29 November 2012

Beef Liver & Galangal Leaves Chutney - Naga Chutney

OMG! December is just a breath away and Christmas just around the corner. How did this year go by?? Time seems to be moving at a killer speed and yet again, one more year is slowly passing by. I could not put in as much time over here as i wanted to, since everything had to be worked around my toddler's schedule. And yet, it has been a very fulfilling year where Pan Cuisine is concerned. I am so kicked  by the number of response the Naga cuisine is generating. To all those those who wrote to me, thank you for all your lovely feedback. I am deeply encouraged that a lot of you find my blog useful in your quest to recreate our cuisine in your homes.

Today I am sharing with you an all time favorite in my home, the recipe for Beef Liver & Galangal leaves Chutney. I planned on ending this year on a sweet note just before Christmas, but it is not gonna be possible as i am headed to my parents place first week of December and so this will be my last post for this year.

My mom is not a good cook and we have many stories of the her many failed experiments in the kitchen. Every time we get together, we kids use to tease her of all those horrendous dishes she had made and we would always have a good laugh over it. There are few dishes though, that taste best ONLY when it is made by her, and so anything to do with Beef make me think of my mom. I made this chutney for some friends who were visiting the city, and boy! did they enjoy it.

The uniqueness of this chutney is the use of Galangal leaves. Galangal is from the same family as ginger, and we use the leaves of this plant in chutneys and also in meat curries, especially beef as it complements the flavor of the meat. My mom loves galangal leaves, growing up, i could not stand the smell of this plant but now, i love it, and i believe it is because of the memories of mom the smell of this leaves generate. The Thai people also use it generously in many of their dishes.

Another thing about chutneys, and what make it taste better, i believe, is the use of wooden mortar and pestle. I love the after smell it leaves behind after making chutney in it :). If you can get your hand on some galangal, and you haven't tried this combination, make a go for it because let me shamelessly tell you, it is ridiculousely good. The sign of a great chutney is a burning tummy and the run to the throne room...lol!! But let me tell you the spicier the better for this chutney.

Make some scrumptious chutney and have a wonderful celebration this December wherever you are. Cheers!!

Here's the recipe.

150 gms - Precooked Beef Liver
12 ( or more) - Green Chillies, roasted over medium flame
4-5 - Medium sized Ngari (Fermented Dried Fish)
5-6 - Garlic Pods
Salt to taste
2-3 - Stalks of galangal leaves
Onion for garnish

Remove the sinews and thick fat lumps from the liver and pressure cook it for a couple of minutes till cooked and soft. Once cooled, chop it up into small pieces and keep aside.
Roast the Chillies and Ngari over medium heat. Peel off the transparent skin off the chillies.
Pound the chillies, ngari and garlic till well combined. Add salt to taste.
Once the simple green chillies chutney is done, mix it up properly with the prepared beef liver, add more salt if needed.
Tear or chop up the galangal leaves and mix it into the chutney.
Garnish with Onion ringlets, or diced, which ever way you like it. Enjoy!

1 November 2012

Upside down Orange Cake

There is no excuse for neglecting this space, so i'm not going to make one. I really haven't been doing any experimental cooking since my last post, somehow the drive just eluded me, and then i baked this cake the other day and can i tell you, i was recharged to get cooking and baking again. 

I wanted to use up the oranges that has been sitting in the fridge for a couple of weeks before it get spoilt, and so this cake came about. I love upside down cakes and so i said, why not these oranges? So instead of making the usual orange cake where i use the whole orange with or without nuts and oats, i decided to experiment and thankfully it came out really well. I normally prefer my cakes to be a little low on the sugar quotient, this time it was a wee bit sweet for me, will reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup next time.

The cake as a whole was light and very orangy ( if i may use the word ;)). I used Kinnow orange and so there was no need to peel the fruit before cutting it into slices. Incase you are trying with local orange ( the green skin variety) it will be wise to first peel and then cut the fruit into slices, and also avoid using the zest ( of the local orange) as it may turn out to be bitter and spoil the whole taste of the cake. 

