Sunday, December 25, 2011

Exotic Veggi Burger

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas! For those who do celebrate it - hope you had a wonderful and happy time with your families and loved ones.

My husband is a die hard burger fan - and is ready to eat one anytime, anywhere. So- especially for him - I made these burgers today for lunch. It did take quite a bit of time making and assembling these, presenting them in a nice way and finally clicking the photos and the rest of the work. After finishing lunch, I happened to talk to both my mom and MIL. As usual, they asked what we had had for lunch, and I told them about the burgers.



My mom was quiet for a second and then she said, "You have a lot of passion and patience - that must have taken a lot of time and effort!" and believe me, that one small sentence meant a lot and covered so many unsaid emotions. It's normally not very easy to impress my mom, but she definitely made my day with that one small sentence. Then, I called up my in laws and had a chat with my MIL. It was the same conversation all over again. She was a little more expressive in letting out her thoughts - but with the same basic content - "that must have taken a lot of time and patience!", and she took down the recipe as well. After talking to both of them, I was basking in a small pool of sunshine and happiness despite the cold gray outside, and enjoying my Christmas thoroughly.

And of course the official taster (my dear hubby) had a big smile on his face throughout the lunch, and for half the day after that!

Well, the moral of the story is - sometimes, when I am in a hurry or in a bad mood or simply run out of patience, I do try and take a short cut. Now, as I am writing this, I am saying to myself - it IS worth the time and effort and sweat, not to take shortcuts, to keep the passion flowing, to go on creating new recipes.

So hold on...this is a long one!

Ingredients

Guacamole

1 - ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
1 - onion, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp - lemon juice
1 - green chilli (or according to taste)
3 tbsp - olive oil
salt and pepper according to taste
garlic (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp - coriander leaves

Put the avocado pulp, oil, onions, green chilli, garlic, lemon juice, coriander leaves, garlic, salt and pepper in a mixer and grind coarsely. Keep aside.

Tomato Gooseberry Relish

2 medium size - tomatoes, chopped
2 - gooseberries (amla), pitted and chopped
1/2 cup - red bell pepper, chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 - green chilli (or according to taste)
1 tbsp - sunflower oil
1 1/2 tbsp - coriander leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
 
  1. Heat the oil in a non stick pan. Add the pepper, ginger, chilli and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add the gooseberries and cook until they are slightly tender. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients and cook until the tomatoes are soft.
  3. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Grind in a mixer. Keep aside.
Zucchini Patties

1 - zucchini, grated
1 - onion small size, peeled and grated
1 - green chilli - finely chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 - potato medium size, boiled, peeled and grated
2 tbsp - chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
sunflower oil to pan fry the patties

  1. Squeeze the excessive water out of the grated zucchini and onion. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
  2. Make 6 round patties and pan fry them on medium flame until both the sides are evenly golden.

Beetroot  Patties

1 - beetroot, peeled and grated
1 - carrot, peeled and grated
1 - potato medium size, boiled, peeled and grated
2 -3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 - green chilli (or according to taste), finely chopped
2 tbsp - parsley, finely chopped
1/4 tsp - garam masala powder
1/2 tsp - dried mango powder (amchur)
salt and pepper to taste
sunflower oil to pan fry the patties
 
  1. Squeeze the excessive water out of the grated beetroot and carrot. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
  2. Make 6 round patties and pan fry them on low flame till both the sides are evenly golden.
 
Onion Rings

1 - onion, peeled and cut into rounds
oil to pan fry
salt and pepper to taste

Pan fry the onion on a medium flame until slightly burnt. Sprinkle the salt and pepper.Turn carefully and fry until the other side is slightly burnt as well.


 I made the baguette following the recipe from the "Artisan Bread in five minutes a Day".


Butter to toast the diagonally sliced baguettes and I used some dried basil to give a little flavour to the baguettes.

