Saturday, 31 August 2013

Spiral Moon Cakes ( for International Food Challenge)

International Food Challenge or (IFC ) is a new event which has started from this month and we the members will be posting a international recipe given by our host for that month. This challenge is started by two lovely bloggers  Saras and  Shobana .

This months host was Saras herself and she recommended the Cantonese Cuisine one of the main cuisines from China.

 Five unique dishes were given to us to choose from and we had to make any one or more from them. Of them I chose Spiral moon cake which is a sweet and is a very unique recipe.

 I had never heard this name before and they looked simply wonderful . The method though looks time consuming is really worth all the efforts and the taste of these cakes is simply amazing. The crispy outsides and the soft and tasty insides melt in your mouth.

I loved preparing this dish . I have also made few other Cantonese dishes from the given list which I will be posting in future. So now off to the recipe.






Ingredients For the Dough :

Water Dough :

100 gm ................maida
1 tsp.....................sugar pd
2 tbsp....................cold butter
water

Oil Dough : 

1 cup ................maida
1/2 cup..............oil
1/2 tsp...............cinnamon powder
few drop.............green colour
salt

For the filling :

2 no.................sweet potatoes ( boiled , peeled n smashed)
2 tbsp...............milk powder
1 tbsp..............ghee
3 tbsp..............sugar
few drops........pink colour
pinch of salt


Method  :

For Filling :

Heat ghee in a pan and all smased sweet potatoes.
Add sugar, salt and milk powder and stir till the mixture thickens.
Add the colour, mix well and remove from gas.
Let the mixture cool.

Water dough :

Mix all ingredients except water to resemble bread crumbs.
Add water slowly and knead to a soft non sticky dough.
Cover with damp cloth and set aside for 15 minutes.

Oil dough :

Sift all ingredients and again knead the same way as water dough.
Cover with damp cloth and rest for 15 mintues.

Making the moon cakes : 

Now make equal number of balls of both the doughs.
Take the water dough ball and keep the oil dough ball inside it.





Close the water dough ball and roll it lightly into a circle.



Now roll it again like a snail to form a cylindrical shape.





Once again roll this cylinder into long thin strip and cut it in two equal parts.






With the cut side facing down again roll a puri shape out of it.
Fill it with a the sweet potato filling and close the edges carefully.






Arrange them on  a greased tray with the sealed edges down.
Bake for half a hour or till light golden at 180 degrees.











Eggless Choux Pastry with Chocolate Filling ( For Baking Eggless)


Few months back I had tried making the choux pastries and had ended up with a disaster. The eclairs were completely burnt out and I just had to throw that lot.

 Than with a little more courage I tried them again and ended up with tasty and crisp eclairs but which were without proper shape or colour .

Now almost after 2 months when  I read about the baking-eggless  challenge ( Started by Gayathri ) of this month and saw that it was making eggless choux , I was very apprehensive. When I couldn't make them with eggs how was I supposed to succeed  trying to make them without eggs.

So to be on a safer side I used an egg replacer rather than any other substitute wishing to get the results right. And this time I am very happy that I did not fail but made these cute little choux pastry. Thanks a lot to Shey of justnotthecakes for suggesting this recipe .

Also tried making baking some eclairs. The only drawback was that this time I almost reduced the ingredients to more than half and so ended up with very few choux and eclairs and had to promise family members that I will soon make them again.

For the chocolate filling I simply cooked butter, cream and bitter chocolate and got the most delicious and simple filling.






Ingredients for Choux Pastry :

1/2 cup ..............all purpose flour ( maida)
1/2 cup ...............water
1/2 cup.................milk
2 tbsp...............egg replacer
2 tbsp...............butter
pinch of .............salt
1 tsp..................sugar
1/2 tsp...............baking powder


Ingredients for Chocolate Filling :

2 tbsp ......................Fresh cream
1/2 cup......................bitter chocolate
1 tbsp.......................butter

Method  for making Choux Pastry :

Heat water ,salt , sugar and butter in a pan.
When it boils add the maida,  switch off the gas and mix the mixture very well .
Again keep it on slow flame and keep on stirring continuously till the mixture forms a ball.





When it starts leaving the sides of the pan remove it from gas.
Mix the egg replacer with 2 tbsp water and whip well till stiff.
To this stiff mixture add baking powder and mix well again.
If the mixture is still stiff add 1/2 cup milk and mix very well.
The mixture should form a beak like shown in the picture.






