29.2.12

Idly Fry

Usually Idly fry is made with mini idlys (small idlys). This is something I order for sure when I go to my favourite restaurant in Chennai. Since I dont have a mini-idly plate here in Cairo, I make it by chopping left over Idlys made in the normal Idly plate. And whenever I make this, it gets over in matter of SECONDS!!!!

Idly : 16
Oil: 1 cup
Idly Chutney Powder: 2 tbsp
Or 
Chilly Powder: 1.5 tbsp (You can increase or decrease according to your tolerance level)
Salt: as required



Chop the Idlys into bite size pieces
Deep fry till light brown.
Drain it on absorbant paper and coat it with either Idly chutney powder or Chilly powder and salt.
Serve hot as starters.



28.2.12

Spicy Peanuts



This is another version of the Masala Peanuts Ive posted earlier. We used to buy this version from Chennai Nilgiris. Used to love to have it with my evening Tea/Coffee. Since we dont get anything like this here in this corner of the world, I make it myself now. :)

Roasted Peanuts: 1 kg 
Oil: 2 tbsp
Chilly Powder: 2 tbsp
Pepper Powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida: 1/4 tsp
Garlic Powder: 1 tsp (optional)
Salt: as required



You can either buy roasted peanuts or you can roast raw peanuts in a kadai on medium heat till they are done. Keep stirring while you roast it and make sure not to burn it.
Remove the skin of the roasted peanuts.
Now heat the oil in a kadai.
Lower the flame and add all the masala powders, asafoetida and stir.
(Sometimes I add garlic powder, sometimes I don't- its totally upto you)
Add the peanuts and keep stirring till the peanuts is coated properly with the masala.
Add required salt and mix again.
Take off fire.
Once cool, store in airtight containers.


24.2.12

Calamari (Squid) Curry








Love the beach, Love the Sea....and most importantly, crazy about seafood. Thats me and my hubby and my 2 little ones. This is a tasty Squid preparation by my hubby that we absolutely love.



Calamari: 750 gms
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
Salt: as required
Mustard: 1 tsp
Dried red Chilly: 2
Onion: 2 medium sliced
Ginger: 1.5 tbsp chopped fine
Garlic: 1.5 tbsp chopped fine
Green Chillies; 2 chopped fine
Tomatoes: 2 medium chopped
Coriander Powder: 2 tbsp
Chilly Powder: 1 tbsp (adjust to  our tolerance level, coz we are adding both green chillies and pepper)
Meat Masala: 1 tsp
Pepper Powder: 1 tsp
Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp




Marinate the cleaned calamari with turmeric powder and salt and keep aside
Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard and dried red chillies.
Throw in the ginger, garlic and green chillies and saute for a minute.
Add the onion and saute till slightly brown.
Add the tomatoes and cook till it mashes up.
Add the coriander powder, chilly powder and saute till oil separates.
Now add the meat masala and the calamari and saute till the calamari gets coated with the masala.
Add 2 cups water and let it get cooked.
When the gravy gets thick, add the pepper powder and 2 tbspc oriander leaves and let it boil.
Take off fire and garnish with 1 tbsp coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice or rotis.



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22.2.12

Ultimate M&M Cookies


This is another version of the Kids party cookies that Ive posted. Both are simply out of the world but my DH loves this more coz loads n loads of M & M's...

Butter: 1 cup/ 200 gms/ 2 sticks
Granulated Sugar: 1 cup
Brown Sugar: 1 cup
Egg:1
Vanilla: 1 tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp
All Purpose Flour: 2 cups
Baking Powder: 1 tsp
Chopped Nuts: 3/4 cup (optional, I dont add coz kids wont eat...)
M&M's: 5 packs

Preheat oven to 180C
Mix together flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside.
 Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy
 Beat in egg and vanilla.
Add the flour mix to it and work your electric mixer at speed 1
Now add the nuts and 3 packs of M&M's and beat again at speed 1
(no, the candy never broke to pieces for me)
 Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets. 
You can decorate the top of the cookies again with the left over M&M's
Bake 15-18 minutes (keep an eye after 12 minutes) or until edges are lightly browned and centers are still soft. 
It will get firm as it cools. Do not overbake.
Once cool, Store in tightly covered container. 