Cheddar slices
green salad of your choice
Vinegar onions (I used one with balsamico)


  1. Apply the guacamole to one side of a baguette slice. Put some greens on top of it (I used lambs' lettuce, aka corn salad). Put the zucchini patty and then the cheese slice onto it. Coat the 2nd piece of baguette with the guacamole and put the coated side on the top of the cheese. Apply the tomato-gooseberry relish on the top of the 2nd piece of baguette, put some greens, put the beetroot patty and cheese slice. Coat the 3rd piece of the baguette with the relish and put the coated side on the top of the cheese.
  2. Insert a skewer into the burger and top it up with the balsamico vinegar onion.
 
Serve the burger hot and fresh with the salad, pan fried onions, guacamole dip and tomato gooseberry relish. Enjoy the happy faces.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chocolate Cinnamon Christmas Cookies

This time around, inspired by the christmas spirit and by the lovely smells of the season, I baked a whole lot of cookies. My hubby and I decided, rather than the two of us eat up all of them and get fat - he takes some to his office and I would give some to my friends.So after finishing the daily chores, I finally got the time in the evening, after dinner, when my hubby was lost reading a book and I was in the cookie dough :-)


By the time, I finished baking these, it was past midnight. Actually, I like baking in the night, after finishing the rest of the work, that's when I can concentrate best. I do not have to think about anything else, do not have to attend phone calls, which is generally when I tend to lose the track of time.


Before packing the cookies in their respective boxes, I tasted one and was really happy with the outcome, I could have easily had a few more, but resisted the temptation. Actually, I did not want my friends to have less, you see ;-)

This recipe is adapted from the Weihnachts B├Ąckerei, a German recipe book that I borrowed from a friend.


These cookies were so good that I have been already asked to make them again. Now that definitely is a good sign, isn't it? :-)

Ingredients


50 grams - chocolate 70%, finely grated
250 grams - all purpose flour (maida)
100 grams - blanched almond powder
100 grams - castor sugar
175 grams - cold butter
2 tbsp - milk
1 tsp - cinnamon powder

1 tbsp - cocoa powder
1 tsp - dried ginger powder (saunth)
a pinch of salt


For rolling -  1 tbsp cocoa powder + 4 tbsp vanilla sugar, mixed together in a bowl


Method

  1. Mix together the flour, almond powder, castor sugar, cinnamon powder, dried ginger powder, salt, cocoa powder and finely grated chocolate in a bowl.
  2. Add the small pieces of cold butter and the milk into the flour mix and rub together with the fingers until it forms itself into a dough.
  3. Make 2 rolls out of the dough. Cover the rolls with plastic wraps and let them chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C and line a baking tray with a baking paper.
  5. Take out the dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, cut the rolls into small pieces, flatten each piece slightly, give a slight fork impression on the center of each cookie(optional) and place them on a lined baking tray.
  6. Place the tray in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 15 - 18 minutes.
  7. Take out the tray from the oven and immediately roll each cookie in the cocoa-vanilla sugar mixture and place them on a wire rack to cool completely before storing.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eggless Molten Lava Cake- Especially for you my dear sis!

My sister recently got engaged to be married, and the wedding takes place in January. I asked her a few days ago if she wanted anything and immediately came the reply, "Yes, I want a dessert platter from you." And, she especially requested for Molten Lava Cakes.


I will certainly make her a dessert platter when I am in India - but for the time being, I wanted to give her a virtual treat with the recipe for her favourite cake. As it happened...I got busy talking on the phone, forgot about the cakes and baked them a bit too long (around 20 rather than the optional 12 mins). Hence they were a little stiff inside, as in this photo below, even though the taste was perfect.


I felt a little bad that because of my carelessness the cakes did not turn out as my sis would have loved them to be - although the taste was great, they were not as gooey and molten on the inside as they should have been. So, of course, I decided to bake another lot, and this time my eyes were fixed on the watch and exactly after 12 minutes, I took the cakes out of the oven, clicked the photos and also tasted it. I was very happy with the result this time, and I hope my sister likes them too, at least virtually!


