The results are in. The winner of Summer Blaster Challege is Renuka with her Mango Payasam.
Cream the butter and sugar together. Sieve flour with baking soda and baking powder. Add the creamed butter and sugar to the flour. Add condensed milk and vanilla essence. Roll the batter while adding water spoonful by spoonful till it is of pouring consistency.
Divide the batter into two equal parts. To one part add cocoa powder and mix.
Grease and dust the cake pan. Put one spoon of vanilla batter and then one spoon of chocolate batter in it. Alternate till all the batter is utilized.
Heat the pressure cooker. Place the cake pan in it and bake on low flame for about an hour. Remove when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the cake. Cool cake on a wire rack before serving.
HD suggested this. One day he just ordered a dozen eggs and suggested we should have kathi rolls for dinner. He went on to describe in detail how to make them. It was so cute the way the request was made. So I got out my kitchen tools, did some shopping and just made them along with green chutney and the works. I will have to say it tasted pretty good. Eggs rule. No question about it.
You need to prepare five things to put this dish together. First is the tortilla (roti/wrap), paneer stuffing, green chutney, lemons cut in half and deseeded and the eggs.
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp corn flour
1 tbsp ghee
Ghee for cooking
Salt and red chili powder to taste
1 cup paneer cubes
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp green chili sauce (optional)
2 tbsp oil
Mix flour, soda, corn flour and ghee and make a smooth batter with water. Cover with wet muslin cloth and leave for 1 hour. Knead the dough once more. Make 4 balls out of it. Roll them and cook them with ghee.
Beat the eggs with salt and red chili powder. Spread some of it on a non-stick pan in a circular shape the size of the tortilla. Immediately place the tortilla over it. Remove from gas one the egg has browned well.
Cut the onion and capsicum into cubes. Heat oil in a pan and saucte the onion and capscum cubes in it. Add the paneer cubes, tamarind paste and spices. Cook for 5 mins.
Place the tortilla egg side up on a plate. Place some paneer stuffing on it right along the centre. Spread green chutney on top and squeeze some lemon juice on it. Roll the tortilla and stick a toothpick t hold it together. Alternatively, it can be wrapped in parchment paper also.
Green chutney has been made from raw mango and mint leaves. Check out green chutney here.
Come summer and the markets are flooded with mangoes. There are so many varieties across the country. In fact, the raw mango available in North India is very different from that available in South India. The northern version is more tart and lends a unique taste to any recipe. The southern version is generally sweeter. It is quite hard to get your hands on a really really raw mango in Chennai. Anyways, to make the best of what is available, here is the raw mango chutney I made.
1 raw mango (kairi)
1 cup fresh mint leaves (pudina)
1 green chili
3-4 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black salt
Lemon juice (optional)
Peel and core the raw mango. Chop the pulp into small pieces. Remove the fresh leaves from the mint stems and wash them thoroughly. Mix all the ingredients and make a puree in a blender. Add a little water to make the chutney thin and of flowing consistency. Add lemon juice if required.
Refrigerate for upto a week.
Cooking is my passion. I read recipes on the net at office. I try to keep track of cooking shows. I try to weasel out recipe secrets from friends and family. I am obsessed with trying new dishes. In fact, I really really need a microwave now for all the yummy baking recipes I have in my store. But……it was only today morning that I realized how crazy I am about cooking….
I came across The Daring Kitchen while browsing the net and was immediately hooked. I could not wait for my membership to start. It was so cool when I found out I had access to the private forums. I felt like a little child who had laid hands on grandma’s secret stash of chocolates….he he he. I was scared though…the recipes mentioned in The Daring Kitchen are quite complicated for a newbie like me. So imagine my surprise when I found the June, 2009 Daring Cooks Challenge to be dumplings. This was something I could do….yes.
I did the first batch at night yesterday. It did not look great. In fact, the secret to making dumplings look appetizing is the pleating. Unfortunately, I had not checked out the trick for pleating and I ended up making a big thick roll where it should have been simply two layered and soft. The dumplings still tasted great but the end was inedible.
So I went back to the website for help. The Daring Cooks recipe was even supported by pics on how to pleat the dumpling!!! Wow! That website truly lives upto its name. It truly wants people to better their cooking skills. So I kept mulling over it and today morning itself I just could not help myself. I dumped by gym session for……dumplings session. Looking back now it seems crazy but the passion of cooking I felt in the morning when nothing else mattered other than to get those darned dumplings to look good feels all worthwhile. And I learnt something new.
For the wrapper
1 cup plain flour (maida)
1 tsp butter (optional)
For the filling
½ cup cabbage, grated
½ cup carrots, grated
1 tsp garlic, chopped finely
1 tsp garlic, minced or chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the wrapper by mixing flour and butter. The butter will keep the dough soft for a longer time. Add water spoonful by spoonful and make a smooth dough. Cover with a wet muslin cloth and set aside.
Mix all the ingredients for the filling. Though the filling for dumplings is generally bland to go along with the chilly sauce, a little green chili sauce can be mixed in to give an extra zing.
Make 1 cm balls out of the dough. Roll them so they are thin enough to be see-through. The centre should be thicker than the sides. Fold the dumplings on one side so a small pocket is formed. Fill it with the stuffing and seal with the help of water.
Place the dumplings on a cabbage leaf and steam. They can also be fried or boiled.
Enjoy while hot with red chili sauce.
