Saturday, December 24, 2011

My Dear Grandmama

The year has come to an end and everyone looks back to what all has happened , the happy times , not so happy times , bad times and most of all the losses occurred which can never be recovered like the huge loss suffered when we lost our beloved grandmama a week back . She was truly one of a kind , not your typical grandmother , no way , nobody can say that she was a conventional grandmother , she was a talented , creative , compassionate woman . 

I heard this somewhere ( don't exactly remember by whom ) that perfection is in getting all the little things done right , if that is the case then my grandmama was really perfect because she only cared of the little things , simple things which others just don't bother about but now I know she only thought of those matters that mattered the most .a truly remarkable and unforgettable woman who will be missed by many people who really love her . 

My last wonderful memory of her was the pride I saw on her face when I showed her my blog and the cakes I had decorated . She too loved to cook and feed her loved ones . Though she was fussy with her food , she loved to try out dishes I had experimented with .

The best thing was she was the only one who thought I was thin :D which I loved to hear ( wish everyone had her eyes ;p ) . So my dear grandmama , you will be greatly missed , we were all really blessed and fortunate to have you as our grandmama , love.....love...really love you .

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chicken Dum Biryani

Since it's the festive season I thought why not post a recipe of a biryani coz that is what we make for every occasion . Everyone has a different way of making them and this is one of my fav ways . Here the chicken is marinated in an array of aromatic spices and yoghurt is added to make the chicken more tender and  juicy . The aroma is itself to make you salivate and the process of cooking it in dum meaning slow-cooking  makes the rice so aromatic and you get to taste the flavour of each and every spice in the rice . Trust me it's soooooo good so here goes..................



INGREDIENTS

1 kg chicken cut into medium size pieces
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
3 large onion finely sliced
3 green chillies chopped
1 cup chopped fresh coriander
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 cups yoghurt
half a lemon cut into wedges

dry grind
7 cloves
4 cardamom
1/2 inch pc cinnamon
2 tsp whole black peppercorns

1/2 kg basmati rice
8 and 1/2 glasses of water

for the bouquet garni
7 cloves
2 bay leaves
5 green cardamom
1/2 inch pc cinnamon

10 strands of saffron
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup oil
2 tbsp ghee

METHOD

Heat oil and fry the sliced onions till golden in a deep bottomed dish
Grind them and set aside
Rub the ginger and garlic paste all over the chicken .
Add the chilli powder , salt , half the mint and coriander, lemon , green chillies , ground spices and the ground  onions in the same pan with the oil .
Add the yoghurt and the chicken pieces and leave to marinate 4 hours or preferably overnight .
Soak the saffron in the milk and set it aside
Now bring the whole thing to boil and turn it down and simmer till the chicken is done .
Meanwhile bring the water to boil and add the spices for the bouquet garni and salt to taste.
Add the washed and drained basmati , bring it to boil till the rice is almost done .
Now strain the rice and set aside .
Remove the chicken with its juices in another bowl and add a tbsp of ghee inside the pan .
Add half the rice in the bottom and sprinkle with the safffron milk then add the chicken with all its gravy on the top of the rice  .
Add a little of the chopped coriander and mint on top .
Now add the rest of the rice , then the rest of the coriander and mint .
Now pour the rest of the saffron milk and the ghee .
Cover it tightly with a lid and cook on very low fire for about half an hour or till the aroma wafts around the house .
Serve it with pomegranate raita and enjoy :).


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Coffee Milk Cupcakes with Caramel Whipped Cream

While I was going through my food photos , I came across this one and realized that I hadn't put this one up . These cupcakes have a subtle coffee flavour and the frosting is simply the best and very easy too so here goes......


INGREDIENTS

100 gms butter (room temp)
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
1 cup milk

for the frosting 

1 cup whipping cream
3-4  tbsp nestle caramel treat

METHOD

Cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy .
Add the eggs and vanilla and beat well .
Sift all the dry ingredients together .
Now add the dry ingredients and milk alternately ending with the dry ingredient .
Grease and line the cupcake tin and fill it 3/4th.
Bake in a preheated 180 c oven for about 20-25 min or till done .
Whip the cream till stiff and fold in the caramel treat .
Now top the cooled cupcakes the with frosting and  garnish with chocolate flakes or sprinkles if you like .



Monday, December 5, 2011

Crispy Fried Fish with Mayo Tahini Dip

This is an all-time fav in my family , who doesn't love crispy fried fish esp while it's hot and the dip is really delish too . I make this very often as it is easy to put together and also you can freeze them too . The fish is subtly spiced and coated in panko breadcrumbs as this makes it extra crunchy and the zest , tangy dip is the perfect accompaniment to it so here goes.....................


INGREDIENTS

2 large fish fillets cut into fingers
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 egg plus a little water mixed
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying

for the dip

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp yoghurt
3 tbsp tahini paste
zest of a lemon
juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp chopped parsley

METHOD

Mix the flour and the spices together very well .
Dust the fish in the flour mix , egg wash and then finally the breadcrumbs .
Fry them in oil till they are golden and crisp .
To make the dip  , mix all the ingredients together and serve with the fried fish .



NOTE

If you don't find panko breadcrumbs , normal bread crumbs is fine .
To freeze the fish , coat them as said above and lay them out on the tray and pop it in the freezer for about half an hour and then pop them in the bag and freeze them till you are ready to use .
You can freeze them for about a week .


Friday, December 2, 2011

Ben 10 Birthday Cake

It was my nephew's b'day last week and the li'l guy is a huge......huge.... really huge fan of Ben 10 and requested to make him a cake based on that . It was quite a challenge to get the colors right on this one and my arms nearly came off trying to get the fondant dark esp black . Whew... but finally I did it and it was worth it . He loved it and was quite excited seeing the cake.



                                                             ( I wish I was Ben 10 )


The trick to getting the fondant black was by making the chocolate fondant and coloring that black .