a Talasherry chicken Biryani and a Trivandrum style chicken biryani....so you may ask why another? This biryani is slightly different from the usual method,the chicken is first fried and them added to the masala. The first time I ate this biryani was at a function back home, it was a Trivandrum style biryani,but the frying took the  flavor and taste to a new level. I tried to recreate the same recipe here and my family enjoyed. Try this..you will love it.


Ingredients

To marinate the chicken
Chicken- 2 lb
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Chilly powder- 3/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste- 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice- 1/2 lemon

For the rice
Basmathi rice- 3 cups
Cinnamon- 2 -3 pieces

Cardamon-2

Ghee- 2 tsp
Few strands of saffron
Rose essence- 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste


For the chicken masala

Shallots- 1 cup (slightly crushed)
Onion- 1 medium (chopped)
Ginger garlic paste- 1 1/2 tsp
Green chilly paste- 1 1/2 tsp
Tomato- 1 medium
Yogurt-2 tbs
Chilly powder- 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Masala Powder- see below*
Pepper powder- 1/3 tsp

Lemon juice- 1 lemon
Coriander leaves -a little


*Masala powder( to roast and grind)
Cinnamon- 1 piece, Cardamon-2, clove- 2-3
nutmeg- a small piece,star aniseed- 1
Cumin- a pinch,black cumin- a pinch
Fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp

For Garnish
Thinly sliced onion- 1
Cashew nuts- 10
Raisins- 15
Saffron a few strands soaked in 1/3 cup of warm milk

Coriander leaves and mint leaves chopped- 1/4 cup
Chopped pineapple-1/4 cup
Ghee - 2 tsp



To cook rice:
Heat ghee in a heavy bottom vessel and add whole spices and fry till there is a nice aroma. Add washed and strained rice and fry till the rice changes color and the ghee the fully coated all over the rice. Add 6 cups of water,salt and a few strands of saffron. Cook till water evaporates.Using a fork spread rice on a flat tray and sprinkle rose essence and allow to cool.

To fry the chicken:
Clean and cut chicken, marinate with the ingredients listed under 'to marinate the chicken' for about an hour. Heat one cup of oil and fry the chicken in medium heat till it is almost cooked and slightly browned up,but not crispy. Drain and keep aside.

For the masala: Prepare the masala simultaneously while you are  frying the chicken

Roast the whole masala listed under 'roast and grind'  blend into a fine powder

Heat oil in a pan and add the onion and shallots and saute till it changes color to golden brown. Add  ginger garlic past and the green chilly paste and saute till the raw flavor disappears. Add turmeric powder and tomatoes and fry till tomatoes become soft. Add chilly powder and fry for a minute and then mix in yogurt  Add the fried chicken and powdered garam masala cover and cook for four to five minute or till the masala is well coated over the chicken and switch off the flame.

Final garnish and layering:
Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashew nuts and raisins till slightly brown. Fry one medium thinly sliced onion till golden brown,drain and keep aside.
Finely chop coriander and mint leaves and keep aside.

In a heavy bottom pan place a layer of rice followed by a layer of chicken masala. Sprinkle a little of fried onion, chopped pineapple,cashew and raisins and a little of coriander leaves. Spread rice on top and then another layer of masala. Spread the final layer of rice and garnish with fried onions, chopped pineapple,coriander leaves and nuts. Sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice, a few drops of rose essence, a pinch of garam masala,soaked saffron and  one tsp of ghee. Cover tightly with a heavy lid and steam in a very low flame for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with raita and papadam.



Sending this to Amrita space  Sweet 'n' Savoury for the event Favorite Rice Recipes



Try this
Hope you will all enjoy

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Baking Partners challenge #4: Shaped Dinner Rolls- Knot, Clover Leaf and Kaiser Rolls



Shaped Dinner Rolls  : Knot Roll

 Baking Partners fourth challenge post- Shaped Dinner Rolls. Baking partners is the brain child of  Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen.This months theme is very interesting and part of holiday meals. Thanksgiving is approaching and Swathi suggested 7 types of dinner rolls  and sent us recipes with both with eggs and the egg less version. I selected and tried three shapes: Knot Roll, Clover leaf and the Rosette/Kaiser Rolls.

