Caramel Cashew Tart

This is a bookmarked post from A tasty Challenge. I too am a big fan of Anns House of Sweets like Asha..and this is one of my favourite dessert from there and when Asha posted the recipe, I had to try it out immediately and it is really really Yummy-licious.. Iam sending this to Aipi's  Bookmarked events. Ive done it exactly like Asha, except that I didnt weigh down the tart with beans, also I used baking powder and reduced the quantity to 1/8 spoon.

For the tart:

Maida: 2 cups
Butter: 1/2 cup
Egg Yolk: 1
Sugar:1/4 cup
Baking Powder 1/8 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Cold Water: 4 tbsp

Preheat oven to 200C
Sift the baking powder, flour and salt
Cream butter and sugar and add the egg yolk and combine well.
Add the flour and 4 tbsp water and knead into a stiff dough
Make equal sized (lime) balls (about 14 -15) and flatten either with your hands or with a rolling pin
Line them in a muffin pan and prick the dough with a fork to prevent the tart from raising.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Take out and cool completely.

For the Caramel filling

Sugar: 1/2 cup
Water: 2 tbsp
Salt: a pinch
Fresh Cream: 1/3 cup or a small tub
Cashewnut: 1/2 cup roasted and halved


Heat Sugar, salt and water on low heat till it is golden brown in colour. Resist your temptation to stir the syrup...Please do not meddle with it but you can swirl the pan
When it is golden brown, turn off the stove and add the fresh cream and mix well.
Now add the cashewnut, mix everyting and let it cool slightly.

Now take the tart and place the caramel filling in it with the help of a spoon.
Serve and ENJOY!!!!

Sending this to Aipi's

Murungikka (Drumstick) Aviyal

Drumstick: 2
Green chillies: 3 slit
Water and Salt: as required
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp

To mix after cooking:       
Curd: 3 tbsp
Coconut Oil- 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves -1 sprig

To Grind
Grated Coconut – 1 cup
Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
Garlic -1 tsp chopped
Shallots- 3
Curry Leaves -1/2 sprig

Chop the drumstick lengthwise- 2 inch. Add water, salt, turmeric powder, greenchillies and cook on medium flame till done. When the vegetables are cooked, add the ground paste to it and cook again for a few minutes. Once done, turn off the stove and add the curd and mix properly. After that pour the coconut oil place the curry leaf on top of the curry and close the lid. Open the lid after 20 minutes and serve warm with rice.

Strawberry Jam

Making Jams and preserves every summer has become a habbit for me. When I was in Chennai, it was Mango jams, Guava jams and Mom used to make mulberry jams and send over. This time, I made Strawberry Jam.  Since I made only 1 bottle which Iam sure will be over in 3 days, I didnt add any preservatives. So if you are making only a small quantity, no need to add any preservatives provided you keep it in the refrigerator, but if you are making large quantities, you should add citric acid to the boiling preserve towards the end.

Strawberries: 2 cups (Wash, drain and take off the stem)
Sugar: 1.5 cups

In a wide bottomed pan, put the strawberries and sugar and boil on a low flame.

Swirl the pan once in a while.
After about half an hour, you will get a thick consistency syrup which if you drop it by spoon on a plate, will stay like that.

Turn off stove and allow it to cool.
Yes, the strawberries will stay fruit like itself without breaking! :)


Potato Thoran

I hated potatoes as a child and my Kids?....They just adore it.... anything with potato is a big hit at home and my son wants either potato mezhukkupuratty or potato thoran with his rice everyday!!!! Here is my recipe

Potatoes: 2 medium cut lengthwise like for french fries
Green Chillies: 3 slit
Mustard: 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies: 2
Onion: 1 small chopped fine
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Oil and Salt: as needed
Coconut grated: 1 cup

Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard and dried chillies.
Throw in the onions, add turmeric and salt and saute for a minute on low flame.
Now add the sliced potatoes, saute again on a low flame.
Now add the coconut grated and mix everything properly, keep the lid and let it cook on a low flame.
When the potatoes are cooked (it should be just cooked, do not mash it), turn off stove and serve with rice.

