Pineapple Raita

Pineapple Raita is a good addition to any meal. It gives an exotic touch and is loved by one and all.

Ingredients

1 cup bite-sized pineapple pieces

2 cups plain curd

3-4 tbsp powdered sugar

1 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Pineapple Raita

Pineapple Raita

Mix all the ingredients together and served chilled.

Tamarind and Date Chutney

Tamarind chutney is a household Indian staple. It is used in a number of snack items and the best part is it keeps for a long time.

Ingredients

1 cup tamarind

1 1/2 cup jaggery

1 tsp salt

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp dry ginger powder

1/2 cup date

Tamarind and Date Chutney

Tamarind and Date Chutney

Soak tamarind in a little water overnight. Squeeze out the pulp with the help of a sieve.

Break jaggery into small pieces.

De-seed and cut dates into long strips.

Mix tamarind pulp, date and jaggery with 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the ingredients.

Lower the heat and let the chutney simmer till it becomes syrupy.

Cool completely and store in a glass bottle.

The chutney can be stored for upto 4 weeks.

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is the quintessential Indian sweet that compliments all festivals and all occasions. It is available year round and I have not met a single person till date who will say no to a gulab jamun. Surprisingly, it is really simple to make at home and takes an amazingly small amount of time too.

Ingredients – makes 20

1 cup milk powder

1/4 cup maida

1 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp melted butter

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup water

1 tsp cardamom powder

A handful of chopped nuts (optional)

20 raisins/misri/anardana (optional)

Oil/ghee for frying

Gulab Jamun

Sieve milk powder and maida to remove any lumps. Mix baking soda.

Add the melted butter and mix to get a crumbly mixture.

Slowly add milk, a tablespoon at a time, to get a really sticky dough.

Cover and let the dough rest for 10-15 mins.

Once the dough is rested, it won’t be sticky. Make 20 balls and insert a raisin/misri/anardana in the middle. This will ensure the centre is not hard and will also present a wonderful surprise. You can also make a small thumbprint with haldi(turmeric powder) to get a yellow centre.

Once the balls are made, heat the sugar with cardamom and water to boiling. Let simmer for 5 mins till sugar is completely dissolved to get sugar syrup. Take it off the heat.

Heat the oil/ghee. It should be 1 inch in depth in the kadhai or frying pan. Gently fry the balls at a very low heat to get a lovely golden colour.

Let the balls rest for a couple of mins and then soak them in the sugar syrup for atleast 20 mins. The balls will actually double in size at this stage.

Sprinkle with chopped nuts before serving.

 

 

 

Corn Panini

Tired of having the same items for breakfast? Try corn panini. It is super easy and super fast and will add a spurt of healthy taste to the start of your day.

Ingredients

1 corn on the cob or 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels

2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee

2 tbsp plain flour

1 cup milk

2 tbsp grated cheese (optional)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

Bread slices

Corn Panini

Remove the corn kernels from the cob and blanch till soft. If using frozen kernels, thaw them and blanch them.

Blanching keeps corn juicy and soft and retains the flavour.

Drain and pulse in a grinder till half the corn kernels turn into a coarse mixture.

Heat butter in a pan and add the flour. Roast till slightly pink.

Remove from heat and add the milk. Whisk to remove lumps. Put it back on the gas and simmer till you get a thick sauce. Remove from heat. Add salt, pepper and cheese. Mix till cheese dissolves.

Spread in between two slices of bread and toast in a sandwich maker. Serve hot.

Amchur Chutney

Imli or tamarind chutney is an Indian staple that adds the extra punch to many recipes. It goes well with almost all snack items and will be present in every Indian kitchen. However, if it is not possible to make imli chutney, one can go for amchur or mango powder chutney. It tastes the same and is ready in minutes.

Amchur Chutney

Ingredients

2 tbsp amchur

1/2 cup gur

5-6 dates, pitted

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp roasted cumin powder

1 tsp dry ginger powder

1 tsp black pepper powder

1 tsp chilli powder

Dissolve amchur in 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the ingredients and let the chutney simmer for 10-15 mins till a syrupy consistency is attained. Let cool and serve with all sorts of snacks.

 

 

 

Indianized Mexican Cooler

Horchata is a popular Mexican rice drink which has been adapted to Indian taste here. It is not only good for health but also a great summer cooler.

