Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Cake

Hello Friends….. How are you all doing?? Am so busy here  :( that I dont get time to look into any of your blogs :(   But I wanted to prepare something for this Holiday Season. Somehow found some time over the weekend, got all accessories to prepare the cake and yeah.. I am back to baking after a while….  Yeahh…. I am trying to bring a “Blog-Work” balance  :) which I hope to achieve very soon…

Wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy and Prosperous New Year !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Last and not least let me thank my friend, who help me do this post this with his great photographic skills..

Christmas Cake 7


           Dry Fruits & Nuts  Mix  --   1 ½ cups
           Rum                                  --   ¼ cup (optional)
           All Purpose Flour       --   1½ cup
           Baking Powder            --   1½ tsp
           Granulated Sugar       --   1½ cup
           Butter                               --   1 cup
           Eggs                                  --   4 
           Vanilla Essence           --   1½ tsp
           Cinnamon Powder     --   ¼ tsp
           Cardamom Powder   --   ¼ tsp
           Nutmeg powder          --   ¼ tsp
           Cloves Powder             --   ¼ tsp
           Dry Ginger Powder    --   ¼ tsp
           Salt                                    --   ¼ tsp

For the caramel:

           Granulated Sugar       --   ½ cup
           Boiling water               --   ½ cup

Christmas Cake 9


Preparation of the Cake:

Soak the dry fruit and nut mix (I used chopped cashews,almonds,walnuts,raisins,cranberries and dates) in rum for minimum of 24 hours – 3 weeks or more.  The more they are soaked the better. You can avoid this step to make it non-alcoholic.

Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium flame. Add the sugar to caramelize along with a teaspoon of water. Do not stir, but rotate your pan to prevent sticking. The sugar will melt first and then turn brown, to a thick syrup. When the syrup turns dark brown, pour in the boiling water. Be careful while handling as the caramel syrup is really hot. Keep on the low flame and stir well until it is well combined and then let it cool. You will have about three-fourth a cup or less of caramel.

Christmas Cake 1    Christmas Cake 2

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour an 8x8 inch or 9 inch pan and keep aside.

Sift together the all purpose flour and baking powder at least 2-3 times. 

Now stir in the powdered spices and the drained soaked fruits to 2 –3 tbsp of  flour. Mix well with a spatula until the dried fruits are completely coated and keep aside.

Beat butter @ room temperature and powdered sugar, until light and fluffy. I managed to do it with a wooden spatula. It is easy to do it with a mixer. Add the vanilla essence.

Add the eggs, one at a time to this beaten butter-sugar mixture. Mix well. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of flour after adding each egg, in case the batter looks too watery while mixing.

Christmas Cake 3Christmas Cake 4


Add the remaining flour to the butter mixture, alternating with caramel syrup. Just fold in the mixture.

Christmas Cake 5

Stir in the dried fruits just to combine. Do not over mix.

Pour it into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Mine took 55 min.

Christmas Cake 6

Enjoy your cake….

Christmas Cake 8

Monday, December 6, 2010

Fish Curry

Fish Curry 5
           Fish                                --  ½ kg ( I used tilapia fillets)
           Shallots                        --  ½ cup
           Tomatoes                    --  1 small
           Turmeric powder    --  ½ tsp
           Whole red chilly       --  5-7
           Cumin Seeds               --  ½ tsp
           Pepper corns              --  ½ tsp
           Fennel seeds               --  ½ tsp
           Coriander seeds        --  1 tsp
           Ginger                           --  1 inch
           Garlic  cloves                --  4-5
           Tamarind                    --  small ball
           Mustard seeds           --  ½ tsp
           Curry leaves               --  2 springs
           Coconut milk              --  1 cup
           Oil                                    --  2 tbsp
           Salt                                  --  to taste
Preparation Of Fish Curry:
Soak the tamarind in water for 15 minutes and extract the juice out of it.
Grind the red chillies, cumin seeds,pepper corns,fennel seeds,coriander seeds,ginger and garlic with tamarind juice and keep aside.
Fish Curry 1
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add chopped onions and curry leaves and saute till onions are translucent. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and fry until they are mashed up.
Fish Curry 2    Fish Curry 3
Pour in the grounded paste, turmeric, and salt and let it boil.Stir in coconut milk and bring it to simmer. Gently slide in the fish pieces and cook till done with the pan closed.
Fish Curry 4
Serve hot with rice.
Fish Curry 6

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Idly Manjurian

Hello friends…  I know all of you wished me good luck for what I was looking for.  And Yes that happened. It was regarding a job opportunity. The long awaited one… Fortunately, I got through it and now I am at Portland, Oregon. 

I am happy that I am back to my career again. But I am now far away from AJ L Hopefully I ll be back with him very soon…

Now that I ll be a bit busy with my work and so I am not sure how frequent  I can visit all your wonderful posts. Also since we do not have much of cooking here, I am not sure how much I can try out your recipes. Fortunately, I have a few posts in my drafts and I shall keep updating my blog during weekends. I ll definitely try my level best to visit each and every post of all my friends too..

Now coming to the post for today – Idly manjurian. This is always a wonderful item with left  over idlys. I usually prepare a few more idlys for breakfast and prepare this for the evening tea. We love idlys in this form much more than for breakfast..

Idly Manjurian 2


            Idly                                 --   6 – 8 nos
            Onion                             --   1 small /  ½ of a medium one
            Ginger Garlic Paste  --   1 tsp
            Capsicum                     --   ½ of a medium one
            Tomato Sauce           --   2 tsp
            Soya sauce                  --   1 tsp
            Chilly Sauce                --   1 tsp
            Coriander leaves      --   ½ cup chopped
            Oil                                   --   2 tsp / for deep frying
            Salt                                --   as required

Preparation of Idly Manjurian:

              Cut the  idly into bite size pieces. Preferably keep the idly in the fridge before preparation. I usually use left over idlys. Deep fry the idly pieces. To avoid too much oil, I did grill it in the oven.

Idly Manjurian 3     Idly Manjurian 4

              Thinly slice the onions and chop the capsicum into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Add salt and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the chopped capsicum and let it fry well.

Idly Manjurian 5    Idly Manjurian 6

               Now add the fried idly pieces. Add the sauces and let the masala and the sauces coat the idly pieces well. Add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Turn off fire.

Idly Manjurian 8

               Serve hot with tea or even well suited as a lunch box item.

Idly Manjurian 1

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lemon Cake

The yummy and flavorful cake… I did not have an idea how this would be until I made this. Me being someone who does not prefer tanginess, the only motivation was that I could click beautiful pics decorating lemon pieces. Does that sound weird??? But I was the one who completed almost three-fourth of the cake :)
Now it is not the Spider Solitare that keeps me away from blogging. It is something else. I am waiting for something and the tension – not really tensed, but just the thoughts about it, does not even allow me to log onto blogger, browse through FB & orkut. The only thing I do on my system is refresh my mails. Hope I get the results very soon. Friends…You know the next.. Please wish me good luck.
Now coming back to lemon cake. I had seen few beautiful clicks from my fellow bloggers and wanted to try this out. All my hope was on AJ who has a great love for all sour tastes and I was sure that I am not going to have more that a piece to taste. But things were not as expected, I really loved the sweetness of honey and sourness of lemon and especially the nice aroma of the cake. And poor AJ couldn’t accept the idea of sourness in a cake which was supposed to be sweet. Still he managed to have it with tea for a couple of days (Secret – I did not prepare anything else, so his hunger would accept anything).
Here it goes…
Lemon Cake 6
            All purpose Flour     --   1 ½ cups
            Baking Powder          --   ¼ tsp
            Baking Soda                --   ¼ tsp
           Granulated Sugar      --   1 cup
           Honey                             --   4 tbsp
           Unsalted Butter          --   4 tbsp
           Medium Eggs               --   3
           Grated Lemon zest    --   1 tbsp
           Fresh Lemon juice     --   5 tbsp
           Yogurt                            --   4 tbsp
           Milk                                  --   2 tbsp
           Water                              --   1 tbsp
           Vanilla essence          --   ½ tsp
            Salt                                 --   ½ tsp
Preparation of the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease one 8x4 inch loaf pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder,salt and baking soda in a bowl. Keep aside
Cream the butter, 3/4 cup granulated sugar and honey in a bowl until light and fluffy. Now, add the eggs, one at a time, and then the lemon zest.
Lemon Cake 1    Lemon Cake 2
In another bowl, combine 2 tbsp of lemon juice, yogurt,milk and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour.
Pour the batter into the pan, smooth the top, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.
Lemon Cake 3     Lemon Cake 4
Combine ¼ cup granulated sugar with the remaining 3 TBSP lemon juice and 1 Tbsp water in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves and makes a syrup. When the cake is done, let it cool for 10 minutes, then invert them onto a rack set over a tray. Prick the cake all over with a skewer and spoon the lemon syrup over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.Serve.
Lemon Cake 5
You can decorate as per your wish.
Lemon Cake 7

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chocolate cupcakes

It’s about a week, am away from blogger. Was I busy? Hmm… NO !!! I was addicted.. Yeah.. addicted to ‘Spider Solitare’  and Still I am. J J J J J   Now my days starts and ends winning a game. I patiently wait to win a game before breakfast and the same before I go to bed. I believe you understand that I win only 1 out of 10 - 15 games. Am I going crazy?? Hope not !!!!!!!!!!!!
And now I thought of updating my space with an easy recipe, with less work on pics. Here I have the recipe of chocolate cupcakes from Collaborative curry. Nami had this in her drafts when I checked with her for the recipe and posted it very soon. Thanks Nami J .
I lost the step by step pics from my system. I deleted them accidently. So friends, I ll be updating those when I prepare this next time.
Friends…. .Sorry that I did not visit most of your posts and did not leave any comments. I will be back soon with all lost enthusiasm.
Choco Cup Cakes 2
         Flour                                     --   1 ½ cup
         Baking powder                 --   1  ½ tsp 
         Cocoa Powder                  --   ½ cup
         Boiling wate r                   --   1 cup
         Salted Butter                     --   ½ cup
         Eggs                                      --   2
         Pure Vanilla Extract      --   2 tsp
         Sugar                           --    1 cup
  Choco Cup Cakes 1
Preparation of cup cakes:
Whisk the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl. Preheat the oven at 375 degree F.Grease muffin pans with butter or line with paper liners.
Mix the boiling water and cocoa, mix well till there is no lumps.Let it cool.
Beat the butter and sugar until smooth.Add the eggs ,one at a time and beat well to mix in. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
Now beat in cooled cocoa mix into this and mix everything.Fold in the flour mixture into this and spoon out into the muffin pan.
Bake for about 15-16 minutes or until atoothpick inserted comes out clean.This yields about 18 – 20 cupcakes.
Choco Cup Cakes 3

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamuns 9


             Milk powder          --   1 cup
             All purpose flour --   ½ cup
             Baking soda          --   ¼ tsp
             Ghee                         --   2-3 tsp
             Milk                          --   as required to make the dough
             Oil / Ghee               --   to fry

             Sugar                      --   1 cup
             Water                     --   2 cup
             Cardamom           --   2 – 3 
             Rose  essence       --   1 tsp

Preparation of Gulab Jamun:

For the sugar syrup:
               Mix sugar and water in a large vessel and keep on a low flame. Once the sugar is completely melted add the cardamom powder and rose essence and keep on a low flame. Prepare this after you roll the jamun balls and leave this on a low flame until all the balls are fried.

For the balls:
              Mix milk powder, all purpose flour and baking soda.  Make a dough by gradually adding milk. Knead to get a smooth dough. Make sure you do not knead it very hard, in that case the jamuns will be hard in the center.

               Grease your hands with ghee and make small lemon sized balls from the dough. The ball will increase in size while frying.  Avoid any cracks on the balls.

Gulab Jamuns 1    Gulab Jamuns 2

                Heat oil/ghee in a pan. When the oil is hot enough, fry the balls in the oil. Make sure you fry in medium heat because if the oil is too hot, the jamuns get browned easily and will not be cooked inside. At right temperature, the ball will rest in the bottom for 5 mts and slowly will rise up.

Gulab Jamuns 3  Gulab Jamuns 4

                When the balls turn brown, transfer it on to a kitchen towel. Add these into the sugar syrup when they are cool. There are chances of breaking the balls if you add them into the syrup when still hot. Let it remain on the stove at a low flame for 10-15 minutes.

  Gulab Jamuns 5  Gulab Jamuns 7

                Remove from the heat and leave the gulab jamun balls in the sugar syrup and refrigerate it when cool. I love cool jamuns :)

Gulab Jamuns 8

Monday, October 18, 2010

Triple Chocolate Brownie

This fudgy brownies are for real chocolate lovers – a piece of brownie with a dollop of vanilla icecream….. really delicious you know...  And this one is from the Cusinart Recipe Booklet – The credit goes to them.

Triple Chocolate Brownie 9


         All purpose flour                 --   ¾ cup
         Baking soda                           --   1 tsp
         Unsalted Butter                    --   1 cup
         Unsweetened Chocolate  --   6 oz
         Bittersweet Chocolate       --   2 oz
         Cocoa Powder                      --   1 tbsp
         Large Eggs                             --   4
         Egg Yolk                                  --   1
         Granulated Sugar                --   2 cups
         Brown Sugar                          --   1 cup packed
         Instant Expresso Powder --   2 tsp
         Vanilla Extract                      --   2 tsp
         Table salt                                 --   1 tsp
         Bittersweet Chocolate chips --   ¾ cup
        Chopped Almonds                 --   ½ cup


Preparation of the brownie:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 13x9 inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray/butter. Line with parchment paper/Aluminum foil. Reserve.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Add the butter and chocolates (other than the choco chips & cocoa powder)to a heat proof bowl and place over a pot of simmering water.

Triple Chocolate Brownie 1    Triple Chocolate Brownie 2

Once both are completely melted, stir in the cocoa powder and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Triple Chocolate Brownie 3

In a large bowl, beat the eggs and the yolk for about 30 sec. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and thickened. Add instant expresso and vanilla; beat until well combined.

      Triple Chocolate Brownie 4 Triple Chocolate Brownie 5

Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Add the chocolate/flour mixture to the egg/sugars mixture and mix until they are just incorporated.

Fold in the chocolate chips and chopped almonds.

Triple Chocolate Brownie 7    Triple Chocolate Brownie 8

Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 45 – 50 minutes or until the edges are dry.

Triple Chocolate Brownie 10

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lemon Rice

This is another flavorful – easy to prepare – yummy rice. You can make this either with the left over rice or cook rice for this as such. This is one of my quick lunch box items / lunch for weekends.

Lemon Rice 4


         Rice                             --   1 ½ cups (I used Sona Masoori)
         Turmeric powder --   ½ tsp
         Mustard seeds       --   ½ tsp
         Urad dal                   --   1 tbsp
         Dried red chili        --   2 – 3
         Peanuts                     --   ½ cup
         Asafetida                 --   a pinch
         Curry leaves           --   1 spring
        Ginger                        --   1 tsp
        Green Chillies          --   2 – 3
        Lemon juice             --   3 tbsp
        Oil                                 --   2 tbsp
        Salt                              --   to taste

Lemon Rice 6

Preparation of Lemon Rice:

Wash and soak the rice for about half an hour. Drain the water and cook the rice with salt and turmeric powder. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, when its starts to splutter, add asafetida, red chillies and fry them for a minute.Add the urad dal and saute for few seconds till they turn light brown. If using left over rice, add the turmeric powder in the oil along with asafetida. This helps to give an even yellow colour while mixing the rice.

Toss in the peanuts and curry leaves. Stir fry for few seconds.

Lemon Rice 1    Lemon Rice 2

Now add the cooked rice and mix well with the spices. Add lemon juice and toss the rice again.

Lemon Rice 3