There was an error in this gadget
Translate this page

Thursday, April 30, 2009

French Vanilla Ice-cream Sundae

Here is the next one which I prepared with the homemade French vanilla ice-cream.....Well there is no fixed name of this recipe, you can call it Malini's special ice-cream sundae.....or you can even transform this into your own special dish as per your choice of toppings...........

Ingredients:
Procedure:
  1. Just place 2-4 scoops of ice-cream in a serving plate. Place the chocolate bars / wafers.
  2. Add chocolate syrup. Crumble cookies over the ice-cream and serve immediately.

This is going to the following events:

My Favourite Things - Frozen Desserts guest hosted by Aqua of Served With Love, event by Bindiya....

RCI - Pondicherry event, hosted by Lavi of Home Cook's Recipes, event started by Lakshmi


Ice-cream sandwich

It feels good to be appreciated for your work (read my technical assignments) and moreover its great to be pampered once in a while with a surprise treat.......Sometimes back I had this delicious ice-cream sandwich and since then I wanted to try it out. I made a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream but wanted to serve it in a different way.

My hubby bought some cream filled chocolate bars from his last trip to Austria so I used the chocolate bars...... Instead of just serving it plain, I prepared 2 dishes, one being this yummy ice-cream sandwich.....A great way to surprise your friends and guests too...
The simplest ice cream sandwich is to place 1 or 2 scoops of your choicest ice cream in between chocolate bars / ice cream wafers.

Ice Cream Base - Custard Base / Cream Base: The ice cream base is the essential part of what makes ice cream really creamy and delicious. The basic principle for making an ice cream base is to combine cream and milk, egg yolks and sugar.
  • Some people create a mix from these ingredients without heating, which is generally referred to as a cream base.
  • Others, prefer to use heat in the process, which is known as a custard base.
Stated below is an authentic French vanilla cream recipe (typical custard base method which involves heating).
There are several variations on the standard vanilla flavor, including a particularly rich and creamy variety called French vanilla. Traditional vanilla flavor is derived from the seeds of a vanilla bean pod / a synthetic chemical equivalent called vanillin. French vanilla is more of an egg custard before freezing and contains egg yolks for a richer consistency.
To prepare ½ ltr French vanilla ice cream, all you need......

Ingredients:
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 300 ml full milk
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 2 vanilla bean pods
  • 100 gms powdered sugar
  • 4 chocolate bars / chocolate coated ice-cream wafers

Procedure:

  1. Place a damp towel on kitchen table / work surface and place a bowl on top. Add sugar and the egg yolks, whisk together until well combined and thick. Keep aside.
  2. Prepare the custard base by heating milk. Place a saucepan on medium heat, add milk, bring just under boiling point (do not overheat).
  3. When the milk has heated up, pour it gradually into the bowl containing combined sugar-egg yolks mixture and whisk / stir continuously.
  4. Transfer the whole mixture back to the pan. Place pan on medium heat and stir continuously for 3-5 mins and allow to thicken (do not bring to the boil or it may curdle).
  5. When you have reached the desired consistency, pour into a bowl and set aside to cool completely.
  6. To combine vanilla and cream, place vanilla pods on a chopping board and slice lengthways. Split the pod open. Scrape the pulp out on the knife and put in the bowl of cream. Pour the cream and vanilla into the bowl containing, egg-milk custard. Whisk thoroughly to combine.
  7. To prepare the ice-cream, pour the mix into ice-cream maker, close and switch the machine. Churn for 15-20 mins. Strain through a fine sieve; transfer the churned mixture to a plastic container; cover and refrigerate to set.
  8. To make the ice-cream sandwich, place a chocolate bar / wafer in a serving plate, put a scoop of ice-cream carefully on the top and place another chocolate bar / wafer to make a sandwich. Serve immediately…

Tips: For varieties, use chocolate chip cookies instead of wafers and just sandwich a dollop (single scoop) of ice cream between them. Serve immediarely or you can also refrigerate to serve later...

You can also add various ice-cream toppings, coming up in my next recipe…

This is going to My Favourite Things - Frozen Desserts guest hosted by Aqua of Served With Love, event by Bindiya....
Also going to RCI - Pondicherry event, hosted by Lavi of Home Cook's Recipes, event started by Lakshmi

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stuffed Tomatoes

Tomatoes are used extensively in Mediterranean cuisine, especially Italian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Consumption of tomato is believed to benefit the heart among other things.
Another recipe from my microwave cookbook with a little alteration (recipe stated usage of turmeric and chat masala, both of which I omitted).
This year there were plenty of red & juicy tomatoes in the markets. I couldn't resist but try this recipe out for the first time.

Ingredients:
  • 4-6 large red tomatoes (hard & firm)
Filling:

  • 1 cup paneer, mashed
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 capsicum, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
Procedure:

  1. Wash the tomatoes, cut a circular portion at the top and scoop out the seeds. (Keep upside down so that all the juices are removed).
  2. Take a microwave safe dish, mix chopped garlic, mashed paneer, chopped onion, green chillies, salt, pepper and butter for the filling. Microwave at 100% power for 2-3 mins.
  3. Stuff the tomatoes with the filling and keep in a microwave safe flat dish.
  4. Brush with oil and cover with cling foil. Microwave at 100% power for 2 mins. Allow to stand for 5 mins. Serve hot.

Another entry for FIC - Red & Green event hosted by Neha

This is also going to 15 mins cooking event by Mahimaa...

Chocolate Chips and Cashew Cookies

Cookies are the latest addition in my son's menu, specially the choco-chips chocolate cookies. While going through my microwave cookbook, I found a recipe for chocochip cookies. I altered the recipe a little and added some cashew nuts to prepare these mouth watering Cashew and Choco Chips Cookies....

Easy to prepare; takes about 30 mins and yields about 2 dozen cookies..

