Sunday, February 23, 2014

recipes coming sooon

So I have been experimenting in the kitchen quite a lot these days.

1.Made a club sandwich
2.Learnt to make Aloo Parathas from a friend.
3.Made Paneer Makhani and it turned out pretty good.

Will post recipes soon.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Peach Melba icecream with fresh raspberries and raspberry Sauce


Sorry I have been in hiatus for so long, there's always something going on with life, so I am not gonna give any excuses.  But I do have a wonderful recipe below for you to enjoy during the summer.

Who came up with the idea of combining peach and raspberries?  Whoever it was it's "PURE GENIUS", thats what I would say.


I recently treated myself to  a Cuisinart icecream maker so I can spend my summers with my naughty niece making these delicious homemade icecreams and sorbets.  I must confess, I do sometimes use her as an excuse to splurge on things.

The first recipe that I made was straight off the book, it was the strawberry sorbet, it came out ok I would say (too sweet I thought) and it tasted like candy!!



So second time on this thing and I was a little adventurous and decided to try making this Peach melba icecream. It did come out almost as good as I wanted it to, but for the next time I will definitely make a lot of changes.  (I have incorporated that into this recipe)


Here is the basic recipe for this (I modified another recipe I had found online for peach icecream and had to make it for a dinner party so had to take the quick and easy way)

Quick and easy way:

This dish makes about 1.5 quarts of icecream 


Time to prep: 15 mins
Time to cook: 30 mins to an hour plus the freezing time.

For this you will need the following


Ingredients:
 


2 --29 oz cans of peaches in syrup
1/2 cup of sugar
8 oz heavy whipping cream
1 small box of  fresh raspberries
Raspberry syrup (its available in stores)
Crushed salted almonds as needed


 Preparation:

1.Put the freezer bowl from the icecream maker in the freeze atleast a day before. (10-15 hours is very good time)
2.Grind the peaches to a smooth puree in a blender.
3.Nicely whip the whipping cream.
4.Add the sugar and the peach puree and fold them altogether.
5.Add this mixture** into the freezer bowl and turn on the ice cream maker.  It roughly took me about 45 minutes to get this nice and churned in a good consistency.
6.Freeze it for a little while.
7.Serve it with one scoop of icecream, garnish with fresh raspberries, then drizzle in some syrup, then one more scoop of icecream and another round of fresh raspberries, syrup.  Add some crushed salted almonds to this along with a cherry on top!

Ah! the drive to Philly to eat this icecream every summer. Believe me I drive down there atleast twice to eat it over the summer.  The things I would do for icecream!! :)
 Now I can make this right at home and eat it.



Curry-n-spice-tips:

1.I do wrap the freezer bowl in a plastic bag before I put it in the freezer to prevent freezer burn.
2. I froze the freezer bowl for about 2 days or so just to make sure the icecream would turn out right.(didnt want to take any chances).
3.Used my Kitchen Aid stand mixer to whip the cream and then folded in the puree and sugar into it.
4. The hard way would be get fresh peaches and then peel and puree them, they need to be as much as how much would be in the cans for measurement.(I would say six ripe peaches should about do it)

 Notes:

 **You can drizzle in some raspeberry syrup into the icecream before you turn on the icecream maker.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Malai Pista Kulfi

Ok..its just a fancy Indian name for a cream and Pistachios loaded icecream.

The recipe for the Kulfi Quest (try saying that 10 times really fast), began for me quite recently but the days of eating Kulfi from the aluminium moulds and eating them out of the clay plates.  Yum and delish!  The summer evenings (wait a minute...its always summer back home...but the holidays dont last that long! Sigh!!) spent waiting for the Kulfi vendor to come on the streets with his cart and ringing the bell (almost like the ice cream truck here).

I made this for our little get together with the girls when did movie night with the Gals and only had 6 moulds and we kept refilling them till we had our fill of the Kulfi.

