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Thursday, March 22, 2012


Summer is around and catching up pretty strong here in Bangalore. What best way to beat the heat than with cold kulfi that is delicious and refreshing. Here I present to you my variation of the kulfi.

Kulfi -
Milk - 4 cups
Badam - 2 for garnishing
Sugar - 3 tbsp
Instant coffee - ¾ tsp

Coffee-Toffee Sauce -
Butter - 2 tbsp
Sugar - ½ cup
Fresh cream - ¼ cup
Salt - ⅛ tsp
Instant coffee - ½ tsp
Water - 3 tbsp

Boil milk in a thick bottom pan. On a medium flame cook the milk until it thickens (should take around 45 to 50 minutes). Keep stirring during the process. Once the milk is reduced to roughly ½ the quantity, add coffee, sugar and mix well. Switch off and let it cool. Once cooled pour it into a 4 inch square kulfi mould and put it in the freezer for about 6 to 8 hours.

For the coffee-toffee sauce, heat a thick bottom pan, melt the butter. Add sugar and mix thoroughly. To this add water and let the sugar melt (remember to lower the heat and don't let the sugar caramelize). Once the sugar has melted, add salt and stir in the cream and mix nicely with a balloon whisk. Now add the coffee and let it boil for about a minute. Switch off and cool down the sauce.

Cut thick slices of the kulfi and arrange them on a serving place, pour generous amount of the sauce. Sprinkle some shavings of badam. Enjoy delicious coffee infused kulfi with coffee-toffee sauce (Had a tough time plating, with the kulfi melting pretty fast in the heat).

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chicken Tikka

Chicken breasts - 350 gms, cut into bite sized cubes
Lemon - 1
Hung curd - ¼ cup
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Grated ginger - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cardamon - 5
Shahi jeera - ½ tsp
Nutmeg - of whole nutmeg
Wooden skewers soaked in water
Melted butter

Prick the chicken pieces with a fork. Squeeze lemon over the chicken and mix thoroughly. Leave it for about 5 minutes. Dry roast and grind cinnamon, cardamon, shahi jeera and nutmeg. In a bowl, add curd, garlic, ginger, oil, red chilly powder, ground masala. To this, add chicken, cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven @ 200º C. Arrange the marinated chicken cube on the skewers, brush some butter on top and pop it into the oven. Cook for 25 minutes @ 200º C. After every 10 minutes, flip the skewers so that the other side of the chicken is cooked as well, brush butter on top before putting it back into the oven.

Once done, allow to cool and squeeze some lemon over top. Enjoy the succulent tikkas with onion rings.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Chicken Stuffed Bun

Bun -
All purpose flour - 4 cups
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Water - ¾ cups, luke warm
Milk - 1 cup, luke warm
Sunflower oil  - ¼  cup
Sugar - 1 ½  tsp
Salt - 1 ½  tsp

Chicken stuffing -
Onion - 3 medium, sliced
Minced chicken - 250 gms
Curry leaves - 1 tbsp, roughly chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - ¾ tsp
Ginger - 1 tbsp, chopped
Chicken masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric - ½  tsp
Red chilly powder - ½  tsp
Pepper powder - 2 ½  tsp, freshly ground
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to  taste

In small bowl, add water, sugar milk and yeast. Whisk the mixture thoroughly. Let it stand for 10 minute. Add salt and oil to the mixture. Take flour in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top and knead the dough thoroughly to incorporate some air into it. Place it back into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Keep it aside in a warm place (around 30º C) for about an hour and half.

Meanwhile, lets get on to making the stuffing. Heat a pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add onion, ginger and curry leaves. Saute till onion turns translucent. To this, add all the dry masala (coriander powder, garam masala, chicken masala, turmeric, chilly powder) along with 1 ½ tsp of pepper powder. Saute for around a minute or two. Now add the minced chicken, blend all the onion masala into the chicken. Cover and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat or until the chicken is done. Add the remaining 1 tsp of pepper powder, mix thoroughly. Take it off the heat and let is cool down completely.

By now the dough would have doubled in size. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top, and knead the dough to push the air out (this process is called knocking back the dough). Now divide the dough into 9-10 balls of about 90 gms each. Flatten each ball to form a disc of about 3-4 inch. Place the chicken stuffing in the middle, fold the edges together to seal the stuffing. shape it back into a ball and place on a greased baking tray (Remember to leave some space between the buns, they would further rise while proofing). Once all the buns are stuffed, keep it aside in a warm place for around 30 to 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200º C. Bake the buns @ 200º C for 30 minutes. 10 minutes before the baking is finished, brush some butter over the buns. Place them back into the oven and continue the baking. Once done, allows the buns to cool.