Ingredients :

  • 1-½ cups maida
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp milk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup cashew nuts, chopped
  • 2/3 cups chocolate chips

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the microwave oven at 180˚C at convection mode.
  2. Sieve flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Keep aside.
  3. Beat the egg with vanilla extract. Keep aside.
  4. Take a bowl and beat butter and sugar till light and creamy. Mix in the beaten egg mixture till fluffy.
  5. Gradually mix in the flour mixture. Add milk, chocolate chips and chopped almonds. Mix well.
  6. Put a spoonful of the mixtute on the greased non-stick tawa a little apart (to give place for expansion).
  7. Flatten slightly using a wooden spatula (you can add some more choco chips & chopped almonds on the top).
  8. Bake at 180˚C for 20-25 mins on lower rack till golden brown. Cool completely and serve with hot tea / coffee.

The cookies are going to both the events hosted by Poornima of TASTY TREATS: For the Love of Chocolate and Lets go Nuts - Cashew Nuts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Boloker Torkari

Sunday breakfast prior to my marriage meant luchi (puris) and bolker torkari (white side dish preparation of potatoes sometimes with the addition of parwal (pointed gourd or potol to Bengalis).....My mother used to call it boloker torkari / sada (white) torkari........
A simple preparation with little oil and just one or two ingredients, with kalo jire (kalonji) / panchphoron being the main spice.......
Here is the recipe as learnt from my mother.......

Ingredients:
  • 4 potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 6 pointed gourd (potol), peeled (alternatively with strips) & chopped
  • 1 tsp kalo jire (kalonji)
  • salt (to taste)
  • 2-3 green chiilies
  • 2-3 tbsp mustard oil
  • water (as required)
Procedure:

  1. Heat half the oil in a kadhai. Add kalo jire and green chillies and let them splutter.
  2. Add the chopped pointed gourd slices, saute for 3-4 mins and then add the diced potatoes and stir fry for 2-3 mins.
  3. Add salt, mix well and add water (as per gravy).
  4. Bring to a boil, simmer and pour rest of the mustard oil on top of the water (Ensure not to stir the oil).
  5. Cover and cook for 5-6 mins till the vegetables are tender. Remove from fire, transfer to a serving dish. Serve hot with luchi / parantha / puris.
Sending this to the 15 minutes Cooking event by Mahimaa....
This recipe is also going to WYF -Side dishes by EC of Simple Indian Food
and Think Spice- Think Kalonji guest hosted by Dee of Ammalu's Kitchen, event started by Sunitha..

Yakisoba Noodles

While doing some more net surfing on Japanese Cuisines for AWED-Japanese event guest hosted by Lavi of Home Cook's Recipes, event started by DK, I came across very interesting sites (courtesy google site search on Japanese Cuisines) with lots of information on the ways & tips of Japanese cooking, the main ingredients used and a whole range of new recipes.

These are some of the points I came across....

Rice is of course the staple food of Japan, but the second most popular food is menrui (noodles).

Japanese cuisine is incomplete without the mouth-watering noodles. Noodles are prepared & served in many different ways, fried, hot and even cold with tasty dipping sauce and condiments
Basically there are three types of Japanese noodles: soba (buckwheat & wheat), udon (white flour) and ramen.

  • Soba noodles are thin, flavorful, and generally light brown in color. They come in various sizes and colors, there's even a type made with powdered green tea called cha-soba. During the summer months soba is served cold in shallow bamboo baskets, and the noodles are dipped into a cold dipping sauce. In winter the noodles make their appearance in hot dashi, and are accompanied by ingredients like fried tofu, vegetables and meats.
  • Udon noodles is a very thick and pasty wheat noodle that is served in hot dashi and topped with the same condiments as the soba noodles. Udon noodle dishes are also prepared according to summer and winter months.
  • Ramen noodle is also made up of wheat, but it may be thin, thick or ribbon-like. It is believed that soba and udon are traditional Japanese noodles and ramen is based on Chinese noodles.

Here is the recipe to prepare Yakisoba Noodles...

Ingredients:

  • 500 gms yakisoba noodles
  • a bunch spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 onion, sliced
  • 2 capsicum, sliced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • ½ cup soya sauce
  • ½ cup rice wine
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp white oil

Procedure

  1. Take a small bowl, put soya sauce, rice wine and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Keep aside.
  2. Boil enough water in a pan. Put the noodles in the boiling water and cook for about 5-6 mins, until they are tender (but not too mushy).
  3. Put the noodles under cold tap water and then put the noodles in a strainer / colander and drain excess water.
  4. Heat a non-stick kadhai, heat white oil. Add onion slices, saute a little and then add the capsicum slices and chopped ginger and stir fry till the vegetables are tender.
  5. Add the noodles, mix well with the vegetables and pour the prepared sauce over the noodles.
  6. Toss the noodles, simmer and cook the noodles for 3-4 mins. Transfer the noodles to a serving dish. Serve hot with a spicy tofu dish.

Tips: You can add other vegetables like cabbage, carrots, cauliflowers also.....

This is my second entry to the AWED-Japanese event.....

Monday, April 27, 2009

Watermelon Cooler

Watermelon is not only delicious, but extremely healthy, as well. Though watermelons can be found in the markets throughout the year, the best quality & sweet watermelons are available only during summer time. Because of its higher water content, watermelon is ranked more valuable than other fruits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large watermelon, de-seeded & chopped
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds powder
  • crushed ice / ice cubes (as required)
  • 4 glass chilled water (as required)
Procedure:
  1. Put chopped watermelon, powdered sugar, rock salt in a blender. Add crushed ice & chilled water and blend again.
  2. Pour into fancy glasses, sprinkle roasted cumin seeds powder and serve with ice cubes.
Some benifits of watermelon:

It is an excellent source of vitamin A, C and B1, B6 & B5, contains important antioxidants (red watermelon is also a source of the potent carotene antioxidant, called lycopene).
It fights free radicals in our bodies, helps in reducing colon & prostate cancer, asthma, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Most melons are rich in rich in electrolytes sodium, thiamin, magnesium and potassium, help in controlling blood pressure, regulate heart beat, and prevent heat strokes.
Watermelon has a special cooling effect, protects our bodies from several diseases. It is fat free but also helps in energy production.

