Wednesday, December 25

Plum Cake.. Merry Christmas 2013.

Plum Cake - I had got all the ingredient's well before 1 week and had kept on kitchen slab last night to make sure that I don't forget to bake it today morning. It was a long pending ToDo in my list during X'mas and due to one or the other reason it was always missed... Whole night I was dreaming about the cake only and could not sleep for a very long time.As soon as I woke up, ran to kitchen and started baking the cake so that I can take the picture when the sun is still bright(Sun light always brings best pictures). If I would have got late then I would have not got so good pictures.. Here the sun is so unpredictable and I don't get enough time to relax and do the work. That is the main reason I have to finish my blog work before noon. Any ways all this part of life I am learning to go with flow.. Merry Christmas to everyone enjoy your day to the fullest...

3/4 cup all purpose flour
2+1/2tbsp cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
1/2tbsp instant coffee
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup milk
1 cup mix berry's, nuts and tutti frutti.

Baking Method.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter the square baking pan and keep it aside.
Stir together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in a large bowl, set it aside.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and blend for another 1minute. Add the milk, coffee and vanilla essence in a small bowl and mix it well, then add it to the egg mixture and blend for another 30 to 40sec.

Add the dry ingredients and with the speed on low mix together slowly by making sure not to over mix. Then add the berry's, nuts and tutti frutti and mix everything with a spatula from the bottom to incorporate any bit that wasn't mixed.

Pour the batter into buttered pan and bake for 30 to 31minutes. Allow it cool before taking out from the pan, then cut and sprinkle some icing sugar on top.
Serve as you like..

Thursday, December 19

Choco Walnut Tea Cake..

Choco Walnut Tea Cake...I had bought a bottle of drinking chocolate few days back and in the starting we both use to drink every second day. After a while we felt bore and stopped completely and I forgot about it.. While I was cleaning my kitchen, found that bottle and was not having idea what to do with it.. Then suddenly my mind strike, why don't I bake muffins and that's how I ended up making Tea Cake... I have used drinking chocolate instead of cocoa powder in this cake to try out different recipe and I must say this was worth of trying and it came out very well, Though it was bit dry according to me but it was going very well with whipped cream on top and cup of tea...

Then after some days I had baked this cake again by adding more milk and it turn out very soft and moist. This recipe is for the cake which I baked second time, so no need to worry if you run out of cocoa powder at home and you have drinking chocolate which is not being used for some reason this is the best recipe to use that drinking chocolate..

1/2cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup drinking chocolate powder 
1tsp baking powder 
1/2 cup milk
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1egg, room temperature
1/4 cup chopped walnuts.

Baking Method.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Butter the flat square baking pan or loaf pan and keep it aside.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, drinking chocolate powder in a large bowl, set it aside.
Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the egg and blend for another 1minute.
Add the dry ingredients and with the speed on low mix together and slowly add the milk and just mix everything to combine, making sure not to over mix. Then add the chopped walnuts and make sure you give everything a good stir with a spatula from the bottom to incorporate any bit that wasn't mixed.

Pour the batter into buttered pan and bake for 30 to 35minutes. Allow it cool before taking out from the pan, then cut into square shape and sprinkle some icing sugar on top.
Serve with Tea or Coffee.

Tuesday, December 17

Kesar Shrikhand. (Low Calorie Yogurt Dessert)

Kesar Shrikhand is healthy Indian dessert made from strained curd. This is a low calorie, rich and creamy yogurt. Shrikhand is generally flavoured with saffron, cardamom and dry fruits even it is served with fresh fruits or as a standalone dessert... I was not knowing what is shrikhand and how it taste, I had heard about it but never tasted before I meet my H, I still remember that day when he had got a pack of Haldiram's shrikhand and I told him that why did you get such a expensive curd, you should have just bought a pack of curd which will not cost more then 10rs. He look at me and said you don't know what is this? and I told him yes ofcourse I know this some weird color curd. He started laughing and said this is shrikhand my dear and I can't belive you have still not tasted this and my reaction was ohhh this is shrikhand from then I know what is shrikhand and how it taste like..

