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Sitting in the pub with a glass of red wine, it suddenly occured to me that we should have an impromptu dinner party for six to celebrate Shubho Bijoya. The next day. What a great idea.
Not so great, actually.
On D day, I ran around London running errands, meeting people, sourcing cubed lamb shoulder arriving home in a blaze of panic barely two hours before guests were due to show.
Refusing to crumble, I made a jug of Mango Lassi and shoved it to the back of the fridge. Then I got to work on 3kgs of Kosha Mangsho, Cholar Dal, Shahi Paneer. Jacking the idea for a fancy snack for drinks, I opted for chilli cheese toasts, and desert was going to be shop bought Gajar Halwa with Vanilla Ice Cream.
The guests arrived on time, just as I finished cooking and put the rice cooker on. Shock number one: They don’t like melted cheese. Shock number two: The rice cooker hadn’t actually been turned on at source, which meant we were all sat waiting at the table with a stone cold and watery pot of raw rice that I ceremoniously served. And shock number three: Just when we could no longer eat or drink anything, I remembered the giant jug of mango lassi at the back of the fridge.
No wonder, then, that seeing all the Diwali prep food porn on the blogosphere has made me want to run screaming to the nearest mithaiwala. Just to regain my street cred, I thought I would trial possibly the most idiot-proof, child-friendly, mithai for dummies: this blindingly simple chocolate burfi, a rich and creamy fudge laced with ghee for Diwali.
If, like me, you have left it to the last minute. This is the recipe to ressurect the domestic goddess in you this Diwali. May you and your family be blessed with all things sweet and special.
Makes 10 Burfis and 9 little Pedas:
Bring a quarter cup of the water and the sugar to heat in a heavy bottomed saucepan or wok. Cook this, stirring regularly, on a medium heat for five to 10 minutes until it reduces in half.
In the meantime, mix the milk and cocoa powders in a bowl. When the syrup is ready, lower the heat to a simmer and stir in the powders, the ghee and the remaining water, sprinkle the cardamom powder into the mix. Gently mix this for another five minutes, making sure there is no sticking on the bottom of the pan.
Then switch off the flame and spread on a plate lined with baking paper. The mix should spread beautifully, but I did use a pallete knife to smooth the top and ensure an even spread. Let it cool for about 10 minutes and then place in the fridge with a cling film cover to chill.
In about an hour, cut the Burfi into diamond shapes, and gently peel them off the baking paper. Turn whatever scraps are left into flattened discs for Pedas.
Sprinkle these simple Chocolate Burfi with powdered or crushed pistachios, and press raisins/cashewnuts into the Chocolate Peda. You can keep these for up to a week in the fridge, in an airtight container. They are amazing with cinnamon ice cream or frankly, just eaten on their own.
Happy Diwali Wishes to all readers of Eggless Cooking. We celebrated my little one’s 4th birthday last week. He has always been a strawberry fan. He has been telling that he wants a strawberry cake right from August. So it was a no-brainer for me. All I had to do was to find a good strawberry cake recipe. But it was not as easy as I thought. More about that in the strawberry cake post. On the eve of his birthday party while I was baking the strawberry cake and pineapple sheet cake (yes baked that one too), he came next to me and asked in the cutest possible way that he wanted chocolate cupcakes. How can I say no to that adorable little guy!
I do have a couple of eggless chocolate cake/cupcakes already but didn’t want to try them because I always look forward to try new recipes so that I can blog about it! Yes you got me! While doing the search somehow got to this one bowl chocolate cake recipe. It was already 11pm and I needed something pretty simple like that, which can be whipped up in a jiffy and still look like I slogged big time in the kitchen.