This is going to 15 mins cooking event by Mahimaa and also to Refreshing Drinks event hosted by Anu.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Egg Malai Curry

Malai Curry is an authentic Bengali style of mouth watering curry cooked in coconut milk. Malai curry can be prepared with various ingredients starting from prawn, chicken, egg and also with vegetables.

Though my all time favourite is prawn malai curry, I sometimes prepare Dim (egg as known in Bengali) Malai Curry, a main course egg dish...


Ingredients:
  • 4-5 eggs
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp onion paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water (if required)

Procedure:

  1. Boil egg, cool and peel the outer skin. Heat oil in a kadhai and saute the eggs. Drain oil and keep aside.
  2. Simmer and add sugar in the hot oil to caramelize it (Do not increase the flame or else sugar will get burnt). Add bay leaf and onion paste. Stir fry for 2 mins. Add ginger-garlic paste, mix well and again stir fry for 2 more mins.
  3. Add the chopped tomato, green chillies and mix well with the onion & ginger-garlic mixture. Add the dry spices, mix well and stir fry till oil separates from the sides of the kadhai.
  4. Simmer and slowly pour in the coconut milk by stirring continuously. Add the fried eggs and mix with the gravy.
  5. Simmer and cook till gravy gets reduced. Sprinkle ghee, mix well, bring to a boil and adjust the seasoning. Remove from gas.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with roti / chappati / paranthas.

Egg Malai Cury is going to the Event for Eggs hosted by Sudeshna of Here I Cook...

I am also sending these following entries to the event...

Eggs in Milk


Pizza Omlette

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spicy Chilli Capsicum Tofu


Tofu is soybean curd (rich in protein), which is made by coagulating soy milk. Nigari (magnesium chloride) is commonly used to make tofu in Japan. Tofu is both nutrient dense and contains high calorie (2 - 4 oz per serving). Since it's kind of heavy, it is advisable to eat just a little tofu to start with.
Some information on Tofu:
Tofu Varieties: Kinugoshi-dofu (silken tofu) is the softest tofu. It has very smooth texture. Momen-dofu (cotton tofu) is made by draining some moisture, so it is firmer than kinugoshi-dofu. It's suitable for frying.
Keeping Tofu: Tofu don't stay fresh so long. Be sure to refrigerate tofu in fresh water and consume immediately or eat within one or two days.
Eating Tofu: Tofu is a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine and is cooked in many different ways. It is often eaten raw in Japan. Raw tofu is called hiya-yakko (Hiya means cold and yakko means tofu).
Bought some tofu from the food mall the other day and prepared Spicy Chilli Capsicum Tofu. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients:
  • 250 gms extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large capsicum
  • 2-3 onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup oz sesame oil
  • 2-4 tbsp honey
  • 2-3 green chillies, sliced
  • vegetable oil (for frying)

Procedure:

  1. Take a bowl, place grated garlic, soy sauce and honey. Mix well and keep aside.
  2. Cut tofu into half inch cubes. Lightly saute in vegetable oil and keep aside.
  3. Wash the onions & capsicum and dice them. Heat sesame oil in a pan and saute the diced capsicums & onions till onions turns translucent.
  4. Add the ginger-soy sauce mixture and mix well. Add the vegetable stock.
  5. Add the fried tofu, simmer and cook till the capsicums and tofu are tender. (Make sure all cubes are separate from one another).
  6. Remove from fire and serve hot with yakisoba noodles.

This my entry to AWED-Japanese event guest hosted by Lavi of Home Cook's Recipes, event started by DK.

Jhal Moori

Jhal moori / masala muri (or known as Bengali bhel) is a tea time must have dish for all Bengalis. It’s a spicy combination of muri / moori (puffed rice) mixed with sorser tel (mustard oil, for that authentic pungent taste) with sliced onions, boiled potato slices, chanachur (bhujiya) and of course green chillies (from where it gets the name “jhal” / hot) with varieties of other ingredients as per your taste & availability like thin coconut slices, tomatoes, cucumbers, fried papad…the list is endless and each one unique from one another.
Sending this to the Sunday Snacks - Chaats/Indian Street Food event hosted by Pallavi.

Ingredients:
  • 200 gms puffed rice (moori / muri)
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 boiled potato, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 2 cups chanachur (bhujiya / ganthia)
  • 4 fried papad, crushed
  • 1” ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, minced
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of rock salt
  • coconut slices
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, chopped
  • lemon juice (optional)

Procedure:

  1. Sprinkle mustard oil over the puffed rice. Mix well. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with the puffed rice.
  2. Adjust salt. Serve immediately.
I am also sending this to 15 minute Cooking event, hosted by Mahimaa...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Insalata Caprese

Insalata Caprese is a chilled salad prepared with tomatoes and mozzarella with olive oil and basil with the addition of black olives. Be sure to prepare with firm red tomatoes and if you dont find basil leaves, use fresh parsley leaves.

Ingredients:
  • 3 small tomatoes
  • 100 gms mozarella cheese (1" square)
  • 6 black olives (halved)
  • few basil leaves (dipped in chilled water)
Dressing:
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic flakes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
Procedure:
  1. Prepare the dressing by mixing balsamic vinegar, olive oil, chopped garlic, oregano, salt and pepper. Keep aside.
  2. Slice the tomatoes into even circles. In a flat serving dish, arrange the cheese slices.
  3. Top each cheese slice with a tomato slice. Arrange an olive half and a basil leaf on the tomato slice.
  4. Spoon some dressing on the tomato and cheese slices. Cover with a plastic wrap / cling foil and refrigerate till serving time.