Oranges slices - 7 Slices
2 Tbsp - Brown Sugar
1 Cup - Plain Flour
1 Tsp - Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda
3 - Eggs
1 Tbsp - Orange Zest
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil
1/3 Cup - White Sugar
1 Tsp - Vanilla Essence
The juice of 1/2 an orange

Preheat oven to 180 degree C.
Oil a shallow baking pan, sprinkle the brown sugar over the base and then arrange the orange slices over it and keep aside.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and soda and keep aside.
In a mixing bowl whisk the sugar and oil till combined, add vanilla essence and the orange juice and then the eggs, one at a time and whisk till well combined.  
Now add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and mix and then whisk till the the batter is smooth.
Fold in the zest, pour the cake batter over the prepared pan and bake it for a good 30-40 minutes.
Once done, that is  when the cake come off from the side of the pan and a tooth pick inserted in the center
come out clean, let the cake cool in the pan for 5- 6 minutes.
Once cooled enough to handle, transfer the cake onto a plate and serve it over tea. You can dust some icing sugar if yo wish, but i loved it just the way it came out off the oven. 

25 August 2012

Dried Fish Chutney with Green/Dried Red Chilies- Naga Dish

A tribal meal is definitely peculiar but i believe that the beauty of our food lies in its simplicity and freshness. We love our vegetables as much as we love all the hearty and heavy meat dishes. Each tribal community may differ in their way of cooking, as is expected, BUT one thing that link together is the chutney.
We MUST have chutney with every meal that we partake. Most time the chutney makes up for the absence of any side dishes. Many tribal families live a hard life being mostly farmers, and many do not have the luxury of making side dishes for lack of money and time, but much is left unsaid and excused because of the accompaniment of a nice chutney on the table.
Curry prepared in a tribal home may vary from vary bland to very spicy depending on health and preference, yet the chutney will no doubt be fiery hot, and most times made with fresh Naga chilli/ King chilli when in season or the dried ones by either soaking it in hot water or roasting it over hot ashes from the family hearth.
In my home though, my dad forbids daily savoring of the super-hot Naga chilli and so most meals the chutney will be either made with fresh green chillies or the dried red chillies. A good chutney is defined by the quality of the fermented fish. 
I'm sure my neighbors will beg to differ but, when the fermented fish is of good quality, it will be almost sweet smelling (yes despite the fact that it is fermented ;)),  when and if it smell rotten or obscure, throw away or use it up quickly or do not buy it.
A meal is just incomplete without a chutney and while fermented soy beans needs a good pairing with certain dish to fully enjoy it, dried fish chutney is a very versatile dish that just complements anything and everything. A great chutney is one that has perfect balance of four basic ingredientschillies, fermented dried fish, garlic and salt.
The concoction of these four ingredients is the foundation for a great chutney, and to this you can add what ever you want to make a special chutney, for example, a roasted tomato, cooked chicken liver, dried  and shredded beef, herbs of your choice, diced cabbage, cauliflower florets, monkey beans or smelly beans,mashed potato & bambooshoot etc..etc.
A chutney is very close to any tribal person's heart because the very scent of it takes us back to memories of home with loved ones around the dining table, enjoying a hearty meal and great conversation. Ah!
Fermented fish - 4-5
Garlic - 5- 6 Cloves
Green/ Dried Red Chilli - 10 - 12 whole chillies
Salt - as per taste
Coriander/Spring onions for garnish

Roast the fermented fish over the flame for 2-3 minutes on both sides using an old aluminium slotted spoon or any metal with perforated surface, keep aside.

If using green chillies, roast it in the same process as above and peel off the skin, or if using dried red chillies, heat water in the microwave and soak the required amount of chillies covered for 4-5 minutes or until soft.

Now put everything, the chillies, roasted fermented fish, garlic cloves and the salt into a motor & pestle and grind it till everything is well blended and aromatic. Garnish with chopped coriander or spring onions and a wonderful chutney is ready.

