April 27, 2012

Melting Moments

Many of us have had this during childhood and may even have a memory of walking in from school to the inviting smell of freshly baked cookies. My mom encouraged us to try our hand in baking simple stuff especially cookies and basic cakes. I remember having started at the age of 13 and feeling very professional about it. This was probably one of the basic recipes we had tried but ended up with a messy glop. Years have passed and i am making this once again and this time it was perfect. These sugary cookies are almost shortbread like and really do melt in your mouth. I followed  Stephanie Jaworski's Joy of Baking recipe to the T and cannot wait to bake these for my son when he starts school. Warning : This probably isn't the best recipe if you are very calorie conscious, as this uses a LOT of butter ;) !!!

You will need:
Plain Flour - 195 gms
Corn Flour - 60 gms
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Icing Sugar - 30 gms + 60 gms for dusting the cookies
Unsalted Butter kept at room temperature - 227 gms
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp

Sift the flour, corn flour and salt together.
Cream the butter and icing sugar until smooth.
Add vanilla essence and combine well.
Add the flour mixture and mix until everything just comes together.
At this point, the mixture will seem quite liquidy therefore refrigerate for about 2 hours to make the batter firm.
Make small 1 inch balls with the firm dough and place it on a greased baking sheet at a one inch distance.
Bake it in a preheated oven at 170 Degrees Centigrade for about 15 minutes or until the bottom becomes slightly brown.
Remove from the oven and allow it to rest in the baking tray for about 5 minutes.
Lift each cookie out of the tray very gently and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
Put the remaining icing sugar in a fine sieve and dust the top of the cookies.
Store in a air tight container once cooled.

April 26, 2012

Pork Roast in Red Wine

I made these Pork Chops for dinner last night and it was absolutely exquisite. I adapted it from an old cook book from my mom's collection and i am so happy i stumbled onto this particular one. Initially, i wasn't too sure if i should risk it but my heart just asked me to go for it. While cooking the sauce, i was feeling all light headed as the aroma of the wine wafted up and tickled my senses. Then when all the flavours came together like it was meant to be, i felt so elated and wished i had some unexpected guests knocking at the door. This one is a sure keepsake for a long time for me. Am sure, you will love it too!

You will need:
Pork Chops or Pork Spareribs - 1 Kg
Italian Seasoning - 1 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Wine - 2 cups
Hot and Sweet Tomato Ketchup - 1/2 cup
Soya Sauce - 2 tbsp
Honey - 3 tbsp
Ginger Grated - 1 tsp
Garlic chopped finely - 4
Pepper Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Sesame Seeds - as required
Salt to taste

Cook the Pork with the Italian seasoning and salt in a little water. I pressure cooked them for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the sauce by combining all other ingredients with salt in a sauce pan.
Bring the mixture to a quick boil, reduce the flame and boil it for another 10 minutes or so until the sauce thickens and becomes golden in colour.
Remove from flame and strain.
Arrange the cooked Pork in a grilling sheet, pour half the sauce over it, sprinkle with sesame seeds and grill for about 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees Centrigrade.
Turn the chops over. Pour the remaining sauce and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 
Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Take it out of the oven and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
Serve warm with Mashed Potatoes and Garlic Bread.

April 25, 2012

Mango Pineapple Ice Cream

After almost 10 to 12 hours of continuous thunder showers with hailstones in Coonoor, the sun shone bright bringing with it a beautiful pleasant day. When such rains happen in Coonoor, everybody is worried about landslides. God willingly, nothing of that happened but instead was a beautiful sunny day. A perfect day for smooth delicious Ice Cream! What better than home made eggless Mango Ice Cream combined with delicious Pineapple chunks. This creamy no nonsense recipe is so pliable and a real winner with all the popular flavours that we have been enjoying since childhood. I have tried the same recipe with Strawberry, Banana, Chikoo or Sapodilla, Mango and several other fruits.The Ice Cream with the most votes has surprisingly been Chikoo so make sure you try Chikoo Ice Cream too when it is in season next. Mocha and Chocolate is quite easy too but i will probably do a separate post for you on that :) 

You will need:
Ripe Mangoes Peeled, de-seeded and chopped - 2
Fresh Cream - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup ( You can use 2 cups cream too instead of 1 cup milk and 1 cup cream)
Condensed Milk - 1 tin
Pineapple Chunks - 1 cup (Another cup of pineapple optional )
Lime Cordial - 1/2 cup

Puree the mangoes and one cup pineapple in a blender. Strain to get a very smooth velvety puree.
Blend the strained puree with all the other ingredients.
Pour into a air tight container and freeze for atleast 2 hours.
Remove and blend again to break any ice crystals that may have formed. At this point, mix in the optional cup of Pineapple chunks and freeze again.