I made the cake according to my sister's taste and therefore have used chocolate with 50 % cocoa. Personally, I would have used darker chocolate. Feel free to use the chocolate of your choice.

Do you have any other wishes, dear Sis? I'd be more than happy to fulfill them :-)


Ingredients for 3 cakes 


50 grams - 50% chocolate
6 tbsp - water
30 grams - butter
30 grams - whole wheat flour (aata)
10 grams - castor sugar
1/2 tsp - baking powder
a pinch of salt
60 grams - 
50% chocolate for the molten part, divided into 3 parts of 20g each. 

Method

  1. Melt the 50g chocolate in a double boiler. 
  2. Remove the chocolate from the heat. Let it cool for a couple of minutes. Add the water and butter. Put it back on the double boiler and keep mixing until the butter melts. 
  3. Remove from the heat and let it cool for 3-4 mins. Meanwhile, put the flour, baking powder, salt and castor sugar in a bowl and mix. 
  4. Add the flour mixture spoon wise to the chocolate mixture, and mix well before adding the next spoonful. 
  5. Pour the batter into a greased mould, filling half the mould, place the 20 gram chocolate piece in the center and pour a little more batter over it until the chocolate piece is covered. 
  6. Place the moulds in the center of the oven preheated to 180 degrees C and bake for around 12 minutes for a yummy lovely gooey inside (and 20 minutes for a little stiff inside or if you are as forgetful as I am!). 
  7. Unmould and sprinkle a little castor sugar on the cakes. 
  8. Serve warm with icecream, fruits, whipped cream or as it is. It tastes simply awesome.


Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hot and Cold Soup!

Hope you all had a great weekend. We had a great one -finally, after a long wait, we had the first snow of the season, and enjoyed it like little children :-) To celebrate the first snow, I made this Hot and Cold Soup.

I have noticed something ever since I started my food blog: my friends and family always call me whenever they eat something interesting, or notice a new way of presenting food, or a new garnish and sometimes, even when they've had something weird.

This soup idea was given to me by a friend who had a mexican hot and cold soup in a restaurant. She described the 3 layers, and that it was served in a glass and that it was very interesting. So, I borrowed the basic presentation idea and made my own version of this hot and cold soup.

The final verdict - It was a brilliant idea, I was happy with the taste of all the three different layers and the crispy zucchini skin added the zing. My hubby had a big smile on his lips when I served this soup and the smile stayed on after the first spoonful which is a surest sign that the recipe was a hit. 



Ingredients

Ginger-Garlic-Chilli Paste

2 inch piece- ginger, peeled, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped
2 - green chillies
Grind together the ginger, garlic and chillies using a little water. 

First Layer

1 - zucchini
1/4 cup - onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp - mint leaves, finely chopped
5 pcs - sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp - ginger-garlic-chilli paste (more or less)
1 tbsp - sunflower oil
1/4 tsp - cumin seeds
1 - bayleaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup - milk

Method

  1. Peel the zucchini, save the skin and keep aside. Cut the zucchini into small pieces. 
  2. Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the cumin seeds and bayleaf. When the seeds start spluttering, add the 1 tsp of ginger-garlic-chilli paste and saute for a min on medium heat. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except 1/4 cup of milk. Cover the pan with a lid and cook until the zucchini turns soft. 
  4. Let it cool, remove the bayleaf. 
  5. Add the zucchini mix and 1/4cup of milk to a mixer and puree. 
  6. Transfer the pureed mixture to a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Second Layer

2 cups - low fat yogurt 
1/2 tsp - dried mint leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup - milk
1/2 tsp - sugar
1 tbsp - olive oil


  1. Take a tray, put 2 layers of dish towels on the tray and put a wet muslin cloth on the top of the towels. 
  2. Spread the yogurt on the wet muslin cloth and leave it for appx 15 mins. 
  3. Remove the yogurt with the help of a spoon and a good nice thick hung yogurt is ready. (By the way, you can use this hung yogurt for all sorts of deserts as well – and is a much quicker method than the usual actual "hanging"). 
  4. Put the yogurt in a bowl, add the salt, pepper, dried mint leaves, sugar and mix. Add the milk spoon wise and mix well before adding the next spoonful. Finally add the oil and mix. Let it chill in the refrigerator.