Recipe Courtesy: M&M website

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Cakes Cookies and Desserts



21.2.12

Kids Party Cookies





My little ones absolutely adore the M&M cookies but if we buy the pack, it will be over in seconds. So I make this once in a while for them and whenever I make this or any of his favourite cookies/cakes, my son takes it to school to share with his friends. This is basically the Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe but instead of the Chocolate Chips, m&m's or Gems or Smarties is added. You can mix the chocolate with the dough but I prefer to press it on top than it being buried inside.


Butter: 2 sticks/200gms
Brown Sugar: 1/2 cup
Granulated Sugar: 1/2 cup
Vanilla Essence: 1 tsp
Eggs: 2
Salt:1/2 tsp
Baking Powder: 1 tsp
All Purpose Flour: 2 1/4 cups
M&M's / Gems / Smarties : 4 packs






Preheat your oven 180C
Mix the salt and the baking powder with the flour and keep aside
Beat the butter with a hand mixie/electric mixer.
 Make sure the  butter is not too soft (coz if it is too soft , you will have to chill the dough before forming it into cookies)
Add the sugar to it and beat till everything is combined properly.
Now add the eggs one by one and the vanilla essence and beat for a few minutes.
Add the flour mixed with the Baking powder and salt.
(make sure your mixer is on speed 1 or else the flour will be all over the kitchen counter)
When everything is mixed, you can increase the speed to 2.
Grease your cookie tray/cake tin with cooking spray or you can use parchment paper.
Make small balls of the dough and press the chocolate onto it (how much ever you want)




Keep this 1 inch apart in your tin.
Bake for 15 - 18 minutes till the edges are brown.
It will not be firm when you take out of the oven but will as it cools.
Once cool, store it in airtight containers.
Makes 40 cookies.




Recipe Source : M & M's website.

20.2.12

Rava Khichdi

When I was newly married, I had this habit of asking my brand new hubby what he wants for breakfast. So one day, he said Khichdi...and I was like... "whaaa?? Had never heard of this before. He said its made with Rava, and I asked "Upma?.. and he said "somewhat like the Kerala Upma but not that". Finally he gave me a live demo of how a Khichdi is made. So this is it, Rava Khichdi of Tamil Nadu.



Rava: 1 cup
Ghee 1 tbsp
Oil; 1 tbsp
Mustard: 1 tsp
Onion: 1 medium diced
Ginger: 1 tsp minced
Green chillies: 2 chopped
Tomato: 1 medium chopped
Carrot and Green Peas: 1/4 cup
Curry Leaf; 1 sprig
Water:3 cups

In a kadai, heat the ghee and roast the Rava on medium flame till it emanates a nice aroma. Make sure not to burn it.
In another pan, heat oil and splutter mustard and curry leaf.
Saute the onions, ginger, green chillies till light brown.
Add the vegetable and saute for a few minutes.
Add the tomatoes and let it get cooked well.
Add the water, required salt and when it boils, lower the flame and add the Rava to it and mix properly and let it get cooked on low flame.
Turn off stove and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve warm with any side dish of your choice.

19.2.12

1-2-3-4 cake and an Orange caramel cake


This is a simple cake but I love this coz most of my childhood baking memories revolve around this. My grandmom used to make this often and I love the texture of this cake. Its called a 1234 cake coz the Ingredients proportion is 1:2:3:4

When I made this last time, I took half the batter and converted ito an orange caramel cake. My kids loved it coz they are big caramel orange fans. But, personally I feel the texture suffered coz it became a moist cake!!!

Butter: 1 cup
Milk: 1 cup
Sugar: 2 cups
Flour: 3 cups
Eggs: 4
Baking Powder: 3 level tsp
Salt: 1/4 tsp

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder twice.
Let the Butter and egg come to room temperature.
 Make sure u do not melt the butter, coz if you do, then you wont get the air pockets in the recipe batter. The creaming is what causes the food to rise, giving an airy, delicate texture. (Havent you noticed that moist cakes, which uses liquids doesnt have that delicate texture which the butter cakes have, like in the picture below)

Grease and flour 2 baking trays
Preheat oven to 180C
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one by one and beat till well mixed.
Now Fold in the flour
(add the flour and milk alternately, always starting and ending with the dry ingredients, here it is the flour ;) )
Transfer the batter to prepared cake tins and shake the tin to level the batter.
Bake till done.
Let it cool for 10 minutes in the tray and then invert onto a cooling rack.