Beat the heat with your creamy smooth Mango Pineapple Ice Cream and all the best with all the different fruit flavoured Ice Creams you will be trying with this recipe :) .

April 24, 2012

Baked Sausage Crepes

I just read another Blogger friends post about how the weather was bad and therefore could not take good pictures. It was one such day today. I made couple of great tasting food today but the lighting was horrible because of the thunder showers and power shut down for several hours. But how can i ever stop my mom and myself from eating this new dish i tried out till i take photographs. I am at my mom's place in Coonoor now and she wanted to eat something different today just to cheer up the otherwise dull day. Thus, this Baked Sausage Crepes was born ! Bechamel sauce, otherwise commonly called as White sauce, is a versatile sauce that can be played around with so easily. Each time a new dish can be created altering the ingredients that go into it. This dish too uses Bechamel sauce as the main flavoring agent like all other bake recipes of mine. I remember reading about Sausage Crepes somewhere and decided to give it a shot using my taste-buds as the judge of how it should turn out to be. With no recipe in hand , i head out to make the stuffed crepes with only the image of the resulting product painted somewhere in my mind. I cant help praising it because it truly tasted outstanding and soul comforting.

You will need:
Regular Pork Sausage (not cocktail ones) - 6
Onion Chopped - 1
Coriander chopped - 2 tsps
Milk - 1 1/2 cup
Egg - 1
Flour - 1 cup +  4 tsps
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Italian Seasoning - 1 1/2 tsps
Salt and Pepper to taste
Butter - 1 tbsp

Step 1 - Make the Bechamel Sauce
Heat butter in a skillet, add the chopped onions and saute till they turn transparent.
Add 4 tsps of plain flour and make a roux. Add the milk and mix it well on low heat using a wire whisk till you get a thick amooth sauce. It will almost be close to being a paste but still in a pour-able consistency.
Remove from flame and add the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Step 2 
Fry the sausages without any oil for a few minutes until they turn slightly brown.Set aside.

Step 3 - Make the Crepes
Mix together water, salt, egg and rest of the plain flour to get a thin flowy batter. 
Make the crepe as explained in my recipe of  Coconut Crepes with picture. 

Step 4 - Fill the Crepes
Put some Bechamel sauce in the centre of the open crepe, top it with a sausage and roll it as mentioned in my previous Crepe recipe.

Step 5 - Assemble and Bake
Arrange the six stuffed crepes in a 12 x 4 inch greased pie dish.
Pour the remaining Bechamel sauce on top of the crepes and bake in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees Centrigrade for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Garnish with chopped Coriander leaves.
Serve hot on its own or with a fresh green salad by the side.

April 21, 2012

Fried Mozzarella and Bacon Balls

Now who doesnt like gooey cheesy hot Mozzarella Balls with a  spicy dip to go with it? Yumm Yumm !!!What would make it all the more mouth watering is ...Bacon! According to me, anything with bacon tastes heavenly and if its paired with fresh Mozzarella, it is absolutely finger licking delicious. I made this for a recent party as appetizers and it sure did vanish in a jiffy. Although, when i made it the first time, my husband hated it. When i tasted it, i wanted to throw up too. I was quite dismayed because i had not checked if the cheese was fresh or not. So please do use only fresh cheese while making this or you will end up with a stale taste in your mouth which refuses to go every time you think of these otherwise gorgeous Fried Mozzarella Balls.I gave the regular appetizer a little twist with the addition of bacon and fresh herbs. Am sure you will thoroughly enjoying snacking on this while watching your next Cricket match at home with your bum chums.

