29 August 2013

Cooked Vegetable Chutney/Spicy Vegetables Side Dish/Spicy Vegetable Chutney

The dish today can be interpreted how ever way you want it. It is my most recent obsession. One of my good friend, an Ao Naga, introduced me to this dish, it is called Rusep in Ao and i am truly addicted. If you like to add more vegetables to your diet, but not too keen on plain boiled or steamed? Too lazy to make chutney? This is the answer for you my friend :).

Love Ngari/dried fermented fish? Love dried Anchovies? Have bits of vegetable lying around not enough for a proper dish?? Dump everything into a pot and transform it into a wonderfully delicious spicy dish.

The thing is I grew up eating vegetable curry prepared in the same style, but we would add more water to make a thin gravy. It never crossed my mind that reducing the quantity of water could change the whole dynamics of a dish like this. By all means adjust the salt and chillies but keep the quantity of water as it is. Here is the recipe. Please enjoy!!

3 -  Purple Brinjal
2 - Green Brinjal
3 - Baby Tomatoes
3-4 - Green Chillies
1 - Big Flat Ngari/ 2-3 Small Ngari/Dried Anchovies
Salt to taste
150 ml - Water

Wash, drain all the ingredients.
Dice the vegetables and chillies.
Wash the Ngari and take off the head.
Put everything into a cooking pot, pour water and add salt to taste and cook it over medium high heat.
Once the water starts bubbling reduce heat, put lid on and cook for 5-8 minutes or till the veggies are tender according to your liking. 
Serve hot with rice and dal or with pork curry. Yum!! Yum!!

22 August 2013

Rum & Raisin Cake with White Chocolate Ganach - Hubby boy's 32nd Birthday!!!

Yesterday my hubster completed 32 years and i am so grateful to God for his life and better health that he is  enjoying with the passing of each new year. It was a quite birthday at home with some wine, this intoxicating cake and a some lovely home cooked food. Rum & Raisin cakes are quintessentially a Christmas cake but this was the cake to be, as my dearest Hubster isn't your regular cake person. He just isn't into cakes, but i knew rum & raisins will hit a cord and so this cake is in August what actually should have been in December. But hey, nobody is complaining!!!

It is moist, from the rum-soaking and airy-light from the egg whites. This cake is not for the weak, as the raisins gives a deadly rum punch :). I had soaked the raisins last April to use it in December but that dis not happen and so you can guess how intense it was. 

It is a very easy cake to put together but the way you incorporate the egg whites will decide the fate of the cake between light and airy to a dense cake. I am artistically challenged and also my family is not much for icing in cakes but i decided to dress the cake with a White Chocolate Ganach. It was a perfect combination! The intensity of the rum soaked cake, with the sweetness of the white chocolate and complement it with white wine. Perfect!!

I know it looks bad :), am just handicapped in decorating anything. Anyway, though not fantastic to look at, it made the B'Boy very happy, so the effort was all worth it. To put a smile on the face as well as the tummy, mission accomplished! Here's a look at the finished cake.

Happy Birthday to a wonderful man who always light up my world with his kindness and loves unconditionally. Love you my one true love!!!

Here is the detailed recipe. Hope you enjoy making it and having it as well. Do try, it is a total mood booster :). Cheers!!

1 Cup - Plain Flour
1 Tsp - Baking Powder
1 Tsp - Cloves Powder, Nutmeg Powder, Cinnamon Powder, Dried Ginger Powder
1/2 Cup - Veg' Oil Water
1 Tsp - Vanilla Essence
1/4 Cup - Sugar
3 - Eggs, Separated
Salt - A Pinch
1 Cup - Raisins soaked in rum
4 - 5 Tbsp - Rum (for soaking)

