Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Celebrating an Year of Blogging with my 100th Post: Chocolate Cake, obviously!

I started writing this blog exactly one year ago and here I am today with my 100th post! On my journey with this blog, I not only got to know and experiment with a lot of new recipes from the blog-world, but also made some good friends.

Until a few years ago, I didn't know anything about cooking or baking or anything remotely connected to going near the kitchen. I wasn't interested in cooking at all before my marriage, maybe I didn't feel the need to learn to cook because my mom took care of that, and more importantly, I was so carefree and busy enjoying my time with my friends that I never bothered to learn to cook.

All I would do then was to stand in a corner of the kitchen and chat with my mom whilst she was cooking. And, now I realise, my subconscious mind had learned cooking then - just by looking at my mom cook.

After coming to Munich, I started cooking regularly and then I slowly started liking it. My hubby is a foodie, and, thanks to him, I tried my hand at lots of different and new types of cuisine, learning lots of new things. And then, one fine day, I told my hubby that I thought I should note down my recipes somewhere. And Veggi Fare was born.

It feels so good when others try out one's recipes, like them and tell one about it... the first time somebody wrote to me about how they loved a particular recipe they tried from this blog - I felt as if I had achieved the moon :-) The past year has been a wonderful journey, and all of you travelled bits of the road with me....thank you for that!


Today, I would love to share this chocolate cake recipe (what else could it be?) with you. 


Ingredients

175 grams - whole wheat flour
1/2 cup - muscovado sugar (more or less)
5 tbsp - sunflower oil
4 tbsp - low fat yogurt
3/4 cup -1 cup - low fat milk
2 tbsp - crushed hazelnuts
1 tbsp - cocoa powder
1/2 tsp - baking powder
1/2 tsp - bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp - vanilla essence
a pinch of salt

Icing

100 ml - cream
100 gram - dark chocolate, finely chopped

to decorate

white chocolate and milk chocolate curls

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C and grease a 20 cm round cake tin.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, soda, baking powder, salt and hazelnuts.
  3. In another bowl, mix well the yogurt, milk, oil and vanilla essence.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and tip in the liquid ingredients and mix lightly.
  5. Pour the batter in the greased cake tin and place the tin in the center of the preheated oven and bake for approx 30 minutes. Let the cake rest in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  6. Cool the cake on a wire rack and when completely cool, cut the cake horizontally through the middle.
  7. Place the cream and chocolate in a sauce pan and heat gently, stirring constantly, until the chocolate has melted.
  8. Pour onto a large bowl and using an electric hand whisk, beat the mixture for 7-8 minutes.
  9. Pour half of the choco-cream in between the 2 cake slices and then cover the cake with the rest and chill in the fridge
  10. Sprinkle the chocolate curls on the cake and serve. 


Warm up the cake- slice in the microwave for 10 seconds and serve with a scoop of vailla ice-cream- tastes simply great.


A slice of chocolate cake - just for you :-)

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Corn Stuffed Baked Tomatoes

We were away on our much awaited and much needed holiday to London. London is my favourite short holiday destination, I like the hustle bustle of this city, the food and, of course, the shopping... what could be better than this combination:-)

We hogged and shopped and hogged.... Ohhh what a lovely holiday it was. I feel totally rejuvenated and happy. 



After having eaten so many calories, I decided to make something simple and light and healthy. These baked tomatoes have a lovely blend of flavours and looked really cute. 


Ma, my granny, used to make this corn stuffing, which is a starter on its own, and we would finish it off in no time. The first words when I served this dish to my hubby was that "Ma used to make this ." With a smile on my face but watery eyes remembering her, I said, "Yes, I have just put them in tomatoes." 



With or without the tomatoes, this dish tastes great!

Ingredients

4 - tomatoes, medium size
1/3 cup - low fat milk
1/4 tsp - black pepper powder
1 tsp - cheddar cheese, grated
1 tsp - sunflower oil
1/8 tsp - cumin seeds (jeera)
a generous pinch of sugar
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
a generous pinch of dried crushed mint leaves
salt to taste

To be coarsely ground without using water

3/4 cup - corn, boiled
1 - green chilli (more or less)
1 tsp - ginger

Method
  1. Cut a thin slice off the tomatoes from the top and scoop out the insides.
  2. Cut a very thin slice off the bottom of the tomatoes. It helps in keeping the tomatoes stable.
  3. Rub a little salt in and around the tomatoes.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan, add the cumin seeds and hing, when the seeds start to splutter add the coarsely ground corn, salt, sugar, pepper powder and milk and cook on a low heat, stirring continously until the milk evaporates. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  6. Fill the tomatoes with the corn stuffing, sprinkle the cheese and dried mint leaves on top.
  7. Place the tomatoes in a baking tray and place the tray in the center of the preheated oven. Bake until the tomatoes are slightly tender and the skin starts parching.
  8. Serve hot.

Enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hokkaido Pomegranate Risotto

Hope you all had a beautiful weekend. The weather in our neck of the woods has been really beautiful lately, loads of sunshine with a slight chill in the air. Perfect for long walks...

With Autumn in its full swing, one can see varieties of squash and pumpkins at the grocery store. I just couldn't stop myself from picking one up. At the store I thought I would make a Hokkaido soup, which I absolutely love. However, at the last moment, I had a change of mind and
 this delicious recipe was born. 


This risotto tasted simply awesome, with the pomegranate adding a slight sweet and fruity taste, the parmesan cheese adding on its own special flavour and obviously the hokkaido being the star ingredient. The parmesan cheese crisps (recipe here) not only makes the risotto look gourmet, but it adds crunchiness to it. 


Special thanks to my hubby, who helped me scooping out the squash and made his signature parmesan cheese crisps :-) 


Ingredients

1 - hokkaido squash, small size 
1 cup - arborio rice
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp - olive oil
1/4 cup - chives, finely chopped + to garnish
1 - onion, medium size, finely chopped
40 grams - parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
1/4 cup - pomegranate seeds + to garnish
400 ml - water (more or less)
20 grams - parmesan cheese, grated, (to make crisps, see the recipe here)
salt and pepper to taste


Method
  1. Cut the top of the hokkaido squash horizontally, scoop out the seeds and then scrape off the flesh from the squash. (I got 1 cup of flesh from a small hokkaido)
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the garlic, onions and the rice and saute for  a couple of minutes, stirring continously, on high flame.
  3. Add salt, pepper and the finely chopped hokkaido squash and mix well.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and keep adding water little by little, as it is absorbed.
  5. When the rice is cooked, add the chives, the parmesan and the pomegranate seeds, and mix well.
  6. Spoon the risotto into the hokkaido shell and garnish it with pomegranate seeds, chives and parmesan crisps and serve hot. 

Enjoy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Chickpea Salad in Parmesan Bowl by him :-)

Hope you all had a beautiful weekend! We had a lovely time over Diwali, had loads of good food and sweets and the icing on the cake was that my hubby made this recipe for me over the weekend. I really really loved this one. He is a cheese freak and I am turning into one too, well, trying to...I do not like all varieties yet, especially the strong and pungent ones, but have definitely developed a taste for many kinds of cheeses. 



This parmesan cheese bowl tastes absolutely fantastic, it's easy to make and looks great too. It's also always an eye-catcher when we invite people over for a meal. You can also shape it almost any way you want while its still hot. It needs to be eaten fresh, however - the same day is fine, overnight it becomes dry and hard.

The cheese bowls work very well with any kind of salad or pasta. We had some chickpeas and some greens lying aruond, so used these in the salad. Other types of hard cheeses generally also work (but not all, so be careful!) - but the unique taste of parmesan makes it unequalled.


Of course, the best part about this recipe was...He did all the cooking, I was pampered like a child, and I totally loved it !!! :-)

Ingredients for the salad

1 cup - chickpeas, boiled
100 gram - corn salad / lamb's lettuce (Feldsalat)
1 - yellow tomato, chopped
walnuts, roughly chopped

For the dressing

4 tbsp - balsamico vinegar
4 tbsp - chilli oil
1 tbsp - honey (more or less)
salt and pepper to taste
(to be mixed together)

For the cheese bowl

120 grams - parmiggiano reggiano (parmesan), grated


Method 
  1. Mix the ingredients of the salad, except the walnuts in a bowl, toss in the dressing and let it stand for 15-20 mins.
  2. Spread the grated cheese on a non stick pan in a rough circle, 15cm to 20cm in diameter, according to the size of the pan and the size of the bowl you want.
  3. Place the pan on a medium flame and let the cheese cook for a minute to a minute and a half, until it turns slightly brownish and stops "sweating" oil. 
  4. Carefully remove the cheese with a spatula. Immediately, while still hot, place the cheese "plate" onto the backside of a bowl (or any other shape you want). 
  5. Press very gently into the shape of the bowl with a piece of tissue paper or a napkin.
  6. Remove carefully and let the cheese bowl cool and harden for a few minutes.
  7. Fill in the salad into the bowl, garnish with the walnuts, and serve!