I made this dessert last week and it tasted better then the store bought and I did not get the perfect color of saffron while I was taking pictures and I did take the pictures soon just because I knew that it will be over and I was not sure when I will make this dessert again.. After 2 hours I had got the perfect saffron color and it was looking beautiful... Do try this wonderful low fat dessert and serve as you like...

2 cups yogurt
1/2 cup powdered sugar (add more if you like)
10 to 15 saffron strands
3tbsp finely chopped dry fruits (pistachio, almond, raisin and cashew)
2tsp milk
Pinch of cardamom powder.

Spread clean muslin cloth on a big plate. Place yogurt in the center. Wrap and tightly tie muslin cloth.
Hang yogurt for 2 to 3 hours or until all water is drained off from yogurt. It should become very thick.
After that untie muslin cloth and transfer thick strained yogurt to bowl.

Add sugar and cardamom powder and mix well until smooth.
Dissolve saffron in milk and add it to the yogurt mixture and mix well. Then refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hour before serving.
Garnish it with dry fruits nuts and serve chilled.

Monday, December 16

Hot And Sour Chicken Soup..

Hot And Sour Chicken Soup.. This is my most favourite soup and it's must on our table when we go to restaurant. I'm a big fan of Chinese food, Soups, as I have mentioned in my earlier post that nowadays I'm not allowed to eat outside and to full fill my Chinese craving I cook at home. The weather is also very cold in Coventry (UK) and that makes it even more better to have hot hot soup any time of the day.. I have added knorr hot and sour vegetable soup to give more taste but you can skip that and use the normal process to make this delicious hot and sour chicken soup.

1/3 cup chicken (very finely chopped)
2 button mushroom (finely chopped)
2tbsp very finely chopped (carrot, cabbage, beans)
1 medium egg
1+1/2tbsp corn flour
1+1/2tbsp dark soya sauce
1/2tsp crushed black pepper
1tsp white vinegar
2tbsp knorr hot and sour vegetable soup (optional)
3cups chicken or vegetable stock
2tsp oil
Salt to taste.

Cooking Method.
In a deep pan, add oil and sauté the chicken with little salt and pepper. then in the same oil sauté the mushroom, carrot, cabbage and beans with little salt and pepper. 
In a mean time beat the egg and keep it aside and in a small bowl take little water and mix the corn flour and knorr soup and set it aside. 

Once the vegetable are slightly done, add the chicken back in to it and stir. Now add the chicken stock and bring it boil. Then add the soya sauce and corn flour mixture and keep stirring. Add the vineger, black pepper and salt.. Boil it on a medium flame for about 10 to 12 minutes.
Then take a tea strainer and pour the egg slowly from top with help of spoon and boil for another 1 minutes.
Hot and sour chicken soup is ready..
Serve hot hot with extract black pepper, soya sauce and vinegar.

Thursday, December 12

Mango Pickle/ Aam Ka Achar.. (Home-Made)

Mango Pickle.. This was my first attempt to make mango pickle at home and it turn out to be very delicious and perfect. It is not like I don't know to make pickles I use to help my mother alot to make pickles every time and she makes the best pickles in the world. It has been a 4 years I dint help her and I also use to buy pickles from market or get it from my mom's place, that's how I never got a chance to make at home. I made this in very small batch to see how it will come but I must say it taste very similar..

2 large raw mango
1tsp cumin seeds
1/4tsp fenugreek seeds
1/4tsp black pepper corn
1/4tsp coriander seeds
5 dry red chilli
10 curry leafs
2tsp red chilli powder
1/2tsp yellow mustard seeds
10 garlic pods (crushed)
6tbsp Oil
Salt to taste.

Cooking Method.
Cut the raw mango in to medium chunks and keep it aside.
Dry roast the cumin, fenugreek, black pepper, coriander seeds, curry leafs and dry red chilli and grind to a coarse powder.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan, add garlic, mustard, and red chilli powder and fry on a low flame for 1 minute.

Then add the grounded powder and fry for another 1 to 2 minutes, Switch off the flame and allow the pickle masala to cool.
Then add salt and raw mango and give a good mix and transfer it to jar and keep in the sun light every day..
Pickle is ready. You can start eating this pickle after 2 to 3 days.

