Thursday, January 31, 2013

Baklava - An easy Mediteranean dessert to mark our 6 th Wedding Anniversary!!!

  Today we are celebrating our 6 th Wedding Anniversary.It appears to be yesterday,where we met and got married,6 years passed by with two gifted kids.I thank the Almighty for giving this wonderful Life.Baklava is one of my Hubby's fav dessert.Its very easy to prepare,if we have the fillo sheets handy.We can get these sheets in any Grocery store.The filling can be altered according to our taste.When baklava is served the next day it tastes great as it needs some time to the syrup to get into baklava.
1.Fillo dough sheets - 1 pack (about 20 sheets)
2.Almonds - 1 cup (Powdered)
3.Pistachios - 1 cup (Powdered)
4.Dessicated coconut - 1 cup(Powdered)
5.Sugar - 1/4 cup
6.Cardamom pwdr - 1/4 tsp
7.Butter - 1 Stick (8 tbsp) + 1 tbsp (For greasing )
8.Saffron - for garnish

For the syrup:
1.Sugar - 11/4 cup
2.Water - 1 cup
3.Honey - 1/4 cup
4.Lemon zest - 1 tsp

Making syrup:
* Take a pan,add sugar,water,honey and lemon zest.Bring it to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
* Cool completely.
 Arranging the Fillo sheets:
*Now take a mixing bowl,combine,pista ,almond and coconut powder ,sugar and cardamom pwdr.Mix it well and keep it aside.
* Thaw the fillo dough as per the instructions.
* Cover the fillo dough with a damp prevent the phyllo sheets from drying.
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenhiet.
* Take a baking pan and grease with butter.
* Melt butter for brushing the fillo sheets.
* Now place a sheet of fillo sheet and brush with butter.Place another fillo sheet and brush it with butter.Now sprinkle  filling over the second sheet.Again place 2 phyllo sheets  and brush them with butter.Sprinkle the filling on top . Arrange the phyllo sheets like this ,topping the filling on every second sheet.Do this for the rest of the sheets.But don't forget to grease every sheet with butter.
* Make sure the last filled sheet is covered with a phyllo sheet.Cut the arranged sheets into squares as shown in the picture.
* Bake the baklava for 45 minutes to 1 hour or untill,baklava becomes golden brown.
* When baklava is taken out of the oven,pour the syrup on top of the baklava.
* Once it is cooled,slice the baklava and serve.
* We can store ,baklavas in a airtight container for a week at room temperature.
* Don't pour hot syrup on top of hot baklava.If not the sheets will become mushy.Either one should be hot.If the baklava is cool,then pour hot syrup on top of it.
* We can alter the filling according to our taste.
* While working with the fillo ,always cover it with damp cloth to prevent it from drying.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Vanjiram Fry / King fish fry

  Vanjiram is the king of all fishes.Whnever ,we have guests,we buy this fish and serve them .Nothing can beat the taste of vanjiram.When I went to Chinese shop,saw these perfectly cut pieces.Bought it immediately.This fish can be marinated and freezed.So whenever ,we feel like eating,just thaw and fry. It gives fantastic taste,when,it is marinated for long.This recipe was in my draft for so long.Today only got time to post it. :)

Vanjiram fry and sura puttu for lunch !!!

1.King Fish                           -         10 pieces
2.Chilli powder                     -         3 tbsp
3.Turmeric pwdr                   -         1/2 tsp
4.Ginger                                -         1 inch
5.Garlic pods                         -         4 to 5 pods
6.Fennel seeds                      -          1 tbsp
7.Lemon juice                        -          2 tbsp
8.Corn flour                           -          2 tbsp
9.Oil                                      -           For frying
10.Salt                                   -           as per the taste

* Wash the fish pieces well .
* Grind fennel seeds,garlic pods and ginger well.
* Take a mixing bowl, add the grinded paste,chilli pwdr,turmeric pwdr ,lemon juice ,salt and 2 tbsp oil.
* Mix it well and form a good paste.
* Take a plate,apply the masala on the fish evenly in all the sides.

Marinated fish

* Marinate the fish for 2 hours or overnight.
* Take the fish and bring it to room temperature.
* Apply corn flour to the fish .
* Take a tawa and fry the fish evenly on all sides ,by drizzling oil.
* Serve it hot with rice.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thengai saadham / Coconut Rice - My comfort food

        Coconut rice is one of the rice,where we can prepare it on the go.if we have shredded coconut handy.In India we used to grate it using a special grator for coonut.Its bit time consuming process.So I tried an easy technique to prepare shredded coconut .I just took the coconut pieces and peeled the brown skin .Then gave the coconut a nice pulse in the blender .Now your shredded coconut is ready ,with the same texture as we get using the hand grator .I have peeled the skin using the peeler,as I does'nt like my rice to look brown.If you are going to grind it for paste,then we can skip the peeling step.Rohith loves this rice as it is less spicy.