It makes about 24 Kulfis easily, so be prepared with moulds or wash/refills. :)





Recipe courtesy Vah re Vah.com


Ingredient Name Unit Quantity
cool whip

0

2 boxes

evaporated milk

can

1 big

green pistachios

piece

25

safforn

0

few strands

sweetened condensed milk

can

1 medium

white bread

slice

4

Directions
make coarse powder of pistas. Keep aside blend all the remaining ingredients together add pista powder to the blended mixture pour in a tray (or kulfi moulds if available) add saffron and Pista powder for garnish. Freeze in ice pop moulds for about 5 to 6 hrs.

curry-n-spice tips:

  1. I only used 1 box of the  cool whip 
  2. I was too cheap to use the saffron as I was making it for the first time and it came out just fine.
  3. Used one 12oz can of Evaporated milk, one 8 oz can of condensed milk and one 8 oz of cool whip from the freezer section. 
  4. I used the Ice pop moulds from Ikea 



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Fruit cake or Plum cake

Plum cake or Fruit cake



Ok this one happens to be my sister's favorite cake and back home in India we used to get this all the time during Christmas celebrations (of course it happened to be her bday too!).  This cake brings back so many memories of those wonderful funfilled childhood days and all the cakes we used to eat from Aruna, Lydia's house and Enoch uncle's house.  I tried making this a couple of times last year and didnt succeed, but I didnt give up. Finally, I used the following recipe that I got from my friends Hannah and Joshua.

Ingredients

Raisins (Onakka munthiri) -1cup
Golden raisins--1/2cup
Candied fruits  - 2 cups
Cashews - 1 cups
Allpurposeflour - 4 cups
Baking powder - 3 tsp
Butter - 1 lb
Sugar- 4 cups
Sugar- 1 cup (to make caramelized syrup)
Eggs- 8 nos
Salt- 3 tsp
Pure Vanilla essence - 4 tsp

DIRECTIONS



  • Dice or crush the nuts into small pieces.
  • Place the eggs and butter at room temperature the night before you make the cake.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.
  • Measure and keep ready the flour, sugar and the flavorings.
  • To make the caramel, use a white enameled pot, if you have one. The light surface will help to see exactly the caramelizing process. If you don¦t have one, use a medium saucepan.
  • Place 1 cup of sugar in the saucepan and add 2 tbsp of water.
  • Turn the stove to high and place the pan on the stove and let it boil.
  • Dont stir the contents at all. As sugar melts and caramelizes, you may swirl the pan a bit once or twice.
  • Within 7 - 10 mins, a cherry wood colored caramel forms.
  • Immediately, remove the pan from the stove and very carefully add 1 cup of water to the caramel.
  • You may hold the pan above the sink and slowly add the water, for it may splash.
  • Stir the contents well to dissolve the caramel. Keep this aside.
  • Sift flour and baking powder and salt, a couple of times and keep ready.
  • In a large container, whisk butter first and then add 4 cups of sugar and whisk again, until it is creamy.
  • Add eggs and whisk well.
  • Pour in the caramel syrup, and vanilla extract and mix everything together.
  • Add the flour-baking powder mix and fold this in with a wooden or plastic spatula or spoon.
  • When they are well mixed, add the candied fruits and nuts and mix again.
  • Spoon this into a 10 inch non stick loaf pans.
  • Bake for 1 hour at 350 degree F.
  • You may line the pan with parchment paper or brown paper.
  • Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the pan. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, bake for another 10 - 15 mins and check again.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rake.
  • Remove the cake from the pan only after it is allowed to cool completely.
  • Before storing, cover the cake completely with wax paper first and then with aluminum foil and keep in the refrigerator.

This recipe is sourced from Pachakam.com with a lot of tweaks to suit my palate.


