Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Veg Mayo


Veg Mayo a perfect coat of snow white for a Smörgåstårta and more...

Many of my friends made a request for this recipe when they saw the Smörgåstårta. Rich, creamy, luscious is what you can describe it as. All those who cannot eat egg but love the look of Mayo will be thrilled by this recipe. Now you can enjoy it too. 

Ingredients

1 litre curd
2 tablespoons fresh cream
1 lime, juiced
salt to taste

In a muslin cloth pour out the curd and hang it or place it in a sieve to let the whey drain. It should give a hung curd about 1.5 cups yield.

Remove the hung curd to a bowl. Add the cream to it. Add the lime juice and salt. Now beat the mix at low speed with a hand beater. You will get a light fluffy, creamy texture.

Use this as a spread for your regular sandwiches, as a dip or a dressing to replace Egg Mayo in recipes to make it a pure vegetarian one. It lends itself beautifully to decorate a Smörgåstårta like you see above. Have you seen that post, go check it out.

This is a recipe  for the perfect white Veg Mayo. With varying herbs you will get a whole range of tastes just use your imagination and go go.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Sparkling Strawberry Float


If all the menu for the Birthday Party was fun then this mocktail was super fun, said my family. What you need is...

Ingredients

1.5 litres Sprite or any colorless sweet soda
1 cup Strawberry crush
1/2 litre pack of Vanilla icecream

Take 6 large glasses. Divide equally the strawberry crush into the 6 glasses. Slant the glass and pour in the Sprite slowly, to about less than 3/4 level of the glass. Finally lightly drop a blob of icecream on top. The icecream will float atop. 

Insert a bent straw into the drink. Pass around the drinks. Inform the party that it is a sparkling drink so they must not stir vigorously or else they may be showered by a bubbling fountain.

As you stir and sip the icecream forms a cloud over the liquid. The color is a lovely electric pink with a baby pink couldy float. 

Enjoy the drink and that brings us to the end of the Birthday party menu. Hope you enjoyed following this series as much as I did posting it! Before you go away let me tell you there is another interesting theme that is coming up. So see you again after the 20th.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Blueberry Tall Muffins



The birthday was on Friday and I was at Four Point Sheraton, Vashi for a conference couple of days before that. It was so well timed. After the Conference, I walked straight into the neighboring Inorbit Mall to shop for the celebrations. It had been six months since I bought a new wardrobe. So off I went picked up 4 new sets of clothes, I must have been in a very happy mood for I bought colors like yellow, orange, fuchsia and rust, rare in my wardrobe. The food picks were some Cheddar and Gouda cheeses, of which the Cheddar went into the Cheese Potato balls. The blueberries that have appeared in the market had to be bought. There was only one specific thing on my mind, blueberry muffins!

Now for a birthday if I was making Blueberry muffins they had to be king sized, else what's the fun?

So I made these Tall muffins, the recipe is adapted from Joy of Baking. I have doubled the measure of ingredients mentioned in the original. Omitted baking soda and instead increased the amount of baking powder. I use a half and half combo of oil and butter. The flax seed powder works as egg substitute. Also I have made the muffins sweeter as the blueberries were mildly sweet.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of Flax seed powder
2 cup curd
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup butter 
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
4 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 cup granulated white sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cups Fresh blueberries

Making these muffins is really easy.

Mix the flax seed powder with 1/4 cup water and leave it for 10 mins.

Mix all the wet ingredients and whisk lightly.

In another bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. Dredge the blueberries in the flour, so they don't sink to the bottom of the muffin.

Then fold all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. This batter is not your foldable batter like your usual cake batter. It is thick and needs to be spooned into the muffin moulds. I got 8 Tall Muffins from this batter.

They were delicious, soft crumb, jammy blueberries. Not your one person muffins, we shared because we had so much on the party menu and the Tall muffin as a single item is as big as a lunch serving!

My Dad loved his with a dribble of fresh cream.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Smörgåstårta, It's A Sandwhich Cake!



We are a family that loves our local sandwich, the club sandwich that you get all over Mumbai. It is while I was in Blr, I had posted about the ubiquitous Mumbai Sandwich. It continues to top my most popular all time posts.

For the Birthday Party I decided to make healthy and pretty open sandwiches. I was looking for ways of decorating open sandwiches when I hit upon this word Smörgåstårta, Scandinavian in origin and following this link it lead me to the world of Sandwich cakes!

Cake? yes Cake in the way it is decorated. You have to just let your creative juices flow to create a beautiful looking sandwich cake. I put together my sandwich cake in just 15 mins with the help of my Dad. He buttered the slices of bread and I arranged the cake. Since we did not have time I did not do an elaborate decoration but even this simple decoration surprised my family so much. No one expects it from a sandwich.

There are ways and endless ways how you can decorate yours but I know you definitely want to know how I did it. You must be cringing at the cream that covers the cake, thinking that much cream! Read on to find out if it really is?

Ingredients for the decoration

2 cups finely chopped cilantro
1-1.5 cups of Homemade Veg Mayo
slice onion, cucumber and beetroot

First choose a serving dish you want to use. It should be large enough to hold 4 regular slices of a loaf.

The bread slices need to be buttered, this will prevent the slices from sogging. If you like spicy ones like us apply green or red chutney. Make tiers of bread slices and vegetables of choice. I used cucumber, beetroot and onion slices between the bread. Keep the edges to let the cake hold shape. If you need a recipe for making the sandwiches use my recipe of the Mumbai Sandwich.

