Friday, December 12, 2014

Rocky Road Bars



Hope you all are gearing up for Christmas and New Year.  Do you have the tradition of exchanging Christmas gifts to you near and dear ones? Well, I didn’t actually until I moved to U.K. The only time I exchanged gifts was when we played the game of Christmas friend/ secret Santa in school and college and that was the most exciting bit for me during those days. Now exchanging gifts is like a tradition for me especially for my close friends. This year we kicked of our Christmas ritual a bit early. BY “WE” I meant my fun gal gang, Nisha( My kitchenantics),Gayatri ( mummyandme ) and Suchi (Kitchen karma). We met for a Sunday brunch to exchange gifts in a cosy place!

We were all so excited about the whole gift thing and couldn’t wait for it. I have to say I was really gobsmacked to see all gifts ! They were all home- made and they were all packed and wrapped with so much love! Perfect gifts in all sense .. Gayatri took a lot of effort by giving us a  basket full of homemade goodies. Homemade panettone, chocolates, mulling syrup, garam masala salt and stolen! That was the first time I ate  stolen and panettone ever and I couldn’t stop eating it!

Picture courtsey - Gayatri
Suchi’s homemade body scrub and lip balm came in cute bottles with personalised label and I just couldn’t stop admiring them. I took my lip balm to work and showed it off to my work mates and they all went cooing and awing seeing it! Suchi also gave a bag of cookies which were bursting with flavours…I took it to work and shared it with my friends and they couldn’t stop with just one.

Nisha gifted us  home made candles in a pretty vintage cup along with some bath bombs in three diffrent flavours! I am saving those cuties for Christmas holidays to have a spa day!

My spa gifts from Nisha and Suchi !
And now coming to my gift …..it was a small  bag of rocky roads and  I packed them in a vintage kind of tins J . Due to time  constraint that’s all I could do this year but next year I am going to be super organised and plan ahead. If you would like to surprise someone with some homemade edible gifts try these rocky roads, they are so easy to make and tatses yumm too :) 

Here goes the recipe ..

 (Recipe adapted from Nigella )
Ingredients( makes 24 bars)
Rich tea biscuits – 200 gm
Marshmallows – 100 gm
Dark chocolate (70 % cocoa) – 300 gm
Butter ( unsalted) – 125 gm
Golden syrup – 3 tbs
Cashewnut chopped -2 tbs
Raisins – 2 tbs
Icing sugar (for dusting)

Method
  • Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and bash them with a rolling pin taking care to leave enough biscuit pieces to bite too.
  • Melt butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a saucepan.
  • Measure and save ½ cup or 125 ml of the melted mixture for later.
  • Add marshmallows to the saucepan and mix.
  • Add in the biscuit crumbs and pieces together with cashewnuts and raisins and fold in.
  • Transfer it into a 9 inch square foil tray and spread it evenly as possible.
  • Pour the reserved melted chocolate on top and smoothen it.
  • Refrigerate for few hours or overnight.
  • Dust it with icing sugar and cut them into pieces.                                                                       

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Malabar Mutton Biriyani


Every night   just after winding up everything  and just  before hitting bed I get some free time, a nice 1 hour for me and that’s the only time I really get to sit down and do things I like. Even though I always think I should make  the time useful and do a  post here I don’t get into that mood and I rather spend the time watching TV or  trying to finish  a book which I borrowed almost a month back from the library. Some days I just don’t do anything and just spend time in social media and that’s it pretty much it, so until I find motivation, my  blogging is going to take a back seat I guess.

These days more than cooking I find shooting it rather challenging. If it’s a weekend our day usually start very late and by the time lunch / dinner is ready we are usually so hungry so if I take the camera out for taking pictures with a hungry child and hubby, it would be like putting myself into trouble, so to be safe I don’t take that risk !Anyway few weeks back when   I made this  mutton biriyani  I  took some extra effort to take pictures to blog about it. We don’t eat mutton much and hardly buys mutton at home as we tend to avoid red meat as much as we can, so I didn’t have a trusted mutton biriyani recipe with me .That's when I came across this recipe in  Kothiyavunnu and decided to give it a go. It’s an awesome recipe and have made this few times now and every time  it went down as a treat for us  !


