January 7, 2014 § 4 Comments
Happy New Year everyone!
I’m very excited because this is my first post of 2014. I don’t believe in new year resolutions because eventually you forget about them, and feel guilty when you remember them again. So I’m going to look at this as a fresh start for this blog, and hope to update it more regularly. Please be rooting for me
This recipe was a result of my husband being out-of-town. He hates cauliflower so I haven’t been cooking any. Yesterday, I bought some and I was really looking forward to it, but didn’t want to do the typical Aloo Gobhi. The result – this crispy, baked, spicy cauliflower that makes for great snacking or does very well as a side dish. I’m so impressed that I’m even going to serve this up at my next dinner party. Try it. I’m sure you’ll be making it regularly once you do!
Baked Curried Cauliflower
What do you need?
Cauliflower, cut into florets – 1 cup
Olive Oil – 1 1/2 tablespoon
Mahrashtrian Garam Masala – 1/4 tsp (You can substitute this for garam masala, and add 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder and a pinch of sugar)
Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp
Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Garlic, grated – 3 to 4 cloves
Salt to taste
How do you do this?
- Mix together all the ingredients from Olive Oil to Salt, and add the cauliflower to it.
- Coat the cauliflower with the mixture using your hands and spread it out on a baking sheet.
- Bake in a 200 Degree Celsius oven for 20-25 mins until crisp from the outside.
September 13, 2013 § 2 Comments
I’m taking a huge bite of the cake as I write this post.
Overwhelmed by guilt, but unable to resist the refreshing, tart, citrus flavors that hit you as soon as you taste this melt-in-your-mouth cake, I’m on my third slice. If that’s not enough reason for you to get up right now and make this, I don’t know what is.
I’ve never been a fan of lemon tarts, lime pies and the likes because I can’t handle too much sourness. But I’m a convert with this cake, because the flavor is present without being overbearing and you don’t get this urgent need to gulp down water after having this.
Its yum and one of my favorite hands down!
Lime Pound Cake
What do you need?
All purpose flour or Maida: 1 1/2 cups
Granulated Sugar: 1 cup
Buttermilk: 100 ml
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder: 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/4 tsp
Butter at room temperature: 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract: 1 tsp
Lime Juice: 2 tsp
Lime Zest of 2 limes
How do you do this?
- Use a pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for baking the cake. I used a greased and floured 8″ ring tin (Don’t miss this step).
- Sift and whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Take another bowl and cream together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time. Once the eggs are incorporated, add the vanilla extract, lime juice and zest.
- On a low-speed, add the buttermilk and dry ingredients. Alternate the ingredients as you add them, always starting and ending with dry ingredients.
- Bake for 40 minutes. After 30 minutes keep checking to see done-ness.
- Sift powdered sugar on top, wait for the cake to cool down and dig in!
- Taste the cake batter before baking to check the lime flavor. I found that the flavor was too light so I squeezed a bit more juice in.
- The original recipe asked for the cake to be bakes for 50 minutes but mine was ready in 30.
- In case you are using salted butter like I did, avoid the extra salt mentioned in the recipe.
August 19, 2013 § Leave a comment
I bit into my first Cinnamon Roll in 2010. It was love at first bite. I visited a cafe in Pune called Coffee Jar, saw them on display and I couldn’t resist. Cinnamon, glaze, bread. There is nothing to resist in a combination like that. I went back over and over again. Just to have those sweet, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth Cinnamon Rolls.
When I moved to Hyderabad, I craved them but couldn’t find them anywhere. So I went searching for a recipe. I found quite a few but none as good as the ones that Coffee Jar served. Up until now. Here’s my favorite recipe, its easy, and I guarantee soft, buttery rolls every time.
What do you need?
All purpose flour or Maida: 400 gms
Granulated Sugar: 4 tbsp
Lukewarm milk: 1 cup
Salt: 1 1/2 tsp
Milk Powder: 28 gms
Instant Yeast: 1 1/2 tsp
Butter at room temperature: 3 tbsp
Oil for brushing: 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon Sugar: 2 tbsp Cinnamon Powder + 3/4 cup Granulated Sugar
How do you do this?