You will need:
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese - 250 gms
Bacon chopped - 200 gms
Salt and Pepper to taste
Oregano - 1 tsp
Basil leaves chopped - 1 tsp or according to your taste
Eggs Beaten - 2
Bread Crumbs - sufficient to coat the balls
Oil for deep frying

Fry the chopped bacon in its own oil for a few minutes until slightly crispy.
Crumble the Mozzarella Cheese in a food processor or with your hand to form a smooth dough.
Add the fried bacon, salt, pepper, oregano, basil leaves and mix well to combine everything together.
Make small 1 inch balls with this dough.
Dip each of the ball individually in the beaten eggs and then roll in the bread crumbs. Repeat this step twice to get a crispy coating.
Keep in the freezer for about an hour. Freezing the cheese balls makes sure that it does not break and leak easily in the hot oil.
Heat sufficient oil in a deep pan.
Fry about 5 cheese balls at a time for about 30 seconds, drain and place on a tissue to absorb excess oil.
Serve hot with Italian Pizza sauce.

April 20, 2012

White Chocolate Peanut Blondies

I am a huge Rachel Allen fan and try most of her recipes from her cook book "Bake". This one too is adapted from it. Our family loves this gorgeous peanut butter based Blondies . If you are want a change from the regular Brownies,try these Blondies. Its a dense chewy crunchy bar dessert that is delicious as it is with a cup of tea or warm it in the microwave and enjoy it with a scoop of your favourite Vanilla Ice cream. I have tried this recipe with dark chocolate chips too and both are a good combination. My little 14 month old is fighting with me right now to taste this yummy blondie but i am being such a meanie and not giving it to him. Not because i don't want to, but because he cannot have nuts so early. Soon baby soon... i will make specially for you too! (P.S For you too Captain, when you are back from your sail. )

You will need:
Plain Flour - 125 gms
Butter kept at room temperature - 100 gms
Crunchy Peanut Butter - 150 gms
Egg - 1
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Brown Sugar - 175 gms
White chocolate chopped -  75 gms
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp

8 x 8 inch pan or something of a similar size.

Preheat the oven to 170 Degrees Centigrade and line the cake tin with a greased paper at the bottom and butter the sides.
Cream together butter and the peanut butter in a bowl with an electric beater until smooth.
Add the egg, vanilla essence and brown and beat until combined.
Add the flour, baking powder, the chopped chocolate and combine it together using a spatula forming a dough.
Press the dough into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 minutes.
It will be soft and cakey while it is hot. Therefore, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before cutting else you will end up with just crumbs.
It will firm up as it cools so don't panic. 
Cut into squares and enjoy your Blondies !

Banana and Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Give the regular chocolate and vanilla cake a break this summer ! Try this moist Banana and Walnut cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. Its perfect for those holiday outings with family by the beach or during a simple tea time. Those allergic to nuts may just leave the ingredient out of this cake and it will taste just as delicious. I give the credit of this cake to my friend, Nithya Titus, who is a fabulous cook and from whom i borrowed this recipe. Thank you Nithya ! I altered the recipe a little bit though. The cake tastes good even without the frosting but i wanted to give it a little celebration look and was looking for a good frosting to go with it. I think this Cream Cheese frosting totally does justice to it.

You will need :
Ripe Bananas mashed - 4 small
Butter - 125 gms
Sugar - 1 1/4 cup
Walnuts chopped - 1/2 cup
Plain Flour - 1 3/4 cup
Eggs - 2
Bicarbonate of Soda - 2 tsp
Buttermilk - 2/3 cup

Cream together butter, sugar with a tablespoon of hot water.
Gradually add eggs and the mashed bananas.
Dissolve Bicarbonate of Soda in buttermilk and add to the banana mixture alternatively with the flour.
Add the chopped walnuts.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees Centigrade for about 20 to 25 until the skewer inserted comes out clean.
Allow the cake the cool completely. Remove from the cake dish and frost with this delicious Cream Cheese frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
Butter softened - 1/2 cup
Cream Cheese - 8 ounce
Vanilla Essence - 1 tsp
Icing Sugar - 3 1/2 cups

Mix everything together with a electric beater until smooth and creamy. Your delicious Cream Cheese frosting is ready :) !

April 19, 2012

Perfect Iced Coffee

Oh no... I have become an addict! A Coffee Addict! No no.. not a regular coffee addict but Iced Coffee Addict ! I am sure you will become one too after trying this gloriously simple, no nonsense recipe for the perfect iced coffee that is becoming a very popular drink among the teens and adults equally. Another simple summer refresher to keep you awake in the tiring heat. 

