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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Baingan Bhaja / Begun Bhaja / Eggplant fry

My dear friend once told me about an easy dish, which can be made within minutes and which is very tasty and delicious. It is a daily struggle in my house about what to cook for lunch and dinner. I ask my Husband and he is like what ever you make I will eat. Some days i even call my mom and my MIL to suggest some dishes. . :)



It is very difficult for me to decide, so one day when my friend called me she told me about this simple yet tasty dish. But as brinjal is a big NO to my Husband (he is a bit choosy about veggies) it was not there in my house. The next time I remembered to buy eggplant when I bought veggies, so that I could try this amazing dish and you can see the result.




This is a classic Bengali delicacy, served as part of traditional wedding feast. This can even be ate as a snack. In this dish, the brinjal pieces are mixed with all the spices and shallow fried. This is done within seconds and will be enjoyed by all.

Ingredients:

  1. Eggplant- 1no
  2. Red Chilli Powder- 2 tsp
  3. Garlic(chopped)- 3 nos
  4. Salt- as per taste
  5. Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp
  6. Oil- 2 tbsp
Method:
  1. Wash and cut the brinjal into thick round slices.
  2. Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl by adding little water and make a smooth paste.
  3. Rub the brinjal slices with the above paste and shallow fry each side till they turn golden brown.



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberries are delicious, low in calories and very high in vitamin C. These are also a good source of folate and potassium. These are low in calories and high in fibre. Most of us love strawberries and in my house this is a regular fruit which we buy often. My kid loves this.




A handful of strawberries were lying down in my refrigerator hidden from my little one.:). I had made everything out of it like the milk shake, smoothie and so on. So at last I thought of trying out my hand in making ice cream as this is one of my favorite flavors.


As I have already made custard apple ice cream before, I was confident of making this too. So I started  with mixing cream , milk and so on. I blended the strawberries and I added  them directly without sieving and the result was a creamy and delicious ice cream with excellent flavours of strawberry and perfect colour and texture. I didn’t add any type of food colour and the original strawberry colour was retained and so the ice cream had a light pink colour. As I didn’t sieve, I could bite the seeds. I loved this but many may not enjoy biting the seeds in between that is why I wrote the last note.


Ingredients:

  1. Strawberry- 2cups
  2. Whole Milk- 2cups
  3. Amul Cream- 1 ½ cups
  4. Sugar- 1cup
  5. Strawberry essence- 1tsp
  6. Salt- a pinch
Method:
  1. Blend the strawberries to a fine paste in a food processor and sieve through a fine cloth, so that the pulp and seeds are segregated. Take a juice in a bowl.
  2. In a bowl combine the milk, cream and sugar. Blend it to a fine paste. In this add the blended strawberries, strawberry essence and salt. Mix well.
  3. Keep this mixture in a freezer proof bowl and freeze for about 4- 6hours.
  4. Remove this from freezer and whip this mixture in a mixer jar for few minutes. Again keep this in freezer for 1 hour and repeat the process for another two to three times in one hour interval each.
  5. Serve this along with fresh strawberry pieces.


Note:
  • After blending the strawberries it is important to sieve through a fine cloth to avoid biting seeds in the ice cream.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chocolate Cheesecake ... just for chocoholics...

It gives us immense pleasure and excitement to bake a cake for our dear ones on special occasions. Yesterday was my Husband's birthday and I baked this chocolaty cheese cake the day before and made him to cut the cake at midnight. This cake was a total surprise for him as he didn't expect this cake from me, as I was really busy on that day (or I made him believe that :)). He didn't get any smell of the baked cake and luckily he never opened our fridge that day, so I was really lucky to maintain the surprise.




This, I tasted when I went to my bro's house and the taste was to die for. Then when I asked for the recipe, he sent me the link. In the original recipe the measurements are too high, I reduced them to my level and made this cake. I searched in all the shops nearby and getting sour cream was difficult, so I made it on my own and it was not a hard task. Only that we have to prepare sour cream one day before making this cake.
When the cake was baking in my oven the whole house was filled with the aroma of the chocolate and when it came out it was feast to the eyes. When it was completely cooled, I made a white chocolate ganache and poured it over the cake, then decorated with sprinkles and chocolate powder. Then I kept the cake in the refrigerator and was waiting for the moment to cut the cake.