Third Layer

1 1/2 tbsp - sunflower oil
1 tbsp - ginger-garlic-chilli paste
2 - big size tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup - onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup - red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 pieces of cloves
2 tsp - cream
salt and pepper to taste
a generous pinch of sugar

  1. Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic-chilli paste and cook for a minute. Add the cloves, onions and red bell pepper and cook until the onions are soft. 
  2. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and cook. Lastly add the cream and sugar and cook for half a minute and remove the mixture from the heat.
For the Zucchini Crisps

Grease a small baking tray, put the zucchini skin on the tray, sprinkle a little salt, pepper and citric acid and bake in a preheated oven to 220 degrees C until crisp. 


  1. Put the zucchini cream in the serving glass. Carefully add the yogurt layer (I put the yogurt into a whipping bag with a big nozzle, for a neat result) and finally add the hot tomato mix on the top. Garnish it with the zucchini crisps and some chilli threads. 
  2. Serve while the top layer is still hot.


Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cranberry Relish

December is my favourite month of the year- in december both my hubby and I celebrate our birthdays as well as our weddnig anniversary – not to mention Christmas and New year...and of course, lots of pre christmas dinner parties... which means loads of good food and fun. For this one month, amongst all the partying, I normally forget all about calorie intake and simply indulge and enjoy.


So I thought, at least, I could indulge with something a little healthy (which has kind of become a synonym of my name, according to my best friend!), to compensate all the rich good food and keep a balance.



This week, when my hubby bought this box of cranberries, the moment I saw the box, it was very clear in my mind what I was gonna do with them. This recipe is very easy to make and tastes really awesome.


I had it with some rosemary and cheese crisps, while my hubby enjoyed it with papad / poppadams and it tastes good with Roti or bread.


The sourness of the cranberries, the flavours of all the spices and a slight sweet hint makes this relish an instant hit. We enjoyed this so much that my hubby already got another box of cranberries :-)


Ingredients

100 grams - cranberries, cut into half
1/8 tsp - fennel seeds (saunf)
a generous pinch of nigella seeds (kalonji)
3 tbsp - sunflower oil
1 - red whole chilli
1 tbsp - raisins
1/4 tsp - turmeric powder (haldi)
1/2 tsp - red chilli powder, more or less
1 tsp - coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
1/8 tsp - garam masala powder
1/4 tsp - mustard seed powder (peesi rai)
salt to taste
2 tbsp - water
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
2 - bayleaves
1 1/2 tsp - sugar, more or less


Method
  1. In a bowl mix together the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, salt, garam masala powder, mustard seed powder with 2 tbsp of water and keep aside. 
  2. Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the fennel seeds, nigella seeds, hing and red whole chilli.
  3. Add the spice paste to the oil and saute for a minute on medium heat. 
  4. Add the cranberries, raisins and mix. Cover the lid and cook on medium heat until the cranberries are soft. 
  5. Add the sugar and cook again for half a minute.
  6. Remove from the heat and serve. The relish tastes good hot as well as cold. 

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Spelt Shortbread

For me, cooking and baking is a stress buster, it really helps me to keep my calm. A little while ago, I was really in a foul mood, so bad, that, my head was hurting me. I thought, if I don't do something, this bad day could turn into a very bad day. 


So, of course, I went into the kitchen. Took out the baking tray, whole wheat flour (aata), all purpose flour (maida), baking powder, sugar, oil and even butter (which I normally do not use much in my baking) but, then without doing anything, I left the kitchen, went to the study, turned on the computer, thought this would help. I started organising the desktop, deleting unwanted mails, when suddenly my eyes fell on an email from my friend with the subject "Shortbread". I opened it, read it, went to the kitchen and started making it. While making it, believe me, I did not for once think about what happened a while ago, and got busy making the shortbread.