Serves 4 - 5
Granulated Instant Coffee - 2 heaped tsps
Cold Milk - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Sweetened Condensed milk - 1/2 cup or more to suit your taste
Ice cubes - 2 trays
Chocolate sauce - as required
Vanilla Ice cream or Whipped cream - To serve with (Optional)

Heat half the water and mix the coffee granules in it.
Add rest of the ingredients with the coffee, except chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream, in a blender and blend for a minute or two till it foams up.
Prepare your serving glasses by swirling it with the Chocolate sauce.
Pour the foamed coffee into the glasses and chill until required.
Serve with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream or relish it as it is like me :) .

Pomegranate and Ginger Sorbet

Voila ! Here is another recipe to cool this summer. I am so thrilled with this Sorbet. It has been my best of all the Sorbets i have made till date. I am a huge fan of the seeped ginger flavour in teas and lemonades. Ofcourse , i hate biting into it. So if you like the potent flavour of this kitchen spice, you will definitely love this sorbet recipe. It felt really special and royal. I had no idea that a combination of Pomegranate with ginger would taste so awesome until today. ( P.S I actually finished half the sorbet myself. hehehe ) . 

If you want to make this recipe into a Pomegranate Mocktail, just dont freeze it. Chiil the mixture, rim your Martini glasses with granulated sugar and pour the mixture in.  Garnish with a slice of lemon and you have your very own Mocktail made in simple steps

You will need :
Freshly squeezed Pomegranate juice - 2 cups
Lime Cordial - 1/2 cup
Grated Ginger - 1 tsp
Sprite or 7 up or other flavoured Carbonated water - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup

Remove the seeds from the Pomegranate and juice it in a blender.
Use a fine sieve to remove the seeds from the juice.
I used about 6 fruits to get 2 cups of juice.
Heat one cup of the juice with the ginger and sugar. Boil for about 5 minutes.
Strain again into the remaining juice to remove the ginger pieces.
Add the lime cordial and the carbonated water. Mix well.
Freeze it in the deepest part of your freezer for about 2 hours.
When it is semi set, remove it and blend it to break the ice crystals.
Repeat the freezing and blending process 3 more times. The mantra is "the more times you blend it , the more fluffy your sorbet will be".

Fish Lasagna

This recipe has been sitting in my draft for a very long time and i think its high time i post it for you. I am extremely sorry for the bad photography. I could not take a picture of the layered section either due to lack of time.

Lasagna is a long celebrated Italian dish and is normally made with beef cooked in red sauce and layered with Bechamel sauce. Not many of us have heard of Fish Lasagna or Seafood Lasagna or White Lasagna. I personally have not had it many times. Lasagna is my sure order when i visit an Italian restaurant and i always wondered how it would be to have it with Fish instead. I had a tea party last evening and thought it was the perfect opportunity to serve it. Boy.. am i glad i did! The pie dish was wiped clean in no time :) . Fortunately, i kept aside one small piece for myself to try and it sure tasted outstanding. Next time i would love to try this same recipe with a mix of seafood like prawns and crab. Am sure all the seafood lovers would love that. Go ahead and make this at your next dinner party. Your guests will simply love it!

You will need:
Fish  500 gms
Lasagna Sheets – as required
Garlic chopped – 2 tsp
Ginger chopped – 2 tsp
Green Chillies - 5
Big Onion chopped – 2
Spinach chopped – 1 small bunch
Cream Cheese – 240 gms
Capsicum chopped – 1
Celery chopped – a few sprigs
Flour- 3 tbsp
Milk – 2 cups
Pepper – 3 tsp
Butter – 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Mozzarella Cheese – enough to top the lasagna

Step 1
Cook the fish with garlic, ginger, salt and green chillies in a little water.
Flake the cooked fish and keep aside.

Step 2
Saute half the onions in a little butter. Once it is transparent in colour, add the chopped spinach and sauté for another minute or so until it is just about wilted.
Add the cream cheese and stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and remove from fire.Keep aside.

Step 3
Prepare the white sauce by sautéing the remaining onions  and capsicum in the butter until the onions become transparent.
Add the flour and stir for a few seconds.  Add the milk and stir using a wire whisk to get a smooth thick mixture.
Switch off the flame and add the flaked fish, chopped celery and season with salt and pepper.

Step 4
Cook the lasagna sheets according to the package instructions.