Wednesday, December 11

Breakfast Chocolate Chunks Muffins..

Chocolate Chunks Muffins.. Muffins are very versatile you can keep on changing or adding the ingredients and they taste better every time. I have never baked the muffins by following the same recipe I keep the measurement same and change the ingredients each time I bake. Last week I bought a pack of chocolate chunks cookies from pound land and from there only I got this name idea and I wanted to add the cookies also in the muffins but unfortunately they were no cookies left, then I decided to save that recipe for one more day and just do with chocolate and cinnamon... I have added the dairymilk chocolate but I felt it was better if I would have added some other chocolate. No problem I will leave it to you all to choose from your favourite chocolate and enjoy this muffins for breakfast.

Preparation time: 10 minutes 
Baking time: 20 minutes 
Serving: 9 medium cupcakes.

1/2cups all-purpose flour
1/6 cup cocoa powder 
1tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chocolate chunks
1/4tsp cinnamon powder 
1/3 cup milk
1tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1egg, room temperature.

Baking Method.
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 9 cup muffin pans with paper baking cups.
Stir together the flour, baking powder, coco powder and cinnamon in a large bowl, set it aside.
Beat the butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat for another 1minute.
Add the dry ingredients and just mix together and slowly add the milk and just mix everything to combine. Add chocolate chunks and make sure you give everything a good stir with a spatula from the bottom to incorporate any bit that wasn't mixed.

Scoop the batter into your lined cupcake tin, make sure it's only filled ¾ of the way up because they will rise. Bake for 18-20 minutes and let cool before serving.
Serve with whipped cream or just like that.

Tuesday, December 10

Omelette And Cheese Roll..

Omelette And Cheese Roll.. I'm not a big fan of cheese rolls, chicken rolls, egg rolls or any street food. It is not like I don't eat, I eat if there is no other option or someone else is eating and after seeing them if I can't control... Nowadays I'm trying out different types of breakfast with simple ingredients which is available easily at home. As my H leaves to office early morning by eating simple breakfast and I don't get a change to try out different dishes except on weekends. So I thought why don't I give a change to myself for eating good and different types of breakfast, in that way I'm happy and my H is also happy that I eat food... Sometime I don't even bother to take pictures after seeing the dish I feel so hungry I start eating there only... This is quick and simple rolls which kids and adults also can enjoy as breakfast or even as a snacks.

2 chapati (Roti)
1 egg
1 small onion, 1 green chilli (finely chopped)
Pinch of black pepper powder
2tbsp grated cheese
Salt to taste
2tsp oil.

Cooking Method.
Make a omelette by adding egg, onion, green chilli, pepper powder and salt. with 1tsp of oil and set it aside.
In a same frying pan, just heat both the chapati and divide the omelette into 2 position and keep it on the chapati and sprinkle grated cheese on both the chapati and roll it tightly.

Now again in the same pan, add the leftover oil and place the rolls and cook till the cheese is melted, That will take about 1 to 2 minutes. Take out from the pan and serve immediately.
Serve hot with Juice and some fruits..

Monday, December 9

Fried Egg And Potato Curry.. (Aaloo Aur Anday Ki Sabji)

Fried Egg And Potato Curry.. This is a authentic North Indian curry, which goes very well with Plain or Jeera Rice. This is very often cooked in my In-Laws place in a little different way, even I follow the same steps but with my own touch and little variation... I prefer this curry as rich and spicy but this days I'm not eating that spicy food so I cooked with less oil and less spicy. I have already posts of Egg curry, which is almost a same procedure, you can change or add ingredients according to your taste...

4 hard boiled eggs
2 potato (cut into big chunks)
2 medium size onion, 2 green chilly, 2 medium size tomato (finely chopped)
1/2tsp turmeric, 1tsp coriander powder, 1tsp red chilly powder, 1tsp garam masala
1tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1 green cardamom, 1 clove, 1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 dry red chillies
3tbsp oil + 2tbsp for frying eggs and potato
Salt as per taste.