Sending this to AFAM - Olives event, guest hosted by Priya, event started by Maheshwari.

Prawn Malai Curry

I love prawns / shrimps and like to prepare them in a curd gravy (Malai Curry) or steamed (Bhapa). Well Prawn Malai Curry is one of the popular mouth watering delicacy of Bengal, served with steamed rice, daals and curries.
I tried the instructions given in the microwave cookbook, altered a little (I didnt use mustard paste / sauce) but it turned out just as delicious....





align="justify">Ingredients:

  • 300 gms (10-12) medium sized prawns (deveined & washed)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup curd (beaten)
  • 2 tbsp onion paste
  • 1-1/2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp salt (to taste)
Procedure:

  1. Take the prawns in a bowl and add the ingredients of the marinade (coconut milk, curd, turmeric, salt and red chilli powder). Mix well and keep aside for 30 mins.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, heat oil at 100% power for 30 secs. Add the onion paste and microwave at 100% power for 4 mins (keep stirring in between).
  3. Add the marinated prawns. Cover and microwave at 60% power for 8 mins. (Stir after 4 mins).
  4. Allow to stand covered for 5 mins. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Monday, April 20, 2009

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away

Apple is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, is a pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, known for its high yields and long storage life.
The tree originated from Central Asia and there are over 7,500 known cultivars of apples. The most popular varieties are red, yellow and green appless. Apples appear in many religious traditions, often referred as the mystical / forbidden fruit.

Storage: For home storage, store apple approx 2 weeks, at the coolest part of the refrigerator (below 5°C).
Applications:
Apples can be canned, juiced, and often fermented to produce apple juice, cider, ciderkin, vinegar, and pectin.
Distilled apple cider produces the spirits applejack and Calvados. Wine / Apple wine are also prepared from apples.
Apples are also used in several desserts like apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cake. They are often eaten baked or stewed.
Puréed apples are generally known as apple sauce. Apples are also used to prepare apple butter & apple jelly.
Benefits:
We believe "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," Apples may reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer.
Apples contain relatively low amounts of Vitamin C as well as several other antioxidant compounds.
The fiber content, helps regulate bowel movements and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
They also help in controlling heart disease, weight loss and cholesterol.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Aloo Jhinge Posto

Another delicious recipe with poppy seeds (or posto as known in Bengali). Well the most popular of the posto recipes is Aloo Posto (Potatoes cooked in poppy seeds paste). Here is the recipe of Aloo Jhinge Posto (Potatoes and Ridgegourd cooked in poppy seeds paste).

Ingredients:


  • 4 medium sized potatoes
  • 4-5 medium sized ridgegourd / jhinge
  • 50 gms / 4 tbsp poppy seeds / posto / khuskhus
  • 3-4 green chillis
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1-½ tsp (salt to taste)

Procedure:

  1. Soak the posto in warm water for atleast 30 minutes. Grind to a fine paste with 2 green chillies and a little water. Ensure that the consistency of the paste is not too watery. Keep aside.
  2. Wash, peel and dice the potatoes (cubes). Wash and ridge gourd and peel the skin alternatively. First cut it lengthwise and then chop to small pieces (should be a half-moon sized shape).
  3. Heat oil in a Kadai/Pan. Add the potato cubes, sauté a little and add the ridge gourd slices and saute a little. (do not deep fry).
  4. Add the poppy seeds paste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt. Mix well with the vegetables and stir fry for for 2-3 mins.
  5. Add water, bring to a boil and simmer. Cover the kadhai and cook for about 15-20 mins till the vegetables are tender and cooked thoroughly. (do not add too much water or else the vegetables will be mushy).
  6. Sprinkle a little oil on top, adjust seasoning, bring to a final boil and remove from flame.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot with steamed rice, biuli daal or masoor daal.
This recipe is going to WYF -Side dishes by EC of Simple Indian Food
Tip:
While cooking aloo posto, generally turmeric is not addded, but while you are adding any other vegetables with aloo (potatoes), add turmeric.

Click here for the recipe of biuli dal

Click here for the recipe of Aloo Posto

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Semai Payesh - Celebrating Nobo Borsho and my 100th post

Hey all! I have finally reached my 100th post. A great thank you to all my readers & blogger friends for taking interest in my blog and for your encouraging comments and feedbacks.
And what a way to celebrate too…..in Nobo Borsho, celebration of Bengali New Year, which is celebrated on Poila Baisakh (first day of Bengali Calendar in the month of Baisakh).
Naba Barsha celebrations are marked with joy, enthusiasm and hope. Bengal celebrates the eve of Naba Varsha as Chaitra-Sankranti and bid farewell to the past year. Early in the morning of Naobo Borsho, people take out processions /Prabhat Pheri.


Bengalis usher their new year through year old customs and traditions by decorating homes, drawing elaborate alpanas / rangolis (floral patterns) on the home entrance with a paste made of rice powder. The day is spent in feasting and participating in cultural activities. People also visit friends, near and dear ones to wish each other "Shubho Nabo Barsho !!" On Naba Barsha, people of West Bengal worship Goddess Lakshmi (Hindu mythological Goddess of Wealth) to pray for well being and prosperity. For Bengalis, Naba Barsha is considered an auspicious day to start a business. Businessmen and traders purchase new accounting books and start new account (known as Haalkhata). Then traditional rituals are followed with welcoming customers & holding dinners. Sweets & new year calendars are distributed amongst the guests.

Here’s wishing everyone a Subho Nobo Borsho (Happy Bengali New Year).

I prepared Semai-er Payesh (Vermicelli Kheer) on this auspicious day and welcoming you all for some mishti-mukh....(treating with sweets).