Because I already have enough luck with the tofu and cocoa combination especially in this “I can’t believe it’s eggless chocolate cake” recipe, I decided to use tofu itself in this recipe too as the egg substitute. No wonder it turned out great!
|One Bowl Eggless Chocolate Cupcakes||#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews|
|இஞ்சி சாறு ரசம்|
Wheat Halwa is a popular Asian dessert made with wheat milk or wheat flour. Traditionally it is made using wheat milk obtained from wheat grains. Today I have made this halwa using wheat flour which is an easy version. I will soon be posting the recipe for the traditional Halwa.
Method of Preparation:
Wish you all a very happy Diwali. I finally got to making some dishes for Diwali. My 6 month old was down with cold for last few days and I was really trying hard to keep up with just day-to-day cooking. Since Ishaan is 4 years old, I thought he would have fun during this festival. I […]
I cook for two people on a daily basis. When I’m calling guests also, I make sure not to call more than 10-12 people. What I’m trying to say is I’m not into wholesale cooking, hhmm coming to think of it, I’m not a “group” person. I’m more of a one to one person. I was also removed from a whatsapp group recently for being inactive, wait a min… does it make me sound like a sad person??
Ok, we got diverted from the topic… I wanted to tell you that I’m kinda clueless when it comes to cooking for a large group of people. When you send me mails and comments asking about the measurements for cooking for 25-30 people, I’m literally stumped! All those permutations and combinations make me exhausted. So you can imagine my situation, when I was asked to cook for a potluck party of 30 people. I volunteered to make Erissery. I thought it’d be a better idea to decide how much to buy, once I reach the shop, so when I see the pumpkin, I’ll have a clearer picture.
Reached the shop with a clean slate of mind, checked out the pumpkin from a distance, nothing, stood close to it and looked from different angles, still nothing and finally took a piece in my hand, as if holding the pumpkin will lead to automatic display of the magic figure, absolutely nothing!!
Well, let’s try walking across the aisle. Walking is supposed to stimulate clear thinking, good idea! Felt some small tremors and my mind started to play around the number 2.5. Well, something to start with, so went back, round it off and took 3 kg. Started checking other items on the list, but felt restless, went back to the veg aisle and got 1.5 kg more, feels good! Went to the cash counter, standing in the queue, something didn’t feel quite right. Went back again to the veg aisle…
All you need to know is that I bought 90% of the pumpkin available in the shop!
I should’ve gotten my cue when the staff at the veggie counter asked “haa chechy oru nooru perkku sadya undakkanullathundallo, entha paripadi”? (Hey sister, are you making feast for 100 people?). Ok, you might be wondering why I didn’t ask somebody who had experience cooking for large groups. I agree, that’s what people with common sense do.
I’ve a theory… there are certain things, you need to experience yourself or make the mistake yourself to learn something new. Do you agree with me? That day felt like a good opportunity to test my theory and I did learn a new lesson, ask for help when in doubt. Well, I kinda knew that, just wanted to reinforce that ;)
Needless to say I used very little of what I bought, and I never like to waste food :) Whoever visited us that week got a statutory return gift, you don’t need to host a party to give return gift right? I always used to wonder why people take all the effort to make things like squash and jam at home. Now I know why.. there’s only so much you can distribute without raising suspicion ;)
Though I had to make this Pumpkin Halwa, more out of necessity, than out of desire, it turned out well. All is well that ends well, right?
I loved the colour of this halwa and also liked the flavour combination of pistachio, saffron and cardamom. Though the halwa looks rich, it’s light on your tummy. It’s a good recipe to try if you like this kind of sweets/ desserts.
If you are looking for some easy and simple sweets to make for Diwali, check out the recipes here.
Wish you and your loved ones a Happy Diwali!!