Butter a pie dish. Put the first layer of Lasagna Sheets.
Top with fish mixture and cover with lasagna sheets again.
Put a layer of spinach mixture and a layer of lasagna sheet on top of that.
Repeat a layer of fish mixture and finish with lasagna sheets.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 Degrees for about 30 minutes.
Sprinkle the mozzarella and put it back in the oven for a minute or so.
Serve warm with garlic bread and green salad.

April 14, 2012

Mango Mousse

The summer is here and so are the mangoes. The streets are beginning to look all yellow with vendors piling up mangoes everywhere and small boys carrying baskets of mangoes to your car hoping to make some money. Its a perfect sight during a hot summer day. I got a batch of the seasons first mangoes and been thinking of doing something special with it. Panna Cotta would have been my first option but i had already done that in a previous post. So my next best option was this smooth creamy Mango Mousse and it was extra special as i made it specially for my younger sister and brother in law visiting us on a holiday. 

You will need:
Ripe Mango Skinned and De-seeded - 250 gms
Powdered Sugar - 100 gms
Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup
Egg Whites - 2
Cold Fresh Cream - 1 cup
Gelatin - 2 1/2 tsp

Blend the mangoes and the powdered sugar together and strain to remove to get a smooth mixture.
Soak the Gelatin in 2 tbsp of water.
Heat 1/4 cup of mango mixture and stir in the soaked gelatin until it melts.
Meanwhile, whip the eggs whites to achieve stiff peaks.
In another bowl, whip the fresh cream over a bowl of ice until its nice and fluffy.
Carefully fold the egg white mixture into the mango puree until combined.
Lastly, fold the whipped cream very gently into the mixture.
Spoon into your serving glasses and chill for a few hours until set.


Lamingtons are simple yet very appealing Australian treat that is used in most fund raisers. History says that it was probably named after Lord Lamington, who once served as the Governor of Queensland. I dont have any proof to any of that. All i care about is that it is such a humble sweet treat which makes me want to reach out for more and more. I made a whole batch of these delicious Lamingtons which lasted only for a day. These little squares can be made up of cutting any stale sponge cake or white cake which are store bought for a quick snack fix or just make your own if you are feeling very guilty of cheating on the recipe. I had no idea that a combination of chocolate and coconut would taste so wonderful until i tried this recipe. It truly is finger licking good. Honestly, my pictures don't do justice to the taste of these little chocolate sponges. Next time, i will surely remember to cut it better so don't be very disappointed by the look of it.

For the sponge cake, you will need :
Butter - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 tsp
Eggs - 2
Flour - 2 cups
Baking Powder - 4 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Milk - 1/2 cup

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 8 inch square dish with butter. 
Sift together all the dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla essence until fluffy in texture.
Add the eggs and combine well after each addition.
Add the flour mixture and milk alternatively till well combined. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake dish and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
Remove from cake tin once cooled to room temperature and let it rest in the fridge overnight. This allows to cake to firm up before icing it.
Cut the cake the next day into equal squares and prepare the icing.

For the Chocolate Icing, you need :
Icing Sugar - 4 cups
Butter - 2 tbsp
Cocoa Powder - 1/3 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Instant Coffee powder - 1 tsp (Optional)
Dessicated Coconut - 2 cups

Prepare the icing by combining all the ingredients except coconut in a medium saucepan placed on top of another bowl of simmering water until a thick runny sauce is created.
Set the coconut in a shallow dish.
Dip the squares in the chocolate mixture or ladle the chocolate mixture on each of the square and immediately roll it in the coconut. Set aside on a wire rack to dry completely.
The Chocolate sauce will thicken as it stands because of the icing sugar but don't worry. Just place it back on  top of the simmering water.
Refrigerate for a few hours before serving it for the flavours to seep in well.

Variation : Split the squares into half and sandwich it with your favourite strawberry preserve or butter-cream icings.

Breakfast Casserole

Imagine waking up to the sound of twittering birds outside your window sill, the sun peeping into the room through the lace curtains, your nose cold to touch and the smell of bacon wafting through the house. Divine !!! It was one such morning today. The house is filled with the aroma of this wonderful Bacon and Mushroom Casserole that it fills you with so much nostalgia from the childhood days. Breakfast Casseroles are a wonderful way of eating wholesome hearty breakfast right in the warmth of your home. Its perfect for those morning brunch parties too! It can be made a night ahead and popped into the oven just in time for your family breakfast. Feel free to experiment with vegetables of your choice but our family favourite is this amazing combination of Mushrooms and Bacon. Exclude the bread and put this on top of a short crust pastry and you have the famous Quiche Lorraine. Two in one dish!

