Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Diwali

My platter of Faral, Karanji, Chivda, Steamed Rava Ladu, Mast Ladoo and Shankarpali
 
 
 Those are my fairy lights, my Kandeel and Deep

Hello Friends! How was your Diwali?

Mine was special, am still soaking in it. It all began on Dhanatrayodashi and this entire week has been lovely and memorable.

The little terracotta lamp is a gift from my friend Deepa for attending her housewarming ceremony. The Kandeel and ceramic platter are from Auroville.

I had an off from work on Thu, which was Balipratipada or Diwali Padva so on that day I was able to make the ladoos, Chivda and Shankarpali with help from Dad. I made Karanji yesterday :P technically after Diwali. 

On Bhau bij which was a Fri I spoke to my bros, Vijay, Hrushi and Sumeet. It was a remote ovaLni / aarti. Of receiving blessings from Vijay Bhau and me in turn blessing the younger ones.

On Thu we were invited to Vidya aunty's home for a high tea. We shared our sweets while she returned the favor with these treats.
 Vidya Shenoy aunty's Faral, Wheat halwa, Karanji with Cocoa and coconut and Mande

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pineapple Rasam

My favorite fruit for cooking is pineapple. Only after living in the south I have learnt to use it in cooking. This is a very flavorful rasam that can lift your spirits in minutes and those chunky pineapple pieces taste awesome and juicy. I love rasam and rice when one consciously wants a light tummy. On my bros birthday we ate so much in the day that this was the obvious choice for a dinner. 

Here is how it is made.

Ingredients

1 cup pineapple chunks
1 tablespoon rasam powder
1 green chili slit
handful of curry leaves
handful of cilantro
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon oil
1/4 cup tamarind pulp
500 ml water
salt to taste

Heat oil. Splutter Mustard. Add the asafoetida, green chili, curry leaves. Let it crispen a bit. Then add the pineapple chunks. Cover and cook for 5 mins. Once pineapple is cooked add the rasam powder and tamarind extract. Add all the water. Boil vigorously for 5-7 mins till the masala gets cook. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and put of the heat. 

Serve hot with piping hot steamed rice or sip it in a cup. Life's simple pleasures will come to you.

Click on the label for Pineapple you will find some sooper delicious recipes on this blog.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mocha Cake Layered With Ice Cream

After much pondering finally I zeroed in on a Mocha cake layered with ice cream for Hrushi's birthday. I mentioned before that this was our celebration together after 6yrs. When we all lived together I tried my best to make my little bros happy and why not this one is my fan. So when he landed here in Blr. he was fed to the brim. His birthday especially was packed with eats right from a breakfast of Dhokla and elaborate lunch out and a high tea with this cake cutting and the day wound up with a simple Pineapple Rasam and rice followed by Ganga Jamuna Ice Cream.

Ingredients

For Chocolate Sponge Layer
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup Sugar free
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Amul Mithai mate/ condensed milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil

For Coffee Sponge Layer
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup Sugar free
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup Milk
1/4 Filter coffee decoction
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Ice cream for fill layers 
Make your own or buy

Fresh cream
1 cup fresh cream
1 tablespoon of sugar 

Walnuts for the studs

Keep two mixing bowls ready. Grease and dust the baking tray with flour, keep aside.

Boil water and pour it over 3-4 teaspoons of coffee powder in the traditional filter. Let the decoction collect.

Now for the Chocolate sponge, sieve the flour and cocoa powder along with the baking powder. This will make the cake light and airy. In a mug beat up the oil, condensed milk and sugar together till completely dissolved. Then fold this wet mix and flour together gently. Pour it into the prepared baking tin. Keep aside.

Next for the Coffee sponge, sieve the flour and baking powder in the mixing bowl. In a mug beat together milk, oil, sugar and coffee decoction till sugar is dissolved and the liquid froths. Then fold the flour and liquid together. Pour the mix above the chocolate layer in the baking tin.

Preheat Convection Oven with both elements on for 10 mins. Then bake the cake for 20 mins or till it is a golden bake. Insert a knife to check if it comes out dry. Let is cool for 10 mins then unmould on the grill. Keep this sponge ready atleast couple of hours before assembling the cake. 

I baked this in a 9X11 tray. This makes it easier to cut into strips of 3 inch width. Now on a plate keep one strip. Layer it with Ganga Jamuna Ice Cream. Then put the next strip of cake over it. Add one more layer of ice cream same or different for variation. The third layer and finally slash it with Fresh cream.