14 August 2012

Beetroot - Banana Chocolate Cup Cakes - Tiffin treat for a fussy toddler

I really did not expect my son to be so fussy...and i really hope it improves over time. Last week i made beetroot-banana chocolate cupcakes for his tiffin just so that there will be some input of veggies in his diet. I don't remember being such a picky eater and so i hope that the kiddo will soon grow to love his veggies and fruits and many other great food around.

Back to the cake. Definitely a healthy bite with a cup each of grated beetroot and mashed banana. As my son enjoyed this cuppy-cake i looked on with contentment. The cake turned out so light and fluffy, and smelled amazing as it baked. The scent from the combination of banana and chocolate and vanilla is always mind-blowing. Toddler happy - the mummy  is indeed happy. Unfortunately/fortunately for me, the love for cakes & cookies are long gone...like kaput. I blame my hubby for this happenings in me....somehow his non-addiction to all that is sweet and fluffy in life has rubbed off on me and i do NOT like it! I want the old me to be back ;(

11/2 Cups - Plain Flour
2 Tsp - Baking Powder
1 Tsp - Baking Soda
2 Tbsp - Cocoa Powder 
3/4 Cup - Veg' Oil
1/4 + 2 Tbsp - Sugar (add more if you prefer sweeter cakes)
2 - Eggs
1 Cup - Mashed Banana
1 Tsp - Vanilla Essence
1 Cup - Grated Beetroot

Preheat oven to 180 C, grease a square cake pan or cup cake pans ( your preference) and keep aside.
Sieve all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and keep aside.
Mix the mashed banana with the sugar and mix using a hand blender until smooth, add the oil and blend to combine.
Crack an egg at a time into the banana puree and mix to combine, add the vanilla essence, stir using a spatula or wooden spoon to combine.
Pour the wet over the dry, stir to combine and once well combined, fold in the grated beetroot.
Bake the cup cake in the preheated for 16-18 minutes or for 22 - 24 minutes if making one whole cake.
Sprinkle some icing sugar and serve.

31 July 2012

Orange Loaf / Cake with Nuts & Oats - His Cake

I am a wife and a mom, but i have to confess that most times the role of mom is given prominence and so to an observer, i would come across as a mom and a wife. How many of us err in this matter?? We were blessed with our son first year of marriage, and so the role of wife took a beating right from the start. I was just getting into the role of being a wife, when pregnancy and its demands took over and then along came the baby and so between sleep deprivation and breast-feeding, the wifey-hat was tossed into the corner. I am now, working towards being a better wife and not let the mom in me override every role i need to play. Why am i gibbering about this??? 

Because i made an Orange Cake....for my son, son did not like it BUT hubby l-o-v-e-d it :). He said, "ummm...cake like this i don't mind. But not carrot and beetroot and other veggies." To that i responded, "those were meant for your son." (see!!!!;)) It's not that i don't make things he love, i do, but it's just that my son's needs and wants cloud my mind and hubby dearest gets my leftover energy most days, and that definitely is not fair. I decided that i will be more conscious about how i divide my time and energy between the two people who mean the most to me. 

About the cake: firstly, it is a very moist cake, and so this can be had for breakfast like my hubby did :). Secondly, healthy and guilt-free, because it is made with cooking oil (i used canola oil) and bits of almonds and cashews and oats. Thirdly, this is a real fruit cake with strong orange flavor because i used the whole fruit, by that i mean skin, seed, pulp, juice...basically the whole fruit. Finally, it is yummy with a stamp of approval from the Man- my Man, who is indeed Black ;).

1/2 - 3/4 Cup - Orange paste made from i whole orange
1 Tbsp - Oats (i used quakeroats)
1/2 Tbsp - Cashew nut
1/2 Tbsp -Whole Almonds 
1 Cup (scant) - Plain Flour
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda
1/2 Tbsp - Baking Powder
1/4 Cup - Milk
1/2 Cup - Canola oil ( any neutral cooking oil will do)
1 Tsp - Vanilla Essence
1/4 + 2 Tbsp - Sugar
2 - Eggs

Preheat the oven to 170 degree C, Grease a loaf pan and keep aside.
Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder into a bowl and keep aside.
Cut the orange into four  and put it into a food processor and run it to make a paste. To this add the cashews and almonds and oats and milk and run the food processor to make a puree. Now add the oil and sugar and run it again to make sure it is well combined. 
Add the vanilla essence and then crack the eggs one at a time and blitz once or twice, or till it's well combined. Pour this wet ingredient into the dry and using a spatula mix to combine, very gently. 
Pour it into the prepared loaf pan and bake in the preheated oven for 22 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Once done, cool for 10 to 15 minutes, transfer to a serving plate, cut into slices and enjoy. Dust some icing sugar if you want to pretty it up further :).