Here’s the recipe…
Heat ghee in a deep and wide pan. Add grated pumpkin and stir. Cook on low flame for 7-8 mins, till pumpkin shrinks and becomes a little mushy…
Add hot milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the flame to low and cook till the milk is almost dried. Stir in between…
Add crushed cardamom and condensed milk and mix well. Cook for another 5-6 mins, till the condensed milk is dried and the mixture starts leaving the side of the pan. Add sliced pistachios and saffron milk (if using), mix well and remove from fire. Serve warm…
|French fries made in Philips Air Fryer|
|Karela chips / Crispy Karela in Philips Air Fryer|
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|Pizza made in Philips Air Fryer|
|Calzone made in Philips Air Fryer|
|Onion Pakodas made in Philips Air Fryer|
Kai Murukku is a traditional South Indian snack made for festivals and special occasions. It is made with freshly ground wet rice flour and deep fried in oil. Kai means hand in Tamil.
It is a tradition in Hindu Brahmin weddings to make this murukku in jumbo sizes and various shapes. For snacking we generally make murukku with two circles. For special occasions like wedding bigger murukku is made with 7 or 9 circles and we call it “Seer Murukku”. My mom is a pro in making these Seer Muruku and she always takes care of these in our family weddings. I will be posting a video of this making very soon.
Preparation time: 90 minutes
Yield: 15 to 20 two circle murukku
Method of Preparation:
We use freshly ground rice flour for making this murukku. See recipe below.
In a big bowl add rice flour, urad flour, cumin seeds, salt and mix well. Add water little at a time and make a soft and moist dough.
If you have “Kai Murukku Achu” (the mold for making this murukku) you can use it. Another method is a bit complex but you can do it with practice.
Take a thin plastic sheet and grease it with oil. Grease your palm with oil and take a small lemon size dough, twist and turn to make round shape murukku. You can make two or any number of rounds. I would suggest not to use paper since it absorbs the moisture from murukku.
Heat oil in a deep and wide pan over medium heat. Depending on the pan size add less or more murukkus and fry both the sides until the bubbles settle down.
Repeat the procedure with the rest of the dough. Make sure the heat is neither low nor high. Frying these in oil at right temperature is a key for preparing crispy murukku.
Recipe for rice flour:
Raw rice – 2.5 cups
Wash and soak rice for 3 hours. Strain it using a colander and let it rest for 30 minutes. Spread a big clean kitchen towel and transfer the rice. Spread it well and let it dry.
The rice should still have moisture inside but it should not be wet. When you take a handful of rice in your palm you will feel that rice is still moist but dry outside.
Grind rice using a dry grinder or mixie. Sift the ground flour using a fine sieve. Grind the remains with the next batch of rice and continue this procedure until you finish grinding all the rice. Fresh rice flour is ready.
If you have remaining flour, let it dry by spreading it on a news paper for 8 hours. Then store it in an airtight container.
Appe is one of the very popular breakfast loved by adults and kids alike. We make different kinds of appe like urad dal appe, boiled rice appe, sugarcane juice appe all of which a little planning ahead. My sister-in-law makes these sweet appe with sooji which can be made instantly. This is a nice and quick breakfast when […]
The new portfolio career, means new cookery projects. Where there is a chef, a gorgeous professional cook, there is clearly a spot for yours truly flying the diversity flag for the ordinary person. One Indian dish at a time.
The first was the Fish of the Dish campaign for Seafish UK, the seafood authority. The task: to popularise the use of fish and seafood in every day cooking. A worthy initiative, with a number of amazing health benefits. So I rolled up my sleeves and dived right in.
Walking into Hearst Magazine HQ with a celebrated chef, his man Friday/ Sous Chef and a trunk load of ingredients was bad enough. Entering Good Housekeeping Institute’s kitchen next sent my head reeling back to mother’s collection of treasured 70s & 80s editions on our Kolkata bookshelf. No pressure. No none at all.
While man Friday got to work under the sharp eye of the esteemed chef, I reapplied war paint. Who needs sharp knives when you have lipstick?
I got started with prep, leaving the PR lady in charge of eggs. In a cupboard the size of an airplane hanger, induction pans were nowhere to be found. One gas hob was already doing its thing. It soon transpired, said PR lady couldn’t even boil an egg. Literally. As chunks of boiled egg peeled off with the shell, the client stepped in to help and the lovely chef took mercy on the housewives in the corner and sent man Friday in to rescue us.