1Shredded coconut              -           1 cup
2.Cooked rice                       -           2 cups
3.Oil                                    -            2 tbsp
4.Mustard seeds                    -          1/4 tsp
5.Broken urad dal                  -          1/4 tsp
6.Chana dal                            -          1/2 tsp
7.Red chillies                         -           5 to6
8.Curry leaves                        -           hand full
9.Salt                                      -           to taste
10.Cashews (roasted)             -           2 tbsp

* Cook rice with a tsp of oil.This will make the rice non sticky.
* Cool the rice completely
* Take a pan ,add oil splutter with mustard seeds,urad dal,chana dal red chillies and curry leaves.
* When the seasoning is ready,add the shredded coconut and give it a toss.
* Sprinkle salt and mix it.
* When the coconut is sauteed well, add the cooked rice and mix it.
* Adjust salt to taste.
* Garnish with roasted nuts.

* We can also use frozen coconut instead of fresh coconut.
* Dont over cook the rice,as it will make the rice soggy.
* Dont over roast the coconut,as it will change the color of the rice.
sending this to Saras's kithen's "Dish in 30 minutes " event


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Apple Pie / Baking Partner's Challenge #6

       For this month's Baking partner's challenge.Swathi has given 2 sweet pies and 2 savoury quiches.Since Rohith asked me to prepare apple pie, I chose it. It's kids delight and a special dessert for apple lovers. Its also very healthy .This can also be prepared as a big whole pie or single serving pies.The recipe is adapted from here

1.All purpose flour    -  1 3/4 cups (260g)
2.Self rising flour      - 1/2 cup    (75 g)
3.Butter                      - 13 tbsp    (185 g)
4.Sugar                       -  1/3 cup ( 75 g)
5.egg                           -  1 or milk - 1 tbsp
6.Powdered sugar        -  for sprinkling

For the Filling:
1.  Granny Smith apples   -   8 large
2. Unsalted butter               -  6 tbsp (45g)
3.  caster sugar                    - 1/2 cup (110g)
4.  ground cinnamon            - 1 tsp
5.  ground cloves                  - 1/4 tsp

Step 1:

Sift flours and a pinch of salt into a large mixing bowl. Add butter and rub lightly into flour with your fingertips. Lift mixture high above the bowl as you rub, to incorporate air into the pastry and make it lighter. Continue until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir through sugar. Lightly beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon chilled water, then drizzle over flour mixture. Start to bring the dough together by cutting the liquid into the dough with a blunt knife, then form into a smooth ball with your hands,
adding a little more water if necessary. Divide dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap,and chill for 30 minutes.

Step 2:

To make the filling, peel and core the apples, and cut each into 8 pieces. Toss immediately with lemon juice in a large bowl, to prevent apples from discolouring. Place the butter and sugar in a large frypan over medium-low heat. When butter has melted,add apples and spices, then stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until apples have softened. Set aside to cool.

Step 3:

Roll out the larger pastry ball on a floured workbenchor between two butter papers, to a 30cm circle (about 2mm thick). Roll pastry around rolling pin, then unroll over a 22cm metal pie dish. Gently press into corners and allow excess to overhang. Place filling in base with a slotted spoon. Roll the small pastry piece to a 25cm circle. Beat remaining egg with milk, brushing some on rim of the base. Top with small pastry.

Step 4:

Lift the pie dish and cut excess pastry from edges with a sharp knife. Crimp edges of pastry together with your fingers. Chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 180°C, place pie dish on a baking tray. Brush top of pie with more beaten egg, sprinkle with demerara or caster sugar. Cut four small air vents in the centre of the pie and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

* We can also slice the apples into small pieces and cook.This helps the apple to give out its juices well.
* Let the pie cool well.If not it can break,while cutting.
Linking this apple pie to Baking Partner's Challenge

< !-- end InLinkz script -->

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sarkkarai pongal / Sweet pongal (with moong dal ) / version2

