Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

How about celebrating my 100th post with a cake and here is the perfect recipe. Who would have thought I would reach this milestone. An year back  when I started the blog  I thought  I will leave my recipes as legacy for my son. Never knew I would get so involved .. to post 100 recipes.
My endeavor has been to post recipes that are quick to make, easy to follow so that even new comers to the world of cooking can whip up a storm.
You will notice that my recipes generally are low on oil , using fresh ingredients most of the time. That's so coz I post what I love to eat. These recipes, I cook them all the time for my family.

Here is a  delightful dessert (Cake). So soft and light. Serve it warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I , personally prefer to serve it just like that so it's freshness is not camouflaged.

I used a 10" round pan but after baking it I felt 9 " would be ideal as the cake would be slightly taller than what it is now.


























Ingredients :
Topping:
unsalted butter,                                2 tablespoons cut in small pieces 
brown sugar                                     
1/4 cup 
Pineapple                                         8 slices
Cherries Fresh or 
Frozen                  

Cake Batter:

all purpose flour                                1 1/2 cups (195 grams) 
baking powder                                  
1 1/2 teaspoons 
salt                                                   
1/4 teaspoon 
unsalted butter,                                 
1/2 cup (113 grams) at room temperature
granulated white sugar                       1 cup (200 grams)
pure vanilla extract                            
1 teaspoon 
eggs                                                  
2 large 
milk                                                  
1/2 cup (120 ml)   

Method:

  1. All ingredients should be at room temperature.
  2. Grease and flour a 9" or 10" round tin. I used a 10".
  3. For topping : in a pan melt butter and sugar . Continue heating it , without stirring till bubbles start appearing on the sides.
  4. Remove from heat on pour it over the prepared tin.
  5. Now arrange pineapple slices and cherries.
  6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius .
  7. Mix All Purpose Flour, baking powder and salt  .
  8. In a large bowl beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy .
  9. Scrape down the sides , add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
  10. Beat in vanilla extract.
  11.   Add the flour mixture (in three additions), alternately with the milk (in two additions), ending with the dry ingredients.
  12. Pour the batter over the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes.
  13. Mine was done in 40 minutes. It depends on your oven.
  14. Do the skewer test to check the doneness of the cake.
  15. Remove from the oven on a wire rack.
  16. Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes.
  17. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the cake.
  18. Carefully invert the cake on a serving platter.




Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kair Sangri

A delicacy of Rajasthan. Kair  ( Capparis decidua)  is a small berry while Sangri (   Prosopis cineraria) is   a bean. When in season these are dried to be used later. There are couple of more dried ingredients that can be added to this dish or you can use just Kair Sangri . The other two ingredients are Kumatia   (  Acacia Senegal)  a dried pod and  Goonda   (  Cordia myxa) , also a berry also known as Gum Berry.
I have used all four . Kair and Sangri in equal proportion and a tbsp of Kumatia and Goonda each.
You can buy Kair Sangri from small time grocery shops that sell Rajasthani stuff.

If you don't have pickle masala add one tbsp of mango pickle  but in that case reduce the quantity of raw mango pd.

Ingredients :  serves 2
Kair Sangri                  1/2 cup
Thick Yogurt               2 + 1 tbsp
Mustard oil                  1 tbsp
Asafoetida                  a pinch
Cumin seeds               1/2 tsp
Red Chilly pd              1/2 tsp
Coriander pd.             1 tsp
Turmeric paste           1/4 tsp
Pickle masala              1 tsp
Raw mango pd            1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Wash Kair Sangri in a mesh strainer under running water till all the dust is washed off.
  2. Soak overnight.
  3. In the morning wash it again.
  4. Now soak it in sufficient water and 2 tbsp yogurt for 2-3 hrs.
  5. Strain it .
  6. Bring 1 1/2 cup water to boil. Add 1/2 tsp salt to it.
  7. Now add Kair Sangri and boil it till Kair is done. Stain it and keep it in a strainer.
  8. Heat oil in a pan.
  9. Add asafoetida .
  10. Crackle  cumin.
  11. Stir in all the spices .
  12. Now add 1 tbsp of yogurt and mix well.
  13. Add the kair Sangri  and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  14. Remove from fire.
  15. Taste and adjust salt.
  16. Serve hot with roti.
Serving suggestions : Pairs well with Kadhi or potato gravy.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Gulabo : The Rose Phirni

Phirni is the quintessential dessert of North India. Tastes best when served chilled. It's rich and creamy texture is so delightful. There are several variations of Phirni. What I have tried today is : flavored it with fresh rose petal paste.
Phirni is traditionally served in individual earthen bowls. Since the festive season is round the corner I have served it in silver bowls. You can use earthen bowls also.
















Ingredients:  serves 3
Milk                  300 ml.
Sugar                2 tbsp
Basmati Rice      2 tbsp
Rose petals        4 tbsp
Peppercorns       5
Almonds.           10


Method:

  1. Soak almonds overnight. Peel them .
  2. Wash rose petals properly and grind them in a mortar and pestle .
  3. Soak rice and peppercorns for half an hour.
  4. Grind rice , almonds and peppercorns finely. Add 2-3 tbsp water as required.
  5. Dissolve the rice paste in some milk and make it thin.
  6. Take milk in heavy bottomed pan, bring it to a boil.
  7. Stir in the rice paste, continue cooking on medium heat.
  8. Stir continuously till it attains creamy consistency and the rice is cooked.
  9. Add sugar . Taste and add more if required. Stir , Simmer till fully dissolved. Remove from fire.
  10. Mix in the rose petal paste. Keep aside 1 tsp.
  11. Pour into individual bowls. Now stir in the remaining rose petal paste in each bowl.
  12. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for  at least 6 hours.
  13. Serve chilled.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crumb Balls and Grilled Paneer Salad

I was inspired to create this unique dish after watching an episode of Masterchef Australia. Chef Gary Mehigan demonstrated a "Warm salad of roast chicken, crisp pancetta, soft-boiled egg and bitter leaves and crumb balls" . What intrigued me was the crumb balls. That's when I decided to make a vegetarian salad using the crumb balls.
I have  completely  used my imagination as far as the ingredients are concerned .
The spices used are also in keeping with the Indian palette .