The twist in the story came after I tasted the cake. You wont believe, it was like eating a dairy milk chocolate. The chocolate taste was too dominating. I felt really bad. I had added the melted chocolate a lot. But he was like enjoying each and every slice. He is a total chocoholic and he loved the cake a lot. 




If you are going to make this cake, then reduce on the amount of melted chocolate. However I have reduced the measurement in the ingredients list below. This is the perfect one to make for any occasions.
Ingredients:
  1. Plain Chocolate- 150gms
  2. Cream cheese- 1packet (I used Britannia cream cheese)
  3. Sugar- 1cup
  4. Cocoa powder- 1tbsp
  5. Maida / All purpose flour- 2tbsp
  6. Eggs- 2nos
  7. Sour Cream- ¾ cup (below is the recipe)
  8. Vanilla Essence- 2tsp
  9. Chocolate biscuits- 1 ½ packet (I used hide and seek)
  10. Butter (melted)- ½ cup or little bit more
Method for sour cream:
  1. Heavy Cream- 1cup (I used amul cream)
  2. Buttermilk- ¼ cup
Method:
  1. Take a clean wide mouthed bottle and pour the cream and buttermilk into it. Close the lid tightly and shake the bottle well till everything is well mixed.
  2. Shake the bottle for about 5minutes and let it stand at room temperature over night until very thick and little watery.
  3. Chill homemade sour cream well before using and keep refrigerated.
  4. This yields to 1cup of sour cream.
Method for cheesecake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease the spring-form cake pan with butter and flour.
  2. For the base:
  3. Crush the biscuits well to powder and add butter to this. Mix well with hands till it resembles crumble sand texture. Press the mixture evenly on the base of the pan using your hands or the back of a spoon. Keep this in freezer till we are done with the cake.
  4. For the cake:
  5. Beat the cream cheese till smooth and then add the sugar, vanilla essence. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  6. In the sour cream add the cocoa powder and mix well. Add this to the above cheese mixture along with flour and mix.
  7. Stir the melted chocolate and mix well till smooth.
  8. Pour this filling evenly to the base which was kept in the freezer. Bake for about 50-60 minutes.
  9. When it is done cool and remove the sides of the pan. Decorate as required and serve chilled.



Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Soya chunks Pulao

Soya chunks or “meal maker” is my latest fascination. I love them in all my curries, cutlets, rice and the list will go on. As soya chunks are a great source of protiens and vitamin B12, I make it a point to buy these and store, so that I can use any time I want and I mostly include this in my little one’s food. She loves them a lot.


I made this Pulao for lunch on a weekend so that I dont have to spend much time in kitchen :) and also a pulao can also make a complete meal by itself. I make this often with different combinations of veggies.


Soya is very healthy and low in fat and has a high protein content, which promotes growth.
This can be made easily without any effort. I made this in a pressure cooker as this will take less time to prepare. Only thing to note with cooking rice in a cooker is that we should know the  correct time limit and measurement for the rice to become fluffy and still not stick to each other.


Ingredients:
  1. Soya chunks- 1cup
  2. Onions (sliced)- 2nos
  3. Ginger and garlic paste- 1tbsp
  4. Carrots (sliced)- 2nos
  5. Cloves- 3nos
  6. Cinnamon stick- 1
  7. star anise- 2nos
  8. Cardamom poda- 2nos
  9. Bay Leaf- 1
  10. Garam Masala powder- 1tsp
  11. Lemon juice- 1tbsp
  12. Salt- as per taste
  13. Oil- 1tbsp
  14. Ghee- 1tbsp
  15. Rice- 2cups
  16. Water- 2 ½ cups
Method:
  1. Boil water and soak the soya chunks in boilng water. After 10 minutes drain the soya chunks, give them a good rinse and squeeze out the excess water. keep this aside.
  2. Wash and drain the basmathi rice and keep it aside.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker, add the sliced onions and whole garam masala (cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf and star anise). Give them a nice mix till the onion turns light brown in colour.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic paste and mix well till the raw smell disappears. In this add the sliced carrots (or any other vegetable you want) and mix well. Cook till the vegetable is half done.
  5. Add the drained soya chunks, garam masala powder and salt. Stir till everything is well blended.
  6. In the above add drained rice and mix well. After 3- 5 minutes add water and pressure cook. Keep the flame high till 1 whistle and then reduce the flame and cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Switch off the flame and when it is completely cool open the lid and add lemon juice and stir well.
  8. Serve this hot with raita or any curry of your choice.

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