                  Wishing all my readers,friends and relatives a very happy Pongal.!!!
     Pongal is a harvest festival.Where the freshly produced rice is cooked with jaggery and served as a prasad for the "Sun " God.Usually, in our villages,pongal is cooked out of the house on  a earthern pot on a brick stove.Since sugarcane is harvested along with rice,it is also served as prasd to God.I have already posted sweet pongal.This time,wanted to try a new version.So used moong dal along with rice.I have also added coconut pieces to the pongal.This gives a crunch to the pongal.Luckily got some  sugar cane for this Pongal.Here,I have cooked rice and dal in a vessel,for time constraint issues,we can also pressure cook it.
1.Raw rice               -        1/2 cup
2.Moong dal            -        1/4 cup
3.Jaggery                 -         1/2 cup
4.Milk                      -         2 cups
5.Cashews                -         2 tbsp
6.Raisins                   -         1 tbsp
7.Coconut pieces      -          1 tbsp
8.Cardamom pwdr    -          a pinch
9. Ghee                      -          3 tbsp
10.Water                    -           2 cups
11.Edible camphor    -            a pinch
12.Salt                        -            a pinch
* Wash the rice and dal well.:Powder the jaggery .
* Take a pan,add water and bring it to boil.Now add  rice and dal.
* When the rice and dal are 80% cooked,add hot milk to it.
* Cook the pongal well.It should be mushy.Because,after adding jaggery ,rice will not cook fast.
* When the rice is 90 % cooked,add the jaggery and give it a stir.
 * Add salt a pinch,to enhance the sweetness of the pongal.
 * Now add the coconut pieces to the pongal.I have also added butter for creamy texture.
* Meanwhile,take a pan and heat it with ghee.Fry the cashews till it turns golden brown.
* Now fry the raisins till it blows like a balloon.
* Pour the pan with cashews,raisins and ghee into the pongal.
* Finally add cardamom pwdr,edible camphor and turn off the stove.
* While cooking pongal.make sure it doesn't stick to the pan.
* Some times,raisins will become hard,if we fry it for longer time.
* Cook the dal well,if not we can feel the crunchiness .
* Tf you want to have more sweet,then can add 1/4 cup more jaggery.
* We can also cook pongal with coconut milk instead of milk.
Here is the link for my other version of sweet pongal.

Sending this to Saras's Kitchen's "Dish in 30 minutes - Rice " event

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Basundi - New Year special

     I am wishing all my readers,friends and fellow bloggers a very "Happy new year ". Let this new year bring prosperous in all your lives.We had a blast at our friend's house.We prepared dishes from different cuisine like, Veg soup,Butterfly shrimp,Falafel,Pita bread,gobi munchurian,chicken munchurian,Veg noodles,Sezchwan fried rice,Pilaf and baklava for dessert with new year cake.
       Basundi is a dessert with lots of malai(thickened milk) and very little milk.It is served with lot of nuts and saffron.Basundi is my H's favourtie sweet.Whenever we go to Gupta Bhavan,he orders this sweet .This weekend,when I was searching for a different dessert,for my guests, my H came out with this beautfiul dessert. After 2 trials,I've settled down with this recipe.The cooking process is long. It almost took me 1 hr to cook the milk ,so that it is reduced to 1/4 of its volume. Always prepare basundi with whole milk cooked in medium flame. Best way is to prepare basundi one day before and refrigerate it.Serve basundi chilled with lot of nuts, the next day
Prep Time    : 1 hr ( approx)
Servings       :  4
1.Whole milk        -         4 cups   (1 ltr)
2.Sugar                  -        1/3 cup  (5 tbsp)
3.Saffron strands  -         15 strands
4.Pistas                  -        1 tbsp (chopped)
5.Almonds            -        1 tbsp  (chopped)
6.Cashews             -        1 tbsp ( chopped)
7.Cardamom pwdr  -       1/4 tsp

* Take a heavy bottomed pan (preferrably non stick pan) and make it wet.This helps in preventing the milk from settling down while cooking.Pour milk and bring it to boil.Now take a tbsp of warm milk and put the saffron strands and keep it aside.This makes the saffron to get infused with the milk.We can also put the saffron directly into the boiling milk,as I did on the first trial.But that will not give the beautiful yellow colour to basundi. So make the saffron strands sit in warm milk ,till the end of the cooking process and then add it to the basundi for beautiful colour and flavor.
* Now bring the flame to medium low and cook the milk.This slow flame ,brings out a unique flavor to the dish.In my first picture,the milk is in starting stage.In my second picture,it has reduced to 10 % and in the third pictured it has redued to 25 %.While the milk is cooking,stir it in between and scrape out the malai from the sides and put it into the milk again.

* In my 4 th picture,milk is almost reduced to half. Don't forget to stir in between.If not the milk will settle to the bottom of the pan and it will be blackened.In my 5 th picture,it has almost reduced to 70 %.The 6 th picture shows the final stage,where we have gor 1/4 cup of the original milk.Now our milk has 75 % malai and 25 % milk.This is the right consistancy.

* Here,I've got the saffron strands infused in warm milk in my 7 th pic.Now add sugar and stir it well.Cook till the sugar is dissolved.Finally add cardamom pwdr,saffron and nuts.Save some nuts for garnishing. 
  Serve basundi warm or cold by garnishing nuts ,at the time of serving. I prefer serving it chilled.

* I have added 1/3 cup sugar,but you can alter the sugar level according to ur taste buds.
* Make sure basundi is not so thick.If not it will not have the exact taste.
* Always add nuts and saffron at the end,if not we will not be able to get the right texture and flavor.
* When we add nuts in the beginning ,then basundi will become thick and the nuts will be soggy.So add nuts at the end.
* When we keep basundi in refrigerator overnight,it makes lot of malai to settle down in it.So make sure basundi is thin ,if you are going to refrigerate ,as it will become thick later..

You might also like

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...