Tuesday, December 23, 2014

X MAS SPECIAL BOOZY DESSERT

Dear all,

There is no excuse for my vanishing act from time to time. But i have been crazily busy.

But am back with a boozy treat on this christmas eve for you all as a bribe for the vanishing act that i have been doing.

So get ready to make a cake with the fresh produce of the season and pair it with an equally amazing boozy sauce to cut the chill that the Delhi winters is bringing in for all of us.

The Li'l Princess is off to school for the XMas carnival and am thawing myself with a big mug of hot hot steaming coffee.

CARROT & BEETROOT CAKE WITH WHISKEY SAUCE

Ingredients-

2 cups grated carrots
2 cups grated beetroot
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup vegetable oil
4 no eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon powder

Method-

* Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
* Add in the eggs and the oil and mix until just blended.
* Add the carrots, beetroot, nuts and fold well.
* Grease a 1 kg cake tin.
* Put the batter in the prepared cake tin.
* Bake at 200C for abt 35-40 mins.

For the whiskey sauce-

Ingredients-

100 gms cream
100 gms milk maid
20 gms chocolate
100 ml whiskey
a pinch of salt

Method-

* Mix the cream and the milk maid in a pan and bring to a slow boil.
* Add in the chocolate and let it melt.
* Add the salt.
*. Take it off the fire and add the whiskey.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Difference between Tonic water, Mineral water, Seltzer, Carbonated water and Club soda

What's the difference between tonic water,mineral waterseltzercarbonated water, and club soda? They all seem like fizzy water alternatives, and they may be identical. 
All of these types of fizzy water are indeed quite similar. All of these types, that is, except tonic water. Although its name might lead you to think otherwise, tonic water doesn't taste very "watery" at all. Rather, it has a very strong and distinctively bitter flavor that you'll notice on the very first sip. This bitterness comes from a compound called quinine, which is added to the water base along with some sugar to make a carbonated beverage that happens to be a heavenly match for the juniper-y taste of gin. So, to make a long story short, when mixing yourself a gin and tonic, nothing but tonic water will do.
As for the others waters that are mentioned...
Soda water, seltzer, carbonated water, club soda, sparkling water, mineral water. Names for fizzy water do tend to get tossed around loosely, and almost interchangeably. But there are some important distinctions to keep in mind:
2009_05_29-FizzyWaters.jpg
Carbonated Water
"Carbonated water" is a good umbrella term for all the fizzy waters mentioned. Club soda, seltzer, and mineral water all get their effervescence from dissolved carbon dioxide.
Mineral Water
Mineral water is water containing dissolved, naturally-occurring minerals (and sometimes fizz-making carbon dioxide), that is drawn and bottled directly from an underground natural source. These dissolved minerals give the water a subtle flavor, and, some believe, impart important health benefits. There are hundreds of different regional waters available on the international market, each with its own distinct mineral profile. Some of the most famous are Perrier and San Pellegrino (which are both naturally carbonated), and Volvic (which is naturally flat). (Note: in order to be labeled "mineral water," as opposed to "spring water," the water must contain at least 250 parts per million (ppm) naturally occurring dissolved mineral solids.)
Uses: Because of its higher price and, well, mineral-y flavor, mineral water is not usually used to make mixed drinks. It is best enjoyed on its own or with a slice of lemon or lime.
2009_05_29-SeltzerLabel.jpg
Seltzer
Seltzer is plain, unflavored water that has been artificially carbonated. Named after the German town of Niederselters, which is known for its natural springs, seltzer was first marketed in the USA as an affordable domestic alternative to pricey imported mineral waters. Because of the explosive pressure created by the carbonation, seltzer was originally sold in thick glass bottles fitted with metal siphon tops.  Since then, siphon bottles have mostly gone by the wayside - although there does seem to be a bit of a recent revival. Modern-day "seltzer" is now commonly sold in ordinary plastic soda bottles.
2009_05_29-ClubSodaLabel.jpg
Club Soda
Although it's used almost interchangeably with seltzer, club soda is a slightly different beast. While seltzer is plain carbonated water and nothing but, club soda usually has a few mineral-y ingredients mixed in for added flavor (see the "carbonated water, potassium bicarbonate, potassium sulfate" listed on the label directly above vs. the simple "carbonated water" pictured above that on the seltzer bottle). 
Uses: Both seltzer and club soda are suitable mixers for highball drinks

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Junior's Joy Box from Domino's

Since my princess is going to go away to her grandparent's in two days, so i thought she deserved a treat. Hence i ordered the newly launched Junior's Joy Box from Domino's.

The Junior's Joy Box from DOMINO'S
First look of the box, it looked very colorful and attractive for a kid. And it had some pretty caricatures on top. And it came with a Mango beverage and a toy, Sponge Bob Square Pants.

