Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A very simple cake - my first bake



 My sister , the baker in the family used to make very simple yet delightfull cakes. Suddenly she lost the inspiration to do any more baking and thus my annual quota of cakes from her also stopped.
I had always wanted to bake cakes but somehow i had an impression that its a herculean task. I saw Deeba's site and was overwhelmed!
Then one of my collegues at office i discovered was equally gungho about baking and shared with me a very simple recipe and thus i started baking.

Ingredients
1 Cup all purpose flour/Maida
1 Cup ground Sugar
1 Cup unsalted cooking Butter (in liquid form)
3 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 Tbsp of Sugar (for caramelizing)
1 tsp Baking powder
25 - 50 gms Raisins

Method
  1. Sieve the flour along with the baking powder 2-3 times.
  2. In a deep bowl  break the 3 eggs and beat it till fluffy. It will rise to 2-3 times its initial quantity.
  3. Add the Butter and beat again.
  4. Add the sugar and mix again.
  5. Add the flour 2 Spoonfuls at a time and mix well.
  6. At the end add the essence.
  7. Now take a work and heat it at full flame. Add the 1 Tbsp of sugar and let it melt and attain that very dark brown colour. Once done reduce the flame and add 1/4 cup of water to it slowly and mix well.
  8. Add the above caramelized sugar to the cake. Make sure that you don't add any solid pieces that might have formed on adding water.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Coat the raisins with some flour and add them as well to the cake mix. This will prevent them from sinking to teh bottom.
  11. Pour the cake mix into a baking container lined with butter paper and bake at 180ÂșC for 30-40 mins or until the knife comes out clean
Few things to take care of:
  • If you have a electric hand mixer use that. you will be able to work up the cake more and it will turn out better.
  • Take care while caramelizing sugar. It should not turn black lest it will introduce a bitter taste into the cake. Also do not add too much of it to the cake mix. Add and mix to test  the colour.
Now enjoy the cake and the aroma it spreads!

I am sending this over to Cookies and cakes for Xmas and Vandana's Baking for Beginner's Part-II

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chicken Lollipops


Last 1 year has been very hectic .There have been a variety of reasons in the order as below:

1. House recce, buying and then settling in (still in the process!!)
2. Travelling (trip to home after 3 long years)
3. Continuous stay in guests (to the tune of 13 people at a time)

So I thought that this saturday i am definitely not going have anyone come over. But as fate would have it, A and friend decided to discuss visiting each others abode on friday. In such scenario A is predictable , friend has to visit us first before we take the step to his place!.

I again ended up having guests for dinner on Saturday.

I therefore relied on my time tested recipe of Chicken Lollipos The recipe from Chicken Lollipops is adapted from Tarla Dalal's Samsung Microwave Cooking.The original recipe is a microwave version with some ingredients different from what i use and microwaved instead of deep fried.
Here comes a recipe that cannot go wrong!

Ingredients:

750 gms of Chicken Lollipops (store bought)
5 Tbsp of Heinz tomato ketchup (or any other brand, I happened to have this one)
2.5 Tbsp Cornflour
3 Tbsp All Pupose Flour (Maida)
3 Tbsp of Lemon juice
2 tsp Red Chilli powder (or as hot as you want it)
2 Tbsp Garlic Paste
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Method

  1. Wash and clean Chicken Lollipops and drain all water from it. Add to it all the ingredients mentioned above and mix well.
  2. Keep the marinated chicken for 10 mins at room temperature and then in freezer for 30 mins.
  3. Heat oil in a deep wok and fry the pieces till they are deep red in colour.
Few things to note:

  1. Pour in enough oil so that the lollipops are well immersed.
  2. Oil should be heated very well. (drop a little piece of marination , it should come up imediately)
  3. Reduce the heat after you add the pieces, such that they fry with bubbles but do not burn too soon.
  4. Do not put in too many pieces together. They should be well spread in the oil. I fried 5 pieces at a time in amedium sized wok/Kadhai.
  5. One point to note keep the recipe on the sweeter side by adding red chilli as recommended or less. This makes it very appealing to kids.
Easy ? Now enjoy! :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Baigan Ka Bharta (Mashed Brinjal/eggplant)


I am not sure how to put the incident as amusing or something i better forget! But whenever i remember the first time i made baigan ka bharta , i burst out laughing!
Baigan ka bharta is a typical north indian dish. Traditionally its cooked over charcoal embers and that process gives it a very distinct flavour.
When I had this dish at my friend's home, i liked it and decided to make it at home. I was quite young and not at all adept at cooking. I got my father to bring home  the large sized brinjal to make this dish. The dish turned out well.
Me and mom were having dinner together and she was enjoying having the bharta so was I. And it was then i noticed that in the bharta were some undesirable things cooked along with it- white worms!
'Dharm Sankat' !! what to do....tell her and spoil her dinner ( no we are not vegetarians but still a worm is a worm  :-) ) or keep mum and bask in the glory of having made a good dish (and fervently hope that the creatures don't appear in her plate). Well what do you think i did....? :-)

Coming to the recipe, the normal sized Brinjal/eggplant won't do. It has to be the large rotund purple ones. Something like this

Ingredients

1 Large Brinjal/ Eggplant [It would weigh somewhere between 400-600 grams)
1 Cup finely chopped Onions
1 Cup finely chopped Tomatoes
8 - 10 Thin Cloves of Garlic
1-2 finely chopped Green Chillies
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder [optional]
1 Tbsp finely chopped Corriander leaves.
oil to cook
salt to taste

