Thursday, May 31, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The fruit tastes amazing when ripe. It is sweet with a fragrance that is delicate.
Vidya Auntie got this bag of figs for us. It was a great timing as I had planned my party just then and had freezed in on the desert to be Date n Chocolate Cake. So fig sauce was a good idea for the dressing. It is simple to make and was easily voted the best at the party.
All you need is :
2 cups Figs
1 cup sugar
half lemon juice.Peel the figs. The skin would come off easy if ripe if it cannot be peeled then not right for this sauce. Halve the figs. Put everything in a saucepan heat on high till you bet a boil. Simmer till the figs are soft and just about to loose shape into the sauce yet you see the chunks. Remove from heat when sticky. The preserve is ready and can be consumed refrigerated for a week.
I decorated the cake with it. You can also have it with bread/ toast or even make chapati wrap with it.
We love fruity cakes to the rich creamy ones and the fig sauce has an enormous repeat value is all I can say.
To all the fig lovers like Indira, bee and a convert yours truly!
Monday, May 28, 2007
Date n Chocolate Cake with Fig Sauce, Corn and Cauliflower stir fry, Whole Wheat Mint Bhature
Mint coriander chutney, Boondi Raita, Mix Bean curry, Vangi bhat
Tomato chutney, Cucumber salad, Khaman Dhokla, Corn pops
I'm back here after a short trip to Chennai and it was my first more about that later.....
This post is about the spread that you see above from the recent party at home. There were many reasons. We love to catch up with friends and their families. My friends Alok & Varsha are expecting a baby so to congratulate them! Soon Anand and Asawari are moving back to Helsinki. Alok will be traveling to the US for 2 months and so we will miss him. Their families were visiting and my treat was pending for a while now. So it had to be a party quite different from our usual eating together and cooking together ones.
The menu was a secret! Normally we decide together on the menu and cook together or have potluck but this time I had a hard time holding back the surprise. Alok and Anand's Mom called couple of time to ask if she could help me out with the chapatis. I told her I am not making chapatis. So everyone got the feeling they will be eating just rice. You know how we maharashtrians like our food balanced. Asawari and Varsha too tried guessing. The game went on till they came home. I had spread out the buffet and loved the expression on everyone's faces.
Planning well ahead of time is a good mantra to follow. I chose a Saturday evening so we could have fun and still rest the whole of Sunday. I cooked every dish myself that's how I wanted it to be with a little help from Dad. Here is the stepwise approach I adapted for this successful party when I had enough time to get myself dressed and enjoy too.
- Friday evening I bought all the supplies as per the planned menu .
- I had the whole Saturday morning to prepare for the planned late afternoon cooking as my my deadline was 7.00 pm. No going into to kitchen after that I had decided.
- In the morning I made the Date n Chocolate Cake with Fig Sauce with that the dessert was a breeze.
- Next got all veggies and beans boiled.
- The masala/ chutneys were ground and saved.
- For Khaman Dhokla I used my favorite Talod and kept aside.
- Grated the coconut and kept the garnish ready
- Corn Pops dough mixed and shaped just required frying at the last min.
- The Whole Wheat Mint Bhature dough was kneaded in the afternoon itself and all that was to be done was to be shaped and fried just before starting. Alok's Mom and me did it just in time.
- At 5.00 pm all the preparation helped to get all the seasoning done and the veggies now were complete dishes.
- Fried the Corn Pops and the tray went into the oven to stay warm.
- By 6.00 pm I was done cooking and table was almost set with even the salad cut and in its place.
- The welcome juice was ready in the jar and well placed.
- Last I took a nice warm bath and got dressed for the evening with a nice perfume and my best smile to welcome home my friends.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
In the beginning of this summer we had some raw mangoes on hand. So Dad did "and Baba present the Wheat Noodles with Raw Mango N Pearl Onion Dal"!