You will need :
Mushrooms chopped - 200 gms
Bacon chopped - 200 gms
Onion Chopped - 1 cup
Eggs - 3
Egg Yolks - 2
Fresh Cream or Milk - 1 cup
Cheddar Cheese - 1 cup
Salt and Pepper - To taste
Butter - 2 tbsp
Garlic Powder - 2 tsp
Bread cubes - 4 slices

Preheat the oven to 150 Degrees and grease a pie dish.
Saute the bacon in a skillet until slightly crisp.Remove and allow it to cool.
In the same oil, add the butter and saute the onions until transparent.
Add mushrooms and cook till all the water from the mushroom dries up.
In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, cream or milk, cheese and all the seasoning.
Add the cooled bacon and mushroom mixture.
Meanwhile, put the bread cubes in a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes.
Line the pie dish with the bread cubes and pour the egg mixture on top of it.
Keep it overnight if you plan to bake it the next morning or put it in the oven right-away and bake for about 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Serve it with some delicious hash browns, sausages and toast.

April 12, 2012

Orange Sorbet

The summer is here and the heat is making all of us crave for some refreshing cooler.What better than a sweet, smooth frozen treat to bring the energy back so that we may go back and enjoy all that sand and water! I have the perfect easy recipe for you which will definitely get us all back in action in the sweltering heat. This Orange Sorbet is simple, refreshing and the perfect way to kick back and relax. I will continue to post more Sorbet and Gelato recipes so watch this space for more. Until then... Enjoy this Smooth and seductive Orange Sorbet!

You will need :
Freshly squeezed Orange Juice - 1 cup
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Fresh Lime Juice - 3/4 cup
Vodka - 2 tbsp (Optional)

Make a simple sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in water over low heat.
Allow it to cool completely and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring well.
Freeze for about 2 hours and blend it well to break all the ice crystals.
Repeat the process of freezing and blending atleast 3 more times.
The more times you blend it, the more smooth and fluffy your sorbet will be.
Enjoy it with a sprig of Mint for garnish.

April 9, 2012

Easter Beef Roast

Belated Happy Easter to all !!! Am sure all of you had a fabulous weekend with lots of yum food! I had a really good Easter too with family at our Ancestral home in Coonoor! Nothing like having enjoying your holiday with delicious home cooked food amidst rolling hills, twittering birds and lush greenery. One of the dish we had this Easter was Spicy Beef roast which is adapted from a Kerala Recipe Book my mom has. So if you are looking for a traditional English Beef Roast, this isnt the one. This Beef Roast is more spicy in flavour and caters more to someone with fiery taste buds, like my husband. Hope you enjoy this too !!!

You will need :
Beef Slices - 1 Kg
Worcestershire Sauce - 6 Tbsp
Dry Red Chillies - 14
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Pepper - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Water- 1/2 cup

Flatten the beef slices on both sides with a meat tenderizer.
Marinate the beef with a paste made of all the ingredients except water and keep it aside for a few hours.
Cook the beef with the water until the meat is tender and gravy thick.
Remove the beef slices from the gravy and grill it for about 5 minutes.
Serve it hot with mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables and the gravy.

April 2, 2012

Crispy Chicken

I know how many people who have eaten this at my place are grinning at the moment :) ! I know, I know... you have been waiting for me to post this forever so I dont want to keep you waiting anymore. Now we dont need to run to KFC anymore to eat all those oily fried chicken. You can now make it at home with a healthy twist and in no time. The Captain calls this chicken SFC "Serah Fried Chicken " but I refuse to accept that name as it doesn't do justice to this chicken. Firstly, it is "not fried". It is baked and equally delicious. Anybody coming to our home for the first time for a meal will surely have this treat, for I know it will not fail me or their taste buds. So here it is! Enjoy KFC style chicken in a healthy way.