Recipe adapted from - Kothiyavunnu
Ingredients
For rice
Biriyani rice/ Jeerakasala rice/ Basmathi rice – 2 cups ( I usually use Jeerakasala rice for all my biriyani's which I bring from Kerala )
Onion – 1 ( thinly sliced)
Water drained from cooked mutton – 2 1/2 cups
Boling water – 1 1/4 cup
Lime juice – 1 tbs
Cinnamon stick – 1
Cardamom – 4 pods
Cloves – 4
Ghee – 1 tbs
Oil – 1 tbs
Salt
For Mutton masala
Mutton – 500 gm
Onion – 4 ( sliced lengthwise)
Tomato – 1
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch thick stick
Cloves – 3
Cardamom pods – 3
Bay leaf – 1
Star anise – 1
Peppercorns- 1 tsp
Green chillies – 15
Ginger – Thumb size piece
Garlic – 4-5 cloves
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Yogurt – ½ cup
Water – 1 cup
Lime juice – 1 tbs
Salt
Ghee – 2 tbs
Oil – 2 tbs
Mint leaves - few
For garnishing
Fried onions- Handful
Cashewnut halves – 2 tbs
Golden raisins – 2 tbs
Ghee – 2 tbs
Coriander leaves
Method
Make a paste of green chillies, ginger and garlic in a mixie and keep it aside.
Marinate the mutton with above paste along with chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, yogurt and whole garam masala and keep it as long as you can(preferably overnight ) or at least for ½ an hour.
In a thick bottomed saucepan/ wok add ghee + oil and sauté the sliced onions until it’s nicely browned.
Add in chopped tomatoes and cook until it’s mushy.
Add the marinated mutton, salt, mint leaves, 1 cup of water and transfer it into a pressure cooker and cook  for 4-5 whistles.
Once the pressure is released drain the 2 1/2 cups of water from mutton and keep it aside.
Cooking Rice
Soak the rice for ½ an hour, drain and keep it aside
In a big pan add oil+ ghee and add the whole garam masala and sauté for a minute.
Add in the sliced onions and sauté until soft.
Add the rice, salt, lime juice and fry the rice for a minute or so.
Add the mutton stock, remaining water and bring it boil.
Cover and cook the rice until done.
Layering
In an oven proof dish spread a layer of rice evenly.
Add mutton masala on top; continue layering until all rice and mutton masala is used up.
Cover the dish tightly with a lid or seal it with maida and dum cook it in a preheated oven of 180 degree C for 15 minutes.
Garnishing
In a small pan add ghee and fry cashewnuts until golden brown and raisins until plump.
Open the biriyani pot and garnish the biriyani with fried onions, cashewnuts, raisins and some chopped coriander leaves.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Kaju Katli/ Kaju Burfi/ Cashew burfi for a Happy Diwali and a Chai party announcement !


Its Diwali again and I am super thrilled about it for many reasons. School is splitting up for a half term break and I am going to get a one week break from work and secondly I am looking forward to my social life with Diwali potluck and parties.  The School I work is a multi -cultural school and we do give importance to all festivals and this term the focus is on Diwali. Children are having mehendi design competition which I thought was really cool. My son also goes to same School and he has designed a cool Mehendi which he is hoping that he will win. No matter how many times I tell him it’s not winning that matters but taking part is he really won’t listen and always wants to win !! Anyway coming to topic , I wanted to give my collegues something special for Diwali and after asking my blogger gals they suggested that Kaju Burfi. I am so happy that I made this as they are so easy to put together and tastes so yummy !
Before I go to the recipe let me  draw your attention ( particularly London peeps) to an Indian Chai party the Bloggers Buzz is hosting at the end of November, a traditional tea party with an Indian twist. The tickets are going on sale soon and are limited so I suggest don’t waste the opportunity and buy them as soon as you can. Talking about venue, its Jenius Social conveniently located for all. I promise you that  it’s going to be a fun afternoon with lots of good food , festive games, mehendi corne, dance and music !! If you would like read more about the event head onto Mykitchenantics, Nisha has more details about the event.


Ingredients 
Cashew nuts – 1 cup
Sugar – ½ cup+ 1 tbs
Water – 1/4 cup
Ghee – 1 tbs
Rose water – 1 tsp 
Method
  • Powder cashew nuts in a mixie with 1 tbs of sugar
  • Place sugar and water in a saucepan and keep it on a low flame until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add in the powdered cashew, keep stirring it until the mixture thickens and comes together, might take up to 7-10 minutes.
  • Remove from fire and add rose water, ghee  and  transfer it onto a big mixing bowl and knead it.
  • Transfer the dough to a greased plate and flatten it. Place a grease proof paper on top and roll it thin (3-5 mm thickness).
  • Peel of the grease proof paper and let it cool.
  • Once completely cool, cut them into diamond shape. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mathan Erissery/ Pumpkin Erisserry



This is a long overdue post, I was hoping to post this for Onam but I couldn’t post it.  There was so much going on past few weeks, after school activities with my boy, three birthday cakes which I made neck to neck and a wretched flu which kept me drowsy for almost a week and finally a full time job alongside the studies!  I don’t want to waste my time nagging here, so l will get straight to recipe, but before that let me thank some of my friends who support and encourage me to keep blogging and who take some time to give positive feedbacks about the recipes which they tried from my blog. That is the only reason why I try to update my blog as much as I can.