Thanks to this good friend of mine, who gave me this recipe, I was back to normal that day. Oh, by the way, the smell that emanates from the oven, when this lovely shortbread is being baked, definitely made me very happy :-)


Ingredients

125 gram - spelt flour (you can also make it with maida instead of spelt flour)
50 gram - cornflour
15 gram - semolina (suji)
125 gram - butter unsalted at room temperature
70 gram - sugar
a pinch of salt
castor sugar (optional)

Method
  1. Add the sugar and the butter to a bowl and mix well with your hands.
  2. Add the semolina, cornflour, spelt flour (you can also use maida instead of spelt flour) and salt in another bowl and mix.
  3. Add the flour mixture, a little at a time and mix in with the butter, by the end, you will get a soft dough. 
  4. Put the dough in a small rectangular baking tray and press the dough, with the palm of your hand and level it using an inverted small flat botommed bowl or cup (I used a stainless stell bowl). Alternately, you can also roll out the dough using a rolling pin and transfer the rolled out dough on to a baking tray. (the former method is quicker and fuss-free)
  5. Using a knife, cut to the size you wish to have. (My shortbread pieces were 2.5 cm wide and 5 cms long). Don't forget to prick the dough with a fork.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 38-40 minutes. 
  7. Let the tray rest in the oven for 2 minutes, take out the tray and immediately, cut again where you cut previously to seperate the biscuits and prevent breaking. 
  8. Sprinkle a little castor sugar on the top of the shortbread and let it cool completely before storing it an air tight container. 


Enjoy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tiny Pineapple Wonders!

Early to bed, early to rise, makes one healthy, wealthy and wise. Learnt this classic piece of human wisdom when I was in Kindergarten. However, applying it to daily life is another matter altogether. For both my hubby and me, it's the opposite case. We both are not morning people.


Many a times, whilst reading, or surfing the net or in my case also following what you guys have been up to, we have these sudden hunger pangs and cravings to eat something. My hubby generally settles for something junk, while I prefer having a cup of warm milk with biscuits (I am a milkaddict). But, this weekend, on saturday midnight, my dearest really wanted to have something sweet and we were, a rare exception, out of chocolates. So, in the middle of the night, I baked these tiny wonders, obviously he was more than happy to help me.


I adapted my recipe Bournvita Bundt Cakes  a bit and came up with these cute looking things. Pineapple and coconut were a beautiful combination. And it just took just around 6-7 mins of baking time.


We had a little mid-night tea party, and there was a very happy face sitting beside me and seeing him happy, I was the happiest :-)

Ingredients

2 tbsp heaped - whole wheat flour (aata)
1 tbsp heaped - pineapples, finely chopped (one slice from the can)
1/8 tsp - baking powder
2 tbsp - honey
2 tbsp - sunflower oil
2 tbsp - coconut milk
2 tbsp - dessicated coconut
a pinch of salt

Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. 
  2. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, mix together the pineapple pieces with the rest of the ingredients. 
  3. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and mix lightly. 
  4. Spoon the batter into the paper moulds and put them on a baking tray.
  5. Place the tray in the center of the preheated oven and bake for around 6-7 minutes. Serve. 

Enjoy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

It's been ages since I made some pudding, and have had a rising desire for pudding for some days now. But the winter is coming - which generally means much more rich food and therefore, the recipe that I am gonna share with you is relatively healthy, and at the same time very simple to make and delicious and of course chocolatey.

So, it fit perfectly last weekend, as I was thinking about making something new, while my hubby was net-surfing - he stumbled upon this website, where he saw this recipe and he shouted from the study, "Hey! I found a very healthy-chocolate pudding recipe online. I think, it's something for you."