Happy Baking! 

23 July 2012

Spicy Chicken Curry with Mushroom & Crispy Onions

It's been quite a while since my last post. Ever since my toddler started school, time seem to be slipping away just like that. The change in the schedule took a while to get use to, thankfully, now all of us are settling down with the new timing.

And of course, there is the stress of what to pack for his tiffin ;), stress because my dear son has become s-u-c-h a picky-picky eater. It is disheartening really, when lovingly packed snack box comes back untouched ;(. Let's save that tale for another day. Today, lets talk chicken and mushrooms with lots of chillies  and topped with crispy fried onions, meaning yummy in the tummy. 

I have been planning on cooking chicken with mushrooms for a long time, but somehow never got around to making it. Then yesterday, most of the veggies were out, except for ones or twos of this & that and nothing whatsoever that would complement the chicken, but for a packet of mushroom that was sitting pretty and untouched, this recipe came to be. I must warn you that it is Spicy, but i must also dare you to try, because it is (without being too cocky) so good. 

759 gms - Chicken, cubed
200 gms - Button Mushroom, sliced
3 Cups - Onions, sliced thin
1 Tbsp - Fresh Garlic paste
1 Tbsp - Fresh Ginger paste
1 Tsp - Red Chilli powder, heapful
1/2 Tsp - Tuemeric powder
10 - Dried Red Chillies, soaked and made into a paste
4 Tbsp - Water
4 Tbsp - Mustard Oil
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying the onions.

Clean the chicken, divide it into two batches and keep it aside. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil till hot, brown the first batch of chicken and keep it aside in a bowl or plate. Brown the next batch using another tbsp of oil, transfer the browned chicken pieces into the same bowl as earlier.
Pour the remaining oil, once hot, add 1 cup of onions and stir fry till its lightly browned. Now add the garlic and ginger paste, stir and let cook till it gives out a smoked aroma. Add the mushrooms, cook for a couple of minutes, sprinkle some salt, and then transfer the browned chicken pieces into the pan and give it a good stir meanwhile ensuring that you don't crush the mushroom. 
Now add the red chilli paste, stir and mix making sure the chicken pieces are well coated. Then add the turmeric powder and the red chilli powder, give it a good stir and cooked covered in medium-low flame. After a few minutes, pour the 4 tbsp of water into the mixer used for making the red chilli paste, shake it clean and pour this water into the pan, add as much salt as you prefer, cover and cook for about 30-40 minutes or till chicken is cooked through. There is no need for more water because the chicken pieces will give out enough water to cook through,but  incase you want more gravy, add more water according to your preference.
As the chicken cooks, heat a frying pan with enough oil, maybe 21//2 - 3 cups,  and deep fry the remaining 2 cups of onions till it is brown and crisp. Once chicken is cooked, sprinkle the crispy onion on top, give the curry a good mixing and then serve with hot rice and some nice and crunchy salad.
Bon Apetite!

4 July 2012

Pizza Two Ways - Chicken Liver - Ricotta Cheese Pizza & Kidney Beans Pizza

First of all Happy 4th July to all my fellow bloggers in the US. I have been salivating, looking at all the colorful and mind blowing cakes and other sweet treats flooding the blog sphere. Have a wonderful celebration!