You could replace the chicken with the stuffing of your choice. I suggest paneer would be a great choice for the vegetarians. Enjoy. Please don't forget to give me your feedback.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Vegetarian Pizza

I have always wanted to try making pizza ground up, never had the confidence to attempt the dough and the sauce. Also, I don't believe you can make good pizzas with the ready to bake pizza-base available in stores. But now, having tried couple of bread recipes and pasta sauces I was pretty confident on the outcome.

On a Saturday evening I set out to prepare a vegetarian version, began making the dough, got the desired consistency, and the sauce came out well. I had some regained confidence in me. Baked the pizza, and voilà what a wonderful recipe it turned out to be.

So easy to make, I have decided not to order restaurant pizzas any more. I am sure after you try out the recipe you would more than agree with me :).
Pizza base-
All purpose flour (Maida) - 4 cups, plus extra for dusting
Water - 2 cups, Luke warm
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Sugar - 2 tsp
Salt - 2 ¼ tsp
Butter - ½ cup, melted & cooled to room temperature

Tomato sauce-
Red ripe tomatoes - 700 gms
Onion - 1, small sized, finely chopped
Garlic - 3, large cloves
Chilly flakes - 1 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
Dried oregano - 1 tsp
Dried basil - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Toppings [You can add your own toppings]-
Paneer/Goat cheese/Tofu - 200 gms, cut into small bite sized chunks
American corn - ½ cup
Green capsicum (bell pepper) - 2, medium sized
Onion - 1 large, thick sliced
Mozzarella cheese - 200 gms
Black pitted olives - 10 to 12, medium sliced
Green Chilly - 2, finely sliced

In small bowl, add water, oil, sugar, salt and yeast. Whisk the mixture thoroughly. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Take flour in a large bowl, make a well in the middle and pour the yeast mixture. If the dough gets too gooey, let it stand for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top and knead the dough thoroughly for about 5 minutes. This will help to incorporate some air into the dough and also activate the gluten.  Place it back into the bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Keep it aside in a warm place (around 30º C) for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, lets get on to making the sauce. Cut the tomatoes into half, remove most of the seeds using your fingers. Then cut them into quarters. Heat the oil in a pan, add onion, saute till translucent. Add garlic and the chilly flakes. Saute till the garlic gives off its aroma. Add tomatoes and cook on a high flame till the sauce thickens. With the help of a wooden spoon mash the tomato as much as possible. Add salt, basil and oregano. Cook for another 10 minutes. Switch off the heat, let it cool. Roughly blend the sauce in a blender/food processor. Keep it aside.
Preheat the oven @ 220º C. Keep the toppings within reach. By now the dough would have doubled in size. Sprinkle some flour on the counter top, and knead the dough to push the air out (this process is called knocking back the dough). Divide the dough into two equal portions. I like my pizza crust thick, but in case you like a thin crust, you can make three out of this batch. If you want do not want to utilize the entire dough now, you could wrap it up in a cling wrap and place it in the refrigerator for later.
Roll each portion of the dough into a 9 inch sized disc, place it on to a meshed pizza tray. If you don't have space int he oven to bake all the pizza at once, you may place the rest of the dough in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Spread the tomato sauce on the base, cover the base with mozzarella cheese and add the toppings. Pop it into the oven @ 220º C for 20 minutes or until done (preferably in the middle rack, that way it would cook from the bottom as well).
Enjoy delicious pizza straight out of the oven.

Walnut Brownie

A pack of walnut has been lying around for couple of weeks now. Well, what better way to make use of it than bake brownies. Years back I had prepared the egg less version which was too good, so wasn't sure how this would turn out. Well, it turned out quite well and dense in the middle just the way I wanted it to be. I am sure you'll like it as well.

Walnut - 150 gms
Eggs - 3, at room temperature
Sugar - 200 gms, powdered
Salt - ½ tsp
Baking powder - ½ tsp
Dark chocolate bar - 200 gms
All purpose flour (Maida) - ½ cup
Sunflower oil - ½ cup
Vanilla essence - 1 ¼ tsp
Cocoa powder - ¼ cup
Butter for greasing baking tray

Preheat oven to 180º C. Grease and line a 9 inch square cake tin with butter paper. In a baking tray, spread the walnuts and roast it in the preheated over for around 5 minutes. Once done, cool it and chop it to small pieces.

Melt dark chocolate in a bowl using double boiler and keep it aside. In a bowl, start beating the eggs one by one. To this, add sugar, oil, vanilla essence, salt. Beat till pale and creamy. Now add this mixture slowly into the melted chocolate, keep beating on a medium speed until thoroughly mixed.

Sift flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the chocolate and egg mixture, fold it nice and slowly until its blended completely. Now fold in the walnuts and pour the mixture into the baking tin. Tap the baking tin on the counter top to remove any bubbles trapped in the mixture. Put it in the oven @ 180º C and bake for 35 minutes or until done.

Hope you enjoy the brownies. Please don't forget to leave your valuable comments.