Semai-er Payesh is a popular sweet dish / dessert, prepared with semolina vermicelli and milk.

Well first a little info about vermicelli, which is a type of pasta, round in section and somewhat thinner than spaghetti. It is also referred to other food-stuffs from other parts of the made from different ingredients through several methods.
In South Asia, the vermicelli used is made from semolina (sooji), unlike the Italian, which is made from durum wheat.
In Asia it is known variously as Shemai in Bengali, Seviyan in Hindi and Urdu, "Sev" in Gujarati, Shavige in Kannada, Sevalu / Semiya in Telugu and also Semiya in Tamil.
They are used in a number of dishes including a variation of kheer, a sweet dessert similar to rice pudding.

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre full cream milk
  • 150 gms (3/4 cup) vermicelli, broken to 2" pieces
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • ½ cup (100 gms) sugar
  • 50 gms jaggery (patali gur), grounded
  • 5 tbsp (60 gms) unsalted cashew nuts, halved
  • 4 tbsp (60 gms) raisins
  • 1 tsp green cardamom / chhoti elaichi powder

Procedure:

  1. Soak raisins in water for 10 mins. Heat ghee in a deep bottomed kadhai / pan and lightly sauté the raisins and halved cashewnuts. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Now add the broken vermicelli in the kadhai / pan and immediately sauté to a light golden brown colour. Keep aside.
  3. Take a deep bottomed pan, add milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat allow to simmer. Add sugar and stir till dissolved.
  4. Repeat the process of boiling and simmering over low heat till the milk becomes thick & creamy (or until the milk gets reduced by almost 1/3rd).
  5. Add the fried semolina, half the amount of sauted raisins & cashew nuts and the grounded jaggery and bring to a boil till the jaggery is dissolved.
  6. Remove from fire, transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle green cardamom powder and garnish with the rest of the sauted raisins and cashewnuts.
  7. Serve warm / chilled as per your wish.

Tips:
Remember to lower the heat before adding the semai and also stir immediately after releasing the semai or else they will be dark brown / burnt.
Do not boil for a longer time if you give jaggery to the milk or else milk may curdle (Crush the jaggery, if possible so that it will be dissolved quickly).
If you like the payesh chilled, refrigerate for 2 hours or until serving time.
If the payesh becomes too thick, add a little warm milk and mix in the payesh.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Honey, Lime and Mint Iced Tea

Though I am not a tea drinker, but find myself sipping a glass of really cool iced tea occassionally.

Iced tea, is a form of cold tea, often served in a tall glass over ice. It may or may not be sweetened. It can be mixed with flavored syrup, common flavors include lemon, peach, raspberry, lime and cherry. Apart from real tea, other herbs are also sometimes served cold and referred to as (herbal) iced tea.

Here is the recipe for Honey, Lime & Mint Iced Tea, a refreshing natural cold drink and a simple iced tea, with the taste of lime and mint. The iced tea will be much better flavoured if freshly squeezed lime juice and honey are added just before serving to get that sweet and tangy taste. Very simple to prepare at home too. All you need.....

Ingredients:
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tea bags
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 6 tsp sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tsp honey (to taste)
  • juice of 1 lemon

Procedure:

  1. Boil water in a tea pot and add tea bags, mint and sugar.
  2. Cover the tea pot and let it brew for 3-5 minutes. Strain out the tea bags and mint leaves.
  3. Pour into tall glases half filled with ice. Add honey, stir and mix well.
  4. Chill and add freshly squeezed lime juice before serving.

Sit back, relax and enjoy your drink.

This is also going to the Refreshing Drinks (RD) for Summer event, hosted by Chandrabhaga.

Here are the other entries for the event.


Aam Pora Shorbot


Pina Colada Smoothie

Pina colada smoothie is a cool and refreshing summer drink with the goodness of coconut milk & soy milk and essential vitamins from banana and pineapple.

Ingredients:

  • 50 ml chilled coconut milk
  • 500 ml chilled soy milk
  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small pineapple
  • 4 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Procedure:

  1. Peel the banana and make round slices. Cut the pineapple into chunks. Freeze the banana and pineapple pieces.
  2. Combine the coconut milk, soymilk, sugar, vanilla essence, banana and pineapple chunks in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour the pina colada smoothie into fancy serving glasses. Serve chilled with ice cubes / crushed ice and consume immediately.

This is going to the Refreshing Drinks (RD) for Summer event, hosted by Chandrabhaga.

Suppli

Supplì is an Italian snack (originated from Rome) kind of croquette, consisting of a ball of rice (generally in the form of risotto, which is a traditional Italian rice dish, pepared with tomato sauce) bound together by eggs around a piece of mozzarella; the prepared ball is surrounded by breadcrumbs and then fried.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long grained rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp powdered saffron
  • 1 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley / coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated cheese (parmesan / mozzarella)
  • 2 eggs, for rice
  • 2 eggs, for coating
  • 75 gms (10-12 cubes) fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 60 gms flour
  • olive oil / white oil, frying oil
  • 200 gms bread crumbs, to coat
Procedure:

  1. Beat 2 eggs with a little salt. Keep aside.
  2. Wash rice. Heat 2 tbsp butter, add the chopped onion. Saute for 1-2 mins. Add the washed rice and stir fry for 2 mins. Add saffron, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken broth (you can use water instead), bring to a boil. Cover and cook on low heat till all the water is absorbed (about 10-15 mins) and rice is cooked. Cook for 2 more mins, ensure that the rice is absolutely dry and remove from fire.
  4. Add the chopped coriander leaves, 2 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp grated cheese. Mix well, lay the rice out on a board to cool.
  5. Beat 2 eggs and mix carefuly with the rice. Divide the rice mixture into 10-12 equal portions.
  6. Make a ball with a portion of rice mixture. Flatten it. Place a mozzarella cheese cube inside and completely cover with the rice mixture. Flour the croquettes and repeat with all the rice mixture.
  7. Dip the prepared croquettes in the beaten eggs, roll over bread crumbs and press firmy. Keep in the refrigerator for 2 hours (this will set the bread crumbs).
  8. Heat oil and fry the suppli till golden brown (turn constantly to ensure even colouring on all sides). Serve hot with tomato salsa / ketchup.

