25 August 2011

Mocha Cake

Come August ans we have back-to-back birthdays in the house. First my brothers's and then my Hubby's. Past two weekends we were too tied up in Church activity and so i ended up baking just one cake for  the two.

I had been searching for a different twist to a chocolate cake and a day or two before the birthday stumbled upon this cake recipe and here it is, Mocha Cake. Do find the recipe here. I followed the recipe to the T and it was really good. Got lots of compliments from the family :D.

Happy Baking!!

18 August 2011

Eromba: Mashed Potato with Bamboo-shoot Chutney

Eromba is a traditional chutney of the Meitei's residing in the Imphal valley in North East India. This is a really spicy chutney made wit the combination of the favorite local ingredients like fermented dried fish, fermented bamboo-shoot and Raja/King chilli.

This chutney will make it's appearance in a lot of the dinner tables of the Naga's residing in Manipur, but not so much in Nagaland. A chutney is a MUST for lunch and dinner, and so according to the main dish, a chutney will be made that will compliment the main dish.

Eromba goes beautifully well with Pork curry, made the traditional way. The key to a good eromba is the quality of the fermented fish, the fish should be close to sweet smelling and the best way to judge is to just pick up the most expensive one in the market. It's okay to make it with any chilli that's available at hand, but it taste best when made with dried Raja/King chilli. Here's the recipe.

2 Medium Sized - Potatoes
5 Medium Sized - Dried Fermented Fish
1 Big - Raja Chilli
1 Medium - Onion, Sliced evenly
6-7 Pods - Garlic
1/2 Cup -Fermented  Bamboo Shoot
Salt - According to taste

1. Pressure cook the potatoes and bamboo shoot. Peel the potatoes and keep aside
2. Roast the fermented fish and King chilli (you can use an old slotted spoon for this purpose) and keep aside
3. Put the cleaned garlic pods, the roasted ingredients, some salt and mash it together to bring out a paste
4. Mash the potatoes, mix it with the bamboo shoot. 
5. To this mixture add the paste and mix it really well. Add about 2-3 Tbsp of water to get the consistency     
    you want. 
6. Garnish it with the sliced onions and some coriander leaves if you want.

The quantity will be just right for 3-4 people. Have it over plain rice and pork curry and you have a complete lip-smacking meal. 

Bon Apatite!! 

10 August 2011

Eggless Banana Cake/Loaf

I am on the look out for egg-less cakes and cookie recipes, for health reasons as well as to have options when the pantry run out of eggs :). And it's wonderful to know that egg-less cakes taste as good or at times better that the ones with eggs. I also refrain from using butter in my cakes, so i only use either canola or sunflower oil or any vegetable oil. This way i enjoy great cakes with NO GUILT at all :)

This cake is adapted from Divine Taste. It is one great blog to look into and i am a fan of a lot of her cakes and cookies. This cake is a major hit in my house. The aroma just fills the whole house as it bakes and everyone will be just waiting to dig in. The goodness of banana and the chocolate burst from the choc-chips  makes this one fantastic cake to keep making.

Here's how i make it. 

1 Cup - Plain Flour
1 Tsp - Baking Powder
1 Tsp - Baking Soda
1/2 Cup - Brown Sugar
1 Tsp - Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup - Canola Oil
2-3 Ripe - Bananas
1/4 Cup - Chocolate Chips

  • Preheat Oven at 180 degree Centigrade
  • Lightly grease a 2" by 6" Square baking pan and keep aside
  • Sieve all the Dry ingredients together in a bowl and keep aside
  • Grind the Sugar and Cooking Oil in the blender till well combined
  • Add Banana to the Sugar-Oil mixture and run the blender till its nice and smooth
  • Add the Vanilla Essence and stir in the Dry ingredients into the blender, run it till its well blended
  • Blend the Chocolate-Chips into the batter and pour the whole content into the greased baking pan.
  • Bake the cake for 30-40 minutes or until done.
Allow the cake o cool for around 10 minutes and enjoy a truly delicious cake. You can use whole flour, if you want a more loaf-like kinda cake. It all up to you to tweak around to your liking. Enjoy!!