I was busy in my thoughts, and did not really pay attention to what he was saying, partly also because of the loud music on Radio (I always have music on when I am cooking). He shouted again, and when he did not get any response from me, he came to the kitchen, and said, "I have been calling you, but forget it, do we have avocado at home?" "Yes, we do, but why?" I said. He dissappeared for a minute, and came back with a print out and said with a grin on his face, "Today's dessert". How could I refuse making this recipe, especially when my dearest so expectantly gave me the recipe.


Of course, we had this dessert that day, with a few teeny-weeny changes from my side. This is the link, where he found that recipe, and, here is how I made it.


Ingredients
 

1 - ripe avocado, peeled and seeded
2 tbsp - butter unsalted
3 tbsp - cocoa powder
3 tbsp - honey (adjust according to your taste)
1 tbsp - walnuts, very finely crushed + to garnish
a generous pinch of cinnamon powder
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup - coconut milk (more or less) (you may also use almond milk)

Method
  1.  Put the avocado and butter in a bowl and mash together with a fork until smooth.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix vigorously until everything is mixed and smooth.
  3. Garnish with the crushed walnuts and serve. (if the pudding ends up too thick, correct the consistency by adding a little more coconut milk to it)

Have a lovely weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Moong Dal ke Parathe/Lentil Parathe


We are enjoying a perfect european autumn - have had lots of lovely weather lately, slightly cool but sunny and bright - locally called an "altweibersommer" - literally translated - an old wives' summer. The term relates not to geriatric specimens of female persuasion, but rather to a local spider art which is particularly active weaving it's webs during warm autumns.


Anyway....back from ugggh spiders to it's been so beautiful as of late, and I hope it remains like this for a little longer. The weather is just perfect for long walks (which we definitely need after all the Diwali indulgence). These are a few photos from a short autumn walk this week. 


Isn't it beautiful?


Coming to today's recipe - Moong dal ke parathe or as we call them back home - mogar ki pudi - is a very typical rajasthani dish - and you can eat them hot and fresh, or even for the next 3 - 4 days as they don't spoil.

I have had these a number of times (made by mom and my MIL) but I really had not bothered until now to make them at home. But, this time, when my in laws were here, I made them, with the help of my MIL. It tastes great with red chilli pickles or salted yogurt or shrikhand (thick sweet yogurt).

Ingredients

2 cups - whole wheat flour (aata)
60 grams - yellow moong dal (split yellow gram)
3 tbsp - sunflower oil
2 tsp - red chilli powder
1/2 tsp - garam masala
1/2 tsp - coriander seeds, finely crushed
1 tsp - kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
salt to taste
water to knead the dough
oil to roast the parathas

Method
  1. Soak the dal/lentils for an hour and cook until slightly soft.
  2. Mix together everything in a bowl and knead using water. The dough should be medium soft. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and keep aside for 15 mins. 
  3. Divide the dough into small size balls and roll the balls out into a paratha.
  4. Roast the paratha on both the sides on a non stick pan, using oil on each side until brown spots appear on the surface. 
  5. Serve.

I had them with shrikhand , while my hubby enjoyed them with red chilli pickle.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Diwali Wishes with Stuffed Marzipan Baskets (badam ki tokri) and Marzipan Apples.

Wishing all my Indian readers a very Happy Diwali. May this festival of lights fill your lives with love, happiness and prosperity.


On this auspicious day, I have made not one, not two but three indian sweets - the more the merrier! For this one day, calories are on the backburner (literally!) I decided to just enjoy the sweets and the festival. I am sure my hubby will be the happiest when he gets back from office and sees all his favourite sweets.


Almond sweets are a must at my place for any occasion, so I decided to share this with you. Because of the chaos in the kitchen, I forgot to note down the exact proportions of the filling, but , don't worry, the filling is really easy to assemble. If, by any chance, you have some leftover - it tastes good on it’s own, or you can, like me, make some of these cute looking marzipan apples.


Without further ado (I have to rush to the kitchen now), here is the recipe.