Sukto

A traditional Bengali recipe without which a typical Bengali menu is incomplete. Generally sukto has a biter taste with the addition of bitter gourd / leaves of pointed gourd (parwal / potol) but again sukto can be of various types with assorted vegetables. It is served with steamed rice.

Ingredients:
  • 10-12 badi / bori (small sundried cakes made from urad dal batter)

Vegetables:

  • 2 medium sized potatoes
  • 2 small eggplant / aubergine / brinjals
  • 2 small radish
  • 1 green (raw) banana / kachha kela / kanchkola
  • 2 small sweet potatoes / rangaloo
  • 2 pointed gourd /parwal / potol
  • 3 long drumstick, cut into 1-1/2” pieces
  • 2 bitter gourd / uchchhe, finely chopped

Others:

  • 2 tbsp wheat flour / atta
  • 1-1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 green chilli
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil (as required)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-1/2 tsp panchphoron
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 tbsp ghee

Procedure:

  1. Wash all the vegetables. Peel potatoes and raw banana. Peel radish, sweet potatoes, pointed gourd and drum sticks in strips (alternate - peel and keep skin).
  2. Cut the vegetables in half, lengthwise and then sideways (lengthwise).
  3. Dry roast the Panchphoron on a griddle / tawa. Cool and grind to a coarse powder. Keep aside.
  4. Blend mustard seeds, poppy seeds with a green chilli (add a little water) to form a smooth paste. Keep aside.
  5. Mix the wheat flour with the milk (ensure that there are no lumps). Keep aside.
  6. Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a pan. Saute and fry the badi till light brown. Keep aside. Fry the bittergourd till cooked and keep aside.
  7. Heat the rest of the mustard oil in the kadhai. Add the bay leaf, dry red chilli and panchphoron and let them splutter.
  8. Saute and fry the rest of the vegetables (except bittergourd). Add salt and sugar and stir fry for 5-7 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, add badi and water and bring to a boil.
  9. Add mustard – poppy seeds paste. Mix well. Cover the pan with a lid and, simmer and cook for 5-10 mins until all the vegetables are well cooked.
  10. Add the fried bittergourd, milk-wheat flour mixture & ghee and adjust the seasoning, mix well, bring to a boil and remove from flame.
  11. Transfer in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the ‘Panch phoron’ powder. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Tips
Cutting the vegetables is a key thing. Cut all the vegetables in 1 ½ inches long (sideways).
While frying the badis, don’t give too much oil as they tend to absorb the entire amount of oil.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sambhar

Sambar / sambhar is a dish common in South India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu), made of toovar dal (pigeon pea).
First the toovar /toor daal is cooked in a pressure cooker. Tamarind is soaked in water to extract the juice & the pulp is discarded. A mixture of ground spices known as sambar powder and tamarind juice are added to the daal.
Vegetables (including lady's finger, drumstick, carrot, radish, pumpkin, potatoes, tomatoes, brinjal and whole or halved onions and also other vegetables) and spices (turmeric and chilli powder) are also added. The daal is heated until the vegetables get cooked.
The cooked sambar is eaten with an oil-fried spice mixture containing items such mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chillies, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and asafoetida. Fresh curry leaves are added at the very end to enhance the aroma of the sambhar.

Ingredients:
  • 100 gms toovar / toor dal
  • 100 gms vegetables (as per your choice)
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • a pinch red chilli powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp sambhar powder
  • 1 tsp dried coconut, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi seeds
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad daal
  • tamarind extract
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tsp oil
Procedure:
  1. Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker till the daak is cooked.
  2. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and urad daal and stir fry for 2-3 mins.
  3. Add the chopped onions, curry leaves and saute till the onions are translucent and turn light brown.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetables and tamarind extract and fry till vegetables are tender.
  5. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and sambar powder to the cooked toovar daal. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 mins on high flame.
  6. Add dried coconut and salt to taste. Transfer in a serving bowl, garnish with curry leaves and serve hot with dosa / idlis.

Sambhar Powder

During our stay in Bangalore, I had a fabulous time in enjoying various types of dosa, idlis with sambhar. I used to prepare sambhar from those ready made packs, but learnt to prepare authentic South Indian homemade sambhar with typical sambhar powder from my neighbor.

Typical ingredients of the sambar powder include toovar / toor daal, roasted lentils, coriander seeds, dried whole red chili, fenugreek seeds, coriander leaves and curry leaves. Regional variations may include versions with mustard seeds, cumin, black pepper, white pepper, cinnamon, or other spices. This powder is prepared by pan roasting the whole spices and grinding them to a coarse powder.

Ingredients:

  • 100 gms coriander seeds / saboot dhania
  • 25 gms channa daal / chhola daal
  • 25 gms toovar daal
  • 25 gms urad daal
  • 100 gms dried red chilli
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi seeds
  • 25 gms cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida / hing
  • 5-6 curry leaves

Procedure:

  1. Dry all the ingredients (ensure the ingredients are completely free of moisture).
  2. Heat a non-stock tawa and dry roast each of the ingredients on low flame. Let the roasted spices come down to room temperature.
  3. Put in a blender and grind together to form a coarse powder. Store in a tight container and use as required.

Mughlai Dum Aloo


Bengali New Year (Subho Naba Barsha) is going to be celebrated in 2 days time. It is celebrated with joy and following centuries old customs and traditions. Traditional recipes are prepared and are an essential part to welcome guests. A recipe for delicious Mughlai Aloo Dum.