For Caramelizing Sugar:
1 Cup - Sugar
2 Tbsp - Water
1 Cup - Hot Water

For White Chocolate Ganach:
200 ml - 25% Amul Cream
105 g - White Chocolate
Preheat oven to 180 degree C, cream and line a round cake pan and keep aside.
Caramelize the sugar and keep aside.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and the spice mix into a bowl.
Whisk the oil and sugar till creamy, add the egg yolks and continue to whisk till it is well incorporated.
Slowly add the flour spices mixture into the wet ingredients, using a wooden spoon mix it till it is well combined and grainy.
Now add the caramelized sugar syrup into the cake batter and whisk it vigorously, the batter will look watery, it is meant to so don't freak out :).
Take the egg whites, add a pinch of salt and the vanilla essence and whisk it at max power till the egg whites are fluffy and stiff.
Fold in the egg white into the cake batter, making sure to incorporate it but not beat out the air from it.
Now add the rum soaked raisins, give it a good mixing and then bake this beauty for 30 mins or a little more depending on your oven.
Once done, let cool for 5-10 minutes, then remove it from the pan, pour the rum 1 tbsp at a time all over the top of the cake, then chil it in the fridge while you get your ganach ready.

Caramalizing Sugar:
To caramalize the sugar, pour sugar and water into a heavy bottomed sauce pan and cook it on high heat. As the sugar starts bubbling, keep swirling the sauce pan till the bubbling syrup turns golden brown. At this point turn off heat and add the hot water into it. Give it a good stir and keep aside. Please wear a kitchen mitten when pouring as the hot syrup will splutter as you add the water. 

White Chocolate Ganach:
In another sauce pan, bring the cream to boiling stirring constantly, chop the white chocolate into pieces and add it into the cream and keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted. Once the chocolate is melted pour it out onto a bowl and let cool till warm enough to handle. Now keep the cooled ganach into the freezer till it is properly set, about 1 hour to more. Once set, whisk it up till it is fluffy. Your ganach is ready to use.

15 August 2013

Baby Bitter Gourd Curry/ Nkhonathoi Ganh!

This is the time of the year when baby bitter gourd is in season, and this is one of my many favorite vegetable, the sight and taste of which represents everything about my hometown. It is called Nkhonathoi in my language, i know, it is quite a tongue twister ;). Ever tasted this? Seen this vegetable????

Here in the city, it is impossible to get anything better that these ones in the picture but, back at home, it is twice the size, sometimes ripe yellow and much more tender than the ones i get over here in Hyderabad.

If you haven't tasted one of these, don't be fooled by the name, it is not bitter like bitter gourd but nutty and lovely, especially when cooked with pork-fat :). Yes!!! Anything with the P-Fat is delicious, always amps up the flavor of any dish. Look at this...loved every mouthful of it!

Anyway, even if you're not up for P-Fat bomb the dish will still taste really great but i dare you to add it to get one ripper of a dish. You can also try and add fermented soy beans for added flavor, if you so choose. This recipe serves 2 person. You want to make sure that you do not overcook the vegetables not under-cook it. It is essential that you add the garlic absolutely at the end so as to get the garlicky taste in the dish. Here's the recipe.

200 gms - Baby Bitter Gourd
100 gms - Pork Fat
1 - Medium Sized Potato, Diced
1/2 - Medium Sized Onion, Diced
1 - Medium Sized Tomato, Diced
1 Tsp - Chilli Powder
1 Tsp - Salt
1 Tbsp - Oil
5-6 - Garlic Pods
2 Cups - Water

Clean the vegetable, cut in half and keep aside.
Dice the pork fat and in a pressure cooker, brown the fat till it gives out oil and a nice aroma fills your nose.
Scoop out the browned fat, add 1 Tbsp of oil into the pressure cooker and fry the onions in it.
Add the remaining ingredients along with the browned fat, except the water and garlic, and cook for a minute or two just to develop the flavors.
Add water, when it comes to a rolling boil, toss in the crushed garlic.
Let the curry cook for a minute and then put on the lid of the pressure cooker and cook in medium flame.
Let the curry cook for about two whistles and then turn off heat.
Let cool for about 5 minutes and serve this delicious curry with hot rice and some dried fish chutney. Enjoy!!