So for any of you who wants the orange caramel cake with this batter, divide the batter into two.
To one half add half a cup of orange juice. To the other half, add half a cup of caramel. Here Ive made the caramel light brown, thats why you cant see much of a difference. Pour the caramel flavoured batter and the orange flavoured batter alternately to the baking tin and bake till done.


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18.2.12

Cauliflower Manchurian



When I met my future hubby for the first time, I asked him what food he likes and prompt came the reply "Chinese".. and I was like..."Phew!!! that's easy....Maggi Noodles"
Well, we survived on Maggi Noodles for a long time and then we visited my inlaws and woooo.... Mom's chinese preparation is better than what we get in the Indo Chinese restaurants. Well, I had to learn it somehow. So this is Cauliflower Manchurian her way.


Cauliflower: 500 gms (washed properly and cut into bite size pieces)
All Purpose Flour: 1/3 cup
Corn Flour: 1/4 cup
Salt: as required
Pepper: 2 tsp
Water: to make a thick batter

Spring Onions: 3  sliced
Green stalk of the Spring Onion: to garnish
Garlic: 10 pods chopped
Ginger: 1 tsp chopped
Green Chillies: 5-6 chopped
Soya Sauce: 1 tbsp
Tomato Sauce: 2 tbsp
Red Chilli Sauce: 1 tbsp
Corn Flour: 1 tbsp
Water: 3/4 cup
Oil: 1 tbsp

First make the sauce. You can make it beforehand and then fry the Cauliflower just before serving.
Mix the cornflour in cold water. mix the Tomato sauce, Chilly Sauce, Soya Sauce, required salt and keep aside.
In a kadai, heat oil and saute the sliced onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies for a few minutes. You will get a nice aroma of the garlic.
Now add the sauce to it and mix well and let it cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.
Turn off the stove and keep aside till ready to be used.

Make a batter with the cornflour, Maida, pepper and salt by adding water. Make sure it is a thick batter so that the cauliflower will get evenly coated.
Heat oil in a pan.
Dip each cauliflower in the batter and deep fry till golden brown. (medium heat)
Drain on an absorbant paper.

Now heat the sauce and add the fried Cauliflower to it and do a mixing for a minute.
Turn off the stove.
Serve the manchurian warm garnished with the spring onion stalk.



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16.2.12

Mutton stew



Mutton: 250 gms (small pieces)
Potato: 1 large cubed
Thick Coconut milk: 1 cup
Thin Coconut milk: 1.5 cups

Mustard: 1 tsp
Cinnamom: 1 stick
Cloves:3
Cardamom:1
Onion: 2 medium sliced
Ginger: 1 inch chopped fine
Garlic: 3 cloves chopped fine
Green Chilly: 5 slit length wise
Curry Leaves: 2 sprigs
Pepper: 1+1 tsp
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Tomato: 1 medium sliced in rounds
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Oil; 2 tbsp
Salt: as required
Coriander Leaves: 3 tbsp

Heat oil in a pressure cooker and splutter the mustard.
Add the whole garam masala (cinnamom, cloves and cardamom) and wait for a few seconds.
Now throw in the onions, ginger, garlic and green chilly and saute till just wilted (no change of colour is needed)
Add the mutton with a teaspoon of pepper, garam masala, one cup thin coconut milk and required salt and let it cook.
(On high till the first whistle, then lower the flame and let it cook for 10 minutes)
Once the pressure is gone, open the lid and add the potatoes and the rest of the thin coconut milk and let it cook again.
When the potatoes are done, add the round slices of tomatoes on top and let it boil on low flame with the lid closed for a minute.
At this point, check if the curry is too thin, if it is add a ladle of Appam batter (if it is appam you are making that day with the stew) or add a tbsp of cornflour mixed with 1/4 cup water.
Now add the thick coconut milk and let it boil along the edges.
Do a salt test and add more if required.
Turn off the stove and add 1 tsp pepper and 1 tbsp vinegar and coriander leaves and keep the lid.
Let it remain like that for 15 minutes.
Open and serve warm with Appam or Chapati.