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Badam Katli / Barfi and Happy Diwali!

Wishing you all a very Happy Diwali - the Inidan festival of light. Hope this festival brings loads of luck, love and laughter. 


Sweets and festivals always go hand in hand and that certainly brings a smile to my face. I try and make traditional indian sweets and food on festivals. It makes the day special and I don't miss my loved ones back home too much. 


Badam katli or Badam Barfi is a sweet made out of almonds. It resembles very much the European marzipan, the main difference being that the indian version is without the bitter almonds.


This sweet is a must during Diwali at our place. My mother in law has been making this for years and I learned this recipe from her and ever-since, I have been making this on Diwali too.

The traditional Indian version would normally be without saffron and have a diamond shape. I didn't use the traditional diamond shape but rather cut the barfi pieces with a cookie cutter. Whatever the shape, the taste is just exceptional. Hope you like them too :-)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup - almonds, preferably no bitter almonds
1 1/4 cup - sugar (you may increase it to 1 1/2 cup if you want it extra sweet)
15-20 strands of saffron (optional)
edible silver foil (warq), optional


Method
  1. Soak the almonds in water overnight.
  2. Remove the almonds from the water. Add some boiling water to cover the almonds. Cover the bowl with a lid and keep for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the water and peel the almonds. The hot water makes the peeling much easier. 
  4. Using a little water, make a fine paste in a mixer. Use as little water as possible - the more water you use, the longer the cooking time
  5. Empty the paste in a heavy bottomed non-stick pan, add the sugar and mix.
  6. Place the pan on a high flame, and cook, stirring continously, until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. 
  7. Add the strands of saffron at this stage and cook further until the mixture forms a lump. 
  8. Transfer it to a tray and let it cool.
  9. Using a rolling pin, roll out the almond dough to the desired thickness (I used a thickness of approximately 0.6 centimeters, although anything up to 1.5 cm should be ok) and cut with the help of a cookie cutter. 
  10. Carefully put the edible silver foil, if available, on the barfi and gently press the foil onto the barfi with a piece or ball of cotton wool. 
  11. Tastes completely awsome when still warm, but keeps for upto a week in an airtight container. 

Happy Diwali!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Mini Bournvita Bundt Cake

There is festivity in the air...with Diwali - the Indian festival of lights just around the corner. And with this festival are associated loads of sweets. And as you already know, both my hubby and I just need an excuse to indulge...well err... sometimes we indulge even without an excuse...but lets not get into that. 


Festivals mean joy and happiness and gifts :-) and of course loads of goodies... I thought I should start this month and welcome Diwali with these mini bournvita cakes.



They are simple to make and the main ingredient of these cakes is Bournvita, of which I am an addict. Of course, if you do not have Bournvita, you can use your own favourite brand of malt-chocolate drink. I have been drinking this good old powder mixed with my milk since childhood and its now a habit for life. I make sure that I stock up on Bournvita every time I visit India, enough to last me the whole year. 


These mini bundt cakes looked insanely cute and together with the bournvita cream icing they tasted just heavenly. If you love bournvita like me, then, I am sure you would love these cuties too :-)


Ingredients

2 tbsp heaped - whole wheat flour
2 tbsp - muscovado sugar (more or less)
1 1/2 tbsp - bournvita powder
1/2 tsp - cocoa powder
1/8 tsp - baking powder
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp - sunflower oil
4 tbsp - low fat milk

Bournvita cream

3 tbsp - cream
1/2 tsp - bournvita
1/4 tsp - castor sugar 
mix everything together and beat until thick

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C and grease 7 mini bundt cake pans.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, sugar, bournvita powder, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl, mix well the oil and milk.
  4. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix lightly.
  5. Spoon the batter in to the greased bundt cake pans and place them in the center of the preheated oven and bake for approx 7-8 minutes.
  6. Let the cakes cool on a wire rack completely before decorating them with the bournvita cream. 

Enjoy!

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