Today i'm sharing my new favorite pizzas recipe. Making bread is really therapeutic for me, and theni made my own pizza base. Ever since then my life is up'ed by another degree. Home-made pizza is, excuse me but ,kick-ass good! Having pizza is always a treat, anytime, any day. And once we make our own pizza, that taste amazingly good, you realized that the domino's and the pizza hut guys have been sucking us big time. Of course i will continue to order and eat from them once in a while BUT desperation for one of theres stops right here, this minute, now. Homemade any day, i say, but then maybe, when the mouth wants them cheese-bursting, oozy-woozy pizza, then domino's i call thee.

The basic pizza dough recipe i'm sharing today makes 2 pizza base, serving 4-5 people. The base recipe is adapted from 1 Base-50 Pizzas by Love Food. The toppings really just came about from my love for chicken liver, my new found obsession incorporating homemade ricotta cheese wherever possible, and then my hubby's love for kidney beans. We enjoyed it so much so that, i did not get to click any decent pictures. So, here's the recipe of the great pizza dinner we enjoyed few weekends back. Do sweat it out making your own pizza base and enjoy a truly remarkable and rewarding treat.

Pizza Dough:
3 Cups -Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
5g - Fresh Yeast
1 Tsp - Dried Yeast
11/2 Tsp - Salt
175 ml - Warm Water
1 Tbsp - Olive Oil

Chicken Liver - Ricotta Cheese Pizza:
250 g - Boiled chicken liver diced to bite size
1/2 Cup - Ricotta cheese chunks
1 Onion - Sliced
1 Cup - Mozzarella cheese, grated
1 - Green chilli, chopped
4 Tbsp - Delmonte Tangy & Fruity Sauce Tomato Sauce

Kidney Beans Pizza:
2 Cups - Cooked Kidney Beans, drained and kept aside
1 Onion - Sliced
2 -  Green Chillies, chopped
1 1/2 Cup - Mozzarella cheese, grated
4 Tbsp - Delmonte Tangy & Fruity Sauce Tomato Sauc

For Pizza Dough:
Proof the fresh yeast in 1/4 Cup warm water, and wait for it to froth.
Mix oil with the remaining water.
Sift the flour with the salt added, onto a bowl, make a well and pour both the wet ingredients and mix till the dough comes together. It will be a wee bit sticky but not to worry at all.
Lightly flour the work surface and turn out the dough and knead till it is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the dough into greased vessel and cover with a tea towel or cling film, and wait for it to double in size.
Once doubled in size, knead for another 3-4 minutes and then cut it into two equal portions. 
Flatten each dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface as to how thin or wide you want it to be. 
Pizza base is ready.

For the Chicken liver - ricotta cheese pizza topping:
Preheat the oven to 200 degree C. Place the pizza base on the baking pan.
Spread the tomato sauce almost till the edges, leaving maybe around an inch space.
Spread the chicken liver, then the onions, then scatter the ricotta cheese and the mozzarella cheese. 
Finally sprinkle the chopped green chilli and bake it in a preheated oven @ 200 degree C for 10 minutes.

For the Kidney Beans Pizza:
Preheat the oven to 200 degree C. Place the other pizza base on the baking pan.
Spread the tomato sauce almost till the edges, leaving maybe around an inch space.
Spread the cooked kidney beans over the tomato sauce, then sprinkle the onions.
Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese and then the green chillies, and bake it in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

24 June 2012

Mango & Chocolate Chips Cake- Eggless

My toddler started Montessori last Monday, and thankfully for him, and also me, he loves going to school :D. I do feel a sense of slight sadness and also happiness...you know the feeling i'm talking about rite....the all in one kinda emotion. The first day i had tears in my eyes watching him just working his way, and making his adjustments with the new environment. His teacher came and told me he is very independent and i told her that he is..and thought to myself how quickly life is passing by..my baby is out to make a mark in the world and i have to allow him to come out of the cocoon i had him in..sob..sob ;(.

Anyways, i am just glad he is adjusting so well, i really would not know how to handle if he was all tears and cries. To celebrate the success of my son's first week at school and also the much awaited monsoon showers i decided to make this cake with the combination of my favorite fruit and my son's favorite treat. Mango + Chocolate Chips = Happiness!

This cake is moist, sweet, chocolaty and with a hint of fruitiness from the mango puree, perfect for a monsoon afternoon treat and one approved (surprisingly) by my hubby (the no fruit or veggies in my cakes wala) :D. A cake with simple ingredients, no fuss preparation and absolutely & utterly delicious a bite-at-a-time. Great with a bit of Vanilla Ice cream too.

11/2 Cups - Plain Flour/Maida
1 Tsp - Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp - Baking Soda
1/2 Cup - Sugar
3/4 Cup - Mango Puree
1/2 Cup - Chocolate Chips
2 Tbsps - Milk
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil

Preheat the oven @ 170 C and prepare a square cake pan and keep aside..
Sieve the flour, baking powder and baking soda in a mixing bowl.
In another bowl blend the mango puree, sugar and oil using a hand held blender.
Pour the wet over the flour mixture and mix to combine, add the milk and mix further to incorporate.
Once the batter is smooth and well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Once done, let cool. cut into squares and serve.

13 June 2012

Peach & Mango Smoothie

The the mango season is slowly heading to an end, and in comes cherries, peaches and plums. Unfortunately, the other fruits have yet to live up (taste wise) to their good looks. The first boxes of cherries and peaches i bought was awfully disappointing. So i preserved the cherries in sugar water and made smoothies using the peaches. 

I find the scent of peaches intoxicating. Back in the village, almost every home will have a few peach trees and when someone come visiting, a basketful of peaches will be freshly plucked and laid out to be enjoyed by everyone. Precious memories, i dunno whether my son will get to experience the beauty of a rustic village life but i sure hope he gets to taste the fruits from my birthplace. Anyway, back to the smoothie, it is a mock -tail of peach and mango and oh-so-good. The fresh scent of peach and the sweetness of the mango was a delightful combination. This recipe is for just one person.

1 Cup - Peach halves, skinned
1/4 Cup - Mango Puree
1/3 Cup - Milk
2 Tsp - Sugar
3-4 Tbsp - Water

Mix everything in the food processor and blitz till smooth. Add sugar and water depending on how sweet and thin you want your smoothie to be.
Garnish with crushed pistachios and some fresh sweet cherries.

Super simple, fresh and delicious refreshing drink served. Enjoy!

8 June 2012

Potato Fritata

Fritata makes for a wonderful breakfast when you are short on time but need to serve a filling breakfast. The days i get up late to prepare breakfast for my hubby, he gets a fritata :). The man has no complain whatsoever because he loves it just as much as i love making it. There are a lot of ingredients you can play around to make a great fritata but when simple ingredients works their magic...it is always very satisfying.

1 Big - Potato, sliced thin and shallow fried
1 Big or 2 Medium - Onions, sliced thin
1 Medium - Tomato, seeded and sliced thin
1 - Red Chilli, seeded and diced
1/2 Tsp - Red Chilli Powder
2 Tbsp - Butter
6 - Large Eggs or 2 Eggs per head
1 Tsp - Oregano, dried
1/2 - 1 Tsp - Garlic Salt or as per taste

Shallow fry the sliced potatoes until the slices are partially cooked, meaning no resistance when you prick it with a fork, and let drain on a kitchen towel.
Heat the pan, melt butter and layer the onion rings and cook till translucent, then add the tomatoes and chilli and sprinkle some salt over it.

Now layer the potatoes atop the onions and sprinkle some more salt. 
Beat the eggs till well combined and the chilli powder and beat to mix, then pour this mixture over bed of potato and onion and turn down heat to medium-low.
Cook till the egg mixture doesn't flow when  you tilt the pan. At this point flip the omelet and cook till the other side is cooked about 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to a plate, cut and serve with some tomato ketchup. Simple yet a very sumptuous breakfast served.

30 May 2012

Pan-Grilled Beef Patties

Between the last post and this one I turned 30 years old :D...phew!! I feel old ;) kidding...i feel the same really...when i finally crossed the mark i realized that the 'turning 30' hype was just a mental thingy. That aside the day temperature have been hitting 43 degrees here in Hyderabad and so none of us have been in the mood for much food and we've just been surviving on fruits, especially mangoes, and cold salads. Thankfully the last couple of days have been so much cooler and so i decided to try out some new recipes in an attempt to use up whatever was there in the fridge.

