Monday, 21 July 2014

Peach N Cornflakes Pudding

I love baked items and especially bread pudding is my childhood favorite. So this time while making bread pudding.  I also added equal amount of cornflakes and peaches to give a twist to the normal bread pudding.
The pudding filled my kitchen with a lovely peachy aroma when I baked it.

 The reason for adding cornflakes n peaches was that these are my secret ingredients for our monthly event shhh-cooking-secretly-challenge started by Priya Suresh. My this month's partner Sonali gave me these two secret ingredients which worked wonders and made the pudding very delicious .







Ingredients :

2 cups..............................cornflakes ( roasted )
2 cups............................bread crumbs
2 ..................................eggs
2 .................................peaches ( deseeded n cubed )
1 cup...........................sugar
1 tsp...........................baking powder
1/2 tsp........................fruit flavored essence
1 tbsp.......................ghee





Method :

In a bowl mix bread crumbs with eggs , sugar, baking powder and essence.

Keep aside for 1/2 an hour .

Then add the chopped peaches and cornflakes n mix gently.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or till the surface becomes golden.

Serve as it is or serve with vanilla ice cream.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Cherry Shortcakes


Shortcakes were something I had heard of but never ever tasted or tried. So felt very excited to try them out when Swathi suggested these yummy berry shortcakes for this month's baking-partners challenge. They were very simple to make but had an exotic feel. The taste was yumm and were enjoyed by all of us. 

These shortcakes are very rich and heavy too. They make an excellent dessert options and the cherries can be replaced with any other fresh fruit of your choice .








Ingredients :

2 cups.......................fresh cherries
4 tbsp.......................sugar
1 cup........................maida
1/4 cup...................cornflour
1 tbsp....................baking powder
1/4 tsp.....................salt
2 n 1/2 cup ..............fresh heavy cream
2 tbsp......................melted butter





Method :


Wash, wipe n deseed half the cherries n chop them roughly.

Now sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar on it keep them aside so sugar mixes well in cherries .

In a bowl mix well maida , salt , 1 tbsp sugar and baking powder together.

Mix beated heavy cream gradually and try to bring all the flour together with fingers.

When it resembles like bread crumbs add cream so that the flour just comes together.




Take care not to knead the dough at all.

Now pat this dough on a well floured platform and shape it into a 1/4 inch thick disc.





Cut rounds with a cutter.




Dip these rounds in molten butter and arrange them on greased baking tray.





Bake them in a preheated oven for 20 minutes  or till they rise.





Cut the cakes horizontally into half.

When the cakes are baking whip the remaining cream n sugar till stiff .

When the cakes cool down add a spoonful of this stiff whipped cream and some chopped cherries.

Keep the other half on top and again add a spoonful of cream and cherries.





Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Manapparai Murukku - For ICC

Murukku or rather Chakali as it is known in Maharashtra is a very popular fried snack made for Diwali. In South  they are called murukku and many different varieties of murrukus are found here.

Today for indian-cooking-challenge ( ICC )  Srivalli suggested that we try out these crunchy and addictive manapparai murukkus a very famous n popular snack from Tamil Nadu .

 As I have always used store bought ready made murukku flour , it was a new experience roastign urad dal and then sieving it to get smooth flour . though a bit time consuming it was very satisfying experience. Satisfying because the resulting murukkus were so delicious n crunchy that I really doubt whether I would have achieved same result had I bought store bought flour for muukkus.

Now without any further delay let me tell you the exact recipe for this yummy snack.







Ingredients :

1 cup...........................rice flour
1/4 cup........................urad dal
1/4 tsp each................hing, ajwain, cumin seeds
1 tsp...........................ghee
2 tsp...........................oil
salt
oil for deep frying
water about 1/2 cup or little more




Method :

Dry roast urad dal and grind to really smooth paste.

Also dry roast rice flour.

Add all spices , ghee , oil and salt to the flours.

Knead a soft yet firm dough with just enough water.

Press murukkus in hot oil with the murukku press and deep fry till golden in colour.

Fry on a low to medium flame till the murukkus are crisp.

Lift them with a perforated spoon to drain out all the oil.

Cool n store in an air tight container.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Kunafeh - Sweet Cheese Pastry

This month for the  home-bakers-challenge a monthly baking event started by Priya Suresh and this month  hosted by Nupur we had a wide variety of Arabic desserts to choose from. Arabic sweets are very well known for their liberal use of butter and dry fruits.

I think Baklava is one of the most richest and most popular of the Arabic desserts . But few others like Kunafeh, basbousa are eqyally addictive ones and so I tried my hands at both these yummy treats.

Though I personally wanted to try baklava very badly I changed my decision due to the rich and heavy ingredients like lots of butter and dry fruits in this sinfully royal dessert. Instead I decided to try Kunafeh which is comparatively simpler and yet very addictive.