Ingredients:

  • 250 gms small sized potatoes (equal size)
  • 3 onions, finely sliced
  • 3 small tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp watermelon seeds (magaz)
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds (khuskhus / posto)
  • 1" ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp amchoor powder (optional)
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups water (as required)
  • 1 bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped, for garnishing
Procedure:

  1. Wash, peel and cut potatoes into 2 equal halves. Heat oil in a kadhai, deep dry the halved potatoes on medium flame till golden brown. Drain oil and keep aside.
  2. Deep fry the sliced onions to a golden brown colour. Remove from oil and grind the fried onions to a paste (add a little water, if required). Keep the onion paste aside.
  3. Soak watermelon seeds & poppy seeds in 1/2 cup hot water for 15 mins. Grind to a fine paste.
  4. Blanch tomatoes. Blend the tomatoes with ginger and 1/2 cup water to form a smooth puree.
  5. Heat oil once again. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add red chilli powder. Stir fry. Add onion paste and cook for 2 mins. Now add tomato paste, mix and stir fry. Reduce flame and cook for 4-5 mins till oil separates.
  6. Add the watermelon-poppy seeds paste, salt, garam masala powder and amchoor powder. Stir for 2 mins.
  7. Add 1 cup of water and bring the gravy to a boil. Add the fried potatoes. Simmer and cook the potatoes for 5-6 mins or until the potatoes are tender and coated with the masala.
  8. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mishti Bhaat (Sweet Rice)

Mishti Bhaat (Sweet Rice) / Mishti Pulao is an authentic Bengali Cuisin, where "gobindobhog" chal (rice / chawal) is used. You can substitute with long grained basmati rice. Very simple and easy to cook, a perfect rice recipe to serve guests, if you want something different other than plain rice / pulao.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (400 gms) gobindobhog rice
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50 gms cashew nuts / kaju
  • 50 gms raisins / kishmish
  • 4 tbsp white oil
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 bay leaf / tej patta
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick / dalchini
  • 2 green cardamom / chhoti elaichi
  • 4 cloves / laung

Procedure:

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 mins. Drain and put the rice on a muslin cloth to completely dry the water.
  2. Soak the raisins in water. Split the cashew nuts.
  3. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and slightly saute the raisins and cashew nuts (till light brown). Drain oil and keep aside.
  4. Add the bay leaf, whole spices and stir fry. Reduce the flame, add the rice and stir fry for 2 mins on low flame.
  5. Add sugar and salt and mix well. Then add the fried cashewnuts & raisins, mix well and stir fry for 2 more mins. Add water, cover the cooker and let the steam come out.
  6. Put the lid and cook till 2 whistles. Melt ghee and sprinkle over the rice. Mix from the bottom and transfer rice to a serving plate. Serve hot.
This is going to the Let's go Nuts - Cashew Nuts event, hosted by Poornima of Tasty Treats and started by and to Aquadaze.


This is also going to the CFK - Rice Event, hosted by Trupti and an event started by Sharmi.

I am also sending these entries to the CFK-Rice event.

Jeera Peas Rice

Vegetable Pulao

Biuli Daal (Bengali Kalai Daal)


Sometimes back I wrote about Aloo Posto (Potatoes cooked in poppy seeds paste). It is served as a side dish with Biuli Daal (Urad Daal or Kalai Daal as known in Bengali). There are many ways of preparing this daal, but most famous is the simple & aromatic recipe stated below.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (100 gms) urad dal (kalai dal / biuli dal)
  • water (ratio 1 cup dal = 3 cups of water)
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 2 tsp aniseed (fennel / saunf / mouri)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 green chilli
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp oil, for tempering

Procedure:

  1. Wash and soak the daal for 10 mins. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Place the aniseed and ginger in a bowl and add hot water. Keep covered for 30 mins. Drain water and blend them together to form a smooth paste. (add a little water, if required). Keep aside.
  3. Boil water in a pressure cooker and release the daal. Add salt and mix well. Place the cover with the lid and give one whistle. Simmer and cook daal for 10-15 mins or until moderately soft. (ensure that the grains are visible and daal is not mushy).
  4. Heat oil in a kadhai, add the bay leaf, green chillies and aniseed-ginger paste. Saute and stir a little (don’t fry too much or the paste will have a burnt smell & taste).
  5. Pour the tempering over the daal. Adjust the seasoning. (the daal should not be too thick. Add a little water, if necessary and give one boil). Serve hot with rice.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stir Fried Bhindi


Lady's finger (also known as Okra / Bhindi / Dharosh) is not a favourite vegetable of a lot of people. But knowing how to cook it in a proper way, can turn it into delicious side dishes. Here is the recipe of Stir Fried Bhindi, a crispy stir fry and a side dish preparation of lady's finger and onions and can be served with both rice and chapattis.

Ingredients:

  • 50 gms lady's finger / bhindi / okra
  • 3 onions, finely choped
  • 6 tbsp oil
Powdered Masala:

  • 4 tsp coriander / dhania powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tsp amchoor / dried mango powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)

Spices for garnishing:

  • 1 tsp aniseed / saunf / mouri
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds / saboot dhania

Procedure:

  1. Crush aniseed, jeera and saboot dhania to form a powder. Keep aside.
  2. Wash and dry the lady's fingers. Slice the top and bottom end of each lady's finger.
  3. Finely chop to small pieces (You can slit lengthwise also).
  4. Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the chopped onions and saute till light brown. Add the powdered masala, mix and stir fry.
  5. Add the chopped lady's finger, mix well with the masala and stir fry for 3-4 mins.
  6. Simmer, cover and cook for 5 mins. Remove the cover and cook till the lady's finger are crisp and completely cooked.
  7. Add the powdered aniseed, jeera & dhania powdered mixture over the dhania. Serve hot.