Murungikka (Drumstick) Theeyal

Been almost a month since I blogged, the reason being my complete settings changed-thanks to my daughter. Finally when I corrected it, Blogspot wasnt accepting my password!!! Thats why I couldnt visit any of your sites and check out your recipes. Sorry again!!!

Iam beaming from my left big ear to my right big ear!!! My hubby's cousin's husband visited us from Kuwait day before yesterday and guess what!!!!!!!! He brought fresh coconut and drumstick for us. I was controlling myself from jumping with joy when he was here. You guys have no idea how much I was craving for some theeyal, Aviyal, thoran with fresh coconut, Fish made with fresh coconut paste...well, I can write an essay on what all I was craving for... Also, DRUMSTICK!!! very very thoughtful of my hubby's cousin, Neetha!! Really!! More than a year since Ive had drumstick and yesterday I made Murungikka (drumstick) theeyal and Murungikka Aviyal and I also made rice with Matta rice (you should understand that my matta rice is so precious... I have only 1 kilo left with me and I use it only for Kanji (Rice gruel) once in a while. Also, I fried pappads (well, thats also very very precious coz only 2 packets left from what I brought from India and pappads also we fry only when I make Kanji!!!) So now you get the picture, right!!! It was a feast last night...everything on the table were precious!!!! Sadly, we don't get coconut oil, button onion and curry leaves here...so my theeyal is without these three... but I will include it in the recipe, so that it becomes easier for first timers.

For those of you who have not read my earlier posts...well I live in Cairo and we don't get Indian grocery here... From mustard to Toor dal to raw rice to urud dal to maggi noodles to papad to matta rice to...you name it!!! we have to bring it from India!!!!

Drumstick: 2 slit and cut
Button onion: a handful
Green Chillies: 3 slit
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder: 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 heaped tsp
Tamarind: lime sized

To Roast and grind
Coconut grated: 3/4 cup
Dried Red chilly: 2
Ginger chopped: 1/2 inch

To temper
Coconut oil: 2 tsp
Mustard: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig

Dry roast the grated coconut, dried red chillies and ginger over a low flame till the coconut becomes brown making sure it doesn't burn.
When it cools, grind to a very smooth paste. Oil will ooze out of the coconut, so no need to add water, but if it is absolutely necessary add 1 or 2 tbsp water.
Heat Oil in a kadai and saute the onions and green chillies for 2 minutes on low flame.
Now add the slit and cut drumstick and saute again for 2 minutes.
Add the chilly powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder and saute till the raw smell is gone.
Pour a cup of water and let the drumstick get cooked.
Now add the tamarind water and let it come to a boil.
Add the coconut paste and when it boils along the edges, take off fire.
Splutter mustard, curry leaves in coconut oil and pour it over the Theeyal.


Chicken Dum Biriyani

 Ive never been to Calicut in my life but have a lot of friends from there. So, have heard a lot about Kozhikode Biriyani but never ever had a chance to taste it. My neighbours in Chennai were 5 Engineering students and one of them was from Calicut, Amal. The rest of them always used to tell me about Amal's Mom's Biriyani along with the rest of the delicacies her mom cooks.
Recently, I got Lekha on chat and Lekha said she has Amal's mom's biriyani recipe with her and upon my request, sent it immediately with a picture for my reference. So this is that recipe, Ive not done any changes except for cutting down on the measurements- I just made with 2 cups rice and I have to tell you, it is simply out of the world!!!!!!!!!!!!
My husband was all praises and said it is even better than the Biriyani from the best hotel in Calicut.