- Add flour, salt, milk powder, sugar, yeast and milk to a bowl and knead into a soft dough. You can use the dough hook in a blender or use your hand to make the dough.
- Knead for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and supple and starts to spring back on touch. As you knead, you will feel the dough getting tougher to knead which is a sign that gluten in forming in the dough. A sure shot way of knowing whether your dough is done, is to see if it passes the windowpane test.
- Half way through the kneading, start working 2 tbsp butter into the dough. This ensures that your dough becomes smoother.
- Brush a clean bowl with oil and place the dough into the bowl. Roll the dough around in the bowl, till its coated with oil. Cover and let it rest in an undisturbed corner for 45 mins to an hour till it doubles in size.
- Once the dough has doubled, gently pat it to release air. Knead it lightly and roll it out in a rectangular shape(15 by 9 inch).
- Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar evenly over the rolled dough.
- Starting from the 15 inch side, start rolling the dough to form a log. Pinch the sides to seal them, and cut into 12 rolls.
- Brush a baking pan with butter and place the rolls seam side up in the pan. Leave some space between rolls for them to rise. Let them rest for 45 minutes until almost double in size.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20 mins at 200 degree C.
- Try and resist for 20 minutes till they cool down. Devour!
- Granulated sugar works best for this recipe. It caramelizes really well, giving the rolls a slightly sticky gooey texture.
- You can substitute the cinnamon sugar with any other stuffing of your choice, sweet or savory.
- This recipe can be halved easily. The yeast can be reduced to 1 tsp for 6 rolls.
- I use instant yeast, but I’ve substituted it with Active Dry and Fresh yeast with the same results.
August 5, 2013 § Leave a comment
…or Cream? They are pretty much the same thing. I missed last Monday’s post and I’m so guilty. This blog has become a part of my life and when I miss a post that I know some of you look forward to, I feel bad for letting you down.
So here’s a dollop of cream or love to get you salivating through the week.
My mum and sister were in town all of last week, which is why I slacked off a bit. Blame it on them! I was surrounded by love and food (pretty much the same thing in my family). My mum taught me a ton of new things, and I hope I will be able to share some of her time treasured recipes with you. We were in foodgasmic glory all week and every day was a treat. They left yesterday, and honestly, it’s not the food that I miss. Don’t glare at me just yet. I miss all the love, the laughter, the gossip, the moments that we shared which are priceless. Clichéd but true. We had a blast, bonding the way only daughters and mothers do.
So I’m dedicating my love of food and this post to my lovely mum and my even lovelier little sister. They are my world!
Photo Courtesy: yumsugar and google search
July 26, 2013 § 5 Comments
Sunday lunches are famous all over the world when the entire family comes together and there is a huge meal laid out on the table. Conversation and wine flows and there is laughter all around.
But what about lunch on a Saturday? When you are still hung over from a late Friday night, most likely after one too many drinks, craving for something delicious but don’t want to put in two much effort. Fish in a packet comes to the rescue. Its one of the easiest dishes that I’ve ever made, goes really well with a large salad or just some fragrant rice. Its amazing what a few herbs and a piece of aluminium foil can do.
What do you need?
Basa Fish – 250 gm or 1 fillet cut into 2
Cubed Zucchini – Half a cup
Mushrooms – Half a cup
Julienned Carrots – Quarter cup
Rosemary, dried or fresh – A few sprigs
Finely chopped Garlic – 2 teaspoons
Olive Oil – 1 tablespoon
Chili Flakes – 1 teaspoon
Salt & Pepper to taste
How do you do this?
- Take a large piece of aluminium foil (8″ by 10″ approx). You don’t need to measure it, just go by instinct.
- Add all the ingredients mentioned above to it, drizzle olive oil and then use your hands to mix it all together.
- Seal the foil tightly by bringing the edges together so that no air escapes.
- Leave this aside for 15 mins to half an hour for the flavors to seep in. You can skip this step if you don’t have time. We’ve done that and it still tastes awesome.
- Bake in a 200 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Ensure that your oven is pre – heated.
- Once you take the fish out of the oven, let it rest for five minutes. Open the sealed foil and let the steam escape. You will find juices running through the foil, and if you like you can reduce them in a pan with a bit of white wine to make a sauce. Again, completely skippable.