Note:
Another version, you can add 2 bsp of beaten curd towards the end of the cooking. Keep stiring on medium heat till the curd is completely blended with the bhindi.

Tips:

  1. Always choose young and tender bhindi. You can check whether the bhindis are young or not by snapping. The best ones will get easily snapped when you bend the tail end of the pod.
  2. Make sure to dry the bhindi completely after washing them in water or the bhindis will become slimy. Use dry chopping board and knife.
  3. Use a little extra oil than other dishes and cook on high heat. After that you can lower heat and cook covered as necessary.

Navratan Korma

Navratan Korma is a delicious curry (Mughlai cuisine) with nine ingredients including vegetables, nuts and paneer / cottage cheese (hence the name navratan / nine jewels). You can add vegetables of your choice. This is generally served as a side dish with hot Naans / Kulchas / Paranthas.

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups vegetables (potatoes, carrots, green peas, french beans, cauliflower and capsicum)
  • 1 cup paneer cubes
  • 1/4 cup dry fruits (cashew nuts, raisins)
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 tbsp white oil
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander/ dhania powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera powder
  • 1& 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (to taste)
  • 2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tsp salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp whipped cream
  • 2 bunch coriander leaves, chopped

Procedure:

  1. Heat oil in a non-stick kadhai / frying pan and slightly sauté the raisins and cashew nuts on on medium heat. Drain & keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Reduce flame, add ginger-garlic paste and sauté a little. Add chopped tomatoes and stir fry for 2 mins.
  3. Add turmeric powder, salt, sugar, red chilli powder, coriander & cumin seeds powder. Mix well and stir for another 2 mins. (Ensure that the masala doesn't stick to the bottom of the kadhai / frying pan).
  4. Add the vegetables, dry fruits and mix well with the fried masala.
  5. Lower the heat. Add milk while stirring constantly. Increase heat and bring it to boil.
  6. Now simmer and cook for 10 mins / until the vegetables are tender and the gravy becomes thick.
  7. Add paneer and cook for 2 mins (so that the paneer absorbs the gravy). Add a little water, if required.
  8. Transfer navratan korma into a serving bowl. Add the whipped cream and sprinkle garam masala. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.

This recipe is going to WYF -Side dishes by EC of Simple Indian Food and FIC-Red & Green event, hosted by Neha of Tasty Recipes, an event started by Sunshinemom of Tongue Ticklers.

Grilled Capsicum and Tomato Salad

Salad is a must item in our dinner menu. So I to try find out new salad recipes which are easily prepared with ingredients available at home. Came across this recipe by browsing the site. A Morocoon Salad with grilled green capsicum and tomato with vinaigrette dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large green capsicums
  • 2 firm tomatoes, peeled & deseeded

Basic vinaigrette dressing:

  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
Procedure:
  1. Wash, cut and dessed the capsicums into half. Grill the capsicums by placing the cut side down until the skin blisters and blackens. Cool peel and cut / dice into small pieces.
  2. Cut / dice tomatoes into small square pieces similar to the grilled capsicum.
  3. Take a mixing bowl and place the chopped capsicum and tomato.
  4. To make the vinaigrette dressing, combine all the ingredients mentioned and whisk together until the salt and sugar are compeltely dissolved.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and allow to stand for 10 minutes to gather flavour. Refrigerate until serving time.
  6. Garnish with a tomato flower and serve chilled.

Another entry going to the FIC-Red & Green event, hosted by Neha.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Steamed Chocolate Pudding


Pudding is a class example of dessert. Puddings are basically classified into 2 types: 1) a boiled then chilled, texturally a custard set with starch and 2) a steamed / baked, texturally similar to cake.
I learned to make basic steamed pudding from my mom-in-law and then started doing various flavoured puddings.
Here is the recipe of steamed chocolate pudding, a steamed dessert consisting of milk, cocoa powder, sugar & eggs mixed together and steamed, very similar to the Christmas Pudding.

Ingredients:
  • 500 ml milk (ratio is 500 ml milk = 60 gms of sugar)
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • whipped cream or chocolate curls / shavings, for garnishing
Procedure:
  1. Mix cornflour with 2 tbsp of milk to form a paste. Keep aside.
  2. Take a saucepan, add milk, cocoa powder and sugar and bring to boil. When the milk starts to come up, quickly add the cornflour-milk paste and mix well. (Ensure milk does not spill, control the flame).
  3. Increase the flame, keep stirring till the milk gets a thicker consistency. Remove from flame and allow to cool.
  4. Break the eggs and collect in a bowl. Add vanilla essence. Mix and beat well till the eggs form a frothy mixture (ensure that there are no lumps). Keep aside.
  5. Check whether the milk is cooled or not. Gradually add the beaten eggs by stirring constantly. Mix till all the eggs are absorbed. (if the milk is hot / warm, the eggs will curdle).
  6. Grease a round pudding mould with a little butter and pour the milk-egg mixture into the mould. Cover loosely with a foil and steam in a pressure cooker without whistle. When the steam starts to come out, check clock and steam for 20 minutes.
  7. The pudding will shrink a little. Remove from the cooker and allow to cool. (Try not to disturb by shaking much).
  8. Check whether the pudding is completely done by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, pudding is ready, otherwise steam for another 10-15 mins or till the pudding is done.
  9. Unmould the pudding and transfer in a serving plate and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until serving time.
  10. Garnish with chocolate curls / whipped cream and serve chilled.

Tips:
You can substitute cocoa powder with 200 gms dark chocolate bars. Melt the dark chocolate and milk over gentle heat and mix well so that no lumps remain and then continue with the procedure stated above.

This is going to the "For the Love of Chocolate" event hosted by Poornima of Tasty Treats.

You can catch my other entries to the event by clicking here.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin
Disclaimer: All Rights Reserved. You may not copy or reproduce the contents in the page without prior written permission from me
Header picture courtesy http://www.pdphoto.org/