Whip up the fresh cream with sugar till fluffy. Use this for the top layer.

Now stud this beauty with chopped walnuts.
We were supposed to travel the next day so divided the cake into 3 giant portions for the 3 of us, Hrushi, Dad and me.

The ice cream melted so fast when I was clicking so it looked like a puddle in the pics but still tasted good. Next time larger slices of ice cream should go between the cake layers. But the puddle of ice cream does act like a sauce. Thanks to Hrushi and Dad they didn't complain with the blog obsessed cook who takes pics of everything she bakes and cooks and then this is what you get :P

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ganga Jamuna Ice Cream


There is something about zest that I love so much. If I had a choice I would have used it to flavor almost everything. I love the thick skinned oranges and always harvest the zest for various uses like the Candied Orange Peel I made sometime ago which are ubiquitous in my baking. Here however the zest is in all its splendor fresh and full of life burst. This is the easiest ice cream you can make. It's texture is like ice candy crushed in ice cream. It coulld be creamed to smoothness but that is not what I wanted because I like orange duets and I like scoops too. So here you have a fun flavor and texture. Now it is candy and now it is creamy.

It gets its name from a childhood favorite juice we'd have at Kandeel's juice center while walking back from school. Hrushi would walk down from Scholar at Electric House along with V bhau and pick me up at my school, St.Annes Fort and then the long walk home. Both Hrushi and me loved Ganga Jamuna the name given to a combo of equal parts of orange and sweet lime juiced together. It draws inspiration from the confluence of the two revered rivers in the Indian sub-continent.

We were celebrating Hrushi's birthday together after 6yrs so I wanted to make all the things associated with our childhood. So this was the chosen flavor for the ice cream. I even fed him a spoon of this ice cream when he left for Mumbai in lieu of curd which we feed to family when leaving home.

The recipe is too simple and you will love it.

Ingredients

Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1 orange + 1 sweet lime
2 cups Amul cream
0.5 cup sugar (more if you like)

In a blender fix the whipping blade. Add the cream and sugar and whip till frothy. Now fold in the zest and juice. Pour out the mixture into a freezer safe box. I kept the height of the liquid to 1 inch to get quicker setting. 

Once frozen, a min of 4 hrs scoop out and serve. This ice cream melts fast due to the juice content. So serve just before eating. My bro loved it hope you do too.

We enjoyed it on it's own and was also paired with something else. Won't you come back to see what else I did with it.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tender Peanuts In White Curry

Tender peanuts in white curry with steamed rice and Talleli Vangi

Exactly after two weeks I am here on the blog, this time round with new flavors to woo you. Yesterday evening I did not want to make some thing elaborate but did want something lip smacking. I had boiled fresh peanuts to snack on at tea time but had forgotten to add salt when boiling them so they got shelved for later. The peanuts were tender and tempting and assured to be great in a curry so here is a recipe I rustled up just like that. My Dad wanted the large brinjal to be sliced up and fried. I did just that to add color to the platter and heighten the spice for the evening as this curry is a mild one in every way. Plus you've heard this before how Dad is almost obsessed with red curries and this curry is white.

So here you go...

Ingredients

1.5 cups boiled, shelled fresh peanuts
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
0.5 inch ginger
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon  fennel
1 teaspoon cumin
0.5 cup fresh grated coconut
1 green chili
1 bay leaf

a handful of cilantro to garnish
2 teaspoon oil

In a vessel heat oil. Fry the garlic in it till soft. Add the sesame seeds, fennel and cumin in that order as they emanate essential oils. Add the onions and fry till translucent. Then let it cool off a bit. 

Now in a blender add the fresh grated coconut, all the fried stuff mentioned above. Dice up the ginger and add. Slit the green chili and let it go into the blender. Now give it a whiz and grind to smooth paste adding water to allow grinding well. Keep aside.

Now in a vessel combine the ground masala, tender peanuts and bay leaf and bring to boil. In about 7-8 mins your curry it ready to be served over steamed rice but not before garnishing with chopped cilantro.

Its a very tasty curry. Though I made it mild may be if you like more heat you can use more green chilies. Here the peanuts have to be really tender or boil them to super softness if you do not have really tender peanuts.

This is an original from my kitchen lab.

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