Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Malai Kulfi

As a kid, I would always tag along behind my older cousins and found myself in eateries they normally frequented. One such eatery was called Maheshwari Chaat Shop.
I don't know about the chaats (I still remember how my cousins would oooh and aaah over those chaats), but I can tell you, I am yet to find a place that can come as close to matching the malai and kesar kulfi that was served by Maheshwari Chaat Shop. Sadly, they closed down several years ago :(

I have a book in which I make note of recipes that I should try someday. I was leafing through this book yesterday and I came across a recipe for malai kulfi, I had noted down almost 2 years ago. I know I can never imitate the yummy kulfi I enjoyed as a child. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try.
Boiling and reducing the quantity of milk takes ages. At one point I even considered abandoning my plan. Now, after having eaten a spoonful of kulfi I made, I am glad I did not follow my stupid spur-of-the moment thought.

I can't resist sweets and ice creams even a little. I had this in mind and began making the kulfi after dinner so that I would be asleep when it was setting in the freezer!!!

Milk -1 1/2 ltr
Condensed Milk - 1/2 tin
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
Citric acid powder - 1/4 tsp
Almonds - 2 tbsp, coarsely crushed

> In a thick-bottomed vessel bring milk to a boil and add sugar. Allow to simmer and bring down the volume to 3/4th its original. Stir intermittently to avoid the milk burning at the bottom of the vessel.
> Split the milk into two portions. In one half, add citric acid powder, pinch by pinch, until the milk curdles. Beat well.
> Add remaining milk, condensed milk and cardamom powder. Throw in the crushed almonds. Mix well and pour into moulds and freeze overnight. I did not have kulfi moulds. I used ice trays.

> To serve, dip the moulds in water and slightly rap the mould to let the kulfi slip out. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Carrot and Egg Omelette

I hail from a family of staunch vegetarians. So, I was a little surprised to learn that it was my father who introduced me to the habit of eating eggs when I was just a little girl. I continuously go through phases of thriving on eggs as well as loathing eggs. Since realizing that eggs can be cooked in innumerable different ways I have made it a point to make eggs a regular part of my diet. My sister who recently turned an eggitarian, is always encouraging me to try making different egg dishes.

Last night, we decided to make omelettes. When I was halfway through whipping the eggs, I realized that we had run out of onions. I used carrots instead. I felt pretty happy to see my sister enjoying her dinner of carrot omelette.

Eggs - 2
Carrot - 1, grated
Green chilli - 1, minced
Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger and garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Corriander leaves - 1 tbsp, chopped
Turmeric powder - A pinch
Dosa or Idly batter - 1 ladle
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

1. Break the eggs and transfer the white and yolk into a bowl. Whisk briskly until slightly frothy.

2. Add the grated carrots and other ingredients and mix well to form a batter.

3. Heat a pan and spread a little oil. Pour a ladle full of egg mixture and spread the mixture.

4. Allow it to brown on the underside before flipping it over. Cook the other side as well.

5. Serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sweetilicious Banana

Cooking banana is something I cannot stand. I get nauseous with the very thought. Since there are exceptions to every rule, I love this dish and am always ready to dig in. I don't know what this dish is officially called but I call it Nendran pazham sweet. An aunt who hails from Kerala made it very often for me and I had no other thoughts while I relished the sweet. However, when I made some today and was eating the piping hot sweet, my sister happened to wonder if it would taste good with ice-cream. Well, that is exactly what I am going to try during the week. Ooooo, can't wait!!

Nendran banana - 1, ripe
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 3 tbsp

1. Peal and chop the banana in to small pieces.
2. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the banana until golden brown. The banana will give off a very sweet aroma.
3. At this point, add sugar and mix well. Continue cooking until the sugar is caramelized.