For the Wheat Noodles:
1 cup Chapati dough
Keep a large vessel of water to boil. In it press the chapati dough using a shev press to get wheat noodles. Use a medium sized die. Simmer for 10 mins and drain on to a mesh.
For Raw Mango N Pearl Onion Dal
Heat oil in a vessel. Fry the pearl onions till pink. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are paste like. Add the cooked dal and boil for 5 mins with jaggery, salt and raw mango.
To serve put the wheat noodles in a bowl and drown them in the yummy Raw Mango N Pearl Onion Dal and enhance the steamy bowl with chopped cilantro. Rarely will anyone say they didn't like it. Suggested this recipe to my friend who is entertaining some Germans right now.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Will write later.
Bye Take Care
The Son Chapha, Sampige, Champa flower that smells so sweet it even makes an ice maiden melt. Reminds me of the romantic song chapha bole naa ...chapha chale naa where the lover calls his muse a champa flower and tries to seduce her.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I fell in love with the pictures on Cream Puffs in Venice: The Month of Bread: Perfect Pretzels and decided to try out the Pretzels.
I love the Pretzel's chewy, sweet n salty taste and above all they are absolutely fat free unless you do like here, butter them up! Plus they look oh so pretty!
Go try them right away.
Updated 5th Sep 2012
Hot Buttered Pretzels
For the dough:
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1.5 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water or more
For the pretzel topping:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp melted butter
In the 1 cup warm water add sugar and yeast and let it bloom for 10 mins.
In the food processor bowl add all the ingredients mentioned for the dough and run it till it comes together. It may be a little sticky but that's how it should be. Sprinkle a handful of flour on the ball. Let it rest for 30 mins or about 50% proofing. Which means the volume should be 1.5 times the original.
Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and set aside.
Put the pretzels in the oven for 15 minutes, they should brown evenly, bake longer if they are thicker to get that golden color.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Baked Pears with creamy yogurt is one of my favorite desserts. I had never made it at home. With google as my aide began my journey of selecting the right kind of pears. The Indian market is flooded with pears from all over the world but the China pear or the Ya pear was my choice for the flesh, juiciness and the aroma. I did not want to use any essence as the fruit has a very subtle scent so I used saffron spiked almond powder. Peeling the pears would have been a good idea may be the next time. The baked pears are a real treat for diabetics and the calorie conscious since is naturally sweet with no added sugar. I smiled when I saw my labels Sweet Tooth, Slim N Trim together for the same post!
You guys deserve this one for all the hard work that goes into cooking but can't really eat your heart out. Go ahead and enjoy.
2 ripe pears ( I used Ya pears)
Optional for glazing :
2 teaspoons Apple & Cinnamon jam (I used from Kitchens of India)
Serves: 2 to 4
Begin by cutting the pears vertically and coring with a spoon. Powder the saffron and almonds together and fill the pear cavities. Put these pears in a tray lined with parchment paper. Bake on the high at 400 deg cel. for 30-40 mins. The pears are well baked when they shrivel up a bit and you see some juice in the tray caramelizing.
Remove from oven and serve warm with creamy yogurt/ hung curd. If you like you can sweeten the yogurt a bit or glaze with Apple & Cinnamon jam. I had the baked pears with unsweetened creamy yogurt. Sharing here pictures of Dad's plate. He had the glazed baked pears without yogurt he likes his deserts a tad too sweet a typical Indian palate I guess.
Indulge in it absolutely guilt free.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Well after all that mischief let me tell you how I created this original recipe. Yeah it is original I haven't seen it anywhere else yet. I had blanched and pureed spinach for another recipe but had too much of it. I was yet to do my ritual baking gig and in a flash I thought why not spinach cheese bread. It is a real surprise to see spinach retain its color even after baking. I think kids will freak out on this bread. So here you go.
4 cups all purpose flour
First take sugar in a small bowl and add warm water to it. Sprinkle the active dry yeast over it and go for a stroll. Comeback after 10 mins. It will become frothy by the time you are back.
