July 25, 2012

Coorg Kadumbuttu

I feel like I took a really long break from blogging. Thanks to the never ending flu that everyone in my family had one after the other. I am still not completely well but that should not keep me from doing what I like to do best. It has been one mad week and not been having time for anything. My baby has been such a good boy adjusting to all the changes around him and being a social butterfly that he is. Anyways, back to the recipe that I have been wanting to post for a very long time. 

Kadumbuttu is steamed rice dumplings that is very popular in Coorg and goes very well with Pandhi Curry . My friends in Coorg tell me that it is quite often made at their lavish weddings along with an array of other wonderful mouth watering traditional food. My love for Coorg food goes way back in time when I was probably in Kindergarten. The taste still lingers in my mouth that even after several decades, it has encouraged me to cook everything I relished then.
You will need:
Fine Rice Rava (Thari as they call it in Coorg) - 250 gms
Hot Water - 750 ml
Salt - to taste
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Ghee - to grease your palm
Wash the rice well and cook it in the hot water, salt, cardamom powder and grated coconut on low flame.
Once it is cooked, it will turn into a soft mass of dough.
Turn off the flame and keep the vessel closed for about 5 minutes.
Grease your palm with some water and ghee.
Make lemon sized balls with the hot dough.
Place the rice dumplings in a steamer and cover it with a muslin cloth.
Steam it on low for about 20 minutes and serve hot with your favourite spicy non-veg curry.

July 14, 2012

Spicy Chicken Kababs

Who doesn't like well cooked juicy kababs with all those wonderful flavours in the right balance? I love kababs and it is my sure order at every food court I visit. I am so glad I found this recipe for a perfectty juicy and spicy kababs. They are a perfect accompaniment to a chilled glass of beer on a cozy evening or even to awe your guests during that special dinner party. I made this thrice and at all times was asked if they were restaurant bought. My father in law loved this and he compliments my cooking only if it is really worthy to do so :) . I have added Chilli Powder in the place of Kashmiri Chilli powder to make it more spicy, so please adjust the spice accordingly. 
You will need:
Chicken Breast cubed - 500 gms
Maida - 3 Tbsp
Corn Flour - 1 1/2 Tbsp
Kashmiri Red Chili Powder or regular Chili Powder - 2 tbsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/4 tsp
Carrom seeds (Ajwain) -  a pinch
Lemon Juice - 2 tbsp
Beaten Egg - 1
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Salt as per taste
Red Food Colour - a pinch (Optional)

Marinate the chicken with a mixture of all the ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours.
Heat about 1/2 cup oil in a pan and shallow fry the marinated chicken on medium flame for about 5 minutes on one side.
Turn over and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Do not over fry else it will become too dry.
Drain on a kitchen paper and serve hot with Onion rings and lemon wedges.

July 11, 2012

Mini Mushroom Quiche Cupcakes

I had the most fabulous Mommies and Babies potluck tea party last evening. My contribution to the wide array of tasty food, was this fool proof mini quiche which I never hesitate to make for any brunch or tea parties. They never fail to impress my guests. When I make it for a regular breakfast, I make it the usual way with the shortcrust pastry at the bottom, but if I catering to a larger crowd, these minis without the crust work best. Feel free to experiment with other vegetables if you wish but from the general feedback I found that mushrooms with a combination of bacon and onions are the tastiest. 
For the Quiche, you will need :
Mushrooms chopped - 250 gms
Bacon - 200 gms (Eggetarians may opt out of this)
Onions chopped - 1 large
Fresh Cream - 250 gms
Processed or Cheddar Cheese grated - 200 gms
Whole Eggs - 2
Egg yolks - 2
Keya Galic bread seasoning or Italian seasoning - 2 tsp (Adjust to your taste )
Salt and Pepper - to taste
If you using the Shortcrust Pastry on a regular tart pan, you will need:
Plain flour, sifted - 200 gms
Pinch of salt
Chilled butter, cubed - 100 gms
Egg beaten - 1

Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and whiz briefly.
Add the egg little by little until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
Add only enough beaten egg so that the mixture is moist enough to come together.
Flatten the dough with your hands and place in a cling film.
Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll it out into a 5mm thickness pastry circle.
Put it in a tart pan carefully. Prick with a fork all over the pastry.
Cover with a foil or a cling film and put some baking beans or dried pulses on top the film. This prevents it from puffing up during baking.
Preheat the oven to 180 C and bake the shortcrust pastry for about 15-20 minutes or until the pastry feels dry.
This pastry can be made ahead and refrigerated for later use.
To prepare the quiche:
Preheat the oven to 180C for about 10 minutes.
Saute the chopped bacon (if using) for a few minutes until lightly crisp.Keep aside to cool.
Saute the chopped onions in the bacon oil until transparent. Keep aside.
Saute the chopped mushrooms to remove excess water for about 10 minutes or less.
In another bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, egg yolks and the seasoning.
Add the chopped mushrooms, onions and bacon.
Divide equally among the cupcake tins lined with the cupcake liners.
Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Make sure it does not dry out too much either. Serve it hot from the oven.
Bake in a similar way by pouring the mixture atop the pre-baked crust if you are using the tart tin.
This recipes yields 12 standard mini quiche or one 9 inch tart.

July 5, 2012

Mocho Choco Cupcakes

These days, nothing is more therapeutic than baking that favorite cake of mine. The aroma of the freshly baked goodies fills the house and lifts any low mood I am facing. Yesterday was complete chaos in the kitchen. I think I outdid myself by making a lot of things at a stretch.  Now when I think of it, I am not sure how I did it especially with a clingy toddler in the house. The photographs however will tell you that I had a toddler up my back while I was trying really hard to take a decent picture. Thanks to Smita Mathews for sharing this lovely cupcake recipe.  It is a keeper. It has a distinct flavor of coffee with the wonderful combination of chocolate. Proved again that a combination of coffee and chocolate is truly a match made in heaven. 

You will need:
Eggs - 2
Unsalted Butter - 125 gm, softened
Caster Sugar - 1 cup 
Milk - 3/4 cup
Vanilla Essence 1 tsp
Instant Coffee Powder- 2 tbsp
Cake Flour - 2 cups (Check tips & tricks page on top for substitution)
Baking Powder – 3 tsp
Chocolate Chips - 1/2 cup (Coat it in a little flour to avoid it from sinking to the bottom of the cake) 
Preheat the oven to 180 C for about 10 minutes prior to baking.
Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium sized bowl, beat together the eggs, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Sift together the baking powder, cake flour and the coffee powder.
Add the milk, sifted flour mixture, vanilla essence and stir to combine.
Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.
Stir in the choc chips.
Divide the mixture between the prepared cupcake tin and fill it until they are a slightly more than half.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until risen & firm to the touch.
Cool for a few minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool fully before icing. 

Mocha Icing
Unsweetened cocoa powder- 1/3 cup 
Strong brewed coffee - 1/3 cup 
Confectioners' sugar - 3 cups 
Butter -1/3 cup 
Salt - 1/8 teaspoon
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon

Heat coffee and cocoa in small sauce pan for a minute stirring all the time. It will thicken slightly.Remove from heat.  
Add sugar, butter, salt, and vanilla. Beat until blended.
Scrape bowl, and beat icing until it has a spreading consistency.
If you find the icing too runny, refrigerate until it thickens.