Chicken - 1/2 kg cut into medium size pieces
Garlic -5
Ginger-1 inch
Tomatoes - 2 chopped
Green chillies - 2 slit
Onions - 3 sliced
Fresh pepper powder - 11/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Lime juice - 1 tbsp
Curd - 2 tbsp
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp Get the recipe here

Coriander leaves - 1 big handful chopped
Mint leaves - 1 handful chopped
Salt and Oil- as required

To prepare rice:(make the rice after the biryani masala is ready)
Basmati rice - 2 cups
Water - 3-4 cups
Onion - 1 sliced
Cumin seeds(Jeera) - 1 tsp
Cardamom pods(Elakka) - 3
Cloves -4
Cinnamon sticks - 3 small pieces
Bay leaves - 2 or 3 nos
Ghee - 2 to 3 tbsp
Salt - As required

To garnish the Biryani:
Onions - 2 small thinly sliced
Cashew nuts
Ghee and oil to fry the onions

Prepare Biryani masala first:
1)Wash chicken well and cut into big pieces.
2)Grind ginger, garlic and chillies.
3)Heat pressure cooker and add oil.
4)Saute crushed ginger, garlic, chillies and onions along with salt until the onions become pale.
5)Add tomatoes and saute it until it softens.
6)Then add chicken, pepper powder and turmeric powder. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes.
7) After 5 minutes, you can pressure cook for 3 whistles on high flame. There will be enough water coming from chicken/tomato/onions.
8)Once the chicken is cooked, wait until the pressure cooker cools down or until all the pressure releases from the cooker.
9)If the gravy is a lot, boil them again to reduce the gravy. (If you are preparing for more rice make sure you have enough gravy).
10) Add lime juice, chopped coriander and chopped mint leaves.
11)After 5 minutes and if the meat is cooked well, add curd and stir well. Once the curd is mixed do not boil it.
12)Add garam masala and close the pressure cooker with a lid and switch it off.

To prepare rice:
1)Wash rice well and pour enough water to immerse the rice and keep it for 15 minutes.
2)Heat a vessel and put the ghee. When the ghee is hot enough, put the onions and saute well until onion starts changing the color.
3)Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and bay leaves
4)Pour 3 to 4 cups of water into the vessel. Make sure you don`t put more water than needed. If the water is not enough you can add water at a later stage.
3)Add salt to this.
4)Now strain the rice and put it into the vessel.
5)Cook the rice in high flame with lid open. When the water is almost gone, close the lid and cook the rice for around 5 minutes. Make sure the rice doesn`t over cook. Also make sure you cook the rice enough. You can keep checking it by pressing the rice.
6)Once the rice is cooked, just mix the rice without messing the rice up. You can just shake the vessel also to mix it.

Make dum for biryani:
1)Take a oven safe thick vessel and apply ghee in the vessel.
2)Divide the rice into 3 portions and Biriyani masala into 2 portions.
3)Now, sprinkle garam masala on top of the rice. Put enough garam masala around little less than half teaspoon.
4)Now put the first portion of rice into the vessel and spread it nicely and put the 1st portion of biryani masala with chicken and spread it.
5)Now put the 2nd portion of rice and spread nicely. Sprinkle the garam masala as mentioned above.
6)Now put the remaining portion of masala with chicken and spread it nicely.
7)Spread the 3rd portion of rice on top of the biryani masala and sprinkle the garam masala as mentioned above.
8)Take a long spoon and just push into the bottom and move a little. It is just to do a small mix of rice and chicken. Do it in 2 or 3 places. Don`t mix it too much.
9)Now spread the cashew, raisins and onions on top of the rice.
10)Cover the vessel with aluminium foil.
11)Preheat oven to 180C.  Keep the covered biriyani in the oven for 20 minutes at 180C.
12)Take out the vessel and mix the biryani well with masala and the onions.
Serve with Raitha, pickles and Papad.

Make garnishing:
1)Fry the cashew nuts in ghee and oil. Keep it aside when the color of the cashew starts changing.

2)Fry the raisins and keep it aside.

3)Now, fry the onion until it becomes golden color. Once it is fried, place it on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

4)Home made Garam Masala must be prepared before you are done with the rice.