Take the all purpose flour in a large bowl mix in the frothy yeast. Add the salt and the blanched and pureed spinach and mix with wooden spoon to get a ball. Rub the butter into the dough. Remove on a lightly flour dusted counter. Knead well.
After this roll out the dough into a rectangle. Spread cheddar cheese cubes and cumin seeds. Then roll it into a bundle like you would roll a mat real tight. Cut up into equal sized 6 portions and pat them into a greased tray. Sprinkle generously on top red chili powder. Finally place 2X2 inch pieces of cheddar cheese on the mounds of dough. Allow to rise for the second time till double or for an hour.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 mins at 190 deg cel. Remove from oven once cheese is browned and the bread sound hollow when tapped. Onto a grill to cool a bit.
Serve warm with tomato sauce. The molten cheese and the fluffy bread ahhh! Needless to say Swati stayed for dinner. I packed it for lunch the next day too.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Any filling (salads, stir fries, bhaaji, sweet fillings)
Dad served with Date tamarind chutney and Homemade tomato sauce (coming soon).
Monday, May 14, 2007
We shared a fun filled afternoon together with hilarious stories of how she weeds out non veg in the salad at school in a distant land informing me, "You never know what they serve". That was knowledge transfer she thinks. We were in splits about my drowning act in Goa. She loves my story of how tsunami was created when all the guys counted down to relieve themselves all together and at once. Of cuz P and his lost pants in the wave pool was her story and I guffawed. She is half Keralite so she got an Amar Chitra Katha on Shivaji from me to remind her of her Marathi roots even though her Mom prefers otherwise, Nancy Drew for our common love. She also wanted an easy hindi learning book as thats her target now.
1/2 cup moong sprouts boiled Or seasoned (usal/usli)
1/2 chopped onion
1/2 lemon juice
1/4 cup Chivda
some cilantro chopped
1/2 cup curd
Mix together moong sprouts, onions, lemon juice. Remove to a deep dish or soup dish. Top it with curds, chivda, shev and cilantro in that order. Enjoy the healthy Sprouts Dahi Misal. Health ka Health, Maza ka Maza.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Here is the typical Koli Taat. The spread is not always so elaborate but made on special occassions. It would ideally consist of a vegetable, rice, roasted fish or fried fish, fish curry and rice roti. Last time I visited my village this was made for the NVs.
You have also seen the Veg Taat in the Thal Part III made by my Aaji. Like I mentioned in the veg Taat post rice and coconut are indigenous ingredients of a Koli meal. Both the rice and rice roti are enjoyed in the same meal and that is what separates a Koli meal from any other platter in Maharashtra. The curries are made with coconut or without depending on what type of fish is cooked in it. It is seen that the sweeter tasting fish get a coconut base while the stronger smelling are cooked just with the Koli masala.
The famed Koli masala is made annually and stocked in homes. It is a special blend of spices and essentially incorporates all the ingredients of a garam masala plus more. It also indicates that a Koli woman is a busy woman and does not have time for spending on selecting whole spices or preparing separate masalas for every curry on a daily basis. She loves all her spices in a single masala balanced in careful proportions and just a spoon or two of it elevates her daily meals to new heights that the family swears by and is loved by everyone who tastes it outside the family too.
2 small lobsters cleaned and chunked
1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
1 handful cilantro
3-4 green chillies
4-5 kokum\Garcinia indica
1 tablespoon Koli masala
1 tablespoon garlic crushed
2 tablespoon oil
2 cups water
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
- Salichi Moog Dal khichdi: The green lentil and rice cooked together with jeera and a bit of ghee.
- Mulya chi koshimbir: White Icicle Radish in curds with chopped tomato and cilantro
- Multicolored Fryums and
- Gavhachi kheer: Broken wheat sweet porridge in the bowl.