Meanwhile, the odd raised eyebrow at the kitchen entrance had been replaced by a steady stream of more inquisitive punters from Hearst UK. It was edging close to mid day and the sizzled cinnamon, roasted cumin and smoked fish had done their magic. Before I could say “eat more fish”, there were 22 journalists in front of me waiting for their lunch to be delivered.
Lunch was served. Kerala-style Monkfish Curry, with tamarind and coconut, and Kedgeree. Kedgeree is my go to crowd pleaser: a cousin of the khichdi, with an Anglo Indian twist from way back when. My favourite way to serve this is for a giant brunch that the whole family, and visiting relatives, can tuck into. Where this one’s concerned, fish really is the dish. Now to increase my repertoire!
Cook the eggs by placing them in cold water, bringing to boil and cooking for 5-6 minutes. Drench in cold water, peel and quarter. Bring the milk to boil, and then lower to simmer and poach the haddock by cooking it in the milk for two-three minutes. Drain, reserve the milk and keep the haddock aside. Peel and chop the onions into small pieces.
Next bring the butter/ghee to high heat in a large wok. When it sizzles around a wooden spoon, toss in the onions and sauté for five minutes. Add the turmeric and coriander/cumin powder, the tomato puree, the frozen peas and sauté for another minute. Then stir in the rice, with the reserved milk, mixing well until the rice is coated through with the onion mixture. Gently fold the haddock in, watching it flake but not crumble.
Stir in salt to taste, and served topped with the fresh coriander and quartered eggs.
|Mini Thattai (மினி தட்டை)|
|Thattai - Steps|
|Thattai - In Oil|
Do you like watching cookery shows? Well, if you are here reading this post, then it’s kinda given that you like watching cookery shows, so that was kinda dumb question. Ok, I’ll ask you another question.. do you have a favourite cookery show or you just watch whatever is running?
I generally put on the lifestyle channel and if I find something interesting, I’ll watch. I do not have a fav cookery show as such, but I’ve a soft corner towards “Eat Street” show. It’s mostly about street food in different parts of the world. It’s not about fancy presentation or techniques, it’s about simple but flavourful food. I really like how they combine different flavours and most of the time it’s easy to put together also. Since they mostly show street food in and around US, some of the ingredients and flavours are not familiar to me.
However one dish that was repeatedly shown in different episodes was Pulled Pork Sandwiches. It’s pork being slow cooked in a flavour filled marinade and then shredded and mixed with some sauces and salad. Though I dont eat Pork, every time I see how that sandwich is made, I end up craving one. That’s how I ended up with this recipe. I’ve seen pulled beef sandwiches also, but I since I dont have the patience for slow cooking beef, I decided to go with chicken.
Honestly, I’m not a chicken fan, I eat chicken very rarely, only if I cant resist the taste. Also I do like dishes where the meat or fish is well coated with some kind of sauce, making the meat more flavourful. This sandwich does exactly that. I really enjoyed making as well as eating this. You can make this as a main dish or as a starter. It’s really good for a weeknight dinner, if you are pressed for time. You can make the filling in advance and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Putting together the sandwich hardly takes any time. Sounds like a winner, right?
So here you go..
Here’s the recipe..
Wash and clean the chicken breasts. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a heavy pot with the onion, garlic and just enough water to cover (about 1-1/2 cups). Add the barbecue sauce, vinegar and chilli sauce and bring to a boil…
I love milk sweets and sweets using Khoya. This is yet another easy sweet we can make for Diwali. The process look little big but it is real easy to make. Here I used homemade khoya but we can use store bought khoya too which will make things more easier :).