The Joy Box from inside
 My princess finished all of it and said that it tasted divine. I agree with her although i didn't taste it, just smelled and looked at it.
Cheesy Pizza sticks, Garlic bread stick, Custard Pizza Stick
 So if i had to give a rating, i would give it a score of 4.5/5.
Sponge Bob ready to devour the Custard Pizza Stick

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mango Sooji Halwa with poori

Mango sooji halwa with varq and poori


Since the mango surge in the market, my princess needs mango in everything possible. So i tried in the sooji halwa and made it exotic. It sure did smell good.


Golden halwa with silver decoration
 Ingredients-

Ghee- 2 tbsp
Sooji- 1/2 cup
Mango puree- 1/2 cup
Sugar- 6 tbsp
Milk- 1/2 cup
Silver varq- 1/2 sheet, for garnish

Method-

1. In a pan, heat the ghee and saute the sooji till almost golden in color.
2. Add the mango puree and the milk at the same time to the pan and mix well.
3. Let the sooji soak up all the liquid and keep stirring continuously.
4. If required add 1-2 tbsp more milk to make it as per your consistency.
5. add the sugar and mix well and let it all melt.
6. Remove in a bowl and garnish with the silver varq.
7. Serve with hot pooris or even luchi.



Sunday, May 4, 2014

Mango Cake

Since the EU ban, mango has flooded the market. Hence i had to try various uses of mango and also because it is my princess's favorite fruit.This fruit she will ask to be given at any time of the day. Any other fruit has to be coaxed past her eyes.

The white turning into yellow
 Hence it was mango cake with fresh mango puree. I used the south Indian safeda. They were huge as i got about 3 in a kg. So each one weighed more then 300 gms easily.


Ingredients-

Sugar- 1 cup
Maida- 1 cup
Oil- 1 cup
Eggs- 2 nos
Mango puree- 1 cup
Baking pwd- 1 tsp


The cake and the top

Method-

1. Cream the eggs and the sugar till light and fluffy.
2. Add the oil and mix well.
3. Add the puree and mix well.
4. Fold in the flour and do not over-mix.
5. Pour into a greased baking tine.
6. Bake at about 180 C for about 30 minutes.




Chickpeas & Aubergine Masala





Hello all!! I know what you all must be thinking. Chickpeas and aubergines together is a very weird combination. But believe you me, it tastes awesome. Since my venturing into healthy eating to have a control over my hypothyroidism life, i have been on a road to discovering new combinations even after being a chef for the last 19 years of my life.

Healthy chickpeas with aubergine
Ingredients-

Chickpeas- 1 cup, soaked and boiled
Aubergine- 1 cup, cut into 2 cm dices
Onion- 1 small, chopped
Tomato- 1 small, chopped
Ginger & garlic paste- 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Red chilli pwd- 1/2 tsp
Cumin pwd- 1/2 pwd
Fresh coriander- 2 tbsp, chopped
Olive oil- 2 tbsp

Method-

1. In a pan, heat oil.
2. Add onions and saute well till more than translucent
3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook till the raw flavor goes away and it turns golden brown in color.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook well till the tomatoes are cooked properly
5. Add the dry spices and mix well. You could also add about 2 tbsp of water to mix the spices well into the onion and tomato mixture.
6. Add the aubergine and saute well and coat well in the spice mixture.
7. cook for about 7-8 minutes.
8. Now add the chickpeas and stir to mix all together.
9. Cook for another 7-8 minutes and add 2-3 tbsp water if the mixture gets stuck to the pan.
10. check for seasoning and add salt.
11. Take off fire and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Note- this could be served with chapati or even had with rice.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mushroom & Baby corn Enchilada

Good morning all!!
In my previous post i forgot to mention Enchilada which is also made from corn or whole wheat tortilla.

Enchilada- is a rolled and filled corn tortilla which is then smothered in a spicy tomato salsa or sauce. It can have any number of fillings or combinations of ingredients, such as meats, vegetables or even potatoes.

I made Enchilada but without cheese and did not smother it with any sauce. Why? Because am trying to shed some of my excess baggage due to hypothyroidism. Hence am trying to eat healthy.



Mushroom and baby corn Enchilada

Ingredients-

Mushrooms-5 nos sliced
Baby corn- 5 sliced
Red bell pepper- 1/2, juliennes
Onion- 1 small, sliced
Olive oil- 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Salsa- 2 tbsp
Corn Tortilla- 2 nos

Method-

1. Blanch the baby corn in boiling water for 2 minutes. And refresh in cold water.
2. In a pan, heat the olive oil.
3. Add the onion and saute till translucent.
4. Add the mushroom and saute till all moisture has evaporated.
5. Add the baby corn and toss to mix.
6. Add the salsa and mix well. Check for seasoning.
7. Remove and put on the tortillas and roll.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sausage Quesadilla

Let's try some Mexican food today that i made for my princess. Before we begin the recipe let me explain some of the basic Mexican dishes to you for better understanding.

The start of some of these interesting and yummy dishes is with a flat bread called Tortilla. A Tortilla is made with whole wheat flour and very similar to our chappati or phulka. It could also be made with maize flour or corn flour( no not the white corn flour, but the makki ka atta). Tortilla is made from an unleavened, water based dough, rolled and cooked over a griddle.