Everyone has their own recipe for chhole. I was watching a cookery show on Tatasky and the cook did not use tomatoes or onions in the chhole. He just added a variety of spices to boiled chickpeas and that was it. I have prepared chhole before but never with tamarind. Tamarind adds the subtle bite to the dish and enhances the flavor. It is tastes best with bhature.
1 cup chhole (chickpeas)
1 tbsp baking soda
1 inch ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 green chilli
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp zeera
A pinch of hing
1 tbsp haldi
2 tbsp dhaniya
1 tbsp garam masala
Salt, red chilli to taste
¼ cup tamarind
Soak chhole in 3 cups of water. Add baking soda to it. This will make the chickpeas soft. Leave overnight.
Soak tamarind in ½ cup water and leave overnight.
Boil the chickpeas in cooker for atleast 20 mins till they become soft. Mash the tamarind in the water itself to make a pulp. Drain through a sieve to get the paste.
Blend onion, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and green chilli to make a puree. Heat oil in a skillet. Add zeera and hing to it. When zeera starts to pop, add the puree and cook till it separates from oil. Add the boiled chickpeas along with the spices. Add 2 tbsp of tamarind paste. Add 2-3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 7-8 minutes. Serve hot.
Chhole bhature is the ultimate Punjabi dish that has made its way through the hearts of everyone across India. When I was a kid, chhole bhature was the most awesome dish ever. Whenever we used to go out, someone at the table would always order bhature. My brother used to love the dish so much he would never ever have anything else whenever we ordered in or dined out. Years have passed and he still gets excited over it….he he he. In fact, my PG college mess used to have chhole bhature with vinegared onions as Sunday lunch and I used to look forward to it all the week. I would get up early on Sunday just to get my hands on the first serving. I was heartbroken when the mess changed the menu but that is another story.
The only drawback of chhole bhature is the bhature. The ones you get outside are big, brown and extremely oily and totally unhealthy. However, the ones made at home are pure white and very light despite deep frying in oil. No matter how many you eat, you will want more.
2 cups maida (plain flour)
1 cup curd
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking soda
Oil for frying
Mix maida with salt and baking soda. Knead with curd till you get a smooth dough. Maida does not soak water as easily as whole wheat flour so add the curd slowly. Add a little water if required. Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and leave for 2-3 hours. The dough will rise. Knead it again to smoothen it. Make small balls and roll them to form circles. Deep fry in oil. Serve hot.
Tip: Instead of using curd, potatoes can also be used. Boil and mash potatoes and knead them with the maida. The potatoes also act as binding agent so use water sparingly and only if required. The potato bhature are more filling however, they absorb more oil.
To drain off excess oil, leave the bhature on an iron tawa/pan for a couple of minutes. Also, you can line a sieve with paper and then leave the bhature on it to drain oil. However, make sure the paper does not stick to the bhature.
This is the best one course dish that can fill the stomach. It takes less than 30 mins and it is also very easy to master. You just need to know what ingredients click for you. Here is my version.
1 cup pasta (any type)
1 cup white sauce
1 cup shredded cabbage
A handful of peas
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tbsp oil
Boil the paste in 3-4 cups of water in a cooker. When done, drain on a sieve and wash with tap water to drain out excess starch and to separate the pasta.
Shred onion, carrot and capsicum. Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onions in it. When onions turn light pink, add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 4-5 mins.
Place pasta in a pot. Place the cooked vegetables on it. Pour the white sauce on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and serve hot.
Paste is best enjoyed with bread of any form. I served it with plain Jane toast and some mustard on the side for the extra kick.
I always wanted to learn white sauce. I thought it was some complicated dish which required some unknown inaccessible ingredients and was meant to be prepared by the Gods of the kitchen. Then yesterday my friend AD asked me how to prepare white sauce and that launched a couple of hours of R&D. Surprisingly, the recipe was very simple.
I was still skeptical of preparing it but took on the dare praying for it to come out well and comforting my heart at the same time by saying that if it didn’t turn out well, I could always go back to my regular ways of making pasta. A little bit of waste in the name of learning something new should not be taken badly. So I gave it a try and it came out surprisingly well. It tasted so good….so heavenly. Thanks God.
1 tsp unsalted butter
1 tsp all purpose flour (maida)
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper (or white pepper)
1 cube of cheese (approx 2 tbsp grated cheese)
Heat butter in a pan and add flour. Cook for a while but do not let the flour brown. Take off the gas and add the milk. Mix properly and simmer for 2-3 mins. Add salt, pepper and cheese. The sauce will thicken slightly. Take off flame and pour over pasta.
Spread white sauce over a medley of vegetables, top with grated cheese and bake it till cheese turns golden.
Saute a few veggies, mix with white sauce without the cheese for a healthy snack.
This is one condiment I learnt from my MIL. Whenever she makes idlis, she will make coconut coriander chutney. The only thing to be kept in mind is the quantity of spices to be added. The whole dish goes topsy-turvy if the spices go awry. It is best suited with South Indian or tropical dishes.
1 fresh coconut, de-husked
1 cup coriander
1 green chilli
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp sugar
1 cup coconut water
Only fresh coconuts work best for this condiment. Remove the pith of the coconut and wash properly with water. Clean the coriander under water. The soft stalks of the coriander can also be used along with the leaves. Mince the coconut and coriander with the spices, sugar and green chilli in a blender while adding coconut water to thin the paste to liking. Refrigerate until use.