You will need :
Chicken Pieces of your choice (I used drums this time ) - 1 Kg
Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Keya Garlic Bread Seasoning or Garlic Powder - 1 tsp ( Optional)
Plain Flour - 1/4 cup
Milk or buttermilk -3/4th cup
Cornflakes - 250 gms approx
Salt to taste

Marinate the chicken in all the ingredients except cornflakes and set aside in the refrigerator for a maximum of 24 hours and minimum of 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Crush the cornflakes and coat the chicken pieces in the cornflakes.
Arrange it on a baking tray and put a small dollop of butter on all the pieces.
Bake in the preheated oven for exactly 30 minutes and serve hot with some coleslaw, fries and enjoy your very own home made KFC mock Crispy Chicken. (Keep it in the oven itself on "keep warm" mode if you don't plan on having it immediately else it will become soggy.)

Coorgi Pandhi Curry

Finally i am posting the recipe i promised for this delicious Kodava Pork curry. This is one of our favourite pork dishes and it is always loved by my guests. The credit of this recipe goes to my Coorgi friend whose family has been cooking it for generations. In Coorg, its had with rice based dishes such as Kadambuttu (Rice Dumplings) and Akki Roti ( Rice Roti ). I served it with Mushroom Pulav and had it again next morning with Idiyappam (String Hoppers) .Am sure you will enjoy making this flavorsome Pork Curry of Coorg, just like i do.

You will need :
Pork cubes - 1 Kg
Chilli Powder - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Big Onions - 2
Garlic Cloves - 10 to 12
Green Chillies - 4
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 2 Tbsp
Kachampuli - 2 drops ( Refer Notes )
Salt to Taste

Step 1
Marinate the pork with Chilli powder, turmeric and salt for about an hour.

Step 2
Blend together onions, green chillies, garlic cloves and half of the cumin seeds to a smooth paste.

Step 3
In a deep pan, add the marinated pork and cook till excess water dries up. You dont need to add extra oil to pork.

Step 4
Add the ground masala and cook till done with very little water.

Step 5
While the pork is cooking, dry roast rest of the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and cumin powder till almost black but not burnt.

Step 6
Once the pork is cooked, add the roasted cumin powder mixture and cook for another 5 minutes.

Step 7
Add the Kachampuli and serve hot.

Kachampuli is a black coloured vinegar made from a wild fruit called Kachampuli. Since its not readily available everywhere, best substitute would be regular white vinegar. Kachampuli is very typical of Coorgi cuisine and adds a unique flavour to the pork. A small drop is very powerful so add with caution.

April 1, 2012

Chocolate Mousse In Mini Choco Cups

Here is another recipe to add to my series of "minis". I am in love with the idea of serving mini desserts to my guests and this one is the latest addition to that passion. I have made Chocolate Mousse several times but this time i felt like i am a professional Pattisier just by serving the common dessert differently. A real feel good factor! What better than serving the delectable French dessert in edible chocolate cups! Mousse is a French word for "foam" and most of the recipes use egg whites to give that foamy texture to it. There are innumerable recipes for Chocolate Mousse but i am very happy with this recipe as it is rich, light and foamy. Some recipes use gelatin but i find they are much heavier in consistency as compared to using just egg whites. I experimented with several methods for making the cups but the one that turned out to be very easy and made me very very happy was the method described below.

To make the Edible Cups you will need :
Dark Chocolate - 120 gms
Mini Cupcake Liners

Its as easy as this :
Melt the chopped dark chocolate over a double boiler.
Using a small pastry brush, generously coat the inside of the cupcake liner.
Place the cups inside the cupcake tray and freeze it for about 1 hour.
Paint a second coat of chocolate on the frozen cups and freeze again for another hour or two.
Remove the cupcake tray from the fridge and very very gently peel off the liner. And Voila!!! You have your very own edible cups. Handle them with very delicate fingers or you might break your work of art easily.
Put it back in the fridge while you make the Chocolate Mousse.

For the Chocolate Mousse, you will need :
Dark Chocolate Chopped - 1 cup
Cold Whipping Cream - 2 cups
Egg Whites - 3
Sugar - 3 tbsp 
Coffee - 3 tsp ( Optional)

Melt coffee and chocolate over a double boiler. Cool to room temperature.
Place the cream in a cold bowl placed on top of a bowl filled with ice and whip it until soft peaks form. Add half the sugar and whip again until stiff.
Whip the egg whites with the rest of the sugar and very very gently fold it into the melted chocolate.
Lastly, carefully fold the whipped cream to the egg white mixture and pipe into your edible cups. 
Refrigerate for about a few hours until set.
Serve with your choice of fruits and a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream.