Monday, January 27, 2014

Ras Malai ( with step by step pictures)

I have never been so busy in my life, lots of thing happening and I am working really hard after ages. Blogging should be the last thing I should be doing now, but sometimes for a break I find blogging and cooking therapeutic. I really wish I could spend more time on styling the picture and taking beautiful pictures but if I go for that doing a post might not happen for another few more weeks and I don’t want to ignore my blog that long. Let me get straight to the recipe before my hubby catches me doing a blog post when I have lots of pending work to finish.

Recipe adapted from - Show me the curry
Ingredients ( serves 6 )
For paneer
Milk – 6 cups
Lime juice – 3 tbsp.

For making Malai
Water – 5 cup
Sugar – cup
Paneer patties

For Ras
Milk – 5 cups
Sugar – 1 cup or as required
Cardamom crushed – ¼ tsp.
Saffron strand – few
Nuts- Almonds and Pistachios

Making Paneer
  • Boil milk and add 3 tbsp. of lime juice.
  • Milk curdles and whey separates, strain it in colander lined with muslin cloth and rinse few times in cold water to remove lime flavour.
  • Squeeze it hard and hang the muslin cloth under the tap for 30 minutes to strain any water left.
  • Place a small weight on top of the muslin cloth to remove the water completely.

Making Paneer patties
  • In a food processor or mixie blitz the Paneer for few seconds and knead until it’s soft or alternatively knead them well for 5- 10 minutes until soft.                              
  • Divide the dough into 15- 20 equal sized balls and press them gently and make patties.                                                                                                                  
  • Meanwhile add 5 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar in a pressure cooker. Place it on a medium flame until sugar I dissolved. Now carefully add the patties to the sugar water and close the lid and pressure cook it for 1 whistle and remove from fire.                                                                                                                         

  • After 5 minutes take the pressure to kitchen sink and pour cold water to it so release the pressure, once the pressure is released open the cooker and take out the patties one by one with a ladle or spoon and gently give it squeeze to remove the excess water.                                                                                                       

  • Let it cool down.

Making Ras
  •  Boil milk with saffron strands in a thick bottomed vessel or a non-stick vessel and simmer it for 30- 45  minutes stirring every now and then until milk reduces to half.   
  •  Add crushed cardamom and in the end and remove from fire once sugar is dissolved. Let it cool down a little bit.                                                                   
Chilling and serving
  • Add the patties to Ras (Reduced milk) and chill it the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  • Add Pistachios and Almond shavings on top before serving. 

When I made paneer I added a bit too much lime juice than 3 tbs so my paneer had a subtle ime flavour, but neverthless it was delicious. So please stick to 3 tbs. if you dont want a paneer with lime flavour :)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Princess Castle Cake

I love making girly cakes and making a Castle cake was  in my wish list since a long time and I am so happy to finally make one for a little princess. I should say making this castle cake was not a cake walk at all. This was one cake which took several hours of hard work and it tested all my patience. Most of the princess cake I saw have cardboard pillars but I wanted the pillars  to be edible so making the pillars out of cake was my biggest worry when I started the work.  One thing I have learnt after this making this cake is that there is no  need any fancy cutters or tools for making cakes. If you look around in your kitchen there  might be  something which comes handy and that how I decided to use my reliable puttu maker for cutting out  the pillars for the cake !!

puttu maker
 It was a 2 tier chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream. Pillars were made from cake and top (cone ) of the pillar is ice cream cone covered in fondant. My plan was to put a princess Aurora on top of the cake but my online delivery of Princess didn’t come on time so I had to satisfy with the small Tiara instead. The flags on top is my hubby's work :) He used  coloured papers for that  and glued them onto a tooth pick.

Thats all for today, will see u all again with a recipe soon :)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Broccoli Manchurian, A guest post by Manju

Usually it’s during holiday time that I neglect my blog and take breaks but this time it was surprisingly other way round. Since I have been cooking a lot during holidays I could blog about the recipes I served for my guests, but after all that over eating I took a big break from cooking and that’s why I have been silent here since new year. Moreover we are back to business,  my son is back to school and I am  back to studies and training too. It looks like till July it might be a bit quiet here as my  studies are going on a fast pace with assignments and deadlines but whenever there is half term break I am going to hit back J Till then if any of my blogger friends would like to help me out with guest posts that would be great.

Today I am inviting my dear friend Manju of Maju's eating delights a.k.a MED  for a guest post here. Do you all remember a sticky toffee pudding which I posted in my blog a while back ? it was a guest for Manju's blog. Manju and me share me the same passion for cake decorating and that’s what brought us together.  I love her cakes and bakes and her cake decoration skills are simply superb. If you would like to see more of her cakes head over to her blog and do check it out and let me warn you that you are going to get hungry  as she has got a  lot of mouth-watering recipes and some classic photographs in her blog. Over to Manju now..

Let’s start the year by sharing shall we, so here I share a lovely recipe for Broccoli Manchurian as a guest post for my good friend Vineetha. This guests post has been long overdue ever since last September I guess and Vinee has been so patient with me.
This Broccoli Manchurian is very special for me coz it was made using our very own garden grown Broccoli…remember my dad’s veggie garden last summer. I must remind myself to do a full-fledged post on it soon. 

Anyways, we had grown abundant amounts of Cauliflower and Broccoli this year and I had chopped them up into florets and freezed them so that I can use them as needed.  And I did :-)

Though Cauliflower(Gobi) manchurain is one of my absolute fav appetizers of all time, I decided to give it a twist and make Broccoli Manchurian. Trust me it tasted just the same, maybe even better.  I prefer the dry version , but you can make the sauce thinner and make a gravy version as well.  

And for those who aren’t familiar with Gobi(Cauliflower) Manchurian, it’s a very popular vegetarian appetizer or side dish served in almost all Indian restaurants and definitely a crowd pleaser dish. It’s made by deep frying the cauliflower florets that's dipped in a semi-thick batter and then tossed to coat in a wonderful flavorful tangy-spicy sauce. Here I made mine with Broccoli florets.  It’s to die for, now go make it and eat it, you’ll love it!

This is what the batter fried Broccoli looks like just before being coated in that yummy sauce. Trust me, this tastes really good eaten just as it is but wait, that sauce makes it even yummier :-)

I made some simple Cauliflower Pulav and Raita to go with this scrumptious Broccoli Manchurian and it was a yummy yummy lunch!! 

Broccoli Manchurain
Recipe adapted from ShowMeThe

You’ll Need
Broccoli (1 medium sized) - cut into individual florets

oil – for deep frying
For batter:
All purpose flour – ¼ cup or 4-5 tblsp
Cornstarch – 3-4 tblsp
Black Pepper powder – ¼ tsp
Red chilli powder – a pinch (optional)
Salt – to taste
Water – ¼ cup + 2 tblsp
For sauce:
Canola Oil – 1 Tblsp
Red Onion – 1/2 medium, chopped finely
Green Chilies – to taste, cut diagonally
Garlic – 3 large cloves, chopped finely
Ketchup – 2 Tblsp
Red Chili Sauce – 2 Tblsp or to taste
Soy Sauce – 4 tsp or to taste
White Vinegar – 2 tsp
Corn Starch – 2 tsp
Water – 4 Tblsp
Green Onions – 2 stalks, cut diagonally for garnishing

1. Heat Oil in a frying pan and add Onions, Green chillies and garlic and cook until onions are soft and mildly browned.
2. Add Ketchup and red chilli sauce and sauté until it cooks down and the oil starts to separate.
3.  Next add soy sauce and vinegar and mix well.
4.  Mix the cornstarch with water and add it to the pan. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken and keep aside.
5.  Make the batter by adding All purpose flour, cornstarch, pepper, red chilli powder, salt and water in a small bowl and mix it well so that there are no lumps.
6.  Start heating the oil for deep frying. Meanwhile dip the broccoli florets in the batter until well coated and once oil is hot enough deep fry them until brown in color.
7.  Once all the florets are fried, add it to the frying pan with the sauce and toss to coat well. 
8.  Garnish with Green onions and serve!

They are best served immediately so that its still mildly crunchy yet starting to get soft from the sauce coated over the florets. This is how I like it. If you like it more soft then serve after few minutes. Oh! How I love this dry manchurain and I can eat the whole plate if left alone with it… ;-)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shami Kebab

When I eat something really good at a friend’s place, I immediately asks for the recipe and most of the time inspiration gets buried deep inside without any attempt, but sometimes especially when the recipe is too good to pass, I try it out. There are many such recipes in my blogs which were inspired from friends and family and this Kebab is a result of one such inspiration. When I went to my friend Z’s place, she served some delicious Shami kebab which was her grandma’s special. Shami kebab is a Pakistani kebab and I remember her telling me that she grew up eating this a lot. She was so generous to share her recipe with me. I also did some online search and they were all pretty much the same, expect few changes. I  was really happy the way it turned out and  and this was one of my starter for my New year party with blogger friends NishaSuchi and Manjiri and they all loved it too :)

Ingredients ( makes 24 kebabs)

For Kheema paste
Lamb (minced) – 500gm
Chana Dal – 125 gm/ 8 tbs
Potatoes – 2 small ( diced)
Ginger- garlic paste – 2 tsp
Cinnamon stick - 3” stick
Cloves – 3
Cardamom – 2 nos
Fennel – 1 tsp (optional )
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Peppercorn – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Water – 1 cup
Other Ingredients
Onion – 2 medium
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Coriander leaves –  few sprigs (finely chopped )
Mint leaves – few sprigs ( finely  chopped )
Lime juice – 2 tbs

Egg – 1 large
Oil – for shallow frying

  1. Soak Chana dal in boiling water for 1 hour.
  2. In a big saucepan add all the ingredients listed under ‘kheema paste’ and cook for 35-40 minutes until water dries and all the ingredients are cooked through.
  3. Let it cool down and then grind them into a fine paste.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients listed under ‘ other ingredients’ expect the egg to the kheema paste and knead until its mixed well.
  5. Divide the paste into 24 equal sized balls and flatten it out, dip them in beaten egg and shallow fry flipping the sides for 3-4 minutes or until firm and brown.