And now, its time to eat. This takes exactly 20 minutes from start to finish if you don’t leave the fish to marinate. And the flavors come together so well. The fish is flaky and soft and it just melts in your mouth. And the best part is that you use absolutely no utensils so easy clean up. Perfect for bachelors, students and lazy bums like me!
Don’t have an oven? Don’t worry! After marinating everything together, leave it aside for 15 minutes and use a hot pan, drizzle some olive oil and sear it on either side for 3-4 minutes. Voila! Fish without a packet but just as awesome!
- Add a dollop of butter on top as soon as you unseal the packet. The butter will melt all over the fish and taste oh sooooo yummy!
- You can use oregano, thyme or parsley instead of rosemary. I’ve tried all of them, basically whatever’s at hand.
- Once the fish is cooked, you can sear it for exactly 30 seconds on each side in a sizzling hot pan to get this nice brown glaze. Do not sear it for longer or the fish will over cook.
- With fish its important to get the cooking time right so know your oven temperature and timings.
July 22, 2013 § 12 Comments
But seriously, food-unions (re-unions) exist and there should be a term for them. Like maybe foodunions. Okay we won’t go there again.
All I wanted to tell you was that this is pretty much what my friends and I do. We meet each other to eat, to devour, to taste…the best food we can find. In college, all of our plans revolved around what we felt like eating. One day it was the kababs that you used to get at a tiny stall in Santa Cruz, the next day it was Chinese at Dynasty, and then there were days when we were satisfied with just a vada pav. Well not just any vada pav, it was a hot burst-in-your-mouth full-of-flavor vada pav smeared with ragda and chutney.Don’t remind me. I’m salivating all over the keyboard right now.
I truly believe that food brings people together. Food can cut across culture, age, gender, ideologies, opinions, beliefs, religion, nationalities. All of these are insignificant when people get together and eat.
So I hope you start this week with a dish of your favorite food and keep eating! This doesn’t apply to my friends and I, who are trying very hard to diet. But yes, you go for it!
July 17, 2013 § Leave a comment
How many times have you made pizza and used ketchup as a base? Or a store-bought jar? That’s easy right? This is what you would do:
1. Decide to buy Pizza Sauce
2. Lock your house
3. Ride to the store
4. Buy the sauce
5. Pay for it
6. Ride back
Six steps? How about pizza sauce in 3?
What do you need?
Sliced Onions – 3
Chopped Garlic – 8-10 cloves
Basil – 4-5 fresh leaves
Bayleaf – 1
Chopped Tomatoes – 6 large
Cheap Red Wine – Half a cup
Olive Oil – 2 tablespoons
Salt, Oregano & Pepper to taste
How do you do this?
- Heat olive oil in a pan, and add bayleaf, onions and garlic to it. Fry till the onions become transparent. Add the tomatoes, give it a quick stir and throw in the salt, pepper, basil leaves and oregano. Put the lid on. Let this cook for about 15 minutes till the tomatoes completely break down and resemble a chunky sauce.
- At this point the mixture will start sticking to the bottom of your pan. Add the red wine and de-glaze. Stir it around and let it cook for another 15 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, give it a quick whir in the food processor till the sauce comes to a consistency that you like. Enjoy!
I couldn’t wait till evening for Denver to come home and then use this so I ended up piling this on top of toast without even grinding it. The goodness of tomatoes, olive oil, basil & oregano just burst into my mouth. This is my go to sauce for pizza, pasta, lasagna or just to layer on toast with cheese for a quick breakfast.
- If you have more time on your hands, let the sauce cook slowly on low heat for about 45 minutes. The flavors will be stronger.
- You can use dried basil if you don’t have access to fresh leaves.
- Try and use a heavy bottomed pan with a lid for the sauce.
July 15, 2013 § 6 Comments
I spent all of last week in Bangalore, doing what I like doing best – eating and meeting friends. It’s amazing how many new places have opened up in the city, with most trying to be fancy, and failing miserably. But there are a few which do have something special to offer. My pick of the week was Arbor Brewing Company. Freshly brewed beer, good food and great company made the afternoon I spent there a lot of fun.