For me this post was challenging as I have never baked dinner rolls and did not have a large mixer to knead the dough. So I tried the traditional kneading with hand method to knead the dough. I am so glad that I tried this recipe and it was real fun trying these different shapes.

Of these the clover leaf was the easiest  and even my kid had such fun helping me make balls :)The rosette was slightly confusing roll.  Rosette rolls looked pretty good after they were formed, but I was disappointed in my first attempt. The rose shape and the layering was less visible. I need to perfect my bread kneading and shaping technique. But for those of you who have never tried home made rolls, I would say there is nothing scary. These butter flavored soft dinner rolls is definitely worth a try, satisfying and fun to make.


Knot Rolls

Ingredients
Bread flour- 3 cups
Dry yeast- 1 1/2 tbs
Egg-1
Sugar- 1+ 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter- 2 tbs
Oil- 1 tbs
Warm water- 3/4 to 1 cup ( 110-115 degree)
Egg white-1
Sesame seeds- to sprinkle on top

Mix sugar in warm water and add in the yeast Let it rest for about 5-8 minutes till the yeast proofs.
In a large mixing bowl mix well bread flour and salt. Make a well in the center and add the yeast and water,one well beaten egg,melted butter,oil and using a spatula go round and round and mix well or add the flour in two additions to blend well and knead the dough. This blending and mixing will help creating the gluten.

Once it is all combined and workable take it out of the bowl and place on a floured or greased flat broad ( I used oil instead of flour to grease the working board).

Start  kneading the dough by first squashing it and then fold in ,use this stretch and fold in method to knead the dough for around 5 minutes. The dough should be soft to touch and should not be sticky or stiff.

Grease the bowl with oil and also brush the dough with oil.Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size. Sprinkle a cutting board or counter with little flour and put the dough on the flour. Gently punch down the air and slightly flatten it. But do not work much with your dough at this stage. It is now ready to be roll out and cut into desired shape and size.

To shape knot roll
Divide dough into equal portions, I got 16 equal sizes. Take one portion at a time and keep the remaining covered  prevent drying. Shape each portion into a 9-inch rope. Roll it down to flatten it,then roll the two side to make it thinner,so that you have a fat thick center and slightly tapering ends. Lay it over your finger and wrap the roll around the finger to form a loop ( shape rope into a knot) and push one end  up through the middle and tuck the second tail underneath. They is another method, shape into a thick 7 inch log,tie a knot and then press both the tail ends so that they come closer to the knot.
Place roll on a prepared greased pan or one lined with parchment paper. Brush with egg white and sprinkle sesame seeds.Let rise in a warm place until the rolls are double in size (approx. 1-1 1/2 hours). Bake in a 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are browned to your satisfaction.


Clover Leaf Rolls


Ingredients
Bread flour- 2 1/2 cup
Dry Yeast-1 packet
Sugar- 3 tsp
Warm Milk- 1/2 cup
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Egg-1
Butter - 2 tbs
Clove powder- 1/3 tsp (optional)
Nutmeg- a pinch (optional)

melted butter - 2 tbs 

To mix the dough as above. Here I added yeast into warm milk. If you are adding clove and nutmeg add it to flour and mix and then add the wet ingredients

To shape the clover leaf 

Grease a muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
Cut dough into small equal sized balls and keep it covered
 Now take one ball and cut it again  into three portions. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, dip in melted butter. Place three such balls like a triangle in one cup of the muffin tin .
Repeat the same process with the rest of the balls.Let rise in a warm place until the rolls are double in size Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 10-12 minutes or until they are browned to your satisfaction


Rosette or Kaiser Rolls


The kaiser roll  has a very nice soft inside with a crisp, crusty exterior.  It is slightly confusing roll. In the picture above I tried two shapes first one with ends peeking through and brushed with a sweet honey butter and the second one ends pressed together underneath.

Ingredients 
Bread Flour- 3 cup
Warm Water- 1 cup
Instant non fat dry milk- 3 tbs
Butter- 1 tsp
Dry Yeast- 1 1/3 tbs
Sugar- 3 tsp
Oil- 3 tsp
Egg-1

Honey- 1 tsp
Butter- 1 tsp

Method to mix the dough check above

To shape Kaiser Roll
Divide the dough into equal sized pieces. Take one out and keep the rest covered. Roll into a 12 inch long rope. Tie into a loose knot at the center with two equal sized long tails. Take the left tail, slightly pull and bring it over the knot and push it down through the roll center and  loop the left tail around the circle  one more time. Tuck it into the roll center. Repeat with the other tail, again tucking the end into the center.


