Sunday, February 26, 2012

Plain Cake with Chocolate Icing

Happy Birthday to my dearest sister! :)
But, are we really happy? That thrilling feeling is missing and we seem to be moving around as if in a daze. It is so weird!! I thought we were all grown up now and can handle mom being out of town for a couple of days. Alas, no! We miss her big time and can't wait for tomorrow. The real icing on the cake which turned out so well would have been mom being here with us on my sister's special day.

So bored of baking the same old chocolate cake. Being a special day, the cake ought to be special too. Something I have never tried before. In fact, scared to try and see it fail. There has to be a first time for everything. So here is my first cake, complete with layers and icing.

For the cake:
(Split ingredients in two portions to make two cakes)
Refined flour: 1 cup
Whole wheat flour: 1 cup
Baking powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Cooking soda: 1/2 tsp
Eggs: 2
Sugar: 2 cups
Butter: 1 cup

To make one cake, sift half cup of refined flour, half cup of whole wheat flour, 3/4th tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp cooking soda and set aside.
Grease a cake tin and dust it with flour.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup butter to form a fluffy mixture. Beat in one egg until frothy.
Add the flour mixture a little at a time and fold it in along with the egg mixture.
Pour the cake mixture into the greased tin. Bake it.

I used a pressure cooker. For instructions on baking in a pressure cooker click here.

For the chocolate icing:
Icing sugar: 1/2 cup (I powdered 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and added 1/2 tsp of corn flour)
Cocoa powder: 2 tbsp
Butter: 2 tbsp
Water: 2 tbsp

Warm water and set aside.
Sift icing sugar and cocoa powder. 
Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a mixing bowl and remove from fire.
Add the sugar and cocoa mixture a little at a time and mix well. Add a little water if too thick.
Leave in the refrigerator until the cakes have cooled down completely.

Spread a thick layer of icing on the one side of a cake. Place the other cake over this one such that the icing forms the middle layer between the two cake layers. Spread the remaining icing on the top surface and sides of  the cake. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Corn Kofta Curry

I have always loved kofta dishes, especially malai kofta. We had a big packet of corn at home and were quite bored of the usual boiled corn. My sister suggested we should try something new. Since we were all at home when she made this happy suggestion, I looked in the many recipe books I have and came across a recipe for Corn Kofta Curry. It looked simple enough to make and with loads of encouragement (or should I call it greed? ;) ) from my sister I got down to making the amazingly delicious dish which we enjoyed with hot phulkas.

To make the kofta: 
Pressure cook 2 cups of corn and 2 big potatoes. When cool, mash them coarsely.
Add 1/2 cup of gram flour, a tsp of green chilli and ginger paste, salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper and cumin powder, 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder and a tbsp of curd.
Mix well and make lemon sized balls and deep fry in oil until the koftas turn golden brown.

To make the gravy:
Grind 3 onions into a coarse paste. Heat oil in a pan and fry the ground onion along with a 1/2 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste.
Then add 2 tsp of coriander powder, 1/2 tsp of cumin powder, 1/4 tsp of garam masala, 1 tsp of red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp of sugar along with a tsp of butter. Fry well and then add tomato paste. Fry until the oil leaves the sides of the pan.
Add salt and enough water. Boil for few minutes and then pour in a tbsp of cashew paste. Allow to simmer.

In a serving bowl, arrange the fried koftas and pour the gravy over it. Garnish with beaten fresh cream and finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve piping hot with rotis.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Methi Pulav

With most of us working and rushing to reach our respective workplace on time, it is no wonder that we want easy to cook food. I came across this in one of my recipe books and tried it out this week. It is extremely easy to make and tastes delicious. Best part: no need for any grinding!!
I could hardly wait for lunch break in order to have a spoonful of rice to check how it had turned out. It was well worth the wait!! I enjoyed a simple and yummy lunch of methi Pulav with salted curds.

Methi leaves - 2 cups, washed well and strained
Rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Onion - 2 big, sliced
Carrots - 2, diced
Sambhar powder - 1 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 1'' piece
Green chillies - 2, chopped finely
Lemon juice - 2 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker pan. Pop cloves and cinnamon. Fry chillies, garlic and onion until golden brown
2. Add carrots and whole methi leaves. Fry until the moisture is absorbed. [Do not chop the leaves, else the rice will turn out bitter]
3. Add sambhar powder and garam masala powder. Fry for few minutes.
4. Add rice and fry for 2 minutes. Add salt and water. Close the lid and pressure cook for 10 minutes.
5. After cooking add lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with onion raitha.