I tried to look up the English and Scientific name for nendran banana, but in vain. Below, I have included a picture of this variety of banana, if you have never had a chance to see it before.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bisi Bele Bath

I have never been fond of sambhar but love bisi bele bath even though the ingredients are similar. I know it is totally weird!! My mother exploited my preference and made bisi bele bath very often just so tamarind would be part of my regular diet.

Bisi bele bath is a dish that originates from Karnataka. As the name suggests it is a hot (bisi) mixture (bath) of dal (bele), rice and vegetables. 

We were each busy with some or the other work last Sunday and making lunch was definitely not on our minds. But when your stomach is growling constantly it is very hard to continue working. At about 3 in the afternoon I asked my mom what we were going to do for lunch. She asked me to chop vegetables so she could make bisi bele bath. What started as a mere helping turned out to be full-fledged cooking. I ended up making the whole dish since my mother was multi-tasking and I just did not have the heart to pull her out of her chores. It was almost 6 by the time we had our "lunch" but it was well worth the wait. I am really happy that my mom's cooking skills have rubbed off on me, at least a little ;)

Rice - 2 cups
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Assorted vegetables - 1 cup
Onion and tomato - 2 tbsp each, chopped finely

Jeera - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp

Tamarind paste - 1 cup
Sambhar powder - 1 tbsp, heaped
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil as required
Water - 6 to 8 cups

To be ground to a paste:
Channa dal - 1 tbsp
Dhania - 1 tbsp
Red chilies - 4
Clove - 1
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Fry the above in a little oil until golden brown and grind along with 1/2 cup of grated coconut and little water to make a paste.

For Garnishing:
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts - few, broken
Jeera - 1/2 tsp

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and pop the jeera and mustard. Fry the onion and tomato. Add other vegetables and saute for few minutes.
2. Add sambhar powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add washed and cleaned rice and dal. Pour the tamarind pasted. Add more than sufficient water.
3. Pressure cook and allow upto 4 whistles.
4. Once the cooker is ready to open, add the ground paste and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Finally heat ghee and pop jeera. Fry the cashew nuts untill golden brown. Pour this mixture over the bisi bele bath.

Raitha and boondhi make for a great accompaniment to this dish which is served piping hot.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vegetable Hakka Noodles

Mention Chinese food to me and a mouth-watering, slightly oily and extremely colorful image of noodles springs to my mind. The noodles you get in the various Chinese restraunts around Bangalore are fine but dont really excite me. The noodles dished out by the local eatries spread all over Bangalore are simply mind-blowing as they make it spicy to suit the Indian taste bud. It has been several years since I had gobi manchurian and noodles in one of those eating joints - attribute it to having moved away from Bangalore for a few years and a sort of embarrassment about eating in a road-side eatry that is not so fussed about hygiene. But I must admit none of the so-called hygeniec restaurants around Bangalore can match the lip-smacking, finger-licking yummy hakka noodles that these eatries can dish out in flat two minutes. I decided to make some at home today and was extremely pleased with myself. I added tomatoes to give the noodles a more tangy taste. I did not have any spring onions but finely chopped spring onion leaves can be used to garnish the noodles and give it a crunchy feel.

This is what I used:
Boiled noodles - 2 cups
Vegetables (Carrot, Onion, Capsicum, Cabbage, Beans, Tomato) - 1 cup, sliced into thin long pieces
Red Chillies - 5
Green Chilli paste - 1 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Dark Soy sauce - 1 1/2 tbsp
Plain vinegar - 1 tbsp
Black pepper powder - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


This is how to make it:
Heat the oil in a pan and fry broken red chillies, green chilli paste and garlic paste for 1 minute.
Add the vegetables along with a pinch of salt and saute for 5 to 8 minutes.
Toss in the boiled, drained and cooled noodles.
Add soy sauce, vinegar, pepper powder and salt. Stir well on a high flame and serve hot with tomato ketchup.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Biscuit Pudding

I have always wanted to try making chocolate biscuit pudding and this happy chance came upon me on Saturday. It all started when my sister was describing the recipes that her class was planning to try out in their home science lab. She mentioned a chocolate based recipe and the urge to make biscuit pudding over powered me. The best part about this sinfully delicious dessert is the simple ingredients and ease of whisking it up in a jiffy. My biscuit pudding after a delicious south-Indian meal that my mom had prepared was a perfect finish to a lazy Sunday afternoon.

