Summer Blaster Challenge – Results

The results are in. The winner of Summer Blaster Challege is Renuka with her Mango Payasam.

Many congratulations.

Eggless Marble Cake

Everything I have learned about cooking has come from my Mom including cakes. I remember when I was a kid, she used to describe a marble cake she used to make. She would spoon one portion of vanilla and then one portion of chocolate batter into the pan one after the other. She would relish describing it and that would make me also want to make it sometime. However, I never got around to doing it somehow….
Now I had made an eggless cake when my SIL had come over and half a can of condensed milk was left over. Just to use it up, I decided to give marble cake a try. I searched the recipe on the net and it was nothing but spooning two different batters into the cake pan one after the other just like Mom used to describe. Only thing is, I substituted condensed milk for eggs.
Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1/2 can condensed milk (200 ml)
1/4 cup unsalted butter (ghee)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
Marble Cake
Marble Cake

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.

Marble Cake close up
Marble Cake close up

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.

Marble Cake on Foodista

Egg Kathi Roll with Paneer Stuffing

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.

Ingredients

Tortilla

1 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp corn flour

1 tbsp ghee

Ghee for cooking

 

Egg mixture

2 eggs

Salt and red chili powder to taste

 

Paneer Stuffing

1 onion

1 capsicum

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)

Chat masala

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.

 

Assemble

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.

Egg kathi roll with paneer stuffing served with extra serving of green chutney

Egg kathi roll with paneer stuffing served with extra serving of green chutney

Green chutney has been made from raw mango and mint leaves. Check out green chutney here.
Paneer tikka kathi roll with zero oil on FoodistaPaneer tikka kathi roll with zero oil

Raw Mango Chutney with Mint

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.

Ingredients

1 raw mango (kairi)

1 cup fresh mint leaves (pudina)

1 green chili

3-4 tbsp salt

1 tbsp black salt

Lemon juice (optional)

Green Mango Chutney

Green Mango Chutney

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.

My First Daring Cooks Challenge – Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

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.

Veggie Dumplings

Veggie Dumplings - First Batch

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.

Ingredients

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.

Pleat the dumpling wrapper on one half to make a pocket for stuffing

Pleat the dumpling wrapper on one half to make a pocket for stuffing

Rolled, Pleated, Stuffed and Sealed

Rolled, Pleated, Stuffed and Sealed

Place the dumplings on a cabbage leaf and steam. They can also be fried or boiled.

Ready to be served

Ready to be served

Enjoy while hot with red chili sauce.

Chhole with a hint of Tamarind

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.

Ingredients

1 cup chhole (chickpeas)

1 tbsp baking soda

1 onion

2 tomatoes

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

Chhole flavored with Tamarind

Chhole flavored with 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.

Bhature

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.

Ingredients

2 cups maida (plain flour)

1 cup curd

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking soda

Oil for frying

Bhature

 

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.