Coming to the recipe, Mathan erisserry is usually made with pumpkin and black eyed beans but I find the combination with cherupayar/mung tastes much better than traditional black eyed beans version, so now I usually make my erisserry with cherupayar . I always make this erisserry  for Kerala Sadya as we all love it.


Ingredients
Pumpkin – 250 gm
Cherupayar/ Mung – ¼ cup
Grated coconut – 1/2 cup + 2 tbs
Shallots/ Kunjulli – 4 number
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Salt
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds
Whole red chilly
Coconut oil

Method
  • Soak Mung/ cherupayar overnight or at least for few hours and pressure cook it for 1-2 whistles adding little water.
  • Make a coarse paste of ½ cup grated coconut, shallots and cumin seeds.
  • Cube the pumpkin into medium sized cubes and cook it in a saucepan adding little water adding red chilli powder and turmeric powder.
  • Add the cooked mung and coconut paste to the cooked pumpkin and cook for a 2-3 minutes .
  • In a small pan add some coconut oil and sputter mustard seeds, add in the 2 tbs of grated coconut, whole red chillies and curry leaves. Roast coconut until brown add the tempering into cooked pumpkin.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Palada payasam


Hope all my Malayalee friends and folks had a good Onam this year. Every year I plan to post my full sadhya recipe menu and recipes in my blog beforehand but I think I am jinxed for some reason as  I never get to post recipes on time before the festivals. Like every year I made a good spread of Kerala recipes for our Onam sadya but sadly I couldn’t get my hands around the camera to click any pictures except this Paysam. So here I am a wishing everyone belated festive wishes with a special Pal Ada payasam I made. It’s better to be late than never isn’t it J

Ingredients ( serves 3-4)
Ada –100 gm
Milk – 4 cup
Evaporated milk – 1 cup (optional but recommended, substitute with milk if not using)
Sugar – ¾ - 1 cup ( according to your sweetness)
Boiling water – 1 ½ cup
Cardamom powder – ¾ tsp
Ghee – 1 tbs
Cashew nuts – 1 tbs
Golden raisins – 1 tbs

Method
  1. Boil water in saucepan and turn off the flame, add the ada to the boiling water and cover it and leave it for 30 minutes, strain the water. Keep the ada aside.
  2. Boil milk in a thick bottomed pan and add the strained ada to it.
  3. Cook the ada for 30-40 minutes stirring it every now and then.
  4. Add the evaporated milk, sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add cardamom powder and remove from fire.
  6. In a small pan add ghee and roast cashew nuts until brown and raisins until they are plump. Add this to the payasam.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chocolate Tiramisu Cake



It was my sister’s birthday on the  weekend and since she was with me this time I decided to make it special for her. I asked her to choose the cake and she wanted a chocolate cake which is soft like a pastry/dessert cake with some fresh cream or something similar. I brain stormed for a while and then came up with this Tiramisu cake which she happily approved. I have made Tiramisu as a  dessert several times with sponge fingers and that’s one of my favourite desserts and I knew if it’s a Tiramisu cake it will be even better and I was right. It was utterly delicious and she absolutely loved it and we all finished the cake even  before I could take a picture of the cut slice to show you all the beautiful thin layers which I was really proud of.To be honest  it was the first time my hands was so sturdy to cut such thin layers to make the 4 layered cake.

 Recipe source  for sponge- BBC good food
Recipe for fillling - My Tiramisu dessert and here

Ingredients  - serves ( 8-10)
For the chocolate sponge ( I use 200 ml cup)
Plain flour- 100 gm( 1 tbs less than I cup)
Sugar – 140gm ( ¾ cup)
Butter – 50 gm /1/4 cup (melted)
Cocoa powder – 25 gm
Eggs – 4 large
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Salt – pinch

For the filling( cooked egg version)
Egg yolks – 3
Caster Sugar – 2 tbsp + 1 tbs
Icing sugar / powdered sugar – 8 tbs or as per your sweetness
Tia maria or any coffee liqueur – 4 tbsp( 2+2)
Coffee-  ½ cup( dissolve ½ tsp instant coffee in ½ cup of boiling water)
Whipping cream – 500 ml
Mascarpone cheese- 250gm
Grated chocolate – 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract – 1tsp