Place on greased (or parchment lined) baking pans. Let rise in a warm place until the rolls are double in size Brush with egg white just before baking and bake in a 375-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are browned to your satisfaction. Brush with melted butter and honey while it is warm.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Boondi Ladoo and Happy Diwali



Boondi ladoo

Happy Diwali to all my friends and readers!Wish you all a happy and prosperous Diwali....a year filled with prosperity, success and joy!
I know every one are in a festive spirit and to celebrate Diwali I made these ladoos.Boodi ladoo is one of the most popular Indian sweet.It is part of temple poojas, festive occasions and a must for Indian weddings.  Boondi ladoo is one sweet that I never get tired of! Love this since childhood and I still enjoy this divine sweet. This is my first attempt to make them at home. For me the boondi making part was easy, but I guess shaping the ladoos needs more patience and practice. Try this for Diwali,you will surely love it.

Ingredients
Gram flour-1 1/2 cup
Salt -a pinch
Baking soda- a pinch
Water- approximately 3/4 cup

Syrup
Sugar- 2 1/2 cup
Water- 1 1/3 cup
Food color- a few drops(Optional)
Cardamon- 4-5
Clove crushed-2

Garnish
Ghee- 3 tbs
Cashew nut and raisins - a few
Kalkandu/rock candy- 2 tbs(optional)



Mix sugar and water and bring it to boil. Allow this to simmer and attain one thread consistency. Add food color,cardamon and crushed clove and keep this syrup warm.
Meanwhile sieve gram flour and mix salt,baking soda  and water. Add water little by little. It should not be too thick or too thin(running batter consistency).
Heat oil in a wide pan,approximately 3 cups. When the oil is hot take spoon fulls of batter and pour into a slotted spoon positioned just above the oil. Do not position it too high or the batter will not drop as small pearl round. Gently tap the slotted soon with you hands and the batter will drop through the holes of the laddle into the oil. Fry them till it is cooked and slightly golden and drain into paper towels. Continue to fry in batches.
Add these fried boondis into warm syrup and mix.
Heat ghee in a pan and fry raisins and cashew nuts and add this too along with rock candy. Allow this to cool a bit,take handfuls and shape into small balls.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rasakalan



Rasakalan

Kalan is a very popular Kerala dish served with rice. The recipe today is a unique version called Rasa kalan.Rasa means tasty and as the name suggest it is a tasty kalan. Usually kalan is made with raw plantain and yam and is cooked in a spiced yogurt sauce. But in rasakalan it is a medley of different types of vegetables which brings a wonderful blend of flavors. This is a new recipe to me and when I read about this, I,found it very interesting and tried it for Onam sadhya this year. It was truly wonderful and my family enjoyed.The yogurt sauce is spiced with black pepper or dry red chilly and the tangyness is from yogurt and raw mango. Try this recipe,you will surely love it.

Recipe Source from here and here

Ingredients
Pumpkin, Cucumber, yam, Arvi (colacacia) Raw plantain cubed- 3 cup
Drumstick - 8-10 pieces
Green mango small- peeled and sliced- 1
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
green chilly 2
Pepper powder- 1/3 tsp
Jaggery- a small piece
Salt to taste

To grind
Coconut- 1 cup
Dry red chilly - 1
Fenugreek seeds- 1/3

Curry leaves a few
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- a few
Coconut oil- 3 tsp
Sour curd- 2 1/2 cup



Cut vegetables into cubes and cook them all together along with turmeric powder, pepper powder,green chilly and salt. Add about 3/4 cup of water and cook. When it is cooked add the powdered jaggery and mix well.
Dry roast dry red chilly and fenugreek seed. When it cools down a bit blend it along with coconut into a fine paste.Add this to the cooked vegetables,mix and simmer for two minutes Add well beaten curd and allow the curry to warm up and switch off the flame.
Heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. When they splutter and dry red chilly and curry leaves and fry for a minute,pour this over the curry and cover with a tight lid till it is time to serve.

Try this
Hope you will all enjoy..

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