11.2.12

Fruit, Nut and Coconut flakes Chocolate Bark


 Valentines day and what goes hand in hand with that??  It is Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. So this time, from my kitchen comes a homemade chocolate. Well, when I think of homemade chocolates, again the chocolates we get in Ooty comes to my mind. wow, wow, wow... well, this came close to that. I got the idea of making this while I was bloghopping one day and came to Puja's space. Then I did a bit of research and came up with my own thing with inputs from everywhere. :)

Cooking Chocolate: 250 gms
Butter: 1.5 tbsp
Coconut flakes: 1/5 cup
Mixed Dried Fruits: 1/2 cup ( I bought mixed dried fruit which had blueberries, raisins and cranberries)
Mixed Toasted nuts: 1/2 cup
(I bought mixed nuts which included coconut flakes as well. The nuts included walnut, pistachios, almonds)


Melt the cooking chocolate in the microwave for a minute. Add the butter to it and let it all melt and combine. (Depends on the microwave as to how much time it takes, it got done in 2 minutes on mine)
Now line a tin with parchment paper or Aluminium foil (I used aluminium foil)
Spread the chocolate on it.
Now scatter the nuts and fruits and the coconut flakes on it and slightly press it onto the chocolate layer.
Keep this refrigerated till it is set.
Cut or break the bark into small irregular pieces.















 
 

10.2.12

Caramel Cheese Cake


Yesterday morning my hubby had this craving for cheese cake, so before leaving for office, he told me that he is ordering cheese cake for the weekend. I said "fine" but as soon as he left, I took my recipe collection. I have two trusted recipes, a baked version and an unbaked version.... but to my disappointment didnt have one or the other ingredients for either recipe

So,what is the next best thing I do?? Yes, come up with a recipe with whatever ingredients I have and Bingo.. it clicked... I started thinking I will make an unbaked version, half way through I added eggs and flour and made it a baked version!!!! so heres the recipe...




For the Base
Marie Biscuits/Digestive Biscuits: 200 gm
Soft (not melted) Butter: 100 gm

In a food processor, Blitz the biscuit. When it is bread crumbs form, add the butter and run the processor till you get a clump.
Press this mix on a springform tin, press a little up the sides too.
Keep this in the fridge for half an hour, while you get the cake mix and the topping ready.

For the Topping
Granulated Sugar: 1 cup
Water: 2 tbsp
Fresh Cream: 170 gm tub

Heat Sugar 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. Let it cool slightly.
For the Cheese Cake
Double Cream Cheese: 450 gm
Whipping Cream: 200 ml
Icing Sugar: 200 gm (refer the note below)
Vanilla Essence: 1 tsp
Lime juice: 1 tbsp (optional, I wanted to add but during the process decided against it)
Fresh Cream: 1 tbsp
All Purpose Flour: 3 tbsp
Eggs: 2



In a bowl, take the double cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla (if you are using lime, add that also at this stage).
Beat until smooth.
Now add the flour and the eggs and beat well.
Now in a separate bowl, whip the whipping cream and fold this to the cream cheese mixture carefully.
Your Cake layer is ready.

 

Assembling
 Preheat the oven 180 C for 10 minutes
Take the chilled biscuit base out of the fridge and spread a thin layer of caramel on top.
Now pour the cheese cake mix on top of that.
Bake it for 40 to 45 minutes (oven temperatures vary, so keep an eye- check if it is set, it might be a little goeey in the middle but it gets set as it cools, the point is- dont overbake)
Let it cool in the oven itself (keep the oven door slightly open for the cooling stage)
After half an hour take it out and spread the caramel filling on top.
Keep it in the fridge till ready to be served.


To Note:
My double cream cheese was a little bit salty, thats why I didnt add any salt and added 200 gm icing sugar. If you have the unsalted version, you can reduce 50 gm of icing sugar for the recipe.

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7.2.12

Mutton Liver Roast







Iam not very fond of liver but when I saw this recipe , I had to try it and wow, my whole outlook changed... it was so yummooo!!!! I was smiling as I read her post about how skinny she and her sis and bro were, and how her dad used to make this to make them fat!!!! I still remember those skinny days of yours, Maya and I feel its a blessing !!!! Ive made little changes as I didnt have pearl onions, but well, its almost the same otherwise!!!