For Outer Covering:
|Cheesecake Brownies - going into the oven|
|Cheesecake Brownies out of the oven|
|Sorry, shady phone pic, it tastes WAYY better that it looks :) Going to try and replace this with a worthy pic soon.|
In Object Oriented Programming word, whenever there is clash between names, programmers prefix it with another name to make whole phrase unique. If there is a clash between function names, prefixing with object names them unique in that space. If there is clash between different objects of different classes, concept of namespaces comes to rescue. […]
"the Bengali cutlet is different from the cutlets of the Brits, this is referred typically to a crumb coated thinly spread out dough, made generally of chicken/mutton minced, mixed together with onion, bread crumbs and chillies. Generally it is then dipped in egg and coated in breadcrumb, fried and served with thin julienne of cucumber, carrots, radish and onions. Often an egg mixed with a teaspoon or two water and a pinch of salt is dropped on top of the frying cutlet, to make it into a "Kabiraji" the Bengali pronunciation of a "Coverage or Cover:Egg" Cutlet, influenced by the British."
Oh if I had a penny for everyone who asks me whether Indian food can be healthy and easy to cook. I’d be pretty rich by now.
The answer is YES. But it’s easy to see why anyone would think differently. Take the humble Onion Bhaji/Onion Pakora. Delicious? Yes. Deep fried? Oh yes. Not quite the poster child for Generation Type 2 Diabetes.
And then there’s the healthier evils. Like chappatis. Wholewheat flour, roasted and puffed nicely enough with a nutty aroma and soft texture, with not a smidgen of oil in sight. Your inner self is likely to feel better than your aching arms and doughy fingernails though. Unless you are lucky enough to have a dough hook and someone to do your washing up.
It is easy to see why anyone would think differently. Here are some common mistakes I’ve found people make with Indian cooking at home:
Any others you can add?
My mantra is everything in moderation. And I refuse to spend more than an hour dishing up everyday family meals. These days, the kids get stuck in too. Chopping herbs with butter knives, peeling ginger and garlic, mixing and rolling said rotis. Apart from the ever popular 30 minute meals, my favourite killer dishes are the ones where I slather meat in marinade and cook in the oven while the chaos of bathtime, bedtime ensues.
Like this oven-baked Goan Chicken Cafreal in a Coconut Vinegar marinade. A shallow-fried spicy sour chicken that is usually marinated for a few hours, I find cooking it in its own juices in a tightly sealed foil parcel gives it a lovely depth without the need for efficiency or planning.
Mopped up Maunika’s sweet and sour dal, and steaming hot basmati rice, it’s an easy and healthy way to get a masala kick.
Bring the oven to preheat at 180 degree centigrade. Make two incisions on each chicken leg quarter. Peel the ginger and garlic, chop roughly, and taken the hard stalks off the coriander bunch. Then puree with all the ingredients, bar the spring onions in a blender. Add salt to your taste.
Place the chicken legs in a shallow overproof dish, and spoon over the marinade. Chope the spring onions finely and scatter them on top. Then cover and seal the dish with kitchen foil tightly and bake for a hour. Serve it like I did, or with rotis, or, with salad and fries.
This was the second cake I baked for my eldest son’s birthday in August. The Texas White Sheet cake was the first one. I was not sure how the sheet cake would turn out and didn’t want to disappoint him with a sloppy cake. At the same time I also didn’t want to bake a cake which I already have in the blog. So while browsing for simple birthday cake recipes I stumbled upon this one.
I decided to halve the recipe and bake it as a single cake instead of a layer cake because I already had the other one and was also planning to bake red velvet cupcakes if time permitted. I chose to bake it in heart shape pan. This recipe is quite similar to the strawberry cream cake recipe. I used buttermilk and silken tofu to replace the eggs used in the original recipe. The cake turned out really good. It was very fluffy.
I didn’t soak the cake in simple sugar syrup like I did for the strawberry cream cake, so the cake did harden quite a bit in the refrigerator but softened once kept at room temperature for about 15 minutes. So make sure that you remove the cake from the fridge at least 15-20 minutes before serving.
|Eggless Yellow Cake Recipe||#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews|
What do you like to do the most when you visit a new place? Sight seeing, trying out the local food or doing all sorts of touristy things? I’m sure each one of us has something special to do, that you may say “it’s my thing”.