Put this in a piping bag and chill it in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours .
Now pipe small chouxs on a greased baking tray .
Bake in  a preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 180 degrees or till golden brown in colour.





Let the chouxs cool completely.







Method for making Chocolate Filling :

Cut the chocolate in cubes and add butter to it.
Melt this chocolate on a double boiler and mix well.
Whip the fresh cream in a chilled bowl till stiff .
Add the melted chocolate to the cream and fold it gently.
Chill it and let it thicken a bit.


Cut the Choux pastry and fill it with the chocolate filling.








Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry ( Vegan - Thursdays )


Nowadays we all are aware of the the importance of vegetables in our diet. To include fruits and vegetables of different colours is the need of the day as they provide us variety of  vitamins n nutrients .

For e.g  red colour in fruits n vegetables means they are rich in lycopene , whereas orange colour is an indicator of the presence of  beta-carotene. Greens are rich in chlorophyll and purple coloured food gives us Vit - C.

So make sure to have at least 2 to 3 different coloured fruits and vegetables daily to keep fit.
This simple and colourful stir fry can be made with any combinations that you like. Just make sure to include as many different colours as possible .

This stir fry is very easy to make and can be had with noodles, rotis or even pulavs. Even kids who are otherwise fussy over eating vegetables enjoy this dish due to its chinese way of preparation.

Today also being the last thursday of the month I am posting this super nutritious dish for our  vegan-thursdays  a theme started by Priya


Ingredients :

100 gms ..............................french beans
100 gms..............................capsicum
2.....................................carrots
10 to 15 ...........................garlic flakes
1 tbsp...............................pepper powder
1 tbsp..........................soy sauce
1 tbsp.........................oil
salt







Method :

Wash the vegetables thoroughly.

String the beans and cut them into thin long stripes.

Cut the capsicum and carrots also in a similar way.

Heat  oil in a pan and add crushed garlic flakes .

When the garlic becomes crisp and golden add carrots.

Keep the flame high and stir constantly.

Add soy sauce .

After 2  minutes add french beans and continue stirring for 5 more minutes.

Add pepper powder and salt.

At the time of serving add capsicum and cook just for 2 minutes.

Try to maintain the crispiness of the vegetables as much as possible.

Serve hot with rotis or rice.





Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Tamarind Rice ( For the Potluck Party )

Today is again that day of the month when we recreate our partners dish for the potluck-party-cyber-style .

This month I was paired with Pradnya of  pranuvisworld and got a chance to make one of the most popular dish of  South i.e Tamarind Rice also known as Puliyogare.

 So on an auspicious day like Krishnashtami I got a chance to post this most popular prasadam to be offered to the Lord .

 So off to this yummy recipe :






Ingredients :

2 cups....................... boiled cooked rice
1tbsp.........................tamarind soak in 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tsp......................mustard seeds
1 pinch....................asefoetida
1/2 tsp....................chana daal
1/2 tsp....................urad daal
1/4 tsp....................methi seeds ( fenugreek)
few........................curry leaves
1/2 tsp...................turmeric powder
2 .........................green chillies ( slit in two )
2.........................dry chillies ( broken in pieces)
2 tbsp..................groundnuts
2 tbsp..................coconut oil ( can use any other oil too)
salt 

Method :

Heat 6 cups water  and when it starts boiling add the washed rice .

Cook for 10 to 12 minutes till the rice is just done and drain the water out.

Keep the rice aside.

Now extract tamarind pulp and strain it to remove the fibers.

Heat coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, chana daal, urad daal and methi seeds.

When they crackle add green and red chillies, curry leaves and asefoetida .

Then add the groundnuts and saute well.

Now add turmeric powder , tamarind pulp and salt and saute well till oil separates.

In the end add the boiled rice and mix well.

Cook with covered lid for 5 mintues.

Serve it with a pickle or raita of your choice or even plain.


  Linking it to Jagruti's Potluck Party Cyberstyle



Also sending this to :

south-indian-kitchen-series  @ nivedhanams 

foodabulous-fest @ nivedhanams 




Foodabulous

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Speculoos Cookie Sandwiches ( For Baking Partners)

Just recently I posted a recipe for Kourabiethes - Greek cookies and today posting a recipe for Dutch - Speculoos Cookie Sandwiches (Also known as Speculaas )

For August month's Baking partners challenge Swathi had suggested four different types of cookies from around the world and so though I made Greek cookies I was also tempted to try these sandwich cookies. 