The dish turned out to be a complete winner to say the least. This is a salad that can stand in as a complete meal too.  The crumb balls can by themselves be served as snacks or in breakfast.

I  used just Mint and Coriander but you can use shredded lettuce and rocket leaves as-well.

If you find the crumb mixture too dry to shape into balls , add a teaspoon or 2 of oil to bind it. Don't be tempted to add too much. Or if you eat egg you can add one egg instead of oil. I didn't have to add either of the two.

To make fresh bread crumbs simply pulse stale bread slices in a food processor.
I have used my  
flavored salt , you can use regular table salt too.

Ingredients serves 2

Extra virgin Olive Oil               for sautéing

For Crumb Balls
Fresh Bread Crumbs                 1 1/2 cups
Oil                                         2 tsp
Cumin                                    1/2 tsp
Garlic crushed                        1 1/2 tsp
Green chilly                           1/2 finely chopped
Bell pepper                            1/4 cup finely chopped
Onion                                    1/3 cup finely chopped
Boiled Potato                         1/2 cup ( grated )
Chilly flakes                           2 tsp
Sun dried Tomato paste           2 tsp
Coriander chopped                 2 tbsp
Mint chopped                         1 tbsp
Cheese grated                        2 tbsp
Flavoured Salt                        1 tsp

For Grilled Paneer
Paneer                                   100 gms ( cut into 1 1/2 " batons)
Garlic paste                            1/2 tsp
Ginger paste                           1/2 tsp
Lemon juice                            1 1/2 tsp
Oil                                         1 tsp
Red Chilly pd                          1/4 tsp
Turmeric pd                            1/8 tsp
Roasted Jeera pd                    1/2 tsp

For Veggies
Bell Pepper & Zucchini            2 cups ( cubed)
Garlic                                    1 tsp (crushed)

Apple                                    1/2 sliced ( 8 slice)

Dressing
Mustard Sauce                        1 tbsp
Extra Virgin Olive Oil              2 tbsp
Vinegar                                  1/2 tbsp
Flavoured Salt                        1/2 tsp or to taste
Garnish
Walnuts                                  2 tbsp toasted
Pumpkin Seeds                        2 tbsp toasted
Coriander leaves                     2 tbsp
Mint leaves                             2 tbsp

Method :

  1. Mix all the spices mentioned under paneer to make the marinade.
  2. Coat paneer batons in the marinade and leave them in the fridge for minimum 30 minutes.
For crumb balls :
  1. Heat oil in a pan . Crackle cumin.
  2. Stir in green chill and garlic. Sauté for 30 second.
  3. Stir in onions .
  4. Once onions start turning limp add bell pepper.
  5.  Sauté till onions turn soft and pink.
  6. Remove the pan from fire. Let it cool a little.
  7. Add this to bread crumbs.
  8. Also mix in boiled potato, chilly flakes, sundried tomato paste, salt , cheese, coriander and mint leaves.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Taste and adjust seasoning .
  11. Divide into 8 portions.
  12. Shape each portion into a ball.
  13. Keep them covered in the fridge for 30 minutes.
For dressing
  1. Mix all ingredients and whisk well .
  2. Keep it referigerated.
  1. Now heat a non stick pan.
  2. Fry the Crumb balls till light golden in 2 tsp of oil
  3. In the same pan add 1 tsp of oil and fry marinated paneer batons till brown and crisp.
  4. In the same pan add 2 tsp oil and sauté veggies and garlic till they just start turning soft.
  5. In the same pan now roast the apple slices till they turn slightly soft.
To assemble :
  1. Arrange half the veggies on a platter. Keep half the Crumb Balls and Paneer batons on the platter. On the side keep 4 roasted apple slices.
  2. Sprinkle walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
  3. Garnish with greens.
  4. Drizzle the dressing.
  5. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Homemade Granola

A wonderful snack. Can also be had with milk like any other store bought cereal.  You can try variations with flavours. Can also add lemon or orange zest or vanilla to oil and honey mix after it has been warmed. Pecans can be used instead of walnuts.
I like coarsely chopped almonds, so instead of 1/2 cup slivered almonds I have used 1/4 cup slivered and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds.

For kids you can even add chocolate chips after granola has cooled down completely.

Chop apricots and peaches (if using).



Ingredients:
Oats                       2 cups
Almonds                 1/2 cup slivered(store bought)
Walnuts.                 1/2 cup
Pumpkin seeds        1/4 cup
Dried fruits             3/4 cup ( a mix of cranberries, raisins, apricots, peaches)
Olive oil                 2 tbsp
Honey                    1/2 cup ( 120ml)
Cinnamon pd          1 tsp
Sea salt                  1/4 tsp

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 165  degrees C.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts and cinnamon.
  3. In a saucepan, warm the oil and honey. Stir in salt.
  4.  Pour the liquid over oats and nuts mixture.
  5. Mix it well.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat and spread the mix evenly.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
  8. After baking for 20 minutes, remove from oven, mix in the seeds.
  9. Bake for another 20-25 minutes, stirring once in between.
  10. When golden brown remove it on a wire rack. Now mix in the dried fruits.
  11. Let it cool completely.
  12. Now store in an air tight container, to retain its freshness & crunchiness.