Once you have the basic tortilla ready with you, you can make several other dishes derived from the humble tortilla, like taco, burrito, etc.

Taco- Is one of the most traditional Mexican dish which is a tortilla folded into half and has a filling. The opening is left open and not sealed in any way.  The filling can be made of anything and everything that your taste buds fancy. it could be fish, chicken, beef, and even non traditional fillings like tofu. It also has lettuce, vegetables and cheese added in the filling. It is traditionally eaten directly from the hand with the use of any utensils. There are a whole lot of accompaniments that go along with Mexican food like salsa, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, etc,.

Fajita- is basically any grilled meat which is usually served on a tortilla and piled with 
the accompaniments and also addition of shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes and heaps of cheese. Traditionally it was a grilled beef steak but now the grilled meat can be anything from shrimps to chicken or even fish.

Burrito- A corn or wheat a tortilla which is rolled into a cylindrical shape to enclose the filling completely. The filling co

uld also include other ingredients such as cheese, shredded lettuce, and other vegetables. In traditional Mexico homes the refried beans with meat is the traditional filling of a burrito.

Chimichanga- This is a deep fried burrito and is popular in the southern america which is influenced by the Mexican cuisine. The difference between a burrito and a chimichanga is that the chimichanga is folded into a rectangle shape and deep fried as compared to a burrito which is cylindrical. It could have a variety of fillings and is accompanied with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, etc,.





Quesadilla- Lastly the star of my post. A quasadilla is a tortilla which is folded into a half moon with filling and cheese and then finished on a griddle. But i made a change and i used two corn tortillas. The name is derived from Spanish word queso for cheese and tortilla.

 
Cheese and shredded lettuce


 Ingredients-

Corn tortilla- 2 nos
Chicken sausages- 3 nos, cut into juliennes
Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
Onion- 1 small, sliced
Garlic- 2 cloves, chopped
Red bell pepper- 1/2, cut into juliennes
Yellow bell pepper- 1/2, cut into juliennes
Green bell pepper- 1/2, cut into juliennes
lettuce- 4 leaves, shredded
Cheese cheddar- 6 tbsp grated
Salt- to taste
Crushed black pepper- to taste
Salsa- 2 tbsp (you could substitute with tomato ketchup if you do not have salsa)



Filling
 Method-

1. In a pan heat the olive oil.
2. Saute the garlic and the onion till translucent.
3. Add the bell peppers and saute till the color becomes bright.
4. Add the sausages and mix well. 
5. Add the salsa and mix well and check for seasoning.
6. Gently heat the tortillas on the griddle on a low flame to make them warm
7. On one of the tortilla, spread half of the grated cheese. Layer with the shredded lettuce.
8. Top with the sausage and pepper mixture. cover with the remaining cheese.
9. cover this with the other tortilla.
10. Put it back on the griddle and heat through on both sides till the cheese is melted
11. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces like a pizza and serve with sour cream or salsa.


Finally on the griddle






Monday, April 14, 2014

WHOLE WHEAT CINNAMON ROLLS

This recipe was modified so that my 6 year old princess could make it herself. Hence no yeast and proofing. Super easy for kids to make on their own.

Ready to knead the dough
 Ingredients-
For the dough-
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp butter
1 cup milk
For filling-
2 tbsp butter, melted
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
For the topping-
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp milk or water

About to enter the baking
 Method-
1. Put the flour, salt, baking powder and the soft butter in a big bowl.
2. Mix the butter into the flour with your finger tips to make a sandy texture.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
4. Mix well to form a firm yet soft dough using all the milk.
5. Dust the work surface with whole wheat flour and roll the dough into a square shape about 1/2 cm thick.
6. Mix the powdered sugar with the cinnamon powder.
7. Brush with the melted butter.
8. And sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.
9. Roll into a thick roll. Cut into about 1 inch rolls.
10. Arrange them loosely into a greased baking dish.
11. Bake in a 180  C oven for about 20 minutes.


After baking with the frosting
12. Till then mix the powdered sugar with the milk and mix well.
13. If it becomes too thin add more sugar. and if it is too thick then add more milk.
14. When the rolls are baked to a golden perfection, then top with the frosting while still hot.
15. Let it cool and devour.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Healthy Oats Bar- No Sugar, No Butter, No Flour.... Just healthy

Today i made healthy Oats bars with banana. And they have no added sugar, no added butter and no added flour. Just the plain and healthy goodness of oats, banana, almonds and raisins.

Oats and Banana Bar
 Ingredients:
2 large over ripe bananas, mashed till almost liquidy
2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup almonds roughly chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

Ready to go into the oven
 Method-
1. Mash the bananas well in a bowl till almost liquidy.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well till a very thick mixture is formed and all are mixed evenly.
3. Grease a baking tray with 1/2 tbsp olive oil.
4. Spread the mixture evenly into the tray and smooth-en the mixture with the back of a spoon.
5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for about 30 minutes or till the crust becomes golden brown.
6. Take it out and let it cool before cutting.
My house is smelling of the goodness of baking banana

MY SNAPS