These are actually very traditional cookies made by pressing the dough in a mould and they taste a lot like ginger biscuits but with some more spices like cinammon, cloves , nutmeg etc....

These cookies really taste  very unique due to these spices. They are then  filled with a filling of our choice.

 I made my all time favourite lemon filling which was a hit and loved by all . But I would like to mention that without the filling also the cookies taste amazing. So now off to the recipe ......





Ingredients  For the Speculoos :

1/2 cup ...................cold butter cubed
2 tbsp......................curds ( original recipe calls for 1 egg)
1/3 cup....................sugar
1 n 3/4 cup...............maida
2 tsp........................cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp..................nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp.................pepper powder
1/4 tsp................cloves powder
1 tsp.....................ginger paste
1/2 tsp ................salt
1/4 tsp.................baking soda

Ingredients for the filling :

2 tbsp...................butter
5 tbsp..................sugar powder
1/2 tbsp...............fresh cream
few drops.............yellow colour
1 tsp....................lemon juice
1/4 tsp.................citric acid crystals
1/4 tsp................cardamom powder
salt pinch





Method to bake the Speculoos :

In a blender blend together every thing except maida.

Take the mixture in a bowl and add maida to it and make a dough.

Do not over knead the dough.

The dough should not be sticky.

Plastic wrap the dough and keep it in the fridge overnight.

Next day roll the dough and cut the cookies in desired shapes.

Arrange them on a greased tray.





Bake them in a preheated oven for 10 mintues at 180 degrees.

Cook them completely.





Method for the filling :






Beat the butter and sugar very well.

Add cream and cardamom powder and again beat well.

Now add salt and lemon juice and beat .

If the filling is soft keep it in fridge for some time to make it little stiff.

Put the filling on the cookes and top with another cookie.

Keep the cookies in fridge otherwise the cream starts melting.




Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Kourabiethes ( Greek Cookies for Baking Partners)


This month Swathi gave us a choice of  few world class cookies to try for the Baking Partners Challenge .

Kourabeithes or the sugar cookies which were one of them are originally from Greek . They are different from other cookies as in shape as well as taste. 

So I decided to make them and was delighted with the texture n taste. The orange flavour in them make them more like marmalade cookies. 

The addition of orange rind is a must because it makes the cookies delicious. My kitchen was full of aroma of orange while baking these kitchen and it felt wonderful.

Though the original recipe also calls for adding almond powder I tried replacing it with equal quantity of flaxseed powder and tired making them a healthier version plus it did not make any difference at all in the taste or texture .  

I feel that even without powdered sugar coating they taste great. 

Thanks Swathi for this lovely challenge.

Ingredients :

100 gm .....................butter
3/4 cup........................sugar
2 tbsp.......................finely grated orange rind ( sweetened and dried)
1/2 cup......................flax seeds powder
1 cup........................maida
3/4 tsp......................baking powder






Method :

In a blender beat butter, sugar and rind till very pale in colour.
Take it in a bowl and add flax seeds powder and maida and make a dough.
Do not over knead the dough .
It should be soft but not sticky.
Now make sausage shapes and bend them a little to give a crescent shape.
Place them half inch apart in a greased tray and bake at 180 degree for 20 -25 minutes.




Even though they are little soft , switch off the oven.
They will become hard and crunchy after 10 - 15 minutes.
Roll them in powdered sugar and cool them completely.
Store them in  air tight container.

Linking this to Baking Partners Challenge :

Baking Partners

And also to  :

hearth-and-soul-blog-hop165

Hearth & Soul Hop


Meethay Ghoday ( For ICC )

This is the first time that I am participating in  Indian-Cooking-Challenge ( ICC)  started by Srivalli . This is a lovely challenge wherein members every month get to make  an authentic traditional Indian dish. 

I felt very lucky to participate in this event not only because since long I wanted to be member of this lovely group but also that this month the recipe we had to make was from Hyderabad which is known as the food lover's paradise. More over the recipe - we had to make this month was called Meethay Ghoday . It was suggested by Mirielle  and she has shared the recipe posted by Mona of zaiqa .

It seems that her recipe is the only recipe on the net for this sweet dish so you can imagine the rareness of this dish.

I too tried searching the net for more information on this sweet and it seems that this is truely a very very traditional dish.Naturally  I had never ever heard this name in my life and was very very eager to try it out .