What I liked was their grilled meat platter. Often I’ve been to pubs, where the menu has great steaks, chops and the likes. The menu always leaves me confused and no matter what I order, it’s never wholly satisfying. Because I want to taste everything. This platter on their menu did the trick. Grilled sausages, lamb chops, grilled chicken and bite sized pieces of steak, accompanied by sautéed mushrooms and mash. Perfect! It was enough to fill me up, and satisfy my meat craving. Are you calling me a glutton? Nah. I’m just an explorer of good food.
Photo Courtesy: Pinterest
July 8, 2013 § 2 Comments
That’s my motto while cooking, and everyone else in my family. In fact that’s where I get my love for food from. I’ve seen every member in my family cook including my husband, my dad, even my grandfather. The women in the family are mind-blowing cooks and everyone has their specialty, but the men take the cake when it comes to surprising you.
My favorite story goes like this. When we were kids, we were a bit fussy about green veggies and so on, like any other kid. One Sunday, mum was taking a nap in the afternoon and we were hungry. We only had access to left overs which was the oh-so-boring dal-chawal and Barbhatti (Long yard beans). Now I absolutely hate Barbhatti, with a vengeance!
Papa took it upon himself to feed his girls. We still don’t know what he did to those boring greens, but that was one of the most memorable meals I’ve had. It was his own concoction which I reckon had copious amounts of butter. But we didn’t care. It was yum and we pretty much inhaled it.
Even today, papa is always ready to add his touch and we love him for that!
So like I always say, pour all your love in to cooking, experiment, be adventurous with flavors and cook with abandon!
Picture Courtesy: Google Images and Xaxor.com
July 2, 2013 § Leave a comment
Who doesn’t love a soft, fluffy bun? I remember when I was back at home, and mom got buns home from the bakery to make burgers for dinner, I would gobble up a few of those even before they got to the kitchen. I love the smell of hot buns, buttered and warm from the bakers.
This is a fresh take on those buns, flavored with garlic and basil. Great to have just as with a layer of butter, or with a thick burger patty inside alongside some sweet caramelized onions or turned into mini sliders.
This recipe is versatile, and you can make a sandwich loaf, hamburger buns, dinner rolls or hot dog buns. I modified the original recipe from my newly acquired prized possession – The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I have made an everyday sandwich loaf from this recipe and that was excellent too!
What do you need?
(Makes 9 Buns)
All purpose flour (Maida) - 305 g, 2 1/3 cups Powdered Milk - 20 g, 1/8 cup Sugar - 23.5 g, 1 1/2 tablespoons Active Dry Yeast - 3 g, 1 teaspoon Egg, slightly beaten - 1/2 an egg Butter - 23.5 g, 1 1/2 tablespoon Water - 1 cup Milk - 1/2 cup Chopped basil - 3 tablespoon Chopped garlic - 2 tablespoon Salt - 3/4 teaspoon Egg Wash - 1/2 an egg whisked with a teaspoon of water until frothy
How do you do this?
- Proof the yeast by taking half a cup of lukewarm water, adding sugar and water to it and leaving it aside for ten minutes until the yeast is frothy. - Mix together flour, salt, basil, garlic and powdered milk. Pour in the yeast mixture, egg, butter and the remaining water and milk and form the dough. - Sprinkle a little flour on the counter and start kneading the dough with the heel of your hand, pushing with one hand and pulling with the other. Add a little more flour if the dough is sticky till it becomes soft and supple. I always recommend adding as little flour at this point as necessary. - Knead for at least 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl, brushed with oil and turn the dough around till the oil coats it as well. Cover with plastic wrap and keep aside till it doubles in size. - After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down lightly and form 9 equal rounds and place them on a baking tray . Lightly brush them with oil and cover them with a kitchen towel. Keep aside for another hour and a half. - After 90 minutes, the buns would have doubled in size. Brush them gently with the egg wash and bake in a pre - heated oven at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. - Cool the buns on a wire rack immediately after they've finished baking. - Try and resist them for half an hour to let them cool and then enjoy!
- Always wait till your yeast has proved. If it doesn't become frothy, chuck it and try again. - The flavors can be changed and you can be as creative as you want. - The buns can be stuffed as well. - You can use dry basil instead of fresh basil. - This recipe can be doubled.