Today i'm sharing my pan-grilled beef patty recipe. I was fed up of the same old beef minced with peas recipe and so decided to take a spin with the minced beef that was sitting in the freezer. This is just a basic recipe, you can go try out various herbs combination and see how you like it. The magic of this patty for me was how moist, well spice and succulent it turned out to be. It was a very rewarding experiment. After having a taste of this hubby said, "sooooo good, you just made your hubby one really happy man" :). Satisfaction - Delivered.

For the Patty:
500 g - Minced Beef , Full-Fat
1 Cup - Mint
2-3 - Green Chillies
1 Tsp - Red Chilli Powder
1 Tsp - Garlic Salt
6 Pods - Garlic
2" Sized - Ginger, grated
1- Big White Onions

For Crumb Coating:
11/2 Cup - Fresh Breadcrumbs, i used homemade buttermilk bread
1 Tsp - Dry Oregano
1 Tsp - Dry Chives
1 Tsp - Garlic Salt
Veg' Oil to drizzle

  1. Put all the ingredients for the patties in a food processor and blitz it till everything is well combined. Transfer it to a bowl, cover with cling film and keep it in the fridge for atleast half and hour.
  2. To prepare the crumb coating, just put everything in the food  processor (again, make sure it's cleaned first ;0) and just blitz a couple of times to combine, transfer to a bowl and keep aside.
  3. Once the crumb coating mixture is ready, just pull out a bit of the patty mixture, shape it and put it over the crumb bed and let coat on both sides. This recipe will give you from 16-20 patties depending on the size.
  4. Once you've shaped and coated all the patties, heat the grill pan on high and drizzle about a tablespoon of veg' oil.
  5. Arrange the patties on the pan ( mine could do 9 at one go) and grill for about 5-6 minutes on both sides.
  6. Once done let the patties rest for about a minute or two and then serve.

Since the meat is minced and then blitzed, it just cooks through within minutes and the crumb coating keep  the juice intact as well as provide a crisp top. You can serve this with mashed potatoes, a bowl of soup, stuff it in a burger etc..etc..the possibility is endless. Enjoy!!!

7 May 2012

Bread Obsession - Dutch Crunch Bread/Tiger Bread

The mercury is rising and it is just going higher and higher here in Hyderabad. We are doing 41C to 42C already and i'm just hoping that the blessed monsoon will hit early this year. Considering that, it definitely is not a breezy time to work on any dough business, i mean it really is a sweaty business, but the joy of baking and my craze for bread baking kept it going :). The yeast seem to like this weather though, it starts frothing in the shortest of time when fed honey :D. 

The first time i laid eyes on this beauty was at Neha's and then i saw it again at Deeba's (the passionate baking who whips up wonders and my biggest inspiration). They baked it for the daring bakers challenge and made tiger buns. When i saw it, i knew i just had to give it a try and hence this Tiger Loaf. I followed Deeba's recipe, the quantity of flour though was too much and so i cut it to half. It looks complicated BUT it really was pretty easy to make and my best loaf by far, joining the same rank as this loaf. 

Soft White Roll
3 Cups - Plain Flour + extra for dusting
15 g - Fresh Yeast
1/4 Cup - Warm water (i measure and heat in the microwave for 10 sec)
1 Cup - Warm Milk (measure in heat in microwave for 20 sec)
2 Tbsp - Sugar
1 Tsp - Honey
2 Tbsp - Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp - Salt

Dutch Crunch Topping:
11/2 Cups - Rice Flour
10 g - Fresh Yeast
1/8Cup - Warm water
1/2 Cup - Warm Milk
3/4 Tbsp - Sugar
1/2 Tsp - Salt