Method
Making the cake
  • Measure flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt in a mixing bowl and keep it aside.
  • Beat eggs with sugar and vanilla extract until its thick and trebled in volume for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Sieve the dry ingredients from mixing bowl to the egg mixture and fold in gently.
  • Add in the cooled melted butter and gently fold in.
  • Divide and pour the batter into two 8 inch cake tins and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celsius for about 10-12 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cut  each layer horizontally into two and you will get 4 layers of cake.

Making the coffee
  • Dissolve ½ tsp of instant coffee powder in ½ cup boiling water, add 2 tbs of coffee liqueur, 1 tbs of sugar, vanilla extract and keep it aside.

Preparing the filling
  • In a heat proof bowl place three egg yolks, add 2 tbs of sugar and 2 tbs of coffee liqueur and place it over a barely simmering pan of water and beat with and electric beater for about 5-8 minutes or until its thick and volume has trebled.
  • Remove from heat and let it come to room temperature and then add mascarpone cheese and beat.
  • Whip double cream with icing sugar until soft peaks are formed.
  • Fold the whipped cream to the cheese egg mixture.

Assembling the cake
  • Place the first layer of cake on a cake board and brush it with prepared coffee, let the cake soak the coffee.
  • Spread the filling on top of it and sprinkle some grated chocolate on top.
  • Repeat the same for the other 3 layers.
  • Decorate the cake as you like. I placed some sponge fingers on the side and did a small piping on the border and centre.
  • Chill the cake until its ready to be served.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Malai Kofta



All the good times fly quickly and then I wonder where did the time go? My sister and family were here with me all these days and the house was filled with fun and laughter and when they left today it’s all quite again. I am in no mood do anything and was staring through my FB page going through all the updates which became boring after few minutes so just to keep my mind occupied I decided to scribble something here. Even as a child I used to hate when we leave our ancestral home after spending  summer holidays  back to the hustle and buzzle of city where my father used to work. We used to live in Kochi for a long time and many of our cousins and relatives from Kannur visit us often and when they go back I used to feel the same way but back then there was hopes that someone or the other is going to visit us soon, but now living so far from home we don’t have much family here and that’s what I miss the most here.

Coming back to the topic, I made this Malai kofta for my sister. I did pamper her with all the good foods and she liked this one in particular and she want to try this  herself in her kitchen, so I am sharing this recipe especially for her. Malai Kofta is a bit time consuming but sometimes to eat something really delicious we need to spend some extra time in kitchen and this  falls into that category. If not for the time I would have made this often as it’s a truly delicious and everyone who tasted this has loved it.


Recipe adapted from here
Ingredients
For Kofta
Paneer – 250 gm (grated)
Potato – 3 medium
Carrot – 1 small (grated)
Cauliflower florets (grated) - ¼ cup
All-purpose flour/Maida – as required
salt
Oil for deep frying

For the gravy
Shahi Jeera ( Black  cumins) – 1 tsp
Tomato – 2 blanched and pureed
Onion – 3
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbs
Chilli powder – 1 ½ tsp
cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam masala- 1 tsp
Cashew nuts – 1 fistful ( soak and grind to paste)
Cream - 1/3 cup ( use  more if you like )
salt
Method
  • Pressure cook the whole potatoes with skin on for 1-2 whistles , peel the skin and grate.
  • In a tawa/pan add a little oil and stir the grated carrots and cauliflower tills its slightly cooked and all the moisture is gone. 
  • Transfer  this to a mixing bowl and add grated paneer and grated potato.
  • Add salt and mix again and roll them into balls. 
  • In a plate take some flour/maida and rol the balls in it and deep fry the balls until golden brown.
  • In a saucepan add some  oil and add the shahi jeera and when it gives a nice aroma add in chopped onions.
  • Saute the onions till its slightly brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and cook until the raw smells goes.
  • Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, corainder powder,cumin powder, salt and cook until the raw smell of the masalas goes.
  • Add the tomato puree and cook for a minute or so. 
  • Finally add the cashewnut paste, fresh cream and  garam masala  and bring it to boil ane remove from fire.
  • Add kofta balls and chopped corinader leaves and serve hot !

  

Enjoy with Roti/ chapathi/ Naan or even rice !

Note - Add Kofta balls to the gravy only while serving as it might loose its shape.
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