 The crispy pastry sheets with cheese and sugar syrup taste very yummy and one just can't stop eating this dessert.






Ingredients :


10 sheets ........................phyllo pastry
1/2 cup.......................molten unsalted butter
1 cup.........................mozarella cheese ( shredded )
1 cup.........................cheddar cheese ( shredded)
1/2 cup ...................sugar syrup or diluted honey
2 tbsp....................nuts ( almonds / pistachios for garnishing)




Method :


Pulse the pastry till it is shredded into small pieces.

Mix in the butter gently.

Press half of this shredded pastry in a small pan.

Spread the shredded cheese on it .

Again press the remaining half of the shredded pastry .

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or till golden brown and puffed up.

Pour the sugar syrup evenly over the pastry and let it get absorbed.

Garnish with nuts.


Friday, 4 July 2014

Masala Prawns Curry

Any non - vegetarian will love prawns as they are very tasty and can be made into variety of dishes. The only fish with which I usually experiment are prawns , pomfrets , surmai ( seer fish ) and rawas ( salmon ) . This is because other fishes have a peculiar flavor which doesn't go well with any masalas and we prefer to have them made only in our traditional way.

So today when I had to cook prawns decided to make something of my own . This curry turned out very tasty and was relished by all.

I used all the whole spices and ground it with coconut , but you can also replace it with whatever garam masala powder you have handy and also use coconut milk powder instead of fresh coconut.

Don't try to skip cumin, garlic and curry leaves as they lend a very nice flavor to the curry.







Ingredients :

25 to 30........................big sized prawns ( shelled n cleaned )
2 .................................onions ( finely chopped )
2.................................tomatoes ( finely chopped )
2 ...............................potatoes ( peeled n cubed )
1/2 cup.......................freshly scraped coconut
2 tsp...........................chilly powder
1 tsp...........................turmeric powder
1/4 tsp each ...............pepper, cloves, cardamom,cinnamon, nutmeg
2 tsp...........................garlic paste
1/2 tsp........................cumin seeds
1/2 tsp........................mustard seeds
2 tbsp..........................curry leaves ( finely chopped  )
2 to 3  tbsp.........................butter
chopped coriander for garnishing
salt


Method :

Heat butter in a pan and saute prawns for 5 minutes and keep aside.

In the same butter crackle mustard and cumin seeds.

Add to it curry leaves, chopped onions , garlic paste and saute till onion are transparent.

Now add chopped tomatoes and saute for 5 to 10 minutes till butter separates.

Add chilly, turmeric powder, salt and stir .

Add potatoes and mix well and cook covered for 5 minutes.

Grind coconut with pepper , cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg.

When the potatoes are cooked add prawns and the ground coconut masala.

Cook for just 5 minutes and adjust the salt .

Garnished with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis or parathas.



Thursday, 3 July 2014

Tofu Pad Thai Noodles

For this month's  International Food Challenge  we made some very yummy Thai dishes . This group is started by two bloggers Saras and Shobana

Yesterday I posted the recipe of kluai-nam-wa ( bananas-in-coconut-milk ) and today I am posting these delicious Tofu Pad Thai Noodles.

I loved the tangy tamarind sauce used in this and the sesame seeds and peanuts added a fantastic crunchiness to the noodles.

Thanks  Sangeetha Priya once again for introducing us to this lovely cuisine.




Ingredients :

1 pack .........................Hakka Noodles
1 cup...........................Moong sprouts ( I used homemade sprouted moong )
2 cups .......................chopped veggies ( I used carrots, capsicum, cabbage )
200 gm.......................tofu
2 tbsp.......................cornflour
4 tbsp.......................thick tamarind juice
2 tbsp......................red chilli powder
2 tbsp......................sugar
2 tbsp......................soya sauce
1 tbsp....................sesame seeds
4 tbsp...................peanuts
2 tbsp...................chopped mint leaves
2 tbsp...................oil
1 tsp.....................pepper powder
salt to taste


Method :

In a bowl add tamarind juice, red chilli sauce , sugar, soya sauce and salt.

Take half of this mixture and add cornflour to it.

Marinate tofu pieces with this cornflour mixture for atleast half an hour.

On a non stick pan shallow fry the marinated tofu pieces till golden brown .

Boil water in a big vessel and cook the hakka noodles for 5 minutes.

Keep the noodles firm and don't overcook them.,

Drain out the hot water and wash the noodles under cold water .

Add 1 tsp oil to noodles and mix them well and keep aside . ( this prevents them from sticking )

Now in a pan heat oil and add sesame seeds and peanuts and stir for 2 minutes.

Then add carrots and cabbage and saute them for 2 minutes on high flame.

Then add sprouts and capsicum and again saute for 2 minutes on high flame.

Now add the remaing half tamarind mixture and noodles and mix everything well.