To make the soft white roll, cream the yeast by heating 1/4 cup water plus the water in a bowl, add honey and sugar and stir to combine, then add the fresh yeast. and stir to dissolve the yeast and keep it aside for about 5 minutes.
In another bowl measure 1 cup of flour, add the veg' oil and salt stir and the add the yeasty mixture. Using the dough hooks of a hand blender, mix at medium speed until the dough comes together.
Add the remaining flour, a little at a time until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl, Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
Place it in a lightly greased  bowl, cover and let rise until doubled.
Once risen, shape the dough into a loaf and place it on the baking tray, cover and let it rise for about 15 more minutes, while you prepare topping.
For the Dutch crunch topping, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and beat vigorously using a whisk to combine. The mixture needs to be spreadable but not runny. Adjust the rice flour or water depending on how thick or thin the batter is. Let the topping mixture stand for about 15 minutes. 
Preheat oven @ 180 C.
Coat the top of the loaf using a spoon. It needs to be a thick layer for the top to crack.
Bake the loaf in the preheated oven for 20-24 minutes or till the top is well browned.
Let cool completely and then enjoy your handiwork :). 

I have tried making loafs with other recipes but it just never came out with the texture i wanted. This one was close to perfect :). I loved eating it plain, but it did make for a great sandwich as well with a bit of good creamy mayo, crunchy veggies and a dash of tomato sauce. Do give it a try.

27 April 2012

Glazed Key Lime Cake

Have you had a good lemon cake that was really lemony? I haven't and so when i bumped into this recipe i just HAD to make it. The thing is, there is a wedding coming up in December and i have some major post-pregnancy fat the size of a dirt truck tires around my waist and so i'm like slightly totally obese. For obvious reasons hubby and i have consciously been cutting down on our rice intake and also sweet treats. I do have a lot to shed..phew!!!

Thankfully i haven't been so kicked about cakes and cookies lately and so it was good. BUT today it was a different story, i craved and craved for something sweet & sour, in a really non-pregnant sort of way ;) and then i saw this and i knew i had to bite into this today or else i'd die :).

Why this cake? Because it has two things i love in it, Lemon & Honey. Back at home we get lemon the size of oranges, it is juicy, sour with a tinge of sweetness and amazing scent... sniff.. sniff.

Ukhrul District in Manipur, inhibited by the Tangkhul Nagas, celebrates Lemon Festival every year in the month of January...that is how much we north-easterners love lemon. Unfortunately, lemon do not even exist down south, all we get are these tart and small lime. I have lived in Bangalore for 5 years and now in Hyderabad and am yet to spot any lemon...so i guess it is non existent this side of the country.

 Lemon Tree in Ukhrul District. See the size? What did i tell ya...
Coming back to the cake, you should check Elise at Simply Recipes, the source, the power, the hand behind this cake recipe. She made a loaf out of this recipe but yea, me being the rebel, decided to make a bunt cake. Bunt, loaf or round, it will just be one great lemony treat.

11/2 Cup - Plain Flour
1/2 Tsp - Ground Cardamom
1 Tsp - Baking Powder
8 Tbsp - Butter (i used salted Amul butter)
1 Cup minus 1 Tbsp - White Sugar ( the limes are tart so you do need this much sugar)
1 Tbsp - Honey
2 - Eggs
1 Tbsp - Lime/Lemon Zest
1/2 Cup - Whole Milk
For the Syrup/Glaze:
1/4 Cup - Lime Juice
1/3 Cup - White Sugar
1 Tbsp - Honey

Preheat oven at 180 C, grease a bunt pan and keep aside.
Sieve the first 3 ingredients and keep aside.
Cream the butter, add sugar and honey and beat until creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate, the add the milk, mix and then fold in the lime zest and give it a gentle mixing using a spatula.
Add this wet mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and blend till smooth.

Pour the batter into the bunt pan, smoothen the surface of the cake and bake it in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (baking time will differ and depend on different oven temperature) or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze by adding all the ingredient into a sauce pan and boiling till all the sugar is dissolved. Keep aside.

Once cake is done, pock holes using a toothpick or skewer or a tip of a knife (like me :0) and spoon the syrup all over the cake, while the cake is still in the pan and hot. Then let cool for sometime, invert, cut and gobble.

To celebrate the sweet ( i have a loving and very considerate husband and a healthy son) and sour ( i am obese) in our life, this is the perfect cake. Enjoy!