The dish is very simple and the main interesting part is making ghoday ( flowers ) which is little time consuming but was fun to make. The dish turned out to be amazingly delicious and was relished by every one in my family. 

Thanks Mirielle and Srivalli  for suggesting such unique and lovely dish .



Ingredients :

1 cup...................Maida
1 tbsp.................ghee
3/4 cup...............sugar
1 cup .................milk
1/2 cup...............water
1 tbsp.................raisins
1 tbsp................almonds
pinch of salt


Method :

Knead a firm dough with maida, salt , ghee and little water.

Cover it with dampen cloth and keep aside for half an hour.

Now make thin rotis out of this dough and cut squares.


Shape this square in flowers as shown in the picture.




Keep them aside for half an hour and deep fry them in oil till golden in colour.

Now in a pan boil water and milk and add sugar.

When the milk boils add the fried ghodays ( flowers) and cook for 10 to 15 minutes .

Let the mixture thicken and coats the flower.

The flowers too will beocme soft .

Remove from the gas and take it in a bowl.

Sprinkle raisins and almond pieces fried in ghee over it and serve at room temperature.

Even chilled ghodays taste good.





Also linking this traditional dish to :

 south-indian-kitchen-series  @ nivedhanams

foodabulous-fest @ nivedhanams 

spotlight-event - Rakshabandhan at riappyayan 






Foodabulous
Add caption













Sunday, 11 August 2013

Cucumber Peanut Butter Sandwiches

I love sandwiches , they are one of the quickest and most delicious way to start your mornings. They are simple to make and you have a liberty to choose and change the filling of your liking. They make a great option for kids school tiffins too.

I had some green chutney and some store bought peanut butter , so decided to combine them with cucumbers and made this simple sandwich for our breakfast a few days back.

It tasted yummy. You can even make these sandwiches for your dinner along with some hot soup to go with it.






Ingredients :

1 pack....................sliced bread
4 to 5 .......................cheese slices ( I used Amul )
4 to 5 tbsp.................green-coriander-chutney
4 to 5 tbsp................peanut butter
2 to 3 tbsp................salted butter
2 ............................cucumbers ( peeled n sliced)




Method :

Apply salted butter on the slices.
Apply green chutney on half the slices and peanut butter on remaining half slices.
Arrange cucumber slices on chutney slice and top it with a cheese slice.
Arrange the peanut butter slice on it .
The delicious sandwiches are ready .


Sending this to :

health-diet-lunchbox  @ nivedhanams 

walk-through-memory-lane @ adaythroughmylife

Nupurs - whats in my cuppa  at nandooskitchen 

Healthy Diet Logo







Saturday, 10 August 2013

Rainbow Swirl Classic Bread ( For HBC - 4)

According to the hindu calendar the month of Shravan has started and with it all our festivals begin in full glory. It is during this time that  the rains get romantic.  It normally doesn't rain heavily in this month . The sun too plays hide and seek and many times it rains even when the sun is shining .And then suddenly we see a rainbow in the sky. A multicoloured rainbow , a nature's bridge to the sky......

But do you know that this month that very rainbow appeared in my kitchen and after a lot of aahs and oohs we ate it too. Wondering what I am writing suddenly after being so sensible till now ??  Thinking that I have lost my senses ?? . No , I really had a rainbow and thoroughly enjoyed eating it , though initially I didn't feel at all like putting such a beautiful thing in my mouth to finish it off .

Ok Guys ,  no more suspense !!! This is all about the home-bakers-challenge  started by  priya suresh  and this month's host for HBC - Manjula  . For  4th month's challenge Manjula chose this lovely Rainbow Cake .  It was breath taking and simply amazing. Thanks a lot Priya and Manjula for this colourful challenge.





Ingredients :

3 n 1/2 cups .....................All purpose flour ( maida)
1 cup..............................warm water
1 tbsp............................dry yeast
1 tsp............................sugar
1/2 tsp ........................salt
1 tbsp........................home made butter ( loni)
1 tsp each..........................colour of your choice ( I used yellow, green, pink n blue)





Method :

Add warm water to yeast and sugar and let it rest for 15 minutes.
When the mixture becomes foamy add 2 cups maida and mix well.
Again let the dough rest for 30 minutes so that it rises to double.
Now add the remaining maida little at a time and knead really really well with your hands.
The dough should be very elastic and sticky.
Add 1 tbsp butter and again knead it.
Put it in a bowl and plastic wrap it and keep aside for 2 hours to rise.
After 2 hours punch and knead the dough to let the air out.
Divide the dough in as many parts as the colours you are having.
Add the colours and knead the dough well so that the colour mixes well with the dough.
There should be no white part seen in the coloured dough.
Wash your hands after addition of each colour so that the colours don't mix with each other.
Now put them in separate bowls , plastic wrap them and again keep them aside for 1 hour to rise.