Indian version of Mexican Rice Cooler ‘Horchata’

Ingredients

1/2 cup long grain rice

2 inch cinnamon stick

2 cardamom pods

2 cups warm water

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tsp flaked almonds

Method

1. Rinse rice and pour warm water on top.

2. Add cinnamon stick and cardamom pods. Cover and let the rice soak overnight or for atleast 10 hours.

3. Puree the soaked rice in a blender along with cinnamon stick and cardamom pods.

4. Strain pureed rice and water through muslin cloth, squeezing it firmly to extract as much flavour as possible.

5. Blend the powdered sugar and coconut milk with the rice extract.

6. Serve chilled in a tall glass with ice. Sprinkle flaked almonds on top for texture.

 

 

 

Cherry Tart

It is a second winter in London and the elusive sun was reminding me of lovely summer tarts so I dug out some morello cherries from deep down in the freezer and whipped up a cherry frangipani tart (used up my almond meal too).

Cherry Frangipani Tart

Pie crust – Ingredients

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup butter

1 tbsp sugar

Cut butter into small cubes and mix with the flour to get a crumbly mix. Add sugar and gently try to bring the dough together. Add a few tablespoons of cold water if needed. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 mins.

Roll out the dough into a circle. Grease the tart pan and line it with the dough.

Place a square of parchment paper on the pan and pour rice or kidney beans on it to blind bake the pie crust to prevent puffing up. Bake for 20 mins at 180C. Remove the parchment paper and bake for another 5 mins to get  a nice golden crust.

Keep aside to cool.

Filling – Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup almond meal

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 egg

2 cups morello cherries

1 tbsp flour

Beat the egg and cream it with butter and sugar. Add the flour and essence. Mix in the almond meal.

Spread on the pie crust.

Line the filling with cherries. You can use any other fruit you like but the cherries are a perfect balance of sour with the sweetness of frangipani filling.

Bake for 20-25 mins. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Tips for Stuffed Parathas

Yummy hot stuffed parathas on a cold winter night with curd….they can be aloo parathas, mooli parathas or gobhi parathas….I love them all. Here are a few tips to get them right every time.

1. The most important part is the stuffing. Squeeze out the water from grated mooli or gobhi before using.

2. Always keep the salt and chilli a bit strong. This will make the stuffing the center-stage and counter the blandness of the dough. Add a little amchur and a little bhuna jeera.

3. Rest the dough for atleast 5 mins before using.

4. The dough ball should be larger than that for a normal roti.

5. After stuffing the dough ball, it is preferable to roll it out with hands and then using a rolling pin. This will prevent the stuffing from being shoved into one corner of the paratha and will also prevent wear and tear.

6. In case of too much wear and tear, sprinkle generous quantities of flour.

7. Always use low to medium flame to cook the parathas to ensure it is always cooked all the way through.

8. Don’t skimp out on the butter!

Bag Cake

This is my first fondant work. The cake is baked in a round tin and then cut in the middle. The two pieces are stood with their backs against each other and stuck with buttercream icing. After an initial crumb coating, the fondant is directly placed on the cake.

The white fondant is cut individually for front, back and top by tracing the cake outline on a kitchen towel. Detailing is done with the pink fondant. The flower is made with fondant itself. The individual pieces of fondant are stuck using water.

The cake is a vanilla cake with layered rainbow colours.

Recipe for vanilla cake:

1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
½ cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Recipe for buttercream icing:

1/2 cup butter

1 cup icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

2-3 tsp milk

Rainbow Cake

Have fun with kids or surprise everyone with a rainbow cake. Simply make a basic vanilla cake mixture and divide it into 7 parts. Add food colouring for VIBGYOR – Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red to each part. There is no need to get seven different colours. The primary colours, blue, yellow and red can be used to make the rest of the shades. However, you need to use a lot of food colouring to get bright vibrant shades.

Once the seven batters are prepared, grease the cake tin. Drop violet cake batter in the middle. This will form the base of the cake. Drop indigo cake batter on top in the middle and continue till you have dropped the red one. The cake batter will move slowly on its own to fill the cake tin. You can also start from red and go to violet.

Bake the cake as per instructions and let cool completely before cutting and see everyone’s jaws drop and eyes light up!