This is what you will need:
Marie biscuits - one packet
Cocoa powder - 2 1/2 tbsp
Coffee powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Fresh cream - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Corn flour - 1 1/2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 cup
Butter - 1 tsp
Grated dry fruits - 1/4 cup

1. Mix the cocoa powder, corn flour, 3/4 cup sugar and add a little water to make a thick, smooth paste. Add butter and milk and heat for 3 minutes on a low flame with constant stirring till the mixture reaches a sauce consistency. Set aside.
2. Mix the coffee powder with water.
3. Mix the fresh cream with remaining sugar and set aside.
4. Dip each biscuit in coffee such that the biscuit is damp and place in a container. Apply a layer of cream.
5. Then place another layer of biscuits dipped in coffee. Apply a layer of chocolate sauce.
6. Continue to alternate between layers of biscuit, cream and chocolate sauce.
7. In the penultimate layer add the grated dry fruits. Then place another layer of biscuits. Finally pour the remaining chocolate sauce over the biscuits.
8. Refrigerate this container [do not freeze]. It takes about 2 hours to set.
9. Cut into pastry-sized pieces and serve.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Paneer Cashew Gravy

I was watching a program on a popular TV channel. One of the participants on the cooking show prepared this dish during a contest. The method of preparation was simple and the dish looked really really yummy on screen.With loads of help from my sisters and mother, I enjoyed making the dish. The quiet dinner that followed was even more memorable. 

Tomatoes - 3 medium sized
Onions - 3 medium sized
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Cashew nuts - a handful
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Dhania powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Paneer - 100 grams, cubed
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste

Grind the cashew nuts with a little water and make a smooth paste. Set aside. 

Heat oil in a pan and fry the paneer till golden brown. Dunk into cold water and set aside.

Heat oil and temper cumin seeds. Add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry till translucent.

Add tomato paste and allow to simmer till quantity reduces by half.

Add red chilli powder, dhania powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and cook till the oil separates from the gravy.

Add a cup of water as well as the cashew paste. Miz well and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.

Slip in the fried paneer cubes and turn off the gas. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rotis.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Paratha and Subzi

I am going out of town today and will not be back for almost a week. I had to use up all the vegetables. The easiest option was to make a curry with all the vegetables in it. But I was really irritated to make the curry-sambhar combo over and over again. I was very tempted to make parathas and a dish to go along. With a baby who hardly sleeps it seemed like a daunting task. All that was needed was prior preparation and that is exactly what I did. I prepared the dough the night before and cut up the vegetables as well.

For the Paratha
Atta - 4 cups [heaped]
Grated Radish and Knol Khol - 2 cups
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chillie powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1/2 cup

1. Mix the grated raddish and knol khol with salt, chillie powder, turmeric powder, cumin seeds. Allow to stand for 10 mins.
2. Add atta and oil and mix well. The water from the radish and knol khol should help with the binding. If the dough seems too dry, add a little water and mix into a smooth and firm dough.
3. Roll out the dough into parathas and fry on a tawa.

For the Subzi
Potatoes, Snake gourd and capsicum - 2 cups, diced
Moong and thoor dal - 1/2 cup
Sambhar powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard and oil for seasoning

1. Pressure cook the dals with enough water.
2. Steam the diced vegetables along with sambhar powder, garam masala powder and salt.
3. In a kadai, add the steamed vegetables and cooked dal. Add a little water and allow it to boil.
4. Pop mustard seeds in hot oil and pour over the subzi. Squeeze few drops of lemon. Mix well and serve hot with parathas.