Ingredients

For the dough

100 grams - almonds, preferably no bitter almonds
100 grams - sugar

For the filling

this is an approximate measurement

5 tsp - a mixture of finely chopped dried figs (anjeer), almond slivers, pistachio slivers
1/2 tsp - rock candy white sugar crytals (misri)
1/4 tsp - cardamom powder
a few strands of saffron
2 tsp - sugar
water



For the Marzipan Apples/Badam Apples

a few strands of saffron mixed with  a few drops of rose water (should be like a thick paste)
pistachio slivers
cloves


Method
  1. Make the dough. See my recipe badam katli here.
  2. Make the sugar syrup using 2 tsp of sugar and very little water. Keep aside.
  3. Add the figs, almond and pistachio slivers, misri, cardamom powder and saffron strands to the sugar syrup and mix. 
  4. Take a little portion of the marzipan dough and press it with your hands. Use a rolling pin and roll out into a circle unitl it is around 1 mm thick. 
  5. Loosen the rolled out dough and carefully lay it into a silicon tart mould. Remove the excess dough jutting out of the mould and shape the top with your fingers.
  6. Carefully remove the shaped marzipan basket from the mould.
  7. Fill in the stuffing into the marzipan baskets and serve. (optional- you can also brush the top of the baskest with the saffron-rose water paste, make them look more inviting)
  8. For the marzipan apples- Use the leftover dough (if you have any)
  9. Take around 1 tbsp of the dough and roll it between the palms of your hands and make a small ball.
  10. Brush the sides of the ball/apple with a thick saffron-rose water paste
  11. Push in the clove (upside down) on the top of the apple and press gently.
  12. Press the pistachio slivers on to the side of the clove.
  13. Serve and enjoy.
The above mixture of dough yields approx 5 baskets and 5 apples. 



Happy Diwali and Enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Chilli Pickle

It's hard to keep up with time these days...nonetheless I am enjoying every bit of it. It was really good to have mom n dad in law at home. I have been learning a lot of traditional recipes from my MIL. Today's pickle recipe is also by her. 



I had a bag full of chillies as gift from an acquaintant, who, ever so generous, gave me these chillies and said, "You are Indian and you do use a lot of chillies in your cooking, don't you?" I was a little taken aback and a bit lost for words. I forced a smile on my face - for what does one do with a Kilo of chillies?


Well, I started thinking on how to use so much chilli (I can't eat very spicy food, well, my hubby can... but that's another story). I gave half the chillies to a good friend of mine, who said, she would freeze them. But, even after that, "What should I do with so many chillies?" was a constant thought in my mind. The next day, my in-laws were arriving from India. My MIL, saw the chillies and said "Why do you have so many chillies at home?" I narrated the story and she smiled and said, "We'll make something really delicious out of them." and this recipe was born. Some went into this pickle and a few went into a thai red curry, recipe follows soon. As for the rest - we sun-dried them, for later use.

To my astonishment, the pickle turned out not too spicy, as I thought it would be. It came out so yummy and went well with so many sorts of indian food, that even non chilli fans like myself could have fun with them. The next time my acquaintance wants to give me more chillies, I'll say - bring it on! 


Ingredients

20 pieces - red chillies
1 tbsp - ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 1/4 tsp - mustard powder
1/2 tsp - cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp - garam masala powder
2 tsp - salt (more or less)
2 tsp - rock salt
1 piece - dried dates, finely chopped (chuare)
3/4 tsp - sugar
a very little piece of mace
100 ml - lemon juice (more or less)

Method

  1. Wash the chillies and dry them completely, cut into rings and remove the seeds
  2. Put the chillies in to a glass bowl, add all the ingredients to it and mix well.
  3. Cover the bowl with a muslin cloth and keep it in sunlight for 4 days (do not forget to stir once in a while). At night, put the bowl, still covered with the cloth, at room temperature.
  4. After around 4 days, store in an air tight container. Shelf life 3-4 months at room temperature or you can keep in the fridge for appx 10 months.

Enjoy!

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