5 August 2011

Beetroot Balls

The thing is, i am so not a fan of the beets :). The smell and the taste has a way of making me turn the other way round every time i see it. Post a baby i am slowly warming up to this vegetable, not really by choice, but by the need to ensure my family eats all the food that is good for the body. 

The baton to think and talk nutrition and nutritious food has fallen on my hands and so i am compelled to be inventive like a lot of the other moms.

I'm still on the look out for more ways of including beets in our diet but for now this is the way :)

1    Cup - Mashed potatoes
1/4 Cup - Beetroot, grated
1/3 Cup - Palak/Spinach, roughly chopped
1 - Onion medium sized           
2 - Green Chillies, chopped fine
1 Tsp - Ginger-Garlic paste
1 Tsp - Salt or according to taste
4-5 Slices - Bread of your choice
Veg' Oil - For deep frying

1. Squeeze out excess water from the beets and spinach
2. Put all the ingredients except the bread in a bowl
3. Press the slices of bread together and soak it under running water for a few seconds, squeeze out all the excess water, as much as possible and mix it with the other ingredients. Mix it properly
4. Make it into as many ball as you want
5. Heat oil in wok. When its ready just deep fry these beauties in batches of 2s or 3s

Enjoy the Beet Balls hot off the pan with a bit of tomato sauce. I think i'll use a bit of lemon juice next time for some zing.

3 August 2011

Beef On Soy Sauce

I love beef. And being a Naga, we are hopelessly devoted to pork and beef. Weddings and other special occasions, where the community feast together, without either of these or both item showing up on the menu is a ludicrous affair and such a blunder gets talked about years and years down the line;). Anyways, i felt it's apt for me to start off the very first post with a beef recipe.

Today i am sharing a family favorite, beef on soy sauce. And yes, it is to be enjoyed with the bones. Another thing about the Naga community is that we love having out meat with the bones attached. The messier the better is more like it :). If you are a pure boneless sorts, do feel free to do without the bones, mind you though that you are missing out on the flavors from the marrows.

This is totally my kind of food because it taste great and yet take so little of your time. A real life-saver when you have unexpected guests for dinner:). Here's the recipe:

1 Kilo - Beef with bones
1 Tbsp - Ginger diced
6-7 Pods - Garlic flattened with a knife
1 Tbsp - Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp - Light/Regular Soy Sauce
1 Tsp - White Vinegar
1 Medium - Onion chopped into four equal halves then separate the layers
2 Medium - Carrots chopped       
1 Green - Capsicum/Bell Pepper chopped into bite-size chunks
1 Stalk - Spring Onion, Chopped for garnish
3 Tbsp - Oil for stir frying
Salt - According to taste keeping in mind that soy sauce is salty

1. Pressure cook the beef with about 50 - 60 ml water and 1 Tsp salt until tender
2. Once done, transfer the cooked meat to any vessel using a slotted spoon and keep the stock aside for later
3. Heat oil till really hot toss in the ginger stir for a minute or two, then in goes the garlic, stir for another    
    minute or two
4. Drop in the Onions, toss it till slightly brow, then goes the Carrots and the Capsicum. Stir fry for about two
5. Next up, dump the cooked Beef pieces and toss it properly so that the Ginger and Garlic flavor is rubbed
    into the meat as much as possible
6. Now add the light Soy sauce, mix it properly, then add Vinegar, mix it up again and let it cook for a minute
    or two
7. If the meat start sticking on the pan, sprinkle about 4-5 Tbsp of the stock that was kept aside and at this
    point cover the pan with the lid and cook for about two minutes
8. Add the Dark soy sauce towards the last 5 minutes of the cooking, sprinkle the Spring onions and serve.

Total Time of cooking will be around 30 minutes. 10-15 minutes for pressure cooking the beef and around 15-20 minutes to fry the meat and vegetables.

This will be a dry dish and so it's best enjoyed with either Egg or Vegetable friend rice or even with Dal and plain Rice :).

Bon Appetite!!