I used five slices to give the cake a height. You will need to make a total of 4 such to get the large square foundation for the cake.

Then slather the veg mayo generously onto the cake foundation, to cover the top and all four sides.

Now take the finely chopped cilantro and shower on the sides. The cilantro will be held by the cream to give it a nice ivy covered wall look.

Last, make 4 rosettes with cucumber slices. On top of the rosettes place a slice of beetroot to make it look like a flower. The veggies used on top for decoration should be the ones that are used inside so people know whats inside before the cake is sliced up. Hey but if you want to surprise people more use decoration that are not used in the layers but go well with the overall taste.

When you cut up the Smörgåstårta, use a sharp knife to be able to cut thru the vegetables all the way into the cake. Make slices and serve the hungry party.

With all the food we had this cake stayed good right upto next day in the fridge, store it above the crisper and it will not get soggy.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Cheese Potato Balls


This birthday falls in the monsoon and what is a Mumbai monsoon without some fried goodies. In the morning before I left for work I had pressure cooked potatoes and left the cooker as is, knowing that it will stay good till I open the lid.

Once I was back from work the first thing I worked on in the Cheese potato balls. They got rolled and put into the fridge for setting, while I was busy with other things.

These Cheese Potato balls are a crowd pleasure and are gone just as they are out of the wok. It is fun to watch the animated eating, some delicately breaking into two, dipping in the sauces and taking a nip. Another greedily popping it in the mouth not realizing how hot it is and then gasping for air to cool the burnt mouth as he fans it with his hand. Another taking a small bite and looking into it curiously searching for an answer why such simple treats are loved by so many and trying to decode the ingredients. I loved feeding them and you will love making these for yours too. So here you go...


Ingredients

6 Potatoes
50 gms Cheddar cheese shredded
1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt as per taste
2 teaspoon Pav bhaaji masala
1 medium onion chopped fine

For the cover
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt as per taste
1 cups bread crumbs

Oil for frying.

In a large bowl mash together all the ingredients. Roll them into small balls and place on a tray. Keep the tray in the fridge to set for at least 30 mins.

Prepare the batter of all purpose flour and water. It should be slightly thinner than bhajji batter.

Spread out bread crumbs in a plate.

Remove the balls from the fridge just before frying. Dip them in the batter and then roll them in the bread crumbs. 

Heat oil, keep the flame on high. This will fry the balls quickly and to crispness without absorbing too much oil. Drain them on absorbent paper.

Serve piping hot with sauce of your choice. I served with mustard sauce and ketchup, turns out its best with ketchup.

What are you waiting for? Get boiling the potatoes and grating the cheese...


Friday, August 03, 2012

Pumpkin Shorba


Pumpkin is a vegetable that I don't admire. Earlier it was only for some special use we would get it, like in vadas or that Gavar and pumkin combo. I am a little scared to buy those small pumpkins because they are definitely hybrids. The cuteness does not melt my heart. I would rather get a slice of a fresh cut large pumpkin.

Anyways for the birthday party the choice of soup zeroed on Pumpkin due to the color. I wanted different colored dishes. I never like it when all the food  on the plate is in just one color. So tomato soup was out, they would however be used generously in the pasta.

Also the menu was of different origins so a Shorba sounded better than a western soup. Indian in flavor and that would awaken the taste buds to an exciting menu that followed. A shorba is not thick in consistency and its never loaded with cream. It's light and refreshing and warmly spicy, just right for the cold monsoon that we have right now.

Here is how to make it.

Ingredient

1/2 kg pumpkin
1 medium onion
oil 2 teaspoons
2 Taj patta
3-4 cloves
1 small piece cinnamon
7-8 pepper corns
slat to taste.

In a pressure cooker heat oil, 1.5 teaspoon. Fry onions till translucent. Add pumpkin to it. Close the lid and cook for 1 whistle.

Let it cool. Once cooled open the cooker and transfer the cooked vegetable to a blender. Puree it. 

Now heat just a 0.5 spoon of oil. Make the seasoning with tej patta, clove, cinnamon and pepper. Add the puree to the tadka. Add water to thin it. The total soup should be about 2.5 litres. Boil vigorously. Serve in soup cups or deep dish.

Enjoy the warmth! That's how we kick started our party.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

A Birthday Party



Last weekend we had a birthday party at home.

The Menu

Soup:
Pumpkin Shorba

Starters : 
Cheese Potato balls with mustard sauce and ketchup
Hummus and Potato chips

Mains :
Smörgåstårta, its a sandwich cake
Pasta in creamy tomato sauce

Mocktail :
Sparkling Strawberry float

Dessert:
Blueberry Tall Muffins

I came back from work and decided 2hrs was enough for me to prepare dinner but I was wrong it took me 3 hrs to make this menu and I had no time to set up the table, so you see some pictures were taken the next day in daylight. Each of this recipe will follow this post. We were just 6 people but this amount of food could have served 10, you don't want the food to fall short when it is a party

My family was so happy and my bros especially showed an appetite like never before. I was so thrilled with all the chatter and sedated smiles that I could not sleep till 2 am that night!

My friend Sangita, kept telling me not to make elaborate menus like these, as she is worried for my health but this is what makes me happy truly!

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