Well, “my thing” is seeing people ;) Yep, I love to simply observe people, their emotions, expressions, imagine their back stories etc; Whatever I do, I try to do it with utmost concentration, sometimes, I get lost in it.. so when I tend to watch people, I do that also with complete focus, so much so that Jose often complains that I’m staring at people!
I love to explore a new place by walking around. That’s what we did when we went to New york, two years ago. Since it was a last min kinda trip, we didn’t have any clue about what we were going to do. We just booked our hotel and flight tickets two days before traveling. After resting at the hotel for a while, we got out and started walking aimlessly. We walked for half an hour, ended up in a coffee shop for the next one hour. Coming to think of it, that’s all we did there, walking and eating. I practically lived on desserts for the 10 days, we stayed there. I had cakes for breakfast, pies for lunch, some sort of dessert for dinner or may be a sandwich at times.
The portions there was huge, so we used to box it most of the time. Because of the jet lag, I used to get up at 3 in the morning initially. I still remember getting up at 3.30 in the morning and eating double chocolate cheesecake, needless to say I reached my record weight gain after that trip!
Ok, so coming to our recipe, I first had pumpkin cake during that trip. Though I came across many pumpkin dessert recipes including cakes, I never got a chance to taste them. Actually I never had any pumpkin dish other than Erissery, so somehow I always connected pumpkin with curry based dishes. I was very excited to try the cake for the first time and I loved it. While we were there in New york, I made it a point to eat it once in a day kind of, since pumpkin cakes aren’t very common in this part of the world.
As soon as I came back from the trip, I started searching for canned pumpkin here, but it wasnt available. But from last year onwards, I see it in almost all supermarkets. I went and bought 3-4 cans, yeah I’ve a bit of hoarding issue.. Searched for a similar recipe and I was overwhelmed with the number of recipes available. After shortlisting many recipes, I ended up with this one. I always like plain cakes with some kinda topping. I prefer these kinda cakes to iced cakes. Btw, it’s called a coffee cake because it goes well with a cup of coffee. If you look in the ingredients list, there is no coffee and I was a bit confused. Yeah that’s when I realized a coffee cake is a cake, often cinnamon-flavored, with a drizzled white icing or crumb topping, and usually eaten with coffee. Yep, I didnt know that. I’m sure you know better :)
If you can get hold of canned pumpkin, please do try this cake. It’s very moist and the crunchy topping is best! I’ve also mentioned the substitute for canned pumpkin in the notes, if you cant get hold of canned pumpkin.
Before, I go to the recipe, I want to share with you one more tidbit from our US trip. Since we stayed pretty close to Times Square and since I love watching world go by, I dragged Jose every night to Times Square, just to go and sit on those steps. After our trip, when we reached Bahrain, one of my aunts asked “so what you liked most about your trip”? I was all excited and told her about our night trips to Time Square and how you can see so many different kinds of people coming together and blah blah.. For a moment, she was like.. is that it? Then she said “if all you wanted to see was people moving around busily, you could as well go and stand near the Kacheripady bus stand in Cochin, why should you spent all this money and go to US”!!!!
If in case, you noticed, I’m posting after a small gap. I was away on a short trip, more about it later :)
Anyways, here you go with the recipe…
In a small bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon for topping. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans/walnuts; set aside…
Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream/yogurt mixture. Beat on low just until blended…
Spread the batter into two greased and floured 8-inch round cake pans. Sprinkle with topping. Bake at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes (mine took 45) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean…
Magge or moggem is a special kind of cucumber. It is widely used in cooking at our place. In Bangalore, it is sold as Mangalore Southekayi (cucumber), this is called Dosakaya in Telugu. This is usually cooked before consuming, but there are few recipes where tender magge is eaten before cooking. These sundried cucumbers or […]