In the end add half tofu pieces , pepper powder and half the chopped mint leaves.

Mix well and serve garnished with remaining tofu and mint leaves.


Kluai Nam Wa - Bananas In Coconut Milk - A Thai Dessert

I love to try dishes from various Indian States as well as from other countries. This is the reason why I joined International Food Challenge a lovely group by two lovely blogger Saras and Shobana . In this group every month we are given selected recipes from any one country by that month's host.

 Our this month's host is Sangeetha Priya and she has suggested some wonderful n yummy recipes from Thai Cuisine.

I selected this easy n delicious dessert called  Kluai Nam Wa which in simple english means Bananas in Coconut Milk.

This simple dessert is unbelievably yummy and the coconut milk lends it a beautiful flavor and aroma.
Maharashtrians have a similar dish called Kelyache Shikran  (bananas in sweet milk ).

 But this Thai dessert is equally easy n yet exotic.

Loved the dessert Sangeetha .







Ingredients :


2 ...........................bananas
2 cups....................freshly scraped coconut
1 cup ...................warm water
1/2 cup.................jaggery
1/2 tsp...................cardamom powder
a pinch.................salt



Method :


Wash the bananas and peel them.

Cut the bananas into round slices.

Grind together scraped coconut and warm water.

Squeeze out the juice of coconut and again grind with warm water.

Again repeat and take out the juice of coconut.

Mix both the juices and add jaggery and salt to it.

Boil this on a low to medium flame till somewhat thick .

Add cut bananas and further cook for 5 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle cardamom powder .

Serve chilled.



Note :

The coconut left after extracting juice can be used in chutney for idli / dosas.




Kanda Bhajji ( Onion Fritters )


Finally the rains have arrived in Mumbai and its green n fresh everywhere. Though I personally don't like the monsoons in Mumbai because it causes water logging, gutters overflowing , late running trains and a whole lot of other problems, its a fact that we need water for the coming year. And so it was a great relief that finally rains decided to visit us. 

Now rains and hot pakodas / bhajia with chai / tea are synonymous and so I had to celebrate the first rains with some hot pakodas to munch on. So I made the famous  kanda bhajii ( onion fritters / pyaz ke pakode ) yesterday and we enjoyed them at tea time. 

So you too give them a try and do let me know how they turned out.




Ingredients :

2 to 3 ......................Onions ( peeled and thinly sliced )
1 tsp.......................coriander seeds ( roasted )
2 ..........................green chillies ( very finely chopped )
2 tbsp....................fresh coriander ( finely chopped)
1/2 tsp...................turmeric powder
4 to 5 tbsp...............besan ( gram dal flour )
salt
oil for deep frying


Method :

In one bowl mix all the ingredients in a bowl except oil and besan.

Do not add water water as the onions will start leaving little water.

Now add besan and mix everything well.

The besan should just coat the onions and shouldn't be like batter consistency.

Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.

Drop spoonful of mixture in pan and fry till crisp and golden .

Serve hot with a cup of tea on a rainy evening.








Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Hungarian Kiffles ( Eggless )

This month for our Baking Eggless challenge Gayathri chose these delicious Hungarian Croissant Rolls called Kipfels / Kiffles.

They are usually made during functions , wedding and festivals and are traditionally made with eggs and filled with lekvar ( a jam filling of apricots or prunes )

Our challenge was to make them eggless and so to replace eggs I used thick curds which worked wonders and gave a very rich and smooth finish to the pastry. 

I substitued lekvar with lemon marmalade which gave a very lemony yummy taste to these delicious pastry.

Thanks Gayathri for this lovely recipe , thoroughly enjoyed making it. 






Ingredients:

2 cups .....................wheat flour
1tsp ........................active dry yeast
a pinch.......................baking soda
1/2 tsp .................salt
2 tbsp...................sugar
1 ........................lemon ( squeeze the juice )
1 tbsp...............candied lemon zest
1/ cup..............warm milk
2/3 cup..............thick curd
85 gms ..............homemade butter ( loni )
4 tbsp.............jam ( I used lemon marmalade )
2 tbsp..........nuts ( used almonds and pistachios)

Method :

Now in a bowl add flour, yeast, salt, sugar, lemon juice , lemnon zest, baking soda, curds and butter .

Knead with warm milk to form a  soft dough.

Add butter and knead till soft and smooth.

Keep it covered in a greased bowl and set aside for 1 hour or more  till the dough doubles.

Now divide the dough into two and roll in to a big round of approx 8 to 10 " diameter.





Cut into 12 triangles like a pizza and keep a spoon full of jam at the broad corner of the wedge.

Add little jam or it might ooze out of the pastry.

Sprinkle some crushed nuts of top of jam.






Roll it like a croissant shape.

Arrange them on a greased baking tray and keep to rise for another 1/2 an hour.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 25 minutes or till golden brown .

Serve warm.