Mutton Liver: 1/2 kg
Onions: 2 diced
Garlic: 10 cloves or 1 pod
Ginger: 1.5 inch
Green Chillies: 4
Pepper corns: 3 tsp
Fennel: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Chilly Powder: 1.5 tsp
Coriander Powder: 2.5 tsp
Curry Leaves: 2 sprigs
Mustard: 1/2 tsp
Dried red chilly: 1
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp
Salt: as required.

Chop the liver pieces and soak it in water in which 2 tbsp vinegar has been added for about half an hour.
Wash and drain it in a colander.
Grind the fennel and pepper corns in a dry grinder and then add the garlic, green chillies and ginger to it and run the grinder again so that it is crushed well. Keep this aside
Heat oil in a frying pan and splutter the mustard and dried red chilly.
Throw in the onions and curry leaves abdsaute till onions are light brown in colour.
Now add the crushed mix of fennel, pepper corn, garlic, green chilly and ginger.
Saute till raw smell is gone and it slightly changes colour.
Add all the masalas and stir till oil separates.
Add half cup water and required salt and bring to a boil.
Add the liver pieces and cook on low flame for 20 minutes.
Check if it is cooked well, if not, again sprinkle some water and let it get cooked.
Now open the lid and stir fry on medium heat till the dish turns dry and the liver is coated with the masala.
Add curry leaves and half teaspoon pepper powder and mix well.
Keep it closed for some more time after you take it from the stove.
Serve with rice, chappati or as a starter.


Recipe from: here

5.2.12

Ceylon Chicken Egg Parotta/Mughalai Parotta

Theres a deep connection between food and our memories of a place. One of the first things that come to my mind when I think of Chennai food is Ponnuswamy Biriyani, and the next in line is Ceylon chicken Egg parotta from Marina park in Foreshore Estate.

 When in Chennai, we usually order in this Mughalai parotta from that restaurant and just one is enough for an absolutely delicious and filling dinner.

After coming to Cairo, I started making this on my own and I usually make it with Wheat flour (like chappati and egg filling). Yesterday, after a long time I made it with maida just like how we used to have back in Chennai and oooolalala it really warmed our souls as well as satisfied our appetite!!!

Step 1
Chicken: 600 gms
Pepper: 3/4 tbsp
Salt: as required 
Pressure cook this for 5 whistles on high flame.
When it cools, shred the chicken.

Step 2:
For the Parotta

Maida: 4 cups
Milk: 1 cup
Water: 1 cup or as required to make a dough (after the milk is added)
Sugar: 1/2 tbsp
Salt: as required
Oil: 2 tbsp

Mix the salt and sugar in the flour.
Add milk to it and then required water to make a smooth dough
(I worked my stand mixie on speed 2 for 8 to 10 minutes)
Now take the dough out and add the 2 tbsp oil to it and knead again for a few seconds.
Keep this in a greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth.
Keep this aside for one hour or more. (I keep for 2 to 3 hours)
If I make it with wheat flour, I keep only for half an hour or even lesser.

Step 3
For the Chicken Keema

Onion: 2 medium diced
Ginger Minced: 1 tsp
Garlic Minced: 1 tsp
Green Chillies: 2 chopped
Red Chilly Powder: 2 level tsp
Turmeric Powder: a pinch
Fennel Powder: 1 tsp
Garam Masala or Meat Masala: 1/4 tsp
Oil and Salt: as required

Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions, ginger and garlic till the onions are translucent
Now add all the powders and saute on low flame.
Add the cooked and shredded chicken, salt and mix everything properly.
Do a taste test and add salt if needed.
Let it cool

Step 4
Eggs: 6
Whisk the eggs properly, add salt  and mix in the chicken keema to it and keep aside

Step 5

Now take the dough and make 10 equal balls out of it.
Roll out each ball as thinly as possible.
Heat the tawa and place the rolled out disc and let it just cook (say about 20 to 30 secs)
Turn it over and place 2 tbsp of the egg keema mix in the middle.
Immediately fold from al the four sides so that the egg keema mix is properly closed and you have a square shaped parotta.
Cook on medium heat by sprinkling oil.
When it is brown and the parotta starts puffing up, take off heat.
(Puffing up is the sign that the egg inside is cooked)
Serve warm with any side dish or just with tomato sauce.