Cooking Method
In a non-stick pan, add 2tbsp oil and fry the eggs and potato to golden brown and keep it aside.
In a pressure cooker add oil, cumin, bay leaves, dry red chillies, cardamom, cloves and cinnemon, when they splutter, add onion and chilly fry till it become’s golden brown, add all the masala powder and ½ cup water fry till it starts leaving oil, add tomato and cook till all the masala has come together, that will take about 5 to 6 minutes.

Then add fried eggs, potato, salt and mix. Add another 2cup of water, cover the lid and cook for 3 whistle (1 in high flame and 2 in low flame).
Garnish with coriander leafs
Serve with Ghee Rice, Plain Rice or Jeera Rice and Roti.

Thursday, December 5

Salli Murgh. (Parsi Chicken Curry)

Salli Murgh. Spicy Parsi Chicken Curry. This is basically yoghurt base chicken curry and served with fine fried potatoes straws, but this time I have tried with little thicker fried potatoes and saved the thin potato straws recipe for the later... I got this recipe from Vahchef on youtube and it was so easy to cook and the way he was eating my mouth started watering. Without wasting a minutes I cooked this curry and my hubby also loved it. When my hubby finishes his full potion of non-veg dish what I have served him, that means it is worth trying new dishes in non-veg... It is always a good idea to serve different dishes to our loved ones...

1/2kg chicken (cut into medium pieces)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 whole green chillies
1 cup yoghurt
1tsp red chilly powder, 1/2tsp turmeric
1tsp coriander powder, 1tsp chicken masala
1tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4tsp cumin seeds
1 green cardamom, 2 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
Salt to taste
3tbsp oil.

Ingredient's for Potato Straws.
1 large Potato (peel and cut into thin or thick straws)
Oil for deep frying
Pinch of salt.

Cooking Method.
In a deep frying pan add the oil and deep fry the potato to lite golden brown and set it aside for later use.
In the same frying pan leave 3tbsp of oil and take the rest. When the oil is hot, add cumin, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, when they start crackling, add chopped onion, whole green chilli and fry to golden brown, add ginger garlic paste, chicken and salt, fry the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl add yoghurt, red chilli, turmeric, coriander and chicken masala and blend the nicely. then add into the chicken and give a good mix and cook on a medium flame for another 20 to 25 minutes.
Take out in a serving bowl and garnish with fried potatoes straws.
Serve hot with Roti, Nan or even with Rice.

Wednesday, December 4

Medu Vada/ Urad Dal Vada/ Lentil Fritters.

Medu Vada is a urad dal based fried snack, a delightful dish from the South Indian cuisine... When I was in India this use to be our breakfast on every Saturday, because there were so many South Indian restaurant near our house and I use to never feel like cooking on weekends, all you have do just get up from the bed go to have hot hot breakfast and then do what ever you want whole day.. After coming to UK my life has changed completely. On weekends we are stuck with bread omelette or cornflakes, if we want to eat something else then cook and eat. I really miss India and I keep asking my husband when are we going back? and he reply's - very soon. I have no idea when that very soon will come :)

100 gram urad dal
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2tsp cumin seeds
1/2tsp black pepper (coarsely ground)
1tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
Pinch of Hing 
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying.

Cooking Method.
Wash urad dal several times until the water appears clear and soak it over night or atleast 5 to 6 hours.
Drain the water and blend dal to coarsely texture. Just using enough water as needed to blend. 
Then add onion, cumin, black pepper, coriander, hing and salt. Whip dal batter using a spoon in a circular motion for about two to three minutes until batter become light and fluffy.
In a deep frying pan add oil and allow oil to become hot on medium flame. To check if oil is ready put a little batter into the oil, oil will sizzle and batter should start expending upwards slowly without changing color.
Then place a plastic sheet on to a flat surface and apply little water, then put 2tbsp batter on to plastic sheet and slowly flatten the vada and make a small hole in a centre. Take the plastic sheet slowly up and leave the vada into hot oil for frying. Fry until they are golden brown..
Serve hot with Coconut Chutney and Sambar.

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