Method
  1. Wash and dry the Brinjal/eggplant. Do not cut the top of the eggplant as it can be used to hold it.
  2. Make random 1/2 inch incision into the eggplant so that the incisions are spread over the entire surface.
  3. Into the incisions insert the cloves of garlic. Its easier to insert if the cloves are thin . If cloves are thick then they can be cut lenthwise into thinner pieces.
  4. Now take 1/2 tsp of oil in your palms and coat the surface of the brinjal/eggplant with the oil, just enough to have a thin layer.
  5. Now place the brinjal/eggplant on a microwaveble dish and micrwave at high for 10 mins.[Alternatively you can use the top to hold the eggplant over the flame of a stove and cook it. But this method is very messy so i do not prefer it.]
  6. Remove it from the oven and keep it to cool.
  7. When cooled, remove the skin and slice off the top of the brinjal/eggplant. Mash the cooked, peeled brinjal/eggplant along with the garlic cloves placed inside it.Keep it aside.
  8. In a wok add 1 Tbsp of oil and saute the onions till they are translucent
  9. Then add the green chillies, turmeric,salt, red chilly powder. Saute for 2- 3 mins on low flame.
  10. When done add the tomatoes, mix it and cover it with a lid and let it cook till the tomatoes are fully cooked.(The tomatoes should leave the water and the water should evaporate).
  11. Now add the mashed brinjal/eggplant to the wok and mix it well.Keep it covered for 2-3 minutes and then remove from the flame.
  12. Garnish it with chopped corriander leaves before serving. Serve it with Roti/Paratha.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sooji Ka Halwa (In Microwave)



Weekend breakfasts are the high point for me. Me and A both have not one but 2 sweet teeth, love to have something sweet on sundays(and whenever in the week if its possible!). Therefore I love making Sooji ka halwa on sundays as an add on. These days I make it in Microwave.

The following recipe will easily serve 4 people.

Ingredients

3/4 cup of Sooji (semolina)
5-6 Tbsp of Sugar (or as per taste)
3 Tbsp of Ghee (clarified Butter)
2 Cloves
Handful Raisins, cashews
2 Cups of Water
Method

  1. Heat the Sooji in a bowl/broad dish in Microwave at 450 for 8 mins. Stir in between at 2 - 2.5 mins.
  2. Take it out and add the 2 Tbsp ghee (save some for later). Mix well and heat it again at 450 for 3 mins. Stir at every 1 min. Be careful not to let it burn. If not stirred regularly the sooji at the bottom and the edges will burn.
  3. Take it out.It should be golden brown by this time.
  4. Add 2 cups of water ,sugar and clove. Mix well.
  5. Keep the mix in Microwave for at max power till the water dries off and the mix is soft (usually it will take 8-10 mins). Take it out
  6. Roast the raisins,cashews (preferably seperately one by one) in 1 Tbsp ghee in a MW safe dish for 15secs-30secs at max power(900 for me). They should turn light brown.I prefer to do this part on stove since the raisins sometimes turn sour and hard in MW.
  7. Add the raisins/cashews to the Sooji Halwa, mix and serve it hot.

Sending this over to Ruchika's Event Virtual Party - Snacks and Smitha's Microwave Easy Cooking - FESTIVE DISHES

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bhopal....

A very good post by Shekhar Kapoor on the Bhopal verdict. Thought i should share....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cheela - Gram Flour Crepe




Bored of Dosa...try Cheela..The instant dosa made of Besan/gramflour needless to say delicious!
This one is another of my favourites for a breakfast.
Ingredients:
2 Cups of Besan / Gramfour
1 1/4 cup of Water
1 cup spring onion
a Pinch of hing/Asafoetida
1/2 inch of grated ginger
1-2 Green Chillies
Oil to cook
Salt to taste
  1. Sieve the besan and mix it well with water until no lumps are there. The consistency should not be too thick or too thin..
  2. Finely chop the Spring onions and the green chillies.Add them to the Besan mix
  3. Also add the hing and grated ginger.
  4. Mix everything well
  5. Heat a girdle preferably a non-stick one.
  6. Spread oil on the girdle when its sufficiently heated incase its a non stick variety.
  7. Take a ladle full of the mix and spread over the girdle evenly as for a dosa/crepe.
  8. Allow it to cook. The sides will ease off easily when one side is done. Turn it over. Sprinkle more oil of needed.
Remove from stove and serve it hot with Pudina Chutney/Tomato ketchup.

Monday, November 30, 2009

December 3rd 1984...

It was the starting of winters for us..I was at the busstop..as usual..waiting for the school bus…ready to embark on the new day ..all of us kids around the same age would spend the time just before the arrival of the bus playing...but why was the bus not arriving..we had exhausted our quota of all the games...
And then out of the bleary mist we saw it slugging at slow pace towards us..possibly around 7.00 Am..but wait why is it empty...it was not supposed to be ..since ours was the last stop where it stopped to pick up students for the school that day.
The bus finally stopped and out popped the driver's head ‘ koi gas leak hui hai city area mein Chutti hai’ (some gas has leaked in the old city area of bhopal so a holiday has been declared) …the holiday lasted for a fortnight ....fortunately for me my family lived in the new part of Bhopal..just beyond the BHEL township. and that fateful night the wind was blowing in the opposite direction…
Union Carbide factory emitted poisonous gas which killed thousands of people…maiming others …in a single night and killing thousands more in the years to come. It was situated in the older parts of the Bhopal…near the railway station…I heard later that the Station master died that night…trying to stop all the trains from passing from Bhopal…Bhopal being a junction has quite a number of trains passing it...
I guess the impact was lost on me at that age…I understood it only much later…
And the irony Union Carbide is back in business in India with a new name.
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