Curry-n-spice- tips:


  • I halved the recipe as that it by itself was a lot of cake!
  • I did not of course use any alcohol(no brandy or rum)
  • I did not use any of the spice powders (nutmeg, cinnamon,clove, dry ginger powder)
  • Per my friends suggestion I used 4 eggs (they used 8 eggs instead of 12 stated in the recipe so I just halved that)
  • I used the fruit cake mix from walmart (it covers all the fruits that you have to slice and dice)
  • Used crushed cashews, black raisins, golden raisins, crushed almonds
  • Another friend of mine told me that if the vanilla essence is not right, then the cake tastes more eggy...so make sure you add the right amount of vanilla essence.  In this recipe since we halved it, it will be 2 tsp (could add 2 1/2 tsp if  need be)
  • Used a stainless steel saucepan for the caramel making
  • Make sure you test the temperature of your oven before you bake as the settings might not be the same for every oven.

Pineapple Gojju

Ok so am back this new year and as all things new I promise to post more frequently.

This is a favorite dish in our household and its spicy and tangy at the same time.  Dad loved this concoction and it was something he would always make when he decided to cook though he liked the tomato gojju better. I do not have any other story related to this other than the fact that this is a great dish to eat. Enjoy! Delish! Relish!


This dish serves 6 people.
Time to prep: 10 mins
Time to cook: 30 mins


For this you will need the following

Ingredients:


 A small can of crushed pineapple or
    a small can of pineapple chunks

Black Mustard seeds --1/2 tsp

Vathakozhambu (Gojju) powder-- 2 tbsp (This is available readymade in the Indian grocery store)*

Cumin seeds --1/2 tsp

Fenugreek seeds -- 1/4 tsp

Green chillies--3 (can tone it down if you dont like it too spicy)

Curry leaves --3 leaves

Ginger (grated) --1 tsp

Turmeric powder---a pinch

Asafoedita powder (Hing)--a pinch (optional but gives a lot of flavor) 

Olive oil --1 tsp (for saute)

Tamarind-- 1/2 a lemon size  (the quantity shown in the picture is more than 1/2 a lemon size)

Salt to taste


Tamarind







Preparation:

Take the tamarind and put it in a microwave safe bowl and press it flat and add 1/2 cup of water to this and microwave it for a minute and a half.  Let it cool and then set it for another minute.  We are basically looking to soak the tamarind and extract the juice.  Hence the whole process. 

Now add a cup of water to this and squeeze the tamarind with your hand.  It will start disintegrating and the water will start turning a light brown as the juice extracts.  Use a tea strainer to strain this water so the chunks or fiber from the tamarind stay back. Discard all seeds if you find any in the tamarind.

Turn on the stove to a medium heat.

Heat the oil in a 3qt sauce pan and add the mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splatter add the green chillies, curry leaves, ginger and saute this till the green chillies turn a little white.

Now add the cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, turmeric, asafoedita powders,  gojju powder and turn off the stove and move the pan to a non heated surface.

Now add the pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple with the juice and let this boil for 10 mins.  Keep checking so that the bottom part of this mixture doesnt stick to the pot.

Now add the tamarind juice extract and add another 1/2 cup of water.  Let this boil for about 15 mins. You will start getting the smell of the gojju.

Now add salt.

When you see the oil separating from the mixture, turn off the stove.  The gojju is ready.

Eat this with just plain rice or serve it hot with dal tadka (recipe to follow in the next post) and rice





* I used Grand Sweets Vathakozhambu powder, there are other brands available in the Indian grocery stores here. I believe Aachi is one of the brands.
  Curry-n-spice tip:


  • I generally use a pyrex 2 cup measuring glass for extracting the tamarind juice
  • Set it for a minute first as the water will boil and rise up and overflow. Microwave wattages and settings are different.  Sometimes you might need to keep it for 3 mins to soften the tamarind.
  • You can also use the coffee paper filters for this process if you dont have a tea strainer handy just be careful how much you pour into the filter.
  • Tamarind juice extracts are readily available but they dont bring out the taste as good as the pulp extract that you make yourself like described above.






Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Berry Tart

I saw this a couple of year's back on the today's show on NBC.  Its a Martha Stewart recipe and it tastes really really good.  I have made this a lot of times and its always a hit at parties.
It is a nice way to finish off a meal in the summer with fresh berries.




This is the original recipe.(Apricot Blackberry Tart) By Martha Stewart.


SERVINGS:
Serves 9; Makes one 13-by-15-inch tart; Active time: 25 min, 10 min; Total time: 1 hour, 35 minutes 



Ingredients
    • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry (one 14-ounce package),
    • All-purpose flour, for surface
    • 3/4 cup tiny bits toasted walnuts, pecans, sliced almonds, hazelnuts etc.,

    • 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • Salt
    • 4 cups of mixed berries(blueberries, strawberries, raspberry, blackberry)
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar


Preparation
Baking Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Roll out pastry to a 13-by-15-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface; trim edges with a knife. Transfer to a baking sheet; freeze for at least 30 minutes or overnight.2. Combine walnuts, brown sugar, cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Score a line around edge of pastry using a knife to create a 3/4-inch border (do not cut all the way through). Cover center with nut mixture. Arrange berries on top. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.3. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400°. Bake until pastry is golden brown and fruit is soft, about 30 minutes more. Let cool.
Storage: Tart can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours.


Curry and Spice Tips:
  • I did not use the egg wash as suggested and the tart came out just fine.
  • Score the edges (the recipe calls for trim the edges, so dont trim them, score them so they dont rise too much towards the edge of the sheet)




Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fruit filled cake

The quest for a fruit filled cake began with my niece's bday parties.  The delicious fruit filled cakes from     La Bonbonniere were always a hit at parties.  Of course I never had the audacity to try to bake them at that point in time (am talking 5 yrs back).  Heck I didnt even know that we could bake them at home.

Later on, thanks to one of my friends I started baking the chocolate cake and I absolutely had to go buy the stand mixer.  Its probably one of the best investments I have made in the kitchen. (I bake this cake all the time because even if I screw up I could still pass this off as Chocolate Mousse and get away with it)

I tried to break out of my comfort zone for one of my dinner parties just last week and was itching to bake the fruit filled cake. I didn't want a recipe that was intimidating and called for a lot of work.  I looked at various recipes online and this one sounded the most easiest and the reviews were pretty good too.
Though I didn't like the fact that I had to wash my stand mixing vessel right away after I made the cake batter, only to use it again for the frosting!! Aah the joys of baking right??

Click here for the recipe to the cake



















 I took a check of ingredients that I would need and there was the mysterious whipped topping mix, (have never heard of that) Not sure what it was either.  But it seemed like a powder as the recipe called for two envelopes of that mix. I hunted some stores around the area and never found it and the staff there were not aware of such a thing either.


One of employees in one of the stores told me to check Walmart and lo and behold, Walmart had a good bunch of these mixes.


That sealed the deal as it was the highlight of the cake, so never substitute it for anything.

I followed the recipe to the Tee except for one change (used 2 eggs instead of 4 egg whites as one of the reviews suggested that and I was too lazy to separate the eggs). Also used a little less of the white chocolate (these were suggestions from the user reviews of the cake)
Didnt expect that 3/4th of the cake would be finished and gobbled up by my friends at the dinner party.

I think I would like to improvise next time and add another layer of fruit and cake to this recipe to make the cake taller and of course




I need to get my frosting at a good consistency to spread. I am slowly getting there as I baked this cake twice over the weekend. The second time for a birthday party.  I have more recipes lined up just not enough pictures. I will get to them soon.

Till then enjoy this delicious cake.(the frosting mixed in with the white chocolate tastes heavenly!! Who knew that white chocolate could be so tasty)

curry-n-spice tips:


*I used my stand mixer for this
*Depending on the your oven the time to bake the cake might vary so make a note of that
* the vanilla cake does not turn brown so watch out and dont let it burn