Now dust the kitchen platform with flour and roll a same size rectange of each colour.
Keep these rectanges one upon the other and make a tight roll .
Put this roll in the greased bread making tin . plastic wrap and set aside for 1/2 an hour.
Brush the top of the roll with milk ( this gives the crust a shiny look)
Now preheat the oven at 180 degrees and bake the bread for 30 minutes or till the outer crust is hard.
If you press it , it should spring back.
So friends start baking to get a rainbow in your kitchen, before the monsoon ends.....










Also sending it to :

  bake-fest   @  desifiesta





Coffee n White Chocolate Panna Cotta ( For Potluck Cyberstyle)

It is that day of the month again when we all blogger friends gather for a potluck party at Jagruti's Cooking Odyssey and I am quite excited about it.

 All of us make a dish of our choice and post it here on 10th for this virtual cyberstyle party . Today for this lovely event I heve made one of the most popular Italian dessert Coffee Panna Cotta for all my friends .

 Hope it is loved by all.



Ingredients for the white chocolate layer :

1 1/2 cups ....................heavy cream ( Used the brand Rich Cream)
3 tbsp....................white chocolate ( grated )
3 tsp.....................agar agar
3 tsbp..................cold water.
1/2 tsp................chocolate essence

Method for the white chocolate layer :

Mix agar agar in  cold water and keep aside for 10 minutes.
Take two vessels one small and one little bigger than the first one.
Now boil water in the smaller one .
In a bigger thick bottom vessel add the cream  and white chocolate .
When the water in smaller vessel boils keep the bigger one on top of the smaller vessel.
Stir the mixture in the upper vessel continuously till the chocolates completely melts.
This is called double boiled method.
Do not heat the cream and chocolate directly or else the cream will start leaving fats.
Remove from the heat and add chocolate essence and agar agar water and mix very well.
Cool and keep aside for further use.

Ingredients for the coffee layer :

2tbsp........................instant coffee powder
1/2 tbsp....................agar agar
2tbsp........................cold water
3tbsp.......................sugar
1/2 cup water

Method for the coffee layer :

Mix agar agar to cold water and set aside for 10 minutes.
Boil  1/2 cup water, sugar and coffee powder .
Add it to the agar agar mixture and blend well.
Keep it aside for further use.

Assembling : 

In a glass add 1/3 rd of the coffee mixture at the base.
Keep the glasses in freezer for 1/2 an hour for quick cooling.
When the coffee layer is firm to touch add the white chocolate layer.
Again set it in fridge or freezer depending on how quick you want it to set.
Check for the firmness of white layer.
In fridge it will take 4 to 5 hours to set and in freezer about 1 to 1 n 1/2 hours to set.
Now top with the remaining coffee layer and again freeze till the top is firm
Serve chilled garnished with white chocolate scrapings.




Also sending it for :

summer-special-mela  




Wednesday, 7 August 2013

IFC - International Food Challenge ( A new event group)

Hi All ,

Feeling very happy to announce that now I am part of one more lovely event group International Food Challenge  ( IFC ) which  is evolved out of similar interests, passion in exploring all the cuisine from all over the world.

Shobana of kitchensecretsandsnippets and Saras of sarasyummybites  have teamed up to welcome foodies , our talented food bloggers to join in this mission to learn , explore the world cuisine along with the heritage every country possess and get to know some ideas what every country has to offer with respect to food . 



How it works:


The host and the founders are the one’s who will go through the cuisine of the given month and they will narrow down the results to 3 top most recipes. In the beginning of every month, say on 1st, the host of the given month will let out all the three recipes in detail along with the link and the members have to select the one they like and should submit the challenge on the said date, which is 30/31st of every month. 




The best presented dish gets the privilege of being the cover picture of our Facebook page for the whole month along with their copyrights. How cool is that !!


If you have the urge to learn the world cuisine as simple as that, u want to try some new dish one at a time, then, what’s stopping you foodies, you may join the FB group  Here  and get started...