1/2 cup broken wheat
Heat the pressure cooker add 1 tablespoon of ghee and reserve the other. Fry the nuts till pinkish. Then add the broken wheat fry for 6-8 mins. Then add the jaggery, raisins and water and close the PC. Allow about 20 mins cooking time or 4-5 whistles. Open the lid and stir in the saved ghee and cardamon powder. Serve hot. The kheer should be sticky n slurpy.
This is not a very rich kheer though sweet yet nutritious with the broken wheat and jaggery. It is the old timers favorite.
Monday, May 07, 2007
How do parents know what a child would like to read? I am not a parent yet so this question. Dad must have done some research I guess. Did he anticipate that I would be hooked to serious reading at the age of 3 yrs. I remember my first book was Noddy but what made me a voracious reader from the age of 6-7 was the fact that in school we had to read one book a week and write a review on it for our English class. I don't know how many schools did it then and now but my school was different in many ways than one. I guess you have read that before.
I literally grew up on Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle like most my age. Uncle Pai was like a family member who put children to sleep daily with the dose of ancient history and legends. I meant it literally. After the lights off time I read every night in the beam of street light that came through my window. Thank God my bed was near the window. It was an ordeal Mom went through everyday of getting me out of bed the next morning and to eat without the book in hand. Neither did her rules work nor did the complaints to Dad. Dad was too busy at the time and after all he was the one who got me all those books so to Mom he too was a culprit. As a result by Standard X I had a prized possession for life my pair of glasses. Mom fretted her girl with spectacles how would she get married. Dad as always said with a nod, that I looked like a scholar now (the similarity ends there me think).
So Amar Chitra Katha it was for every occasion in addition to other gifts. Living in Colaba and Fort one had access to the best things and IBH as it was called was in our back lanes. I had collected so many ACKs that Mom finally got them bound into 4 Huge Volumes. We lent them to some one and that person probably started a library of her own ;).
My favorite ACKs were Krishna, Sudama, Anirudha, Birbal the witty, Shivaji, Kanakdas, Narad, Sankaracharya, Ganesha. They were not just comic books but deep down they moulded a child's personality. It was a boon for all children who lived away from their grandparents. Ancient History became so accessible and easy to understand and entirely fun to read. I was a loyal till I went to college and slowly the next phase of a different set of books/ picture books of the K series and the Marina Santi and the TDH kind took over for all the frivolous reading.
Here is a recipe of Sudamache pohe that fascinated me so much credit to ACKs:
Friday, May 04, 2007
I have not seen this movie but if I don't I will have to deal with Jyoti I know.
Jyoti is a very talented girl full of energy. If I have to list out the many faces she wears it would be a Japanese linguist by profession, a kathak dancer by training and an actress by interest too. She gives a lot of herself to be able to do all of this simply because she loves to entertain people. I know something is wrong with her if I don't see the twinkle in her eyes that is so infectious.
I met her online through a group that has a lot of value in both our lives. Then she came to Blr to work some months ago. I remember how excited we both were about it. This girl is much younger than me but we gel well. I was very upset when she moved all of a sudden to Mumbai just recently and I was informed about it later. I do understand her situation though. What I like about her is she does things quietly without the excess noise about her activities.
Jyoti has been acting in amateur plays and has been part of Shiamak Davar's dance group too. घर दोघांचं! is her first big break in films. I don't watch Marathi movies unless they are recommended by friends as a must watch. Yet घर दोघांचं! is going to be an exception. I request all Marathi speaking, Marathi understanding people to watch the movie and cheer for her. I am going to watch it Just for you Jyoti!
Read the movie review here.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Kurta with crocheted trimmings
Sangeeta a keen embroidery fan was interested to see my new projects. She has two wardrobes full of handcrafted clothes designed by herself her speciality Punjabi suits. I'm thinking of looting them some day.
So for them posting these pictures. Me think after sometime my food blog will need to change the classification ;).